Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

My blog crush on the smitten kitchen continues.  And this recipe definitely isn't helping it.  It has gotten stronger, if not more obsessive.  Almost as obsessive as I have become over this cake.  Which is quite obsessive.  This is the dessert from Ben's special welcome to TH dinner. 

This cake was delicious.  And on top of that, this cake was ridiculously easy to make.  But more importantly, this cake was amazing.  Scrumptious.  Wunderbar.  Lecker.  So tasty that I had to go into another language to describe it.  Ben and I demolished seventy-five percent of it in roughly 4 minutes Friday night.  The remaining quarter barely lasted a minute the next morning.  And I had to fight Ben for my fair share of it for breakfast.  The moral of this story is that the cake is deliciously yummy.  For breakfast, dessert and I would certainly eat it for any other meal as well.

The crust is crunchy and crisp and the cake underneath is soft and fluffy and has that yummy tang from the buttermilk.  The raspberries sank to the bottom and become mushy, melted pockets of fresh taste.  I may or may not be drooling right now...  This cake would work with any fresh berry and it was fantastic with raspberries.  For my trip up to Chicago this weekend, I'm already planning on making another one with strawberries and mini chocolate chips.  The one and only thing that I plan to change (besides trying a variety of fillings, but that doesn't count) is to sprinkle Turbinado sugar to form the crust on top instead of regular sugar.  And that was actually the boy's suggestion!  Impressive, right?  He wanted a more crunchy crust and I think it would work great.  Look at him... already earning his keep.

UPDATE 12/29/11:  I have made this cake several times since I discovered it way back when and like I predicted, it is infinitely adaptable.  To date, it has been made with strawberries and with frozen mix berries, both worked beautifully.  On one try, mini chocolate chips were added, although I'm not sure they were necessary.  I've also made it with half white flour, half whole wheat (to make it healthy of course!).  It was a little runny, so a few tablespoons of buckwheat flour were thrown in.  There was no reasoning, but I would be lying if I said that wasn't my favorite version I've made yet.  In summary, if you have left over buttermilk this is what you should be making, regardless if you only have frozen mixed berries and not enough all purpose flour.  Because it will still be amazing.  

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

1 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting.
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional, I didn't)
1 large egg
1/2 c. well-shaken buttermilk
1 c. fresh raspberries, or other fresh fruit
1 1/2 Tbsp. Turbinado (Sugar in the Raw) sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla, zest and egg and beat until well incorporated. 

Switch mixer to low speed.  Alternatively, start adding dry ingredients and buttermilk alternatively, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Pour batter into prepared cake pan and smooth top.  Scatter berries evenly over the top.  Sprinkle Turbinado sugar evenly over top of everything. 

Put into preheated oven.  Bake cake 20-25 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool to warm, about 10 to 15 minutes more (if you can manage it!)  Invert onto plate.  Devour. 

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