Recently, we managed to get out and about whilst in Oxfordshire one sunny saturday afternoon. To my delight, we stumbled across a gooseberry bush and managed to pick enough berries to make this cake. The elderflower bush looks rather unpromising. With a rather scruffy appearance, like an uncared for bush, and branches spiked with nasty thorns, it doesn’t look inviting. But lift up the branches, and you will find beautiful marble-like bright green gooseberries lurking below. I like to pick them when they are soft to the touch. Grab them by the handful whilst you can. They won’t be around for long.
This is a delicious, seasonal, summery cake, which an be easily adapted to suit any dietary requirements. Please excuse the quality of the photos. This cake was made on a rare weekend when I didn’t have my DSLR with me.
Gooseberry, almond and elderflower cake
Makes 1 large cake
▪ 250g unsalted butter, softened
▪ 250g unrefined golden caster sugar, plus an extra handful for sprinkling
▪ 6 large free-range eggs, beaten
▪ 1 tsp vanilla extract
▪ 1 tbsp elderflower syrup
▪ 100g plain flour (either wheat or gluten free)
▪ 150g ground almonds
▪ 1 rounded teaspoon of baking powder
▪ 400g gooseberries, topped and tailed
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 9” round springform cake tin
2) Wash the gooseberries thoroughly and then top and tail them carefully
3) Beat the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla extract and elderflower syrup.
4) Next, add the flour, ground almonds and baking powder and gently fold in.
5) Pour the cake mix into the prepared cake tin and smooth down the top with a spatula to make it level. Then, dot the gooseberries evenly over the top of the cake
6) Place the cake in the oven and bake for approximately an hour. Test to see if the cake is cooked by sticking a cocktail into the centre of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked. If it does not, return to the oven for a further 5 minutes and test again.
7) Cool the cake on a wire rack. When it’s cool, enjoy on its own with a cup of tea, or with cream or ice cream as a dessert.