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La Motte - On-trend Recipe: Naked Almond Cake

Only a month and a few days left until Christmas – how quickly have we gone through 2013! But we still have had our 365 days filled with all kinds of news and excitement, trends and inspirations.

Due to our line of work, we are of course always interested in what is happening in the world of food and wine and at the beginning of the month we shared out thoughts on the culinary trends we have seen in 2013 and tried our hand at forecasting what might inspire us in 2014.

One of the trends we think will stay fashionable in 2014, are naked cakes. Cakes without too much icing or decoration, clearly homemade with a somewhat skew or unsymmetrical shape. As with most things fashionable however, nothing is really new – only new interpretations of previous designs or trends.

In our cookbook called Cape Winelands Cuisine, we share the history and traditional recipes of the Cape Winelands – although they have been adjusted for the modern palate and kitchen.

One of these recipes dating out of the early days when the settlers first came to the Cape, is an Almond cake – a true example of a naked cake. Lovely served with whipped cream and fresh fruit, this is also the type of cake that goes beautifully with a glass of chilled sweet wine, sparkling wine or a pretty Rosé.

Suddenly the trend of naked cakes makes much more sense. They are much more wine-friendly!

On that note, try this traditional, but easy recipe for an Almond cake.

Almond Cake Recipe

Makes 2 x 20cm cakes or 1 x 28 cm cake.


450 g butter

2 cups (500 ml) sugar

2 cups (500 ml) almonds, chopped

6 eggs, separated

1 tsp (5 ml) bicarbonate of soda

½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk

4 cups (4 x 250 ml) cake flour

pinch of salt

1½ tsp (7.5 ml) cream of tartar

1 Tbsp (15 ml) lemon juice

zest of 1 lemon


Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).

Cream the butter and sugar together. Fold in the almonds.

Add the egg yolks and whisk well.

Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the buttermilk and add it to the egg mixture.

Sift the flour, salt and cream of tartar together and fold into the mixture.

Whisk the egg whites until stiff, and then fold in, along with the lemon juice and zest.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined 2 x 20cm cake pans or 1 x 29cm an and bake for 20-40 minutes.

Let it cool slightly before taking it out of the cake pan.

Serve at room temperature.

Tip: When serving with whipped cream, add some rose-water to the cream.

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