Agnes’ Berry Crumble Cake

I’ve been trying to pick which of my many story-ideas is going to be my next project this weekend. Trying to work out which of the beginnings has the most mileage for becoming a novel. Or at least a novella. It’s been a bit disappointing. So many starts, and different characters, and not much clue for where any of them are going!

So today, in between my literary endeavours, I’ve also been baking. I was given this recipe by my colleague Agnes. I have no idea where she found it, but it’s wonderfully delicious (even if I think perhaps I took it out a little early, or maybe it was slightly too small a tin). It isn’t the simplest recipe, but oh, so worth it!

Berry Crumble Cake

Step One

You’ll need:

400g plain flour

250g butter

 2tsp baking powder

3 tbsp icing sugar

5 egg yolks (save the whites: you’ll need them later)

Make ‘breadcrumbs’ with the butter and dry ingredients, then add the egg yolks. If it seems bit dry (it did to me) add a splash or two of water.

Divide into two portions, roughly 60:40, and freeze it for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. I left it for a morning.

Prepare your baking tray, and grate the larger portion into it, pushing it down to make it even, and bake for about 15 minutes at 190C. Leave to cool while you do step 2.

Step Two

You’ll need:

  5 egg whites you saved from earlier

170g sugar, adjusted if using sweetened custard powder

1 tbsp vanilla essence

80g custard powder

125ml sunflower oil

Berries of your choice, small or chopped up

Icing sugar to decorate, optional

Whisk the egg whites, then slowly add in the sugar and vanilla essence. Add in the custards powder while mixing, and then whisk in the oil. Pour evenly over the baked cake base and dot the berries on top – if using raspberries, my instructions were to poke them in point down. Over the top grate the other frozen cake-mix.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 190C. Allow to cool and sprinkle with icing sugar.

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