Sweet strawberries from the Echo Park Farmer’s Market and my recent habit of adding fresh ginger to almost everything I eat led to today’s cake creation.
A last minute addition of frozen blueberries balanced out the slight tartness of the strawberries and resulted in an unexpectedly yummy caramelized crust. I like the cake served by itself, although a little whipped cream couldn’t hurt.
I’ve used this cake recipe before, with different spices and loquats, here.
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
2 baskets or about 12 ripe strawberries, trimmed and sliced 1/4″ thick
1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (I used Trader Joe’s frozen wild blueberries)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk (regular or soy milk can be substituted)
Equipment: A 10″ cake pan or a 10″-12″ ovenproof cast-iron skillet
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
For berry topping: Melt butter in skillet or cake pan (using potholders, of course!) over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle brown sugar and chopped ginger evenly over butter, then cook, without stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Not all the sugar will be melted. Remove skillet/pan from heat and arrange strawberries, cut sides down, in a circular pattern over the brown sugar/butter mixture. Scatter blueberries around the outside edge of the pan.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and soda, salt and ground ginger.
In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 1/2 minutes. Beat in eggs, one and a time until mixture is creamy and has doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk. Beat until just combined.
Gently pour batter over berries. Bake cake in the middle of the oven until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes.
As soon as cake is done, invert a large plate or pan over the skillet and flip skillet over, inverting the cake onto the plate. Lift skillet off cake and replace any fruit still stuck to bottom of skillet. Serve warm.
Cake will last, covered and refrigerated, for several days. Reheat in a low oven.