Here’s what you shouldn’t do. You shouldn’t underestimate cake batter. Cake batter cannot merrily be poured into muffin moulds on a whim, especially if said muffin moulds are smaller than you thought and the muffins were bigger than you expected. Especially then. Cake batter should be treated with respect and not smugness.
Oh well. Have a muffin?
The genius that I am, I didn’t think to split the batter into 14 muffin moulds, not only 12. Of course, you’re smarter than I am, so you will think of doing that or alternatively, not complicate your life and bake this as an 8″ cake as was its destiny. But either way, you will have a soft, moist, spongy cake studded with juicy raspberries and filled with the nutty goodness of a ton of ground almonds. And butter. Lots of butter.
This recipe comes from Rachel Allen’s book Cake, which is all kinds of beautiful. In the book, this is her take on a Bakewell tart, a treat from Derbyshire, traditionally made with raspberry jam. I love all of her recipes for two reasons: they’re all bursting with only simple, but delicious flavours, and butter is aplenty.
Ground almonds and raspberries taste phenomenal together and that’s really all there is to it. I have a ton of self-raising flour still sitting in my fridge after my trip to London, and since a lot of the recipes in this book use it, I’m a happy camper. Bluebird makes self-raising flour if you’re looking for an option by an Indian brand. If you can’t find it, I’ll note a substitution in the recipe.
There would have been less drama in my kitchen if I had just gone ahead and baked this as one cake, but muffins are cuter 🙂 I was over enthusiastic while filling the tray, but other than that, there was absolutely no problem with deciding to bake the batter in muffin moulds. They do not rise the way a regular muffin would because ground almonds make any baked good denser than only regular flour does. Ground almonds also make the muffins (or cake) fragile, so allow them to cool completely before trying to take them out of the tray, or like me, you’ll have more crumbs on your hands than you’d like.
Basically, I make the mistakes so that you don’t. You’re welcome 🙂
The muffins are perfectly sweetened, nutty and tangy at the same time thanks to the raspberries and so, so soft. Use any berries you like, frozen or fresh. Even if you leave them out entirely, you’ll still have an amazing muffin on hand. The kind whose flavour isn’t too overwhelming and begs for a hot cup of tea or coffee, and a downpour outside. Maaaake these!
Rachel Allen’s recipes are always in weight measures and while I prefer sticking to the measurement style a recipe recommends, I did spend a few messy minutes converting them to cup measures for those who need them. I do refer to online converters, but for this recipe, I decided to verify them myself! If you have kitchen scales, stick to the weight measures.
- 150 gms self-raising flour* (1 cup plus 1 tbsp)
- 150 gms whole almonds (1 cup), finely ground
- 150 gms butter, at room temperature (1/2 cup plus 2 tbsps, salted is fine)
- 150 gms caster sugar (3/4th cup)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 and ½ tbsps milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries, or your favourite berries
- Flaked almonds, for garnishing, optional
- *see notes to make your own self-raising flour
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, add the ground almonds and mix. Set aside.
- Lightly grease 14 muffin moulds or an 8" round cake tin or a 9x5 loaf tin. Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer until soft, then add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
- In a smaller bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then add to the creamed butter and sugar along with the vanilla extract. Beat well. Add the milk and beat again. The mixture might look slightly curdled.
- Fold in the flour and almonds mixture in two additions until combined. Add the raspberries and gently fold. They might leave some pink streaks through the batter, embrace it.
- Divide the batter equally among the muffin moulds or pour into the cake tin and smooth the top. Garnish with flaked almonds.
- Bake till golden-brown on the top and a toothpick comes out clean. You will probably need to bake the muffins in batches. 12 muffins took 25 to 30 minutes to bake, so 14 muffins will take just a bit longer. If you are baking this as a whole cake, it will take 50 to 55 minutes to bake.
- Allow the muffins or cake to cool completely before serving. I found these tasted even better the next day!