Saturday, 27 August 2011

Blueberry cake

I've posted about how much I like baking with blueberries before - they're just great! Jammy and vibrant when cooked, with a lovely tangy sweetness. So here's another variation on a traditional sponge, with blueberries and and a cream cheese icing.

The original recipe for this calls for a big old ring tin, but I bought a cute (yes I'd use the term 'cute') 15cm round cake tin and wanted to try it with this instead! It's great for just a few slices if you're only baking for at home.

Blueberry Cake


The mix, ready for baking.

The mixture for this had to be quite thick, I guess to suspend the blueberries and create a nice sturdy sponge too. It works really well. My new tin was also great! - no greasing this baby before cooking, and the cooked cake sprung out like a dream!


The baked article.

Here's the cake before icing, it turned out really well. I thought that due to the amount of mixture it might get a big 'dome' shape or cook unevenly in the middle, but it didn't. :) And as far as I could tell, all the blueberries didn't sink to the bottom either.

All iced and ready to go.

The icing or 'frosting' used on this was cream cheese one. I've had really bad luck with cream cheese frostings in the past (see my carrot cake post) so I was a bit reluctant to try with this. But as I know they taste so yummy if you get them right I though I'd give it one last try. It worked - hurrah! I used a better quality cream cheese this time and didn't over-whip the mixture, and, et voila. Good icing for my cake! Maybe I'll give it another go in the furtue now, for my cupcakes maybe? Oh, and I would have had more blueberries to decorate the top of my cake with, but someone (my fruit fiend of a boyfriend) ate the rest of the punnet before I could finish!

The inside of the cake.
Ok, this isn't the best example of where the blueberries lay, but they were better throughout the cake - honest!
In the end I served this up with some tea when we had visitors - it went down a treat :)

Here's the recipe:
(This recipe is intended for a 25cm ring mould, so half the quantities if you plan on doing a smaller cake like mine. Or, cook two!)

Ingredients:

390g unsalted butter, at room temperature
350g caster sugar
6 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
450g plain flour
4 tbsp baking powder - seems a lot but worth it!
280ml soured cream
300g fresh blueberries, plus extra to decorate
icing sugar, to decorate
300g icing sugar
120g Philadelphia cream cheese, cold.

Method:

1.Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3.

2.Place the 350g of the butter and 350g sugar in an electric mixer and cream until light and fluffy, or alternatively, if you have a very big bowl and strong arms, mix by hand instead. Mix all the eggs together in a bowl with a fork and then slowly incorporate into the mixture. Beat in the vanilla extract, flour and baking powder until well mixed. Now add the soured cream and mix well until everything is combined and the mixture is light and fluffy.

3.Gently stir in the blueberries with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed.

4.Pour the mixture into a prepared ring mould dusted with a little flour or into a prepared cake tin (for which you would only need half of the mixture) and smooth over with a palette knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched. I find even with a good oven, rotating the cake half way through is a good idea.
Leave the cake to cool slightly in the mould/tin before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

5. Beat the icing sugar and butter together in an electric mixer (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

6.Add the Philadelphia in one go and beat until it is completely mixed in. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny and just unusable.

7. Now place your cooled cake on a serving plate and cover the top and sides with the prepared frosting cover with a few blueberries and sprinkle with icing sugar for good measure.

Enjoy!



Still alive and still baking! (just about)

Hello!

For anyone out there still reading... I'm sorry :( - I know every other post seems to say this at the moment... promise I'm going to try and do at least one post a week now though. Well, I'll trrrrry.
...Agh gimme a break, I've just had baby ya know! ;) Baking has been a distant memory for me!!

So, here's a little update on what's been going on with me, and a new bake to boot :) (just see my next post)

1. Had baby - she's real cute. And smells goo too. And has the softest skin, and teeniest feet...

Little Lucy, she's just amazing. She arrived 4 days early weighing a rather healthy 8lb 13oz (must have been all those cakes :D) and just like her brother arrived in no time at all. That's not to say it didn't *sting* a bit. She seems lovely and contented too, I can't believe how lucky we are. Though it's not that I haven't been mad busy with my new little bundle, those nappies and feeding times still prevent me from doing just about everything at the moment! She's only 6 weeks right now, so things should start easing off again soon and I'll be free to do all the baking I like.... errr, right? That's what'll happen isn't it?! Right????! Haha..

I might not have helped myself by shunning any kind of routine, I did read Gina Ford. I tried (for about 72 hours...) to implement her plan but came to the conclusion that it's just not that easy to do with a boystrous 2 year old in tow too, so, I'm playing the game by ear instead. Feeding Lucy on demand and letting her sleep when she likes. And you know what? It's not that bad. She feeds a lot yes, but sleeps well at night and rarely cries, so I'm happy with that :) Let's just see if I can get a bit of baking time in now...

2. Moved house

As I thought 'Hey, a baby just isn't presenting enough things to think about right now!' I decided moving house would be a brill idea too! ... Well, maybe it was more 'ARGH WE DON'T HAVE THE ROOM, WE DON'T LIVE NEAR ANYONE, ARRRRRGH!' - so the natural thing for us was to relocate nearer my partners parents for support and some extra bedrooms!
We've moved somewhere really lovely, now the stressful part of moving is over I can finally enjoy myself and feel a bit more settled. My new kitchen is great too, nice and roomy (for all my baking paraphenalia) and with a great double oven too! Though I'll point out in advance - my lovely new oven is a temperamental beast when it comes to even cooking, so we'll see how that goes...

So, with all this stuff going on, I've been a tad neglectful of my little blog, but I'm vowing the rectify this now. I have thought about you little blog, I have! Hopefully I'll be able to set a up a 'bake night' for myself once a week and so have something to update you all with!

Anyway, if you're reading this - thanks! Now, onto my next post - cake related!!

xxx