Monday, July 18
In the fruit family, blueberries are like the wild, free-spirited cousins who breeze into your life about once a year in between trips around the globe and beg you to take advantage of their brief stay...as opposed to bananas, who spend their days in a dusty bowl or waiting patiently at the bottom of a desk drawer.
This cake is the perfect way to showoff the baking prowess of blueberries. Even though buttermilk is married to biscuits, and blueberries to muffins, the two of them are soul mates who didn't meet each other on time (been there...) Anyway, once united, they create a spectacular, moist cake that's elegant in it's simplicity yet deliciously rebellious. One bite and you'll fall in love, and perhaps reminisce about the one that got away, i.e., you'll be a hot mess of happiness and regret by the time you've eaten your way half-way through the pan and watching "An Affair to Remember". Cheers. ;-)
Blueberry Buttermilk Cake (adapted from Gourmet Magazine 2009 issue)
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract, or 1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) of fresh blueberries
Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan, gently tap out any excess flour.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes.) Beat in the almond extract and lemon zest. Add the egg and beat well, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
On low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Be gentle, don't over mix.
Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter the blueberries on top of the batter and sprinkle the entire surface with the remaining sugar.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center of the cake tests clean with a toothpick.
Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it. Once it's removed, gently place a plate on top of it and flip it over so that the berry side is facing up.
Makes one svelte 9-inch round cake.