BLACKBERRY CAKE WITH APRICOT COMPOTE
While berries and stone fruit are at their peak, I can't resist using them in every which way. The berries in this cake, as well as the apricots are completely interchangeable, so if you prefer raspberries or blueberries, apricots or peaches, try those instead.
A simple lashing of unsweetened mascarpone is all this cake needs to make it 100 per cent delectable.
FOR THE CAKE
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
4 organic eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
150g ground almonds
200g fresh or frozen blackberries
TO TOP WITH
Fresh flowers (optional)
For the apricot compote
15 ripe apricots, halved and pitted
2 tbsp honey
1 vanilla bean, split in half
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan bake. Line a 22cm cake tin with baking paper.
- First, make the cake. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, along with the vanilla. Gradually fold in the flour and ground almonds.
- Pour the batter into the cake tin and spread out to the edges. Evenly dot in the blackberries.
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes. The cake is ready when it is golden in colour, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for around 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile, make the apricot compote. Add the pitted apricot halves, honey, vanilla pod, lemon juice and water to a medium saucepan and stir gently to combine. Cook on medium heat until the apricots begin to release their juices. Turn up the heat a little and gently simmer the apricots, stirring occasionally, until they are very soft but still holding their form. This should take about 10 minutes. Taste the compote and add a bit more honey if you find it too tart. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
- Once the cake is fully cool, neatly top it with the mascarpone. Decorate with fresh blackberries, and flowers if desired. Serve with a generous scoop of apricot compote.
- To store, refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.