As we pass Lùnastal, the midpoint between the Summer Solstice and Autumn Equinox, produce is reaching its peak. Some Summer fruits such as blackcurrants fruit into August, and I was lucky enough to get my hands on some at Edinburgh Farmers’ Market this weekend at my favourite stall, the Strawberry Shop. Little bursts of flavour, these tangy berries need to be carefully balanced in baking. I love the combination of tart, tannin fruit and rich, buttery almond, so after a little kitchen experimentation these blackcurrant and almond cakes – complete with pleasingly pink icing – were born. To make the cakes, you will need:
110g caster sugar
110g unsalted butter
60g self-raising flour
50g ground almonds
2 large free-range eggs
60g blackcurrants, topped and tailed
1/2 tsp almond extract
For the icing:
60g icing sugar
Juice of 6 or so blackcurrants (you could sieve it, but I don’t mind the bits!)
A few drops of almond extract
A few drops of lemon juice, to loosen the icing
12 extra blackcurrants (topped and tailed), for decoration (optional).
Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C Fan. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time with a little flour and mix until just combined. Fold in the rest of the flour and the ground almonds.
Grease a 12-hole bun tin and add a teaspoon of mixture to each. Then add a couple of blackcurrants to each, before dividing the rest of the cake batter on top, sharing it between the twelve holes of the tin.
Bake for 15 minutes or so, until risen and golden. Leave to cool a little before removing from the tin. Make the icing by mixing the icing sugar with the blackcurrant juice, almond extract and then add a few drops of lemon juice until you have a firm water icing. Ice the cakes and top with a blackcurrant each.
What are you baking this weekend?