Over the course of a week, I see a lot of recipes. Whether it’s perusing the many on-line resources for recipes or flipping through a cookbook late at night, I see a lot of recipes.
I do my best to keep track of the recipes I want to try. It’s hard to find a magazine or cookbook in my house that doesn’t have at least one page that’s dog-eared or marked with a post-it.
Sometimes I’ll make little notes to myself on my iPhone or send myself an e-mail as a reminder of a particular recipe that I want to try (like I said … I see a lot of recipes so it’s easy to forget).
I’ve thought about this cake many times over the years but didn’t finally try it until recently.
I think there’s something about “salt-kissed” that just grabbed me. I love salt, especially when used in baking, and the idea of a tender cake covered in berries and sprinkled with just the right amount of salt is just so attractive to me!
When I first made this cake, I followed the recipe exactly and used whole wheat pastry flour. Generally speaking, when I bake, I stick to all-purpose flour or cake and pastry flour, depending on what the recipe requires. I like to use bread flour for breads and pizza and I will occasionally use rice flour in some cookie recipes. Where possible, I try to use unbleached flour.
I do use whole wheat flour for some of the breads I make but I’m pretty new to whole wheat pastry flour. Since it never hurts to expand your baking horizons, I was interested to see how the cake would taste.
Overall, I liked it. There’s no question that whole wheat flour gives the cake a nuttiness and sturdiness that you wouldn’t get with all-purpose flour. The cake was tender, though, and really good.
Not entirely satisfied, I decided to try the cake again using a combination of whole wheat pastry flour and regular cake and pastry flour.
The results were a lot more to my liking. The cake was still tender but with a nice balance between the deeper flavour of whole wheat flour and the more delicate regular cake and pastry flour.
I used homegrown strawberries for the cake. We have harvested a bumper crop of strawberries this year from our own strawberry plants!
We have about 40 plants in our garden and they have produced beautifully. I’ve said it before and I will say it agian, when you’ve tasted a strawberry right from the plant you understand the importance of eating locally-grown, seasonal fruit.
The addition of salt to the top of the cake before baking gives this cake a very special touch. It’s funny that the idea of highlighting the flavour of salt in a dessert still causes some raised eyebrows. The salty-sweet flavour profile is one of my favourite in desserts.
This cake has stayed with me for a long time since I first saw it. I’m so glad that I finally tried it.
Salt-Kissed Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries
Adapted from 101cookbooks.com.
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup cake and pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
zest of 2 lemons
1 cup of berries (I used strawberries)
3 tablespoons large grain raw sugar
1 teaspoon large grain salt (I used Kosher salt)
Preheat oven to 400F degrees, racks in the middle.
Grease and flour one 11-inch tart/quiche pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and sugar and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl whisk together the eggs and the buttermilk, whisk in the melted butter, and the lemon zest.
Pour the buttermilk mixture over the flour mixture and stir until just combined – try not to over mix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, pushing out toward the edges. Place the berries on top of the batter, breaking them slightly with your fingers.
Sprinkle with the large grain sugar and then the salt.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cake is set (or a toothpick in the center comes out clean), and a touch golden on top.