In the meantime, I think we should have a recipe - haven't had too many of these around here lately. This is one of the most useful cake recipes I own. Infinitely adaptable, very easy, and devoured with pleasurable groaning by everyone who has a slice.
Everybody else around here loves these fruit and almond cakes too. The one I made on Thursday was gone by Sunday morning.
- 175g softened butter or marg
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g self raising flour
- 75g ground almonds
- 3 eggs
- half a teaspoon almond extract (optional - leave it out if you're not an almond freak like me)
- Chopped fruit - roughly enough to fill a cereal bowl
One of the most useful aspects of this cake is that it works with all kinds of fruit. For last week's cake I used big, red plums - six of them, stoned and cut into slices. For this week's version I used five eating apples, cored, peeled and sliced. Pears, fresh apricots, rhubarb, cherries and raspberries also work very well in this cake.
Put all the ingredients, apart from the fruit, into a food mixer and beat well for a few minutes until light and fluffy. You can do it by hand, or in a food processor if you do not have a mixer. Line the base of a loose bottomed cake tin with parchment paper. I use a 22cm springform tin. Tip the cake batter into the tin and spread out slightly towards the edges. Arrange the fruit on the top in any kind of pleasing arrangement. You should have enough fruit to pretty much cover the top completely.
Put in the centre of the oven at 180c or gas 4 for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and cooked through. The cake will have risen up slightly around the fruit.
Allow to cool completely in the tin before removing. Serve with coffee, some Radio 4 podcasts and a pile of sewing on the side.