I sit in the cosy, heated front room looking out at the grey light turning to dusk hours before the end of the afternoon. I can still faintly smell the sweetness of freshly baked shortbread coming from the kitchen, and in the winter bleakness cannot begin to imagine the dry heat that surrounded me the last time I had a square of melting shortbread.
It was in December whilst road tripping in South Africa. At the end of a week of lazy days in the small Karoo town of Uniondale my Mom and I – with the intrepid fox terrier in tow – set off on the three-hour journey to Port Elizabeth to fetch my sister-in-law and nine-month-old nephew. The one thing Uniondale lacks – like so many small Karoo towns – is decent coffee, freshly percolated through fine roasted and ground espresso beans. It had been weeks since I’d had my usual morning cappuccino hit from one of the many coffee shops that lie between my apartment and work.
Procrastination seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment, however last week’s procrastination had productive intentions. And so the writing of this post was put off as I took broom to hand and headed to Clapham Junction to help with the clean up in the aftermath of the London riots.
So although the cake is long gone – devoured gluttenously by my other half and I – I thought it a shame not to share it. With summer firmly in full swing, the idea for this cake came from a recent trip to a pick-your-own-fruit and veg farm in Surrey. I can’t remember the last time I giggled so much and behaved like a five-year-old – running from bush to bramble picking
and eating sun blushed raspberries; fat, juicy blackberries; ruby-red cherries; strawberries and sunflowers. And yes, I went slightly overboard and picked far too much. I have added a slight twist to the filling by adding meringue mixture to the cheese which results in a cake that is super light and fluffy.
I think this cake could be made with either raspberries or blackberries – but for me, raspberries work better as they are less tart. The brownie biscuit base comes from Smitten Kitchen – and is one I’ve been wanting to try for a while. Simply cut and bake whatever left over base dough there is – they make scrumptious cookies. However, if you don’t want excess dough for cookies halve the ingredients below.