Bake it your way: summer fruit cake

Blueberry cakeHere’s the situation: you were going to bake a nice elaborate tart for a birthday party, but it turned out you missed some vital ingredient and it was sold out in the local supermarket. By the time a solution was found, there was no more time to bake it, so here came plan B: this delicious summer fruit drizzle cake! I found the recipe in the latest GoodFood magazine, and it was an instant hit. What’s great about this recipe, is that you can put whatever fruit in it you want! So it’s a great way to get rid of those apples lying around. I went for the blueberry version, but here are some other fruit suggestions: apricots, blackberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, raspberries, a mix of berries, redcurrants or blackcurrants, apples, pears, strawberries… the list goes on and on! Make sure to dice the larger fruits and you’re good to go.

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Put 175 g very soft butter, 175 g caster sugar, 250 g self-raising flour, 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla extract in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 5 min until pale and creamy. The mixture will be very thick.

Spread one-third of the cake mix into the tin, then scatter over 50 g of the fruit (you’ll need 175 g fruit in total). Carefully spread another third of the cake mix on top and scatter with another 50 g fruit. Finally, add the rest of the cake mix and level the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 1 hour, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

In the mean time, put the remaining 75 g of fruit in a bowl with 140 g sugar and 2 tbsp citrus juice (I used lime, but you can use lemon or orange juice as well). Stir with a fork, mashing the fruit a little as you go. When the cake comes out of the oven, poke it all over with a skewer and spoon the fruit and sugar mix on top. Leave in the tin until the cake is cool and the topping is set and crisp. If you prefer, you can also freeze the cake (without the topping).

This is definitely going to become a much used recipe to get rid of any ripe fruit! I can’t tell you how long it will remain fresh… it got eaten to quickly!

Fruity delights part 1: cherry & almond cake

Cherry and almond cake

With spring and sunshine in town (and after a nasty stomach flu) I’m done with the chocolaty stuff for a while. So time to get some lovely fruit in my cakes for that fresh and juicy flavour! And what better way to do so then with a Cherry and almond cake from one of my trusted GoodFood magazines.

Preheat the oven to a 140C (all my oven temperatures are for a fan oven, just add 20 degrees for a regular one) and line the base and sides of a 20 cm round cake tin.

Beat together 200 g softened butter and 200 g caster sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in 4 eggs, one by one. Fold in 1/2 tsp almond extract, 175 g self-raising flour, 85 g ground almonds and 1/2 tsp baking powder, followed by 300 g glacé cherries and 100 ml milk (if you use the cherries whole, they will end up at the bottom of the cake like in the picture. If you prefer them more scattered, try quartering them). Don’t worry if the mixture is still a bit lumpy or if it looks like it’s splitting a bit, it will work just as well! Scrape the mix into the prepared cake tin then bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 min. A skewer inserted in the middle should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before serving. Due to the moist cherries, this cake will keep very well for up to 5-6 days, so you can take a piece to work for dessert every day!