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Blackberry and blueberry Christmas cake

Blackberry and blueberry Christmas cake

If you are not a fan of heavy dried fruit cakes then try this light almondy sponge cake speckled with blackberries and blueberries drizzled with glace icing.

Serves 8

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 40-50 minutes

To decorate: 5 minutes

 

175g (6oz) mixed blackberries and blueberries, if the blackberries are very large, cut them in half

175g (6oz) self-raising flour

½ tsp baking powder

175g (6oz) butter, at room temperature

175g (6 oz) caster sugar

3 medium eggs, beaten

75g (3oz) ground almonds

Few drops almond essence, optional

 

To decorate

175g (6oz) icing sugar

4-5 tsp cold water

3 tbsp toasted flaked almonds

Few extra blackberries and blueberries or a few halved strawberries

 

1      Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Brush inside a 23cm (9 inch) diameter or 1.5 litre (3 pint) fluted ring mould with a little oil. Add the blackberries and blueberries to a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of the flour and gently stir together until the berries are coated. Add baking powder to the remaining flour.

2      Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in alternate spoonfuls of beaten egg and remaining flour, beating well after each addition and continuing until both have all been added.

3      Stir in the ground almonds and almond essence if using, then fold in the flour coated berries.

4      Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and level the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until well risen, the top is golden and a skewer comes out cleanly when inserted into the cake.

5      Leave to cool for 30 minutes then loosen the edges of the mould, turn out on to a wire rack and remove the mould. Leave to cool completely.

6      Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, gradually mix in just enough water to mix to a smooth icing that will slowly fall from a spoon. Transfer the cake to a serving plate, drizzle the icing over in zig zag lines, decorate with a few extra berries and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Leave to stand for 15 minutes or so for the icing to set, then cut into thick slices and serve.

Tip

As the cake has lots of fresh fruit in the mixture it is best eaten within 2 days.