Hi I have made the Cinnamon Almond Cake from Nigellissima 3 times now. I have followed the recipe to the letter but every time I make it, it rises beautifully in the oven and within two minutes of me taking it out it sinks in the middle really dramatically. It still tastes wonderful but it doesn't look very good. Can you tell me what I am doing wrong? Thanks
Nigella's Cinnamon Almond Cake (from Nigellissima) is a gluten free cake and these tend to have a less robust structure than cakes made with regular flour. So they can have a tendancy to sink slightly in the centre. This particular cake is fairly damp and doesn't have the fluffy texture of a sponge cake and should rise fairly evenly as it bakes, and if it sinks in the centre it is very slight.
If the cake is rising quite a lot and then sinking then there are a couple of potential reasons. The cake contains whisked egg whites but if they are whisked too much then extra air could be incorporated and this will cause the cake to rise up too much in the oven and then sink back as it cools. The whites should be whisked until just opaque - that is until they just form a uniform foam - and not as far as soft peak level. The other possibility is that the cake is not quite cooked properly in the centre. If the oven is too hot then the cake will tend to cook more quickly on the outside and this pushes the centre up. But as the centre will not have cooked fully then it will sink on cooling. You may like to check the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer to make sure that it is not running too hot or turn your oven down slightly and bake for a few minutes longer. A cake tester inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean when the cake is done.