This light-as-can-be buttermilk cake has an easy sophistication, its Sherry-spiked berries harmonizing with the tangy cream.
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Yields: 8-10 Servings
2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup Fino (dry) Sherry
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups mixed berries, cut if large
8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.
2Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.
4Spread batter in cake pan, smoothing top. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.
5Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Discard paper and reinvert cake onto rack to cool completely.
1Bring Sherry and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.
Make cream and assemble cake:
1Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks.
2Halve cake horizontally with a long serrated knife. Carefully remove top half and reserve. Put bottom half on a plate, then spread evenly with all of cream and replace top half. Serve with berries.