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
Preheat oven to 160ºC. Grease & line two 22cm spring form tins.
Whisk together the olive oil and sugar until combined and light. I use an electric whisk for this. Add the eggs, lemon zest and juice and continue to whisk into a smooth batter.
Stir through the ground almonds and flour until well combined. Then finally, add the blackberries and gently fold them in.
Equally divide the batter between the two tins, smoothing the tops if necessary (it is a slightly runny mixture).
Bake for approximately 60 minutes. They are done when a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely on a cake rack.
To make the blackberry chia ‘jam’:
Warm the blackberries in a saucepan with 1 tbsp water to stop them sticking.
Use a potato masher or stick blender to make them into a compote.
Sprinkle over the chia seeds and stir through. Leave to thicken, about 10 minutes.
Whisk the coconut yoghurt with the vanilla until thick.
Spread 2/3 of the yoghurt on top of one of the cakes then spoon the chia jam over the top.
Sandwich together with the second cake and spread over the remaining yoghurt.
Decorate with the blackberries, lemon slices and thyme.
Dried lemon slices can be found in most good health food shops but they are very easy to make at home. Thinly slice a lemon and lay the slices out on kitchen towel to absorb the juice. Transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking tray and bake at 100ºC for around 2 hours or until the slices are dry and crisp.
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