July 5, 2020

Triple Berry Brita Cake

Rarely does a dessert exceed my expectations but I have to admit that this Triple Berry Brita Cake had me smitten at first bite.  I initially spotted this cake on Jenn Yee's Instagram and was immediately obsessed with the combination of cake and pavlova.   The recipe for this beauty comes from Susan Spungen's Open Kitchen: Inspired Food for Casual Gatherings and can be found online here.

Apparently brita cake has Nordic origins but in all the years I've visited Norway I don't think I've ever tasted it.  I can't believe what I was missing!  Pavlovas are one of my favorite summertime desserts so how excited was I find discover a dessert that added cake to the mix?  

This cake is so good that I actually made it twice in two days.  The first cake I brought along to a 4th of July BBQ and the second cake was to photograph for the blog, but I only made half the recipe which fit a loaf pan perfectly.  

I strayed slightly from the original recipe when it came to the cream toppings  I didn't have any creme fraiche so I increased the amount of heavy cream to a total of 2 cups and added some vanilje-sukker (vanilla sugar) that I picked up on previous trips to Norway.

The combination of moist, yellow cake and crispy meringue topped with fresh vanilla whipped cream and strawberries, blueberries and raspberries is absolutely amazing.  It's pure symphony I tell you!  It couldn't be easier to make so I highly encourage you to make this fruity dessert to really showcase summer's best berries.

Triple Berry Brita Cake 
Makes one 9x13 inch cake 
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 lemon, preferably organic, scrubbed
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups heavy cream, cold
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
pinch of salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 lbs fresh berries

Cake: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch pan. Press a piece of parchment paper large enough to go up the sides of the pan on all sides into the pan, running your hand across the bottom to adhere it.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a stand mixer on medium-high speed, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and 1/2 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and beat to combine well. Zest the lemon directly into the bowl and beat briefly to combine. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, then the milk, and then the remaining flour mixture. Mix on low speed just until combined, scraping once or twice.
Spread in the prepared pan and set aside. Wash and dry the bowl thoroughly, and using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar on medium speed until foamy. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup sugar and beat on high speed until stiff and glossy. Beat in the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla. 
Spoon on top of the cake batter, spreading almost to the edges. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meringue is beginning to turn golden and the cake is done. A toothpick inserted into the cake should come out dry. Let cool in pan 10 minutes. Lift the parchment by the corners and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
Topping: Combine the cream, creme fraiche, and vanilla paste in a. clean mixer bowl and whip until softly mounded but holding its shape. Spread the cream on top of the cake, and top with the berries. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


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