My Sweet blueberry layer cake is light, moist, tender and is perfect for a touch of springtime indulgence. I wanted to create a cake with a delicate flavour yet with a slight hint of sweetness. We had few lovely days of warming sunshine and clear blue skies. It really did feel like spring was trying to push its way in. Fresh colours, fresh air, lovely light scents filled the air from the flowers that are waiting to bloom. I wanted to replicate that through light, fresh flavours. This cake suits a spring time’s day perfectly. Fresh colours from the blueberry’s blue ripples shining through the crumb, and its sandwiched together and topped with a vanilla hued buttercream.
The Cake itself has a slight sweetness from maple syrup which I drizzled over the cooling cakes. This makes the crumb very moist and tender. Be gentle when handling the cake as its very fragile. Using fruit in cakes, especially berries is very summery I think as they are a lot lighter than say chocolate and there beautiful colours give your baked good a colourful appearance. I choose to use blueberries as they taste very light and fresh and they also work wonderfully together with maple syrup. They also stain the crumb with their incredible violet blue shades bringing colour into your kitchen. I flavoured the cake also with a little vanilla in the form on pure vanilla extract and vanilla scented sugar as vanilla is a great flavour to compliment the maple and blueberries. Make sure to toss the blueberries in plenty of flour, about 2 tablespoons. My blueberries sank a little even though I did toss them with a little flour. I didn’t mind this though on this occasion as it make a lovely rippled appearance in the centre of the cake which I think looks quite pretty.
I sandwiched the two cake layers together and I spread a generous layer of a simple buttercream which I flavoured with a little maple syrup to add sweetness and to enhance the maple syrup that I infused the cake with. I wanted the blueberry’s to shine through as much as possible so I left the sides of the cake bare. This is a great cake to kick off your spring time baking, full of fresh flavour and blueberry goodness. A light tender cake, perfect for an afternoon sitting in the warming rays of the sun, taking time to enjoy some you time and give yourself a little treat. You deserve it, you’ve made it through winter’s chill.
Yields, One 8 inch, 2 layer cake.
280 grams (2 cups) ’00′ Farchioni organic pasta flour (See notes)
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Bicarbonate of soda
225 grams (2 sticks) Unsalted butter at room temperature
225 grams (2 1/4 cups) Vanilla scented caster sugar
3 Large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
200 grams (2 1/2 cups) Fresh blueberries, tossed in 2 tablespoons of plain flour
4 tablespoons Maple syrup (2 tablespoons for each piece of cake)
1. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/160C fan/350F. Butter two, round 8 inch cake tins and line the base with parchment paper, butter these too. Set your tins to one side.
2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda. Set to one side.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the vanilla scented caster sugar on a high-speed until you have a smooth, light coloured, fluffy mixture. This should take between 5-8 minutes. Scrape down your bowl with a spatula.
4. Crack the eggs one at a time into a small bowl (I do this just in case I get a bad egg as I don’t want to ruin my batter) then add the eggs one at a time mixing for 30 seconds before adding the next egg. When all the eggs have been added scrape down your bowl again with your spatula. Don’t worry if your batter looks a bit curdled, it will be fine.
5. Add the vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds.
6. Using the medium speed of your mixer, starting and ending with the flour, add 1/3 of the flour, mixing until the flour just starts to disappear then add 1/2 the buttermilk and keep doing the same until everything has been added. Do not over mix you want your batter to be light and luscious. Scrape down the bowl once more with your spatula to make sure you get every last bit of your batter mixed thoroughly together.
7. Add the blueberries and gently mix them through the batter by hand using your spatula making through they are evenly mixed through.
8. Divide your batter equally between your tins spreading both tops gently with a small offset spatula making sure its smooth and even.
9. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cakes come out clean and edges of each cake has started to pull away from the sides of the tin. Check after 30 minutes.
10. Leave the cakes in the tins to cool for 20 minutes then gently invert onto a wire rack and turn the cakes the right way up so the tops of the cakes are on top and cool completely.
11. Store your finished iced cake in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid for up to 3 days, in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Best eaten on the same day that is has been baked on.
*Living in England I haven’t come across cake flour so for recipe’s where I want a light crumb or where the recipe calls for it I replace cake flour with Farchioni organic ’00′ pasta flour. I sift it before using and I find that it yields a delicate crumb. If you can’t get hold of cake flour or ’00′ flour use the same quantity of Self raising flour, reduce the amount of Baking powder to 1/2 teaspoon and leave out the Bicarbonate of soda.
*If your making the cake one day before you want to ice and eat the cake, when cool wrap each layer in cling film or foil and store in a cake tin with a tight-fitting lid. Store in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.
Maple Scented Buttercream
This buttercream is subtly flavoured with a little maple syrup, not too much that it makes the buttercream too sweet, just enough to bring out the flavour of the maple syrup in the cake.
120 grams (1 stick, 2 teaspoons) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
500 grams (3 Cups) Icing Sugar, sifted (You may need more to achieve the desired consistency)
4 tablespoons Maple syrup
2-3 tablespoons Semi-skimmed milk at room temperature or Full fat (You may need less or more to achieve the desired consistency)
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment mix the butter, icing sugar, maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of the milk with the speed set on low for 5 minutes.
2. Turn the speed of your mixer to high and add the rest of the milk a little at a time until you have the consistency you want. Keep on mixing for 5-8 minutes until your buttercream is nice and smooth.
Best used straight away
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