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Almond, cardamom & blood orange cake

I really need Spring. On the days when the sky is blue and the sun is shining through, I feel lifted. But they are few and far between. Instead we have grey, drizzly days. They make me tired, grumpy and utterly bored. I want daffodils, tulips and muscari to push through the earth, bringing me yellows, pinks and blues. I've brought a few into my home to try and lift my mood. I want to wear clothes without my thermals on. I want to go outside and not be rained on. I want to feel the sun on my face. I feel cooped up and I long to flee.

So how do I make myself feel better? Well my answer is always the same - eat cake. And this is one that brings some much needed sunshine into my life. It's made with blood oranges and is lusciously zesty, is really light and leaves a warming sensation in the throat from the cardamom. It's a bit rough in the looks department, but believe me, one slice of this and you will be lifted both emotionally and physically. Enjoy.

Ingredients:

^ 3 medium sized free range eggs

^ 150g icing sugar (125g for first mix and then 25g goes in the egg white mix).

^ 175g ground almonds

^ pinch of salt

^ juice and finely grated zest of one blood orange (or regular orange)

^ 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Method:

^ Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

^ Grease and line a 7" cake tin.

^ Separate the egg whites and the yolks.

^ In a large mixing bowl, add the egg yolks to the 125g icing sugar and mix.

^ To this then add the ground almonds, a pinch of salt, the juice and zest of the blood orange and the

  1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom.

^ Stir well. The mixture will be a very thick paste.

^ In a second bowl whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks.

^ Then add the remaining 25g of icing sugar and whisk again until stiff white peaks are formed.

^ Fold the egg whites gently into the paste mixture. Don't overmix! Then pour into prepared cake tin.

^ Bake in the centre of your oven for about 35 minutes.

^ Cool on a wire rack and then shake a little more icing sugar over the top for decoration.