I love a plain cake. There is something uniquely soothing about the simple, sweet comfort it offers. And there’s a modesty about a plain cake, too: it doesn’t draw attention to itself, or seek to impress with razzle-dazzle. It’s there to be sliced as needed, always delivering more than it promises.
To turn the cake into a pudding, just arrange slices of the cake on a non-stick baking sheet, and warm up in a 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 oven for 3-4 minutes a side, until caramelised and golden. Arrange a couple of slices on each person’s plate, add some fresh raspberries and a splodge of crème fraîche.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Slice, and enjoy with a cup of tea.