Recipe – Peach and Almond Torte

peach and almond torte I’ve been crazily busy at the moment, and I’ve been working on a lot of projects that unfortunately I can’t show you yet. I also seem to be doing a lot of baking recently; I think when you’re really busy with illustrating, it’s important to have a non-drawing hobby to help you unwind a bit. Baking is my hobby. There also seems to be lots of picnics and BBQs at the time of year, which always require a freshly baked cake in my opinion.

This is a cake I baked for a friend’s birthday BBQ affectionally named Alemageddon due to the copious amounts of home brew. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever baked. It was so good it disappeared literally in five minutes. This recipe is adapted from a BBC good food recipe.

peach and almond torte Ingredients

  • 175g ground almonds
  • 175g butter softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 medium peaches or nectarines
  • ½ tbsp plum jam

 Method

Preheat the oven to 160C. Line the base of a loose-bottomed cake tin with greaseproof paper and butter the sides, or just use a regular cake tin like I did, just make sure you grease it well.

Mix the almonds, butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon, egg and egg yolk in a food processor until the ingredients are evenly combined. If like me you don’t have a food processor rub the butter into the dry ingredients then add the eggs and mix with a palette knife.

Slice the peaches into thin crescents. Save half for the topping.

Spread half the almond mixture over the base of the tin in a smooth layer. Lay half the sliced peach evenly on top. Add the remaining cake mixture and spread it as best you can.

Bake for 1 hour, but check after 40 minutes – if it is getting too brown, cover loosely with foil. The torte should be slightly risen and golden brown when cooked.

Meanwhile cook the remaining peach slices over a gentle heat with a splash of water, a tsp of sugar and ½ tbsp of plum jam. Be careful to cook the peaches and create a syrup without breaking up the slices. 

Cool in the tin slightly, then loosen the edges with a knife and remove from the tin. Once the cake has cooled carefully add the cooked peaches to the top of the cake.

Enjoy the best cake ever.

peach and almond torte peach and almond torte

cut paper and painty splodges

Even when you’re really busy I think it’s very important to make work just for yourself. Here’s a piece I did a few weeks ago just for fun. She was originally going to have a stripy dress but it wasn’t working out, so I used a bit of painty paper I had lying around to make her a fun summer dress. When I use gouache the colour on the palette always looks very different to the colour once it’s dried on paper, so I always test colour first, which means lots of painty test strips everywhere! I love their random quality and the way the colours progress harmoniously. Michael BrownMichael Browncocktail girl sketchpaint test strip

The Biscuiteer’s Icing Cafe

biscuiteers iced biscuitsbiscuiteers iced biscuitsbiscuiteers boutique notting hill biscuiteers boutique notting hill biscuiteers boutique notting hillTonight is biscuit week on The Great British Bake Off, and I’m very interested to see tonight’s bakes because last week I iced a few show stopping biscuits of my own.

I was invited along with my friend Nancy to the Biscuiteer’s Boutique in Notting Hill for a night of biscuit icing and prosecco. Who could say no? I arrived very late, because after living in London nearly all my life I still cannot be relied upon to get on a train going on the right direction. Fortunately I managed to pick up quite quickly when I arrived. We learned how to outline the biscuits and then flood them with icing. While the icing is still wet we were shown how to draw stripes of icing in contrasting colours and draw a pin though to create at feathered effect. You can also pull a pin through dots of icing to create little hearts, or a tie-dye effect.

biscuiteers iced biscuitsbiscuiteers iced biscuitsThe icing was such pretty colours, definitely not the primary coloured tubes you find in supermarkets; I went for a limited palette of duck egg blue and lilac. We also learnt how to draw free hand on the biscuits and add texture and sparkle with coloured sugar. With three minutes to go before our icing time was up, one of the icing experts put on the Great British Bake Off theme music. It certainly added to the atmosphere! biscuiteers iced biscuitsbiscuiteers iced biscuits

I am very happy to say the biscuits tasted as good as they looked, perfect with a cup of tea, thought they do feel almost too pretty to eat.

Thank you Biscuiteers for a wonderful evening!biscuiteers iced biscuitsbicuiteers 5

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