This a dense, moist and very fragrant cake, not really the light sponge you might associate with birthdays but very good if you like your slice in the afternoon with a cup of tea.
Serves 8 - 10
3 eggs, beaten
225g plain flour
11⁄2 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g ground almonds
12 cardamom pods, shelled and coarsely ground
150ml carton soured cream
Finely grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
For the topping
200g soft cheese
2 - 4 tbsp icing sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon and juice of 1/2
2 tbsp lemon curd
sprinkles (if it's a birthday cake)
Preheat oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm round loose-bottomed tin.
Whisk together the sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy then add the eggs, a little at a time until well blended. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb into the bowl and gently fold in along with the almonds, cardamom, soured cream and lemon rind and juice.
Spoon into the tin and bake for 45 – 50 minutes until firm and golden. Leave to cool in the tin.
Mix together the soft cheese, icing sugar, lemon rind and juice until sweet enough and shiny. Spread on top of the cake then swirl in some little dollops of lemon curd. Once cut, keep in the fridge.