One of the things that you may have noticed about my style of cooking is that it tends towards the rustic end of the food-spectrum. Though I often find cakes with heaps of pretty icing and delicate touches rather impressive, they can also appear a little intimidating, or bring out the misanthropic person buried not-so-deep within; what baking inadequacy is being hidden under this particular fold of sugar? I will concede, of course, that the latter is probably very often an unfair reaction but still, my personal taste tends towards cakes with an honest, homely appearance. This spiel isn’t intended to offend anyone, many of you are truly spectacularly talented when it comes to icing and decorating cakes; it simply isn’t my way of doing things. Take this cake, for instance, it is simple, comforting and extremely delicious – baking, perhaps, as it was intended.
One thing I have talked rather a lot about over the past year is flavour combinations. Join the wrong ingredients together in one concoction and you’re probably going to end up with hazardous waste. However, I find that when pairing berries, of most varieties, with any citrus fruit, it is rather difficult to stray from the downright delicious. Insipidity will always be but a distant and meek whimper on the horizon of your gastronomic view, as long as one’s tongue is accompanied by a berry and an orange. The addition of ground almonds simply provides the proverbial (and rather ironic) icing on the cake!
You’ll be glad to know that I’ve found the light source in my new flat adequate, though a little more equipment will be necessary – this should appear within the next seven days. Still, it keeps me in business and the desires of you lot at least partly satiated. Indeed, I’ve spent what seems to be the entire weekend cooking – there’s plenty in store! But for now, enjoy this fabulous, rustic, but not overly seductive traybake.
P.S. I realise it isn’t raspberry season, but these were reduced to 25 pence! How could one not give in?!
Raspberry, Orange and Almond Traybake
Makes 15-20 slices
• 250g butter, salted preferably
• 175g golden caster sugar
• 5 medium eggs
• The zest of 1 orange and the juice of half
• 75g ground almonds
• 275g self-raising flour, sifted
• 150g raspberries
• A sprinkling of wholemeal oats
1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a square cake tin (22x22cm). Cream together the butter and sugar, beat in the eggs one by one and gently fold in the zest, juice, almonds and flour.
2. Pour roughly half the batter into the prepared tin, scatter the raspberries over the top and then cover with the remaining mixture. Sprinkle over a few oats and pop in the oven to bake for 45-55 minutes – it is cooked when brown and a knife emerges clean from its depths.
3. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning out. It is best to allow it to cool fully at this point, but I didn’t and it was perfect!
Cost: Raspberries aren’t the cheapest ingredients, which is why I recommend buying them only when they are in season or heavily reduced. Still, I have to stick to my proverbial guns, so I shall be honest about the price – this entire cake, which is massive, should set one back no more than £4.20 (with full price raspberries). Rather a lot for this blog, but still, it does make an absurd amount of cake!