The fruits of summer pair with almond to create a light cake, good for snacking and breakfast!
Today is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It’s a day that speaks of the hot days of Summer and long warm evenings. The days when children play outside well past their bedtimes, their shrieks and laughter mingling with the smells of smoke and grilling. Sunshine and flowers, swimming pools and beaches.
You know what it does not speak of? Rain. So much rain. And cool, damp air. So much so that I am sitting at my desk wearing socks and a sweatshirt to keep warm.
As any baker knows, baking is a way to brighten a dreary day. This cake, with its bright colors and sweet bites of fresh berries, will bring sweet Summer back into your life!
Gather your berries: raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. Chop the strawberries so they are roughly the same size as the other berries.
The cake starts with sugar, olive oil, vanilla, and almond extracts. Beat them together until they are well mixed and add in some eggs and an extra yolk. One at a time, beat each addition in until it is complete before adding the next.
Continue, adding Ricotta, leaveners and salt, one at a time, mixing and mixing.
When these are mixed in well, fold in the flour, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and stopping as soon as the last bit of flour is absorbed.
Pour half of the batter into a prepared pan and then sprinkle it with berries. Try and get a nice pattern of blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Every piece of cake you cut should contain some of each berry.
Carefully spread the remainder of the batter on top, spreading it lightly over the berries.
Finish by distributing the rest of the berries over the top of the cake and sprinkle it with a little Demerara sugar (for a lovely crunch!).
When the cake has cooled, cut a slice and sit at your kitchen table and look out at your soggy garden. The almond and fruit make your mouth sing and you will know that sunshine is just a day or two away!
ALMOND BERRY CAKE
- 1 ¼ c sugar
- ½ c olive oil
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ¼ c ricotta cheese
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ c flour
- 2 c assorted berries
- 1 tbsp Demerara sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 9” springform pan.
- Clean and sort the berries. Chop any large berries so that they are all roughly the same size.
- In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, vanilla, and almond extracts until they are well combined.
- Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Add the ricotta and stir well.
- Stir in the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
- Fold in the flour, stopping when it is just mixed in.
- Pour one-half of the batter into the prepared pan. Distribute half of the berries over the top of the batter. Spread the remainder of the batter over the berries in the pan and sprinkle with the rest of the berries. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes until a tester comes out clean. If the cake is browning too fast cover with aluminum foil after 40 minutes.
- Cool for ten minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Note: if you don't have a springform pan a 9" cake pan will also work