I would like to serve the Apple and Almond Cake slightly warm for a dinner party, but I don't have time to make the cake batter while I am trying to cook other parts of the dinner. Can I make up the cake mix earlier and cook just before my guests arrive?
Nigella's Apple And Almond Cake (from FEAST) is a gluten-free cake made with apple purée, almonds and eggs, which give the cake a rich and almost buttery flavour as well as a moist texture. The cake is at its best when slightly warm, though is also good cold.
The cake batter doesn't contain any leavening, so in theory you could make it ahead and then bake the cake later. However, there are a large number of raw eggs in the cake and we are slightly nervous of leaving raw eggs out at room temperature for any length of time. Unfortunately it is not a good idea to refrigerate the batter as it will affect how the cake bakes. We are also not sure if the batter will hold as there is no flour in the mxture. So it could start to separate slightly if it stands for a while. We suspect it would be easier to bake the cake a couple of hours ahead, but leave it in the tin. When you serve your main course (entrée), put the tin back into the oven on a very low heat (around 50c fan or conventional/125F) or into a warming drawer. Take the cake out as you clear the main course and leave for a couple of minutes before springing open the tin.