This is a recipe I developed as a guilt-free alternative to one of my favourites, the raspberry and almond slice from Costa coffee shops. Theres something oh-so-delicious about that rich, dense almond base with those swirls of jam, and the delicate flakes of almond on top… the first version of this recipe I made was very similar, but contained no sugar except for the jam (plus I had no flaked almonds in the house), and it doesn’t have that odd layer of doughy pastry at the bottom which I don’t really like. It was so good that before the batch finished I made it again, this time a double portion and without any added sugar at all – just fresh, sliced figs baked into the top. The recipe for both can be seen here.
In case you’re wondering how on earth this can taste like a dessert without sugar in it – that’s because of stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener they have been using for generations in South America, its from a plant, tastes 300 times sweeter than sugar in its pure form, and contains no calories. Too good to be true, right? I thought so, especially because there’s a bit of an art in baking with it to get the sweet balance right, and the first few times I tried it didn’t work so well. But I think I’m getting the hang of it now, because the last few things I’ve made have been great 🙂 But don’t worry if this doesn’t convince you, I’ve given the option to use regular sugar instead. Hurrah!
Did I mention this recipe also has no added fat, and is so simple a child could make it? yup. yesterday was a good day 🙂
Here it is before going into the oven 🙂
I couldn’t resist giving it a little styling – you can see more pictures on my Facebook page, Fancy Favours & Edible Art
and here is the first version, the raspberry jam original 🙂
Ingredients – makes one 9″ tart
- 2 cups ground almonds (480ml as measured in a measuring jug. Don’t look at me that way, I’m not weird)
- 6 medium egg whites, or 12 tbsp carton egg whites (if you can’t find these you could use 4 whole eggs)
- 2 tsp oil based almond essence
- 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp (90ml) of stevia based sweetener with erythritol (in the UK the brand name for this is Truvia) – important it has the weight and granular appearance of sugar. NB: Truvia “baking blend” is different – its sweeteners plus sugar and you will have to adjust amounts if you use that one. If you want to use real sugar, its 2 cups (480ml).
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp flaked almonds
- 3 fresh sliced figs to top, or 4 tbsp raspberry jam of choice for the sweeter traditional alternative
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C fan, 180 C for regular ovens or whatever your equivalent gas mark
- Line a 9″ round or 8″ square pan with baking paper, then brush with oil or spray with cooking spray. This recipe sticks if you don’t. I used a loose bottom pan, which I recommend for ease if you have one.
- mix the almonds, sweetener, egg, baking powder and almond essence together in a bowl until well combined, then pour into your prepared pan and spread evenly. Top with dollops of raspberry jam, or slices of fig, then sprinkle over the flaked almonds, as in pic 1.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester or fork comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then remove from the tin and peel away the paper.