Mark Hix recipes: Our chef gets creative with sumptuous summer berries

When summer arrives, it’s best to keep things simple, says our resident chef. Team cake with raspberries, strawberries with goat’s curd and white port – and wash it all down with a loganberry lemonade

When summer comes around, it is so much easier to make desserts. The shelves begin to be crowded out with the season's fruits in their many and varied hues. They are not just fine-looking things, though – they are also very easy to work with. The best berry dessert is often the simplest. If I have cooked a dinner party with a few courses, I often round it off with a nice, cleansing bowl of fruit. Nothing says summer quite like it.

Rapeseed oil cake with raspberries

Serves 6-8

More and more people are discovering they have gluten and wheat allergies, but panic not, companies such as Dove Farm are producing gluten-free flours to side-step these problem and allow the afflicted to join in the cake eating with the rest of us.

Also, oil, instead of butter, is used here for the cake (if we were in a Mediterranean country, where there are a lot more olive trees, we would be using that). Here in Britain, we have plenty of rapeseed oil, so if your cholesterol is a tad high as well, then you need not worry. No one needs to feel too guilty about nibbling on this delicious cake.

For the cake

150g granulated sugar
175ml rapeseed oil, plus extra for oiling
A couple of good pinches of saffron strands, soaked in 2tbsp milk overnight
3 medium eggs, beaten
175g caster sugar
175g gluten-free self-raising flour

To serve

100-150g raspberries
Crème fraîche or thick cream

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4. Lightly oil a small loaf tin or a loose-bottomed cake tin and then line with greaseproof paper.

Put the saffron-infused milk, eggs and caster sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until fluffy and doubled in volume.

Slowly stir in the rapeseed oil, then fold in the flour with a spoon until well mixed; now gently fold in half of the raspberries and pour the mixture into the tin.

Bake for about 25-30 minutes – if a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, it's done. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then remove from the tin and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve with the raspberries and crème fraîche.

Asian summer fruit salad

Serves 4

This is a great fragrant fruit salad: if you can't get all of the fresh ingredients for the syrup don't worry too much, as you can buy dried lime leaves and lemongrass which will work fine for the salad.

Fragrant: Asian summer fruit salad Fragrant: Asian summer fruit salad (Jason Lowe)
300-400g mixed berries
A handful of Thai basil leaves (or ordinary basil)

For the syrup

2 sticks of lemongrass, chopped
8 lime leaves
50g root ginger, scraped and thinly sliced
1 star anise
150g caster sugar
150g water

Bring all of the ingredients for the syrup to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes; leave to infuse for an hour or so. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve and either chill or use at room temperature. Put the berries into a serving bowl and pour the syrup over. Serve with thick cream, yogurt or crème fraîche and scatter the basil leaves over the top.

Tonnix white port is produced in Quinta de la Rosa on the Douro in Portugal Tonnix white port is produced in Quinta de la Rosa on the Douro in Portugal (Jason Lowe)
Strawberries, goat's curd and white port

Serves 4

Tonnix white port is produced in Quinta de la Rosa on the Douro in Portugal (full disclosure: they produce Tonnix wine for my restaurants). I know white port isn't exactly in vogue but I reckon it's certainly going to be soon, as you can use it in all sorts of great cocktails or serve it with cheese.

Strawberries, goat's curd and white port Strawberries, goat's curd and white port (Jason Lowe)
300-350g strawberries, hulled
120-150g goat's curd or very soft goat's cheese
100ml white port

Put the strawberries in individual serving dishes, pour over the white port (you can marinate them for a while if you wish) then spoon on the goat's curd.

Loganberry lemonade with basil

Serves 4

I've used Luscome Sicilian Lemonade here, which uses an old-fashioned recipe. If you have people coming to dinner who are driving, then this mocktail is just the ticket.

If you can't find logan- or tayberries, there are some great early-cultivated blackberries which I'm pretty sure have been crossed with loganberries, so similar are they in look and a taste.

Old-fashioned recipe: Loganberry lemonade with basil Old-fashioned recipe: Loganberry lemonade with basil (Jason Lowe)
200g loganberries or tayberries
1ltr Luscome Sicilian Lemonade
A handful of bush basil

Crush the loganberries a little, then simply spoon into a tall glass with ice and a few sprigs of basil – top up with the lemonade.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaning Manager - York and Bradford

    £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The post holder is a key member of the V...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Drivers

    £18000 - £28800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Breakdown Recovery Driv...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower