Saturday, 18 August 2012

Blueberry & Nectarine Yoghurt Cake

I love this time of year, when the fruit is in season, ripe and ready to be picked. It’s soft, sweet, juicy and actually has some flavour! I’ve been getting my fruit from the local market in Sheffield. It’s great as they usually have some of what’s in season. They always have bananas, apples and oranges, but things like peaches, plums and berries change with the seasons. Buying from markets not only offers variety but is usually a lot cheaper than supermarkets. On my first weekend here I picked up 10 huge plums for only £1 – yes 10! Some were a little over ripe and others a bit battered but it’s a natural product and once the squished ones are baked/stewed and munched with my morning cereal, no one would know the difference.

Last weekend I came away with bags of nectarines and a little box of blueberries and was determined to use some of them in a cake. During the week I’d also picked up a huge pot of natural yoghurt and so decided to make a yoghurt cake. I’ve not made these very often, but on the few occasions I have they have always produced lovely moist cakes. As dry cakes can be a bit of a problem when baking gluten free, I’m annoyed at myself for not thinking of it sooner, especially as it produced such a wonderfully moist cake. Oh well, at least I know now!

Almonds always go so well with fruity flavours so I added some in place of some of the flour in the recipe. It probably helped make the cake extra moist and tasty too. I decided to mix the blueberries into the cake batter itself and then fan out slices of nectarine on top. This worked well as the blueberries remained hidden inside the cake, trapping in their juices, while the slices of nectarine roasted in the oven and become wonderfully sticky and intense in flavour, helped by the light scattering of brown sugar added just before baking.

The texture of the cake was great. The outside was a rich golden brown, firm and slightly chewy, while the middle crumb stayed pale and creamy with a fabulous soft and tender texture. The yoghurt adds a milky freshness and helps keep it tasting light. I loved how the bursting blueberries really stood out against the pale creamy crumb.

Recently I’ve realised I’ve gone off cakes with mounds of frosting. They are fine for birthdays, but for everyday I find them a bit too sweet. A thin glaze or a dark chocolate ganache is much more appealing. I particularly love cakes like this. They need no embellishment at all, as the fruit and yoghurt cake itself are the stars of the show.

P.S. Hurrah for The Great British Bake Off starting again. I love this programme! There is no unnecessary shouting or dramatics and it’s truly about people who love to bake. It always makes me want to dash off to the kitchen and bake whenever I sit down to watch it, plotting what I’d do in their shoes. Now they just need to make a gluten free version….

Blueberry & Nectarine Yoghurt Cake
Ingredients
150g gluten free plain flour (I used Doves Farm)
50g ground almonds
100g butter
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g full fat plain natural yoghurt
100g blueberries
1 nectarine
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

Nutty Sprinkle

1½ tbsp light soft brown sugar
20g blanched almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a deep 8inch springform tin and line the base with baking paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs on at a time, beating well between each one. Add the vanilla and yoghurt and beat again to combine. Don’t worry if it looks a little curdled at this stage.
Add the blueberries and fold them into the batter using a spatula.
Sift over the flour and baking powder, add the ground almonds and fold together, turning the bowl as you go until just combined.
Spread the batter into the tin and even out the top.
Cut the nectarine in half, remove the stone and slice into 5mm thick slices. Arrange the slices in a fan formation around the edge of the cake and place a few in the centre.
Roughly chop the almonds and scatter over the surface of the cake, followed by the brown sugar.
Bake in the oven for around 50-60 minutes, until a deep golden brown colour on top and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. It will be wet if you hit a blueberry!
Allow to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing from the in and allowing to cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.
Can also be sliced and frozen on day of baking.
Makes 1 x 8inch cake

7 comments:

Cătălina Stancu said...

The cake looks soo yummy!! I wanna have a piece of it!!

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Chele said...

Yum! I love these kind of 'summer' cakes - it just screams happiness to me.

Caroline said...

Oh, I absolutely love cakes like this - full of fruity summer flavour. I decided quite a while ago that I prefer my cakes 'plain' most of the time - without too much sweet frosting. The challenge is to make them look great without - something you have done here! Nectarines and blueberries are a great combo, yum!

The Caked Crusader said...

Divine - I love fruit in cakes, and I agree that yoghurt cakes are ace. My sort of bake!

Johanna GGG said...

this cake ticks all my boxes - fruit, yoghurt, almonds! And I agree the fruit is so much nicer than mounds of frosting (if only frosting wasn't so pretty I could do away with it)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

I'm afraid I'm the complete opposite - all my cakes need frosting, I couldn't eat cake without it! but I love how moist the addition of yoghurt makes cake like this, how's your new job going? I went to homebaked desserts in Bedford with my friend the other day, it was SO good - have you been?

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

I don't like frosting much, other than ganache. This cake seems perfect, I'm sure I'll try it soon, adapted to Indian fruits ofcourse.