Almond and Raspberry cake

In my lab we need to deal with the inconvenience of having to also provide breakfast for the audience whenever it’s one’s turn to give a talk. Of course this clashes frontally with the widespread habit of procrastinating: last minute presentation preparations are not completely compatible with cake producing… so that’s why this recipe is perfect, because it’s the one with the highest satisfaction to manual labour ratio ever. Plus it is so delicious and leaves the audience so satisfied that they go really easy on you 😉

Almond and raspberry cake

Almond and Raspberry cake

  • 140 g ground almonds
  • 140 g softened butter
  • 140 g golden caster sugar
  • 140 g self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g raspberries
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds
  • icing sugar

Preheat oven to 160 °C fan and base-line and grease a 20 cm cake tin. Combine well the ground almonds, butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla. Spread half the mix over the cake tin and smooth over the top. Scatter the raspberries over and dollop the rest of the cake mixture on top. Scatter with flaked almonds and bake for 50 minutes until golden. Serve dusted with icing sugar.

Raspberry cake make over

Almond and raspberry cake

Eton Mess in Chocolate Cups

Eton Mess is one of my favourite English desserts. The absolute paradigm of comforting (fast) sweet food. Done in minutes and so very much gratifying. And almost a guilt free experience, since there are some berries involved, and fruit is good for you, you know that.

Eton Mess in a Chocolate Cup

I sometimes (after the first serving and in a lousy attempt to keep me from a refill) wonder where this Eton Mess name comes from… Maybe some aristocrat named Eton was fooling around in the kitchen and the cook named the result of his labour so, just in order to make fun of the boss??

According to the XXI century source of wisdom that has rendered useless the piles of huge encyclopaedia volumes that fill my childhood home, it is a dessert traditionally served at Eton College’s annual cricket game agains the pupils of Harrow School, that’s a boy’s school somewhere close to London.

It is a bit like a Pavlova (how cool is it to have a dessert named after you?? and just because you like it! you don’t even have to make it…) or a Cranachan. This last version I must try, and not only because it has whiskey, but also to honour the traditions around me.

Eton Mess in a Chocolate Cup

I don’t want to brag, but the twist I give to it here makes it so much more perfect… Absolutely delicious, although a bit slower…

Eton Mess in Chocolate Cups

For the Chocolate Cups

Melt the chocolate (Valor 70 % of course…) in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Prepare a tray with a sheet of baking paper and add a little melted chocolate shaping a disk, this will be the cup base. Now dip the clean inflated balloon into the chocolate to coat and form the cup around it. Here is a nice video on how to do this like a pro.

Allow the chocolate to cool and finally pop the balloon to get rid of it.

Balloon Chocolate Cups

For the Eton Mess

  • 150 ml whipping cream (for a real healthy alternative you can always substitute it with plain yogurt…)
  • 2 medium meringues (ready made from the store, fast fast fast)
  • Raspberries (or strawberries or blueberries or banana…)

Whip the cream, break the meringues into small pieces with your hands and fold them into the whipped cream. 

Spoon the cream-meringue mixture into the chocolate cup and top it with the berries.

Try not to look to guilty whilst eating. You deserve it, and you know it 😉

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