The reality of a Monday morning seems decidedly unreal today.
It's been a weekend of such euphoric highs, from the ludicrously brilliant opening ceremony for London 2012 to a Saturday spent with my best friend, the bride to be, and the rest of the bridal party to the first GB medals yesterday and a Sunday evening spent at my first Olympic event. The only low was being removed from my position as chief bridesmaid for saying that I didn't think R-Patz was particularly attractive.
I have put a lot of pressure on this summer. In the dark days of January and February, it was the thought that carried me through.
I was worried, truthfully, that I had put too much pressure on summer, only to find that it had slipped from my grasp.
I though that this raspberry and almond cake, back in June, would be the cake I would remember. It's a sprightly cake, bursting with flavour and fruit. Whilst I've eaten well since that cake, nothing has really lived up to it. There it was, I thought, there was the flatting taste of my summer.
I bought some blackberries the other day; they are really rather wondrous aren't they? A real childhood fruit full of memories of summer days, scrambling around in blackberry bushes with scratched legs and fingers stained with juice. The combination of blackberry and coconut makes for a memorable pairing. It's hardly tropical - the coconut is too subtle for that - but it is light and fresh and really rather remarkable.
As soon as I tasted a slice of this cake, I realised that summer has only really just begun.
Blackberry and coconut cake
Yield: A 23cm round cake (serves 8-10)
- 4 medium eggs
- 110g (1/2 cup) unrefined caster/granulated sugar
- 45ml (3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 85g (3/4 cup) whole wheat flour
- 50g (1/2 cup) dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
- 200g (8 oz) blackberries
- Powdered sugar to serve
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F and well grease a 23cm tin with butter.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy and has tripled in size (at least 5 minutes, probably closer to 10).
- Pour in the olive oil and vanilla and continue to whisk until it has been incorporated.
- Fold the flour and coconut into the mixture with a metal spoon, trying not to lose any of the air.
- Finally fold in the blackberries.
- Pour into the tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until the cake is golden brown and starting to shrink from the edges of the tin. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- To serve, dust with icing sugar.