About this recipe:A great alternative to Christmas cake or other celebration cakes, this is a moist and delicious almond cake that benefits from a drizzle of brandy syrup at the end. The result is a fabulous, mouth-watering cake.
300g caster sugar
4 eggs, separated
375g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon almond extract
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Preheat an oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Grease and flour a 20cm round baking tin.
Beat the butter and 300g of sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in colour. Add the room-temperature egg yolks one at a time, allowing each egg yolk to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Pour in the flour alternately with the milk, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in the almond extract.
Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form in a large glass or metal mixing bowl. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the egg whites should form a sharp peak that holds its shape. Fold the egg whites into the cake mixture; mixing just enough to evenly combine. Pour the mixture into prepared tin.
Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 90 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut any excess cake so that it is flush with the sides of the tin.
Bring the water and 200g of sugar to the boil for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer, then add brandy and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat. Allow syrup to cool to room temperature. Prick holes in the cooled cake with a skewer, then slowly saturate the cake with the brandy syrup.