November 2017: We’re big Nadiya (and Bake-off in general) fans in this house, so when I spotted this recipe in one of yesterday’s newspapers I thought ‘well here’s a lightly looking option’, and now that we’ve got two good friends coming for dinner tomorrow, I’ll have the perfect excuse to make it, and the perfect testers too!
The other thing I like about it is that you make it today to eat tomorrow, taking all that last minute fuss out of the equation..
If it’s a success, I’ll probably give it a couple of outings over Christmas. But talking about it is not going to get it made, so let’s go
- an 8inch loose-bottomed circular cake tin, greased and lined
- Electric mixer
- A blender (or you could do this by hand)
For the cake:
- 100g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar ( I use golden caster)
- 2 large eggs
- 100g plain flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 25g cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons of boiling water
For the mousse:
- 300g frozen blackberries ( I used 500g mixed fruits of the forest, because that’s what was in the freezer)
- 1 orange, zest only
- 300ml double cream
- 2 tablespoons of icing sugar
- 1 and a half teaspoons of cornflour
Leave the fruit to defrost, and get ahead with the baking part:
- Heat the oven to 180 fan
- The cake is simplicity itself – put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until everything is combined and looks nice and glossy.
- Put the mixture into the lined tin, and bake for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Remove it from the oven to a cooling rack, but leave it in the tin for 20 minutes, then turn it out onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
- Then wash the cake tin, and line it generously with clingfilm – the slightly damp walls help hold the clingfilm – mine looks rather clunky, but I’m sure it will be grand 😉
- While the cake is cooking, you can turn your attention to the fruit – make sure it’s fully defrosted then put it, and the orange zest, into the bowl of the blender and blitz until it’s a smooth sauce.
- Put a sieve over a bowl, and let the fruit puree drain, giving it a helping hand with the back of a metal spoon, or a spatula.(my puree was rather thick, so it definitely needed the helping hand).
- When the cake is fully cooled, put it back into the tin, flattest side up, and chill in the fridge while you make the mousse.
- Whip the double cream with the icing sugar and cornflour until it reaches soft-peak stage, then fold in the coulis and continue to beat until it’s well combined and mousse-like.
- I think you should taste the mousse at this stage to make sure it’s not too bitter – my forest fruits definitely needed a little extra help..
- Spoon it over the cake in the tin, smooth the top.
- Then cover the top of the tin with another sheet of clingfilm (without letting it touch the mousse) and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve it, take the top covering off, then use the sheets of clingfilm to help lift it out of the tin and put it on your serving plate.
- Remove the clingfilm gently from the sides, and remove the cling film from underneath the cake (although truthfully the cake is tough enough to take a bit of handling – see picture below)
- Decorate with some berries (I used fresh raspberries, lightly poached with some sugar, and drained of their juices) or just raw berries, depending on the time of year..
NOTES – There are always notes, right?
- CAUTION: this puree will colour everything it hits, so wear an apron and keep it away from anything precious!
- The combination of slightly tart puree and the slightly sweetened cream is completely yum! But I still say you need to taste it! Think of it as chef’s perks 😉 (and defend those beaters with your life!)
- This was a great success when we served it recently. It’s best to keep it in the fridge until you want it, and even between servings – it gets quite soft if it’s left at room temperature for more than an hour.
- As you can see the cling film left marks on the sides of the cake – if you want to really tidy it up, run a flat-bladed knife around the sides to smooth it out.