Red Gooseberry Cakes
Year three and our gooseberries finally decided to crop. They were by no means laden, but I was happy to get a few this year – 200g to be precise! I’m hoping this is the start of an increasing yield year on year and in 2015 we will get considerably more. Scared about the birds taking my precious crop (they nicked all of our redcurrants and strawberries), I picked them before they were fully ripe. Left a little longer, they would have been a bit sweeter and have gone a deeper red. I was taking no risks, however.
I debated making a small jar of jam. I was very tempted by this, but having recently attended a preserves course at River Cottage, I had a few jars of strawberry & gooseberry jam in the cupboard, so thought I would bake with the gooseberries instead. With Pam Corbin very much in mind from the recent course, I had a quick thumb through her book Cakes. She had a recipe for gooseberry friands. Whilst I’m a big fan of friands, I didn’t want to use only egg whites and end up with a load of egg yolks; I went my own way and came up with a rather different recipe, but like Pam, using a single gooseberry in each mini cake. I wanted to add some elderflower cordial to the mix as this hedgerow plant pairs so well with gooseberries, but I had some lilac syrup that needed using up, so I used that instead.
The cakes rose well and had a lovely light texture. Biting into the sweet cake and coming across a tart gooseberry was pure delight. The colour inside was appealing too; the gooseberries had baked to a beautiful dark dusky rose. With an upcoming birthday party to bake for they went straight into the freezer. Defrosted, they were just as good as fresh and proved to be popular at yesterday’s party.
- 200g (7oz) flour (half wholemeal spelt, half white)
- 60g ground almonds
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 60g white chocolate – finely grated or ground (I used Mortimer white chocolate couverture powder)
- 130g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 50g unsalted butter – melted
- 2 heaped tbsp yogurt
- 2 tbsp elderflower cordial (or rose syrup or lilac syrup)
- 30 small gooseberries – topped & tailed
- Sieve the dry ingredients, then stir in the sugar and chocolate.
- Make a well in the centre and break in the eggs. Add the yogurt, cordial and butter and stir in until just incorporated.
- Spoon into mini cupcake moulds filling to about 3/4. Push a gooseberry halfway into each one.
- Bake at 180℃ for 20 minutes until well risen and golden on the top. Allow to cool for a few minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
I’m sending this off to Sally at My Custard Pie who is hosting Simple and in Season this month on behalf of Ren Behan.
I’m also entering this to Shaheen’s new event Vegetable Palette over at Allotment 2 Kitchen. This first theme is Summer Reds.
I’m also filling up The Biscuit Barrel over at I’d Much Rather Bake Than … where the theme this month is In Season Fruits.