2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 cup Beaumes-de-Venise or other white dessert wine
4 tablespoons sugar
1 (3- by 1-inch) strip fresh orange zest
1/3 cup seedless blackberry preserves or 1/2 cup blackberry preserves with
4 cups fresh blackberries (1 1/2 lb)
Make cake: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Line bottom of a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan with a round of wax paper,
then butter paper.
Sift together flour, baking powder
and soda, and salt. Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an
electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a
time, beating well after each addition, then, with mixer at low speed, beat in
all of buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing
after each addition until just combined.
Spoon batter into cake pan,
smoothing top, and bake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out
clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a thin sharp
knife around edge of cake to loosen. Invert onto rack, then slide cake onto a
Make topping: Bring wine, 3
tablespoons sugar, and zest to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until
sugar is dissolved. Boil until syrup is reduced to about 2/3 cup, 1 to 2
minutes. Discard zest.
Reserve 2 tablespoons syrup and pour
remainder slowly and evenly over cake (cake will absorb syrup).
Stir together reserved syrup,
preserves, and remaining tablespoon sugar in small saucepan and simmer, stirring
occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 1 minute (it should be the
consistency of a thick syrup). Put blackberries in a large bowl, then pour
preserves mixture over berries. Gently stir berries with a rubber spatula to
coat, then pour over cake, mounding blackberries on top.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
• Cake can be made (without syrup and topping) 1 day ahead, cooled completely,
then kept at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap.
Makes 8 servings.