A Naked Cake

I've been wanting to make a naked cake gobbed in fruit for awhile, but I don't have many reasons to make a full cake. I finally got my reason :) We also happened to have a bunch of free fruit around this week- with blackberry season, free plums from someone at work's tree, and blueberries from a lovely friend it was an easy decision to drape the cake in fresh berries and stone fruits (also red currants are such eye candy!)

I wanted a light flavored cake with a stark white lightly sweetened frosting and I really ended up loving this flavor combo: cardamom orange scented cake with almond frosting:

2 3/4 cups sifted flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cardamom
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
first things first line 2 8x8 cake pans with parchment paper, spray with oil and four them
preheat oven to 350 degrees F
1   Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cardamom until it is all fine powder, no clumps.
2   In yet another bowl beat the butter until creamed and then add 1 cup sugar and beat 3-5 minutes
3   Add the 1/3 flour mixture and 1/4 cup milk, mix in slowly
4   repeat in 2 more batches with remaining flour and milk
4   Mix vanilla and orange zest, don't overmix
5   In another bowl beat egg whites until foamy and add 1/2 cup sugar gradually until it forms soft peaks
6   With a spatula fold the egg whites into cake mixture 
7   Pour 1/2 of mixture into each cake pan and bake 25-30 minutes, toothpick should come out clean
8   let cool completely
almond frosting:
1 cup butter; room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tbs cold milk
1 tsp almond extract
1   beat butter until light and fluffy
2   slowly beat in powdered sugar
3   add in milk on low 1 tbs at a time
4   beat in extract
to assemble:
1   place one layer on cake plate or stand
2   place 1/2 the icing onto cake and smooth around in an even layer
3   add the next layer and smooth around the second half of the icing on the top of that cake
4   slice up fruit some fruit and start assembling berries and peach slices around the bottom and top of the cake, the currants are nice to drape over the side or tilt up so they stand in the icing in the center layer of the cake

Ombre Beet Terrine

I saw a photo of this and have been dying to make it, I love ombre and Joshua LOVES beets so it was a win win. We sat down together the other night and got our hands nice and pink skinning beets and layering them up and smashing down goat cheese. Honestly one of the more fun things we've made together and it's so pretty! The flavors and texture also turned out the be really great over just a simple bed of kale.

Ombre Beet Terrine:

10-12 beets; as much color variation as you can find in red and yellow beets
8 oz goat cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper
basil or kale for serving

1   boil beets for 20-25 minutes, the should be easily pierced with a fork
2   peel the skin off with a fork or peeler and let cool off some
3   slice beets as thinly as possible
4   line a loaf pan with plastic wrap, enough to overhang the sides
5   start with your lightest color beets and create a layer on the bottom of the dish
6   smash some goat cheese on top, can't really spread it so we just smashed some in most places across the layer of beets
7   drizzle a little olive oil over it, add some salt and pepper
8   repeat this all the way up through your colors of beets ending with darkest and most red on top
9   place plastic wrap over the top of the beets and place a few canned goods on top to smash then down a little and place in fridge for 1-2 hours, or up to overnight
10 serve with basil leaves or over a bed of kale with a little salad dressing of your choice