Friday, 26 August 2016

'A Cake for Midsummer' from Nigel Slater

This was a much more successful recipe from Nigel Slater - a rich almond sponge studded with fresh apricots and raspberries. I've made the cake twice in quick succession this month - once to try it out and again for a Clandestine Cake Club (CCC) meeting. The only changes I made to the recipe, the second time, was to add a few drops of almond extract to the cake batter and sprinkle some flaked almonds on top, to increase the almond-ness of the cake.

The theme for the CCC meeting was 'the third suitable recipe in one of your baking books' and I was stumped for a while, as few of my baking books had suitable recipes. In terms of CCC, 'suitable' means a full-sized cake - not a dessert, brownie, tray bake, small cakes or a tart. Suitable in my case meant something I actually wanted to make!

Most books dealing exclusively with baking go through variations of sponge cakes first, so many books were discarded on the grounds that a basic sponge was too ordinary. Others were discarded because the recipes were too difficult, or I'd already tried that recipe and didn't like the result, or I couldn't get hold of particular ingredients, or even that it didn't seem right for the season. I'd discarded all but two of my baking recipe books when I decided to look at recipe books not exclusively about baking, and found this recipe in Tender: Volume II (Fruit). Being called 'A Cake for Midsummer' made it doubly appropriate for an August meeting.

This is basically a sponge cake with fresh fruit folded in - the only online copy of the recipe coming directly from Nigel Slater uses peaches and blueberries - so it wasn't a difficult recipe to follow. I found I needed to use a tablespoon or two more milk than in the recipe, to loosen the batter enough to fold in the fruit, but other than that there were no problems.

The apricots and raspberries tasted good together, and the almonds kept the cake moist. Adding the flaked almond topping and almond extract to the second cake was a definite improvement, both in taste and appearance

We ate one portion of the cake as a dessert, with the raw fruit left over after making the cake,  and it surprised me that the cooked apricots tasted more intense than raw ones, whereas raw raspberries tasted better than the cooked ones!


Snowy said...

I like NS's recipes, as they always seem to work. Have made this one too, and yours look good.
I think raspberries do lose some of their flavour when cooked - i made muffins with them yesterday.

Alicia Foodycat said...

I really like that sort of plain-ish cake with fruit in.

Jean said...

Looks lovely!
A cake with almonds and summer fruit in it, what could be nicer for late August?