Sunday, 24 August 2014

Birthdays, Blueberries and Blackberries.

 Hello again! Last week was Big Sparkles birthday and as Granny was still staying I made her a favourite, Blueberry & Banana cake, which works fantastically well with Gluten Free flour. This is a very moist cake and even more so with ordinary flour. And the best thing about it is, this is the most forgiving recipe ever. You could pretty much chuck in any quantity of each ingredient and you will still get a really scrummy cake at the end! But I will tell you the guidelines I work to for this one.

3 ripe bananas
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of flour
2 eggs
Stick of butter (the original recipe I had said a whole 250g block!!! But there really is no need!)
Optional blueberries - but also try chocolate chunks instead.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease your cake tin and dust with a little flour.
Sift flour, baking powder into a bowl with the sugar and butter. Cream together.
Add the eggs and bananas. Add half the blueberries. I use a hand blender to blend the blueberries into the mixture. Then add the remaining whole blueberries and pour the mix into your cake tin.
Bake for around 30 mins and when the top turns golden brown, cover with foil to prevent burning.
Bake for a further 40 minutes or so. Because this is such a moist cake it is better to do a touch test rather than a skewer test, and the cake should spring back up from a light touch when ready.

This one was still being decorated quite late at night because the paper craft Frozen characters pattern I found online seemed like a good alternative to plastic figures because all the shops had sold out of anything Frozen. Luckily Granny and Hubby were here to help!

Frozen cake complete with 5 sparkler!
But Big Sparkle loved it so that's all that matters. She had a lovely day at Longdown Farm where she got to ride a pony, and then opened some more presents after her cake.

Spot the pony.
Look at all the little sparrows in with the goats!
Name art for Emily
A while ago I had the request for a picture with roses and kittens and fairies so Emily has this picture to hang in her room now.

 A couple days later we found some blackberries so we decided to pick a few and take them home. We didn't have that many (maybe 300g) so we decided to make a Blackberry Fool or Bramble Fool if you want it to sound posh.

400g (13oz) blackberries. We bulked ours out a bit with some strawberries (save a few for decoration).
3tbsp icing sugar
½tsp lemon juice
250ml (8fl oz) whipping cream
250ml (8fl oz) Greek yogurt (we used fruit yogurt instead).

Tip the blackberries into a saucepan with the icing sugar, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water. Over a low heat, bring to a simmer, stirring a few times (the berries should soften but not to stew). When they start looking juicy take off the heat.
Mash lightly to squeeze out all the juice and then pour into a nylon sieve set over a bowl. Push as much fruit through the sieve as possible, squeezing out every last drop of juice so you end up with a thin purée. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, whip the cream lightly in a separate bowl (don't whip it too much as the acidity in the fruit will also help it thicken). When the cream just holds a soft peak fold through the yogurt and half of the purée, until just combined. Ripple through the remaining purée and spoon into dishes. Top with some whole blackberries and serve.

This smelled delicious!
Sieving the fruit
Add the cream and make pretty patterns. Run off with spoon.
This was a really yummy treat and good fun to make too! I hope you enjoy them.

That's all from me this week, see you soon!

Amber xxx


  1. Aww Happy Birthday Big Sparkle the cake looks amazing and yay for gluten free, love the papercraft decorations.
    Clare x

  2. I enjoyed your blog and am feeling inspired to make banana cake (oh and go blackberry picking!) x