Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Once upon a time, there was a girl who had amazing friends who brought her yummy deliciousness just because they were visiting. And then she turned that deliciousness into even more deliciousness and spread the happy food love around.
My friend Kai and his fiancee Jules are amazing. I've known Kai for quite some time, but what makes his visits so special, other than the bounty of food he always brings, is that he's known Aaron since they were both six. It's fun watching old friends, especially when Aaron noted that it was ironic to be cleaning up the house for someone he used to invite over to mess up his house.
Anyway, he and Jules were in town doing some wedding related things and they brought this flat of raspberries that are now among some of the best tasting raspberries I've ever had. It's good to know people who can grow things. What was so serendipitous about receiving these raspberries is that Renai had been getting on me to make this out of this world raspberry buttermilk cake. Not only that, when I was in Juneau, her mom told me that if I hadn't made it yet, I had to. I said I would when I got home and lo and behold, raspberries!
They aren't kidding about this cake either. It is amazing, which is why it gets to be the second Smitten Kitchen recipe this month. I made three of them in a week.
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen:
Makes one delicious cake
1 c. flour (I did 2/3 all-purpose, 1/3 whole wheat. Like Renai.)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1½ Tb. raw turbinado sugar (or use regular, like the original recipe. I like the crunchiness of the raw)
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest (optional. Just do it. I did closer to 1 tsp)
1 large egg
½ c. well-shaken buttermilk (or 2 Tb. buttermilk powder)
1 c. fresh raspberries (I definitely had more, but I also ate a lot of them in the process. Just eyeball it)
Heat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9" round cake pan. Mine are 10", which led to a slightly flatter cake, but still good. I also floured with whole wheat because it lends a slightly nuttier flavor, which I love.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with 1½ tablespoons raw sugar. As you can see, I did this two different ways. This first time I just scattered them all over the place because I didn't really care. The second time, on one of the cake I was very careful and even. I think I like the look of the random scatter better, at least in whole cake form, but to each their own.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 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. Pay attention to the short baking time. It is done really quickly and I don't usually get perfect cakes at the low end of times given in recipes, but this time I did. It was perfect at 20.
Serve it up and watch your friends enjoy. There's a reason Renai and Nicki were on me to make this. It is an amazingly easy, amazingly tasty cake. It was a big hit at my house, at work, and at my friend's house for movie night. You could put in any berry and it would work. It's not overly sweet, so you can force your dessert on non-dessert people and they will understand why you bake all the time. Be careful of how easy and tasty this is. It is dangerous to put yourself on an all-cake diet!
I know I will be making this again and soon.