Tags: baking, Berries, berry swirl cake, blackberries, Cake, Dannon yogurt, Greek Yogurt, pound cake, raspberries, Yogurt
Before we moved to the town I grew up in, from NYC, we spent a few years in another town, in a huge apartment complex surrounded by vast, beautiful meadows, streams filled with tadpoles, froggies, fish and all things cool to a young, curious, nature loving girl. I won’t get into the huge highway overpass that roared above us in the parking lot, nor the main roadway with a constant barrage of passing cars almost 24/7, less than a mile away, I will just keep us in the place where nature loomed and bloomed, with not much time left.
My fondest memory of this Garden apartment complex of Eden nestled within the asphalt, was the wild blackberry and raspberry bushes hidden in one small area behind the pussy willows and tall stalks of wheat-looking something or others that constitute ‘meadows’. We would sit in the middle of this circle of bushes and pick plump, juicy, berries for hours, our lips, fingers and shirts stained purple and red. I took this for granted – surely there’s wild bushes like this everywhere, right? When we moved into our new house, I figured I’d have a whole backyard of them!
Unfortunately, the beautiful meadows and streams were eventually demolished to build a huge, modern, state of the art, high school and more apartment complexes, but fortunately, we were already moving out when this started happening. Once we moved into our new home, I kind of forgot about wild berry bushes. I loved cooking, but basic stuff, I was too young to think about or dabble in preparations calling for berries, outside of fresh berries topped with cream.
Cut to many years later – now I’m baking and cooking on a pretty regular basis, inhaling cookbooks like oxygen, pouring through gourmet magazines, reading a few chapters of Larousse Gastronomique nightly, and watching hours upon hours of Jacques Pepin showing me every cooking technique known to man (at that time), over and over. I watched numerous cooking shows, but Jacques was my mentor.
I was falling madly in love with all things food, all things sweet and savory, all things plated and lovely.
All of this food exploration renewed my intense love of two berries with a deep fervor, two berries that I used to hang with and know very well, raspberries and blackberries. I wanted to bake with them, make sauces with them, jam them, jelly them, you name it. However, no wild and free berry bushes anywhere near me. My berry passion led to many trips to the market, but was diluted with pints of mediocre, somewhat squashed berries in plastic containers with holes, and if I didn’t act quick, they’d morph into plastic containers of Swamp Things doing the creepy-crawly in the back of my fridge.
You never know how good you ‘had’ it until you want to cook and bake with it.
Like snowflakes, no two berry swirl cakes are alike
Cut to present. A friend of mine attended a wedding in Seattle last summer. One morning he called at the end of his daily workout and run. As he was walking through the parking lot of the hotel he was staying in, he let out an audible ‘wow’ type of gasp. He told me there were tons of wild blackberry bushes around the parking lot..filled to the brim with some of the biggest blackberries he’d ever seen. He took a photo with his cell and sent it to me. I let out an audible ‘wow’ type of-gasp as I listened to him eat those gorgeous berries.
“Wow, theesh are the jooshiest blackberriesh I’fe ever tayshted in my life!”
This was one of the photos he sent me. Nice lookin’ Seattle wild blackberries!
The rest of his trip led to occasional phone calls and texts about how wherever he went, there were always blackberry bushes close by.
I contemplated a permanent move to Seattle, but only for a second. I need sun on a more daily basis, although it’s an awesome city in a beautiful and bountiful state. My ‘Seattle Lisa’ image contained tons of buckets in lieu of a purse - picking blackberries from every bush I saw, so much so that I would have to balance an extra bucket on my head, like the Chiquita Banana chick on blackberryroids.
My history with yogurt is a bit different. OK, a bit is understatement. I hated it. To me, yogurt was a bunch of annoying, little plastic containers that dominated our fridge since my mother ate it every.single.day. They would come tumbling out and hit the floor while I was reaching for sandwich fixings or pudding cups, cracking open – white, fruity goo all over the floor. I would actually gag while I was cleaning it up. I hated, Hated, HATED how it smelled.
“How could she eat this crap?”, I would think and mutter faintly under my breath.
Don’t let these skinny swirls of berry fool you, because…..
My freshman year of college, there was a little truck on campus one day that was just giving yogurt away - Dannon yogurt. One late night, craving something sweet, and nothing but our free Dannon haul in our mini-fridge, I had no choice but to confront my yogurt demons. I was so hungry, I didn’t care..I was eating it. One spoonful and BOOM, an explosion of creamy/tangy with sweet strawberries swirled throughout, sort of like pudding or custard, and I love puddings and custards.
Yogurt, why did I hate you so for so long? OK, I admit, I had never tasted you before, but it was all because of those damn containers tumbling to the floor and cracking into cream of fruity ooze – plus, my mother’s obsession with you. My apologies and regrets!
Well..now I’m obsessed, and I eat a container almost every day, and bake with it quite often. As mentioned above, it’s in this cake, the Greek style, which has been my new favorite for quite a while.
When I decided to take advantage of an abundance of gorgeous blackberries and raspberries that came my way, I started with a blackberry swirl pound cake recipe I had bookmarked by Martha Stewart (wow, Martha is making a lot of appearances on my blog as of late). Of course, I wasn’t going to leave raspberries out and of course, I was probably going to change something. That something was my former foe, yogurt, instead of the sour cream called for, and I don’t know why, but I had the urge to mix the berry purees with some of the cake batter prior to swirling them in. Wow, thick, berry ribbons within the cake. Success!
Make this cake..I promise you will love it – even if you don’t like berries and/or yogurt.
….when you mix some of the batter into the berry purees before spooning it on and swirling it into the batter, then cut into a slice vertically, this is what you get. Thick ribbons of berry.
Double Berry Ribbon/Swirl Yogurt Pound ‘like‘ Cake
adapted from Martha Stewart, with my revisions
Makes one 9-inch by 5-inch loaf cake
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan (or 1/2 cup neutral oil, like canola)
3 ounces blackberries (about a scant 3/4 cup)
3 ounces raspberries (about a scant 3/4 cup)
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, room temperature
NOTE: I split the berry puree-batter mixes in half, using half of each for swirling into both layers of plain batter. I did this to make two cakes. Using all the berry purees in one cake is ideal, but either way is delicious!
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; butter parchment. In a food processor, puree blackberries with 1 tablespoon sugar. Wipe out processor and puree raspberries with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Pour/scrape into separate bowls and set aside (you can strain them into the bowls if you don’t like the light bite of seeds that do not break down). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter (or oil) and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with Greek yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3. Stir two to three tablespoons of the cake batter into the bowl with the blackberry puree until uniform. Stir two to three tablespoons of the cake batter into the bowl of raspberry puree, until uniform.
4. Pour half the plain batter into the pan and dot with 1/2 of the blackberry puree -batter mix and half the raspberry puree-batter mix - cake batter. It will seem like it takes over all the plain cake batter, but don’t worry, it all works out. Swirl/marble lightly using a skewer or knife. Repeat with remaining batter and remaining puree-batter mixes, then again, swirl batter and puree-batter mixes together, pushing skewer or knife all the way to the bottom for a full marble.
5. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 30 minutes. Lift cake out of pan and place on a serving plate; let cool completely before slicing.
This cake is entered in the #cakelove bloghop! Come VOTE and/or enter your cake!
Powered by Linky Tools
Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…