Image: Excerpted from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan
This cake is one of the most beautiful cakes we serve at Huckleberry, but it is not a cake that flies off the shelves. Honestly, it’s just not for everyone, but if you love the earthy taste of buckwheat, as I do, this buttery cake will be a favourite.
If buckwheat isn’t your thing, remove it from this recipe and substitute different kinds of flours, like whole-wheat, rye, spelt, quinoa, oat, etc. In terms of swapping out the fruit, I don’t say this often, but I think apples work best with this cake, and other fruits don’t quite cut the buckwheat the same way.
INGREDIENTS FOR CAKE
- 1 cup/225 g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 1-⅔ cups/340 g sugar, plus 2 tbsp
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 6 eggs
- 3 or 4 apples; 1 peeled and grated, and 2 or 3 peeled and sliced ⅛ in/3 mm thick, cores reserved
- 1-½ cups/150 g almond flour
- ¾ cup/100 g buckwheat flour
- ⅔ cup/75 g all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup/55 g cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking powder
INGREDIENTS FOR GLAZE
- ½ cup/100 g sugar
- ½ cup/120 ml water
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped (optional)
- Apple cores (reserved from making the cake)
1 To make the cake: Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line and grease a 10-in/25-cm round cake pan (see page 78).
2 In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, 1⅔ cups/340 g sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well between each addition. Add the grated apple and mix. Then add the almond flour, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated. Do not overmix!
3 Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, top with the sliced apples, arranging them in pretty concentric circles, and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan.
4 Meanwhile, make the glaze: Simmer the sugar, water, salt, vanilla bean seeds and pod (if using), and apple cores together in a saucepan until the sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Set aside to infuse.
5 Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.
6 While the cake is still warm, brush the glaze all over the top and sides and garnish with the non-edible vanilla pod.
Note: This cake is best served the day it’s made but keeps well, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.
Makes one 10-inch/25-cm cake.
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Excerpted from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan. Recipes Copyright © 2014 Zoe Nathan, Photography copyright © 2014 Matt Armendariz. Excerpted by permission of Chronicle Books, San Francisco. All rights reserved.