Do you KNOW how MUCH I LOVED making this CAKE for June?
Do you know WHY?
No. Frosting. Involved.
Which, though, when you think about it, is kind of sacrilegious when it comes to cake. I mean, let’s face it. Who makes a cake without frosting? As much as I clearly am horrible with the frosting techniques, I do believe the frosting is an essential part of the cake.
So while I was shocked and pleased in reading this month’s recipe to learn that there was no frosting involved, I couldn’t just let it be…plain. Fanciness is my middle name.
Actually, that’s a lie. It’s Veronica.
So I fancied it up a little at the end. You’ll see what I mean shortly.
But first, Interwebers, I have a secret to tell you.
I really, really dig blueberries.
And I live within a short drive to the Shenandoah Valley. Not that I went there to collect blueberries, because I actually went to a local farmers market, but whatever, I could have if I wanted to.
And this was probably the easiest freaking cake I’ve ever made. And it’s like it was tailor made just for me.
So that was actually multiple secrets. Sorry. I just get on a roll sometimes. I’d be a horrible secret agent. (“Do you like my lipstick? It’s really a camera! I’m taking photos of your nefarious deeds right now!”)
Now, the directions tell you to mix all this stuff together like you would any normal cake, and dump it in a pan and throw it in the oven, easy-peasy and you’re done. And while I’m all for easy-peasy, the thoughts crossing through my mind…well, I was kind of feeling the same way I was about the frosting. Like, “Ril-lay? I’m off the hook?
So I decided to make it a little more complicated for myself than it really needed to be.
Because if you know me at all, you know that I am the queen of making shit more complicated than it needs to be.
I’m lucky that way.
But it gave me an excuse to use my mini-bundt pans! And I luuuurv my mini-bundt pans! They are the wave of the future!
I was a little worried that I’d somehow cock up the end product, as when I filled the bundt pans, the cake batter was quite thick, and not terribly spready and loose like a cake batter you’d get from a box mix. I should know by now to just trust the recipes, but instead I fretted and set about wringing my hands for awhile after I put the cakes in the oven, worrying that they wouldn’t bake well, that they wouldn’t fluff up, that they just wouldn’t…wouldn’t.
I needn’t have worried.
They even turned out of the pans easily, which is I guess what happens when you coat the ever loving shit out of pans with cooking spray.
I have to tell you. I may be the smartest girl on the planet. Not that you’re not smart as well, Interwebers, because you are, and I am mad jealous of your brilliance, but in this particular instance I was certainly the most smartest ever. Because this mini-bundt cake version of the cake, well, it was simply ideal. The girls were coming over that night for dinner, and throwing the cake into mini-bundt pans meant that we each got to have our own little cake. And FYI, this recipe perfectly divvies up into six mini-bundt pans. And since there are only five of us, well, you do the math. (1+1+2+1+17, carry the B, minus 12 = The Swede got to have the leftover mini-bundt, even though he is not, by TND law, allowed to participate in TNDs. But I was nice enough to save it in some Tupperware for him.)
Now, as I previously mentioned, this is a cake sans frosting, and that just wouldn’t do. So as the girls sat in the other room chitchatting and talking smack about various and sundry things, as you do at dinner parties, I whipped some heavy whipping cream into a frenzy with a little almond extract (because I couldn’t find the vanilla) (which, actually, I don’t recommend the almond, because it gave the whipped cream a somewhat strange edge, and not that it wasn’t good, it just wasn’t my favorite).
A dollop for all.
I’d like you all to note a couple of things:
A) There were no mishaps or missing ingredients for this go-round of cake baking
2) I don’t think I used the word fuck once in this summary of the experience
III) And, errrm….yeah. The above two are incredibly huge for me. Excuse me while I pat myself on the back and promise you that next time, I guarantee something will go wrong. Perhaps some sort of splattering incident that will lose me the security deposit return on my apartment if I ever move out.
Clearly it’s the dawn of a new baking day.
June’s Cake: Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake
Shenandoah Valley Blueberry Cake
(Recipe from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott)
1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
¾ cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
Heat the oven to 375F and generously grease a 9 inch square or round pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and stir with a fork to mix well. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat with a mixer at high speed until well combined. Add the egg and beat well for 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl until the mixture is smooth and light.
Stir in half the flour mixture then half the milk, mixing just enough to keep the batter fairly smooth and well combined. Add the remaining flour, then the rest of the milk, mixing gently. Stir in the blueberries.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until the cake is golden, springs back when touched gently in the centre and is pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Serve a square of cake right from the pan, warm or at room temperature. If its round, let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack or folded kitchen towel for 10 minutes and then turn it out to cool, top side up.