For my own birthday cake, I wanted to create something lovely, light and subtle, a cake to freshen the palate before the onslaught of chocolate this Easter. Ground and flaked almonds create a scrumptious Bakewell taste when laced with any berry, and here I used them to compliment fresh blueberries and the sweet tang of primrose, an edible flower in great supply in gardens, fields and hedgerows at this time of year. A little piece of Spring in every slice.
Serves 8 -10
Adapted from the recipe at BBC Good Food Online, see the recipe here
150g ground almonds
150g caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g self raising flour
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
150g fresh blueberries, washed and dried
3 handfuls flaked almonds
3 handfuls primroses picked from the garden, 10 minutes before the decoration, optional
sprinkling of vanilla or caster sugar, for decoration, optional
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 sift 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 just under half the batter over the base of the cake tin to cover it, before placing the blueberries evenly over the top. Then add the rest of the batter, spreading and smoothing down with a spatula. Make sure that all the berries 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. Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes, before carefully turning out of the tin to cool on a wire rack or plate.
9. Shortly before serving, pick the primroses from the garden or a park or hedgerow, and place over the cake to decorate. Sprinkle with a little vanilla or caster sugar, and serve with or without cream.
This cake was idly baked while listening to Just A Minute on BBC Radio 4