British baking: Bakewell tray bake
I think I mentioned there was a cake bar at the party? I asked a few friends to make either a classically British or American cake as my leaving friend is moving from one to the other. We ended up with brownies, sugar cookies, cupcakes with SNP logos and Scottish flags, some of my mini empire biscuits, rather exciting cupcakes (of which more tomorrow) and this Bakewell tray bake. It was hard to think of classic British cakes that were also appropriate for a party in a pub – scones just seemed too much faff!
Bakewell tray bake (recipe from delicious magazine)
1. Roll out 500g sweet shortcrust pastry (you could use this recipe) to line the base and sides of a 29cm x 21cm baking tray. Spread the base of the pastry case with 6 tbsp raspberry jam.
2. Measure 100g ground almonds into a bowl. In another bowl beat 200g butter and 200g caster sugar with an electric hand whisk until smooth and creamy. Beat in 4 medium eggs, 1 at a time, adding 1 tbsp of the ground almonds after each addition.
3. Add 100g self raising flour, the rest of the ground almonds and 1 tsp almond extract. Mix well and spread evenly over the jam in the tin.
4. Bake at 200 c/gas mark 6 for 35-40 mins until well risen, firm and golden. Leave to cool in the tin, then ice with a fairly thick water icing (300g icing sugar mixed with 3 tbsp water) and decorate with halved glace cherries. Once the icing has set (I left mine overnight) cut into squares.
I’ve never made a Bakewell tart before but this was much simpler than I thought, and was very popular with party guests. The only reason there was any left for me to photograph was that this square was a bit misshapen so I left it at home!