Friday, 27 March 2015

Raspberry and Lemon Bakewell cake

Raspberry and Lemon Bakewell cake

Do you ever find yourself wishing you were something you are not? On the days when I’m not wishing I were Marion Cotillard or Alexa Chung, or some other such ethereal beauty, I’m usually daydreaming about being Spanish. First of all, I have it in my head that all Spanish women are perfect (tanned skin, thick, glossy hair, beautiful figures, natural sophistication and elegance); secondly Spanish food is pretty yummy; and thirdly, the clincher perhaps for me, there’s the language. Surely the most beautiful language in the world?

Raspberry and Lemon Bakewell cake

The problem - besides the fact that I patently am not and never shall be a Spaniard - is that I am somewhat fickle. As much as I wish to be Marion or Alexa today, yesterday I hoped I might magically metamorphose into Ashwariya Rai or Priyanka Chopra. And so it follows that as much as I would like to be Spanish at this moment in my life, not so long ago, I dreamt of being Italian (something to do with the women being perfect, the food yummy and the language beautiful…) Tomorrow I will probably be sighing mournfully over the fact that I am not both Japanese and Beyonce.  

Raspberry and Lemon Bakewell cake

I can hear my mumma’s exasperated words even as I write this blog “Why you can’t just be happy with who you are, I don’t know!” And of course, you and I both know she is right (as always). Perhaps it’s just the nature of the world we live in today - to always want more, to see what others have and aspire to that, rather than to be grateful for who we are and what we ourselves have.

And so I come to the painful and heart-wrenching conclusion that I must give up on my dream of being una chica espaƱola and instead embrace who I am. If I’m honest, being me isn’t really all that terrible at all. I mean yes, there’s a somewhat bulbous nose to contend with, but in the grand scheme of things, I can live with that. Besides, if the rumours are to be believed, Queen B survives on cucumbers alone, which means none of this cake for her. On that basis alone, I think I’ll stick to being me.

Raspberry and Lemon Bakewell cake

I do like this cake. So much so that I baked it twice over the Mother’s Day weekend and everyone who ate it seemed to like it too. I always feel raspberry and lemon is a winning combination, and when you throw ground almonds into the mix, the result is a deliciously damp sponge that tastes pretty perfect with a dollop of cream on the side.

Raspberry and Lemon Bakewell cake

Adapted from Rachel Berry's Raspberry Bakewell Cake

Serves approximately 10-12

  • 150g butter or Stork, softened to room temperature
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • A few drops of almond extract (I used about 1/4 tsp)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 250g fresh or frozen raspberries (if frozen, allow them to defrost somewhat, but it's not the end of the world if they're not thawed out when adding them to the cake)
  • About 150g of good quality lemon curd
  • 25g or about 2tbsp flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • Extra thick double cream or custard to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan.

Grease the base and sides of a deep 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin, then line the base with baking parchment.

Throw the butter, sugar, eggs, almond extract, lemon zest and juice, flour and ground almonds into a food processor and blitz until well combined.

Spoon about half of the batter into your cake tin and smooth it out evenly.

Scatter the raspberries over the top, then place heaped-teaspoon sized blobs of lemon curd randomly over the batter too.

Gently spread the remaining half of the cake batter over the top, and again smooth out evenly before sprinkling over the flaked almonds.

Bake for 50 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 30 minutes in the tin.

Once the cake has cooled, you may need to run a palette knife around the edges to loosen the edges from the tin. Remove from tin and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.

When ready to serve, dust with the icing sugar and enjoy with cream or custard.