I don’t really like so-called Women’s Magazines. But whenever I go to my hairdresser, I check the first few on the shelf for the food pages. As I was going through one of the magazines last time I was there, I found this recipe in one of the magazines (and for the life of me, I cannot remember which magazine it was!). I loved the use of fresh basil in a cake, so I decided to try it.
I didn’t twist the original recipe much this time, just increased the amount of basil slightly. But I changed the way of preparing the cake batter significantly. In this way, I got a firmer cake with a better structure. I also skipped the icing on top entirely because I had some pretty beautiful cracks on top of the cake and I didn’t want to hide them. Besides, I found a cake full of lovely fresh ingredients even fresher when it’s left this way, without an icing that is.
The cake is pretty simple to make and not so easy to mess up if you just measure your ingredients well and follow the instructions. The result is a refreshing cake with all the citrus and fresh basil and a nice touch of almond taste and structure coming from the flour mixture.
I believe it is pretty clear that you really cannot or should not be using dried basil in this cake but I just wanted to point it out again. :) Other than that, once you get your ingredients going, you can start preparing your cake right away. Enjoy!
Difficulty: ★☆☆ (Easy)
(makes 1 loaf cake, with 22x9cm loaf pan)
2 dl (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp) granulated white sugar
50 gr butter, melted and slightly cooled
6 dl (2.5 cups minus 1 tbsp and 2 tsp) almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1 1/2 dl (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp + 2 tsp) white rice flour (in Finnish: riisijauho)
1 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
2.5 dl (1 cup or 50 gr.) fresh basil leaves, washed and patted dry, cut finely
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 22x9cm loaf pan and put a baking paper covering the bottom and sides (two large sides are enough).
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, put eggs and sugar and beat until light and fluffy in medium high speed, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add melted and cooled butter while the mixer is still on and beat until incorporated.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients (almond flour, rice flour, baking powder, lemon zest, orange zest and basil) and beat in medium speed until all dry ingredients are well mixed with wet ones.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula if needed.
6. Transfer the cake batter to the prepared loaf pan. Put in the oven, in medium rack and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. After taking it out of the oven, let the cake cool inside the pan for about 30 minutes at least before removing it. It is very delicious freshly baked, yes, but I found that the flavours developed even more the next day, so you can make it the day before. Enjoy with freshly brewed tea or fresh coffee!