Friday, 10 June 2011

Gooseberry, elderflower and almond cake

I have two gooseberry bushes, so, having picked the ripe berries I needed a recipe to use the with.  I looked on the web as usual, and found a couple of good looking gooseberry cake recipes.  Using these as a start I amended them to suit my taste.  Both of these have the gooseberries on top of the cake.  I wanted my gooseberries to be little pockets of sour flavour in the sweet cake, so folded them into the batter.  I used elderflower in the batter and with the flaked almonds on top to give an extra dimension to the flavour.

Inspiration recipes deliciousmagazine -moist-gooseberry-orange-and-almond-dimple-cake and waitrose gooseberry and almond cake.


250g gooseberries
125g butter (soft)
175g sugar
2 eggs
100 flour (40%urid, 40%tapioca, 20% cornmeal)
75g ground almond
1/2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp elderflower cordial (75ml)

75g flaked almonds
20g butter
2 tbsp elderflower cordial

Set oven to 180C and grease/line a tin.  I used a 9inch square tin.  Total cooking time 40minutes.

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly.
Add egg and beat.
Add flours and baking powder and beat.
Add elderflower cordial.  If you don't mind tasting raw batter check that you can taste the flavour of the cordial in the batter - if you want it stronger add a bit more.
Stir in the gooseberries.
Put mixture in tin and bake for 25 minutes.

While this is cooking, place the flaked almonds and butter and cordial in a small pan and heat until butter is melted and mixture coats almonds.

After 25 minutes lower oven temperature to 160C

Carefully sprinkle the flaked almonds on the cake and return to the oven for fifteen minutes.  Check that the cake is fully cooked by inserting a knife - but you need to find a bit of cake that isn't gooseberry to be sure!

This tastes superb.  It is tangy and sweet and quite delicious. The crispness of the almonds on top is a good contrast to the moist gooseberry cake.

This makes a cake that is more like a pudding - it doesn't hold it's shape very well because of the gooseberries.  If you want a more controlled cake you could bake a bit of the batter without the berries and then put the berried batter on top for the rest of the cooking.  It would also be good set into a pie crust, a bit like a Bakewell Tart.  I recommend you serve it in a bowl with a spoon, perhaps some of Just Rachel's excellent gooseberry and elderflower ice cream to accompany it.

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