Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Hot Hobart Berry Cake

A couple of weeks ago I was at a friend's place, and spent a little time browsing How to Cook a Galah by Laurel Evelyn Dyson. This is a fascinating book about Australian culinary history, with plenty of recipes. I copied down a couple of recipes to try out. This one is a sort of fruit sponge, originally titled Hot Hobart Mulberry Cake. Apparently the original cook had a friend with a mulberry tree.

The recipe is dead easy, with no fussy creaming of butter and sugar, just a simple stir through. I didn't have mulberries, but I did have some blackberries from the Borenore Hillside orchards and some boysenberries from my back garden, picked about a month ago and frozen. So here is my variant.

Recipe: Hot Hobart Berry Cake

450g berries
juice of one lemon
300ml light sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla brandy
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Beat together the sour cream, vanilla and eggs.
  • Sift the flour and sugar together
  • Wash berries and dry well, then coat with lemon juice.
  • Grease a round casserole dish.
  • Stir the sour cream mix through the flour and sugar.
  • Turn out into the greased dish.
  • Pour berries on top.
  • Bake for 45min-1 hour, until sponge is done in the centre when tested with a skewer.
  • Serve warm, with cream or icecream.

Notes: There was no vanilla in the original, and of course the sour cream was not light. I'm also guessing that they used butter to grease a dish, rather than a spray of rice bran oil.

Vanilla brandy is what I have on my shelf, it's a small bottle of brandy with vanilla pods in it. Use 1 tsp vanilla essence and 2-3 tsp brandy for the closest equivalent. It's quite a thick batter, and I think the extra dash of liquid is helpful. Possibly the original cook's sour cream was thinner, or her lemons juicier or eggs larger.

It came out very delicious when warm. It did take quite some time for the centre to set - 55 min even in my fan forced oven. By that time the outer part was a little crusty.

It went very well with a scoop of vanilla icecream, and I think pouring cream would be a good option, too. On the whole I think this is better warm than cold, and even better with more berries. Luckily it microwaves up alright with 30-60 seconds a serve.

No comments: