Warm spiced blackcurrant and apple cake

Fresh blackcurrants. Oh how you disappointed me.

Fresh blackcurrants

Fresh blackcurrants looking like innocent tiny grapes


Who doesn’t like Ribena? Those sugar encrusted chewy blackcurrant gels? Finally, icing sugar drowned blackcurrant boiled travel sweets in a tin? Hell yeah.

But the fresh version is a poor shadow of your processed self. This may be the one and only time I’ll say this. How an artificial rendering can make the fresh product pale in comparison. I almost feel ashamed that it’s true.

So while I wanted to make February a celebration of fresh blackcurrants and planned to post at least three recipes, this is all you’re getting. I had searched online for inspiration and there really weren’t a lot of blackcurrant recipes around that didn’t involve it in jam form. Maybe that should have been a clue.

This cake is still lovely and I recommend you try it, if only for the wonderfully light crumb. It keeps well for at least 4 days and doesn’t dry out so is a good one to make ahead.

After reading how blackcurrants can overwhelm other flavours, I added in a single heaped cup but in hindsight, should have used a full two cups so that’s what I’ve specified below.

No matter, it meant I could make a simple blackcurrant compote to pour on top. Which flavours aside, does make it look pretty. I stirred in a tablespoon of Belvedere Black Raspberry vodka into the compote (creme de cassis would have been even better) but that’s optional. This was dessert with the buttermilk roasted chicken I made for my friends last weekend.

Warm spiced blackcurrant and apple cake with vanilla icecream

Warm spiced blackcurrant and apple cake with vanilla icecream

Warm spiced blackcurrant and apple cake
(adapted from Ledelicieux).

Feeds: 8-10 people
Start cooking: 90 minutes before serving

Ingredients:

  • 125g x butter at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup x caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup x self raising flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup x ground almonds (almond meal)
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons x mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon x ground cardamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon x freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon x lemon extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon x salt
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 cups x fresh blackcurrants, washed and picked

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees and prepare a springform baking tin 20 – 23cm diameter with butter and flour.
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale.
  3. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Ensure the eggs are room temperature or mixture will curdle.
  4. Add buttermilk and lemon extract.
  5. Then gently fold in flour, salt, almonds and spices for 30 seconds (don’t overmix).
  6. Stir in fresh fruit.
  7. Pour cake batter into prepared tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until cooked and skewer comes out clean.
  8. Serve cake warm with vanilla ice cream (and compote if desired).

Blackcurrant compote

  1. Cook one heaped cup of blackcurrants with two tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of water over a medium heat for 2 minutes. The blackcurrant skins will soften and exude a vibrantly coloured juice. Continue to cook until fruit is just about to collapse.
  2. Add in a squeeze of lemon juice (about a teaspoon) and stir in a splash of Belvedere Black Raspberry vodka or some creme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) and heat for another minute then keep warm.

For a superior berry hit, use blackberries. Pear and raspberry is another alternative.

I kept my disappointment to myself because my friends didn’t need to hear about my ridiculous Ribena-in-delightful-cake-form dreams.

A cake made with almond meal and buttermilk was never ever going to be a true disaster.

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