I had no idea what to write about today, but whilst browsing and processing some photos this morning I came across these pictures and wondered why I haven’t posted them before. This is a recipe that – at first – has left me indifferent. Eventually it did grow on me. You see, with baking, as with everything in life I guess, one must be ready to adjust and work with what one has. It’s very easy to buy loads of equipment/gadgets, only to be used once for one particular bake, then set aside and left unused for the rest of one’s life. I would buy a whole catering shop if I could, and in many ways, I try to limit what I buy (J would slightly disagree, but he’s a patient man, bless him); I must admit I still find it hard to resist that extra springform pan, or that lovely bundt tin with the gorgeous pattern – like those in the books!
I found the recipe for this cake in Cooking for Friends. (I have found a good compromise when it comes to recipe books: I buy them from Used sections, online or otherwise, as long as they are in good condition.) Skipping the majority of chapters, I went straight to the puddings and chocolates, as one usually does! You will find this as Coffee and almond crunch cake, but I opted to remove the “crunch” bit because the cake tin I used was too large and the crunch mixture didn’t hold on the top. So instead of purchasing another tin I used what I had. The topping didn’t work for me, but that didn’t stop me from making the actual cake, which is delicious. Here’s what I did.
- 170g unsalted butter, softened
- 170g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon almond essence
- 100g ground almonds
- 4 tablespoons espresso, left to cool
- 100g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- icing sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 150ºC/Gas mark 2 (fan oven). Grease the base and sides of a 20-23 cm cake tin, preferably deep with a removable base.
In a large bowl beat the softened butter and sugar together until they turn light and airy. Then beat the eggs, one by one until just combined in the mixture, followed by the almond essence.
Gently fold in the ground almonds and half of the espresso.
Next sift the flour and baking powder, and using a spatula or a large stainless steel spoon fold these into the wet cake mixture. Add the rest of the coffee and be careful not to overmix the batter.
Tip the whole lot into the prepared cake tin and bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
This is a very light cake – really nice for the spring and summer months. Serve with ice-cream and/or some summer berries. (I am thinking that this recipe would also make lovely cupcakes or fairy cakes. Baking time will differ but I would say 10 to 15 minutes at 170ºC.) Enjoy!
(This recipe is adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s Cooking for Friends, HarperCollins, 2008.)