Blackberry Eton mess with honey and cardamom roasted oats

blackberry Eton mess 1

About a year ago I had just come home from my 3 weeks long trip to Cornwall, Devon and London, and I was completely absorbed with my new passion for British food, and for wanting to give it a better reputation. I started this blog in order to learn more about traditional English, Welsh, Scottish and northern Irish dishes, and to experiment with making them more healthy in some way. Maybe I got water over my head, for some reason or another I haven’t been as active with my posting as I wanted to. It doesn’t mean that I have stopped thinking about, or cooking British food. Some times to a higher degree, sometimes not as much. These couple of days I have been thinking a lot about my trip and how much I loved it. I have been longing for the dramatic Cornwall coastline, the green hills and just all that atmosphere that I love so much. And the blackberries. Walking in the UK countryside this time of the year basically means free access to as much blackberries you can eat. They are everywhere! In Malmö, south Sweden where I live you have to know the secret spots, get there before everyone else and be equipped with full coverage against the evil thorns. It is much more of a hustle to get your hands on blackberries here. Anyway. Since I started this blog with a recipe containing blackberries, I would like to add another now, one year later. And with that comes a hope (I wont promise) that this year there will be more activity here on the blog.

Eton mess is a typical summer desert, with meringues, cream and usually strawberries. It originates from Eton collage where it is served at the annual cricket game. In Sweden we have something similar called meringue swiss, but that has ice-cream, banana and chocolate sauce in it as well. Very scrumptious, but Eton mess feels like a lighter and less sinful version.

Blackberry Eton mess 2

This desert turned out to be one of the best I have ever eaten, if I may say so myself. It is like a mix between Eton mess and a trifle, which are booth very good things. It is not very much more healthy then the original thing, I just switched some of the cream for sour cream. It gives it a nice, slightly zingy touch that goes really well with the sweet meringue. The oats brings a bit of sweetness and some extra crunchiness, almost as if there where pieces of little, super quickly baked oat and cardamom biscuits in there. The cardamom goes really well with the juicy, somehow earthy blackberries. It is a super easy desert/pudding to make, with pre- picked or bought blackberries and already made meringues you put it together in 5 minutes while your friends digest their dinner. Just try it!

Blackberry Eton mess with honey and caramom roasted oats

Blackberries (as much as you like)

Meringue (as much as you like)

1, 5 decilitre whipped cream

0,5 decilitre sour cream

1 decilitre rolled oats

½ tsp grounded cardamom

1 tbsp honey

If the blackberries are frozen, take them out of the freezer to defrost a couple of hours before you are serving.

Roast the rolled oats lightly in a dry pan. Add the grounded cardamom. Take from heat and stir in the honey. Let cool.

Whip the cream and stir in the sour cream.

Crush the meringues and divide in 4 glasses or the bottom of a big bowl. Add the cream over the meringues. Add the blackberries and finish with the roasted oats. Serve.blackberry Eton mess 3

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Minuature hazelnut Victoria sponge cakes

mini victoria sandwiches 1

The new year has started in a grey, wet and grisly way here in south of Sweden, and I can not say how happy I am to escape to the sunshine, beaches and tapas of the Canary island Tenerife for a week tomorrow. For those of you who need other kind of comfort I share this recipe for miniature heart shaped hazelnut Victoria sandwich cakes. They have very little sugar and are almost healthy and a definitely a guilt free desert or treat on any gloomy, or for that matter sunny day.

The hazelnut flour gives them a nutty touch that goes very well with the cream and the vanilla, and makes them a bit more exciting then the regular sponge cake that is commonly used for Victoria sponge cakes.

mini victoria sandwiches 2

In Sweden we have a cake called “gräddtårta” or cream cake, that is very similar to a Victoria sponge cake, but it usually has cream on the outside as well. It is traditionally eaten in the summer, for children’s birthday parties or for midsummer or graduations. The soft sponge, the fluffy cream and the sweet and a little bit sour raspberries brings me back to sunny summer days with the smell of green grass and a warm sothing brezze in the air. That is something that can be nice to dream away to at times like these.

On thing that confuses me is if the right name for this cake is Victoria sponge or Victoria sandwich cake? Both versions are used in recipes online. Anyone who can clear it out?
Also, does anyone know if there is any rules for whether you should put the cream or the jam on to the cake first, in a similar way that there is with the scones in Cornwall and Devon? I found it more practical to put the cream first…

From the research I have done about the cake I have found out that it was part of the very first tea time, or after noon tea rituals! The tradition is said to be invented by a Dutchess of Bedford; Anna Maria Russell, who was one of the ladies-in-waiting for Queen Victoria at the time. She would get a craving in the afternoons, and came up with the idea that small cakes should be eaten together with tea. Soon the tradition had spread across the country. The small cakes filled with cream and jam was said to be Queen Victorias favorites, and therefor got named after her.

mini victoria sandwiches 3

Mini hazelnut vicotoría sponge/sandwich cakes

1,5 dl spelt flour
1, 5 dl hazelnut flour or ground hazelnuts
1 tsp baking powder
75 gram butter
2 eggs
½ decilitre sugar
½ tsp vanilla powder
1 pinch of salt

1 decilitre of frozen raspberries (or fresh in the summer
Whipped cream
Icing sugar or vanilla powder to dust over the cakes

Heat the oven to 180 c.
Melt the butter and leave to cool. Mix the flours, the salt, vanilla and baking powder in a bowl. Beat the sugar and the eggs to a fluffy consistency. Fold the flour mix in to the egg mix and pour in the butter. Steer everything well.
Butter some small baking trays (heart shapes if you have) and line them with hazelnut flour. Pour mixture in to the trays, about 1 cm from the edge (the cakes will rise a lot)
Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out dry.
Leave the cakes to cool and cut them in half.
Mash the raspberries together, add some sugar if you want it sweater.
Spread the cream and then the raspberries evenly on the lover half of the cakes. Place the other half on top. Dust some icing sugar or vanilla powder over the cake.

I just love how the cakes look underneath, perfectly smooth almost like concrete moulds

I just love how the cakes look underneath, perfectly smooth almost like concrete moulds

I am admitting this recipe to the Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted by Lavender and Lovage and The Hedgecombers, that this month has the theme eggs.

Tea Time Treats