This my fifth month baking with The Cake Slice Bakers and I very nearly didn't get to bake at all... the past few weeks seem to have whizzed by and this week we've been a bit pre-occupied with the puppy. But the girls came to my house for knitting this morning (as I'm still not driving) so it seemed a good excuse to bake something special. The choices this month from Maida Heatter's Cakes were a bundt cake with a chocolate sauce (Big Daddy's Cake) that sounded delicious but more like a dessert than a cake, a chocolate swiss roll with a whipped cream filling, a marmalade gingerbread loaf and raspberry squares. I had intended to make the gingerbread loaf (and probably still will) but with two of our knitters not liking or not able to eat marmalade, I opted for the raspberry squares instead.
These are made with a yeasted pastry that has to be prepared the night before and refridgerated over night but with no kneading or rising. I only had a quick action yeast rather than standard dried yeast so mixed it in with the dry ingredients before adding the wet. I had still expected the dough to rise overnight but it remained in a solid lump in the morning. I thought that meant it wouldn't work but decided to go ahead anyway. I didn't really understand the instructions for dealing with the edges either... if the filling was spread to the edge as instructed, then how could I fold over the dough at the edges without making a mess! This is where a photo might have been useful!
I did wonder if it might have benefited from a glaze on the pastry lattice, but but the time it was cut into squares (or rectangles in this case) and dusted with icing sugar it all looked just fine.
Definitely a morning cake... or pastry really, to go with a cup of coffee... And quite delicious too!
Leah's Raspberry Squares (adapted from Maida Heatter's Cakes)
You will need a swiss roll tin, approx 25 cm x 37 cm. The method I have given is for the method I used rather than the one in the book.
- 7g quick action yeast
- 420g sifted plain flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 36g caster sugar
- 220g unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 125 ml evaporated milk mixed with 60 ml water
- 450g raspberry conserve (I used Bonne Maman)
- grated rind of 1 lemon
- 75g chopped blanched almonds
- icing sugar to dust
- The night before you want the squares mix the flour and salt together. Rub in the butter.
- Stir in the sugar and the yeast.
- whisk together the egg and the milk and stir this into the dry ingedients.
- Mix well to combine and cover and refridgerate overnight
- The following morning, preheat the oven to 350 deg F, 180 deg C, 160 deg fan and lightly butter your swis roll tin
- Turn the dough out onto a floured worktop and roll into a ball. Divide into two.
- Shape one piece into a rectangle and roll the dough out to slightly larger than your swiss roll tin. Transfer to the tin and trim the edges level with the top.
- Mix the raspberry consrve with the lemon rind and chopped almonds and spread over the dough in the pan, taking it right up the the edge.
- Roll the remaining dough into a rectangle and then cut into 1.5 cm strips using a pizza cutter. Place half the strips diagonally across the pan 1.5 cm apart and then place the remaining strips crisscrossing in the opposite direction. Trim all the ends of the strips.
- At this point, Maida says to fold the edges of the dough in towards the centre to form a border but I found it was becoming a jammy mess so I left them and trimmed it when cooked.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes in the preheated oven (I found 25 minutes plenty)
- Cool in the pan, then cut into squares (or rectangles) and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Do check out what the other bakers have made this month!