Summer is such a treat: There is more sunshine and hours of daylight, which puts almost everyone – including AB, colleagues and strangers – around me in a better mood. The weather is also warmer since more heat is trapped in the atmosphere during the summer months, which means less time spent on putting on layers of clothes and thus more time to enjoy the longer daylight hours! Summer is also a treat because of the abundant and delicious bounty from Mother Nature such as tomatoes, asparagus, Swiss chards, as well as nectarines, blueberries and cherries. Since cherries started (re)appearing in shelves of my neighborhood supermarket last month, I’ve been waiting for the ‘onslaught’ of the heaving baskets of these red ‘berries’ (cherries are ‘drupes‘)! Cherry is my favorite summer fruit. Blueberry and blackberry come pretty close 🙂 The sun was out all weekend in Brussels and I took some little walks around the neighbourhood. On Saturday, I returned with puniest of blueberries, blackcurrants and cherries after a visit to an organic shop. While I was at the market at Parvis de St. Gilles on Sunday, I couldn’t resist the cerise du nord and came back home with a bag of them. I think the English name for this cherry is ‘morello’. I wanted to make a cake this weekend. But I wanted to try something new. So no banana cake, lemon yogurt cake nor the very berry coffee cake. I found a recipe from BBC Good Food that uses summer fruits. However, I didn’t want to mix too many flavors into the cake. So, here goes: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, All these berries put on show. If they bubble, let them go, Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Of course I didn’t base my decision on this silly rhyme that I just made up. I chose the blackcurrants and morellos as these are more tart than the blueberries and regular cherries. I followed most of the BBC recipe with a few minor adjustments. I’ve also added some tips and specifications to make certain details clearer. The recipe below includes the original metric measurements as well as US ones which is handy if you don’t have a weighing scale. BLACKCURRANT & MORELLO DRIZZLE CAKE Ingredients 175g or ¾ cup butter, very soft 175g or ¾ cup golden caster sugar – you can substitute the unrefined sugar with white caster sugar 250g or 2 cups self-raising flour – I substituted this using a formula of 1 cup all-purpose flour with 1½ teaspoon baking powder and ¼ teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 175g or 2 cups blackcurrants and pitted morellos, mixed* 140g or ¾ cup granulated sugar – I used half of the recommended amount** 1-2 tablespoon citrus juice – I used lime juice as I like how it goes with blackcurrants and morellos Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. Grease a 900g or alb loaf tin – in case you’re wondering, the dimensions of the tin are 23x13x7cm or 9×5.5×3 inch. Fully line the base and sides with baking parchment. 2. Put the butter, golden caster sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla extract into a large bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer for 5 mins until pale and creamy. The mixture will be very thick initially so it would be recommended to not do this by hand or risk getting a blister from the vigorous stirring! 3. Spread one-third of the cake mix into the tin, then scatter 50g of the fruit evenly over the surface. Spread another third of the cake mix on top and scatter with another 50g of fruit. Cover with the remaining cake mix and gently spread with the back of a spoon to make the top smooth. Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. 4. Once the cake is done, poke it all over with a toothpick or skewer. Put remaining 75g of fruit into a bowl with the granulated sugar and stir in 1 tablespoon of the citrus juice with a fork, mashing a little of the fruit (but don’t overdo it). Add more juice if the mixture is too dry. Spoon the fruit mixture over the cake while it is still hot so that the sugar melts into the holes. Leave in the tin until the cake is cool and the topping is set and crisp. * You can make this cake with other summer fruits, just be sure to dice the fruit if it is larger than a raspberry – for instance, nectarines, peaches and strawberries will need to be cut into smaller pieces. ** Because I had halved the amount of granulated sugar, the blackcurrants didn’t stick much to the top of the cake and some would roll off whenever I cut a slice of cake. However, if I were to make a similar cake in the future, I would use the same quantity of sugar for the topping as I don’t like my cakes to be overly sweet. Now, are you ready for pictures of this gorgeous blackcurrant & morello drizzle cake? You might have noticed that the side of the cake looks burnt. It is. In fact, all sides of the cake that were in contact with the loaf tin were slightly charred. I had to gingerly shave them off lest another blackcurrant rolls into the sink or onto the floor. Aside from this, the cake was delicious! The tartness in the fruits balanced out the sweetness of the cake mix, while the lime juice was the perfect finishing touch. This is a lovely treat for summer while sitting out on the deck while the sun’s out. I had mine with some refreshing cherry gueuze, a type of Belgian beer made using young and old lambics, from Cantillon brewery. Lambic is a spontaneously fermented beer with a distinct sour taste that is traditionally made in the Pajottenland region of Belgium and in Brussels. Sour beer? Yup, and it’s good! Cantillon makes their flavoured gueuzes with fruits whereas many other companies make theirs by adding artificial flavours and sugar. I would highly recommend trying it if you have the chance. Bottoms up! P.S. All these photographs were processed using vsco cam. The camera on the iPhone is many times superior to that of the Blackberry and I’m having fun editing photos using the vsco cam app.
8 replies on “Blackcurrant and Morello Cherry Drizzle Cake”
these look delicious! and the iphone seems to be the hell of a camera…
Absolutely, it works fine for taking everyday photographs.
Mmm, looks delicious! Fresh currants are very rare here; I’ve only ever cooked/baked with them during our time in Scotland two summers ago. 🙂 On the other hand, we are besieged with peaches and plums here, so no complaining!
No matter – as long as we enjoy summer and all the joys it brings while it lasts. I was a little disappointed to learn last weekend that it was summer solstice. Since then, I’ve been eating dinner on my deck every evening to enjoy more of the fine weather in Brussels!
Beautiful and I’m sure delicious. I licked the screen but it wasn’t a true representation of the taste…
And those are gooseberries in the first photo, right? I used to collect those as a kid– so bitter!
Yup, they are. This was the first time I’ve eaten gooseberries. The green ones are rather tart while the red ones (which are riper) are delicious – my boyfriend says it reminds him of kiwi fruit. Maybe it’s time to give them another chance 🙂