Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Naughty Almond and Sultana Cake

Frequent flyers will know by now that almonds are one of my very favourite ingredients, so I need to excuse to play around with them in new recipes. Here I've made a simple sultana fruit cake but infused it with a full on almond slap around the chops, with chopped almonds, ground almonds, almond extract AND whole marcona almonds, not to mention a naughty little tickle of boozy amaretto. I've also finished the cake with a glaze of amaretto syrup, but this is entirely optional!

Prep time: 20 Mins (Plus soaking time for the fruit)
Baking time: 70 Mins
500g Sultanas
5-6tbsp Amaretto
225g Unsalted Butter
225g Light Muscovado Sugar
3 Large Eggs and 1 Yolk
1tsp Almond Extract
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
225g Plain Flour
2tbsp Ground Almonds
100g Chopped Almonds
1tsp Baking Powder
50g Whole Marcona Almonds

For the (optional glaze)
A simple sugar syrup made from double the quantity of water to sugar, plus a splash of amaretto

The first task is to soak the fruit, which I do the night before. Place the sultanas in a shallow bowl or container and splash over the amaretto. Mix the fruit around, cover and leave to infuse overnight (or at least for a couple of hours).

Once the fruit has soaked you can start on the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4, grease a 23cm springform tin and line the base with baking paper. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs and yolk one at a time, along with the almond and vanilla extracts. Add the plain flour, ground and chopped almonds, along with the baking powder and mix to a smooth, consistent batter. Tip in the soaked fruit and fold through to combine.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and even to the edges. Press the marcona almonds into the top of you cake, then bake in the centre of the over for around 70 minutes, until a metal skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. When you are happy the cake is baked remove it from the oven, leave in the tin for about 20 minutes, then turn out completely onto a wire rack.

If you want to give the cake a nice shiny glaze then you can make a simple amaretto sugar syrup. Use a quantity of 2:1 water to sugar then boil down until just syrupy in a shallow saucepan, adding a splash of amaretto about half way through. Brush all over the top of you cake and leave to cool. You are now ready to slice and serve!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds delicious. Ground almonds are quite expensive now....but worth it.