If you’re looking for a show-stopping dessert to impress guests this summer, this glorious confection from renowned food writer, stylist and broadcaster Rosie Birkett ought to do the trick. It comes from her new book, The Joyful Home Cook (HarperCollins, £20), which celebrates the possibilities and pleasures that homemade food can bring us when we take the time to seek out, prepare and cook good things to eat and share.
Rosie says: “This juicy upside- down cake is reminiscent of macaroons and Turkish delight, with rose water-laced clouds of whipped cream, baked summer fruit and almond and coconut sponge. Pairing tart gooseberries with raspberries gives it a sweet, sour and textural contrast with pockets of moist fruit keeping every mouthful interesting. The sponge can easily be made ahead and topped with the cream and flower petals just before serving.”
Butter, for greasing
50g flaked almonds
250g gooseberries, washed and any little dry brown tails pinched off
100g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of fine salt
100g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
120g golden caster sugar
100ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp olive oil rose petals or other edible flowers, to serve
For the rose water cream:
400ml double cream
1 tbsp golden caster sugar
3 tsp rose water
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6, grease a round 22cm cake tin and line it with baking parchment.
Scatter half the flaked almonds over the base of the cake tin, followed by the berries and the rest of the almonds.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and ground almonds into a bowl, add the desiccated coconut and stir to combine.
Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium speed for a few minutes until frothy, then whisk in the milk, vanilla extract and olive oil. Alternatively, use a bowl and an electric hand-held whisk. Fold the frothy egg mix into the dry ingredients to make a thick but wet batter. Pour this over the berries and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the cake tin, then turn it out onto a plate, with the gooseberries on top. Using a balloon whisk and elbow grease, or very gingerly with a stand mixer, whip the cream with the caster sugar until it reaches soft, floppy peaks (keeping a close eye on it so that you don’t over-whip it). When it’s almost at the perfect soft consistency, add the rose water and mix it through. Pile the rose water cream on top of the cake and scatter with rose petals or other edible flowers.