Making the most of the Kentish blackberry season! Having made the most of picking copious amounts of blackberries yesterday in the afternoon sun, this rich cake of chocolatey wonderfulness is good enough to perk up any rainy Friday. It’s early for blackberry season here, they mainly come out from September so I’m determined to make the most of it with some fun recipes now and keeping lots in the freezer for wintry cobblers, pies and crumbles.
But anyway, despite the name this cake is primarily a decadent chocolate extravaganza, the blackberries only provide a subdued fruity note within the chocolate sponge and sprinkled on the top but they add a richness and depth as well as lovely moisture. I also love the deep colour, and the use of crushed berries as well as whole makes the texture all the more interesting than a plain smooth sponge. I absolutely loved the sponge of the Hummingbird Cake I baked a few days ago so I effectively copied the recipe, subbing out some flour for cocoa and swapped the summer fruits for blackberries.
Serve this up after a lighter dinner with extra fruits and a bit of brandy, or with tea in the afternoon, hopefully in the sunshine knowing that more and more blackberries are ripening in the hedgerows.
- 250 ml olive oil
- 200g self-raising flour
- 150g dark cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 50ml milk
- 350 g golden caster sugar
- 400 g fresh blackberries
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 200ml fresh whipped cream
First off, preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 4 then take out two 23cm round cake tins. Grease with some butter, line at least the bottom with baking parchment and leave for later.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and sugar. In a large (at least a pint) measuring jug, measure the oil, add the eggs and 1 teaspoon of vanilla then give a good whip with a small whisk to add some air. In a pestle and mortar smash up 2/3 of your blackberries to a fruity pulp. Add this to the egg/oil mixture, stir then add to the large mixing bowl of dry ingredients. Stir well to combine fully. I found this was a little dense so added the 50ml of whole milk. Gently stir in a small handful of whole blackberries to give texture.
Spoon half the batter into each of the prepped tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before releasing from their tins and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
With an electric whisk mix up the double cream and the other 1 tsp of vanilla until stiff peaks are formed. Arrange the base layer of your cake on a serving plate or stand and spread the whipped cream around on top, right to the edges. Top with the other sponge, some blackberries and a generous helping of sieved icing sugar!