Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Bilberry Upside-Down Cake

Upside-down cake recipes make for an interesting everyday cake.  They are incredibly easy to make and are great for an impromptu bake resulting in a great addition to an afternoon tea, with no need for any frosting allowing the fruit to create the interest.   This bilberry upside-down cake makes great use of foraged berries with additional flavour coming from the ground almonds and a touch of lemon zest. 

Upside-down cakes make for an interesting everyday cake.  They are easy to make and this one makes great use of foraged bilberries and a classic Victoria Sponge batter


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Food, and baking in general, has the amazing ability to create strong and powerful memories for most of us.  The aroma, flavour, and colour, as well as events surrounding certain foods often stays with us for a lifetime.  Personally I think that's part of the reason why I love to bake so much.  Besides the absolute pleasure it gives me to see people's face light up when I share a slice of something yummy, it also brings back so many warm memories I have from my childhood of baking with my Mum and Grandma.    

Those baking memories aren't just reserved to the time spent in the kitchen stood on a kitchen stool trying to roll out some pastry or fill some cupcake cases with my Mum, though of course it was a significant part, it also involved some foraging during the summer months resulting in a bake which seemed even more delicious having sourced a significant ingredient ourselves.

Foraged bilberries are great in many dessert and cake recipes

Now don't get me wrong, we certainly didn't go out every week to forage for all of our foods, far from it.  After all without a huge amount of expertise it's easy to pick the wrong things and become ill.  Invariable our foraging was largely reserved to collecting blackberries and bilberries, two fruits which grow abundantly in our locality.

I have to admit that living in Yorkshire, Mr E and I are lucky to know of several localities where we can forage for these awesome little bilberries.  But if you're not lucky enough to have some growing almost on your door step, and aren't planning a visit to Yorkshire where you may find the berry being sold in fruit and veg shops (particularly in market towns) check out your local Polish store, many sell the fruit jarred (simply drain away the syrup to use in the cake), or substitute the bilberry for blueberries, or even use blackcurrants or blackberries for that layer of dark fruit.  


Bilberry upside down cake, with added ground almonds and lemon zest

During the past few weeks I have been checking the local bilberry bushes for the ripening of this little berry.  As luck would have it, with a box in hand, this past weekend saw the tiny berries ripe and ready to be foraged.  Dark, deep purple and juicy.  So juicy that my hands were stained from their pigment (thankfully a temporary issue which was resolved with some soap and water once we had returned home)!      

What to make with bilberries

As lovely and tempting that our bilberry & spelt muffins, bilberry and custard crumble tart  and bilberry and white chocolate baked cheesecake are, this easy bilberry cake recipe was inspired by our recent Strawberry and Basil Upside-Down Cake.

Not only was it eye catching with its layer of pinkie red fruit, but it also smelt fabulous, and tasted even more amazing.  Plus it was an absolute doddle to make, with no need for any fancy frosting or decoration.  The layer of seasonal fruit did all the hard work!

How to make an upside down cake with bilberries

Our bilberry version of the upside-down cake was just as good.  The classic Victoria sponge mixture was pepped up with some ground almond (though this of course can be replaced with flour if catering for those with nut allergies) and a little lemon zest.  And the layer of dark, almost jam like, fruit crowning the cake not only brought a hint of drama, but oodles of flavour, nutrients and extra moisture.

Upside down cake recipe using bilberries

Upside-down cakes are a really easy bake, resulting in an everyday cake which somehow seems that little bit more special.  Although you could combine the fruit in the batter for it to be suspended in the sponge cake itself, an upside down cake removes all of the issues with the fruit sinking because of course it's meant to be on the bottom during the bake!   

Upside down cake recipe





So, here's how to make Bilberry Upside-Down Cake






print recipe

Bilberry Upside-Down Cake
Upside-down cake recipes make for an interesting everyday cake.  They are incredibly easy to make and are great for an impromptu bake resulting in a great addition to an afternoon tea, with no need for any frosting allowing the fruit to create the interest.   This bilberry upside-down cake makes great use of foraged berries with additional flavour coming from the ground almonds and a touch of lemon zest.


Details
Hands on time: Bake time:     Yield: 1 x 16cm cake, serving 6 people

Specific Equipment
    1 x deep 16cm diameter cake tin 
Ingredients
  • 150g Bilberries (see note c below)
  • 115g Butter, unsalted & softened
  • 75g Caster Sugar
  • 40g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 Lemon, Zest of
  • small Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 75g SR Flour
  • 40g Ground Almonds
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1-2 tbsp Milk

Method
1. Prepare the bilberries. Wash the bilberries removing any leaves, stalks and spoilt fruit. Place onto a double layer of kitchen roll to dry. 2. Preheat the oven to 180℃ / Fan 160℃ / 355℉ / Gas 4. 3. Prepare the cake tin. Grease and fully line the cake tin with grease proof paper.4. Make the sponge batter. Place the soft butter and sugars into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Add the salt and lemon zest. Beat again to combine. Gradually add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition, (see note b below). Sieve the flour, ground almonds and baking powder into the mixture. Use a spatula, large metal spoon or your hand with your fingers splayed to fold this in gently. Add a little milk and gently mix in until the batter has a dropping consistency.5. Fill the cake tin. Place the prepared bilberries into the bottom of the cake tin, ensuring there is an even layer. Spoon the prepared batter onto the bilberries. Spread the batter out gently to level, aiming not to disturb the bilberries. Use the back of a spoon to make a slight indentation to the centre of the batter. This will help it bake level. 6. Bake. Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes until golden brown, slightly pulling away from the sides and a cake skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. You may need to rotate the cake tin after 35 - 40 minutes of baking. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack. 7. Turn out the cake. Allow the cake to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Invert a cooling rack on top of the cake tin. In one movement, swiftly turn the cake tin and cooling rack upside down. Remove the cake tin and greaseproof paper. The bilberries will now be the top of the cake. Allow the cake to finish cooling.8. Enjoy, with either on its own or served with ice cream, cream, yogurt or even warm with some custard.
Notes: a) When making the cupcake batter, consider weighing the cracked eggs first to ensure the batter has equal weight of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Simply weigh the butter, sugar and flour to the same weight as the eggs. Of course the value may be slightly different to the 115g listed in the ingredients above. b) Consider warming your lightly beaten eggs over a bain marie especially if they feel particularly cold. Warm them until they feel lukewarm. This should help prevent the batter from curdling and produce a better sponge. c) If you're unable to get hold of fresh bilberries, either source them jarred or use blueberries instead.  Alternatively black currants or blackberries would be great too.   d)  To make the cake suitable for those with a nut allergy remove the ground almonds and baking powder (as extra raising agent won't be needed) and replace with the same quantity (40g) of SR flour. 










Pin Bilberry Upside-Down Cake for later!

Upsidedown cakes make for an interesting everyday cake.  This recipe uses bilberries and brings a touch of drama, as well as wonderful flavour and nutrition to an everyday cake suitable for afternoon tea.




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Useful Baking Equipment when making a Bilberry Upside-Down Cake

 


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20 comments:

  1. What a gorgeous cake Angela :* Love the pretty purple blue color of those berries!! This cake is perfect for breakfast and brunches!! Lovely :)

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Deepika, I do love the sound of your breakfasts and brunches ;-)
      Angela x

      Delete
  2. So beautiful! That bowl of bilberries is so inviting, and I love what you've done with them in this cake. I know I say this in practically every comment, but your photos are looking so good these days!! Eb x

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou so much Eb, that really means a lot :-D I have to confess I learnt quite an important photo leason shooting this cake....I'd taken about 40 or so pics of the cake on the stand before cutting into it and because my battery was low (yup i'd not charged it up from the previous shoot so that's lesson number 2!) I decided to check the initial pics on the PC before slicing into the cake. Well on first look I thought they looks slightly too dark, so when I resumed the shoot (with a bit more battery life) I adjusted the settings.....but rather than checking the look of them on the PC I ended up finishing the shoot.....and they looked too light and 'blown' in certain parts around the cake stand and plate! Took me longer than normal to edit them......and as it turns out I actually prefer the dark staging and the bowl of berries which were on the original settings!!!!
      Angela x

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  3. Looks like the perfect cake for an afternoon tea. We love them at our beach hut and it's a sure fire way of getting our boys to join us!

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    Replies
    1. Ooh that sounds absolutely glorious - sitting in at a beach hut with a simple cake and the family around - idylic :-)
      Angela x

      Delete
  4. The cake looks gorgeous..first I thought it was mistakenly written bilberry instead of blueberry..first time hearing it..love to have a slice of cake

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Lathiya :-) They're very similar to blueberries, though quite a lot smaller and darker too as well as being more flavoursome in my opinion :-)
      Angela x

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  5. I need to find some bilberries, I think I say this every year! This cake looks and sounds so delicious, I would love a huge slice! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x

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    Replies
    1. Aw thankyou Kirsty :-) I'd definitely recommend finding out if there are some local to you, and I'm sure your youngsters would love to help forage for some.
      Angela x

      Delete
  6. Upside down cakes are a favourite in our household too, but i ave never made one with bilberries. Looks amazing. In fact im not usre I have ever eaten bilberries.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh you must try and get your hands on some if at all possible Jacqui, I'm sure you'd love them :-)
      Angela x

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  7. This looks gorgeous! I do love upside down cakes and although I've never had one with bilberries in I made a lovely blackberry one a few years ago. I wish I knew more about foraging too as it's something I'd love to do to be able to get ingredients like this. Thanks so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice x

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    Replies
    1. Ooh I love the idea of a blackberry one Corina :-). I know just what you mean about foraging, I'd love to do more of it but I definitely think I need to have somebody show me exactly what to look for. I'd love to pick some elderflower when that's in season but although there's something that looks 'similar' to it when we go for a walk, I'm not completely convinced it's actually elderflower.
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

      Delete
  8. The cake looks so delicious! :) I'll have to give it a try! Pinned.

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  9. This looks absolutely wonderful! I love recipes like these - simple and wholesome and full of quality ingredients. I have to admit that I've never heard of bilberries, but I completely agree with you that a big part of why I cook/bake is because of the memories it evokes :)

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    Replies
    1. It's such a strong draw to baking isn't it, recall those fond memorie - though let's not forget all of the yumminess baking produces :-D
      Thanks for your lovely comment,
      Angela x

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  10. Another gorgeous cake Angela. Such a great way of using your foraged bilberries. Commenting as BritMums Baking Round-up Editor. :)

    ReplyDelete

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