Tuesday 24 July 2012

White Chocolate, Blackcurrant and Apricot Cake

I have seen lots of posts recently featuring blackcurrants and chocolate - there seems to be a rash of late entries into We Should Cocoa so I thought it was about time I threw my hat into the ring as it were and typed up my contribution. Choclette is the host this month and has chosen blackcurrants as the ingredient to pair with chocolate. I have to confess that I was rather relieved when this announcement was made. I haven't really relished the last couple of months challenges - firstly almonds (hmm, allergy alert!) which Laura kindly let me enter with a substitute of peanuts (no allergy concerns here for me) and then coffee - ugh. I know many out there are coffee lovers but I'm not among you!

So blackcurrants was rather welcome. I know it seems to have sparked some controversy - blackcurrants are apparently nigh on impossible to come by fresh in Australia and even here in the UK, many people have been unable to find the fresh berries and have chosen instead to use jam. As a little aside, I discovered when googling (thank you Wikipedia) that Ribena (a UK blackcurrant squash drink that used to claim 95% of the fruit grown in the UK) is so-called because the Latin name for the blackcurrant is Ribes Nigrum.

Please allow me a small moment of joy here - my garden is a complete mess (this is not the moment of joy!). I could post a photo and show you just what my lawn meadow looks like at the moment and how the hedges privet trees are threatening to take over the neighbourhood, but I won't (it's embarrassing for a start). But in amongst all the mess I fought my way towards the solitary blackcurrant bush and picked my bounty (I didn't use all of my currants in this cake) for this year. In spite of being nearly overcome by the long grass I have blackcurrants this year!

I decided to make a simple cake to show off the glory of my fresh fruit to the maximum. A combination with fresh apricots and white chocolate seemed fitting for the sunny days this weekend and so that is what I made.

Ingredients ready to be added

White Chocolate, Fresh Apricot and Blackcurrant Cake
125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
2 eggs
140g self raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
50g white chocolate, chopped small
95g blackcurrants
130g apricots, chopped (this was 3 apricots)

- Preheat the oven to gas 4/180C. Grease and line a 7"/18cm deep tin.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, flour and vanilla and beat well to combine.
- Fold in the chopped chocolate
Bear with me here - the method may seem a little odd, but there is method to the madness....
- Spoon half of the mixture into the tin and spread it out.
- To the remaining half of the mixture in the bowl, add half of the chopped apricots and half of the blackcurrants. Mix gently until combined, but take care not to smash the blackcurrants.
- Spread this fruity cake mixture over the top of the cake mix already in the tin.
- Scatter over the remaining apricots and blackcurrants.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes - you may need to cover the cake towards the end of the cooking time if it is browning too much.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little in the tin before removing to a wire rack.

I had wondered how to decorate this cake, but then didn't need to - the fruit that had stayed near the top had done a wonderful job of decorating the cake as it stood - no icing necessary. It was a delicious, fresh, fruity moist cake with little bursts of white chocolate sweetness that disappeared rapidly at work and was very popular. 

I am entering this into We Should Cocoa as mentioned previously. Hosted this month by Choclette of Choc Log Blog and co-hosted by Chele of Chocolate Teapot.

I am also entering it into this month's Alphabakes, where the letter is W (white chocolate). The host this month is Caroline of Caroline Makes and her co-host is Ros of The More than Occasional Baker.

Finally I am entering it into Ren's Simple and In Season, because those blackcurrants are right in season in my garden at the moment. This is hosted this month by Fleur.


Suelle said...

This is such a pretty cake - what an inspired mix of flavours and colours!

Baking Addict said...

Delicious combination of flavours! Yum! I couldn't find any fresh blackcurrants so I'm jealous that you got some from your garden! Thanks for entering this to AlphaBakes :)

Phil in the Kitchen said...

Lovely looking cake. I know what you mean about the challenge of keeping the garden tidy but I've just checked my solitary blackcurrant bush and it's got plenty of fruit too.

Unknown said...

It is a wonderful looking cake. I can see how moist it is!! I thought I'd have trouble finding fresh black currants but they are everywhere! Choclette timed it perfectly again I think!!

Johanna GGG said...

I wish you had shared photos of your garden - it sounds like a magical mystery wonderland if you can just happen to find a black currant bush - the only surprises in our back yard are weeds!

Love the cake - it does look pretty and delicious too

Choclette said...

Hooray for your blackcurrants - well done you or should I say well done them for surviving such neglect ;-)

Your cake looks glorious with those lovely colours and the flavours sound really interesting. I don't think I'd ever have though of adding apricots, but I bet it's absolutely delicious. Glad WSC served you better this month. Thanks for entering.

Caroline Cowe said...

I’m not sure I’ve seen this particular combination of ingredients before, but it looks really nice! Thanks for sending it into Alphabakes.

Hazel - Chicken in a Cherry Sauce said...

Gorgeous cake! It looks so fruity, moist and delicious! I love the flavours you've chosen.

Homemade by Fleur said...

What a colourful looking fruit cake! Reminds me of a panattone. Lovely entry for Simple and in Season.

Alissa @ Garlic & Sapphire said...

This looks so delicious! Proper English summer cake :)

Caroline said...

Suelle - thanks, I was pleased with how it looked.

Ros - I'm lucky that my blackcurrant bush produced anything - severe neglect!

Phil - perhaps it's a good year for them.

Dom - perfectly in season!

Johanna - it isn't a magical wonderland, just a big mess!

Choclette - neglect indeed - they must be very resilient to withstand my lack of gardening prowess!

Caroline - yes it was inspired by the contents of my fridge!

Hazel - thanks!

Fleur - thank you!

Alissa - thank you, it is indeed a proper summer cake - all the best of the season!


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