Portrait of a recipe

For dessert, Graeme and Anne suggested a favourite cake recipe which comes from another favourite cookbook, A Kitchen in Burgundy by Anne Willan.

The blurb reads:

“This is an intimate appreciation of both the food and culture of Burgundy from an authority on French regional cuisine. Including 275 stunning colour photographs and more than 160 recipes, Anne Willan elegantly interweaves chapters on her life in the seventeenth-century Chateau du Fe with insights into the work and people of its surrounding quarters.”

Anne wrote to me: ‘My daughter has the dessert recipe from Anne Willan’s book A Kitchen in Burgundy (which) I now recall … is sitting in our kitchen … in Burgundy …’

Her daughter very kindly scanned in and sent to us the hand-written recipe from France:

Handwritten ingredients for gooseberry and almond cake
  • 2 cups gooseberries (or raspberries)
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 35g flaked almonds
  • Extra raspberries to serve
  • Cream whipped with elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar for dusting

Kate’s notes:
Anne and Graeme always replace the gooseberries with raspberries, which I did also (although I did try to find some gooseberries – not very easy to find in Sydney!) I also added some toasted flaked almonds on top for extra texture and crunch.


Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease 20cm springform pan. Sift flour, baking powder, salt. Cream butter with electric beater. Add sugar & beat 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg. Stir in ground almonds, then the flour mixture.

Spread half batter in pan then add the fruit, then the other half of the cake batter. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Serve warm.

Kate’s notes:
The batter is very thick and heavy, and we had to mush it down on top of the raspberries with a spatula. I served it with cream whipped with elderflower cordial, and I have to say it was good! So good that the crew ate all the leftovers done to the very last crumb.