Afternoon Tea: Three Summer Loaf Cakes

If you’re hosting your own garden party or preparing a picnic for Glorious Goodwood this summer, a loaf cake makes a perfect choice.

Compact enough to transport easily but oozing flavour with each slice, it’s hard to beat these brilliant bakes.

Here we present: 

 

 

Grape & Almond Loaf

 

Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total time: 2 hours 10 minutes, plus cooling

Serves: 8-10

Ingredients

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 British Blacktail Free Range Eggs
  • Few drops Cooks’ Ingredients French Almond Natural Extract
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp fine salt
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 200g Waitrose & Partners Seedless Vitoria Grapes

Topping

  • 75g Waitrose & Partners Seedless Vitoria Grapes, halved
  • 90–100g icing sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C, gas mark 3. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. In a large mixing bowl, use electric beaters to cream the butter and caster sugar for 3–4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the almond extract.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and almonds, then fold into the wet ingredients until combined. Stir through the grapes, then spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, levelling the top. Bake for 1 hour-1 hour 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack.
  3. As soon as the cake is on the wire rack, place the halved grapes in a small roasting tin with 2 tbsp water. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until soft but still just holding their shape, then remove and lift the grapes onto a plate. Add another 1 tbsp water to the roasting tin and scrape up the inky grape juices with a wooden spoon. Adding a little at a time, stir in the icing sugar with a wooden spoon until you have a spoonable icing. Spoon over the cake and top with the roasted grapes. Cool completely before serving.

Passion Fruit Drizzle Cake

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus cooling

Serves: 10–12

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, very soft, plus extra for greasing
  • 250g Tate & Lyle White Caster Sugar
  • 3 medium British Blacktail Free Range Eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • 250g self raising flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 160ml can coconut cream

For the syrup & drizzle

  • 3 passion fruit, halved
  • 2 limes, 2 tbsp juice
  • 75g Tate & Lyle White Caster Sugar

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Butter then line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. Using electric beaters, beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until creamy and very pale. Add about 1 tbsp egg, beat again until fluffy; repeat until all of the egg has been incorporated.
  2. Sift in ½ the flour with the salt; fold in carefully with a spatula. Fold in the coconut cream until entirely combined, then the rest of the flour, to make a soft batter. Scrape into the tin, level the top and bake for 1 hour, until risen, golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin on a rack, until barely warm.
  3. Sieve the passion fruit pulp over a bowl, pressing hard with a spatula to extract the juice. Rinse 2 tsp of the seeds; set aside. Mix the passion fruit juice (about 2 tbsp) with the lime juice. Poke holes all over the cake with a cocktail stick, then brush ½ the juice over the top. Add 75g sugar and the rinsed seeds to the remaining passion fruit juice (about 1 tbsp). Immediately spread over the cake. Allow to cool completely (overnight for maximum crunch) before serving.

Cook’s tip

To prevent any spills, line the tin with paper, ensuring it stands a few centimetres above the sides of the tin.

Summer Berry Loaf

Nut free
Vegetarian
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes to 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes

Serves: 8

Ingredients

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 150g golden caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the topping
  • 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ x 294ml pot buttermilk
  • 125g butter, melted
  • Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • ½ x 200g pack essential blueberries
  • 125g essential Waitrose Raspberries, crushed slightly
  • 75g icing sugar, sifted

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Line a 900g (23cm x 13cm x 7cm) loaf tin with baking parchment. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and stir in the caster sugar.
  2. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together in a small bowl. Pour in the butter and lemon zest and stir well.
  3. Fold this mixture into the flour together with the berries and combine.
  4. Tip into the loaf tin, sprinkle over the reserved sugar and cook for 45–50 minutes until the cake is well risen and golden. Check that a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then remove and place on a rack to cool.
  5. Make the icing by combining the icing sugar with enough of the lemon juice to make a smooth icing that coats the back of a spoon. Drizzle over the cooked cake. Store the loaf in an air-tight tin in a cool place for up to 3 days.

Recipes and photography courtesy of Waitrose. Thousands of recipes can be found at www.waitrose.com/recipes

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