The “fruit punnet cake” or fruit basket cake has freshly picked fruit covering it as well as spilling over the top: whenever I pick fruit from the allotment I always end up putting far too much into the punnets, often with fruit to be found rolling around in the boot of the car, so these cakes are very much me!
A bit of basket-weaving style piping with a very fruity buttercream surrounded the main cake.
The buttercream has dried raspberry powder and a little sieved raspberry purée whisked into it, as well as a little Framboise liqueur and some melted white chocolate.
Chocolate is an excellent stabiliser for buttercream into which fruit purées get mixed; you can then add more of the purée to get a intensity of fruit flavour.
Blueberry fondant mini cake:
I also cut some of the Madeira cake to make into a basket of blueberries, this time making a basket by “weaving” a fondant icing that I flavoured with blueberry powder.
Standard recipe for Madeira cake:
- 175g softened unsalted butter
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 200g self-raising flour
- 50g ground almonds
- about 3 tablespoons full-cream milk
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
NB: you can omit the almonds and replace it with 50g self-raising flour.
(1) Beat the butter, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl until pale and very fluffy. Beat in the eggs, a little at a time, beating very well between each addition. Beat in the almonds. You might also need to beat in a little of the flour when most of the egg has been incorporated to prevent the mixture from curdling.
(2) Very gently fold the flour in, adding just enough of the milk to give a mixture that drops slowly but surely off the spoon.
(3) Transfer the mixture into a lined loaf tin and flatten the top. Bake in an oven preheated to 160C (fan) for between 50-60 minutes: the top should be golden-brown, nicely cracked and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
(4) Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and invert onto a wire rack to cool fully. Peel off the paper once the cake has cooled.