Saturday, 29 October 2011

Raspberry and Almond Cake
Maybe it’s just an Irish thing but I've recently become addicted to tea.  The very best mug (always mug, never cup) of tea of the day is lovely milky one you have when the day is over and the kids are safely in bed – preferably asleep!  You know what makes that mug of tea even better?  A piece of homemade cake.  Nothing too elaborate, the cake doesn't necessarily need any type of icing or ganache.  This is my perfect cake to accompany a “what a day, I’m totally shattered” mug of tea.  The cakey sponge, the tart raspberries and the almost crunchy crumbly almond flake topping were just made for a mug of tea. 

I made this cake last week when I had nothing to do but wait around for baby to make an appearance but held off on posting it until now as I knew I wouldn't have any time to bake anything this week.

250g softened butter
275g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
150g self raising flour, sifted
100g plain flour, sifted
60g ground almonds
300g frozen raspberries
Almond Topping
50g plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
45g butter, cubed
15g flaked almonds
Preheat oven to 180C.  Grease and line a deep 23cm square tin
Make the almond topping by combining the flour and sugar in a bowl.  Rub in the butter with your fingers and mix through the almonds.  Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale and creamy.  Add the vanilla and beat again.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
Gently fold in both flours and ground almonds.  Spread the mixture onto the prepared tin and top with the raspberries. 
Sprinkle the almond topping over the raspberries and bake for about an hour, or until a skewer comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
Variation:  I have a thing for almonds and lemon, I think they make a perfect match.  I’ve made this cake a number of times by omitting the vanilla and replacing it with the zest and juice of a lemon.  No idea why, but it goes so well with the raspberries.

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