Thursday, December 27, 2012
It's been a while since I made cake because of all that christmas cookie and brownie baking. I think I need to slowly ease back into making cakes again. The thought of making a layer cake or anything of that splendor kind of put me off when I thought of it this morning. So I chose something simple- a loaf cake. I've had my eyes on this recipe for a while because it has cream in the batter, an addition that I had learnt very belatedly how it adds a touch of aromatic milkiness to the finished cake. In short, I knew that such a cake would rock.
I put it off for so long because I just couldn't get into the mood for making simple stuff before, but now the time has come. And it couldn't be more perfectly arranged since I just happen to have a box of blueberries and a jar of heavy cream waiting to be used.
The cake was delicious, needless to say. The cream wasn't very prominent so soon after the cake was baked but I'm guessing that it will show up stronger as it sits. My favourite parts of the cake were the crunchy crusts and the slightly gummy middle. I've always had a soft spot for gummy cake. Perhaps it's the texture, but I believe that those parts also taste better. My guess is that it is because they have more moisture and moisture conveys flavour.
My only grouse was the blueberries. Plainly folded into cake batter and baked sort of makes them taste lackluster. They weren't sweet and were reminiscent of diluted blueberry juice. They also stained the cake a ghoulish bluish-green. It's a common problem across recipes that administer such simple application of blueberries. I didn't feel that strong a discontentment with the results before but when I made these blueberry muffins by Cooks Illustrated last time, I knew how much potential those blueberries could have had. My expectations will never quite be the same again.
You know, I have this feeling that blueberries will go well with lavender. Expect something along those lines soon!
makes a 9 x 5 inch loaf
adapted from Baking by Flavour
2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup light cream
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder, ground nutmeg and salt together. Toss 1 12 teaspoons of the sifted mixture with the blueberries, ensuring that they coat the blueberries entirely. I find this easier to do if you place the sifter above the bowl of flour mixture, and place the blueberries in it. Then, you add the small amount of flour and just shake the sifter about. This way, the excess flour goes back into your flour mixture.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar in 3 additions, beating well after each addition. After the last addition of sugar has been added, beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one, beating to incorporate the first one well before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Stir in the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and cream (in 2 additions) alternatively, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the blueberries gently.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake for about an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.