I am not the one to bake for a special occasion.
People too often want a performance piece for a special occasion, and for that, there are so many talented professionals out there who can give you an absolute show stopping architecture of sponge with all sorts of fireworks. While I can aspire to that level of skill, for me, a stir and pour is what comes out of my kitchen of a weekend; and that’s perfectly fine.
This cake doesn’t need applause, it just needs company.
It’s a simple spoon and bowl number mottled with plump, chewy morsels of fruit joined together by a soft, springy yellow sponge that will compliment a cup of tea like no other.
I baked this cake one Saturday when I knew my friend was popping over later. It started life in my head as a two-tier affair with buttercream and fruit on top and then I realised that I didn’t have time for the fruit to thaw so I said sod it and just threw it in the batter and make it a square bake.
The result was something I was so surprisingly happy with that I had to reverse engineer how I did it because I was literally freestyling.
The choice of frozen mixed berries over a singular fruit was not a calculated one but a product of circumstance because that’s what I had in the freezer, I see no reason why you couldn’t swap out the mixed berries for a more restricted fruit choice i.e. just strawberries, just cherries, just blackberries etc, I would just keep the weight at 150g. But I actually quite like the mix of fruit in the cake, it gives each wedge a different point of interest as well as a tapestry of colour.
Cuts into 9 chunks
200g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g frozen mixed berries
- Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm square tin.
- In a big bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla to the bowl along with the zest of the lemon and stir into the batter.
- One by one, crack the eggs into the bowl, stirring between each egg to thoroughly combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cornflour and rising powder and stir together with a fork.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet in three instalments, stirring in between each addition to create a smooth batter.
- Tip the frozen berries into the batter and fold through.
- Scrape the batter into the lined tin, and pop into the oven for 50 – 55 minutes until a thin skewer can be prodded into the cake and come out clean. Unless you stab through a piece of fruit…
- Rest the cake until cooled – but only a for a little bit because it’s wonderful eaten slightly warm – before removing carefully from the tin and slicing into chunks to serve.