Gooseberry Crumble Cakes

Sunday 14 July 2013

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The gooseberries are ripe in our garden now. We have both green and red ones.  They both taste pretty much the same, they're just different colours.  They are indigenous to Europe from what I understand, although you can find them pretty much all over now.   They have really sharp spines.  Apparently you can sometimes find wild Gooseberries in copses and hedgerows, but I have yet to come across any.

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Like I said we have both red and green ones and I look forward to them ripening every year.   We love gooseberry crumbles and pies . . . gooseberry sauce with pork chops . . . and cakes.  Gooseberries make lovely cakes.

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Lovely cakes such as these little Gooseberry Crumble Cakes which I have here in the kitchen today.  It's adapted from a recipe in Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries Volume 2, so you just know it has to be good.  Nigel's recipes always are.

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I have been waiting all year to make  this cake, but it's sooooo hot today, I just couldn't imagine having a whole cake in the oven for a whole hour.  So, I decided to make small ones instead.  Using my straight sided loose bottom mini cake tin, I got six nice sized cakes, and they baked in half the time. 

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The cake itself is lovely and moist . . . a beautiful texture, but I'd expect nothing less.   The Gooseberries add a lovely tang . . . just right with the cake, and of course that crumble topping is buttery and short.  Perfect. 

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We had ours with a bit of pouring cream, as is the custom over here.  I was quite flummoxed when I moved over here and saw people pouring cream right on their cakes and pies . . . I was used to cream always being whipped and sweetened.   Now, I have to say, I am quite used to it and actually prefer it straight from the jug and un-sweetened!

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We both enjoyed these very much and I can see that this recipe would work very well with all sorts of fruits and berries.  Don't be put off from baking it just because you don't have gooseberries.  Currants, raspberries, blueberries, chopped peaches . . . plums, pears or apples, or even a combination.   All would be lovely.  If you want to bake the cake whole, use a loose bottomed 9 inch round tin, the bottom lined with paper.   Bake it for one hour.  You will enjoy this cake no matter how you make it.  I promise you that!

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*Gooseberry Crumble Cakes*
Makes 6 mini cakes

You will want to use one of those cake tins here which has six sections and loose bottoms in each, with straight sides.  I guess you could also use a muffin pan, but you will get more than six cakes if you do.  Adjust everything accordingly. 

300g of gooseberries, topped and tailed (about 2 cups)
180g butter, softened (3/4 cup)
90g golden caster sugar (scant 1/2 cup)
90g soft light brown sugar (1/3 cup packed)
2 large free range eggs
80g ground almonds (15 TBS)
150g self raising flour (1 1/3 cup)
few drops vanilla
For the crumble topping:
110g plain flour (1 cup)
80g butter (5 1/2 TBS)
2 TBS caster sugar
few drops water

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Preheat the oven to 180*C/gas mark 4/ 350*F.   Spray the tin(s) with nonstick cooking spray.   Set aside.
Cream together the butter and  sugars until light and fluffy.   Beat in the eggs and vanilla a bit at a time.  Fold in the ground almonds and flour until smooth.  Transfer the batter to the prepared pans, dividing it equally.  Smooth the tops.  Scatter the gooseberries over top, dividing them amongst the cups. 

Put the flour, butter and sugar into a food processor and blitz until the mixture forms crumbs.   Add a few drops of water and run a fork through the mixture lightly so that some of the crumbs stick together.  Sprinkle over top of the gooseberries loosely.  You will probably not need it all.   (You can freeze any leftovers for another time.) 

Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until risen and a tooth pick inserted in the centres comes out clean.   Allow to stand in the pans for 10 minutes before pushing out.   Serve warm with some custard, ice cream or pouring cream.  Delicious!


  1. Surprise surprise I don't have that pan:)

    I am sure I can work around that for these..

  2. I love these type of recipes with the history you share! I do a small gooseberry bush i the garden so I will print this! Thank you for all your hard work and sharing!

  3. I also have gooseberries in the garden! Mine aren't ripe yet - being so much further north, we are always 2-3 weeks behind you, though it gives me inspiration to make them in a couple of weeks. I don't have those special pans, but I think I'll make it as a large cake and bake it for longer.

    And I so agree with you about Nigel's recipes - they are brilliant. I often look them up in The Guardian. Recently I made his Broad bean, basil and lettuce soup, with fresh produce from our little allotment garden and it was the most delicious summer soup I'd eaten in ages.

  4. Oh Marie, that soup does sound delicious. I shall have to look it up myself! So good to hear from you! I miss you on Facebook!

  5. I have never had gooseberries, but I would love to give them a try. These cakes look great, especially with that drizzle of cream!

  6. looks delicious! I was looking for a gooseberry recipe to use up our fresh gooseberries and this is the perfect one! xx


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