During the morning chore routine, Dearly Beloved popped his head into the food lab and said, “You’ve got raspberries coming on again!”
He knows that my “fruit tooth” lends well to the taste of fresh red raspberries.
Even though those thorny bushes heed a scratchy warning, “Pick carefully, or I’ll ‘bite,’” I trekked outside in the wet green grass to capture as many of the little dark red jewels that I could find.
Our raspberry bushes “march to a different drummer” and have their own unique season for bearing fruit—usually in early fall. It’s quite odd, really, considering the bushes from which these plants have come are mid-summer producers. Therefore, it was with great delight that in this year of substantial rainfall, I have enjoyed fresh raspberries from my bushes twice–in July and now again in late summer!
Often during the gathering process, more berries find a home inside my tummy than inside the collecting bowl. However, I had high hopes this September day of claiming a fixed amount in the container I was holding in order to experiment with a new recipe.
I was only able to garner one cup of fruit. The recipe called for more than that. Not a problem!
Miss NiNi’s creative spirit had already considered that possibility. I’ll just add another fruit into the mix for an even deeper fruit flavor. And I knew just what it would be!
Sitting front and center within my freezer was a recently purchased bag of pomegranate infused cranberries. Those little red jewels of another tart nature would add a punch of zippy flavor to the mass of raspberries. Now isn’t that just ducky!?
But I wanted raspberry to be the focal point flavor of this lovely one-layer cake. Again, not a problem! In my baking, I use a variety of flavorings, extracts, emulsions, citrus oils, and liqueurs to obtain the desired flavor. Perhaps, Dear Readers, when you have baked with flavorings and extracts, your final products did not produce that punch of flavor that you would have expected. I have certainly felt that way!
For that reason I sometimes use bakery emulsions rather than flavorings or extracts. The flavor will not bake out!
For instance, with this cake recipe, I used raspberry bakery emulsion from the Lorann Professional Kitchen. Bottled in a four-ounce dark bottle, this emulsion didn’t disappoint me when used as an enhanced flavor agent in my cake.
You might think, ‘Miss NiNi, where in the world do I find something like that?’ Check out www.amazon.com. for the selection they sell or go directly to the Lorann website at www.lorannoils.com. Better kitchen stores will often carry a limited selection.
Of course, a garnish of large crystal sugar prior to baking and/or a dusting of powdered sugar just before serving will add whimsical beauty to the easy-to-make dessert. Because of the very moist crumb of the cake, this no-frosting dessert would tote well in a lunch box.
Now, by all means, Dear Readers, fresh red raspberries sans sugar, flour, and all of the baking extras can be superstar tummy fillers in your favorite smoothie or cereal bowl, too.
But please, oh please, be sure the little black bugs that often share in the raspberry eating adventure vamoose! After all, they are not part of a recipe’s ingredient list!
FRESH RASPBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE
adapted from chocolatechocolateandmore.com
- 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1-1/4 t. baking powder
- ½ t. salt
- 1 c. plus 3 T. granulated sugar, divided
- 1 t. vanilla extract
- ½ t. raspberry emulsion (optional)
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ c. buttermilk (Make your own by putting a shy teaspoonful of vinegar into a glass measuring cup and adding enough milk to make ¾ c. sour milk/buttermilk.)
- 1-1/2 c. fresh raspberries (fresh raspberries can be replaced with frozen raspberries) OR 1 c. fresh raspberries and ½ c. pomegranate infused frozen cranberries, thawed
- Coarse white sugar crystals for sprinkling on top of cake (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 8” x 8” round cake pan by putting a parchment circle in the bottom of pan. Spray sides of pan and parchment circle with baking nonstick spray with flour. Set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Place butter in a large mixing bowl. Turn mixer on low, gradually add 1 c. sugar. Cream on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, stopping to scrape down sides with a silicone spatula, 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla and raspberry emulsion. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating the first egg before adding the next. At low speed, add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with four, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. In a small bowl, gently toss raspberries and cranberries with remaining 3 T. sugar. Evenly distribute berries over top of cake, pushing some down into batter. Sprinkle sugar crystals over the top. Bake until cake is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 10-15 minutes and turn out to wire rack. Remove parchment paper from bottom of cake. Turn cake over to cool further. Just before serving, sprinkle top with powdered sugar.
Yields: About 8 servings.