Lately I have been thinking about baking more often, just to have that time for myself where I am completely focusing on a task (that doesn’t involve looking at a screen). And while I don’t often have the time to try elaborated recipes, sometimes though it’s nice to just bake a simple cake, one that reminds you of the cakes you ate as a child. A breakfast cake that can make mornings a little bit nicer and easier for you and your family.
I haven’t been baking much lately and this week it really hit me how much I miss it. When I had an office job, baking in the evening or on a weekend was a way to feel creative and crafty. But switching to a freelance job completely changed my routines, so now I don’t see my kitchen as a space to relax anymore. My kitchen is actually my “home office” as I have a moved a desk in there!
I miss challenging myself with a new recipe and tackling bakes that I have never made before. This week I attempted to make meringues for the first time and I’m planning to bake coconut macaroons tonight. I still want to get better at baking and the only way I can achieve that is by trial and error.
So this morning I craved a simpler cake, one that I could prepare easily by throwing together ingredients from the pantry. I flicked through an Italian cookbook for inspiration: 250 recipes from the cooks and restaurants in the Slow Food Osterie d’Italia Guide. I had all but one ingredients to make Osteria Nerina’s Buckwheat Cake with Blackcurrant Jam. Admittedly, I missed the two most important ingredients: buckwheat flour and blackcurrant jam! ;)
So I adapted the recipe to make an Almond Cake with Blueberry Jam.
- 250g butter, softened
- 250g caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- 200g plain flour*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
- 250g ground almonds
- 150g blueberry jam
- a pinch of salt
- icing sugar to decorate
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C .
Cream the butter and half the sugar. Incorporate the egg yolks, one at a time, then add the vanilla. Add the flour and ground almonds, mixing well as you go.
In another bowl, whip the egg whites to a peak, gradually add the rest of the sugar, and fold into the mixture. Add the salt.
Grease and flour a round spring-form cake tin (20-22cm) and pour in the cake mixture. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool. Slice in half horizontally and spread with the jam. Put the two halves together and dust with icing sugar before serving.
*you can make this cake gluten-free by replacing plain flour with buckwheat flour.