Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blueberry Crumb Cake

On Friday, I baked Ina Garten's Blueberry Crumb Cake. I would have much rather baked a chocolate layer cake, but I need to expand my culinary arsenal for if/when I ever have to entertain someone important at home! This is just the second made-from-scratch cake I have ever baked. My first cake that was made from scratch was a caramel apple cake, which was very good, but fell. So my biggest fear heading into baking this cake was the fear of falling.

This recipe calls for a 9-inch round baking pan, which I do not own. However, I do have a 9-inch spring form pan in my dresser (there's no room in my kitchen for all our pots and pans, so they are stowed in odd places all over the house) The spring form pan worked quite well.

I started out by making the streusel, and then I buttered and floured the pan.

The streusel

Using a stand mixer, I creamed the butter and the sugar for a full 5 minutes, per recipe directions. The mixture did become very light. After the 5 minutes I mixed in the rest of the cake ingredients (except for the blueberries.) The batter is light and slightly lemony.

Once the cake mixture came together, I tossed the blueberries in a little bit for flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom.

Then I transfered the batter to the pan and topped with the streusel.

Raw batter with the streusel

The cake was baked in a 350 degree oven, and it took 50 minutes for it to completely set up in my oven (and it didn't fall!). I let it cool in the pan for several minutes, but that's because I didn't know the the edges of the pan would loosen up considerably once the buckle was released (hahaha, I had never used a spring form pan before so I wasn't familiar with the mechanism). The cake needs to cool completely before you serve it.

The cake after I figured out how to remove the spring-form part of the pan. You can see that some of the blueberries stayed in the middle of the cake and didn't sink to the bottom.

But of course I couldn't wait for it to cool completely before digging into it after the scent of cinnamon and cake wafting through the house, so it was still a little warm.

The reason it took the cake so long to cool is I couldn't figure out how to get it off the pan bottom. Next time I will line the bottom with parchment paper so I can slide the paper off the bottom of the pan. In order to get the cake onto the cake saver, I had to put a dinner plate on the top of the cake, flip it, and then put the cake saver plate on top, and flip again. This is an act not for the faint of heart--it takes courage and requires fearless execution.

As you can see from this photo, most of the blueberries sank to the bottom. It could be I didn't coat the blueberries in enough flour to keep them in the middle of the batter. Guess that means I'll have to make this again... Oh, bother...

This was a good dessert, and got good reviews from the taste tester (my dear hubby). Not an outstanding cake, but a solid go-to recipe.

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