Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anna Sultana's Blueberry Cake / Berry Cake

Peaches, plums, nectarines…
And the berries!!
Fresh fruit is in season.
Why not take advantage of the sales?

Blueberries have been getting a bit of attention, science-wise.
They reduce brain damage and may influence blood pressure.
Blueberry juice may benefit the brain, improve memory and learning in older adults, and possibly reduce blood sugar and symptoms of depression.

So, buy that big clamshell of blueberries and keep the family healthy!

Ma had a nice simple recipe that she always used in the summer.
It works well with raspberries, too.
I’ve also found that it works with cranberries.
Perfect for when cranberries are on sale during the holidays.

Hints:

Fresh blueberries work best. 
If you’re using frozen, allow extra baking time for the extra moisture.
You can add 1 teaspoon lemon extract to the cake batter for extra flavour.

If you’re using cranberries use 1 teaspoon almond extract instead of vanilla.
Don’t top with more cranberries.
You can have some on the side if someone likes a really tart dessert.

For that matter, the blueberry cake is delicious without the whipped cream.
And handier for picnics and packed lunches.

If you have covered the cake with whipped cream and berries, serve immediately.
If timing is a problem, store covered at room temperature until ready to serve.
Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to three days.


                        Blueberry Cake
          
Grease a 9 inch pan
Preheat oven to 350º           
Bake 45 to 60 minutes  

Sift together in a medium bowl
2 1/2 Cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Set aside.

Have on hand
3/4 Cup milk

In a large mixer bowl place
1/2 Cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 Cup sugar
Beat until light and fluffy. 
Add 
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
Mix until blended.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until combined.
Add 1/2 of the milk and stir to combine.
Add another dry, then wet and then the final dry addition.
Stir after each addition until the batter is smooth.
Spread half of the cake batter in prepared baking pan.

Place on top of the cake batter
3 Cups fresh blueberries
Sprinkle over the blueberries
2 Tablespoons sugar
Gently spread the remaining cake batter on top of the blueberries.

Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Gently run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. 
Carefully transfer the cake to a rack.
Allow to cool completely, then place cake on a stand or plate.

While the cake is cooling
In a small mixer bowl place
3/4 Cup heavy cream
Whip until soft peaks form.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Just before serving, spread the whipped cream over the top of the cake.
Top with
1/4 Cup fresh blueberries

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