If you’re in the mood for baking here’s a fabulous pudding cake from the brilliant young Scandinavian food writer, Signe Johansen’s Scandilicious Baking. I can’t pretend to be entirely objective in that assessment. Sig has contributed to this site and collaborated on one of my books but her own are really something else. Try this recipe then buy them!
Signe writes: There is something gloriously nostalgic and retro about fruity upside-down cakes. I adore this blueberry one with its beautiful deep indigo colour, hint of elderflower and light sponge made with Greek yoghurt. This is a real crowd-pleaser, great for celebrations and special occasions. This cake doesn’t keep well as the blueberries lose their fresh intensity relatively quickly after cooking, so be sure to get your friends around to enjoy it on the day of baking!
400g fresh or frozen blueberries
50ml elderflower cordial
4 medium eggs
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g refined spelt (or plain) flour
125g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine sea salt
125g butter, melted
125g Greek yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas mark 3-4, and lightly oil a 23cm round cake tin (springform, if you have one). Wrap the outside of the tin in a layer of aluminium foil to create a tight seal, in order to prevent any blueberry juice leaking out. Spread the blueberries evenly over the base of the cake tin, drizzle with elderflower cordial and set aside to macerate.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl (or mixer) for 5-8 minutes until pale and fluffy. When you remove the whisk, the trail of mixture it leaves on the surface should remain visible for 2-3 seconds. Combine the flour, almonds, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Gradually mix the melted butter, yoghurt and dry ingredients in to the beaten egg mixture in stages, alternating between them, until you have a smooth, thick cake batter.
Pour the batter over the blueberries and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top looks golden and feels springy and firm to the touch. The sides should be slighty lifting away from the edges of the cake tin. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes in the tin before releasing the springform (if applicable), carefully flipping the cake upside down on to a plate so that the blueberries are facing upwards and removing the tin.
This cake is wonderful just as it is, or you could try it with a scoop of good vanilla or clotted cream ice cream, or perhaps a dollop of Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche.
Try this with raspberries, blackberries, mulberries, mixed summer berries, cherries, cloudberries or thinly sliced or quartered plums, apricots or rhubarb. Apples work really well too, but be sure to cut in thin slices and fan them out on the bottom of the cake tin as this helps to cook them properly (plus it looks pretty!)
What to drink: I'm not sure you really need wine with cake but if you're serving it as a pudding you might fancy a glass. I'd go for a sweet Bordeaux like Sauternes or a wine from one of the Bordeaux satellites like Loupiac, Cadillac or Saussignac or a late harvest Sauvignon. An auslese or other late harvest riesling should work too.
© Signe Johansen 2012. Recipe extracted from Scandilicious Baking by Signe Johansen, out now published by Saltyard Books, £25 www.signejohansen.com