Blackberry Upside-down Cake

(By popular request)

Take: blackberries, say about 1lb, fresh or frozen; half a cup of sugar (plus more for sprinkling); 1 cup of plain flour with 1/2tsp baking soda* and a pinch of salt; about 100g unsalted butter at room temperature; 1 large egg; half a cup of buttermilk*; and a teaspoon of vanilla essence.

* CLARIFICATION:
(a) If you don’t have buttermilk, use single cream. If you do this, you should use 1 tsp of baking powder instead of 1/2tsp baking soda. NB I think you could probably also substitute yoghurt or sour cream for the buttermilk, in which case you could still use baking soda.
(b) You can substitute 1tsp of baking powder for the 1/2tsp of baking soda anyway if this is all you have.

1. Preheat the over to 200 degrees, and grease and line a shallow cake tin. Put butter on the inside of the baking parchment as well as the outside, and then sprinkle flour over it, shimmying the tin around to make sure it is pretty well covered and then tipping out any excess flour.
2. Put blackberries in the bottom of the tin. They should cover the bottom thoroughly but not too deeply. Sprinkle sugar evenly on top – say 1-2 tbsp, depending on how sweet you like it. It’s a good idea to put the tin on a baking sheet.
3. Sieve the flour / baking soda / salt (I usually just whisk instead of sieving, it is quicker and easier).
4. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until “light and fluffy” i.e. fairly pale and doesn’t look gritty. One of those handheld electric mixer things is good, as it can take ages by hand.
5. Add the egg and vanilla, mix gently. Add some of the flour, mix gently. Add some buttermilk, mix gently. Flour, mix, buttermilk, mix. Add the rest of the flour, mix. The rest of the buttermilk, mix. Phew!
6. Spoon the mixture over the blackberries fairly evenly, place carefully in the oven and bake for about half an hour. (The top looks done, a skewer comes out clean.)
7. When the cake comes out of the oven, run a knife around the edges and place a large, flat plate upside down on top of the tin. Using oven gloves hold the plate and cake tin together tightly and quickly flip it upside down. The cake should come out easily, if not give it a bit of a tap. Now you just have to peel off the paper and serve, with double cream! Nice warm, nicer cold!

UPSIDE-DOWN TIP
The flipping part is easy if you think about what you are going to do before you do it. If you just grab the cake and flip, you will get in a tangle!

EVIL TIP (as seen in photo)
Add grated chocolate to the top of the cake. Then, when you turn the finished cake upside down there will be a secret little slurp of chocolatiness on the bottom. Yum!

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