Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Best Berry Cake

I don't know if my co-workers were just inflating my ego or not (it worked, regardless) but this mixed berry cake was a pretty huge hit at the office on Monday. It was really a very simple recipe, so here goes:

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
3 to 4 cups mixed berries of your choice (I used blue, black and a few straw)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz. mascarpone
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray your Mary Ann pan with pan spray (I like the kind with flour in it for baking). Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the vanilla, salt and baking powder. Now add the milk and flour in small increments, beginning and ending with the flour. Do not overbeat the mixture. Pour batter into the pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to smooth it and get rid of any air bubbles. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown on the top and edges. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes and then remove from pan and let cool 1 hour.

While the cake is baking, place berries in a bowl with 1/2 cup sugar, stir, and let macerate in the refrigerator while the cake bakes and cools.

Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Stir in mascarpone, vanilla and powdered sugar.

Drain the berry mixture into a bowl so you have just the juice. Paint the juice on the top of the indentation using a pastry brush. Top with the whipped mascarpone and finally top with the berry mixture. Garnish with mint if desired.

Serves: 12

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