Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blueberry tea cake and cookbooks that make me cry

Blueberry tea cake / Bolo de mirtilos

Something I’d never imagined possible has happened to me – and twice so far: I cried reading cookbooks.

Reading about Barbara Lynch’s childhood years brought tears to my eyes; I became a huge fan of hers even before trying her recipes. But it all started with John Barricelli’s beautiful book: a couple of lines about him growing up without his parents and I was crying like a baby – maybe because I know the feeling so well.

After wiping out the tears I went to the kitchen and baked this cake.

Blueberry tea cake
from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook

2 ½ cups (350g) all purpose flour + 1 teaspoon for blueberries and zest
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup (175g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
2 cups blueberries – I used frozen, unthawed
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest

2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups (280g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan. Set aside.
Make the cake: in a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 ½ cups flour and the baking powder. Set aside.
In the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk, and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat just until the flour is absorbed.
In a bowl, toss the blueberries and lemon zest with the remaining 1 teaspoon flour, and fold into the batter with a rubber spatula. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 65 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then invert the pan on the rack to turn the cake out. Let cool completely on the rack.
Make the glaze: in a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice into the confectioners’ sugar, adding the second tablespoon gradually, so that the glaze is just liquid enough to pour easily but still opaque. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, then allow it to firm completely, about 30 minutes, before serving.

Serves 12 – I halved the recipe above and used a regular 6-cup capacity ring pan


Figs, Bay, Wine said...

MFK Fisher makes me cry like a baby for any and all reasons. I cry because she fell in love, because she misses a café in France she used to eat at with her children, because she knew someone who stole vegetables during the war, because the tomatoes she bought in the morning had decomposed by dinner. She completely sets me off! Anyway, I know what you mean about crying and cookbooks.

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

PS. Beautiful cake!

Salomé said...

Lovely post and beautiful blog!

Katie said...

Cake looks delicious. I've seen a couple of John's recipes around on blog and they always sound good. I may have to get the book!
Nothing wrong with a cry now and again, lets the tension out

Torviewtoronto said...

beautiful picture and cake looks delicious

alyce said...

This cake looks amazing!

Priya Suresh said...

Gorgeous and damn pretty cake..

Jessica - The Novice Chef said...

Beautiful cake! And it sounds delicious!

Gaëlle said...





The Sweetylicious said...

the cake look so delicious and beautifully done! (: (:

Unknown said...

Love this post! Your cake looks wonderful..I love everything blueberry. Now, I'm not sure if I should check these books out? :)

Maria @ Scandi Foodie said...

My partner and I both love blueberries. This cake sounds just perfect!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Figs..., I have never read anything by her! You've got me curious now - I'll look her books up! Thank you!

Salome, thank you!

Katie, thank you! I can't wait to bake from his book again.

Torview..., thank you!

Alyce, thank you for stopping by!

Priya, thank you!

Jessica, thank you for stopping by!

Gaëlle, merci!

Sweetylicious, thank you!

Nina, thank you, my dear! The books are worth the tears, believe me. ;)

Maria, I love blueberries, too! Thank you!

Christine said...

Looks delicious! I really want to make this recipe now... I love the combination of a lemony glaze with a blueberry cake :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Patricia,

I made this cake yesterday for a catering job. Normally I wouldn't post about a cake I hadn't tasted, but I got so many compliments I have to share them with you. I made the cake with half blueberries/half cherries because my husband "forgot" that the blueberries were for a cake and ate most of them. The caterer told my husband that everyone asked for more cake after their first slice and were disappointed that it was all gone. She that it was one of the best thing she's ever eaten.

Thank you very, very much for making me look good. You're the best.



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