Mango Upside Down Cake

Mangoes are everywhere now! Every year, around this time, I have been buying mangoes every week; there are so many varieties of mangoes out there, but we particularly like Champagne mangoes.  My children have been taking sliced mangoes for lunch snacks almost daily and they don’t get bored 🙂   Aside from eating fresh mangoes, I also have been baking them and incorporating them into our dinner entrees.  Today’s recipe comes from “Saved By Cake” by Marian Keyes;  I have been waiting for this cookbook to be published in America, so back in April when it finally came out I purchased it!

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Serves: 6-8

Topping:

3-1/2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar

16 ounce can of sliced mango in syrup, drained (reserve 2 Tablespoons of the syrup).  **I used fresh ripe mangoes instead; enough to cover the top (1 large mango or 1-1/2 mangoes – depending on the size and variety you use).

Cake:

7 Tablespoons butter

1/4 cup superfine sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup self-rising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Liberally grease an 8 inch cake pan.  I would discourage using springform pan because the syrup will leak out as the cake bakes.  Preheat the oven to 350F.

For the topping, beat the butter and sugar together, then spread it over the base of the cake pan – it will be a very thin layer so don’t worry.  Then arrange the mango slices on top of the topping (you can cut some slices to fill in the gaps).

Make the cake by creaming the butter and sugar together, adding the eggs and the 2 Tablespoons of reserved syrup (if you are using fresh mangoes don’t worry about this syrup).  Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold through.

Spread the cake batter over the sliced mangoes, covering them, then bake for 35 minutes.  Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, and invert the cake out onto a serving plate (without burning your fingers!).  Serve warm with a dollop of fresh cream.

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My opinion:  First of all, I was a bit surprised when my children didn’t like this cake; they said it wasn’t bad tasting, but not for them.  Maybe their taste buds haven’t grown into sophisticated palates yet 🙂  On the other hand, my husband and I quite enjoyed this cake.  I was never into pineapple upside down cakes (I think they were too sweet for my taste), but this mango upside down cake had enough sweetness to qualify as a cake and a very adult flavor.  I also think that not using canned mangoes helped the cake not to be overly sweet.  I think next time I may add a little bit of freshly ground cardamom!

Pear and Chocolate Cake

You will hear me still saying “I’m still so behind with my posts!!”;  unfortunately, this will be a common phrase for the next couple of posts (alas, oh! alas…).  I am still continuing with a post from our wonderful Downton Abbey finale dinner from few weeks ago – I’m kind of feeling this heart constriction, the kind that you feel when you are past your deadline handing in your essay or a project.  I’m wondering if my college and grad school life was  that stressful for me that I’m experiencing PTSD type syndrome?!  Well, all jokes aside, I am feeling a bit disappointed with myself for having this many posts “late”.  I don’t think it’s the issue of disappointing the blog readers, but it’s more about meeting my own expectations… yes, I guess I am a perfectionist in many ways.

Well, let me introduce to you a wonderful gluten-free chocolate cake I found on this site.  At first I was a bit hesitant trying this because it didn’t have any reviews.  Also, reviews on other recipes on this site weren’t  all that good; but I took a look at the recipe for this cake and thought it would work.

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  • 100g unsalted butter (slightly less than 1 stick of butter), plus extra for greasing
  • 100g caster sugar (1/2 cup), plus extra for tin
  • 100g bar dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 4 ripe pears (choose smaller sized pears)
  • 100g (1 cup) packet ground almonds
  • 2 Tbsp apricot glaze or sieved apricot jam
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
  • 23cm deep, fluted flan tin (9 inch tart pan)
  • Baking parchment

**Note: I used “almond meals” from Trader Joe’s and it worked out perfectly; you can also grind your own almonds too.

  • Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Butter the flan tin and put a disc  of baking parchment in the base. Spoon in a little sugar and use it to coat the  inside of the tin, then tip out the excess.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate together, in a bowl over a pan of hot water or  in a microwave oven. Leave it to cool slightly, but don’t allow it to  reset.
  • Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is thick and creamy  and a trail can be seen in the mixture when the whisk is lifted up. This is  easiest done using a tabletop mixer, as it can take 5-10 mins, so it’s a long  time to be holding a hand-held whisk.
  • To prepare the pears, peel them with a vegetable peeler and then halve them.  Use a melon baller, or a teaspoon, to scoop out the pips in the centre.
  • Fold the melted chocolate mixture and ground almonds into the whisked  egg-yolk mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they’re stiff. Fold a couple  of tablespoons of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, to loosen it.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with the egg whites; pour it to one  side of the egg whites rather than in the centre, to avoid knocking out too much  of the air from the egg whites.
  • Fold both mixtures together, using a large metal spoon, or a spatula, taking  care not to overwork it or the air will be lost and the sponge won’t rise as  much.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin; hold the bowl just above the tin while  pouring — again, so that the air isn’t lost from the mixture.
  • Arrange the pear halves on top, with the cut-side down. Bake cake in the centre of the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour, or until it’s set in the centre and the mixture doesn’t wobble. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack.
  • While the cake is still hot, warm the apricot glaze or jam and brush it over  the top. Dredge the cake with icing sugar just before serving. It may be served  warm or at room temperature.

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My opinion: I was in a rush so I didn’t get a chance to ripen my pears, but it turned out very well, however, I can imagine the cake tasting heavenly with ripe pears.  I also used 70% cacao dark chocolate – I thought this was perfect for adults, but maybe use lower percentage cacao if your child(ren) aren’t into dark chocolates (fortunately mine will eat up to 80% cacao).  All in all this was an easy, simple and elegant dessert – just make sure you read the recipe and know the steps (ie. planning when to whip the egg whites so you can time combining ingredients).

Brunsviger

I have a very dear childhood friend living in Denmark.  In 2009 my family went to visit my friend and her family in Odense, Denmark;  Odense is on an island of Fyn (pronounced “foon”- also known as Funen for us English speakers) and is well known as a birthplace for Hans Christian Andersen (in fact they have a really nice Hans Christian Andersen museum in the city center of Odense).   Another famous Odense specialty is a pastry called “Brunsviger” – roughly pronounced “brons-we-ahr” but you have to say it a bit fast.  Danish is a language I don’t think I can master at all – a grave mistake if you try to pronounce words based on English pronounciation because they sound very VERY different!!  Anyhow, I learned how to make this even before I went to visit my friend in Denmark.  A year before my visit my friend and I were exchanging recipes and she gave this recipe to me, so basically I have been making this since 2008.  It is something like a flat version of sticky buns, but much better; it has caramelized brown sugar and butter topping (and many times custard cream blended into it).  You can literally find brunsviger at every bakery (and believe me there are tons of wonderful bakeries in Odense!!) and you eat this for breakfast and/or afternoon tea time.  Instead of typical birthday cakes many children will have brunsviger (shaped into gingerbread girl/boy, etc) with toothpicks with Danish flags all over brunsviger.  Unfortunately, outside of Fyn it is difficult to find brunsviger so I took full advantage and ate my share of authentic brunsviger!!

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I have no idea how many times I made this since 2008; it’s one of our family’s favorites and we don’t get tired of eating this at all!  It’s a special recipe because it was given to me by my friend and we have  very fond memories of Denmark (seriously awesome food there!!).   I took quite a few photos to explain various steps so I arranged the photos differently for this post, and I hope they make sense to you.

I usually put custard cream into the brown sugar/butter topping – I like to make the topping beforehand and keep it aside.  I like to make custard cream, but you can always use the instant vanilla pudding, but I do have to say the homemade one is very delicious and it’s not difficult to make at all:

Custard Cream:

2 Tablespoons flour

1/2 cups sugar

1 cup warm milk

2 egg yolks

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Mix egg yolks and sugar in a saucepan; all sifted flour and mix well.  Gradually add warm milk as you mix; place the saucepan on a low heat and add butter,  and stir until the mixture thickens (once it comes to a bubbling boil it’ll thicken soon after).  Let it cool completely.

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Brown Sugar/Butter Topping:

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

4 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

Add all the ingredients in saucepan on a low heat and bring to a slow simmer.  Take off the heat once everything has melted.  Slightly cool and combine with the custard cream.

**This dough recipe requires you to make fresh yeast dough, it’s quite easy, but if you feel intimidated you can substitute with store bought bread/pizza dough.

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Dough:  enough for 9×13 inch pan

1-1/2 Tablespoons dry yeast (or 2 yeast packets)

1 cup lukewarm water (divided into 1/2 cup each)

9 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

2 teaspoons sugar

4 cups all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast and 1/2 cup lukewarm water (dissolve the yeast and let it stand for few minutes until the yeast looks bubbly and spongy).   Mix melted butter and remaining 1/2 cup luke warm water and add to the yeast mixture.

In a standmixer add the yeast/butter mixture (I usually add the yeast mixture and butter mixture in the standmixer first) and add the eggs, sugar and flour.  Let it mix for less than a minute and with a dough hook knead the dough for about 3-4 minutes (scraping the sides).   Transfer the dough into a large glass or stainless bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 30-40 minutes (either on top of a radiator, inside an oven (that’s turned off) or in a microwave (just heat about 2 cups water in the microwave and add the bowl inside the microwave along with the hot water).

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lined & greased 9x13inch baking pan with an aluminum foil.  Let the dough sit for about 15 minutes; then with all your fingers make indentations in the dough all across the pan (except for the edges) so that it looks like the dough has crater-like dents.   Spread the topping mixture evenly and bake in a 350F oven for about 30-35 minutes.  Let it slightly cool and dig in!!

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**Sorry, photo #9 should at #7 (oops)…

My opinion:  I always smile when I take this first bite and taste the brown/butter topping with custard cream… oh my… I am so glad I don’t live in Fyn, I will be frequenting the bakery daily for brunsviger.  If you want a little taste of Fyn, brunsviger is calling your name!

Jewish Apple Cake

Have you ever tried Jewish Apple Cake?  I grew up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, and supermarkets and Jewish bakeries will always have this cake.  My mom always loved breads and pastries.  Being a Korean and growing up during the Korean War my mom was very progressive for her time.  She always had toast and coffee for breakfast (where other Koreans were having traditional Korean rice breakfasts).  Even living in Japan we were very fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful French, German and Japanese bakeries.  So, it came as no surprise when my mom found different Jewish bakeries in our neighborhood in Philadelphia and started buying Jewish Apple Cakes. 

The other day, my wonderful neighbor friend went to our local Farmer’s Market and bought us a bagful of apples and Asian pears!!  I do not deserve this kindness & generosity, but I gladly accepted the gift.  I started to think what I can make with these apples (aside from eating them raw).  Then I thought of Jewish Apple Cake and it brought back good memories.  Today’s recipe came from The Washington Post.  I just adjusted a little bit with sugar, but the rest is the same. 

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16 servings

MAKE AHEAD: The cake can be made a day or two in advance. It freezes well.

3 cups unsifted flour, plus more for dusting the pan
5 medium apples of your choice, preferably those that are good for baking
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + 4 Tablespoons sugar for the apples
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use nonstick cooking oil spray to grease tall tube pan, then dust lightly with flour.

Core the apples, cut them into wedges and slice them.   Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 4 tablespoons of the sugar, tossing to coat evenly.

Beat the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer, on low speed, until well blended. Gradually add sugar, then the oil, orange juice and vanilla extract.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt on a piece of waxed or parchment paper. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture to form a smooth batter.

Pour one-third of the batter into the pan. Create a second layer using one-third of the apples. Repeat to create a total of 6 layers, ending with apples on top. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or as needed; the top should be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted into the cake should come out with a few moist crumbs.

Let the cake sit for at least 20 minutes before unmolding.

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My opinion:  I almost died smelling the incredible aroma wafting through the house as the cake was baking!!  Tasted delicious, and even better the next day!  I think I could have added more apples, but oh well, I’ll do that next time.  If you love apples you’ll definitely love this cake!  Here’s the collage of the cake, I’m kind of playing around with collages so bear with me.

Upside Down Lemon Pudding Cake

It’s been pretty dreary here in Philadelphia for the past few days.  After cleaning the house I settled in to organize my recipes (1x/year I go through my recipes to weed out what I will not be using anymore).  About 2 years ago I bought America’s Best Lost Recipes (kitchen tested and approved by the good folks at the America’s Test Kitchen).  I started flipping through the book and realized there are couple of recipes I wanted to try.  One of the recipes I found was this Upside Down Lemon Pudding Cake (original name is “Great Aunt Ellen’s Upside Down Lemon Pudding Cake).   It looked simple enough and I wanted something for after dinner dessert tonight. 

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Serves 6 (Makes 6 – 6oz ramekins or 2 quart baking dish):

2 large eggs, separated, room temperature
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons grated zest plus 1/4 cup juice from 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
**boiling water to fill the baking pan

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350F.  Grease 2 quart baking dish or six 6 ounce ramekins. 

With an electric mixer on medium high speed, beat the egg whites to soft peaks.  Transfer to a bowl and set it aside.

Beat the butter, sugar, and zest together on medium high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Reduce the speed to medium and add the egg yolks, mixing until incorporated.  Add the flour and salt and beat until combined.  Add the lemon juice and milk and beat until incorporated. 

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the egg whites.  Pour the batter into the baking dish, or use the ladle to pour the batter into ramekins (for ramekins, if you don’t use the ladle the first few cups get all the froth and later cups get all the batter). 

Place the dishes in a large baking pan and add enough boiling water to the pan so that it reaches halfway up the sides of the dish or ramekins.  Bake until the top is golden and the center springs back when gently pressed (35-45 min for a baking dish; and 25-35 min for ramekins). 
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Transfer the dishes to a rack and cool completely, at least 1-1/2 hours (these can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.)  To serve, run a paring knife around the edges of the dish and invert onto a plate. 

My opinion: Delicious, delicious, and delicious!!  As this bakes in the oven, the egg whites float to the top and turn into this spongy cake, and the rest of the batter settles to the bottom and creates a pudding like layer. 
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Do you see what I’m talking about??  This has delicate lemon flavor you will love!!  This is so easy, it’s a must try!!

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

After a busy, yet fun-filled Summer my family and I ate plenty of delicious foods in Peru and good ‘ole Southern foods in South Carolina.  Now that we are getting back to our usual routine and my children will be starting the new school year soon I wanted to eat plenty of home cooked vegetarian meals.  I don’t know about you, but after eating rich foods for most of the Summer, I started craving for some fresh vegetarian foods.

 My dear cousin has been supplying me with fresh CSA vegetables so I made my “power pasta sauce” today.  I usually dice plenty of onions and lots of sliced/minced/crushed garlics and sauté until onions are softened; add plenty of diced multi-colored bell peppers, zucchini/squash, and beets – sauté for few minutes and add little of crushed basil and oregano; add chopped greens (I usually use kale, but today I used beet greens) and spinach.   Sauté until the greens cook down and add 2 jars of your favorite pasta sauce – simmer for 30 minutes and it’s done!!  Cook up your favorite pasta and dig in!  I love squirting some sriracha and grated parmesan – so delicious!! 

I still had plenty of zucchini left over so I decided to make a zucchini cake.  This is quite different from zucchini bread and it definitely satisfied my cravings for a cake!  This is an old recipe I had and it is a “healthier” version of regular cake recipe. 

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Makes 1 – 9x13inch pan

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 eggs
1 cup oil ( I usually use safflower or sunflower oil)
3 cups grated zucchini
1 banana (grated with the zucchini inside the food processor or mashed)
1/2 cup dried sour cherries

Mix all the dry ingredients; add the eggs and oil and mix well. 

Fold in the grated zucchini, banana, and dried sour cherries until blended well. 

Grease the 9×13 pan, pour in the batter, and in a pre-heated 350F oven bake for about 50 minutes.   Check with the bamboo skewer to see if it’s done (no batter should stick to the skewer; if it sticks leave the cake in the oven for 5-7 more minutes). 

My opinion: This is a very moist cake.  You won’t even know that this is the “healthier” version, unless you are used to eating pound cake all the time…    This recipe is very versatile, if you want richer cake, just add butter instead of oil (omit the banana), all granulated sugar instead of Splenda & brown sugar.   Instead of dried sour cherries you can add chocolate chips and/or nuts.   I decided not to make any frostings, but you can easily use your favorite frostings on this cake.  

Better than “fill in the blank” cake

My sin from my own standards of food choice continues as we progress to the Father’s Day dessert.  To read my “sin” in detail check my  Cowboy Casserole post .    When I came home with a cake mix, my youngest daughter looked at the cake mix and said, “mom, you bought a cake mix?? I’ve never seen you buy this!!”  *sigh…

I chose this cake because it just looked extremely simple and low maintenance.  Something appropriate for a warm night and it suited my non-baking mood today.  The original name of this cake is “Better than Sex Cake”, however, I don’t know if I can name this.  Well, first of all, I don’t know if it was better than sex, maybe for some people it is.  So, the next best thing is to put whatever name you want to plug in – it can be “Better than Bubbly Bath Cake” or “Better than Working out Cake”, I don’t know, just plug in a name!  This recipe came from here, and if you search online there are tons of the same type of cake floating around the web.  Everything looks very simple and good.  However, as I said in my Cowboy Casserole post, once the weather cools down, I will have to find a healthier alternative to this… 

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1 (18.5 oz) package yellow cake mix (do not use the pudding in the mix type)
2/3 cup sugar
1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple
1 (6 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tub non-dairy whipped topping
flaked or shredded coconut

Directions:
1. Grease and flour a 9×13 inch cake pan, bake the cake according to package directions.
2. Put holes into the top of the cake (use toothpicks or wooden skewers)
3. Mix pineapple and sugar then pour over cake.
4. Cook the pudding according to the package directions and pour over cake. Chill in refrigerator.
5. Spread whipped topping over cake and sprinkle coconut on top.
6. Keep refrigerated.

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My opinion:

I mean, seriously, who doesn’t like cool whip or vanilla pudding??  The only problem is that it’s loaded with artificial ingredients and I can’t allow myself to cook with these.  I think the last time I used cool whip and instant vanilla pudding was maybe 2 years ago??  However, aside from this, I would like to tell you that this cake was pretty spectacular!  Pineapple juice soaked into the cake, topped with crushed pineapples, pudding and cool whip!  Really simple and a good Summer time cake. 

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake

My children’s are officially done with their school for this term!!  They both did great on their report cards, and they are at this age where they can just get together with their friends and celebrate the end of the school year.  In celebration of this end of school year I baked this breakfast cake.   I didn’t know how it would turn out, because I didn’t want “cakey” cake for breakfast – does that make sense?   Well, you can be the judge.  I also thought this would be another simple dish to make for the Father’s Day breakfast/brunch! 

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Serves: 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk

* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
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My opinion:

Now I know why this is breakfast “cake”;  mine turned out to be the cross between coffeecake and pancake consistency and taste.  Really yummy!!  It’s perfect with coffee (or tea); it’s not too sweet, but soft bursting flavors of blueberries, soft dense cake and crinkly sugar toppings all blend very well together! 

Fruity Flag Traybake

Today my family and I had a mini Jubilee celebration! It’s difficult to fathom one monarch reigning for 60 years, but hooray to Queen Elizabeth for her long reign (despite her flaws, but don’t we all have those…).  You might be wondering about me at this point, “Does she live in the UK?”  “Is she from the UK…”, I’m sorry I’m neither.  However, growing up in Japan most of my teachers at my International school from Kindergarten to 5th grade were from the UK, so I feel this kindred spirit when I think about the UK.  Anyway, to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 60 year reign, I found this delicious looking cake from BBC Good Food. 

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I tried my best to make this look like the UK flag, I hope I’m not bringing shame to my UK friends…

  • 100g (7 Tablespoons) butter softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 175g (a little less than 1-1/2 cups) self-raising flour
  • 50g (a little less than 1/2 cup) ground almonds (I used almond meals)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g (1-1/8 cup) caster sugar
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • zest 2 lemons (I used Meyer lemons)
FOR THE BUTTER ICING
  • 175g butter , softened
  • 350g icing sugar , sieved
TO DECORATE
  • 300g raspberries
  • 175g blueberries

**For my cake above, instead of using the recommended Butter Icing, I used the whipped topping: Add 1 cup heavy cream, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extra.  Beat until it forms a semi stiff peak. 

***Once again, if you have a kitchen scale it’ll be more accurate than just converting into the American standard, but I converted to the best of my ability.

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 (350F). Butter and line a 30 x 20cm traybake (use the 9×13 pan) tin with baking parchment. Measure all the sponge ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix together using an electric hand whisk until smooth. Spoon into the tin and level the surface.
  2. Bake for 25-30 mins until lightly golden and the top of the cake springs back when pressed with your finger, and the sides of the sponge are shrinking away from the sides of the tin. Carefully lift the sponge out of the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Remove the baking parchment.
  3. To make the icing, tip the butter into a bowl and whisk using an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and whisk again until incorporated. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again until smooth. Spread the icing over the top of the cold cake.
  4. To decorate, place a double row of raspberries across the center and down the length of the cake to make a cross. Next, place a single row diagonally from each corner to the middle. Now fill in the empty spaces with blueberries. Cut into squares to serve.

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My opinion:

I am so glad I substituted butter icing to whipped topping.  The lightness of the whipped cream went very well with the semi-dense (yet moist) cake filled with light lemony flavor.  Almond meal and Greek yogurt adds the moistness to this cake, but the denseness isn’t overwhelming at all.  Mission accomplished!

Blackberry Buttermilk Cake

I love this season with plentiful fresh berries at the market;  I always loved strawberries, but I’ve come to really love other berries, especially blackberries. I didn’t like the seeds which got stuck in between my teeth, and truthfully the blackberries I ate when I was younger tasted really tart.  However, I have been buying blackberries from the organic or farmer’s market when they are in season, and holy moly do they taste sweet and heavenly!!  So this time, I bought extra blackberries to bake a cake with it.    Today’s recipe came from here, and this has become one of my favorite cake! 

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Makes 8-10 servings: you will also need a 9-10 inch springform pan.

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan and parchment
  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour (sifted, then measured) plus more for pan
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • Powdered sugar (for dusting) –  I didn’t bother with the powdered sugar.
  • Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter pan; line bottom with a round of parchment paper. Butter parchment. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Arrange berries in a single layer in bottom of pan; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup sugar (I ended up using slightly less sugar).

    Sift 2 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl; set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and zest. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until incorporated. Pour batter over berries in pan; smooth top.

    Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Let cool in pan set on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then run a thin, sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen. Remove pan sides. Invert cake onto rack and remove pan bottom; peel off parchment. Dust top generously with powdered sugar and let cool completely.

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    My opinion:
    The cake came out really light and fluffy, but with nice substance.  It wasn’t heavy at all, and it wasn’t light like Angel Cake.  I love the texture and the subtle citrus flavor from the orange zest.  I think you can easily substitute lemon zest (but I don’t think lime zest will go well).   Blackberry topping had a nice flavor from caramelized sugar, but was able to maintain the “blackberriness” (if that even makes sense to you).  Even after 2 days (in fact going into the 3rd day on our kitchen counter), the cake maintained the moistness and still tasted wonderful! Two thumbs up!!