If you fancy the idea of baking a cake this weekend, might I suggest this Blueberry Cake? It's one of my favourites and very seasonal. It is perfect eaten in the garden, on the balcony or under the shade of a tree at the local park with a cup or flask of earl grey tea. It's light, fruity and terribly moorish. I often find myself turning to this recipe when asked to make a special cake at this time of year. It is finished with a delicious soured cream icing and looks as pretty as a picture when decorated with an extra handful of seasonal berries and chocolate sticks or summer flowers.
But I make this humble plea to you: this buttery-vanillary-fruity cake is summer through and through and although I'm sure it would still taste lovely when eaten in others seasons, I don't think it would quite have the same edge. So seize the moment and act now if you please and enjoy this cake while the sun shines.
A Blueberry Cake for the Summer
175g soft butter
175g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
225g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
142ml carton soured cream
3 x 125g punnet of blueberries
200g tub Philadelphia cheese
100g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to fan160C/ conventional 180C/GM 4 and butter and line the base of a loose-based 22cm round cake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Put the butter, sugar, eggs,flour, baking powder and vanilla in a bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon for 2-3 minutes, or with a hand electric beater for 1-2 minutes, until lighter in colour and well mixed. Beat in 4 tbsp soured cream, then stir in half the blueberries with a large spoon.
Tip the mixture into the tin and spread it level. Bake for 50 minutes until it is risen, feels firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed. Cool for 10 minutes, then take out of the tin and peel off the paper or lining. Leave to finish cooling on a wire rack.
To make the frosting, beat the soft cheese with the icing sugar and the remaining soured cream in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the cooled cake (don't be impatient as the frosting will melt if the cake is too warm) and scatter with the remaining blueberries or a mix of blueberries and other seasonal berries. The cake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days. Bring it to room temperature for about an hour before serving.