'Thing is with baking, it's such a fad. It's in fashion now, I know. But who really likes those sickly sweet creations? And who really wants to spend hours in the kitchen when Patisserie Valerie is just round the corner?'
I turned, aghast. 'Well, excuse me' I wanted to say 'Excuse me! Have you not heard of the popularity of The Great British Bake Off?* The baking boom that has led to sales of butter soaring according to newspaper headlines last week? Do you not know that Bake Sales are the best and most delicious way to raise money for charity? It's certainly not a fad! A fad, my friend, is the shellsuit, the cabbage soup diet and the tamagotchi'
I'd then pause for breath before heatedly continuing: 'In any case, sure you can get sickly sweet cakes but you can also take the most amount of pleasure from hours in the kitchen perfecting a flavoursome, tasty, tempting bake that brings delight to your friends and family'
In reality, I harrumphed in their general direction before doing a three-point-trolley turn and heading for the tills.
And as I baked this Almond, White Chocolate and Blueberry Cake later that day I was still somewhat personally affronted and determined to bake them wrong.
Almond, White Chocolate and Blueberry Cake
For the cake:
200g self raising flour
1 level tsp baking powder
200g softened butter
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp natural almond extract
To assemble and decorate:
100g white chocolate
150g softened butter
150g icing sugar
1 punnet blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Lightly grease and line two 8inch/20cm round cake tins
2. Combine all the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electronic whisk until well combined and smooth, this should take a few minutes. If the mixture is a little stiff add a splash or two of milk
3. Divide between the prepared cake tins and bake for 30-35 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven
4. Remove from the oven, cool in the tins for five minutes before turning out onto a wire baking rack to cool completely
5. To make the icing: Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water. Leave to cool. Beat the butter and icing sugar in a large bowl until creamy then beat in the chocolate. Use half the icing to sandwich together the two layers of cake. Spread the remainder of the icing on the top of the cake and decorate with the blueberries
- You can freeze the cakes, well wrapped and uniced, for up to three months. The icing will also last up to a month when stored in the fridge
- The sweet almond and Britain's fastest growing fruit, the blueberry make perfect partners in this cake
- PS: Baking Rules!
* Due to return to our screens on 20th August 2013. Hurrah!