Buttermilk Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Almond Crust

It's strawberry season, and it was time to try and make something new with this most delicious fruit. We found this recipe on a blog aptly named The hungry dog, and decided to share it here. The cake came out incredibly moist, with a nice layer of crunchy almond slices on top. I might adapt this recipe and try it with a different combination of fruits and nuts.
 
CAKE

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
4 oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used 110 g.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup strawberries,  trimmed and either halved or quartered


ALMOND TOPPING
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1T. all-purpose flour
1 T. heavy cream (half and half worked fine)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. natural or blanched sliced almonds


Preheat oven to 350 degrees (170°C).

Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.

To make the cake: Have all ingredients at room temperature. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 30 to 45 seconds. Add sugar in a steady stream, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat on medium speed until the mixture is very light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Add the extracts.

With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated. When the mixture is fluffy, reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions alternately with the buttermilk in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition only until incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Fold the strawberries in with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the pan, and spread evenly with the spatula.


Total baking time for
the cake is about 50-55 minutes (55 min for me - until a round wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out free of cake).  



When cake has been baking for 35 minutes, begin making the almond topping. In a small saucepan, mix together the butter, flour, cream, and sugar and stir over low heat until just blended.

About 10 minutes before the cake is ready, remove the cake from the oven, pour the topping mixture over it, and sprinkle the almonds over the top. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the topping over the cake gets golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan for 20 minutes.


Slowly release the springform clasp and carefully remove the pan sides. Let cool completely.

Serve at room temperature.

For extra strawberry indulgence, I served it with a homemade strawberry coulis (jar in the photo background). 



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