Sometimes you get ingredients that are so good you just have to use them in something that will really show them off. I happened to get some free-range eggs which were just wonderful, they were so rich and flavourful and the yolks had the most incredible colour. They were the perfect example of why free-range is always better.
Whenever I have great quality eggs I always want to make sponge cake. I just think that it shows off the eggs really well. I mean, look at the colour of that sponge, the eggs in that must have come from truly happy chickens.
I actually based the recipe for the sponge batter on a recipe which I found in the vintage American cookbook my Mum gave me for Christmas. I also love this page of advice from it for ‘When a cake lacks perfection’.
The buttermilk in the recipe makes the sponge lovely and light but the flavour and colour is all about the amazing eggs. This is a really nice tea-time treat or you could serve it with a dollop of clotted cream or a splash of custard for dessert.
50g cold butter
50g plain flour
40g ground almonds
pinch of salt
300g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 fresh peach, peeled
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and grease and line a 9″ square cake tin.
Using the tips of your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour for the crumble topping. Mix through the ground almonds and the sugar to leave the mixture quite clumpy. Set aside whilst you make the sponge batter.
Cream together the butter, sugar and salt and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift together the flour and raising agents. Add one third of this to the batter and briefly beat it in. Follow this with one third of the buttermilk and beat again. Repeat this until all of the flour and buttermilk have been incorporated and you have a thick, smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and use a spoon to spread it out and smooth off the top.
Thinly slice the peach (I sliced mine into 16) and arrange the slices on top of the cake, pressing them into the batter a little. Scatter over the crumble mix and then bake the cake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before slicing.