Baking for the Weekend

Today, we're off for the weekend to brighton marina with Phil's family. Every year in October, his parents rent a seaside cottage somewhere in the UK for their three sons (and their lucky girlfriends) to celebrate half-term and Phil's brother's birthday. This year, what with all the cooking hoopla, I thought I'd make something new and special to bring along. I found this recipe in a magazine ad for bonne maman jam and thought it would be a nice challenge (and hopefully a delicious addition to my dessert repertoire)................. WRONG. Mere seconds after emptying the cake from it's home in the loaf tin, the whole thing collapsed into mush. We ended up scooping (yes scooping) it onto a roasting tin and baking that pile, to see if it would harden up at all. It didn't. So we scooped it again back into the loaf tin, and assembled the crusty top layer pieces like a puzzle, thus giving this masterpiece its new name. At first I thought that maybe my egg substitute just didn't work. But Phil thinks it was the middle layer of jam that did it.

We're still bringing it along -- it's pretty damn tasty, even if it is a bit gloopy. Reminds me of sponge pudding, or some other English dessert involving jam. Spooned into a bowl and heated up, this would be an epic dessert. If I was on Top Chef, I'd stand by my dish.

Raspberry & Walnut loaf Puzzle Cake

A Bonne Maman recipe that needs some love and affection and a lot of tweaking. Don't let this photo fool you. Underneath that top layer is a big ol' mess. A delicious delicious mess.


The particulars:

  • 175g margarine, plus extra for greasing
  • 4 tbsp Bonne Maman raspberry conserve
  • 170g fresh raspberries
  • 150g gluten-free flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten (I used the flax method of substitution)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • icing sugar, to dust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter the loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Warm the raspberry conserve a little and stir until smooth, then gently stir in all but 10 of the fresh raspberries. Try not to break up any of the fruit. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the sugar, almonds, chopped walnuts, and lemon zest. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips. Beat the eggs in, then spoon half of the mixture into the tin.
  4. Layer about 3/4 of the raspberry mixture over the top, then finish with the remaining cake mixture.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Leave to cool a little in the tin, then remove and place on a wire rack to cool further.
  6. Finish with the remaining raspberries and dust lightly with icing sugar to serve.

Lesson learned: No eggs + too much jam = sloppy mess.