For the cake:
- 70ml milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 75g unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
For the topping:
- 150g flaked almonds
- 125g butter
- 125g light brown sugar
- 50ml milk
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional, could replace with vanilla)
- Preheat oven to 160C.
- Grease a deep 9″ round tin (preferably with a removable bottom) and line the bottom with baking parchment.
- Stir the lemon juice into the milk and leave to sit (to make buttermilk, you can replace with 75ml if you have it on hand).
- Toast the almond flakes in a oven tray for 5-7 minutes until they’re a light golden brown, then set aside.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan then pour into a bowl and leave to cool (keep the pan to use later).
- Whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla together on medium-high for 5 minutes, until the mixture is a yellowy-cream colour and very thick. While it whisks, sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together. Sieve 1/3 of the flour mixture over the egg bowl then gently fold in with a big metal spoon or large spatula. Drizzle half of the milk over the top and fold in. Repeat with the next 1/3 of flour, the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour. Finally drizzle half of the butter over the top, fold in, then repeat with the remaining butter. Be gentle but thorough, scraping the bottom – it’s easy to get little pockets of flour. Carefully transfer to the tin. Tap on the counter once to remove any big air bubbles.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and set – when 15 minutes have gone, start making the topping.
- Place the toasted almonds, butter, sugar, milk, salt and espresso powder into the saucepan and stir as the butter melts. Keep heating for a few minutes – it should bubble and thicken slightly.
- Turn the oven up to 200C, then remove the cake to a rack and pour the glaze over the top. Spread the almonds out into an even layer. Place in the top of the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until the glaze is dark brown and bubbling.
- Cool for a few minutes then slide a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen it and remove the cake to a rack.
- Best eaten once it’s cooled to room temperature, though I have to admit to trying a warm slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It keeps well in an airtight tin for two days and is still alright on the third.
(Makes about 8-10 slices)