Tag Archives: almond

Raspberry and Almond Cake and Cherry Bakwell mini-cakes

29 Jul

Pop the kettle on…


It’s been forever since I shared a recipe with you and I hope you aren’t too miffed. My time was swallowed, almost in it’s entirety, by my wedding which took place in June.  The last months have been hectic. There were playlists to compile, bunting to sew, table names to cross-stitch, vows to practice, flowers to pick, dresses to squeeze into, booze to buy, invites to post..  and thank goodness it was all worth it. What a day – I’m still on cloud nine. Following a mini-moon on the Isle of Wight, where the food was local, sustainable and delicious by the way, we’re in the middle of few weeks wait until we head off, in August, for a mega-moon roadtrip in the USA. It’s going to be epic… and very tasty. I’ll let you know what I eat!

In the meantime, here are a couple of easy recipes for cake that goes nicely with a cup of tea. The best kind of cake, right? I baked them this weekend in between walking my Godmother’s dog Lucy along with my Mum, Godmother and new husband (still feels weird) in the beautiful countryside; and after a long walk in the hills and sunshine this cake will recharge your batteries.

Almond and Raspberry Cake (serves 8 – 10)

You will need:

* 140g ground almonds   * 140g unsalted butter, soft   * 140g caster sugar   * 140g self-raising flour   * 2 large eggs   *1tsp vanilla extract   *250g raspberries   *2 tbsp flaked almonds

Lovely Lucy

To make:

1. Heat the oven to 180Oc/ 160Oc fan/ gas mark 4 and line a deep 20cm cake tin.  In a food processor, by hand or by a hand-held whisk combine the ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and eggs until well-combined.

2. Spread half of the mix over the cake tin and smooth over the top.  Scatter the raspberries over the mixture and then dollop the remaining cake mixture on top and spread to cover the fruit. I used my fingertips to do this.

3. Scatter flaked almonds on top of the cake and then bake for about 50 minutes or until the cake is golden and doesn’t wibble if you shake the tin.  Cool and remove from the tin. Enjoy.


Cherry and Almond Mini-cakes (makes about12)

* 60g ground almonds   * 75g butter   * 75g sugar   * 75g self-raising flour   * splash of milk   * 2 large eggs   * a couple of handfuls of glace cherries   * small splash of vanilla extract   *12 flaked almonds (optional)

Dinky little cake.. so why stop at one?

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190OC/ 170oC fan and pop your paper cases on a tray.  Combine the flour, ground almonds, flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, milk and butter and whizz with an electric whisk, by hand or in a food processor.

2. Tip the finely chopped glace cherries into the mixture and give it a nice stir before dolloping the cake mixture evenly into the cake cases.

3. Pop in the oven for around 10-15 minutes until the cakes are golden, have risen and are springy but cooked through.  Leave to cool or heat whilst still warm with a cool glass of milk or a big mug of tea.



Recipe: Toska kook (Swedish Tosca Cake)

22 Jul

Slice of Sweden

What do you think of when you think of Swedish cuisine? Of reindeer sweetened with berries and mountains of creamy potatoes?  Of pickled herring and gravalax and Crayfish parties? Gallons of cider and shots of schnapps?  Or do you think of Ikea cafes. The break from tealights and flatpacks to inhale meatballs and dime bars and make-up with your partner after the spat over whether you NEED that new lamp?

I think of all of this and I think – my heart rate quickening – of the cake and coffee. Because, boy, do those Swedes do coffee-breaks well. Cinnamon rolls, sweet little buns and chocolate balls – served with a brew that knocks your socks off!

On a New Year holiday to Stockholm a couple of years ago, the boy and I warmed our snowbitten fingers and flushed cheeks in wonderful cafes in Gamla Stan and on beautiful Djurgården island with all of these treats and more. A few weeks ago my lovely Swedish friend Mette made me a Princess cake – layers of cream, sponge, jam and custard, draped in silky green marzipan – and if I didn’t just nearly explode with joy whilst eating it. Mette: truly, you’re a legend.

So with the opportunity to bake something for my boss’s birthday tea, and him being married to a Swede – I took my chance to exercise some of my Swedophile urges. I looked far and wide for a perfect recipe. A fruit cake maybe? Pretzel-shaped cookies? Or some tiny saffron buns? I settled eventually on a recipe – from Nami Nami – on a Toska kook, a Swedish Tosca Cake.

The cake looked curious and I made a number of “strategic” errors whilst baking (more of this later) but it was a truly stonking recipe and one I will make again soon without doubt.

To buy:

For the base: *4 medium or 3 large eggs *200ml sugar *400ml plain flour *1.5tsp baking powder *100ml milk *125 butter, melted and cooled    And for the topping: *75g butter *100g flaked almonds *150ml sugar *4-5tbsp double cream *1 tbsp plain flour

To make:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200Oc/180Oc fan and butter your tin. Make sure your tin is large enough. This is very important. You will need a 25cm tin – not a 20cm tin as I foolishly used.

2. Make the sponge cake by whisking the eggs and sugar for a few minutes until the mixture is thick, pale and creamy. Sieve the dry ingredients in. Then gently fold the milk and melted butter into the egg mousse. It will almost look like pancake batter but don’t fret!

3. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for about twenty minutes. I popped my cake on the bottom shelf of the oven and turned it around  whilst it was baking to cook it evenly in my fan oven.

4.  To make the tosca topping, add the almonds, sugar, cream, butter and flour in a small saucepan, warm and bring to the boil. Stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.

5. After the cake has baked for twenty minutes spoon the tosca mix on top and then return to the oven, on the top shelf, and cook for another ten minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn though!

Also note that your tin MUST be large enough. I very quickly realised – as the sponge cake started to rise over the top of the tin – that there would be trouble ahead – but threw caution to the wind and poured the topping mix on nonetheless… before long it dripped first onto the floor of my oven and then all over my baking tin, which I used to catch the goo and was not only a criminal waste, but a right bugger to clean.

6. Once the topping is a lovely golden brown colour, remove the cake from your oven and cool on a wire-rack. 

Sweet and scrummy

 So, barring my stupidity this was a pretty simple cake. Soft and gooey with a crunchy hyper-sweet topping. If you like almonds or florentines I suggest you give it a bash. My boss told me the Swedish word for “yummy yummy” and I have totally forgotten.. but really, yummy yummy does the trick quite nicely.

Recipe: Apple and Cinnamon Cake

9 Mar
Can you guess who it was for?

Last week I featured a recipe by my friend and colleague Denny – for her Grandma’s Banitza – and what most of you will not know is that Denny is a lady of many awesome talents.  She has a cracking singing voice, hits a soft ball like a traction engine and makes utterly mouth-watering Blondies.   To celebrate her birthday I thought it only right that I do something a little bit special, so with high hopes, last night I baked an apple and cinnamon cake and set about personalising it for her.  I printed out her name on paper and carefully cut out the letters whilst it was baking in the oven.  Once hot and cooked I carefully sieved icing sugar through the template onto the cake to reveal Denny’s name in icing. Sofari, so goodie.

However – hankies at the ready – when I revealed the cake at the birthday tea at the office today, my face dropped, my mood sank. The cake had soaked up the icing. Her name was no more… boooo!

I am awful, just awful and getting cakes in to work intact. How does anyone do it?! Gah.  Anyway, on a brighter note, the cake went down really well and was pretty juicy (and I like to think, healthy…)  It was made like this:

To buy:

*250g self-raising flour   *1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon   *1 tsp baking powder   *100g light muscovado sugar   *175g sultanas   *125ml sunflower oil   *2 eggs, beaten   *125 ml apple juice   *2 apples (I used 1 x cooking apple and 1 x pink lady)   *25g flaked/chopped almonds   *icing sugar

To make:

1.Preheat the oven to 160Oc (fan) and grease a deep round tin.

2.Sift the flour into a bowl, with the cinnamon and baking powder.  Add the sugar and sultanas and stir well.  Make a well in the mixture and stir in the eggs, oil and juice.

3.Grate the apples and add to the mixture and stir really well.

4.Pour the mixture into the tin and flatten with a palette knife and then scatter with the almonds.

5.After about 40 minutes of baking check the cake is cooked (you can insert a skewer into the cake and if it comes out clean it’s done) and then leave to cool on a rack.

6.Dust with the icing sugar (in any way you see fit!)

So, a juicy moist cake  (with props to goodfood) that apparently goobles up icing sugar when you’re not looking. You have been warned!