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1) Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ Gas mark 4.
2) Line and grease a rectangular tin approximately 30cm x25 cm (12 x 10 inch) with non-stick baking paper.
3) Cream the butter or margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4) Add the eggs one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the flour with the second and third. Mix in the cream cheese.
5) Fold in the remaining flour, ground almonds and almond essence.
6) Turn into the prepared tin.
7) Bake for 40 minutes or until the centre springs back when lightly pressed.
8) To make the syrup, heat the sugar and water until dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Pour over the cake and leave to cool in the tin. If there is more syrup than you need, keep and pour over the cake. Alternatively if you would like to use this sponge cake as a dessert, serve it with ice cream or custard!
To serve the stylish way: Invert the cake and cut into small triangles.
Almond and Cheese Sponge
At Chanukah it is customary to enjoy cheese-based desserts. In the Apocrypa we read that Judith gave the Greek general salty cheese to feast on. As a result of his thirst he drank too much wine and she was able to behead him in his drunken state!
My cheese recipe needs nothing stronger than a good cup of tea to enjoy with it! In my family we get together on Chanukah Sunday to exchange our gifts and share tea together. This cake is a reliable favourite – and no crumbs when you slice it!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Can be made in advance
150g unsalted butter or margarine
175g caster sugar
200g Self raising flour
250g light cream cheese, natural yoghurt or non dairy cream cheese
125g ground almonds
½ teaspoon almond essence
For the syrup
250g caster sugar
juice of half a lemon