buckwheat berry striped cake
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The key feature of this cake is of course the presentation of the berries. So often cake with soft fruit completely hides it in the folds of the batter, only for a single berry to peek here and there, or becoming a blurry smashed layer. Tarts with a fancy berry arrangement on top are a different story, and not really cakes as such - I do like to make a clear distinction between a cakey cake (usually tackled with your fingers) and dessert which involves cream, frosting, layers an often complete lack of pastry (spooned or forked, by law). But tarts, tartlets and pies are not what we’re here about this time.
Back to our berry cake - this is lovely, the sooner served after leaving the oven, the better, as with time the berries start to leach juice a bit and the thing looks much messier. Fancy patterns can be applied and the berry assortment is entirely ad lib. The pastry is really lovely too, and - however little truck I hold with hipster flours and no-gluten fads - the buckwheat flour adds a lot of value. But we knew that, didn’t we, long before the world started growing beards and spiralizing the environment.
I used Melissa Clark’s recipe from NY Times Cooking. The only criticism I might have, if pressed - too few berries!
buckwheat berry striped cakeServings: 8-10Time: about an hour
- 40g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
- 45g (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 45g (1/3 cup) wholemeal flour
- 30g (¼ cup) buckwheat flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 115g (1 stick) butter, softened
- 100g (½ cup) caster sugar plus a little more to sprinkle
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 60ml (80g or ¼ cup) buttermilk, sour cream or full fat yoghurt
- 1 cup mixed berries: strawberries, blueberries or raspberries
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Butter a 23-25cm (10in.) flan or tart dish.
2. Mix the flours in a bowl with the baking powder and salt. Beat the butter with sugar until pale and fluffy, add the vanilla extract and the egg and beat well. Add the buttermilk, at which point the mixture will curdle awfully, but ignore it. Add the flours and beat just to combine.
3. Spoon the cake mix into the dish and smooth out with a spatula. Arrange the berries in whatever pattern you wish.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake is golden on top and the skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven, sprinkle generously with caster sugar and cool in the tin.