Blackberries and Mirabelles

It was about a month ago that I picked the first Blackberry of the year. On the way back home from a little walk to the local Sunday market I noticed the berries were just getting ripe. It means that one year has passed since I had missed all the possibilities to pick Blackberries last summer and I did not want to miss the chance this time again. So, my Blackberry picking time started!

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I have picked Blackberries twice so far this summer. Since then the weather became very rainy in London and I haven’t had a chance to do the third one yet. Apart from eating them fresh as a dessert with some other fruits and yogurt I made Frozen Yogurt and Sourdough Bread with them and also added Blackberries to anything I bake.

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Halloween ‘Mochi Ghost’ ðŸ‘»

It is getting colder now in the UK. However, before Winter is coming ‘Halloween is coming!’ I attempted making Japanese sweet last year in the Halloween theme. It was … OK but I was not satisfied. So this year I tried harder and these are the result.

Mochi Ghost

I made two types of sweets for Halloween this year. First one is this Mochi Ghost 👻.

mochi-ghost-gathered

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Umeshu / 梅酒 (Plum Liquor) ðŸ¸

Umeshu in glass

There are several types of alcohol in Japan. Two most well-known ones are ‘Sake’ (Rice Wine) and ‘Shochu’ (Spirit made from materials such as rice, wheat or sweet potatoes). We also have some liquors and the most popular one is ‘Umeshu’ Plum Liquor. I like Umeshu. Although it is an alcoholic drink I have been familiar with it since I was a child. My mother used to make it at home with fresh ‘Ume’ plums. It is very refreshing having it on the rock, neat Umeshu with some ice cubes especially after having a bath in summer. You wait a little until the ice starts melting and dilutes the Umeshu a little then you drink it. Aaaaaah, so heavenly.

Recently I had a chance to attend an ‘Umeshu’ seminar. I loved to find out more about my favourite drink.

Umeshu Seminar

The seminar was held at Shoryu Ramen restaurant in Piccadilly Circus, London. It was hosted by Japan Centre and Choya, the biggest Umeshu company in Japan.

The lecturer was Mr. Suzuki from Choya who had just landed in London on the same day. It was great that he incorporated a quiz into the seminar. He explained some facts regarding the Umeshu and gave us questions.

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Plum Crumble Cake

Plum Crumble cake2

plumsI had these plums. They were organic. I was looking forward to tasting them, but was disappointed … they did not have any sweetness. How is it possible that fruits are not sweet, I wonder. So I could not eat them fresh but I had to used them. I was going to bake a cake with them but how? … Umm, OK caramelised a bit before baking!’ That was what I was thinking.

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Apple & Plum Crumble Biscuit Cake

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After the ‘Blueberry Challenge’ we still have many fruits left. I wanted to use plums this time. The first idea that came to my mind for using them was Crumble but just normal Crumble is nothing special. I also wanted something biscuity & cakey, so this had to be ‘Crumble Biscuit Cake’! Plums and apples always make good Crumble so no need to worry about the flavour combination here.

Only the possible problem was moisture from the fruit might make the cake too soggy. That is why I created an Oat Biscuit layer at the base.

So, I did the following

  • Make Oat Crumble and place it at the bottom of a tin. Press it down with the back of a spoon to make a flat base.
  • Make cake dough mixture and add into the tin on the Oat Biscuit base.
  • Add chopped Plums and Apples on top of the cake mixture and sprinkle some plain Crumble on top.
  • Place the tin in a preheated oven at 180 degrees and bake for about 25 minutes till it becomes golden colour at the top. Or bake until the skew test comes out clean.
  • Wait until it cools down before cutting into pieces.

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This cake has basically been composed of three layers – Oat Biscuit base, Cake part in the middle and Apple & Plum Crumble on the top.

It was a delightfully crumbly cake.

I have been cooking & baking always with my instinct and not used to measuring all the ingredients whilst making something … It means I haven’t specified the recipe for this Biscuit Cake yet. I will continue searching the best recipe for getting the best result. If anybody fancies making this cake please send me a message, I will post the recipe soon.

Happy Healthy Eating!