I’m not the biggest fan of bakewell tarts especially Mr K’s variety; the bland casing of pastry, super-sweet, sticky jam, thick gloopy icing and a plastic cherry it’s just not very appealing to me. So why on earth did I choose to bake a bakewell traybake for our Royal Wedding Fayre?
Well I had ground almonds that needed using up, and I wanted something that could yield a lot and this fitted the bill. Also the recipe called for fresh raspberries and I figured that would be a nice touch AND there wasn’t a cherry in sight.
These little treats were an absolute delight and provided me with enough cake for three guzzlers to gorge on during the nuptials and then mounds left to share with friends and colleagues who were all very grateful and loved the taste. The base is a dreamy, buttery, shortbread which just melts in your mouth and the combination of all this rich buttery goodness with the sweet jam and frangipane contrasts deliciously with the sharp fresh raspberries. Definitely something I urge you to try and I will definitely be making this again.
Raspberry Bakewell Slice taken from Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen
Makes 16 slices (more if you cut them up smaller)
for the base:
225g plain flour
60g icing sugar
pinch of salt
225g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
for the filling:
150g soft unsalted butter, plus some for greasing
150g caster sugar
150g ground almonds
250g seedless raspberry jam
250g fresh raspberries
50g flaked almonds
1 x baking tin 30 x 20 x 5cm
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line the baking tin with foil and grease.
- Mix the flour, icing sugar, salt and 225g butter in a food processor until you have a cohesive dough. Press into the bottom of your tin. Be patient – I promise you have enough to fill the bottom – just work the dough with the back of a spoon or your hands to get an evenish surface.
- Bake the base for 20 mins, then leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins.
- While the base is in the oven, melt 150g butter for the filling in a small pan, then take off the heat and allow to cool a little, say 5 mins.
- Put the eggs, caster sugar and ground almonds into a food processor and blitz to a paste. With the motor still running, pour the slightly cooled butter down the funnel and stop when all is combined, though you may want to scrape down the contents and pulse to finish.
- Whisk the jam in a bowl to make it a little more spreadable, and duly spread it over the base, then tumble the raspberries over the jam. Scrape the almond filling out of the processor and over the raspberry layer.
- Sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake for about 45 mins, testing after 35: it is ready when it’s risen with gentle puffiness and has become tinted gold from the heat.
- Cool – or not if you can’t wait (but be wary of the hot jam layer) – before slicing.
- Now I’m not entirely sure what went wrong but my base was a really soft dough and I had to keep feeding it with flour, I was using real butter too! It all worked out well in the end though and the smell of the base cooking was divine. Do not cook this dish when hungry as it will only make you famished. Be careful to watch your base, don’t let it become too coloured as it will have a lot more cooking time with the filling.
- My almond filling was a little loose shall we say, I’m not entirely sure what went wrong. When Nigella described the first part of the process as being a paste I had a fairly loose mixture and the butter made it pretty liquid. I also added a drop or two of almond essence as the intended consumer of this traybake likes that sweet, sickly taste. (It appears everyone else did too as it was given the thumbs up by a lot of people)
- As you can tell from the above photo my filling was touched with gold a little more that usual around the edges, not sure if this is my oven but next time I make this I will keep a beady eye on it around the 30 minute mark so i can at least cover it to prevent well cooked edges. Oh I should also say that they weren’t burnt and didn’t have that caramelised sugar taste it just wasn’t too pretty to look at.
- In Mr K style I added icing, again to appease the consumer, but I would quite happily have left it off. I made a simple bit of glacé icing with icing sugar and milk, I’m not entirely sure on measurements I did it by eye and guess work. I did make it fairly thick but not store bought thick.