Monday 12 August 2019

foraged foods - blackberry cake

Not-so-Littl'Un loves to pick our blackberries, but I never feel I know what to do with them these days. I don't have time or energy or spoons for jam making and there aren't always enough berries for a crumble or a pie, and a blackberry fool is a VERY decadent thing!  I don't always cope with too much decadence!

My parents were coming over for supper, and I was just making a very simple pot roast chicken, so I wanted something different for pudding.

I did a bit of googling and managed to find this blackberry cake recipe from The Happy Foodie, because one of the kids won't eat cakes made with ground almonds and LOTS of summer fruits cakes use ground almonds.  That same kid later decided to announce that they don't like cake other than fruit cake (don't get me started on the difference between a cake with fruit in, and a fruit cake) so I needn't have actually hunted!!!

Anyway, it then turned out that I don't have a 23cm cake tin, let alone a springform one, but I DO have a 19cm one and a 25cm one.  I decided more is more, rather than less is more, and I thought I could have a go at scaling up the recipe.  I had more than enough extra blackberries to scale up with anyway!

The biggest thing to remember with this is not to wash the berries, this can be tricky when they are handpicked, but if you wash them, they become soggy and the cake will be too wet and not rise properly.

Here's my scaled-up version.

350-400g blackberries
175g unsalted or slightly salted butter
4 medium eggs
150g caster sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling.
2 tbs demerara sugar (or sugar crystals for coffee which is what I used, as I don't have demerara and I wasn't about to buy a bag just for 2 tbs!)
300g plain flour
1.5 rounded tsps baking powder
150ml semi-skimmed milk

25cm springform cake tin (min 6cm deep)
non-stick baking paper
cake mixer or electric hand whisk


1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Line the cake tin with the non-stick baking paper.  If you only have greaseproof, make sure you use the dregs of the melted butter to grease the paper.  

2. Check through the blackberries for dirt or wildlife, and put to one side. Melt the butter, and set aside.
3. Put the eggs and the sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk (not the flat beater or its equivalent) attachment and whisk until pale and fluffy; alternatively use a hand-held electric mixer.
4. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix until incorporated (I switched to the normal cake beater for this.) Pour the melted butter and milk into the mix, and whisk again.
5. Sprinkle a handful of the blackberries into the bottom of the prepared tin. Pour about half of the cake mix over the top of the blackberries. Sprinkle half of the remaining blackberries over the cake mix, then add the remaining cake mix. Finally, sprinkle the remaining blackberries over the top and sprinkle with a little caster sugar (or vanilla sugar if you have some).
6. Put the cake tin on a flat baking sheet (to catch any potential spillages) and bake in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the cake is golden on top and a skewer comes out clean.  Leave to cool in the tin, before popping the spring open and transferring to a cooling rack.