Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Blackberry Upside Down Cake for British Food Fortnight

Have I mentioned recently that I heart autumn? Love it. Me and autumn, we're besties. It's the cool air, the excitement of Christmas being just around the corner (although far enough away not to be in a panic about it just yet) and the leaves! Oh how I love the leaves. Our front door is just down the side of the main house and the little alley way fills up with crisp, russet sycamore leaves. Until we can work up the enthusiasm to sweep them away, we're knee deep in them! I love it. I kick them up every morning just before setting out to work, just as I take my first breath of the fresh, crisp air. Very refreshing!

Other people enjoy the season in other ways. Take my Dad. He's a very handy person and is always whipping up a new kitchen counter, pergola or, in this case, a little house! In his own words:

'In brief, the accommodation comprises: Entrance porch, leading to spacious vestibule with single bed/hibernation room off. The attractive development boasts a contemporary Forest Green finish. Set in large and well tended gardens to front and sides. Viewing essential!'

Of course, with the spec. he provided a picture...

All this for the cutest of (flea ridden) creatures, the hedgehog. I love that it even has a proper weather proofed roof! And the to let sign??! I hope those hedgehogs appreciate the effort.

As well as building hedgehog starter homes, my Dad is also an exceptional cook, as I've already shown you, and this is another one of his recipes.  Perfect for cool autumn days and using up the blackberries picked from the hedgerows (or bought in Waitrose if you live in London) and top of my list for the sweet week of British Food Fortnight! I've seen Ina Garten do something similar and call it a cake tatin but whatever you choose to call it, I urge you to give it a try! It's one of those great recipes that so simple yet yields wonderfully impressive results. Great served warm as a dessert or cold with a big cup of tea. Either way, creme fraiche or greek yoghurt is a perfect accompaniment to contrast with the sweet caramel covered berries.

Blackberry Upside Down Cake

Top/Bottom (depending on whether it's upside down or not yet!)
50g Butter
115g Caster Sugar
350g Blackberries (or plums, blueberries, apples, pears... Whatever you've got! Fruit that's a little tart is best though)

150g Butter
200g Caster Sugar
3 large Eggs
150g Self Raising Flour (or plain with 2 1/2 tsp baking powder added)
25g Ground Almonds
1 Tbsp Amaretto (or other liqueur. Or a bit of milk)
pinch salt (if using unsalted butter)

Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease a 10" round cake tin (springform is a definite plus!!).

Heat the 50g butter and 115g sugar for the topping in a small pan over a low heat, stirring well until melted. Simmer gently for 3-4 mins until it turns a delicious coffee brown colour. Pour into the prepared tin and spread to coat the bottom. Arrange the blackberries in one even layer on the caramel. It works best if all the caramel is covered as it looks slightly more impressive with a solid berry layer. I didn't quite have enough so you can see some sponge poking through.

Beat together the butter and sugar for the cake until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Sift in the flour and salt and fold into the batter, followed by the almonds and amaretto. Spoon over the fruit and smooth the top. Bake for 50mins until cooked through.

Cool for 10 mins then run a knife around the edge. Turn out onto a serving plate and serve warm or allow to cool. Turning out while warm is a must!! Otherwise all the berries will stick to the base. Serve with creme fraiche, greek yoghurt or cream.

One last thing, don't forget to check out Katie's blog for the British Food Fortnight summary!

Rosy xx

1 comment:

  1. That sounds wonderful! And how cute is that hedgehog house!! I absolutely adore hedgehogs- they just look so cuddly and they're so cute when they run!!