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Cake rent


DS is away chasing mammoths in Siberia, so I’m capitalising on the time alone to come back to London for a bit of work and play. I’m squatting in Notting Hill with SS and BC, testing out the acoustics in their newly renovated flat. They’re so good I’m considering organising a concert here, maybe with the trumpet player who lives on the other side of the street.

As usual, I’m paying my way by providing some home cooked deliciousness. A chicken, baharat and aubergine stew was a success (recipe to come soon), as was last night’s whole roasted butterfish. This moreish autumnal cake starred as Sunday evening's dessert, and has since been a temptation which I’ve (mostly) managed to resist during my days alone in the apartment. It’s quick to put together, moist and spiced. Perfect for dessert, teatime or even breakfast. Tried and tested.

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Easy almond, ginger and blackberry cake

Serves 6, takes 15 minutes plus baking time

dessert / baking / summer / autumn / easy peasy / quietly smug / vegetarian / party / date night / gluten free (option) / brunch / ready in a jiffy

This spicy almond sponge recipe is a useful basic. You could try it with other autumnal fruits - sliced plums, pears or apples would all work well.

* Butter - 120g, at room temperature

* Soft brown sugar - 150g

* Eggs - 3

* Ground almonds - 100g

* Plain flour (or coconut flour for gluten free option) - 50g

* Salt - a pinch

* Almond essence - 1 tsp

* Ground ginger - 1 tbsp

* Baking powder - 1.5 tsp

* Blackberries - a couple of handfuls

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixer or with your fingers (which is easy when the butter is nice and soft).

Add the eggs and whisk to combine.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the berries, and mix to combine. Do not over-mix.

Pour the mixture into the cake tin, and scatter the blackberries evenly over the cake.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. You’ll need to cover the cake lightly with foil about half way through cooking to stop the top from browning too much. Check the cake is cooked by inserting a knife into the middle. It should come out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for about 15 minutes in the tin. Then carefully turn the cake out onto a plate.

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a spoonful of natural yogurt.


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