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  • Writer's pictureSacha Leppard

A foundation for happiness.

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

I’m working on some embroidery designs for a new small Caï Fahrel womenswear collection. Trying to keep it simple, but my dreams are galloping forth with abandon, and i’m riding a wave between simplicity and innovation, looking for the balance.

I’m going to take my time and enjoy it.


It’s been quite a start to the year already hasn’t it, and I know some people are having a tough time.

I wanted to share with you one of my oldest and most loved staple recipes which I threw together some 15 years ago when I had a little beachside pizzeria in a sleepy Goan village.

To me baking has always been the most joyful and rewarding celebration to the senses.

A true alchemy of love made into matter, to offer to your dear ones.

The greatest treat.

I’m sure the original recipe for this classic frangipane based cake would have come from my dear friend and master chef Ailsa at @coldilavacchio in Tuscany, and it brings me happiness to share this again now as I realise that a much loved recipe is one of the sweetest gifts between friends, and never forgotten.

My recipe uses a favourite Indian fruit called Chickoo, which has a taste and texture I would describe as a caramelised pear. Perfect for baking.

Other classic fruits for frangipane include fig, plum, pear and apricot. If you would like to make a tart instead of a cake just leave out the flour and put your batter in a pastry case. It is the most versatile, unfussy recipe ever, and that’s why it has always been one of my faves. Rich, buttery and delicious. Serve warm as a dessert or with afternoon tea to share the happiness.

Chickoo & Almond Cake

Pre-heat oven to 180c/160c fan/Gas 4

Butter a 9in cake tin.

200g Soft butter

180g Sugar ( I use Jaggery/Palm sugar )

2 Eggs

200g Ground almonds

1 Heaped Tbsp Plain flour

1/2 Tsp Baking powder

Large pinch of Salt.

Some lovely fruit.

Beat the butter and sugar together and then incorporate the eggs one at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients.

You can add vanilla if you like. I used cinnamon in this one, which is gorgeous with apple too of course. Play, improvise and use what's available.

Put a thin layer of cake batter in your tin and then arrange some fruit over it. Add the rest of the mixture and more fruit. Super easy!

Bake in the middle of the oven for around 45 mins and then check it. Put a skewer in the middle and see that it comes out clean. If it’s still a little gooey in the middle but the outside is dark golden just place some foil over it and turn the oven down. This cake is very forgiving. The outside crust will be chewy and delicious and the inside dense and buttery.

Celebrate the simple things.

This is dedicated to my dear cake loving friends, long not seen but close in my heart; and to the original fountain of life inspiration and baking goodness- mama.

Sending out love to the world.

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