My dad LOVES gooseberries – he reckons they’re his favourite fruit – so when Amanda (the wonderful lady I work with who delivers fresh goodies from her allotment to my desk) handed me a huge bag of home-grown gooseberries, I knew exactly what I was going to do with them: make a cake of course! What’s more, it just so happened to have been a couple of days before Father’s Day so that was my present sorted too! Super yummy, super seasonal, super good.
For the gooseberry compote
- 500g gooseberries, tops and tails removed
- 4 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp runny honey
For the sponge:
- 200g coconut oil (melted) or butter
- 200g spelt flour (or your preferred alternative)
- 100g ground almonds
- 150g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
For the coconut cream:
- 2 x 400g cans coconut milk, chilled overnight
- 3 tbsp set honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
Alternatively, you can use 300ml double or whipping cream if preferred. Simply whisk with the vanilla extract and cool (no need for the other ingredients).
A handful of dessert gooseberries (or blackberries if you can’t find them, like me!)
- To make the gooseberry compote, add the honey and water to a large saucepan and heat gently until the honey has melted. Add the gooseberries, place a lid on the saucepan and cook for 5-10 minutes until the fruit has softened and sweetened slightly. If necessary you can add a little more water to the pan to stop the fruit from sticking. Once the gooseberries are soft, but still retain their shape, remove 150g and set aside to cool (these will be added to the cake batter). Place the lid back on the pan and cook for a further 5-10 minutes or until the fruit starts to fall apart and form a compote. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- To make the icing, carefully remove the cans of coconut milk from the fridge, without shaking them, and scoop out the set coconut cream at the top. The surplus coconut milk/water can be saved to make porridge, soups, curries or smoothies, so don’t throw it away! Place the cream in a mixing bowl or food processor along with the other icing ingredients and blitz until smooth. Transfer to the fridge to chill and set (for at least an hour).
- Next, preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and line two 18cm cake tins.
- To make the sponge, cream the coconut oil (or butter) and sugar together, then beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla extract and 150g softened gooseberries and stir. Finally, fold in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda until fully combined.
- Divide the mixture between two cake tins and pop in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Once cooked, remove the cakes from the oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. After about 10 minutes, remove the cakes from the tins and allow to cool completely.
- Once the cakes are completely cool, remove the coconut icing from the fridge and spread half onto one of the cakes. Dollop a spoonful or two of the gooseberry compote across the top. Place the second cake on top of the first and repeat the process, first spreading the coconut cream and second the gooseberry compote. Top with dessert gooseberries (or blackberries) and a few pretty little flowers if you wish.