Sunday, 9 February 2014

Sultana and almond slices

Temptation, shame, denial, nudity, lust, obsession... the perfect ingredients for a romantic novel or a rousing Sunday sermon. Just as Adam wished he'd never eaten that apple, I wish I'd never eaten the almond and sultana slice my neighbour gave me. My clothes did not fall off, nor did I feel shame like Adam & Eve, but I knew I had to have more. My neighbour's recipe is a closely guarded secret, so I set off to recreate this little slice of paradise on my own: Soft, yielding almondy sponge strewn with juicy sultanas and a crunchy sugar topping. It's a very superior version of Mr Kipling's Country Slice - and exceedingly easy to make.

Almond and sultana slices piled on a plate
Warning: contains tempting fruit

Sultana and almond slices

200g sultanas
110g butter
110g caster sugar
2 eggs
1½ teaspoons almond essence
110g plain flour
25g self raising flour

Pre-heat oven to 170/gas 4 and grease and line a 20cm square tin. Put the sultanas into a pan with half a mug of water and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed, then set aside to cool*. Cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs one a time (beating after each addition) and then the almond essence. Tip the flours and sultanas into the bowl and fold them in. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until the sponge is an even golden brown. Cool, remove from tin and sprinkle liberally with caster sugar.

Sultana and almond slices piled up on a vintage plate
Exceedingly good cakes

Time saving tip

* Cool the sultanas quickly: tip onto a plate and spread out into a single layer.

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