… well, just when I thought i’d have more time to dedicate to the blog the week was whisked away from me in some kind of mad whirlwind of bonkersness – if that’s a thing. Well, it is a thing and it happened. Because it’s been so busy, with such long days, we’ve been doing a lot of eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s really brought our attention to how wonderful and how truly dreadful the restaurant industry can be. We’re lucky because we do know some of the little ‘secret squirrel’ type places but if we didn’t I’m sure we’d be a lot poorer than we already are. Two places worth mentioning this week; one for its brilliance and one for its utter dreadfulness – first to the worst which used to be called Balans Restaurant and is now the more ‘hipster’ Balans Cafe Society (groan) on Old Compton Street. In the heart of Soho, this classic cafe used to be so cool and so lovely serving a divine 24 hour breakfast. It’s now horrid, stingy food, full of wankers, served by miserable underpaid idiots and I felt like a fool myself by choosing to eat there… the other was the polar opposite. The glorious Sugar Shack at the Jackdaw and Star in Homerton. This homely pub is home to the brilliantly inspired Andi Oliver who’s created an eclectic homespun menu inspired by Caribbean and British food and was seriously divine and stupidly inexpensive. We both had the spring onion and pea fritters – which I will try and recreate for you here soon, followed by the falafel burger with handout chips. It was good.
of course, other than my beautiful home, one of the worst things about not going back to Lincolnshire this particular weekend is that I am going to miss the local Aby Village show. This will a be first for me for some years and as you can imagine I am absolutely gutted… there will be no scones… there will be no bread or jam… there will be no skulduggery or WI backstabbing… I am heartbroken. But then again, the ladies of Aby, Belleau and the surrounding villages will miss my contribution and fear my retribution for next year… so watch out… I dedicate this cake to you…
blackberry loaf cake
oh this is just one of those cakes that delivers so much from its humble beginnings… and continues to give as the fruit breaks down and moistens the cake, thus extending its shelf-life… not that this kind of cake gets much shelf life around these parts but you get my drift. For some reason I picked up a box of ‘very large’ free-range eggs, these arrant my usual choice of egg but they worked beautifully in this recipe and I used the classic ‘weigh-the-eggs’ method anyway so it was more about volume than anything… Blackberries are so gorgeous at the moment. It’s been the perfect season of sunshine and rain to produce some juicy corkers.
2 very large free-range eggs
100g coconut sugar
200g Homepride self-raising flour
1 punnet of fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons blackcurrant jam (your flavour of jam is up to you)
i used a 2lb loaf tin but it would work just as well in a 20cm round, which I greased and lined with greaseproof paper and pre-heated the oven to 170C fan
in my fabulous retro Smeg stand mixer I beat together the sugars and the butter until they were soft and fluffy and creamy, then I added one egg and beat in followed by half the flour which I beat in, then the remaining egg and flour at which stage I put in the blackberries and jam and beat again until all the ingredients were combined and the blackberries were broken up
I then poured the cake batter into the loaf tin and baked for 40 mins until it was risen and golden and a skewer interred came out clean
it needed no icing or topping as it was sweet enough… just like me
eat and of course enjoy!