Jul19

Cake walk

I dream of cake; Tipu longs for a river with cake beside it

I dream of cake; Tipu longs for a river with cake beside it

A rather dull walk today shoving Book a Cook leaflets through letter boxes drove my thoughts back wistfully to a great walk last month in Perthshire. Obviously after all those Anstruther fish and chips, the odd calorie busting hike in the Highlands was in order. However, although Tipu will walk anywhere, anytime, as long as there’s a river or loch at the end of it to hurl himself into, TB and I like a decent pub or a nice tea at the end.

Then we remembered Glen Lyon, one of Scotland’s prettiest places, where it’s possible to have a bracing walk with a splendid view, splosh about in the river and eat cake.

Glen Lyon Tea Shop

Glen Lyon Tea Shop

We’ll skip the walk – you must take my word for it that it was very beautiful, very steep and the picnic at the summit pretty ok too – and take you swiftly to the Glen Lyon Shop and Post Office and Tea Room where they sell postcards, rather exotic cooking stuff for campers (fragrant Thai rice, curry pastes and so on) and truly excellent cakes and scones, freshly home made by Jan Hay. Honestly if we’d known how enormous the slices were we’d have shared a portion, but in our blissful ignorance we ordered one portion of scones and cream and one of almond cake and were thus forced into over-indulgence. I must confess that Tipu’s iron regime was once again overturned, but then he did do some very serious river sploshing to compensate.
The tea was Darjeeling in a china pot; the scones were light, the clotted cream rich and the strawberry jam home-made. The almond cake was perfect; very moist and light with just the right taste of almond without being overwhelming. Jan told me it was a slightly adapted Nigella recipe (thanks to her for the inspiration), and that she sometimes varies it by adding dried fruit such as apricots. With or without apricots, it was a tea worth walking a long way for!

delightful indulgence: almond cake and scone with cream

delightful indulgence: almond cake and scone with cream

Almond cake

  • 250g butter
  • 250g marzipan
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp almond essence
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g dried apricots, chopped (optional)

Whiz the butter, marzipan and sugar in a processor, then whiz in the eggs one at a time. Then add the flour, almond and vanilla essence. Stir in the chopped apricots if you like the additional moist fruitiness.
Scrape the mixture into a greased and lined 20cm cake tin and cook at 180C/gas 4 for around 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool for a while in the tin, then turn on to a wire rack.

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16 Responses to “Cake walk”

  1. Kris says:

    This recipe sounds great.

    Is the cake tin round or square?

    Is the temperature for a fan oven or not?

    Many thanks for your inspiration.

  2. Becky says:

    My dream cake, it tasted wonderful and my daughter keeps asking me to make more!

    Many thanks

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