Apologies for the awful photographs. They were taken in a hurry and in awful light. The rain on Sunday really ruined the photos. Boo.
If you read my post about our strawberry picking adventure you'll know about the punnet of gooseberries we picked up. They are my brothers favourite and every summer he moans about not being able to get them. They are pretty hard to get hold of and you can't beat local ones. They just have so much more flavour.
I had to pick them up for him and rather than just take over the punnet, I decided it would be nice to bake them into a cake as early birthday treat. Well not in the cake because I'm really not a fan of cooked fruit (unless its banana bread, blueberry muffins or raspberry and white chocolate). I decided that stewing them up into a compote along with some freshly whipped cream would be the best option.
Gooseberries are part of my childhood. We had a gooseberry bush in the garden and I can remember sitting beside it with my brother eating them until our stomach hurt. I don't think that I really liked them then. The tartness is not to everyone's taste but you really can't go wrong when they are served with cake.
The addition of elderflower was for my benefit. The subtle flavour doesn't make that much difference but I love the taste of it so much. You can put it in any drink and you can guarantee I'll order that one off the menu.
You will need:
For the cake:
225g butter, softened
225g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
250g self raising flour, sifted
1 tablespoon elderflower cordial
For the compote:
1 punnet gooseberries, leaving some for decoration
2-3 tablespoons caster sugar
1 - 2 tsp of water
For the filling:
300ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Grease a loose bottomed sponge tin or grease and line a normal sponge tin.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add one egg and 1/4 flour into the butter mix. Continue to do this until all the eggs and flour are combined in the bowl.
Stir through the elderflower cordial.
Divide equally into the sponge tins and bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool.
To make the compote. Place all the ingredients into a pan.
Place the pan on the heat and wait until the the gooseberries have softened. You can stir the mixture if you need too.
Using a fork or potato masher. Squash the gooseberries to make a thick but spreadable compote. Leave to cool.
To make the cream filling. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks have formed.
To assemble the cake. Place one sponge onto a cake stand/plate. Spread the cream over the sponge. Leave a little cream to go on top.
Spread the gooseberry compote on top and top with the other sponge.
Take a small amount of cream and place around the edge of the cake. Place the gooseberries around the edge of the cake.
Chill until needed. This cake will only keep a couple of days so you'd better have that extra slice.