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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
*Gooseberry Crumble Cakes*Makes 6 mini cakes