Mulberry. White Chocolate. Almond. These are three ingredients that skyrocket past the sum of their parts when they’re combined. This cake is like a blazing guitar solo from Jefferson Starship. It’s a roller-coaster of textures, a riot of flavours. It’s a very good cake.
Sometimes I get sick of baking. Not the act of doing it, that’s always fun. Playing with goos and fats and powders and pastes will never get old for me, because in my heart I will always be five. Rather, it’s the way people think about, talk about and relate to baked goods. Take, for example, the insta-donut. It never gets eaten, only photographed. It’s covered in bright pink glaze and mounds of sugar sprinkles and candy and…does it really taste good? Could it possibly taste better than a hot cinnamon donut? Does anyone enjoy the feeling of that sugary pink icing sliding past their teeth as they bite in? I’m guessing no.
I know what you’re thinking: Sarah, you posted an enormous unicorn cake COVERED in buttercream on Monday. What’s the word…hypocrite? And yes, sure, I’ll take that. Because to be honest the whole time I was writing about that donut I was thinking about how fun it would be to make one. And sometimes making something aesthetically outrageous just for the sake of it IS fun. But it’s a bummer to think that home baker-baking is a dying art.
That’s what this cake is; a home baker’s cake. It’s flat, it’s brown, it’s not layered, it’s not sprinkled. But it will B L O W your mind with deliciousness. You can really taste every element here – the butter, the almond, the white chocolate, the precious and elusive mulberries. Every ingredient invited into this cake gets their moment to shine, like Leo finally did at the Oscars. Everyone’s nominated, and when you bite into a still-warm slice, buttery and bursting with mulberries and white chocolate, with roundness and crunch from the almonds, you’ll see that everyone’s a winner here too. Long live home-style cakes.
- 1 + ¼ sticks (150g) butter, softened
- ½ cup (100g) caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or extract)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- 1 + ¼ cups (125g) almond meal
- 2 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 4oz (100g) white chocolate (good quality!)
- 1 cup mulberries (blackberries, loganberries or raspberries would be great)
- ¼ cup flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and butter a 10 inch (25cm) fluted tart tin.
- Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together on high speed until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each is well incorporated.
- Add the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt to the butter mixture, and stir until everything is well combined. Stir through half the white chocolate and mulberries, and then scrape into the tart tin, and smooth out with a palette knife.
- Scatter over the remaining white chocolate, mulberries and almonds, pressing them gently into the batter.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown all over, and a skewer comes out with a lot of moist crumbs, but no raw batter. Leave to cool in the tin, and then unmold carefully and serve slightly warm.