So, this isn’t really “today” in the kitchen. 

 Today actually consisted of a horrible treck out in the deluge for much, much needed groceries (stock piling anyone?) and then 11 pints of canned Lemon Curd – this time instead of regular lemon juice I used Volcanic Lemon Juice…WOW!  Two dozen lemon scones also made with Volcanic Lemon juice and a homemade pizza too! Between the oven cranked to 400 degrees for hours on end and the stove top hot with double boilers and my huge boiling water canner I did my part to destroy mother earth today!  Can I request that my carbon footprint be in the shape of a red soled Christian Louboutin???

There was also a serious raping and pillaging of my Tupperware cabinet – I threw half of it out, I mean come on, how many plastic containers does one house need!  (I DID recycle!  I am only joking about destroying Mother Earth but if you are new to the Farmhouse you’ll probably catch on quick that I don’t believe the whole carbon footprint nonsense.)  ANYWHOO – Why can’t I ever leave that stuff alone?  Back to the terrible Tupperware cab – The more you have the more they pile up in your fridge only to turn into science experiments.  Now, if it doesn’t have a lid it’s in the recycle bin.  I feel like I have lost ten pounds!
The score was even when I asked y’all if you wanted the Onion Tarte or Black Berry cake recipe first- I though this one would serve us well on such a gloomy afternoon-


This was the dessert served at that blogger luncheon held at the Farmhouse a few weeks back.  I am still enjoying the memory of this delightful cake and thought you might enjoy presenting it at an upcoming spring baby shower or birthday dinner…I have adapted it’s name and ingredients from a recipe I found in Gourmet magazine eight years ago…


Blackberry Buttermilk Cake with Muscat
For the cake you will need:
2 cups of cake flour (I used my trusty King Arther Organic Flour) just make sure it’s not self rising
1 teaspoon of baking powder – for your health preferably aluminum free
1 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter (organic)
1 cup sugar (organic evaporated cane juice)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup well shaken buttermilk (You can simply add lemon juice to milk to make it sour if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, this is what I did)
For the topping:
3/4 cup Muscat dessert wine or other dessert wine (Don’t let this ingredient intimidate you.  If you don’t know what you are doing, walk into your local wine shop and tell them you are making a cake and you need a cheap dessert wine – or you could splurge and get the good stuff – the original recipe calls for Beaumes-de-Venise but Trader Joe’s Muscat did the trick for me!)
4 tablespoons sugar
Teaspoon of orange zest or strip of orange zest
1/3 cup blackberry or berry preserves (I did not have preserves but did have 4 berry blend in the freezer, I thawed a scoop out added some sugar, boiled it and made my own instant preserves.  So while blackberry preserves may be ideal, mine was a blend of raspberry, blueberry, blackberry and marion berries – my point is, if at all possible work with what you have!)
3-4 cups of fresh blackberries (if you don’t have your own bushes I find the large clamshell at Costco to be a great deal and full of LOVELY berries)
Crank up that oven to 350 – (dig that heal in as you make your carbon footprint for the day!)  Line the bottom of a buttered 9 by 2 inch round pan with a round of wax paper.  The easiest way to do this is to lay the pan on the wax paper and use a Sharpie to trace it.  Then cut out your shape a smidge inside of your Sharpie circle.  Butter the paper too.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.  If you are new to baking/cooking this is a trick to delightful cakes that you won’t want to leave out.  Sift, sift, sift.  I don’t have anything fancy just a wire/mesh strainer that I shake everything through.  Most of you will have a more elegant or proper technique!  
Beat together the sugar and butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in the vanilla.  Now that is a perfect world direction.  I got no where near “pale and fluffy” it was more like “chunky and what the heck is this supposed to look like” but by the time I added the vanilla and followed the next step it seemed to look a little better.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.  Then with your mixer on low add the buttermilk until it is “just” combined.  Add your sifted flour mixture in three batches, mixing after each until just combined.
Spoon your batter into your prepared cake pan, smoothing the top as best you can and bake in the middle of the oven until golden and a tester comes out clean.  About 40-50 minutes.  Cool in the pan on a rack (I still don’t have one)  and then run a knife around the edge and slide the cake onto a cake plate.  If you find your cake has bulged and will not lay flay simply flip it over, bulge side up and take a serrated knife gently, horizontally through the cake, thus cutting of the bump.  Then eat it!!!!
To make the topping:
Bring the wine, 3 tablespoons of sugar and zest to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Boil until syrup is reduced to about 2/3 of a cup.  1-2 minutes.  If you made a strip of zest now would be the time to remove it.  If you have a fine grater for your zest just leave it in there.  
Reserve 2 tablespoons syrup and pour remainder slowly and evenly over the cake.  This will make you feel so cool and professional.  Notice the intense look on my face in the photo!
Stir together the rest of the syrup, your preserves and remaining tablespoon of sugar in a small saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened slightly, about 1 minute.  It should be like think syrup.  Put blackberries in a large bowl, the pour preserves mixture over them.  

GENTLY stir berries with a rubber spatula to coat, then pour over the cake!  Serve warm is possible for the most “ooos” and “ahhs” from your guest.  And I suppose it can be served room temp to – if you must.
Pressed for time?  Cake can be made a day ahead, fully cooled and wrapped in plastic wrap.  Sorry – you gotta do the berry part the day you are going to serve it!
Oh, I am pooped after this day and all this typing!  I hope you try this this weekend or even for Mother’s Day.  But whenever you do…Bon Appetit!