Blackberry, Lemon & Almond Cake
This is a show-stopping cake. Perfect to mark an autumnal celebration or for an indulgent afternoon tea. It does take a little time to make all the elements but is certainly worth the effort. Of course, it is just as delicious any time of year, so if blackberries aren’t in season, try using raspberries or blueberries instead.
Tip: I sometimes make twice the amount of chia jam, as it’s a lovely thing to have in the fridge as a topping for yogurt, porridge or pancakes. Chia seeds contain antioxidants, fibre, protein and even some plant-based Omega-3 fatty acids, but are also a really useful thickening agent here, without the need for added sugar.
- 225g light olive oil (I use my electric scales to weigh it out)
- 200g organic light brown sugar
- 8 medium eggs (ideally organic)
- 1 lemon – juice & zest
- 280g ground almonds
- 250g gluten-free self-raising flour (I use Dove’s farm but if you’re OK with gluten, feel free to use standard self-raising flour)
- 150g blackberries– chopped if they are very large
For the blackberry chia ‘jam’:
- 150g blackberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 375g coconut yoghurt (I like CoYo, but there are various other brands available in big supermarkets now)
- 1 tsp vanilla powder / paste
- A handful of blackberries
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh lemon thyme or thyme
- Fresh or dried lemon slices, see tip
Zest and squeeze the orange into a large mixing bowl, then cover all of the dried fruit with the orange zest, juice and brandy or rum. Leave overnight ideally, or for at least a few hours.
Preheat the oven to 160°C / 140°C fan.
Grease and line a 20.5 cm / 8-inch spring-form cake tin. It’s worth lining the sides with greaseproof paper too, as this helps to prevent the cake from burning around the edges. See this video for help on how exactly to do this, if you’re unsure.
Beat the butter until soft, adding the eggs slowly until incorporated.
Sift in the flour, then add the spices, ground almonds and all of the soaked fruit.
Transfer the mixture to the tin and level the top. Arrange the almonds in a neat circle around the edge of the cake.
Cover loosely with foil and bake at the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.
When a skewer stuck in the centre comes out clean and the sides have started to shrink away from the tin edges, it is done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Carefully turn out of the tin, peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.
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