Damson and Almond Traybake

You have got to try this!!

This cake is SO delicious that it really ought to be harder to make than it is: it vanishes like the proverbial snow off a hedge! I’ve made it for cake sales at school and for functions when cakes are expected and it’s gone down a storm every time. It also has the added virtues of being dead easy to make and to transport. Who can ask for more?

You will need a standard roasting tray (mine is about 13″/34cm x 11½”/29cm), a measuring jug, a large mixing bowl and an electric hand whisk.

The cooking technique for this is unconventional as the cake comes out of the oven part way through its cooking time, which is usually a no-no when baking. However, it is this part baking which ensures  that the jam goes part way into the cake and doesn’t all sink to the bottom. If you put the jam in at the start of the cooking time, it would sink through the batter and all end up in a sticky mass at the bottom. By giving the cake 10 minutes in the oven first, a slight skin forms on the batter which slows down the heavy jam and keeps it within the batter long enough for the cake to cook around it before it can all sink. Delicious!

Recipe: Damson and Almond Traybake

Ingredients

  • 9oz/255g Pure (sunflower)
  • 9oz/255g self-raising flour
  • 1¼oz/35g ground almonds
  • 9oz/255g caster sugar
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 5floz/150ml Alpro Vanilla Soya Yoghurt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • 4tbsps damson jam
  • 1oz/25g toasted flaked almonds
  • icing sugar to dust

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C(160°C for fan ovens) /350°F/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Line your roasting tin with baking parchment, tucking the corner pleats out of the way behind the sides so that you don’t have corners poking into your cake.
  3. Put the Pure, self-raising flour, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, eggs, yoghurt, vanilla extract and almond extract into a large mixing bowl and beat the whole lot with an electric hand mixer until it is smooth.
  4. Pour it all into the lined tin and smooth out the surface with the back of a spoon.
  5. Pop it in the middle of the oven and bake it for 10 minutes. I know this next bit sounds really weird, but trust me: I’ve done it many times and it works!
  6. After 10 minutes, take it out of the oven and put the tin on something heatproof. I put it on my hob. Dot the surface all over with blobs of damson jam and then sprinkle the whole thing with the toasted almond flakes.
  7. Pop it all back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes until it is lovely and golden and puffy. You can do the skewer thing if you wish. I tend to use my finger tips and test the surface. If it is just firm and slightly springy, it’s done.
  8. Leave it in the tin for 5 minutes, then lift out the parchment lining, bringing the whole cake out onto a cooling rack. Leave until completely cool before dusting it with icing sugar and cutting it up.

Quick Notes

If you are transporting this cake, I would leave it uncut. I let it cool, then put it back into its tin to take it to its destination , then I dust it and chop it up when I get there. If you get a piece of cardboard just a little bit larger than your tin and cover it in foil, you can lift out your cake onto that and not have anybody’s heavy-handedness, scoring your roasting tin when the cake is cut up either!

Variations

You could do this like a traditional Bakewell combination with raspberry jam too.

Preparation time (duration): 10 minutes

Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes

Diet type: Dairy-free

Number of servings (yield): 20+

Meal type: snack

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