This recipe comes from the original Swiss Bircher muesli, where porridge oats are soaked in a little water, then sweetened with delicious seasonal or dried fruit, and sometimes nuts and seeds too. Strawberries and raspberries work particularly well in this muesli recipe, as does grated apple, to which you could also add a smidgen of ground cinnamon.
The recipe was created in the early 1900s by the Swiss physician Dr Maximillian Bircher-Benner, who knew that a diet rich in nutrients was essential for the recuperation of the patients in his hospital.
Place the porridge oats in a bowl with the water. Allow the oats to sit for 10 minutes, then add in the strawberries. Mash with a fork before adding enough light agave syrup or honey, whichever you’re using, to sweeten the mixture.
Serve the muesli on its own, or with cream and brown sugar; or topped with natural yoghurt and toasted, chopped hazelnuts or almonds.
- Makes one 1kg loaf
- 250g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 115g soft butter
- 225g caster sugar
- The finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 100g wholemilk natural yogurt
- 25g ground almonds
- 200g fresh raspberries
- 100g granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with non-stick baking paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Cream together the butter and caster sugar in a large mixing bowl for five minutes until pale and fluffy, then beat in the lemon zest. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a tablespoon of the sifted flour with the second egg. Alternately fold in large spoonfuls of the remaining flour and the yogurt until the mixture is smooth, then fold in the ground almonds.
- Spoon a third of the cake mixture into the bottom of the loaf tin and scatter over a third of the raspberries. Repeat twice more, ending with a layer of raspberries. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the cake is nicely browned, then cover loosely with foil and bake for a further 20-25 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes away clean.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for five minutes. Mix the granulated sugar with the lemon juice, spoon it over the top of the cake and leave it to soak for five minutes. Carefully remove the cake from the tin and pop it on a wire rack to cool. Peel the paper away from the cake and sprinkle the top lightly with a little more sugar. Serve cut into thick slices. Why not try making this cake with fresh blackberries or blueberries instead of raspberries?