Peach and raspberry tray-bake cake

Peach and raspberry tray bake fruit cake recipe by Very Berry Handmade

Here’s a quick and delicious fresh fruit cake for you to try. I think of it as rather a traditional recipe – I’ve retrieved it from the notebook of recipes my mum collected together, and I remember it being a family favourite when I was kid. There are no fancy ingredients – it’s the flour, butter, sugar, eggs, milk and fruit type recipe that I still think can’t be beaten.

It’s completely delicious as a sweet treat that you’d have on the tea table with a lovely cuppa, but you can also serve it warm with cream or crème fraîche. The base of the cake is rather like a rich sweet scone (the British version!) than a sponge, so it doesn’t keep terribly well. If you won’t get through it all on the day that you make it, I would pop it in the freezer for a time when you need a treat.

Peach and raspberry tray bake cake recipe

It’s a very practical cake recipe because it starts with store-cupboard ingredients and you can use up whatever soft fruit you have lying around, as long as you have around 250g in total. I had a couple of slightly wrinkly peaches and a handful of raspberries that needed eating up, so went with that fantastic fruit combination, but cherries, blueberries, loganberries, tayberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, nectarines and strawberries are definitely all options.

Peach and Raspberry Traybake Cake

  • Servings: 12 small slices, 9 if you are serving for a dessert
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 150g self raising flour  – I use 50/50 wholemeal and white. If you don’t have SR flour you can add 2 level teaspoons of baking powder to 140g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 60g butter, from the fridge, cut into small pieces
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 2 peaches peeled, stoned and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 100g raspberries, prepared and washed

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 190C (180C fan), Gas 5.
  2. Line a 18cm square (7 inch square) loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Grease the tin a bit so that the baking parchment won’t move around when you put the mix in the tin later.
  3. Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the butter (in small pieces). Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips – or you can use a food processor or mixer of course.
  4. Stir in the sugar, then take out 2 tbsps of the flour/butter/sugar mixture and set aside to use later.
  5. Stir the beaten egg and milk into the remaining flour and sugar mixture. It should be the consistency of very thick sponge mix or very wet scone mix!
  6. Spread the mixture into the tin, making the centre slightly indented so that it doesn’t rise too much in the middle when baking.
  7. Sprinkle the fruit over the base mixture, followed by the reserved crumble mix.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the top is light golden and the cake is slightly risen. You can test the middle of the cake with a skewer – if it comes out clean of dough, then the cake is cooked.
  9. Cool in the tin for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
  10. Serve warm with softly whipped cream or crème fraîche, or cold with a cuppa..

enjoy logo

 

 

Review: Good Clean Food by Lily Kunin

Good Clean Food front cover for review

I’m not a huge fan of the concept of ‘clean food’. I’m not gluten-free or dairy-free, and I am sceptical about claims made for the latest trendy ingredients and new diets. I eat meat, fish AND (horrors) sugar, and I am very partial to a piece of home-baked cake (as you know, from all my cake recipes!). So maybe I’m not the best person in the world to be reviewing this book, by Lily Kunin, blogger at Clean Food Dirty City.

On the other hand, I am a big fan of real food (by which I mean unprocessed food without loads of added extras), interesting tasty ingredients, well-written recipes, and meal ideas that put the focus fully on delicious veg, fruit, nuts and seeds, which I am very happy to eat a lot more of. It’s for that reason that I’m really glad that Good Clean Food (published by Abrams) has come into my life, because it ticks all those boxes.

The photography, by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, makes everything look incredibly appetizing, as does the styling by Carol Cotner Thompson, as you can see:

Good Clean Food review dip

All the recipes I have made and eaten from the book so far have been delicious and have worked really well, something that I appreciate very much – so many recipe books I have used in recent years seem really under-tested.

Good Clean Food review Med feast

It’s thanks to Kunin that I have finally conquered the holy grail of falafel that don’t disintegrate or taste like chick-pea mush. I’ve made her recipe twice now, and been delighted with the results. The measurements in the all instructions, where applicable, are given in grams and cups, so it’s really hard to mess up the quantities. There’s great ideas for combining different elements to create feasts like the Mediterranean Mezze above. I made falafel with salads this weekend for friends and they were highly enthusiastic.

The concept of ‘Bowls’ seems to be super-trendy just now, so we, contrary as ever, served Kunin’s ‘Power Bowl’ recipe on plates earlier in the week. I haven’t done a taste-test of salad in bowl versus salad on plate, but I imagine it tastes as good either way.

Good Clean Food review Power Bowl

In her intro to the recipe Kunin talks about wanting to create a bowl that’s bursting with flavour, and this yummy combination of veg, beans and grains with a delicious cashew-nut dressing really does just that. It’s very filling, and because crunching through the veg takes a bit of time, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s a very satisfying eating experience too.

Good Clean Food review Winter Bowl
We haven’t tried this one yet, but looking forward to giving it a go – the balance of flavours and textures is just the kind of thing I like.

Good Clean Food review chilli

The chilli recipe looks fabulous, as you can see, but the recipe I really wanted to try, as soon as I saw it, was Lentil Tacos with Simple Slaw and Corn Avocado Salsa. It sounded perfect for a fun, tasty meal, to enjoy with friends, using the kind of healthy, spicy food I love to eat. It really didn’t disappoint… I could eat the Salsa on it’s own, it’s so delicious – here’s my version.

Good Clean Food recipe sweetcorn and avocado salsa

It’s so quick to make – just combining some fresh sweetcorn, chopped avocado, red onion, coriander (cilantro) and lime juice. Mmmmm. The whole combination of lentils, salsa and slaw is a crunchy, tasty feast. My friends loved that too!

I confess, although I am glad to know about the nutritional value of the ingredients used, I haven’t read much of the theory behind why some recipes/ingredients fit, for example, into the ‘detox’ category and others in the ‘nourish’ category. I’m only really interested in the quality of the recipes, and, slightly in spite of myself, I am really impressed. So, I’d say, if you are interested in new, very tasty, ways of getting more fruit and veg into your diet, or if you are a vegan or veggie, I’d recommend this book with enthusiasm.

 

Book review: Energy Balls by Christal Sczebel

I am a big fan of the delicious energy balls that I get to order at our local superfood bar, Rawr – they are scrummy sweet treats packed full of nutritious ingredients – I love them, and they are just right for a little something to go with a lovely herb tea or golden milk (never tried golden milk? You should, it’s delicious!). So I was really pleased to get hold of a review copy of Energy Balls: Improve your physical performance, mental focus, sleep, mood and more by Christa Sczebel and published by Chronical Books.

energy-balls-recipe-book-cover

I have no idea about the health claims made for these recipes, but I know for myself, I always feel better in body and in mind, when I am eating food that is packed full of nutrients. These days, where previously I might have gone for a piece of cake, a Wispa bar (my all-time favourite!) or crisps for a snack, although I still have those now and again, I’m much more like to go for something like this. So it’s great to have an opportunity to make some for myself, and learn more about the benefits of some of these ingredients, especially the ones which are new to me.

toasted-coconut-fudge-energy-ball
Toasted Coconut Fudge

All the recipes are 100% vegan, no-bake and gluten free. And having recently tried to find vegan and gluten-free sweet treats that weren’t packed with an awful lot of undesirable ingredients in my local super-market, I can really see the appeal of a book like this, where you can have complete confidence in what you are putting into your food.

hazelnut-superfruit-energy-balls
Hazelnut Super-fruit

As you can see, the styling of the book is lovely – it’s fully of really tempting pics, especially as I imagine it’s rather difficult to take delicious-looking photos of lots and lots of things that all look quite similar!

The book is divided up into sections with different recipes for Breakfast, the Lunch-Box, Brain-Boosting, Performance-Enhancing and Bedtime. It’s packed full of information about the nutritional content of the ingredients, calorie content and a run down of the benefits of the ingredients used.

general-info-about-brain-boosting-energy-balls

I tried a couple of recipes. The first, Salted Caramel and Chia, was delicious, but I found the mixture very difficult to work with – it was so wet – possibly due to my inexperience in making this kind of food. I’m hoping this will get better as I get more experience of what different mixtures should look like – a bit more information or some step by step photos would have been helpful.

chia-salted-caramel-energy-balls
Salted Caramel and Chia

The second, Cinnamon Raisin, I didn’t like as much, finding the recipe almost impossibly sweet – although the little snacks all seemed to disappear soon enough, so SOMEONE around here liked them.

double-chocolate-fudge-energy-balls
Double Chocolate Fudge

One down side, if you are on a budget, and haven’t experimented with this type of food previously, is that there is an awful lot of non-standard ingredients (i.e. not what you’d have in your store-cupboard or even at your local supermarket) and expensive ingredients, like dried whole bananas, nut butters, coconut nectar and chocolate protein powder, and lots of them used in only one or two recipes.

strawberry-shortcake-energy-balls
Strawberry Shortcake

The other issue is that you need a really decent blender or food-processor. I have an Kenwood food-processor, that works ok to blend everything up, but it makes a dreadful noise as it does so. But if you are a person with a snazzy high-powered blender, then this might well be a book to add to your library.

chocolate-ginger-energy-balls
Gingerbread Dark Chocolate

I felt slightly put off by the above caveats about the expense and the lack of helpful detail in these recipes. But, as I flick through the book again for this review, it has renewed my enthusiasm to try some more recipes, and invest in a few more of the ingredients. I really like the sound of Lime and Coconut, Carrot Cake, Toasted Coconut Fudge and Vanilla Chai Latte… and plenty of others too, and I can see them becoming part of my weekly eating, if they taste as good as they sound.

Have you had experience of this kind of ‘cooking’? I’d love to hear about any favourite recipes you might have.