Hopefully I'll be back behind a stove in the next 2 weeks, and then...kitchen renovation!!! I'm already scouting stoves, and perhaps even a tandoor oven. I visited The Granary today on the way to get more boxes and am making plans for a coop and some chickens. Things will be getting very interesting around here in short order. Meanwhile, my first Guest Host is the amazing Pamela Timms from Delhi, India who writes Eat and Dust
What she does with Mulberries will delight you!
Take it away Pamela.........
Between the ages of 3 and 8 I probably sang ‘Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush’ on average 5 times a day in the school playground. And yet, growing up, I don’t remember ever seeing mulberry bushes, even though they’ve been around in Britain since the 17th century.
In fact, I didn’t see a mulberry until 8 years ago when we came to live in India, where they’re called shatoot and grow briefly but prolifically in April (a bit earlier than in California, I think). Since then, the short Indian mulberry season has become a highlight of my food year, partly because it reminds me that I’m incredibly lucky to live somewhere that still has very clear (non shrink-wrapped) food seasons.
For two weeks, just as the temperatures are starting to soar, wrinkly old women in saris sit by the side of the road selling baskets of the just-foraged fruit. I saw these ones, prettily adorned with roses, on a pavement in Old Delhi the other day.
here, here and here.
Auntyji’s cake is a moist, no-frills, never-let-you-down, little black dress of a cake. You can take it anywhere, dress it up, dress it down, reduce the sugar, omit eggs, and it will still be eager to please. In its unadorned 1970s form, it’s a soothing slice to accompany a cup of tea but if you treat it like a lady and shower it with fruit and frosting it turns into a showstopper. This mulberry and lemon yogurt cake is for Kathy who has been having a tough few months. Of course, Kathy, you’re going to have to come to Delhi to taste it – but the spare room’s ready too!
Mulberry and Lemon Yogurt Cake
For the cake:
1 small (200ml) pot of natural yogurt – then use the cleaned and dried pot to measure everything else:
2 pots caster sugar
1 pot sunflower oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 pots plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
200g fresh raspberries or other soft fruit
For the frosting:
2 pots icing sugar
2 pots of mulberries, de-stalked
1 tablespoon lemon juice
A few extra mulberries to decorate
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease a ring mould (my aunt always makes her yogurt cake in a loaf tin so that’s another option).
In a bowl, mix the yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla essence, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat the mixture well until smooth. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
Carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet until everything is well incorporated. Pour half the mixture into the tin, sprinkle in half a pot of mulberries then cover with the remaining mixture then finish with another half pot of mulberries. Bake for about 30-45 minutes until the top is well risen and browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin for a few minutes then turn out onto a baking rack to cool completely.
Make the frosting by sifting the icing sugar into a bowl and crush in enough mulberries to make a thick but spreadable frosting. When the cake is cool, spread the frosting over the surface and decorate with a few whole mulberries.