Mr CC mentioned, in particular, almond slices so I pondered how to take the essence of a Mr Kipling almond slice and pimp it up a bit. I decided on adding a pastry base, chopped cherries and some thick white icing. It then dawned on me that what I had actually created was the lovechild of a Mr Kipling almond slice and bakewell tart…and it tasted as good as you’d expect!
If you’re pushed for time you can forget the pastry and simply bake the filling; the result will be a very pleasing almond sponge. The cherries work so well with almond. Whilst I still can’t manage half a glace cherry on top of a cake, chopped into small pieces I rather like the fruity –almost jammy - chewy little pop they bring to proceedings. The cake will keep for days - anything with almonds seems to get better day after day as the nut oil is released.
This basic recipe has some alternative options available – omit the cherries and replace with fresh fruit such as raspberries or blueberries; you could also add a layer of jam between pastry and filling.
85g unsalted butter – straight from the fridge
30g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
150g golden caster sugar
150g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
50g ground almonds
100g glace cherries, chopped quite small
1 tablespoon milk
A couple of handfuls of flaked almonds
Enough warm water to make a thick, glossy icing - add it a teaspoon at a time
Put to one side to cool while you make the filling.