Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

It seems that here in New England, most of our native crops are late this year. Given the looooonnngggggg winter, it’s really no surprise. I still feel like I’m thawing from a deep freeze! Usually by now we’d have a bounty of fresh local strawberries, but I only just picked up my first pint this weekend. They looked perfect to the eye — lush and red, and perfectly shaped — but once I snuck a few, I found that their sweetness wasn’t quite all the way developed. I had been eyeing this cake from Joanne’s blog for days, so it seemed the perfect application for the tart, juicy berries.

This cake is a breeze, bakes up quickly, and looks quite pretty. With a generous sprinkle of sugar over top, it forms a wonderful crust, which gives the perfect contrast to a dense and moist interior. This cake has great structure, which makes serving easy. The flavor is delicate, with notes of butter and vanilla, and as the strawberries bake into it, they develop this really wonderful and rich roasted flavor. I served this cake with a generous scoop of fresh whipped, very lightly sweetened cream, and macerated berries. Below is a simple “recipe” for the berries, if you choose to serve it the same way. I think this cake would also be lovely just on it’s own, though I might add a few more strawberries to the top before baking. I don’t think you can ever have too many strawberries.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

For the macerated berries, I did a really simple preparation — 2 cups sliced strawberries, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and 1 tablespoon liquor. Toss the berries with the sugar and liquor, and let rest for at least 30 minutes, so they release their juices. In this recipe, I used a honey liquor called Barenjager, which was completely incredible and I would highly recommend it, but you could also use an orange liquor and I’m sure it would be amazing. If you’d like to omit the liquor, that’d work as well, and you could just slice up the berries and sweeten to taste with sugar.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

I am taking a stab at some more involved gardening this year, so hope to start sharing some recipes cooked with my own crops soon.  My zucchini plants are blossoming, tomato and pepper plants are flowering, second cucumber plant is still alive (the first one got squished by some unidentified animal) and herbs are growing like weeds. If all goes well, I should have quite the bounty!

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and halved

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 granulated sugar on medium-high speed until well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  4. Add the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla extract, and mix until combined, about 1 minute.
  5. Turn the mixer down to low speed and slowly add in the flour mixture. Mix until combined and smooth, 1-2 minutes. I turned my mixer up to high speed for about 5 seconds towards the end, to make sure the ingredients were really well incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and spread to even out. Arrange the strawberries facedown over the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, and sugar has formed a nice crust over the top -- about 45-55 minutes. A toothpick inserted should come out clean, and the cake will be firm. Let cool before serving.
http://www.sweetlyserendipity.com/dessert/cakes-and-cupcakes/strawberry-buttermilk-cake/


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