17 June 2009

Beautiful cake

Doesn't this cake look beautiful? It's such a lovely one to make, and so easy. Mix some stuff, but not too strenuously. Scatter fruit. Sprinkle sugar. Bake. It tastes beautiful, too--all red-fruity and light and moist. This might turn into my go-to summer dessert this year. Raspberries are the original recommended fruit, but I had some leftover cherries from last weekend's camping trip (you can see the photos on my flickr page), and they worked out wonderfully.

I made it for my book club last night, and it went over pretty darn well--especially considering that the members of said book club are generally restrained when it comes to eating sweets. It went over so well, in fact, that I'm considering making another one to bring to the MN for Jeff the girls at Reunion tomorrow.

**A few notes on the cake**
1. I would cut the sugar just a little. Maybe 1/2 cup instead of 2/3.
2. Ideally, this should be served warm, so the sugar crust stays nice and crisp. It's not bad, don't get me wrong, when it's been resting all day, but a little heat would do it nicely.
3. I'm going to add a little lemon zest next time, too.

Cherry Buttermilk Cake, adapted from Gourmet

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted and halved

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. (I did this all by hand, and it came out just fine.) Beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

4. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.

5. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter cherries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

6. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. (Mine was done right at minute 25, so be sure to start checking around then.) Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10-15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

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