The last of the filthy snow piles are still melting into the gutters, and until they're gone, now is still the winter of our discontent. Can you tell I've been watching Richard III?
I don't have much in common with the jaundiced, wretched, miserable soul Shakespeare portrayed Richard to be, but we're both tired of winter. Personally, I sure wouldn't mind a fast forward five months to the season of sunburned shoulders and fingers made bloody, caught on thorny bramble bushes while plucking them clean of their succulent, baubbled fruit.
That yearning for warmer weather is what made me try this cake, from Nigel Slater, which is both homey and homely. I am just waiting now for the third one to brown in the oven. Third? you say. Yup, you read me right. Third. My third attempt to bake this cake "pretty" in the same day. It ain't happenin', and that is not easing my discontent. I am very far behind and a wee bit cranky. Even so, I do heartily recommend it for its extraordinary ease, buttery moist crumb, and crackly sugar crust. It won't win any awards for its looks, but it's a beauty nonetheless. Be back in the morning with a shot to prove it. [Update Monday morning: A photo above, finally, of my last attempt.]
Blackberry Lime Cake - Adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe, found here
Serves 6 - 8.
5 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar (a.k.a. caster or bartender sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted.
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Zest of 1 lime
3 cups blackberries, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well blended (about 5 minutes; the sugar will be slow to incorporate). Beat in vanilla extract until fluffy and light (about 15 seconds). Add egg, then milk, beating well between additions. It will be a thin batter.
In a smaller bowl, combined flour and baking powder with a wire whisk. Add dry ingredients into batter in quarters, mixing quickly with the whisk after each addition. Stir in lime zest.
Pour batter into well-greased 13 X 9-inch cake pan. Distribute half the blackberries on batter. Top with granulated sugar. Position pan on center rack of oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. The blackberries will have sunken and disappeared. Top with remaining blueberries, and return to over. Bake another 10-15 minutes, or until center of cake tests clean with a skewer. Let cool before cutting into rectangles. Remove servings with spatula. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve as is or with lime curd and/or clotted cream. --
This recipe is for Weekend Herb Blogging #223 which I am hosting for Haalo of Cook Almost Anything at Least Once. Every week for over four years, food bloggers from around the world have cooked and baked up all sorts of amazing recipes to join the popular event created way back when by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. Please say tuned for the round-up late tomorrow night, New York time, when I will showcase some very fine dishes. Thanks to all who have contributed!