Almond berry cake

This visually stunning, healthy cake is quick to make and satisfies any sweet cravings.
Serves 9-12

* 200g (7oz) raspberries
* 120ml (4fl oz) water
* 2 tsp vanilla extract
* 4 eggs
* 85g (3oz) agave syrup
* 170g (6oz) vegan butter
* 300g (10½oz) ground almonds
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 40g (1½oz) raw flaked (slivered) almonds, to decorate
* 400g (14oz) blackberries, to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4, and line a brownie tin (25cm/10in) with baking parchment. Place the raspberries in a pan with the water and vanilla extract, bring to a gentle simmer on a medium heat for seven to eight minutes. Blend till smooth (use a whisk if you don’t have a blender), set aside in a bowl and leave to cool.

2. Whisk the eggs and agave together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the butter and the ground almonds together. Then add the egg mixture into the almond mix, followed by the baking powder and the raspberry purée.

3. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin, scatter the flaked (slivered) almonds on top and then pop into a preheated oven for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, gather together the blackberries and a piece of foil large enough to cover the cake. Then, as quickly as you can, take the cake out of the oven, pop the blackberries on top of the half-baked cake, re-cover with the foil and put back into the oven for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes test the cake – if a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean, it is ready. If not, bake for a further five minutes and test again.

6. Remove from the oven, cool in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool, then slice and enjoy.

Nutritional nugget: almonds are the most alkaline of the nut family, with abundant magnesium to soothe and calm the mind. Blanched almonds have their phytate-binding skins removed so offer far better nutritional value.

Tip: such a simple cake to make you will look like a pro when it comes out of the oven. Experiment with different flavours by substituting the amount of berries for another fruit compôte. Try plums for an autumnal feel.

More from Honestly Healthy For Life:  Honestly Healthy For Life: Healthy Alternatives for Everyday Eating by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson. Photography by Lisa Lindner. Published by Jacqui Small, £25.


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