Foraging food that grows wild in the local countryside is second nature to me. Whenever I collect ingredients from the local hedgerows and woodlands I feel so much more connected with nature and the seasons. I am truly blessed to live close to such a prolific source of tasty ingredients so I just have to make the most of nature’s larder.
Blackberries are the fruit of the bramble bush, a rather scruffy and fiercely thorny plant. Late summer in Britain is remarkably beautiful when these bushes burst with juicy fruit in the hedgerows across the countryside. How can one not pick any? I, for one, love picking them during those long summer evening walks. Hand-picked blackberries are more flavoursome than the shop-bought ones. Add to that, they come plastic-free!
You can do all sorts of things with blackberries; jams are a wonderful way to store up summer fruits for the cooler months when the hedgerows are bare. But that’ll have to wait until another time. I wanted something quick, delicious, and vegetarian so I could enjoy it even on days when I am avoiding meat and eggs (as that’s what ‘vegetarian’ means in my Indian culture). Fortunately, I had a wonderful eggless semolina cake recipe which I thought these blackberries would go beautifully with. And went they did!
These berries are tart with subtle undertones of juicy sweetness making them the stars of this cake. Simply bake the fresh whole fruit into the sponge and if you’re still craving more, drizzle a vibrant blackberry coulis all over it as I did here.
I garnished my cake with some edible calendula petals that I happened to have blossoming in the garden when I baked this cake.
This cake will store well at room temperature for up to 4 days; just keep it covered. If you want to freeze this cake, wrap it well in several layers of cling film and aluminium foil. If you’re looking to store it more sustainably, then simply keep it in a reusable lidded plastic box. Defrost at room temperature before serving. Bear in mind, the cake will lose its fluffiness once thawed.
Eggless Blackberry Bundt CakeCourse: DessertCuisine: Indian, EuropeanDifficulty: Medium
- For the cake:
170g fresh blackberries, washed
65g plain flour plus extra for dusting
125g golden caster sugar
125ml softened butter
125ml full-fat Greek yoghurt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp icing sugar for dusting
- For the coulis:
250g fresh blackberries, washed
3 tbsp icing sugar
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbsp water
- How to make the cake:
- Roast the semolina in a dry pan over a high flame for 3 minutes stirring continuously.
- Mix the semolina and milk together in a bowl and leave aside to soak for ten minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Add the yoghurt and whisk again until smooth.
- Add the semolina soaked in milk, plain flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, vanilla extract and salt. Mix gently with a spoon.
- Pour the cake mixture into a buttered cake tin. I used a 25cm bundt cake tin.
- Dust the blackberries in a little plain flour. Toss them into the cake tin, distributing evenly. They will naturally sink into the cake mix before it sets; the flour helps to prevent them all ending up at the bottom.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes at 180C. You are looking for a dark golden brown colour when the cake is ready.
- Remove the cake and let it cool.
- Drizzle with blackberry coulis and add a dusting of icing sugar. Enjoy.
- How to make the coulis:
- Put 150g of the blackberries, the icing sugar, lemon juice and water into a small pan. Cook gently over a low flame until the berries have just burst and the coulis is saucy and syrupy.
- Stir in the remaining blackberries whilst the coulis is still hot. Remove from the heat and cool.
- Optionally, transfer to a blender and blitz to a smooth purée and pass it through a sieve for an extra smooth coulis.
- Bramble bushes are very thorny and you may have to get in among the branches to pick the best fruit so wear thick trousers but not your best outfit.
- Grease the bundt tin thoroughly so that the cake doesn’t stick in the crevices.
- When you add fresh fruit to a cake mix it tends to sink into the mix and if you are not careful all of it will end up laying at the bottom of the cake. The best way I’ve found to stop this happening is to dust the fruit with plain flour and then add it to the cake mix just before it goes into the oven.
- This semolina cake is best cooked to a dark golden brown. The slightly crunchy edges are delicious when well cooked. Don’t be tempted to take it out of the oven too early. Having said that, note that every oven is different and baking times may vary slightly.
- Making the coulis is entirely optional. You can skip it altogether if you don’t like the drizzle on top. However, it does impart a lovely tart flavour to the cake.
16 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories216
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 6.3g 32%
- Cholesterol 26mg 9%
- Sodium 187mg 8%
- Potassium 65mg 2%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1.9g 8%
- Sugars 14.4g
- Protein 7.9g 16%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.