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Blackcurrant (or raspberry, bramble, redcurrant) cake


July / August is blackcurrant time in the Forest Garden and there's only so much jam you can make. This cake is a lovely way to use some fruit - and it's equally delicious using brambles or raspberries. Taken from Good Food Magazine with my variations given at the end.

250g self raising flour
175g butter or 80g vegetable oil for dairy free
175g light muscavado sugar
1/2tsp cinnamon
2 rounded tsp demerara sugar
1 small eating apple
2 large eggs
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp baking powder
225g blackcurrants (or other fruit)

Butter and line a tin, a 9x20x13 loaf tin is ideal but any tin will be fine, just adjust the cooking time especially if it's shallower
Rub the flour, butter (or oil) and muscavado sugar together with your fingers to make fine crumbs.
Measure out 5 level tbs of this mixture into a small bowl (this will be the crunchy topping) and mix in to it the cinnamon and demerara sugar.
Coarsley grate the apple (no need to peel or core) and mix with the eggs and orange zest.
Stir the baking powder in to the rubbed in mixture, then quickly and lightly stir in the egg mixture until it drops lightly from the spoon. Don't over mix.
Gently fold in 3/4 of the berries - try not to squash and break them up.
Spoon in to the tin and level.
Scatter the rest of the berries on top.
Sprinkle the topping mixture on top.
Bake at 180 degrees C / Gas mark 4 for an hour and a quarter, check after 50 minutes and if the top is getting too brown, cover with foil. The cake will feel firm when cooked, but test with a skewer to make sure.
Leave in the tin for about 30 mins then turn out on to a cooling rack.

Variations: Apples aren't in season when blackcurrants are fresh, a cake made without tastes just as good but a little drier so eat with a large mug of tea! Blackcurrants have a lot of flavour and leaving out the orange zest (saves food miles) doesn't affect the taste too much. I've used demarera sugar instead of muscavado with no detriment to the over all taste. If you have absolutely loads of fruit, it won't harm putting more than the 225g recommended.