Egged on by followers of Instagram, I set out to create an upside down cake with the first blackberry haul of the season. I've never made an upside down anything before - the idea makes me queasy. Fruit can be a disaster in a cake if you're not careful, so the idea of pouring heaps of the stuff into the bottom of a cake tin makes me very nervous. Not to mention the association with hideous tinned pineapple rings and cocktail cherries pictured in recipe books from the 70s. However, whilst by no means the prettiest thing I've ever made, this was really quick and everyone asked for seconds. It's a beautifully autumnal pud and would be perfect with lashings of custard.
Anything to do with blackberries always reminds me of the first picture book I remember buying with my 'own money' as a very small child. 'Alex's Outing' by Mary Dickenson. Such a gloriously cute story of a little boy's first trip to the countryside and the blackberries that get squashed in his pocket on the way home. It's delicious and still available second hand. See link below.
For the Topping
Approx. 100g blackberries
150g caster sugar
50g soft, brown sugar
For the Cake
200g Stork or very soft, unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
200g self-raising flour
1. Grease the sides of a deep 7inch cake tin. A spring form one is best if you have it - it will make turning the pudding out that bit easier.
2. Put all of the ingredients for the blackberry topping in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. You might like to do this in advance and allow the mixture to cool a little before getting the smalls involved.
3. Pour the mixture into the bottom of your cake tin and set to one side.
4. Cream together the butter, vanilla extract and sugar. For very small bakers it's often a good idea to do this in advance or for toddlers+ encourage them to squish the butter against the sides of the bowl with the back of a spoon. 5. Add a spoonful of the flour along with all of your eggs. The flour stops the mixture splitting. Mix until combined. 6. Add the flour and mix into a smooth batter. It will feel really satisfying at this point, expect your little baker to want to mix it for a long time. You can let them, it can't come to any harm.
7. Pour the batter on top of the blackberry mixture in the cake tin. Bake at 180° for 35-40minutes. A knife will come out clean when it's done and it will have just started to go golden. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, until you can comfortably handle it and then turn it out onto a plate or cake stand. Put the plate on the top of the cake tin then turn the whole thing over and release the tin. Delicious served when still warm or enjoyed cold later.