I had slight reservations about this cake. I can deal with it being gluten-free, but it’s the secret ingredient that made me go a bit errm about it. It called for 250g mashed potatoes.
Yup. Mashed potatoes. This is a Jane Hornby recipe and you can find the recipe here. Nevertheless, I just had to try it.
I did do some alterations. My cake required much longer cooking, around 1 hour. I also used the juice of 3 lemons and 8 tbsp of granulated sugar for the drizzle. I wanted my cake quite tangy and packed with lemon flavour. When I took The Small Shouty One to watch Potato Bottom’s dance performance earlier in the day, we stopped for some treats and she opted for a slice of lemon cake. I swear if someone had blindfolded me, I wouldn’t have guessed that the cake had any lemon in it. Even the lemon drizzle on top lacked any lemon flavour.
The Small Shouty One enjoyed her first trip to the theatre, but not as much as collecting all the leaflets and brochures on display in the foyer.
The verdict? I was actually surprised. It was a very moist cake. Definitely one to be eaten in warm weather as I suspect in winter, the moistness of the cake could make it quite heavy and stodgy. You couldn’t detect the mashed potatoes at all and despite its moistness, it wasn’t heavy at all. It was, however, a substantial cake, definitely not a light, airy lemon cake but you wouldn’t have expected that what with the ground almonds and the ahem, secret ingredient.
The cake definitely needed the extra lemon juice in the icing that I added. I would even go as fa as saying you could get away with the juice of another lemon in the icing mixture.
On the whole, I think this recipe is a keeper, if what you are looking for is a gluten-free variety. I get the impression that it’s the sort of cake that keeps well (I’ve heard of these phenomenons where cakes don’t get eaten all at once in some households). The Small Shouty One ate three slices in one sitting but Slaveboy took it lost as a personal attack on his person when he took a bite of it. Yes, yes, I know he’s a grumpy bastard but I will begrudgingly admit that it wasn’t zesty enough.