Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Blackberry Oatmeal Cake + Latte + Drizzle = Vancouver

a piece of blackberry oatmeal cake

When Jeff and I planned our trip to Vancouver, BC Canada a few years ago, we scheduled it for July -- the month with the lowest probability of rain. We were assured of beautiful weather -- I didn't even pack an umbrella (not that I had one to pack).

When we landed in Vancouver, it was raining.

It continued to rain for three days straight. So we skipped a few attractions like Butchart Gardens and spent our time in beautiful museums, quaint book stores, and charming cafes instead.

blackberry oatmeal cake

One drizzly afternoon we enjoyed a memorably good fresh blackberry and oatmeal cake with a couple of cafe lattes. There is something about a cake with fresh berries, a hot latte, and a light rain that makes for a perfect lazy afternoon.

Vancouver, like Oregon and Washington State, boasts some of the continent's best berries. We savored fresh tart loganberries, a succulent boysenberry tart, and even gooseberry ice cream.

farmers' market blackberries

So when Jennifer of the Domestic Goddess (the founder of Sugar High Friday) announced that this month's SHF theme was Mmm ... Canada, I knew I had to make a blackberry-oatmeal cake. Since I didn't have time to fly to Vancouver for blackberries, I settled on these plump locally grown ones from the farmers' market. I wasn't disappointed.

Each bite is a sensory pleasure: the crunchy oatmeal-cashew topping gives way to a soft, moist cake punctuated with bursts of warm, juicy sweet-tart blackberries. As soon as I tasted it, I felt magically transported to Vancouver. The only thing missing was the rain.

another piece of blackberry oatmeal cake

Fresh Blackberry, Oatmeal, and Cashew Cake

Print recipe only here.

I lowered the fat and cholesterol in this cake by using less canola oil than usual, low-fat buttermilk, and egg whites only. Of course, full-fat versions work as well.

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup fresh blackberries (cut in half if very large)
1/4 cup chopped cashews

3 tablespoons chopped cashews
3 tablespoon rolled oats

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter or coat with cooking spray an 8 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, sift the flours. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

In a separate large bowl, beat the sugars and egg whites at medium speed until light. Beat in the vanilla, buttermilk, and oil. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, including the oats. Beat until just incorporated and the flour is dissolved. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the blackberries and cashews until well blended.

Pour the batter into the pan and gently shake it to even it out. Sprinkle the chopped cashews and oats evenly over the top of the cake and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool at room temperature.

Unmold the cake, and place on a rack. Allow to set for at least 15 minutes before slicing.

Other fruit-filled baked goods you might like:

Fresh Apricot and Cherry Cobbler with Buttermilk Biscuit Crust

Fresh Cherry and Peach Upside-Down Cake

Fresh Apricot Muffins

Fresh Strawberry, Almond, and Coconut Muffins

More berry good recipes I found:

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