Today is one of those classic beautiful Brisbane days. The bright blue sky is clear, the sun is shining, the weather is warm and the breeze is cool. The Jacaranda trees dotted around Brisbane are blooming in their entire lucid purple splendor; slowing shedding their flowers in order to share with those passing by their sweet springtime fragrance. Today is a shining example of absolute spring time perfection.
With the disastrous spring/summer season we experience last year I now view days like these with a renewed sense of insight, rather than taking them for granted I now give many thanks and my eternal gratitude to Mother Nature and choose to relish and celebrate days just like these. And there is no better way (in my mind) to celebrate than with food.
One of my favourite things about spring other than the long and warm days, beautiful weather and fresh peas, is the abundance of fresh blueberries. I love the fact that you can demolish punnet after punnet of the bright blue, sweet but tangy bundles of juice without having to remortgage the house, let’s face it…if you attempt to purchase fresh blueberries/raspberries/strawberries out of season they not only taste different (i.e. flavourless) but they can cost an absolute mini fortune! So it was sheer delight that crossed my faced today when I saw the bounty of blueberries stacked generously on the shelves at the fruit market, and it was nothing but pleasure when I noticed their price…3 bucks a punnet, oh yeah! Blueberries it is!
As you can imagine the carrot cake I baked on the weekend is long gone! So I knew I would have to turn these blueberries into some kind of dessert. However, I didn’t want to detract from the gorgeousness offered up by a simple blueberry so my aim was to keep the dessert as simple as possible and to let the blueberries be the star of the dish and shine is all of their springtime glory. No mucking about with these babies (too much). With this in mind I decided on a very simple, every day kind of cake…Blueberry Sour Cream Cake.
Blueberry Sour Cream Cake is simple to prepare and reminds me of the kinds of cakes I used to bake as a little girl, a plain old vanilla sponge. This cake has a slight vanilla flavour that complements the blueberries wonderfully as it takes no attention away from them. When the cake is cooked, the blueberries explode in the batter leaving trails of caramelised blueberry sweetness throughout the beautifully light textured sponge. The sour cream offers a sour like lightness to the cake that balances the rich, creamy, lusciousness of the cream cheese icing. I could not help myself, I had to pile another punnet of blueberries on top of the final cake, they look spectacular and my greedy nature knew this would insure I get maximum blueberry goodness per slice and plus it makes the cake healthy…I delude myself. To me, this cake is a true celebration of spring; it’s simple, full of fresh blueberries and is pure happiness on a cake stand. Enjoy. K X
Blueberry Sour Cream Cake
175g soft butter
¾ cup caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
150ml sour cream
3 x 125g punnets blueberries
200g cream cheese
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C. Butter and line the base of a loose-based 22cm round cake tin with baking paper.
In a bowl combine the butter and sugar and beat with an electric beater until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Add eggs, one by one, beating after each addition. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Beat in 4 tbsp soured cream, then stir in half the blueberries with a large spoon.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and level and bake for 50 minutes, or until it is risen, feels firm to the touch and springs back when lightly pressed. Cool for 10 minutes, then take out of the tin and peel off the paper or lining. Leave to finish cooling on a wire rack.
To make the icing, beat the soft cheese, lemon zest with the icing sugar and the remaining soured cream in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Spread over the top of the cooled and scatter with the remaining blueberries.