Gooseberry, orange and almond cake

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I took a trip to Majorca a couple of days ago and stayed in a small hotel that was once a citrus farm. It was surrounded by orange trees. I ate oranges every day and brought as many home with me as I could fit in my suitcase. It was 30 degrees when I landed in England and I think the first time I've every returned home to weather warmer than where I was away. I spent the weekend at home in Norfolk and ate punnets of just picked, sharp, green gooseberries. This is an ode to oranges and gooseberries both of which made the last week quite lovely.

Ingredients

makes one 8 inch cake (8-10 slices)

  • 125g butter (plus 25g), room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar (plus 6 tbsp)
  • 1tsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 large eggs
  • 100g spelt flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 ground almonds
  • 375g gooseberries
  • 25g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 50g slivered or chopped almonds
  • icing sugar to serve

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 190 degrees and grease and line and 8 inch loose bottomed cake tin.
  • Wash and prepare your gooseberries but just nicking off their little sprouts and any tough tails, using a sharp knife.
  • Cream your butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in your eggs one by one (if the mixture begins to curdle add a tablespoon of the flour) followed by the vanilla extract and the zest of just half of your orange.
  • Fold in your flour, baking powder and ground almonds and spoon into the prepared tin.
  • Combine your gooseberries with the six tablespoons of caster sugar and spread over the top of the cake mix.
  • Bake for 25 minutes and close towards nearing the end of the baking time melt your remaining 25g of butter in a pan. Stir in your muscovado sugar to dissolve and stir through your slivered almonds.
  • Remove the cake briefly from the oven, spread over your slivered almond mix and bake for a further ten minutes.
  • Allow your cake to cool slightly before removing from the tin and allowing it to cool completely. To serve sieve over a little icing sugar.
  • This cake is delicious on its own or alongside some clotted cream or ice cream.  
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Alexandra Dudley