I have a fond memory of picking mulberries as a child. My brother, sister and I would always go together to the very end of our uncle's property whilst the adults were inside. There was a shallow, slow-running creek there, with mulberry bushes lining the banks. We would pick them and eat them there and then, warm from the sun. Our clothes would be covered in the purple stain and we would be content.
Going berry picking is still a favourite of mine, well in fact, picking anything edible brings me such joy! There's something so satisfying about growing, picking and eating food, isn't there? And whilst we live in inner city Melbourne, and our plot of land only provides us with a small amount of food, this memory, or rather the feeling, of picking the mulberries comes to me every now and then.
Lately, Haruki has gone crazy for blueberries – possibly the only food he doesn't currently throw to the floor and much to our bank balance's dismay, our fridge has been rather stocked with them of late. So here is a cake, lightly scented with cardamom, glorious and buttery. It is tied up in the now, but the rich purple stain of the blueberries reminds me so much of those times in the Summer heat, picking berries near the creek with my brother and sister. Food has that power, to evoke such strong memories, and for me, that is everything. Feel free to swap out the blueberries with another berry, or even stone fruit would be lovely. You could add some lemon zest too, and even replace the cardamom with rosemary.
MAKES ONE 21cm BUNDT CAKE
150g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster sugar
150g natural yoghurt
50ml olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (seeds from approximately three pods)
200g fresh blueberries
50g natural yoghurt
30g icing sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 21cm Bundt tin. Make sure you are thorough. Cakes are notorious for sticking to these tins because of all the bumps and curves, so really get into every corner. You could also substitute a Bundt tin for a ring pan, or a regular circular tin, however with the latter, the cake will need a few minutes longer in the oven.
2. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and thick. Beat in the eggs, one at a time and then add the yoghurt, olive oil and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
3. Sift over the flour and add in the cardamom to the mixture. Gently mix the batter with a wooden spoon or whisk until just combined. The mixture should be thick but not stiff. If it is too thick, just add an extra spoonful of yoghurt and combine. Add the blueberries and gently stir.
4. Spoon the batter into the tin and give the tin a solid tap on the bench to release any air bubbles. Smooth the top and bake the preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes, or until the cake springs back when gently pressed. Allow to cool in tin, then invert onto a serving plate.
5. Meanwhile, for the glaze, sift the icing sugar into the yoghurt and mix until smooth. Depending on how thick your yoghurt is, you may need to add more icing sugar. Your glaze should be the consistency of pouring cream.
6. Drizzle the glaze over the cake and serve at room temperature.