Grapefruit, Lemon Balm and Almond Cake

Having a sort out of my herbs and spices jars, I came across a jar of dried lemon balm that is almost past its sell by date. Not sure why I bought it, but it needed using up. I hunted through my recipe folders, and found one that a school friend gave me ages ago. It used lemon balm with pink grapefruit! I'd give it a try.

You need: 

200g ground almonds, 2 tbspn dried lemon balm, 1 pink grapefruit, 150g caster sugar, 2 large eggs and 22ml of olive oil [or 20g!], flaked almonds and icing sugar to decorate top

Preheat oven 160C/gas3                               Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and sprinkle inside with sugar

Wash and dry the grapefruit, then zest about 1/4 of it and put this aside.

Peel the grapefruit, cut in half and scoop out the pulp.

Put sugar and lemon balm in a bowl, add the eggs and beat with an electric beater till mixture is white.

Add the pulp and zest of the grapefruit and mix together.

Add the ground almonds then the oil. Mix well. It's quite a liquid mixture.

Pour into the prepared tin, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for 45 -50 mins.

Cool on a wire rack and sieve icing sugar over the top.

I love the flavours - the grapefruit isn't strong, but is in the background, and you can taste the lemon of the lemon balm [vervaine]. Lovely texture and the flaked almonds add a bit of crunch. Definitely one to make again.

Haven't seen dried lemon balm in my local supermarkets. I bought mine online from The Spiceworks, but Amazon and Etsy sell it. Lemon balm grows well in my herb planter, so will pick some this summer and dry it. 

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