Today the Madhouse Mini-testers came home from school and wanted to make a cake. Now usually, I'd have said that I was tired after a day at work or it was too late and we'd do it at the weekend but, probably because today was the day of the funeral for the 16-year-old pupil from my school who was killed last Friday and I've been pondering making every second count, I thought well, why not? I looked through the cupboards for inspiration and we actually invented a new recipe, which was good fun !
Quite some time ago, I reviewed some Pomegranate Juice from Organic Village but I never got around to using or reviewing the selection of nuts and dried fruit that they sent through. Well, today we decided to use their Organic Roasted Hazelnuts as a central ingredient for our totally invented recipe !
After eating a handful each (even the Madhouse Mini-testers loved them - they often aren't keen on nuts because they find them too "bitty"), I told Juliette to crush them with a rolling pin, which she did with unbridled enthusiasm !
We made a kind of cake batter/crumble mix, (flying by the seat of our pants and making it all up as we went along!) by mixing 250g melted margarine with 200g flour, a generous handful of porridge oats, 100g sugar, 2 eggs and the crushed hazelnuts.
To give it a nice zing, we added a generous glug of Steenbergs Organic Orange Extract.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that this mixed to an almost nutty breadlike consistency.
Because I mentioned that it looked like bread dough, Juliette jokily said we could make a jam sandwich cake. Well, why not ? (My new mantra, I think !) We used half of the dough to line a cake tin. (I really must buy a cake tin - I actually used half of a foil-line roasting tin !).
Our secret ingredient - a jar of French granny's homemade plum jam. (Prune is French for plum, not prune ... which is pruneau !)
After spreading jam all over the pastry base, the Madhouse Mini-testers had great fun flinging spoonfuls of the remaining batter on top. The idea was to cover the jam while leaving gaps for it to bubble up through.
A quick sprinkle of icing sugar and it was off to the oven for 20 minutes (at 180°).
Juliette licked the bowl (I've stopped stressing too much over raw eggs - it never did me any harm as a kid !) while it was cooking.
Half pie, half crumble - or a baked jam sandwich according to Juliette !
I loved the combination of crunchy nuts and sweet jam, but I think it could have done with a sprinkle of crunchy Demerera sugar at the end, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream or dollop of custard maybe.
Not bad at all but definitely a work in progress so let me know if you have any ideas of how to make it even better !
Disclosure : I received a selection of products from Organic Village, including the hazelnuts that we used in this recipe.
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