Tuesday, June 4, 2013

blueberry upside-down cake

I like berries. All sorts of berries - raspberries, strawberries, gooseberries, blackberries, blueberries..

I think it is because they are sweet, yet at the same time there is tartness. I adore things that are slightly sour.

And also because they are great to bake with!

There are times when a recipe calls out strongly to me. BAKE ME! BAKE ME! It would shout. Many times, that recipe would contain some form of berries, or chocolate, or both.

What I like about baking with berries, apart from the flavour and moistness they impart to the cake, is that I can usually substitute one type of berries with another.

I buy berries when they are on sale. After all, I live in Singapore and we import most of our fruit and vegetables. Berries can be very expensive. When they are on sale, I buy loads and freeze them.

My favourite berry to bake with has to be blueberries. I simply love the colour of blueberries. 

As with most cakes, I started by creaming the butter with the sugar. 

Until it became light and fluffy.

Then I added the eggs one at a time, beating each egg thoroughly before adding the next one.

Then the orange zest and vanilla extract were added, and mixed into the batter.

What you would end up with is a batter that looked like it had curdled. But all is okay.

The flour and buttermilk were then added in the sequence: flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour. Beat well after each addition.

The resulting batter should be smooth.

The blueberries were placed in a single layer in a springform tin that had been greased, lined with baking paper and dusted with flour. Sugar was scattered over the blueberries.

The batter was poured over the blueberries, and using a spatula, I smoothed the top.

Once baked, the cake was left to cool in the springform pan for about 15-20 minutes before I removed the ring and peeled off the baking paper.

The cake was dusted with icing sugar and left to cool.

I dusted the cake with more icing sugar before serving it. But that is totally optional. :)

Blueberry Upside-down Cake (Serves 6-8)

170g  unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan and baking paper
2 1/3 cups cake flour (sifted) plus more for pan 
2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) fresh blueberries
1/4 cup plus 1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
Powdered sugar (for dusting)

1. Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 170C. 
2. Butter a 9″-10″-diameter springform pan; line bottom with a round of baking paper. Butter baking papert. Dust with flour; tap out excess. 
3. Arrange berries in a single layer in bottom of pan; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup sugar.
4. Sift 2 1/3 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a medium bowl; set aside. 
5. Using an electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup butter and remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar in a large bowl at medium-high speed, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
7. Beat in vanilla and zest. 
8. Reduce speed to low; beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until incorporated. 
9. Pour batter over berries in pan; smooth top. 
10. Bake until cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour 25 minutes. 
11. Let cool in pan set on a wire rack for 15-20 minutes, then run a thin, sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen. 
12. Remove pan sides. 
13. Invert cake onto rack and remove pan bottom; peel off parchment. 
14. Dust top generously with powdered sugar and let cool completely.

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