god, i LOVE berries. small, tart, sweet, and smelling great – they are one of the best things about summer! in switzerland we get very good berries because the climate is just perfect for them. at the moment we have strawberries (erdbeeren), and some raspberries (himbeeren) and blackberries (brombeeren), altho the latter two are not quite in season yet and the ones available now are primarily from spain or italy. the first cherries (not technically a berry, i suppose, perhaps honorary berries??) are out and about, showing off their dark, glossy glamorous selves in amongst all the other knobbly fuzzy berries. i can’t wait until the swiss raspberries and blackberries are ripe – they grow wild here, all over the place: on the side of the road, at the back of the house, any spare patch of soil has a scrubby spindly thorny berry bush sprouting hard green knobbly berries. then later come the redcurrants (johanisbeeren) and if we’re lucky, whitecurrants (i dunno what they are called in german).
raspberries are best eaten fresh and warmed in the sun….i love tart blackberries in a crumble, or fruit pie, or muffins and cakes for that tart sweetness, or simmered down into the bestest jam ever! cherries are awesome straight from the tree (altho watch out for the tiny tiny holes which mean a worm has beaten you to it), in tarts (wähe) or cakes/muffins, with cheeses or in thick dark jam (skins intact or pureed in)….redcurrants i’m not too fond of eaten fresh, i think they are nicest made into a very tart, sourish jam which bruno loves and which also goes well with game (or so i’ve heard).
this afternoon i wanted to make an afternoon tea cake for bruno’s parents, to say thank you for having max over to stay on sunday night. he had a great time sleeping over and then sailing down the lake in the big paddlesteamer schiff (boat) to rapperswil to see some dinosaur-y thing. bruno and i revelled in the peace and quiet…max has been so rambunctious lately, sometimes my ears hurt!
after much indecision and a quick trip to the shops for supplies, i made this delicious, moist yoghurt and blackberry cake. i made a similar one a couple of weeks ago with cherries and it was a big success. the base recipe comes from my beloved edmonds cookery book, for lemon sour cream cake. i replaced the sour cream with greek yoghurt and added cherries/berries. i made two small flat cakes from this recipe – i wanted them to be more like a torte than a high cake, but when i made it with cherries i just left it as one. it is absolutely perfect for afternoon tea, a ritual of which i am particularly fond.
yoghurt and blackberry cake
– 125 g butter
– zest of a lemon
– 1 cup o’ sugar
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 cup yoghurt
– berries of yr choice…1 cup? 1 punnet?? depends if you are a berry king/queen like me!
– cream butter and sugar.
– beat in eggs.
– sift in flour and baking powder.
– fold in with yoghurt; mix until smooth
– pour into lined tins: i used 2 x 18cm tins for 2 flat cakes
– dot berries over surface, and push down a bit. the berries will sink down during cooking into the cake.
– bake at 160°c for 45 mins or until springy to the touch.
– cool off, then dust with icing sugar
– eat in afternoon sunlight, with a cup of yr favourite tea steaming hot beside you. delicious!