Sunday, 9 November 2014

Cherry Bakewell Slices

At school, I was part of a group of friends, whom I love to bits, but where just the most picky eaters. One didn't eat pork, one didn't eat beef, one didn't like vegetables and the other was allergic to nuts. So every time we had a sleepover, we had margarita pizza. 

And a massive box of celebrations, of course :)

But I do feel sorry for the nut allergy sufferers, because ground almonds make the best cake. That sort of dense, fudgy texture with that smell of slightly toasted almond....coupled with cherry jam and drizzled with icing sugar....served with a cup of tea and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Aka.... cherry bakewell! (Tea and ice cream optional but encouraged).

Last week a friend of mine was staying with me, and as a thank you gift she got me Annie Bell's Baking Bible (thank you!). The recipes are super easy to follow but look amazing, where I was drawn to the cherry bakewell recipe, so headed off to the supermarket to buy the ingredients.

When you make these, just remember that you need to make the pastry first, which then needs to be chilled in the fridge for about 2 hours. So if you're short of time, don't do what I did and chuck it in the freezer and forget about it, coming back in an hour to have to thaw a half frozen block of pastry (whoops). Prepare in advance!

I also added the almonds after baking, as I find that usually it would get burnt if left in the oven fo that long. It doesn't stick that well, but you just need to toast the almonds a bit first then sort of sprinkle and press on top of the cake, which is quite sticky anyway.

So everyone knows the Bakewell tart came from the town of Bakewell, in the Peak District. It is a beautiful beautiful town, which I did go to all of those years ago for a camping expedition when I was doing the Duke of Edinburgh award. I'm not sure if we actually saw much of the town, just a lot of campsites and horses, but we sure did eat a lot of bakewell tarts and bakewell puddings. This does bring me back. 

Also Pride and Prejudice and that scene where Keira Knightley stands of a cliff and contemplates. 

I'm sure Keria would have felt better with a cup of tea and a cherry bakewell slice. I'm just saying.

Recipe is below =) Have a nice week!

Cherry bakewell slices
From Annie Bell’s Baking Bible

Makes 18 slices
Takes about 1 hour, plus 2 hours chilling time

For the pastry
60g unsalted butter
60g icing sugar
1 medium egg yolk
120g plain flour

For the filling
75g unsalted butter, diced
110g caster sugar
3 medium eggs
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract
280g gound almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
200g raspberry or cherry jam
30g flaked almonds

To make the pastry, cream the butter and icing sugar together (in a food processor if you have one, otherwise in a bowl). Then, mix in the egg yolk and flour. You can use the food processor or your hands to mix so it resembled breadcrumbs. Then, mold in to a ball shape, warp in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I think 30 minutes in the freezer is ok too, just don’t forget about it!

Preheat the oven to 170C/190C, Thinly roll out the pastry (it’s ok if it breaks) on a lightly floured surface and use it to line the base of a 23cm non-stick square brownie tin, 4cm deep, draping the excess up the sides. Don’t worry if you have to patch it as it won’t show.

Line the case with baking paper and weight it with baking beans or dried pulses. Cook for about 15 minutes until lightly coloured, then remove the paper and beans and trim the sides to leave with a tightly fitting base.

To make the filling, cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the eggs, one at a time and the almond extract. Then mix in the ground almonds and baking powder (sifted).

Spreak the pastry base with the jam, then spoon the almond sponge mixture on top. Carefully smooth the surface, taking care not to blend it with the jam, and scatter over the almonds. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden and risen (you can test by inserting a skewer to see if it comes out clean). Run a butter knife around the edge and leave to cool in the tin.

To serve, dust with icing sugar and cut into about 18 slices (but obviously depends on how big you want the slices to be!). It should keep well for a few days in an airtight container. 


  1. Don't these just look divine? I agree about the almonds- without doubt one of my favourite baking ingredients

  2. these look amazing one of my favorite British dessert/ cake

  3. These look so good I could eat a piece right now!


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