On Sunday we had a great display of lightning and thunder, a nice prelude to the 4th of July. It cooled off dramatically as the storm was approaching, so I thought I'd take the raspberries I'd gotten at the farm and make a thunder cake with my new bundt pan. I used the recipe for the Almond-Berry Coffee Cake from the June 2006 issue of Martha Stewart Living.
You add a layer of batter to the bottom of the pan (and this is a 10" bundt pan with removable bottom from Sur La Table), then mound up the raspberries (mixed with some jelly), then spread on another layer of batter.
Top it all with the toasted-almonds-and-brown-sugar stuff. I left a lot of it off, 'cause it seemed like we were getting quite a pile of it on there, and since I didn't have as much butter as I needed, I was afraid too much topping would just crumble into a pile of dust as the cake got cut.
Unfortunately, the bottom of the cake was pretty mushy — this is it upside down as I was turning it. I think the raspberries were too cold (I'd frozen them overnight, and, though thawed, they were still pretty cold) and I had too many. There was just too much of the heavy cold filling on top of that bottom layer for it to rise. So I'd probably leave out the jam next time, make sure the raspberries were not chilly, and just sprinkle a ring of plain berries on top of the first layer, myself.
It did remind me of this one time about fifteen years ago when my friend Amy, who I'd grown up with in River Forest and later lived with in Missoula, was trying to make banana bread. She figured that if two mushy black bananas were good, five mushy black bananas would be 150% better. Various housemates kept coming into the kitchen, saying boring things like, "Er, that's too much banana," to which beautiful six-foot-tall Amy brazenly replied, "This is Big Sky country, baby! Go big or go home!!!" I just stood back and giggled — I had known Amy for a long time; you don't argue with Amy. So she stirred up the "bread," popped it in the oven, and about two hours later (after checking to see if it was "done" about eight times [it never was] ) finally pulled out one 9" x 13" pan of very hot . . . banana. I wouldn't say there was any "bread" to speak of. But she stood there (long legs, short shorts, not a care in the world) and ate it out of the pan with a spoon anyway. If you know Amy Towle, you can picture this perfectly. Makes me miss her.
My cake wasn't nearly as soggy, and still kind of good that way, I have to say. That top layer, though? Scrumpdillyumptious. Just in time for the thunder to really roll. We sat on the front porch and listened. Felt like home.