Thursday, June 30, 2011

Berries Top the Cake

It's truly berry season around here. My fridge last night had fresh local organic blueberries that were fat and juicy, lovely large ripe ollalieberries, and some strawberries that were past their prime but still fine to eat. The first of the blackberries are ripening, too. Raspberries at the market smell wonderful and I'd buy some if I didn't already have so many berries.

Breakfast muesli with the fresh blueberries has been a special treat the last few mornings. For yesterday's lunch I added some of the blueberries and some of the ollalieberries to a nice green salad with chicken and avocados...yummy!

When I arrived home yesterday evening, I found that Grandma L had picked another quart of the ollalieberries. That was the final push I needed to bake a cake with berries. Thanks Grandma!

I looked through a few magazines and cookbooks and finally decided to modify a peach upside down cake recipe in the Cake Keepers book that the Cake Slice Bakers have been using this year. On top of the melted butter/brown sugar layer I placed two cups of sliced strawberries, spread them out, then dotted the spaces between with about a cup of the ollalieberries. The cake itself is a vanilla butter cake with buttermilk for tang. I added some cinnamon to the flour mixture to jazz it up a bit. It baked up with a nice moist crumb and a wonderful mixed berry topping. Sweetie had some more for breakfast, with some more fresh berries added. Yay for berry season! Enjoy this cake yourself while the berries are at their best.

Summertime Berry Buttermilk Upside-Down Cake
an adaptation of a recipe from Lauren Chattman's Cake Keeper Cakes

For the Topping:
1/2 cup (1 stick or 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter (I used 6 tablespoons instead of the 8 tablespoons)
3/4 cup brown sugar
about 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
about 1 cup fresh blackberries or ollalieberries

For the Cake:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar

Make the Topping
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round nonstick pan and dust with flour or use a seasoned cast iron skillet as I did.
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat (or in the cast iron skillet) until foaming. Stir in the brown sugar, turn the heat to low, and cook, whisking, for 2 minutes. If baking in the cake pan, scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula. If using the skillet smooth out the butter/brown sugar mixture if needed.

Arrange the sliced strawberries evenly over the butter/brown sugar mixture. Place the ollalieberries or blackberries in between the slices, making sure they are touching the butter/brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

Make the Cake
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.

Combine the eggs,, vanilla and buttermilk in a large glass measuring cup and lightly beat.

Beat together the butter and granulates sugar in a large mixing bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes on medium-high speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beater(s) as necessary.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, pour the egg mixture into the bowl in a slow stream, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.

Pour or spoon the batter over the berry mixture, gently spreading evenly with a spatula.

Bake in preheated oven until the cake is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 - 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let stand for 5 minutes.

Place a large plate over the pan and, using oven mitts, invert the cake onto the plate. If necessary, replace any fruit stuck to the pan. Let the cake cook for 20 minutes and serve, warm, or serve at room temperature. Store uneaten cake (if any!) in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Elle's note: While this cake is excellent all by itself, I'll bet you can imagine how delicious it would be with a scoop of vanilla or berry ice cream. I suspect that you could substitute frozen berries for the fresh ones and the recipe would still be wonderful.

1 comment :

  1. Mmmm, fresh berries. I'm thinking I need to come visit you in the early summer. The cake looks wonderful and I'm sure tastes even better.