Baking is a fairly new thing to me. For years and years the thought of baking actually terrified me. Unlike cooking, baking is a complete science and let me tell you now, I wasn’t very good at science at school. The thing I love most about cooking is that you can adjust the recipe as you go along. If it doesn’t have enough spice you can add more chilli, if it isn’t seasoned enough you can throw in a little more salt. With baking you don’t know how it tastes until that cake is cooked, by which time it’s way too late to add the 150g of golden caster sugar you forgot to add at the beginning. Basically you have no control when it comes to baking. Once that cake is in the oven there is nothing you can do but just sit and wait…
Now for a control freak like myself, suddenly having no control over what may unfold in that oven is a very scary thing. So scary in fact, that I would have no choice but to open that oven door just to check everything was okay in there… Obviously this resulted in many cakes that looked far more like pancakes than Victoria sponges.
With much restrain, and many failed attempts, I finally managed to produce a cake that worked. I quite like it, and I hope you do too.
180g unsalted butter
180g plain flour
180g caster sugar
3 large eggs
40ml natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Half a teaspoon vanilla essence
Half a teaspoon almond essence
50g Amaretti biscuits, crushed
Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to gas mark 2/150C or 130C for fan assisted ovens… I know this seems low but just trust me on this one!
- Meanwhile grease a loaf tin with unsalted butter and then dust with flour and set to one side.
- Mix the caster sugar and butter together in a large bowl until creamy and then add the three large eggs one by one, mixing in between.
- In a separate bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking powder. Add half to the creamy mixture and combine well, then add the other half and do the same.
- Once mixed together add both the vanilla and almond essence, the raspberries and the yoghurt and mix well. Make sure you mash the raspberries up so there are no whole ones through the mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and then sprinkle with the crushed up Amaretti biscuits. Push the crushed biscuit pieces into the mixture slightly making sure they are firmly stuck on and that the surface is as flat as you can get it.
- Put the loaf tin into the centre of your preheated oven and allow to cook for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until the cake is cooked all the way through. You can test this by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake and seeing if there is any raw mixture on it. If there is, pop it back in the oven until the skewer comes out clean.
- Once out of the oven allow to cool slightly in the tin and then turn it out gently onto a cooling rack. As tempting as it may be, leave to cool down completely before slicing it up and digging in!