One thing I have learned since I moved away from Florida is that summer can be short. I probably didn’t spend enough time outside this summer, for various reasons. Sometimes the thought of having to really savor something fleeting (like my favorite season) is paralyzing, because what if I don’t enjoy it enough while I have it? When did we get so deep into summer? How is it August already?
This is not to say that I haven’t enjoyed myself. I’ve gone for walks; I’ve frequented farmers’ markets; I’ve wandered around the Mississippi through the ruins of the city that Minneapolis was built upon. I’ve been to the zoo, I’ve explored my new neighborhood, and I’ve even thought about exercising. Maybe.
To be fair, I really used my muscles whipping fresh, heavy cream to dollop upon this sparkly crusted blackberry cake. The moist tang of buttermilk builds a texture so delicate that it begs for the burst of the berries you scatter across its top right before baking. I justify my second helping (and my opting out of a trip to the gym) with full knowledge that I
may or may not absolutely run around like a chicken with my head cut off during the morning rush of coffee drinkers at work.
Blackberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from The Epicurious Cookbook
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 pint fresh blackberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with the rack in the middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat the butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the vanilla. Add the egg and beat well. At low speed, mix in the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon the batter into the cake pan, smoothing the top. Scatter the raspberries evenly over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp sugar. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 min. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate. Serve with freshly made whipped cream.