July 6th, 2011

Time for Tea, and Raspberry-Peach Buttermilk Cake

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Pausing, midday, for a cup of hot tea is one of those treats I rarely allow myself. That shouldn’t be the case. Taking time to step away from the stove, or the computer screen, is so beneficial to my general well-being; it should be a natural part of my day. That moment to regroup, restore, and refill the creative well is as easy as bringing water to a boil.

I was reminded of this when I was asked to sample some organic herbal teas for a company, Sacred Rose. I set aside my work, took out the only tea cup left from a set that once belonged to my grandmother, and poured a delicious, heady brew. That bit of self-nurturing was just what I needed–and the non-caffeinated concoction gave me a little boost, without the spike and drop of coffee.

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Sometimes, it’s nice to take the pampering a step further.

I follow a blog, Darjeeling Dreams. Here, Joyti has written much about the world of tea: the types and blends, tisanes and infusions, the rituals of steeping and sipping. She also has some wonderful recipes–mostly desserts—many of which are perfect to enjoy with that vibrant midday cup.

One recent recipe caught my eye. It had all the right elements–a pleasing aesthetic, and an intriguing complexity in flavors created in a simple preparation. It is also her friend’s favorite: a one layer, unfrosted, fresh Raspberry Buttermilk Cake.

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One day, I decided to make it, although with slight variation. I had just a handful of raspberries in the house, and a couple of very ripe peaches. Peaches and raspberries baked onto a buttermilk cake sounded appealing, too.

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It’s the sort of cake that you can whip up by hand. I like that. No need to lug out the stand mixer. There’s a wee bit of preplanning: be sure to have the butter softened, so that it will cream nicely with the sugar. And, have the buttermilk at room temperature–it will more readily blend with the creamed butter-sugar mixture without clumping.

Joyti makes her cake with a combination of whole wheat and white flours. My pantry offered only unbleached all purpose white flour, so, again, there’s a slight variation.

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It baked beautifully.

And the taste? Elegant.

This is a barely sweetened cake, and the buttermilk imparts a rich tang. The crumb is soft. The raspberries almost melt into the batter as it bakes. This aspect is what really makes the cake special, and if you have only raspberries–so much the better. The peaches, while pretty, remain sitting on top–their juices don’t influence the cake’s outcome so much.

One night, I served it to friends with a scoop of vanilla ice cream drizzled with peach and plum sauces I had made.

But now, it’s just me. So, I’ll steep a pot of this grounding tea, and have a slice. If you’re in the neighborhood, come on over. I’d love to share.

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RASPBERRY-PEACH BUTTERMILK CAKE
(adapted from Joyti’s Darjeeling Dreams)
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 T. Baking Powder
pinch Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
6 T. Butter, softened
1 1/3 cups Buttermilk, at room temperature
Zest from 1 Lemon
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Fresh Raspberries
1-2 sliced Peaches
2 T. Demerara Sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9″ springform pan with parchment, and butter the sides.
Mix dry ingredients–flour/baking powder/salt in a bowl and set aside.
In another bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together,
Whisk in the buttermilk, lemon zest, and egg.
Stir in the dry ingredients, and mix until well incorporated.
Pour into prepared springform pan.
Arrange sliced peaches around the circumference of the caketop. Place raspberries in the center.
Sprinkle with Demerara Sugar and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Allow to cool 15 minutes before removing .

Enjoy with a cup of tea.

SACRED ROSE ORGANIC HERBAL TEAS www.sacredrose.us

Sacred Rose’s “Mother Earth Zest” (one of their 8 special blends) is a gently invigorating tea. Ginger and spearmint are the dominant notes, layered with fennel and sage. It is designed to refresh and to ground, and is pleasant tea to drink in the afternoon. It has lovely aromatics, too.

Sacred Rose is a planetary-conscious company, whose teas honor the energy and restorative powers imbued by the plant kingdom.

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Posted in Beverages, Desserts, Recipes

30 Responses to “Time for Tea, and Raspberry-Peach Buttermilk Cake”
  1. Tracy Says:

    Your writing feels like a hug. What a day. Wish I could step away from the computer for such a treat.

  2. goodfoodmatters Says:

    aw, Tracy. wish you could too!

  3. Epicurea Says:

    what a beautiful still life. love your tableware and arrangements.
    @tracy: my sentiments exactly!

  4. kankana Says:

    I am tea lover .. but i like it in the morning and evening. Joyti is a fantastic blogger and her sweet treats are just so amazing. I should bake some of her tarts too!

  5. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    This sounds like my kind of cake. Set a place for me.

  6. heather Says:

    If I were nearby I would be there in a heartbeat. My mother’s 70 celebration is around the corner and this sounds like just the cake! Thank you Nancy.

  7. Barbara Says:

    We are on the same wave length, Nancy! I love Joyti’s blog and am going to post one of her recipes next!

    Your raspberry/peach cake is a delight. And such a beautiful presentation. I’d hate to cut into it! I don’t often pause for tea (aside from a glass of iced tea) but Sacred Rose sounds like a good reason to sit back and enjoy tea and a piece of this lovely summer cake!

  8. Fluffy Says:

    Nancy, love these photos, and the tea was truly invigorating.

    Wonderful post.

  9. kristy Says:

    Nancy, you’ve just tempted me to make some cakes! Yours looks so inviting. Thanks for sharing & hope you’re enjoying your day, dear.
    Blessings, Kristy

  10. Jenny at Baking Devils Says:

    This cake looks gorgeous, thanks for sharing Nancy. Joyti has some wonderful recipes doesn’t she!

  11. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    A little self-nurturing and a barely sweetened cake are just my style. Lovely.

  12. Maggie Says:

    Just beautiful! I can see sitting on the front porch with this little treat!!

  13. foodonfifth.com, Teresa Blackburn Says:

    Nance, you know how much I love anything with buttermilk in it so this cake looks and sounds doubly yummy to me. I am not much of a tea drinker in the summer, but drink hot tea by the gallons in the fall and winter months, but perhaps I will go make a cup of tea and sit down with a piece of banana bread and ponder the universe…thanks for this lovely blog.

  14. Anna Johnston Says:

    I adore Tea, crazy about it. Love this recipe, it sounds delish. Any left overs, its currently -6c and Im shivering my way through the day, and could totally eat this little beauty. Mmmmmmmm!

  15. John Says:

    Nancy,

    You make such beautiful food and I love to see the great pictures you make.

    John

  16. Three-Cookies Says:

    Looks delicious, I have not seen raspberry and peach combination before. I would gladly eat a slice or more for sure!

  17. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Kankana, Barbara, Jenny–yes, Joyti’s lovely blog has touched many people
    wiht her recipes, photography and writing. I look forward to your post, Barbara!

    Mag–I am long overdue for a sit on your porch.

    Terese-I initially had an aversion to drinking hot tea on a summer’s afternoon, but found it to be quite delightful. and yes, Anything Buttermilk grabs our attention, doesn’t it?

    Anna-yes, a pot of hot tea is much needed in the chilly Down Under—stay warm!

    John–thank you! I consider this the highest compliment, coming from a professional photographer

    Three Cookies-welcome to my blog!

  18. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    I love anything baked that has buttermilk in it much less the flavor of raspberry! This cake looks amazing! So moist and full of yummy goodness! I love it

  19. Nicole Says:

    What a delicious combination~ glad you treated yourself. It’s a nice reminder that we should all be kind to ourselves!

  20. Lisa @ Sweet as Sugar Cookies Says:

    What a beautiful cake you made and you take such lovely photos of it too. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I’d love it if you’d come by and link your cake up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html

  21. Tammy Says:

    Love the not-so-sweet flavors that you’ve put together. I also like this one done with a cornbread. And tea too, of course.

  22. FOODESSA Says:

    Whipping up a dessert without a mixer is certainly a recipe I always look forward to. Your slight variations are very welcomed indeed ;o)
    Unfortunately, for now, our peaches a less than desirable…I’ll have to excercise a little more patience.

    Alright then, off I go to make myself a warm,tea pot…with a few mint leaves and ginger for today ;o)

    Ciao for now and flavourful wishes,
    Claudia

    P.S. Thanks to your blog Nancy…I became one of the latest recipients of the Fairy Hobmother’s gift ;o)

  23. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Claudia–I am so pleased–Foodessa, of course, deserves the gift of the Fairy Hobmother!

  24. Faith Says:

    What a gorgeous cake and a beautiful use for some lovely summer produce! Raspberries and peaches are a fantastic combo and they really make this a special cake.

  25. Joyti Says:

    Nancy,
    Thank you for the lovely words! I’m glad that you liked the cake.
    Your buttermilk cake looks great. Very fluffy.
    I actually used to make it with white flour only too. Lately, I’ve gone back to a few of my recipes and tried it with whole wheat, because I like the whole wheat bread than white generally, so I thought I might like whole wheat pastries too. This was one of them. I think the all-purpose version is a bit more luscious, but the whole wheat adds a bit more texture.

  26. Linda Says:

    The cake is truly lovely, so light and fresh looking. Peaches and raspberries are a great combination. And that teacup is a beautiful treasure.

  27. My Little Expat Kitchen Says:

    Oh Nancy, what a beautiful cake. Peaches and raspberries are a wonderful combination.
    Thanks for introducing me to Joyti’s blog too.
    Magda

  28. Juliana Says:

    Nancy, this cake is just perfect paired with the tea…what I lovely afternoon tea time.
    Hope you are having a great week :-)

  29. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    I am going to have to check out Sacred Rose’s “Mother Earth Zest” tea, it sounds so rejuvenating, which is what I need. And the cake! What a wonderful and beautiful cake. I like the simplicity of the recipe.

  30. Salad in a Jar Says:

    Great way to use very ripe peaches and a nice excuse for a cup of tea.



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