March 2014

March 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

Summer fruit and almond torte (gluten-free)

It was such nice weather at the beginning of this week and we took the opportunity to tidy up the garden a little. The tayberry, in particular, fruited really well last year but it needed to have the old stems removed and the new growth tied back into shape against the fence. The green leaves are already emerging and so blossom won’t be far behind….and it’s only the beginning of April. These outside chores made me wonder if I still had any of last summer’s soft fruits left in the freezer? If so, I had better start using them up before this year’s harvest started to appear!

And so, my ‘Summer Fruit and Almond Torte’ formed into an idea as several bags of frozen tayberries, raspberries and cultivated blackberries emerged from the back of the freezer drawer. This baked, gluten-free, torte would be such a perfect dessert for friends or family, as well as a welcome treat for afternoon tea. Enjoy…..and don’t worry if it sinks a little in the middle!

125g unsalted butter, softened, (or dairy free alternative for a lactose intolerant version)
200g caster sugar
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3 eggs
200g ground almonds
50g rice flour
1tsp gluten-free baking powder
¼ tsp salt
200g fresh or frozen summer berries

200g icing sugar
1tsp almond extract
Handful toasted flaked almonds

Preheat oven to 170C (160C fan) or gas mark 3. Grease and base line a 23cm springform or loose-based cake tin.
Cream the butter, sugar, vanilla extract and almond extract until pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. (Add a spoonful of almonds to the mix if it looks like splitting).
Sieve together the rice flour, baking powder and salt.
Fold this into the beaten mix together with the ground almonds.
Finally, fold in the summer fruit gently. (If they are frozen, the mix may ‘seize’ slightly, so use a large spoon or spatula to fold through)
Spoon the mix into the cake tin and bake for around 55/65 minutes - until brown on top and set in the middle.
Leave to cool for around 30 minutes in the tin before taking out and cooling completely on a rack.

For the topping - mix the icing sugar, almond extract and a little water to make a smooth, soft, consistency and spread over torte, allowing it to run down the sides. Sprinkle over the toasted almonds.

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