Lia Leendertz loves a summery cake dotted with whatever fruit is in season at the allotment. This one is fragrant with gooseberries, honey, lemon and elderflower, and is the ultimate cake for afternoon tea on the lawn. Because of the fresh fruit content this is not a cake that ages well: you’ll need to finish it off within a few days. Tricky...
Gooseberry and honey cake
100g gooseberries, washed, topped and tailed
225g ground almonds
2tsp baking powder
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
zest of one lemon
20cm cake tin
1 Heat the oven to 170C/Fan 150/325F.
2 Line the base and sides of the tin with baking parchment.
3 Firstly, the butter needs to be very soft (see below for a short cut – there isn’t always time to get it out of the fridge in advance).
4 Put all the ingredients bar the gooseberries into a large bowl and mix together, ideally with an electric whisk or in a food processor, until the mixture is fluffy and light.
5 Add the gooseberries and fold in by hand until they are well distributed.
6 Smooth the mixture into the tin and bake on a middle-to-low shelf for about an hour, until a skewer pushed into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
7 Leave to rest in the tin for 10 mins before placing onto a rack to cool.
8 Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like, and a pot of EarlGrey.
LIA'S TIP TO SOFTEN BUTTER
My kitchen is naturally cool and my butter never really gets soft enough for easy creaming. But I have a trick. I fill a bowl with lukewarm water
– just slightly warmer than hand temperature, but no more or it will melt – then cut the butter into chunks and drop it in. I leave it to
sit for about five minutes, then drain off the water and tip the butter into my mixing bowl, as soft as can be.