This tasty cake began life as the Plum, Lemon & Vanilla cake in Lynn Hill’s excellent book “A Year of Cake”. For some reason that I can’t remember, I decided not to include lemon and also chose to replace the vanilla flavour with almond. The plums would have remained, but when I tasted some that I had just thawed from the freezer, they were bitter. I couldn’t get any more that morning, so decided to buy a tin of peaches instead. I think it was a “fortuitous problem” as it has turned out to be a lovely cake.
Servings: 10 – 12 Time: 1hr 20 min + cooling time Difficulty: very easy
- 165g unsalted butter (I often use half butter, half baking spread)
- 185g caster sugar
- 2 large or 3 small eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 130ml buttermilk
- 180g self raising flour
- 60g ground almonds
- A large tin of peaches, drained (Use paper towels to dry the segments)
- Flaked almonds to sprinkle on top
- Pre-bake preparation (some could be done the night before)
- Grease and line a 23cm round, loose-bottomed cake tin (NB I used a 20cm, but had enough mixture left to make another much smaller cake.*)
- Weigh out and soften the butter
- Weigh out the other ingredients (sugar, flour, ground almonds etc.)
- Open the tin of peaches, take the fruit out, drain and dry it.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4 Making the cake
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time + tsp of flour each time and beat well.
- Add in the almond extract and buttermilk. Mix in well then gently stir or mix in the rest of the flour and the ground almonds. Take care not to overmix at this stage. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Arrange the fruit on top then scatter with flaked almonds. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, until the cake is set and golden. (Check towards the end in case the fruit or nuts are darkening. If so, cover loosely with foil until the whole cake is baked.)
- Leave to cool in the tin for about 10 – 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. (An option would be to glaze the cake before it cools, using warmed apricot jam or similar.)
* When I make cakes to be given away, as this one was, I often make a much smaller version alongside, so that I can have some too. You could call it quality control (or you could just say that I like eating cake.)