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 egg
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.

No comments:

Post a Comment