Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The arrival of the farmer's market always excites me - perhaps a bit too much. I tend to overbuy. I mean, there are only two of us and yet I bring home bags full of fresh produce. But who can resist fresh produce at its peak? And after all, I'm supporting local farms, right?
Needless to say, I often find myself looking for ways to use excess produce. This cake was a great way to finish up blueberries and strawberries. I made a simple sheet cake, but the same recipe would make a 9-inch layer cake. Just whip up your favorite frosting to go with it. In lieu of a heavy frosting, I made a vanilla-almond whipped cream. Fast and simple - and nice and light in the hot weather.
The verdict: I loved it. My husband, not so much. Of course he was in the mood for chocolate (so this week we have brownies... and they are yummy!)
Try it with your favorite fruit or berries. The cake is dense and moist and would suit just about any fruit.
3 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 1/2-3 cups fresh mixed berries (blue berries, strawberries, etc.)
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.
Sift flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar. Add the vanilla and water and mix until combined, then add the eggs, one at a time. Beat in flour mixture in 4 additions, alternating with buttermilk. Fold in the berries.
Spread batter in prepared baking dish and bake until the top is golden and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Cool in pan on a rack.
To make the whipped cream, beat the cream, vanilla and almond extract on high until soft peaks are formed. Gradually beat in the sugar. (Taste for sweetness as you go adding more or less sugar according to your taste,)
If serving cake all at once, spread cream over cooled cake and serve. Otherwise, keep cream in fridge and put a scoop on each piece as you go.