Marzipan loaf cake

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves
Makes 8-10 slices

Dietary
Vegetarian


By Nigella Lawson
From Saturday Kitchen

Ingredients

For the marzipan loaf cake

  • 150g/5½oz marzipan (white or yellow) or almond paste, at room temperature, torn into lumps
  • 125g/4½oz soft unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 75g/2½oz plain flour (or gluten-free plain flour)
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if necessary), alternatively use ¾ tsp if you are not using a food processor
  • 1½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

To serve

  • 150g/5½oz fresh raspberries
  • 150g/5½oz crème fraîche

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3 and place a loaf-tin liner into a 10x20cm/4x8in and 5cm/2in deep 450g/1lb loaf tin, or line the bottom with parchment and butter the sides.

  2. The easiest way to make this is to put all the loaf cake ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a couple of times.

  3. If you don’t have a processor, then I advise you to use almond paste rather than marzipan and beat it together with the butter and vanilla until thoroughly combined, then beat in the sugar. Stir the flour, salt, baking powder (though if you’re not making this in a processor, use just ¾ teaspoon) and cardamom together. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time, adding a third of the dried ingredients after each egg. Carry on beating when everything’s in, to make sure you have a coherent batter with no lumps of almond paste visible.

  4. Pour and scrape into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes (adding a loose covering of foil after 30 minutes to stop it browning any further), or until the cake is beginning to come away from the sides and a cake tester comes out clean. It runkles a little on top as it cools.

  5. To serve, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Arrange slices of the cake on a non-stick baking tray, and warm up in the oven for 3–4 minutes on each side, or until caramelised and golden-brown. Arrange a couple of slices on each person’s plate, add some fresh raspberries and a splodge of crème fraiche; the sharpness of the berries and tang of the cream are perfect with the toasty cake, which, when hot, tastes like a rich, almondy brioche.

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