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Gooseberry gems

Gooseberry gems

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • Ready in 30 mins plus cooling
  • Easy
  • Makes 12

Gooseberries are often overlooked, but it’s just a matter of knowing how to cook them and how to dress them up

  • Easily halved
  • Freezable (without fool)
  • Vegetarian
Nutrition: per serving
low insalt0.61g


  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g pot natural yogurt
  • 4 tbsp elderflower cordial (we used Bottlegreen)
  • 175g butter , melted and cooled

For the fool

  • 330g gooseberry , topped and tailed, or use frozen
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • icing sugar , for dusting


  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put 12 muffin cases into a muffin tray. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, yogurt, elderflower cordial and melted butter together with a pinch of salt, then stir into the dry ingredients. Spoon into the cases (they will be quite full), bake for 18-20 mins until risen and golden, then cool on a wire rack.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, put the gooseberries and the sugar into a frying pan, then gently cook for 10 mins until most of the berries have collapsed, but there’s still some texture. Taste for sweetness (add more sugar if you like, but remember that the cakes are sweet), then stir in the elderflower cordial and allow to cool. Once cool, fold into the crème fraîche.

  • STEP 3

    To serve, cut a section out of the top of each cake using a small, serrated knife - heart shapes look sweet, but if that’s too fiddly simply cut off the top and cut in half, like a butterfly cake. Spoon a dessertspoonful or so of the fool into each cake, top with the piece that you cut away, then dust with a little icing sugar.


You can’t help feeling a bit sorry for gooseberries. A bit too hirsute, these ugly ducklings of the fruit world are often forgotten, subjected to a life of crumbles and pies. But simmer them gently and you’ll discover a unique fruit that’s tart, intense, and perfect for some truly scrumptious summer desserts, or these irresistible little cakes. If you’re lucky enough to find golden or red gooseberries at your pick-your-own or greengrocers, grab them while you can.


You’ll need to top and tail fresh gooseberries (the frozen ones are ready to go); simply pinch away the small stalk and nip off what remains of the flower between thumb and paring knife.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2008

Goes well with


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A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.5 ratings

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