Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Cakes for a picnic part 1: Gluten Free Cherry Bakewell Cake

One of the best things about summer is the chance to eat outdoors, be it sandwiches and shortbread on a walk or just lunch outside in the garden. Preparing for a beach picnic with friends recently I realised there are certain dos and don'ts to outdoor eating. Do bake a cake; don't bake a fiddly one. Layer cakes get rather worse for wear as you carry them to your picnic destination. Anything with icing is a no no as it can slide off the cake or be melting by the time you come to eat it. A drizzle is the exception, one of our party baked a lovely lemon drizzle which was unaffected by the journey or the sunshine. Chocolate toppings, like buttercream or cream cheese icing, rarely work on picnics, especially if it's a hot day. So your best bet are simple, easy to make and easy to carry cakes. I baked two cakes for our beach picnic, and here's the first, a really scrumptious cherry bakewell cake, gluten free for those in the party who are wheat intolerant and tasting just like the bakewells of my childhood.

Serves 8 -10
Adapted from the recipe at BBC Good Food Online, see the recipe here
I changed the fruit from raspberry to fresh cherry, added extra almond flavouring and turned it gluten free.

150g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter
150g gluten free self raising flour (Dove's Farm or M&S mix recommended)
2 large eggs
1 tsp almond extract
250g fresh cherries, pitted and halved
2 tbsp flaked almonds
1 tbsp icing sugar for decoration

1. Heat oven to 180 (160C Fan) and line and grease a 20cm spring form cake tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

3, Add the first egg, and beat well before adding the second into the mixture. Beat again, before throwing in the ground almonds and almond extract.

4. Next sieve in half the flour, and stir gently with a metal spoon until well combined.

5. Sift in the rest of the flour and stir.

6. Pour half the batter over the base of the cake tin, before placing the cherries evenly over the top. Then add the rest of the batter ontop, spread and smooth down with a spatula. Make sure that all the cherries are covered by the batter.

7. Sprinkle the flaked almonds over the cake, then put in the oven to bake for approx 50 minutes. You'll know it's done when a skewer comes out clean.

8. Take out of the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least half an hour.

9. When the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and dust a little icing sugar over the top. Store in a cake tin and transport in the tin or wrap in kitchen foil when you go to the picnic. Remember to take a knife, and paper plates, as everyone will want at least one slice!


This cake was idly baked while listening to Patti Smith's album Wave

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