For the cake
225 g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
225 g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
225 g self-raising flour
½ a level teaspoon baking powder
a splash of milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75 g desiccated coconut
For the blackberry jam
250 g blackberries
125 g caster sugar
½ a lemon
This is a classic school dinner dessert that many of us Brits have loved with a passion: warm soft sponge smeared with delicious sour jam and covered in coconut. A little slice of this is brilliant with a pot of tea for a midday treat, or as a dessert with a splodge of hot or cold custard. Just pure nostalgia through and through.
Grease and line the bottom of a 30 x 20cm cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
Cream the butter and sugar together until lovely, pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Fold in the flour and baking powder, add a splash of milk and the vanilla extract, and mix again. Pour into the lined tin and cook in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. While your cake is cooking, get on with making the blackberry jam.
Mash the blackberries and sugar together in a small pan, using a fork or a potato masher, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and bring everything to the boil. Turn down to a medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lovely and thick. Skim away any foam that rises as the jam cooks, then take off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
By now, the sponge should be golden and cooked through, so remove it from the oven and leave to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn it out on to a board, then pour the jam all over the sponge and use a palette knife to move it all around the sponge and the sides. Sprinkle over the desiccated coconut and serve.
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This classic school dinner dessert is one of those loyal and humble cake recipes that is just pure nostalgia through and through.
45m (plus cooling time)
BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH
Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.
When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.
For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:
Marine Stewardship Council