Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lemony Blueberry Amazingness

P.S. 8/27/09 Senor has rescued me from my technologically challenged state and has FOUND my pictures!! So here ya go!

So you'll have to rely on the lovely photography of Mary Ann for this recipe. Her cake looks divine and thus the reason I HAD to try this one out!! This cake was easy to make, the mix was perfect and is still moist and soft. I opted to follow her suit and made the lemon cream cheese icing instead of the listed buttercream. I think it works nicely, EXCEPT it DOES NOT decorate well AT ALL. So if you're going for a fancy look, skip the cream cheese stuff and go with the usual buttercream suspects.
The filling was quite tart but so yummy, I really like it and think it goes well. Senor is still deciding. Overall he loved this and listed it as his #2 dessert now!
I 1/2'd the cake, filling and icing recipes; used it to make 12 cupcakes.
I baked the cakes as directed (swirling approx 1 Tbsp in each), once they're baked, using a fork I pulled back the middle and created a little crater for approx 1 heaping tsp of the filling to drop down in (be sure to do that while they're warm it makes it much easier). Then cool, ice. Keep stored in air-tight container in fridge.

Marbled Lemon Blueberry Butter Cake from Sky High by Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1½ tsp lemon extract
7 egg whites
3 cups cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1¼ cups milk
Fresh blueberries, for decoration

Lemon blueberry preserves (below)
Lemon buttercream frosting (below)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8 inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
In a mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg whites 2 or 3 at a time, beating well between additions and stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk gently to blend. In 2 or 3 alternating additions, beat the dry ingredients and milk into the butter mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat on medium-high speed for about 1 minute to smooth out any lumps and aerate the batter.
Scoop 1 cup of the batter into a small bowl. Divide the remaining equally among the 3 prepared pans, smoothing the tops with a spatula. This gives you a smooth surface to work with. Add 2½ tbsp of the lemon blueberry preserves to the reserved batter and blend well. Drizzle heaping teaspoons of this blueberry mixture over the batter in the pans. Use a skewer to swirl the blueberry mixture in short strokes to drag it down through the lemon batter without mixing it in.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester or skewer stuck in the centre comes out clean and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan. I baked my cupcakes approx 12 min and then kept checking them every 2-3 min, can't recall exactly how long they took, just keep an eye on them!! This is where I also, removed them from the oven, quickly used a fork to stick in the middle of each cake and pulled back a little to make a little pit in the center, spooning a tsp or so of the filling into each cuppycake. Then let them cool. Let the layers cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack, peeling off the paper and leaving to cool completely.

Lemon Blueberry Preserves--I (ag) would recommend making this FIRST
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen I used frozen cuz that's what I got
¾ cup sugar Decreased this a tweak (to about 1/3 cup or less I think)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp grated fresh ginger

Puree the blueberries with any juices that have exuded in a blender. Pass the puree through a coarse strainer to remove the skins. I skipped straining it mainly b/c I liked the skins and texture. It didn't seem to harm anyone or cause a war outbreak anywhere.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the blueberry puree with the sugar, lemon juice, zest and ginger. Bring to a gentle boil over a medium heat, stirring often for 20 minutes, or until the preserves have thickened and are reduced to 1 cup. To check the proper thickness place a small amount of a saucer and put in the freezer until cold. Drag your finger through it. If a clear path is made through the preserve then it is ready. Let the preserves cool before using. (Can be made up to 5 days in advance).

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup sugar
¼ cup water
2 eggs
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil without stirring, occasionally washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from the heat.
In a large mixer bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beast the eggs briefly. Slowly add the hot syrup in a thin stream, pouring it down the sides of the bowl; be careful to avoid hitting the beaters or the syrup may splatter. When all the syrup has been added, raise the speed to medium,-high and beat until the mixture is very fluffy and cooled to body temperature. This can take 15-20 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low and gradually add the softened butter 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, beating well between additions. As you’re adding the last few tablespoons of butter, the frosting will appear to break, then suddenly come together like whipped butter. Beat in the lemon juice, and the frosting is ready to use.

To Assemble
To assemble the cake, place a layer, flat side up, on a cake stand. Spread half of the lemon blueberry preserves over the top. Place a second layer on top of the first and spread the remaining preserves over it. Finally place the third layer on top and frost the top and sides with the lemon buttercream.
Decorate with fresh blueberries and serve.
Makes one 8 inch triple layered cake.

ALTERNATIVE Cream cheese icing:
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
1/2-1 tsp lemon zest (optional) YES PLEASE
1/2 tsp vanilla (optional) YES again please!


Sarah said...

Pictures, please! :-)

I have over a gallon of blueberries sitting in my freezer that might fall victim to this dessert...

Sara said...

Mmmm! This could be good with raspberries, instead of blueberries, too!

Anonymous said...

Amanda, I feel like I gain weight just by looking at your amazing food adventures. Someday, when I grow up, I want to be just like you. Love this blog and that sassy pic of you in the kitchen. Can't wait to see you!

Celisse said...

whoops, for some reason google didn't post my name. That above comment is from moi :)