I made these scrummy little squares last weekend for my brother’s lunchbox… AGAIN. But believe me I do not mind, it was a really good excuse to get away from learning chemistry… oh the thought of orbitals and ionisation energy just isn’t as nice to think about, as cake is.
I always feel a bake is that extra bit special when I have sourced any of the ingredients locally and I’m sure foraging across spiky hedgerows for the freshest, plumpest, JUICIEST blackberries ticks the box. Usually I leave it too late in the autumn and everyone has nabbed the majority of these inky fruits leaving me to stumble aimlessly across naked thorn bushes. I was so glad that my brother liked this traybake as it made all the thorny scratches worthwhile! You think I would have grown out of blackberry picking by now, but the idea of hunting high and low through the undergrowth for obsidian jewels tempts me every time! I really notice autumn when I’m out blackberry picking…the burnt, crisp leaves and slight chill in the breeze.
The blackberries give a brilliant sharpness against the sweet jam and delicate fuzzy peaches.The sponge crumbles when you bite into it, thanks to the porridge oats, but is still extremely moist from the layer of jam and blackberries within. If you’re making this later in the season you could try replacing the peaches with plums or damsons. Likewise for summer you could swap the blackberries with blueberries or strawberries.
(This recipe cuts into 12 slices)
- 150g soft butter
- 50g light brown sugar
- 50g dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 150g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp ground ginger
- 50g porridge oats
- 75ml milk
- 75g blackberry/damson or other jam
- 250g chopped peaches
- sprinkle of demerara sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or 160 for fan assisted ovens. Grease and line an 8 inch square cake tin with greaseproof paper.
2. Beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, then add the eggs and thoroughly mix. Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger and oats until they’re evenly incorporated. Fold this into the wet ingredients, you will end up with a very stiff mixture. Pour in the milk to loosen the mixture.
3. Spread half the mixture into the tin, it will seem like a really thin layer but this is how it’s meant to be. Spread the jam evenly over the cake batter and then scatter over the blackberries, top with the remaining half of the batter and then cover with the chopped peaches. Sprinkle the peaches with a light dusting of demerara sugar.
4. Place in the oven for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and when you insert a skewer into the centre of the cake it will come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then place on a wire rack to cool completely, before cutting into 12 slices. This cake will last for upto 2-3 days in an airtight container.