Thursday, August 9, 2012

Blueberry Ginger Cake

We've been on vacation for five days, and I've made a version of this cake four times, once just after we unloaded the car.

Popularized by the smitten kitchen blog, this recipe for an easy buttermilk sponge from Gourmet magazine 2009 makes something that you can serve for either breakfast or dessert. This spicy version with crystallized ginger is my husband's favorite.

Who chooses starlite mints?

The kids have chosen to eat candy from the bulk store in Oakland (no PixyStix allowed!), but I need cake.

Blueberry Ginger Sponge
1 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons crystallized ginger, rough chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 (325 convection) and spray/flour an 8" square or 9" round cake pan. Rinse and drain the berries, drying them on a towel if you have the counter space (and energy). Toss them with the crystallized ginger and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.

Cream the butter and remaining sugar in the mixer, then add the egg and vanilla. You will probably have to scrape down the sides to get them decently incorporated, since the cold egg will cause the butter to form lumps. Mix in half the flour, then half the buttermilk, the baking powder, soda and salt, the other half of the buttermilk, and finally, the remaining flour. Spread the batter in the pan, and don't worry that it seems kind of shallow. Sprinkle the ginger and blueberries over the top.

Bake for about half an hour, depending on how hot your oven runs and how dark you like it. I like everything very brown, but that's just me. Rest in the pan for about five minutes before tipping out to cool.

Serve it with (turkey) bacon at breakfast, or ice cream at dinner. Attempt to get the kids to eat it using reverse psychology. Fail. More for you!

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