The next recipe will hit the summer soiree spot—a light-as-air spelt almond cake. Whisk it up, scatter with cherries and watch them sink or swim. Spelt is lighter than wheat and many with wheat intolerance can eat it. It doesn’t give any bloating and its B vitamins are more easily absorbed, as well as, being high in anthocyanins, which are super immune boosters. Almonds are, in every respect, the food of the gods and unbeatable in both health and flavour terms.
Makes one 23cm cake, which cuts into 8-10 slices
• 175g butter, softened, plus more for greasing the tin
• 175g light brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• ¼ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
• 125g ground almonds
• 175g wholemeal spelt flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 200g halved cherries, or whole raspberries or blueberries
• 200g peaches or nectarines, sliced
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar, for sprinkling
rose petals, for scattering on top (optional)
• 200g icing sugar
• 1-2 tablespoons rose water
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas mark 3. Butter a 23cm cake tin and line with parchment paper.
2. First make the sponge. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and very fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla seeds (pop the scraped pod into your Vanilla Extract, see page 228). Add the almonds and mix to combine.
3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, then gently beat these dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture. The mixture will be rather stiff but that’s ok.
4. Spread the cake batter into your prepared cake tin and smooth the top with a palette knife or spatula. Scatter the cherries (or raspberries or blueberries) over the batter, then press the slices of peach (or nectarine) down on top to get the fruit inside the cake batter a bit.
5. Sprinkle with the caster sugar and bake for about 60-70 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake springs back to the touch.
6. Let the cake cool in its tin for about 15 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.
7. If using the icing, whisk the rose water into the icing sugar until smooth and runny. Drizzle over the cooled cake. Scatter with garden rose petals if you have them. This is best eaten on the day you bake it.