Raspberry and Almond Layer Cake

INGREDIENTS:
For the cake:

  • 100g butter
  • 40g light brown sugar
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g plain flour
  • 20g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 drops almond essence

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Grease two 5″ tins (or one and simply bake one after another).
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, flour, almonds and baking powder and beat until well combined. Add the almond essence and briefly beat in.
  4. Divide between tins and bake on a medium shelf for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool throughly.

To assemble:

  • 1 medium punnet fresh raspberries
  • 3 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 200ml double cream
  • few drops almond essence
  • small handful of flaked almonds

METHOD:

  1. Slice each cake into two.
  2. Place one cake on the serving plate, cut side up (reserve the nicest half for the top – the bottom half is often neater). Spoon on a tbsp of raspberry jam and spread – add more if you think you need it. Reserve a handful of the prettiest raspberries to decorate.
  3. Cover the jam with raspberries, slightly squished – you could cut them in half to make them go further and have a neater, more stable cake. Top with another cake and repeat, the another cake and repeat. Place your final cake on top. You may find it useful to use a few toothpicks as dowels to help the structure – just remember to take them out!
  4. Whip the double cream until fairly stiff, then add the almond essence. You could also add a tbsp of icing sugar if you like – I prefer mine unsweetened. Whip a bit more until it forms a good beak when you remove the whisk.
  5. Spoon about half the cream on top of the cake, then start working it down the sides with a palette knife.  Add the rest of the cream when you need it. It’s difficult to work with and doesn’t behave particularly well, but I promise it’s worth it. When you’re satisfied, top with the reserved raspberries and the handful of flaked almonds.
  6. Best eaten the day you put it together because of the cream
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