I’ve been sick on and off all summer. It’s been a horrible time and I haven’t felt up to eating that often, much less developing recipes. I recognize that I’ve been absent for a while and I hope to be back on a more regular blogging schedule soon, health permitting. To tide you over (if anyone reads this blog?), here’s a recipe that I meant to post weeks ago but just never got around to: blackberries and cream cake!
A few weeks ago I entertained my vague organic farm fantasy and went blackberry picking. Having moved to the Pacific Northwest from Texas, I’m still astonished by the fact that there are edible berries just dangling off the trees?? For anyone to take?? And they’re way tastier than store-bought berries?? I’m still looking for a catch.
Anyways, I’m incapable of acquiring food and not wanting to turn it into cake, so I made a version of my world’s best vanilla cake with ground almonds and lemon zest and filled the layers with wild blackberries and lightly-sweetened whipped cream. Then, of course, I lost my appetite due to illness, thereby **forcing** my boyfriend to eat almost the whole cake on his own. But I did get a piece before Rome fell, so I can vouch for how ridiculously good it is.
The addition of almonds adds a little extra fat to the cake, which makes it even more delectably moist than my vanilla cake. I swear, I was on the brink of calling this something along the lines of “pillow cake” or “cloud cake” because it’s so goddamn fluffy. The small amount of lemon zest doesn’t give it an overwhelming lemon flavor, but it cuts the sweetness slightly and brings a nice brightness that goes well with the blackberries. The whipped cream is just basic whipped cream, but I don’t think it’s needs any extra advocacy. Whipped cream as an institution is doing very well.
NOTE: I adjusted the vanilla cake recipe for 2 layers since I feared that the whipped cream would splooge out with 3 layers. If you want a 3-layer cake anyways, follow the vanilla cake recipe and add the zest of one lemon to the wet ingredients, 80 g of almond flour to the dry ingredients, and an extra 1/4 cup of buttermilk.
Blackberries and Cream Cake
- 151 g (a little over 10 tbsp) unsalted butter room temperature
- 231 g granulated sugar
- 2 tsp (10 g) real vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 220 g all-purpose flour
- Generous ¼ tsp fine salt
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- Generous ¼ tsp baking soda
- 53 g finely ground blanched almond flour
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp buttermilk
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of vanilla extract
- 2 handfuls fresh blackberries
- Slivered almonds and/or edible flowers optional, for garnish
- WET INGREDIENTS: Preheat the oven to 350º F/180º C. Using a stand or handheld mixer, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes, until fluffy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and cream for another 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, incorporating each one completely before adding the next.
- DRY INGREDIENTS: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and almond flour.
- MIX WET AND DRY: With the mixer running, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in four additions, alternating with the buttermilk in three additions. Make sure to end with the dry mixture.
- PREPARE PANS AND BAKE: Butter and flour two 6" round cake pans. For extra insurance, cut out parchment paper rounds for the insides of the pans, stick them down with butter, then butter and flour on top of them. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centers comes out clean.
- COOL THE CAKES: Let the cakes cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Cool them to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge or freezer to cool completely.
- WHIPPED CREAM: Put a metal bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer into the fridge for about half an hour. Once thoroughly chilled, add the heavy cream and beat until the whipped cream forms peaks. Beat in the sugar, salt, and vanilla. Don't overmix.
- ASSEMBLE: Use a serrated knife to carefully shave the caramelization off the sides of the cakes. Spread a generous amount of whipped cream on the first cake layer, add as many blackberries as you can fit, and top with even more whipped cream. Add the second layer, cover with whipped cream, and arrange blackberries on top. If desired, sprinkle slivered almonds or edible flowers on the cake as garnish.