Simple cake to go w/ fruit?
A request from a pal for a simple cake to go w/ blueberries a pal fetched back from Michigan. Has anyone done Nigella's clementine cake w/ oranges instead? Any other ideas? I'm thinking a simple flat cake, no frosting, just to slice wedges of and put the berries (I suspect he'll make a sauce with part of them.) alongside. TIA!
I have been in love with this cake... Generally served with creme fraiche and strawberries, but blueberries would be excellent as well.
Lemon Olive Oil Pound Cake
1 cup flour
½ cup white whole wheat flour (or just use more regular flour)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup of sugar
¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
¾ cups extra virgin olive oil
For serving (optional)
Fresh berries (add a teaspoon of sugar and let sit for an hour or so to help release the juices)
Heat oven to 325F (or 300F convection bake). Very lightly oil a 9” cake pan (or 9” deep dish pie pan). Cut a round of parchment paper that fits into the bottom, stick it down with the oil, and add a touch more oil to the top.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl on high speed for 5 minutes. The mixture will get pale and thick. Add yogurt and zest, mix until blended. Then add oil in a steady stream with the mixer on medium speed. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until just blended.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes, cake should be golden and center springs back to the touch. Let cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, then put on rack to cool completely.
Pound cake comes to mind, Ina Garten has a good version. I would do a lemon flavor with the blueberries vs oranges- the orange may compete with blueberry flavor vs complimenting it.
Joy of Cooking (1975 edition) has a Lightning Cake that's simple and great under berries. Here's my half-measure version that fits in an 8 x 8 pan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Grease an 8x8 pan, or 8-inch round pan
Best if all ingredients are about 70 degrees F., so get out egg, milk and butter.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine
3/4 C plus 2 Tablespoons Cake Flour
1/2 C sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 C plus 1 tsp. milk (I used skim milk)
1/4 C. (i.e., 4 T) butter, softened "to consistency of mayonnaise" (mine got melted)
Whip with electric mixer for 1 minute at low speed, scrape the bowl, then whip at slightly higher speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape the bowl again and fold in
3/4 tsp. double acting baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Whip for 30 seconds on low speed. Pour into greased cake pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Jacques Pepin's simple Almond Cake, which is baked at 350F in a 9" springform pan but he notes that a loaf pan is another option. The original recipe includes whole plums but he says it can be made without including fruit. I have accordingly reduced the suggested baking time of 55-60 min.
4Tb softened unsalted butter
1 cup AP flour
1 cup unlanched whole almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract ( I recommend almond extract instead, or half-tsp each)
2Tb canola oil
2 lg eggs
1/3 cup milk
Butter the pan with 1/2 tsp of the recipe butter. Preheat oven at 350F. Pulse the dry ingredients together in a food processor until you have a coarse powder. Add the remaining ingredients except the milk and process till just mixed. Then add the milk and process till batter is smooth.
Pour it into the pan, bake for 45-55 minutes until puffy and nicely browned.
You won't find a simpler method, and almond cake is a great pairing for just about any fruit. Personally, I loathe the texture of that clementine cake and even my dogs wouldn't eat it.
I would use the FP since it's fastest and but you could sub after calculating the equivalent volume. A cup of whole almonds, when ground, would have less volume so you'd have to weigh the nuts in both forms.
There's a great, long-keeping, but quite rich almond pound cake on the back of the Solo almond filling label, and on their website.