Spotting a group of walkers nearby glancing and whispering in my direction as I poured over my map in deepest, darkest Dorset I allowed myself a little tug of pride. I was obviously oozing competence; they were about to seek my advice. Spot on. Someone gave a quick shove to their nominated spokesperson and she sprang forward wearing a shy smile and armed with a question “May we ask you something? Only, we were just wondering where you got that cake”
This isn’t the first time this has happened. I make no secret of my love of cake. Or in fact of anything you’d find on the shelves of a bakery. Pastries, pasties, pies – they’re all manna from heaven. Freshly baked, home-made cake has to be the ultimate pleasure; and all those mixing bowls and spoons to lick too… So I promised the group that if they paid a visit to my blog (this girl will do anything to get eyeballs on her blog..) I’d post up a few recipes.
So first up is my Peach Puddle
You will need:
- 250g pack butter
- 300g caster sugar
- 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (depends how vanillary you want it)
- 3 large eggs
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- 2-3 fresh ripe peaches cut into slices or chunks
- 100g raspberries or any berries of your choice
- Icing sugar to sprinkle
I use a small roasting tin 25x20cm, lightly buttered and lined with baking parchment.
Heat oven to 180C or gas mark 4
Cut the butter into rough chunks and melt gently in a saucepan.
Allow to cool for around 5 minutes then tip in the sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs. Give it a good beating to mix with a wooden spoon.
Add the flour and almonds.
Pour the mix into the tin – it will be sloppy (puddle remember):
Scatter the fruit evenly over the top.
Bake for 1 hour (sometimes takes 1hr 10mins). Once the edges begin to brown then cover loosely with a square of foil to ensure even baking.
Best practice is to cool the cake in the tin but I can never wait and usually prise it out after 20 minutes by simply using the edges of the baking paper to lift out. Sometimes in my impatience the warm cake is not ready for this treatment so I’ll place an upturned plate on top of cake and flip the whole thing over. The cake should drop easily (and in one piece) on to the plate. It’s now upside down of course which is of no importance but if you’re after a pretty finish then pop another plate on top again and reflip. I like to sprinkle with icing sugar which I tap from a teaspoon. Once it’s cool enough to handle – and I’ve trained my fingers withstand any amount of burning – tear into it. Who needs a knife?
However, if you prefer a little more refinement – here’s a beautifully cut slice.