Summer has finally arrived and brought with it the incessant desire to be both outside enjoying the sun and to be baking using fresh, summery ingredients. It's a tough life, really, it is. Red berries are the jewels of the season and look and taste stunning when treated properly. The are the substance and adornment of this loaf cake, paired with a tangy yogurt sponge and icing. The form of this cake was a happy accident. I tried painfully to make it work as a bundt cake, but the tender sponge and sticky berries gave me trial after trial of half-stuck cakes with no success. My solution was to loaf it up, and I love the new appearance with a cascade of berries down the centre.
Adding acidic yogurt to cake batter makes the sponge soft and tender - perfect for a light treat on hot days.
Yogurt & berry loaf cake
115ml vegetable oil
2 Waitrose British Blacktail Free Range Medium Eggs
200g Greek yogurt
250g caster sugar
200g plain flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
150g frozen mixed berries
FOR THE YOGURT ICING
50g unsalted butter, softened
50ml Greek yogurt
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp Cooks’ Homebaking Freeze Dried Strawberries and Raspberries, mixed, to decorate
150g fresh berries, to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4 and grease and line a 900g loaf tin with baking parchment. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the oil, eggs, yogurt and caster sugar until they form a smooth paste. Sieve over the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined (overbeating will result in a tough sponge). Fold through the frozen berries and spoon into the lined tin.
2. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean and it is golden on the top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out and allow to cool completely.
3. To make the yogurt icing, beat the soft butter in a small bowl using an electric whisk until smooth, then add the yogurt and beat again until well combined. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, whisking until thick and fluffy. Chill until ready to use.
4. When the cake is completely cool, use a palette knife to spread the icing onto the top. Sprinkle over the freeze-dried berries and arrange the fresh berries over the top. This cake will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, but is best eaten straight away.
Recipe written for and published by Waitrose Weekend