Today I baked a little cake for my contribution to a weekly coffee & cake gathering at our local English-speaking club, The WAC. I hadn’t tried the recipe before, and rather than, you know, follow instructions I just had to “wing it” a little (as I tend to do 😉 ) .. well my little adjustments actually turned out pretty swell, so I’m pleased to share my recipe with you! The first thing about this recipe is that it called for self-raising flour. Well, as almost all Americans and most anyone in Switzerland is about to say – “they don’t sell that here!” Yep, and since I’m not bothered, having never gotten used to baking with self-raising flour – I just used the usual measurements of baking powder and salt that I’d normally use in a cake. (If you have self-raising flour – by all means use that and just leave out those two ingredients.) 🙂 The second part I changed was the call for fresh strawberries. While I already have a tried-and tested cake that I always bake using fresh strawberries when they are at their peak in summer — late March is not exactly the ideal season for fresh strawberries here. They are currently being flown in from Spain, ripened with gas and hard as a rock (likely flavourless too). I’ll pass. So I used my trusty frozen mixed berries! I eat them often on yogurt or in my smoothies. The recipe called for half ground almonds and half flour. Well, normally I have ground almonds on hand, but this time I seemed to only have ground hazelnuts and almond flour. So I went half and half with those.
Berry Hazelnut-Almond Torte
175g Halbweiss flour (or white, or a mix of the two)
175g Caster Sugar
175g Butter, softened
1.5 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
80g Ground Almonds (or Almond Flour)
80g Ground Hazelnuts
1 egg yolk
Mixed frozen berries
3-4 Tablespoons berry jam (any flavour, I used strawberry)
Preheat oven to 180C. Butter/grease a round cake pan or springform pan (9inch/23cm).
Put all ingredients except berries and icing sugar in a food processor and process just until a dough forms. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, scoop out half the batter into the prepared cake pan. Using wet fingers or two forks, push the dough as evenly as possible into the pan. Next drop dollops of jam onto the dough, and gently spread to form an even layer. Then sprinkle on your mixed berries, careful not to add too many as they will make the cake too wet. Just a nice even amount. Then using the spatula, scrape the rest of the dough onto the top of the berries (easiest to make blobs of batter) using wet fingers or two forks, gently spread the dough around to form a layer (it’s ok if some berries peek through).
Bake the cake for 1 hour (plus or minus 5 minutes) – check the cake after 30-40 minutes and if the top is brown, cover lightly with aluminium foil for the rest of the cooking time so that it doesn’t turn too dark. When cake is finished, cool pan on a cooling rack. When cake is cool, just before serving, dust lightly with icing sugar.