The first bite of this delicate caprese cake directly takes you to Capri, on the Amalfi coast: you can smell lemon everywhere. The sea waves break and splash on rocks, and you can easily “perceive” the summer on your skin. Do you want to lose yourself in this atmosphere? Prepare this cake, and you’ll get it.
Chocolate caprese (really toothsome) cake is much better-known than the lemon one, but the latter is definitely special. Airy, fluffy, flavorful … it fits a delicate snack or a satisfying dessert at the end of a light meal.
I first cooked this cake a few years ago while I was attending a pastry course with my beloved friend Enrica. She is very good, and this is HER cake, her masterpiece. I don’t know exactly why, but she is pretty fond of this cake. I have tried to make it as delicious as hers for long time, but you know, everyone has got their own secrets and the same recipe may turn out different!
What ingredients do you have to choose?
This cake doesn’t contain any wheat flour, yeast, or butter: simple and flavorful ingredients must be carefully combined. Just a few tricks I am going to tell you about are needed to bake this genuine delicacy.
There are 3 key points plus 1:
- Almonds: opt for high-quality unpeeled ones: when you chop them into ground flour, they will give the cake a nice evenly spotted look. Almond flour doesn’t guarantee the same rustic effect. Grind the almonds with the sugar. This is a quite tricky step because the blades of the mixer may heat the almonds too much, their oil will get rancid: hence an unpleasant sour taste. Do you want something really special? Combine almonds and hazelnuts.
- Lemons: a very important choice. You need grated lemon zest: make sure it is organic, genuine and sweet. If you are not sure about its naturalness, opt for the chocolate caprese, it is much safer! Here in Italy, lemons from Sorrento are widely used: they are juicy and sweet because they ripen on the trees. Ready store-bought lemon juice can’t be used in this recipe, not at all.
- Olive oil: its delicate taste (extra virgin olive oil does not fit this recipe because it is too strong) does not hide the other ingredients of the recipe. I can’t tell you what flavors prevail if you use other kinds of oil because in Italy olive oil is mainly sold in supermarkets or stores. If you don’t have any olive oil, use a very neutral type of oil.
- Potato starch: imparts a more compact texture and makes the cake fluffier. It may be replaced by cornstarch.
What does the cake look like?
This very special cake was born at the beginning of the 20th century by mistake in Capri island. Its heavenly and unusual texture guaranteed immediate and overwhelming success: it should look soft and wet like a kind of pudding in the middle; the crust is supposed to be slightly crumbly. Taste its grainy texture at first bite, and let its powdered sugar dust your lips! You are drooling, aren’t you?
Lemon caprese make a perfect …
Enjoy lemon caprese at the end of the meal or as snack with your friends or important guests. It wonderfully pairs with some tea or aromatic liqueur. It is the perfect cake to celebrate birthdays or special occasions as well. A tempting cuddle you may allow yourself on a relaxing Sunday.
Fluffy gluten free lemon caprese cake
- 3 extra fresh eggs
- 150 g caster sugar
- 125 g unpeeled organic almonds
- 50 g olive oil
- 1 sweet organic lemon
- the zest of one lemon
- 10 g potato starch
- powdered sugar to garnish
- Bring all the ingredients to room temperature: this makes the batter perfect;
- Put the almonds and the sugar into bowl of a mixer. Pulse gently not to heat the blades too much: pulse intermittently and let the blades cool down each pulse;
- Then, beat the eggs at very high speed until fluffy, thick, and airy; the mixture should incorporate as much air as possible;
- Zest 2 lemons and squeeze one;
- Reduce the mixer to low-medium speed and stir in the almond flour a little at a time;
- Pour 50gr of olive oil;
- Add the lemon zest and its juice;
- Eventually, add the starch and combine for one minute at low speed
- Pour the batter into a baking tray lined with parchment paper: gently smooth the surface without tapping the tray not to deflate the mixture;
- Pre-heat the static oven at 200°C (390°F) and bake for 15-20 minutes. The actual cooking time may vary, so make the skewer test. Insert a skewer in the middle, it must come out with a few moist crumbs attached. It must not be overcooked to retain its moist consistency;
- Cool completely before handling and dust with plenty of powdered sugar.
How can you store it?
Lemon caprese cake keeps fresh in a cake container at room temperature up to 2-3 days (but I am sure you will eat it up in a very short while). It can be cut into single serving portions and frozen; you’d better not dust with powdered sugar.