Every so often, I stumble upon a recipe I rather fancy and I optimistically print it off, in the naïve hope that I will test it that weekend. Then, all kinds of exciting, unexpected things happen that weekend and my printed recipe – so full of promise – ends up hidden in a crumpled heap beneath a stack of newspapers.
Well, last weekend I spent some glorious quality time with my wonderful friends Sara, Liz and her 6-month-old daughter Honor (who is undoubtedly the most gorgeous, smiley, good-natured baby in the WORLD). Then I trundled home, shifted some papers and out dropped a tattered, long-forgotten printed recipe and I decided to give it a bash. I know – I am, like, SO spontaneous. I’ve made some changes, partly due to a shortage of raspberries in my Sainsbury’s Local at 8pm on a Sunday…
I stupidly forgot to add the milk to my version but I’d recommend you include it. Aside from the change in texture to the finished result, spreading the stiff-ish cake batter without it is a bit of a bugger.
150g fresh raspberries
120g fresh blackberries
3tbsp cold water
200g unsalted butter
200g golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
250g self-raising flour
1tsp baking powder
4tbsp whole milk
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Keeping five or six good-looking raspberries aside, fork-mash the rest in a bowl and the blackberries in a separate bowl until they release lots of their juice and colour. Put two small saucepans on a medium-low heat and drop 1 tbsp cornflour and 1½ tbsp cold water in each. Mix until smooth, then drop the mashed raspberries in one and mashed blackberries in the other. Heat gently for 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until the mixtures start to thicken. Pour back into the two bowls and set aside.
Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and yolk a bit at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. You should end up with something light and almost mousse-like in consistency. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix gently until just combined. Finally, add the milk and give a last gentle beat.
Line the base of a loaf tin with baking paper (you’ll notice that I do this the laziest possible way, but it enables me to use the overlapped bits to lift the cake out of the tin easily). Cover the base of the tin with a layer of cake batter, then splodge a good spoonful of each berry sauce on top, spreading it a little bit.
Repeat this layering process, making sure you distribute the berries so that each slice will get a bit of each flavour, and finishing with a layer of cake batter. Use a skewer to swirl the batter around a bit, going in all directions including up and down. Half-bury your good-looking raspberries in the surface of the batter (not quite as deep as I did) then scatter a spoonful of golden caster sugar over the top.
Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then serve with a good cup of tea.