On Sunday we had been invited to celebrate our neighbour and friend Dominique’s birthday. But being in total lockdown that was sadly no longer an option. However we wanted to ensure that he was not forgotten on his special day so we (I) made him a cake and Louis made him a card (and licked the bowl clean afterwards!).

One of the most frustrating things with this virus is not knowing for sure whether you have it or not as the latest statistics are that a quarter of us could be carrying it without even realising. So whilst wanting to be kind I was nervous about unintentionally giving more of a birthday present than intended! So I decided to make the Almond Cake that features in my book, A Taste of le Sud*. It is delicious, and quick and easy to make. I figured the less handling time the better! It is possible to hold your breath whilst making this cake, not that I am suggesting that you do it, but to show how quick it is to make!

I am happy to say it went down a treat and he was delighted to receive card, bottle and cake! We will fête his birthday and our liberty together later on. We also got to enjoy the leftovers from the circle that I cut out!


200g almonds, whole with skins on

150g castor sugar

100g salted butter

3 – 4 eggs (depending on size)

1 medium sized lemon

1 tsp ginger powder


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, butter and line a cake tin 20 x 20 cm, or equivalent size.
  2. Melt the butter, set aside to cool.
  3. In a food processor, or blender, chop the almonds to a fine crumb.
  4. Add the sugar, eggs**, melted butter, ginger, grated lemon peel and juice of half of the lemon to the almonds. Mix well.
  5. Pour the mix into the prepared cake tin and cook for 20 – 30 minutes until golden brown and springy to the touch.
  6. Cool in the tin and then serve.
  7. This is particularly nice served slightly warm with the first of the seasons strawberries and a scoop of lemon and ginger ice-cream!

One of the wonderful things about this cake is it’s adaptability, you can replace the lemon and ginger with pretty much any flavouring you like or leave them out completely and just have an almond cake. I have added 75g of 70% dark chocolate to the butter pan to make a rich, almond chocolate cake with great success!!

This cake is especially delicious with a glass of Katie Jones’ Muscat. Sweet, but not too sweet, light in alcohol, a delicious fruit bomb. And she is delivering wines during the lockdown! https://domainejones.com

*A Taste of le Sud is available for purchase (in English or French) on this site or at the following wineries and cavities, all of whom are delivering at this period – Colline de L’Hirondelle, L’Atelier des Vignerons, Chateau Canet, Cellier des Demoiselles and Laurent Miquel.

**3 eggs should be fine, I always get large eggs, however if yours are very small use 4.