Monday, October 06, 2014

Blackberry and Blueberry Brown Butter Cake

With the hedgerows bursting with sweet ripe blackberries, this recipe is just shouting out to be used right now.  I love the autumnal colours of the cake and the brown butter gives the cake batter a nutty flavour as well as that hazelnut hue. It looks like it should take centre stage at a bachinalian feast.  As this recipe is American you may want/need to convert cups to grams and you can do this here.

You will need:

3/4 cup unsalted Challenge Butter
4 eggs, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 and 1/2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
10 ounces blackberries, for cake batter
6 ounces blueberries, for cake batter
6 ounces mixed blackberries and blueberries, optional garnish for the top of the cake


Icing sugar approx one and a half cups
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon poppy seeds

First, brown the butter. When making browned butter, it is best to use a stainless steel pan so that you can see the color of the butter change. Heat the butter in a large shallow frying pan over medium heat until melted. Swirl the pan around a bit every couple minutes to help it cook evenly. Over a period of several minutes, you'll notice the foam at the top of the butter start to change from light yellow to a dark tan. Once it reaches the dark tan stage and the butter looks light brown and golden, smell it. It should smell nutty and similar to toffee. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the brown butter, eggs, and sugar until blended. Add the vanilla extract and milk and mix until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Gradually add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing at medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Add the blackberries and blueberries and stir in by hand. Evenly distribute the batter between 2 well-greased and lightly floured 8-inch cake pans.

Place the pans in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until they're golden around the edges and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean (don't insert it into a berry bit though, that will always come out rather jammy). Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans and setting them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cakes have cooled, prepare the glaze. Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the poppy seeds and whisk until they're evenly distributed throughout the glaze. Drizzle 1/3 off the glaze over the first (bottom) layer of the cake. Place the second layer on top of it and drizzle with the remaining glaze. Garnish with the fresh blueberries and blackberries and serve.


All images:Adventures in Cooking