The smell of frangipane (the classic French almond sponge) coming out of the oven is amazing. This is a bake that needs to be cooled completely before you eat it: it will keep for a week or so in an airtight container stored in a cool place, and is good for packed lunches and snacks, too. Depending on the time of year, I also make it with plums, rhubarb, strawberries or blueberries.
MAKES 14 SLICES
200g butter plus extra for the tin
100g Xylitol (see below)
4 medium eggs
1 tsp almond extract
4 drops liquid stevia, optional
270g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if wished)
1 tbsp Xylitol icing sugar
■ Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Grease and line a traybake tin measuring about 16cm x 28cm or equivalent (a 20cm x 25cm brownie tin or similar also works well). In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and Xylitol until well combined and light in colour (this should take about 5-8 minutes by hand). Add the eggs one by one, scraping the sides in between to mix thoroughly, followed by the almond extract and liquid stevia, if using. Mix the ground almonds and baking powder together, then fold into the egg and butter mix. Stir well, then spoon into the baking tray.
■ Spread and smooth out the mixture, then press the raspberries into the top.
■ Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Don’t worry that its appearance isn’t firm at this stage. Take out of the oven, cool completely and dust with the icing sugar. Serve with clotted cream if desired.
PET SAFETY NOTE
Please be aware that Xylitol is toxic to dogs. Don’t give your pet anything containing Xylitol: if this is a concern for you use an erythritol sweetener instead.