Monday, February 21, 2011

Pastel vasco with blackberry compote

Pastel vasco with blackberry compote / Pastel vasco com geléia de amora

I have been using my cookbooks a lot more lately and there’s one person to be “blamed” for that: my baking buddy, the lovely Susan. :)
Putting my cookbooks to good use was one of my New Year’s resolutions and I’m glad it’s one I’ve been able to keep.

This cake has become one of my favorites: it’s already filled when you remove it from the oven and the rum smell is just wonderful; the batter is not very sweet cake – and I think that’s why it goes really well with the compote. I did not toast the cake slices as the recipes calls for, but only because it was gone before I had the chance to. :)

Now I want to know if Susan liked the cake as much as I did - I've had a quick look of her stunning cake and that is making me drool already. :)

Pastel vasco with blackberry compote
from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

Blackberry compote:
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1/3 cup (80ml) water
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 heaping cups (300g) blackberries – I used frozen, slightly thawed
2 tablespoons brandy

Pastel vasco (cake):
2 ¼ cups + 1 tablespoon (325g) all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (212g) granulated sugar + a little extra for sprinkling over the cake
14 tablespoons (196g) unsalted butter, melted + 3 tablespoons (42g) unmelted
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (60ml) fresh orange juice
1 cup heavy cream, to serve

Start by making the compote: pour the sugar into a medium saucepan. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and use the back of the knife to scrape the seeds into the sugar. Add the water and bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring. Cook about 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally, until the mixture in an amber caramel color.
While the sugar is caramelizing, stir 2 tablespoons of water into the corn starch in a small bowl. Set aside.
When the sugar has reached the desired color, add half the blackberries and the brandy to the pot – be carefully for the mixture will spit. The sugar will harden. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, without stirring, over medium-low heat, until the berries release their juices and the sugar dissolves. Strain the berries over a bowl and pour the liquid back to the saucepan. Transfer the cooked berries to the bowl and stir in the remaining uncooked berries. Bring the blackberry caramel back to a boil over medium heat and slowly whisk in the corn starch mixture, a little at a time. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, until the sauce thickens. Pour the thickened juices over the berries and stir to combine. Set aside to cool completely.

Now, the cake: sift the flour and baking powder together. Set aside.
Whisk 3 eggs in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, melted butter, rum, vanilla extract and orange juice. Fold in the dry ingredients, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F, generously butter a loaf pan*.
Pour ¾ of the batter into the prepared pan, and spoon ¾ cup blackberry compote over it. Top with the remaining batter, letting some of the berries show through.
Beat the remaining egg and brush some of it over the batter. Sprinkle with a handful of granulated sugar over the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until risen and golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (I used a long, thin knife so it would reach the bottom of the pan).
Let the cake cool completely in the pan over a wire rack. Unmold, and then cut into little less than 2cm (¾ in) slices, and butter lightly on both sides.
Warm the remaining compote in a small saucepan over low heat.
Heat a griddle or large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Toast each slice of cake lightly for a minute or two each side, until it’s golden brown and crispy. Arrange the slices on a plate, spoon the warm compote over and serve with a small pitcher of cream.

* since the size of the pan is not mentioned on the book, I made ¾ of the recipe and used a 20x8cm loaf pan

Serves 6-8


susan said...

Patricia - your photos of the cake are heavely! I happen to love this cake but what I loved even more was the compote. You can imagine that composte on waffles, pancakes, eaten with a spoon right out of the bowl? So delish. I love baking with you. I look so forward to planning with you, comparing with you, and sharing with you! Until our next endeavor! xxx

~~louise~~ said...

Oh Patricia, your cake looks heavenly.

I too am trying to tend to my cookbooks more often. We'll see how that goes but it looks like you're off to a GREAT start!!!

Thanks for sharing...

Begoña said...

'pastel vasco' is spanish although the recipe is not like anyother spanish recipe i've ever read, make or taste. Do you know any details about the history of this cake? It looks really good!

Laura Homemade said...

Good morning,
Your cake it’s very interesting for me, because you had used Blackberry compote… it likes me very much. It looks very good.
I will try to do it this recipe
Laura (Cocina Homemade)

Bakericious said...

this cake sound and looks delicious.

Abby said...

Blackberries are one of my favorite fruits (alongside peaches and cherries!) What a beautiful cake!

Sabine Rogers said...

I just found your blog through, and I just have to say all of your pictures are beautiful and the recipes look great too! I'm going to flip through your archives.

Amy said...

This looks so good!!

Maria said...

Looks perfect, love the berry compote!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Susan, thank you, my dear! I was mesmerized by your cake, so beautiful! I love the idea of serving it with ice cream. Yum! There will be many more recipes for us to bake together, my friend!

Louise, thank you! I hope you and I can keep up using the books!

Begoña, no details - maybe you can find it on google? Thank you!

Laura, thank you! I hope you like the recipe, too!

Jess, thank you!

Abby, you and I are the same - I'm a complete sucker for berries and stone fruit, I wait for them all year long. ;)
Thank you, my dear!

Sabine, thank you for stopping by! I'm so glad to know you're enjoying the recipes!

Amy, thank you!

Maria, thank you! This compote is absolutely fabulous!

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen said...

It's so sweet that you and Susan are baking together virtually, I've been enjoying seeing both of your takes on these recipes.

Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Wow, such a gorgeous cake!

Mary @Delightful Bitefuls said...

This looks incredible. Love the blackberry compote!

Mary xx
Delightful Bitefuls

Patricia Scarpin said...

Thank you, girls!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog through Tastespotting while looking for blackberry recipes, and this recipe looked so good that I tried it! I really like the compote - put the leftovers on my oatmeal the next morning - and the cake was INCREDIBLE. Thanks so much for sharing!

My only issue was that the blackberries sank to the bottom on one end of the cake even though I put 3/4 of the batter in first, and then it kind of fell apart when serving - but it was no less delicious, so not a major problem!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, Chelsl, I'm so glad to know you liked the recipe! It's one of my favorite cakes. My cake did not look exactly like the one on the book either - on the book the jam was perfectly placed in the middle of the cake...

Simply Tia said...

So making this! This looks soooo delicious!

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