Wild blackcurrant conserve is the reason for this recipe. It’s an ingredient I’ve used before and upon using it again I knew just the cake! Loaf cakes speak of generosity and plenty in a homely way compared to, say, a layer cake and with a coat of frosting can be just as elegant. The conserve lends a vibrant pink hue without the need for food colouring – and did I mention the taste?
Wild Blackcurrant Loaf Cake
Makes 10 slices
for the cake
- 140g unsalted butter, softened
- 165g caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 200g self-raising flour, sifted
- 50ml milk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 120g wild blackcurrant conserve
for the frosting
- 40g unsalted butter, softened
- 30g wild blackcurrant conserve
- 10ml milk, at room temperature
- 160g icing sugar, sifted
Make the cake: preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4, grease a 900g (2lb) loaf tin and line with non-stick baking paper (the base of the tin should be about 20x10cm).
In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer (hand-held or freestanding) until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next. Add half the flour to the bowl and beat until smooth. Pour in the milk and vanilla extract along with the remaining flour and beat once again until smooth.
Transfer one third of the mixture to the prepared tin and spread evenly. Beat the conserve in a small bowl until smooth, then dollop teaspoonfuls of half of it over the mixture in the tin. Spoon another third of the mixture over the dollops of conserve and carefully spread evenly. Dollop the remaining conserve over the mixture in the tin then spoon over the remaining third of the mixture and carefully spread evenly.
Using a long skewer or table knife, swirl the mixture – mixing the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top – in the tin to create the marble effect. Bake for 50-55 minutes until risen, brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin before decorating.
Make the frosting: place the butter, conserve, milk and icing sugar in a bowl and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until combined then use an electric mixer to beat the mixture until it is smooth and light. Spread evenly over the top of the cooled cake and serve.