We found the recipe for this delightfully soft and moist cake in the Duchy Originals Cookbook (remember we recently promised another good recipe from this book?). We slightly change the original, but it still has a delicate honey-muscovado aroma and a pleasant texture with the small bites of grounded almonds. It is perfect for an afternoon tea or breakfast and really simple to whip it up, even for novice bakers.
There are no strictly seasonal ingredients in it, but we think it definitely is more appropriate for winter time (it somehow reminds ginger cakes) – the taste and deep aromas will make you feel like sitting with eggnog in front of the fire in a snowy evening. It will keep well in an airtight container for few days (if you manage to keep it around for that long) – just be sure you place it in when completely cooled.
Makes one 25 cm/10 inches round cake
Preparation time: 5-10 minutes
Baking time: 35-40 minutes
½ packed cup dark muscovado sugar ¾ cup crème fraîche 1¼ cups (150g) ground almonds* 1/3 cup honey 1 large egg, white separated from yolk 1½ cups (around 200g) all-purpose flour ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
*Grounding your almonds not too finely will give the cake a nice texture.
Preheat the oven to 170°C/330°F. Cover the bottom of a medium sized removable base cake pan with parchment paper. Grease the pan sides with some butter and cover it with a thin layer of flour to prevent sticking.
In a big bowl mix the muscovado sugar with the crème fraîche, until there are no sugar lumps in the mixture. I prefer to do it using a silicon spatula, and simply stirring the mixture, pressing the sugar lumps to the sides of the bowl.
When the mixture is homogeneous, add ground almonds, honey and egg yolk. Than sift over the flour, mixed with the baking soda and baking powder and give the mixture a good stir.
In a clean dry bowl whip up the egg white into soft peaks and carefully fold into the cake mix.
Transfer the mix into the cake pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Try with a wooden cocktail stick, inserted into the center – it will be completely clean when the cake is ready.
Transfer the cake onto a wire rack to cool. Serve tepid or cold, with a cup of good tea.