A moist, tender raspberry and almond loaf, made with ground almonds and fresh raspberries. A cheerful cake for dark January days, perfect with a cup of tea!
Happy Saturday everyone! We’ve made it through the first proper week after Christmas! Lets all give ourselves a big pat on the back, and let the January diet slip up a little.
Glass of wine all round? Yes? Good.
It’s always a tough week, this first proper real week of January, but we’ve got through it, and that’s defiantly cause for celebration! The grey, miserable weather last week didn’t really make it any easy to say goodbye to the cosy comforts of the festive season. We saw the odd glorious blue sky and crisp morning, but in general there was far too much rain, wind, and drizzle for my liking.
After Thursday’s decadent celebration cake, it seemed like a more every day cake was called for today. One you can enjoy in the middle of a grey January afternoon, cup of tea or coffee in hand. Its a cheerful cake, with fresh, zingy flavours to lift your mood and remind you of summer. For me there is a certain happiness too in the bright, vibrant splash of raspberry red.
Its simple to make, quick to throw together, and will stay moist in the tin for a few days so you can come back to it as you need to for a little sweet something.
I love the combination of raspberries and almonds, they work so well together. A little bit of lemon zest adds a freshness, and lifts all the flavours. Ground almonds keep the cake extra moist and tender. Flaked almonds on the top give a crunch, and a delicious toasted nutty flavour. Sour cream compliments the raspberries, and adds extra moisture.
Despite numbers attempts, with several different techniques, I find it impossible to get the raspberries to stay completely evenly distributed throughout the cake. After a little trial and error, and a few goes at this loaf (including a disastrous attempt when all of the raspberries sank and welded themselves to the bottom of the pan….), I found dusting the raspberries with flour, then adding them almost right at the top of the batter, rather than stirring them through, is the best way to keep the raspberries from sinking. They still prefer to be nearer the bottom half of the cake, although this is a distinct improvement from earlier attempts. If you have any tips for stopping the raspberries sinking at all, I’d love to hear them!
How did you week go?
Are you planning any bakes this weekend?
– I’ve used almond extract to increase the almond flavour. It gives the cake a little bit of a marzipan taste. If you’re not such an almond fan, feel free to leave the almond extract out, and let the raspberries take centre stage.
Raspberry and Almond Loaf
170g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
170g caster sugar
170g plain flour (plus an additional teaspoon for dusting the raspberries)
60g ground almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
100g sour cream
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs
25g flaked almonds
1 teaspoon icing sugar, to finish
Preheat the oven to 180C / 160 fan / 350F.
Grease and line a 2 lb loaf tin.
Toss the raspberries in a teaspoon of plain flour. Set aside for later.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and pale.
In a separate bowl, measure out your flour, almonds, baking powder and lemon zest.
Beat the sour cream and almond extract into the creamed butter and sugar.
Crack one egg into the batter, along with a couple of tablespoons of the dry ingredients.
Beat to combine.
Repeat with the rest of the eggs and dry ingredients, until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated into the batter.
Spoon a little over half the batter into the prepared tin. Sprinkle your raspberries on top, then cover with the remaining batter.
Sprinkle the flaked almonds evenly over the top.
Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown, and inserted skewer comes out clean. Keep an eye on the cake after about 25 minutes of baking, if the top appears to be browning too fast, cover it with a sheet of tin foil for the remainder of the bake time.
Leave to cool in the tin for about half an hour, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar, slice, and serve.