This recipe sounds and tastes very impressive, but is actually just a plain cake mix with a few delicious ingredients stirred in. This means that the recipe can easily be tailored to your tastes. For example, you could change the nuts to walnuts, or omit them entirely; you could change the type of chocolate, or mix up the fruit. One of my favourite variations is to add a teaspoon of mixed spice, chopped pecans, apple and apricot. Just remember that if you’re adding extra wet ingredients you’ll need to compensate by adding more dry ingredients, and vice versa. Tray bakes are perfect for students because they don’t require special equipment, or any assembly, and I find that the cooking time is often minimal.
For the cake mix:
- 130g butter or margarine
- 130g caster sugar
- 2 medium sized eggs, lightly beaten
- 130g self-raising flour
- 2 tbsp milk
- A pinch of salt
- 50g Pistachios, smashed/chopped into pieces
- 75g Raspberries (I use frozen as they are much cheaper!)
- 125g White chocolate (chips or bars roughly chopped up)
For the topping:
- 50g White Chocolate
- 50g Pistachios
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees (no fan). Grease a large baking tray, preferably one with deep sides. If washing up is not one of your talents and the tray is a little worse for wear, then I would consider lining it with baking paper.
- In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until they form a soft mixture, light in colour. Next, add in about a tablespoon of the whisked egg mixture and beat in. Continue to do so until all the egg is incorporated. If the mixture starts to curdle (i.e. look a little lumpy) beat in a spoonful of flour. Then sift in the flour and salt, and fold into the mixture. Add the milk and stir in.
- At this point, you can begin to add whatever flavourings or extra ingredients that you want. For this recipe, fold in the white chocolate chunks and crushed pistachios. Then pour the mixture in the prepped tin. After this, poke in the raspberries so they are evenly distributed across the cake and slightly covered by the mix.
- Put in the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes until it is golden brown on top, and a knife comes out clean when poked into the middle. If the top of the cake is browning too quickly you can either move the cake onto a lower shelf or cover the top with a sheet of foil.
- Once removed from the oven, leave to cool. I like to top the cake with swirls of melted white chocolate and trim the edges with more crushed pistachios and then cut into slices.
Words and photos courtesy of Rowan Duval-Fryer