It was just a question of which cake.
Here is an example of the kind of recipe I hate, full of shortcuts like ready made shortcrust pastry - nah can't buy that in my local supermarket, Victoria sponge mix - nada - not in France!
So you take a quick and easy looking recipe like this one and you have to go back to basics with it and it becomes very very long winded instead.
But that was what I wanted to eat for my birthday breakfast.
BLACKBERRY BAKEWELL TARTS
This is my waste not a drop way of using blackberries, which can be quite labour intensive not to mention painful to pick. We had to squeeze in our picking between storms yesterday afternoon, than a quick run back indoors to light the Rayburn and get on with the cake making.
Start by making sure all the stalks, leaves and bugs have been rinsed off then throw all the blackberries into a large pan, pour over enough water to cover and then a splash more and start simmering. I left mine for 30 minutes or so while I got on with making the shortcrust pastry.
125g plain flour
55g cold cubed butter
rub with your fingers to create breadcrumbs then using a palette knife start cutting through the breadcrumbs as you add 2 or 3 tablespoons of cold water.
Work it together into a dry dough with cold hands, don't overwork it, you want it stay dry not become greasy, roll into a ball, cover with cling film and throw into the fridge for half an hour.
By this time your blackberries should have cooked down into a thickish stodgy mess but a complete sludge.
I love my big witch's hat colander - I am sure it has a fancy name, but we call it the witch's hat, the tiny perforations let all the juices through but keep even the smallest pips out, and because it is metal you can bash the fruit against the sides to get every last drop out, not that you need to do this for this recipe, just get the majority of the juice out.
A top tip I read recently or saw on the TV, use tin foil instead of baking parchment when baking blind as it makes the pastry crispier instead of soggy.
So while your pastry is baking, and your fruit pulp is cooking, time to make the sponge.
As you can not buy this is in ready made packs here in France, here is a basic and easy recipe.
250g unsalted butter
4 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g self raising flour
Beat the butter and sugar together first, basically this means mash the sugar into the butter with a wooden spoon against the side of the bowl repeatedly until the mixture is soft and creamy, then add the beaten eggs, vanilla and flour.
The resulting mixture should be quite dry and not runny.
Take your pastry case out of the oven, remove the baking beans and tin foil and allow to cool. Use the space in the oven then to sterilise a couple of jars.
Why the jars - well we started with 3 kilos of blackberries, and even with having extracted the juice you can't put 3 kilos worth of fruit pulp into a bakewell tart.
Back to the recipe (wow I'm rambling today!).