Summer Berry Cakes

The soft fruit season is well upon us at the moment. The best flavored fruit will be that which is grown in your local area. In Laois we have the very best of soft fruit including raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

The soft fruit season is well upon us at the moment. The best flavored fruit will be that which is grown in your local area. In Laois we have the very best of soft fruit including raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

When this fruit is available to me I like to keep it simple by mixing all the fruit together in a bowl and serve it with meringues and cream. I also like to bake with the soft fruit, by mixing the fruit into the cake mixture, baking it and serving the end result with whipped cream. How it looks when it comes out of the oven is always interesting. It’s hard to pass a muffin packed with fresh raspberries, bursting out through the sides. So here are some recepies for some soft fruit cakes for you to enjoy. But before I give them to you I would just like to say that, the rumors that we are opening again are very true. I am delighted to say that Tynans at the Storeyard in Kea-Lew Business Park will open for business in early august. So as the say watch this space. Now here are the recipes.

BLUEBERRY CAKE

6ozButter

6ozCastor sugar

8ozSelf raising flour

1tspBaking powder

3Eggs.

142mlCarton of soured cream

250gBlueberries

TOPPING

200gCream cheese

4ozIcing sugar

Heat the oven to 170o/gas 4. Grease and line the base of a22cm loose bottomed tin with non-stick baking paper. Put the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl. Beat until light in colour, then fold in 4 tbsp of the soured cream, and then stir in half the blueberries with a spoon. Spoon the mixture into the tin and spread out, bake for 50min until it is risen, firm to touch and springs back when lightly touched. Leave in the tin for 15min to cool, then remove it from the tin and place it on a wire rack. Beat the cheese with the sugar and the remaining soured cream till smooth and creamy. When the cake is completely cold spread the topping on it and scatter the blueberries over. This cake will keep for a few days in the fridge.

RASPBERRY AND CLOTTED CREAM CAKE

6ozCastor sugar

6ozButter

4Eggs

4ozSelf raising flour

4ozGround almonds

4ozFresh raspberries

3Drops of almond extract

1tspBaking powder

FILLING

4ozRaspberries

225gClotted cream

Heat the oven to 170o/gas4. Butter and line two 20cm loose bottom cake tins baking paper. Beat the sugar and butter together in a bowl then fold in the egg yolks one at a time. Then fold in the sifted flour and baking powder along with the ground almonds and extract. Whisk the egg whites till stiff then fold into the cake mixture, lightly fold in the raspberries. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 35min till cooked. When cooked remove from the oven, turn out on to a wire rack and allow to cool. Place one cake on a nice serving plate, spread over the clotted cream and scatter over the raspberries, then top with the other half of the cake, sieve some icing sugar the cake.

SHORTBREAD SERVED WITH STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM

12ozPlain flour

8ozButter

4ozCastor sugar

2Egg yolks

2tspVanilla extract

Strawberries

Cream

Icing sugar to dust

Place the flour in a food processor. Cut the butter into small pieces and add in, then whizz until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, egg yolk and the vanilla and whizz to soft dough. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a sausage shape, wrap in cling film place in the fridge for an hour. Heat the oven to 170o/gas4 cut the dough in slices about 5mm thick, then arrange on greased baking sheets, spaced apart, and bake for about 20mins. When cooked and cooled sandwich with cream and strawberries, sieve with icing sugar and enjoy.