Servings: Serves 10-12
Summer fruit fans: here is a fantastic recipe by pastry chef Emily Luchetti developed for beginners.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 1/2- by 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Add the salt (you can just leave it on top of the pile because it gets mixed in later). Set aside.
Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium-low speed until smooth.
Add one egg and mix at medium speed until well combined; add the second egg and mix again.
Scrape down the side of the bowl with the rubber spatula.
Stir the vanilla extract into the buttermilk; set aside.
With the mixer on low speed, add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add half of the buttermilk, again mixing until combined. Add the remaining flour, then the buttermilk, mixing well after each addition.
Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly, nudging the batter into the corners of the pan. Bake until a bamboo skewer or toothpick inserted in the
middle comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes.
When the cake has about 15 minutes left in the oven, make the vanilla syrup. Stir the sugar and water together in a small saucepan. Slit the bean in half lengthwise and, with the bean on the countertop, hold the bean on one end and scrape out the seeds with the back of a knife. Add the bean pod and seeds to the sugar and water. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, but don't let the mixture boil. Remove from heat and set aside until the cake has finished baking.
Right after you remove the cake from the oven, run a small knife around the cake to loosen it from the pan and invert it onto a piece of parchment or aluminum foil on the counter. Poke a dozen or so holes in the bottom of the cake with a bamboo skewer.
Remove the vanilla bean from the syrup, and if the syrup has cooled, reheat it. With a pastry brush, brush half of the hot vanilla syrup onto the cake. Turn the cake over, poke some more holes in the top of the cake, and brush on the remaining syrup. Let the cake cool to room temperature.
Gently combine the berries and sugar, adjusting amount of sugar to taste.
Slice the cake and serve with berries and whipped cream.