Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

Along with cranberries and Concord grapes, blueberries are native to North America.
July is also national blueberry month- so you should probably eat some at some point as a celebratory gesture.
Not surprisingly, blueberry is the most popular variety of muffin...

As with any colorful fruits and vegetables, blueberries are very good for you (and they contain a lot of antioxidants).
Plus, when you have all these great fresh fruits this time of year, why not make good use of them?

This particular recipe is one of those perfect things for when you have a bunch of guests. It's like a giant muffin in cake form. Not too difficult to throw together and for some reason it's pretty impressive.

It's fairly simple, not too heavy, pretty, and really good.
The cake's got a great texture (crunchy on top, moist and dense inside) that's augmented by the cornmeal (which also adds a sweet nuttiness).

This is one of those multi-talented cakes that's perfect for breakfast, brunch, or tea.

I didn't really mess with this recipe since it looked just perfect.
Well, just one thing... lemon zest. I had to do it. It's only because I think blueberries and lemon are one of those perfect combinations.

I think it was a nice addition. The cake is fantastic- the flavors are wonderful, the texture is great.

Corny blueberry-ness...

Blueberry Cornmeal Cake
very minimally adapted from the Huckleberry Bakery & Café in Santa Monica
recipe found in Bon Appetit, May 2010
makes 1 10-inch cake, 12 servings

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
2/3 c yellow cornmeal
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
6 T vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 T vanilla extract
1 t honey
10 T (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 c plus 3 T sugar, divided
zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 t salt
1 c ricotta cheese
1/3 c plain yogurt
3 c fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 10 inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 inch inch sides with non stick spray. Whisk oil, eggs, vanilla and honey in another medium bowl.
Using electric mixer, beat butter, 3/4 c plus 2 T sugar, lemon zest, and salt in a large bowl until creamy. With mixer running on medium speed, gradually add egg mixture; beat to blend. Beat in flour mixture just to blend. Add ricotta and yogurt; beat on low speed just to blend. Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Scatter 1 1/2 c blueberries over. Spoon remaining batter over in dollops, then spread to cover blueberries. Scatter remaining blueberries over. Sprinkle remaining 1 T sugar over.
Bake cake until top is golden brown and tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

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