Friday, August 6, 2010

Lemon-Blueberry Cake

This is one of those deceptively simple cakes that delivers on all the levels that a good cake should. It's kind of like a little-black-dress-of-cakes cake. It's simple, yet elegant. There's not a lot to it, but it makes a statement. And it can easily go from day to night... dressing up a breakfast brunch just as nicely as it would the end of a late-night meal.

It's easy... a couple of bowls, some measuring gadgets, and one pan (more on that later). Then into the oven, out to cool, and drizzled with a simple, lemony glaze. It's generously dotted with summer-sweet, plump blueberries that taste like they've been plucked fresh from the garden. And it's super moist and lemony, with ample amounts of yogurt, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the batter so you really get that hit of truly fresh lemon flavor... not just a nudge.

And...yes...it's a bundt cake. I didn't put that little tidbit in the title for fear I might lose you at "bundt" (though I am aware that the pic does disclose this little fact). I suppose you could make it in most any pan you like, but putting aside whatever 60's image you might have of bundt cakes, it truly works here. Think of it as vintage... that's very "now," right?

The fact is, the bundt pan is made for this particular cake as it really showcases the glaze you drizzle atop...letting it cascade down both the outside and inside of the cake, collecting in the little recesses that only this shape allows, dripping on to your platter here and there in little white pools. It's the only part of this little-black-dress-of-cakes cake where more IS better. So feel free to double your batch and slather it on... let it drip down your fingers if you must. Like that of which this cake reminds me, it wears well.


Lemon-Blueberry (Bundt) Cake
adapted from a Cooking Light recipe (date unknown)
yields approximately 16 slices

cake:
No-stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
16 oz. plain- or vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt (both are equally good)
2 cups fresh blueberries

glaze: (I start with this amount, but usually make more... maybe 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup extra powdered sugar and sufficient juice to blend)

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
4-5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prep bundt pan by spraying with no-stick cooking spray and dusting with 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir with a whisk to mix well. Set aside.


3. In another large bowl, mix 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, butter, and zest at medium speed, until well blended (about 1 to 2 minutes).


Add eggs, one at time, mixing well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and yogurt. Once well combined, begin adding in flour mixture, at medium speed until all is incorporated. Gently fold in blueberries and spoon batter into bundt pan.



4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 1 hour, until a wooden tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake, in pan, on wire rack for 15 minutes, then transfer cake to rack to cool completely.
5. While cake is cooling, prepare glaze by combining powder sugar with fresh lemon juice, stirring well with a whisk. Once cake is completely cooled, drizzle glaze over cake.





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