A friend asked for my chocolate cake recipe to make her son's birthday cake. When I arrived at the party, a picnic, I was astounded to find a flat, black cake in a roasting tin. Embarrassed, I tried to distance myself from the cake, but my friend smugly declared that she'd had a stress-free morning, before casually slathering the cake with icing. It was delicious, served all 20 of us neatly, and had a great cake-to-icing ratio. Traybakes – I'm a convert.
100g pistachio nuts (plus 30g extra for garnishing)
3 tsp lime zest (from about 3 limes)
125g castor sugar
110g plain flour
50g almond meal
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
150g unsalted butter, cubed, then left to soften
3 large eggs, at room temperature
½ tsp almond (or 1 tsp vanilla) extract
300g fresh raspberries
For the icing
200g cream cheese, in cubes
75g icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp lime zest (from 1 lime)
90ml pure cream
1 tbsp lime juice
1. Preheat oven to 195C (175C fan-forced) and line a deep traybake tin (about 23cm x 33cm) with baking paper. Set aside.
2. Place the 100g pistachio nuts and 3 teaspoons of lime zest in a food processor and process until the nuts are finely ground – as fine as you can without them turning into an oily paste. Add the sugar, flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt and process for a few more seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse until completely incorporated, scraping down the bowl to ensure it is well mixed. Add the eggs and almond (or vanilla) extract and process until the mixture is thick and quite smooth – about 30 seconds. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a small spatula so that it is even.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely before icing.
4. To make the icing, place the cream cheese, icing sugar and lime zest in the bowl of a cake mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until smooth. Add the cream and beat on medium speed until the icing is thick and smooth, then fold in the lime juice.
5. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, then scatter over the raspberries – I like to tear them up a bit to make it easier to slice the cake later. Roughly chop the extra 30g pistachios and scatter over the raspberries. Slice the cake into squares or rectangles and serve from the tin, using a spatula to ease the slices out.
If you like this recipe try my banana traybake.