29 Nov 2012

My cherry twisted Bakewell tart

Last Saturday night, a "pancake party" at one of my friends' place (when French Londoners gather, they eat French food).
We’ve all beeing stuffing ourselves with savoury and sweet “crêpes” – including the mandatory "Crêpe au Nutella" (pancake with Nutella), widely acclaimed as the best pancake in the universe – when I notice one of my friends is stuck on the "Mushroom and Cheese Crêpe" round.

“Aren't you eating any sweet crêpes?” I ask, suspicious
“No, I actually don’t like sweet dishes too much”

I stare at him, mouth wide open, as if struck by lightning.
While I can spend days designing cake recipes in my head or dreaming about a cake I’ve seen on a market, some people actually don’t like sweet food. 
Suddenly, I tried to imagine my house without chocolate mousse, New York cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding and Bakewell tart…but I couldn’t. 

This is when I realised that my Mr. Right will have to like cakes, cause he's not gonna be able to get away from them!

bakewell recipe
Bakewell tart
The Bakewell Tart is one of my favourite British desserts, because I love everything that’s made with almonds.
The traditional recipe calls for raspberry jam, but I used the sublime Comtes de Provence black cherry jam instead, to make it extra special. 
(I didn’t ice the tart because I don’t like sugar icing, but you can put some on top of if you like it!)

1 shortcrust pastry
2 or 3 big tbsp of raspberry or cherry jam (I used black cherry jam from Comtés de Provence)
60g softened butter(at room temperature)
60g caster sugar
1 egg
30g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
50g ground almonds
a few drops of Nielsen and Massey almond essence
a small handful of flaked almonds

Make the Bakewell tart: 
1/ Heat the oven at 180deg C
2/ Roll out the pastry onto a pie/tart/flan dish. Prick all over with a fork, and spread 2 or 3 tbsp jam evenly on top of it. Pop in the fridge until the filling is ready.
3/ Make the filling: cream (beat together until white and fluffy) the butter and the sugar with an electric whish or a wooden spoon. Add the egg, the flour, the baking powder, the ground almond and the almond essence, and beat until combined. (as always when we use baking powder, try not to over beat of the baking powder will dry the filling out)
4/ Spread the filling on top of the jam layer, scatter the flaked almonds on top of the tart and bake the tart in the oven for approx. 30min until golden.
5/ Serve lukewarm or cold, on its own or with a dollop of custard

Recipe adapted from the Great British Book of Baking.

Big thanks to the lovely people at Baking Mad (bakingmad.com) for giving me the opportunity to try the Nielsen and Massey almond essence, once of the best I’ve baked with so far!

What's on the Drinks Menu Alex?

- A sweet red wine like a Port (Portugal) or Banyuls (France), 
- a sweet white wine like Sauternes (France) or Muscat, 
- a glass of milk
Thank you Alex!  

And a big hug to my housemate Jed for modeling for me! You can follow Jed's amazing talent for landscape design on his blog here


  1. nice work Pauline... i can still smell the warm almond aroma!

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