June 9, 2010
Just Your Average Everyday
The first two times I made this cake, I stuck with Gourmet's recommendation of raspberries for the starring role, and it was good. I saw no reason to mess with a good thing. But this last time, the intended recipient was a big strawberry fan and an even bigger strawberry shortcake lover, so I thought "Why not?!". Since my day was shaping up to be a busy one, and shortcakes aren't on the top of the easily transported list, not to mention there were hours in between where refrigeration would be unlikely, I instead adapted the buttermilk cake. The flavors are similar. Sort of. Similar enough - by which I mean there would be strawberries with a cake-like delivery. So I woke up, had the cake all mixed and ready to bake by 830am and cooling by 9am. Then just before heading out the door, I transferred it onto a platter and loosely tented it with foil. And for the next 4 hours it sat quietly in the trunk of my car (oops - did I not mention that before when I served the cake? Don't worry people, it's a relatively clean trunk.) where I hoped it would stay cool enough so that the crunchy sugary top of the cake wouldn't get soggy from heat/humidity. I now present you with not only a delicious dessert, but one that transports quite nicely and was no worse for wear. What's not to love? The top stayed crunchy, the cake remained cool and before I knew it all the lemony tangy sweet strawberry goodness had been gobbled up.
This cake was all the rage last year. Published last June in Gourmet magazine (*sigh*, you are missed), this deliciously-easy-throw-some-berries-in-there-everyday-buttermilk-cake spread like a wildfire across the blogasphere. Happily, I have jumped on the bandwagon. I've since made it for dinner parties, for birthdays and even just to satisfy a craving. It's a fantastic recipe to keep around and for all it's homey looks, it sure is a crowd-pleaser. And right now, I bet most of you have all the ingredients already at home - except maybe the buttermilk.
Strawberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick of butter (2 oz.), softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup chopped strawberries (5 oz.)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter strawberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.