Figgy Jam Almond Cake
Another book that passed briefly through my hands recently was Miranda Gore Browne’s Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can. It has lots of easy to bake cakes which all sound quite delicious, but the one that caught my eye was Brighton Cake. It’s a very old fashioned and simple cake where you rub the butter into the flour rather than creaming it. A bit of nostalgia crept in when I saw it and a burning need to use up some very old jars of jam.
I did my usual tweaking and adapting – I had to get chocolate in there somehow. I upped the quantities to try and make an 8″ (20 cm) cake and added white chocolate to the mix.
This is how I made:
Figgy Jam Almond Cake
- Weighed out 200g flour (half wholemeal, half white) and placed into a large bowl with 1 tsp baking powder, 85g caster sugar and ½ tsp maca powder (just so I feel I’m getting something healthy from the cake).
- Rubbed in 85g cold unsalted butter with my fingers until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs.
- Stirred in 30g white chocolate powder (I used Mortimer’s, but grated white chocolate would be fine).
- Used a fork to mix in two small eggs and a scant tsp of almond extract. Stirred until the mixture formed a rough ball of very sticky dough.
- Using the fork, pressed half of the mixture into an 8″ round cake mould.
- Spread the contents of a small jar of fig and pomegranate jam over the batter.
- Placed small blobs of the remaining dough over the jam and evened out as best I could with the aforementioned fork.
- Placed 16 blanched almonds around the edge of the cake, pressing down slightly.
- Baked at 180℃ for 30 mins when the cake was well risen and firm.
- Sprinkled with a scant teaspoon of caster sugar and allowed to cool for ten minutes. Turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I’ve fallen in love with this simple, but really quite delicious cake. It’s rather like a Bakewell tart with its almond bottom and crust and jam filling. I’m glad I was cautious with the almond extract though; the recipe stated two teaspoons for a smaller quantity of mix than I used. I expect the white chocolate helped to give a slightly richer feel. The texture was just how I like it, a little crunchy on the outside and soft and melting on the inside. As the mix was quite stiff, more like dough than batter, I was pleased to see the jam stayed nicely in the middle and didn’t sink. I am going to make another one this weekend for my mother – I’m thinking lemons.