My Mum has been asking me to make Bakewell Slices for months. She had one from Pret A Manger a while ago and thought it was delicious so she asked me if I could make them for her. I thought Mother’s Day was the perfect time to make them for her, but it did mean keeping her waiting for a while!
I had tried to throw her off the scent by telling her I had made her cupcakes. She does like my cupcakes, but like me isn’t really a fan of buttercream so it wouldn’t be the best thing to make her for Mother’s Day. When I went over to my parent’s house on Mother’s Day, I gave Mum the box and said “here are your cupcakes”. When she opened the box and saw the Bakewell Slices her face lit up, she looked so happy! It was so lovely to see her so excited, I don’t think I could have got her a present she would have liked more. She ate one in seconds and said how tasty it was and she even joked and said Dad would be lucky if she let him have one!
Mum did say she hadn’t expected me to make my own pastry, but this was so simple and quick I thought it would be more fuss to use pre-made pastry! Feel free to use pre-made shortcrust pastry if you find this easier.
Mary advised to use roughly four tablespoons of jam but at the same time said to be generous. I didn’t actually measure the jam out, I just used enough to make a good thick layer which turned out to be about half a jar. The last thing I would have wanted would be a thin layer of jam!
A tip for this recipe is to dot the sponge mix around instead of adding it all in one area. Then using a spatula, spread it out carefully making sure you don’t mix the jam in with the sponge mix. It may look a little messy when you’ve finished but don’t worry after it has baked it will look great.
For the shortcrust pastry
175g plain flour
2 – 3 tbsp cold water
For the sponge
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
½ tsp almond extract
Approximately 4 tbsp raspberry jam
Flaked almonds to sprinkle on top
- Start by making the pastry. Measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs
- Add enough water to form a soft dough. Add it gradually because you might not need to add all three tablespoons
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface and line the bottom of the tin with it
- Measure all of the sponge ingredients into a bowl and beat until all of the ingredients are combined
- Spread the pastry with the raspberry jam and then top with the sponge mix and spread out making sure you completely cover the jam
- Sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or until the cake has shrunk from the sides of the tin and springs back when you press the centre with your finger
- Leave to cool in the tin and then turn out and cut into slices
I can’t remember eating that many Bakewell Slices to be honest but after making this recipe, I will definitely be making them time and time again. The recipe was simple and quicker than I thought it would be. I really loved the three layers; the cake was light an fluffy followed by a lovely layer of raspberry jam and finished with a layer of pastry.
I found the recipe in Mary Berry’s baking bible. Yet another fantastic recipe from a a great book.