Going swimming before making a cake is a terrible idea. It is really difficult not to eat cake batter when your head is saying, “You’re still hungry even though you had dinner, plus you exercised so you deserve to eat EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD. Go on, eat more batter. More batter. More batter.” But I persevered, and I’m glad because the baked product is actually far nicer than the batter, which I only ate a small(-to-medium) amount of. Honest. I used this recipe for a base, but I didn’t fancy cherries or cinnamon so this one has blueberries and vanilla. I love the way the blueberries explode in the oven and make the cake extra sweet and moist, but the crunchy topping stops it being soggy.
I like making cakes in a square tin. This cake is an advance cake for dinner tomorrow, but if I bake it in a square tin and cut it up I can eat a piece (or two) tonight and when I lay the pieces out on a plate tomorrow nobody ever needs to know. I also like making cakes with lots of fruit so I can label them as healthy, and actually this cake does a pretty good job of living up to the label. It’s sweet, but lots of that sweetness comes from the blueberries. You also get a decent chunk of cake for very few calories. The crunchy topping really makes a difference and only takes a couple of minutes to make. I sort of want to put it on everything now.
Ingredients for the cake:
140g self-raising flour
50g caster sugar
85g butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
Ingredients for the topping:
25g cold butter, diced
25g caster sugar
25g plain flour
Makes 8 slices
Takes 10 minutes to put together, and 30-35 minutes to bake
Stage one: Preheat the oven to 180C/fan160C. Prepare a 20cm square baking tin. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients, and then stir in all remaining cake ingredients except the blueberries. You should now have a smooth and very firm batter.
Stage two: Spread the batter out in the baking tin. Then spread the blueberries over the top of the batter, pressing them in slightly. Don’t worry if you have a few blueberries left over. Eat them. I certainly did.
Stage three: Prepare the topping by putting all the ingredients in a small bowl and rubbing the mixture between your fingers until the butter, sugar and flour have come together in crumbs. Spread the mixture over the top of the blueberries and press down gently.
Stage four: Pop the cake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Maybe with a little blueberry on it. Cut into 8 pieces and put them on a cooling rack, and serve sprinkled with icing sugar.