Sunday, 29 April 2018

Raspberry and Almond Loaf Cake

Last weekend was the London Marathon, 26.2 grueling miles through our capital city snd today the inaugural Newport marathon, closer to home here in Wales. I am full of admiration for all those who take part, who spend long, dark winter evenings training, raising millions of cash each year for charity and risk losing at least a couple of toenails in the process (all together now: ewwwwwww). I'm more likely to celebrate a lottery win than celebrate completing a marathon (the only exception would be eating an inedible, long-lost Snickers bar from 1990, which of course was formerly known as a Marathon).

Even the thought of the ‘wine’ marathon where participants enjoy a boozy run with wine and oyster stops dotted throughout the race doesn’t inspire me to run 26.2 miles. But then I read about the ‘Piece of Cake’ Marathon. Held each year in Shropshire I’m imagining a race involving at least a cake stop every half a mile, getting increasingly tastier the more miles you run. After custard creams dunked in builder’s tea at the first half a mile participants surely progress to a giant slab of the gooiest chocolate brownies by mile five, working their way up to intricate, award winning Parisian patisseries by twenty miles and an enormous afternoon tea by the finishing line. If you get to the finish line that is; you may well have collapsed in a diabetic coma well before before the half way mark. But on further investigation it appears the ‘Piece of Cake’ marathon is, well, anything but. Apart from finishing in a National Trust tearoom, there is not a single crumb of cake offered on the entire route. Even the finest National Trust scone, jam and cream offering wouldn't tempt me; trading standards officers, I think you have your next case to investigate.

So it’s no to a marathon for me; I’m sticking to my gone-off snickers thank you very much.

Raspberry and Almond Loaf Cake

75ml olive oil
125g full-fat natural yoghurt
150g golden caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
210g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
150g raspberries
50g icing sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with parchment paper
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, yoghurt, sugar, eggs and almond extract. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the oil-yoghurt mixture and fold the lot very gently together, taking care not to over mix. Add in the raspberries, reserving a few for decoration.
  3. Pour the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a small skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. To make the icing,sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl and add enough water to create a smooth icing. Pour over the cake and add a few raspberries to decorate

Bakers notes

  • Is this the easiest cake ever? Certainly a great deal easier than running a marathon
  • The raspberries can be replaced by blueberries and the cake would be delish with a dollop of creme fraiche
  • Store in a airtight container and enjoy within a couple of days

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