Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Almond and Raisin Cake

Every other week, mostly on Tuesdays, a male colleague of mine leaves a very succulent raisin cake in the kitchen at work, which as if by spot of luck, happens to be right in my line of vision. It has become quite popular it came to a point where he no longer sends an e-mail around for everyone to know about it but most people can smell sweets from a distance that my prime location means I am always in the know. This wonderful act of sharing, the reason for which I never really knew, has been borne from the unspoken tradition of bringing sweets on our birthdays or when coming back from an exciting holiday. So when it was my turn, I decided it was just fair to bring homemade goodies instead of the usual Sainsbury's packs that is rather favoured by our heavily male-dominated IT workplace. 

This recipe is a spin-off of my favourite Banana and Orange Cake as I didn't have very ripe bananas available and I wasn't sure whether everyone was a fan of the fruit. It turned out moist and was well-liked, not just because it was a freebie I hope! And because someone asked for the recipe so I've decided to make a blog out of it. 

100g raisins
2 eggs, beaten (preferably free range)
1 tsp vanilla extract
125 ml olive oil (This is a healthier option as this is lower in saturated fat but you can also use 125g butter)
125 g brown sugar (although other recipes call for 150g but this lesser amount works for us)
190 g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50g ground almond
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp mixed spice
60 ml milk
demerara sugar
almond flakes, to decorate

Baking equipment:
1 20cm x 12cm loaf pan
baking paper

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius (Fan 150/Gas 3/325 degrees Fahrenheight).
2. Line the base and sides of the loaf pan with baking paper using butter or olive oil.
3. In a bowl, mix raisins, eggs and vanilla. Soak for at least 20 minutes, it makes the raisins plump and juicy.
4. Add olive oil to the mixture.
5. In a separate bowl, sift the dry ingredients and mix well.
6. Make a well in the middle and pour the egg mixture. Add the milk.
7. Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan, sprinkle with a tbsp of demerara sugar to give a crunchy topping if desired.
8. Sprinkle almond flakes on top.
9. Bake for 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cover with foil at around 20 minutes or when the top starts to darken too quickly.
10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before removing from the baking pan.

Note: If using butter, use electric mixer to beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy before adding other dry ingredients. 

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