The sun is shining on wet bramble leaves and all around me spiders’ webs are shimmering with diamond-like droplets of water. It’s late August and summer is winding down. Last night’s rain shower also leaves its mark on Billy and Harley’s fur coats which are now quite wet from running through the grass and bushes in Tongham Community Wood. My pockets are stuffed with small plastic bags and one of them now contains several handfuls of glistening black beauties. My hands are a bit scratched from the thorns and the taste of things to come overpowers the stinging. Wild blackberries – or brambles as they are sometimes called in England and especially Scotland – have a sweet yet slightly woody taste and cry out to take their place in cakes and muffins.
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Coconut and Blackberry Cake
I found this recipe on the Great British Chefs website whilst searching for a delicious way to use my wild blackberries. The original recipe calls for blueberries which I will try soon. The coconut oil makes the cake extremely light and moist. The coconut flour and desiccated coconut give the merest hint of tropical flavour. I took this cake to a Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Thermomix demonstration and everyone went back for seconds, whether or not they had food intolerances. You don’t even need to tell anyone it’s gluten-free, your guests and family will love it!
15 g sugar for dusting
100 g coconut oil
125 g sugar
50 g coconut flour
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
50 g desiccated coconut
200 g blackberries or blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and grease and line a 7-inch, deep round cake tin. Weigh sugar into TM bowl. Grind 8 seconds/Speed 10. Tip out and reserve.
- Weigh in coconut oil and melt 3 minutes/50°C/Speed Spoon. Pour out and set aside (or leave in the bowl and switch to your second TM bowl). No need to wash your bowl.
- Add eggs to TM bowl and weigh in the second quantity of sugar. Insert Butterfly whisk. Whisk 2 minutes/Speed 4 or until mixture has doubled in volume. Turn TM to Speed 3 and continue to whisk while adding the reserved melted coconut oil through the hole in the lid. Be sure to scrape out all the coconut oil from your bowl or container.
- Remove the Butterfly whisk. Fold in the coconut flour, baking powder and desiccated coconut 20 seconds/Speed 6. Scrape sides of TM bowl. The coconut flour will absorb the moisture but your cake will still be light and moist.
- Finally, fold in the berries with the TM spatula and pour the mixture out into your prepared tin. Leave to absorb a minute or two. Level the top with a palette knife if you wish (I didn’t find this necessary). Bake 30 minutes at 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/Gas Mark 4, then reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (130°C fan)/300°F/Gas Mark 2 and bake for a further 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of its tin. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and transfer to a serving plate.
Bon appétit !