Saturday, July 4, 2015

Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake (revisited)

Frankly speaking, I love simple bakes like butter cakes, pound or loaf cakes. They are easy enough to whip up within a couple hours and usually helps use up that particular ingredient in the pantry that has been sitting there for days. :P I mean who has time to make frosting and what not all the time, simple is the way to go for a quick craving fix. And save those icing (and calories) for special occasions if you ask me. This time round I have a block of cream cheese and some blueberries that I bought during a sale, sitting beautiful in my fridge for almost a week. Not good. Use them to bake cake? Great! And at the back of my mind, I remember I always, yes almost always, bake this Blueberry cream cheese pound cake recipe years back while I was in States. Yes, where blueberries were dirt cheap, so why not! This lovely recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart. :) So simple and yet so delicious! 

I decided to give this recipe I used for years a slight twig, reduce sugar, increase liquid amount. Result was great because using the sweetness of the blueberries itself instead of loading the cake with caster sugar was much better. And replacing the moisture from the sugar removed with none other then my beloved buttermilk. :9

Ingredients for Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake (Makes a 10 cups / 8" bundt)
325 g cake flour
230 g unsalted butter, room temperature
200 g cream cheese, room temperature
4 large eggs
215 g caster sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of a lemon
1 tsp baking powder
150ml shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries (frozen ones can be used too)
  • Preheat the oven at 180C and grease the bundt pan thoroughly.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together till smooth.
  • Next add in the caster sugar and salt, beat till light and fluffy. It should take about 4 to 5 minutes. 
  • Crack in one egg at a time and mix well after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest, whisk for a minute.

  • Next shift in half of the cake flour and baking powder in. Mix till well combined. Then pour in the buttermilk, mix well again. Lastly, shift in the rest of the cake flour and incorporate well.
  • Toss the blueberries in 1 tbsp of plain flour, this will prevent the blueberries from clumping together when mixed into the batter. 
  • Now add the blueberries into the batter and gently fold in to combine.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes or till the cake tester comes out clean.

  • I would suggest turning the baking pan at mid point of the baking time. Just to ensure the cake is evenly baked out.
  • Place cake on the rack to cool before slicing. :9
  • Cake can be kept at room temperature for 2 days, 3rd day it should be sent into the fridge if there is still any left. :)

Oh glorious cake! I can have a quarter of this! Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves. :P Let's move on to see how the cake turned out inside. 
Check out the creaminess inside...woooooah! :D Taste? Not overly sweet as expected, which is just right for me. But feel free to up another 30-40 g of caster sugar if you like yours sweeter. Creaminess was spot on, melting moments on every bite. Much love.
Need I say more? Guess not. You seriously have to try this out. If it is some bake that I have used for years and still further improved on it, must be that good! 

So what's stopping you? Try it out! Guarantee no regrets. ;) Yes, blueberries are still abundant now and creamcheese is still on sale!

Happy baking all!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Brown Butter Banana Cake

Yeah so I am thousand of miles away from home in San Francisco now at 3am in the wee hours here. Techniquely speaking my body system is still in tune to Singapore timing at 7pm. Sucks to be awake at this hour but again I can get some blogging done. :P And great to clear up some of the backlogs that has been in my computer forever. And this Brown Butter Banana Cake is one of them I most definitely want to share with you guys. Yup, like I always say, you can never have too many banana cake recipes. :)
The buttery caramelized aroma is just so inviting! Such simple treats we can cook up right at home. :)  The key to makig this cake a successful one lies in making some good brown butter. I got most of the tips from Joy the Baker, whom is like the queen of all brown butter bakes! 

Ingredients for this cake is probably all avaliable in your kitchen now, so let's get stared shall we?

Ingredients for Brown Butter Banana Cake (makes 2 small loafs or 1 big 9x5x4")
250 g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100 g light brown sugar
25 g caster sugar

200-225 g mashed banana (I used 3-4 very ripe banana)
2 large eggs
120 g brown butter (I used 130 g butter to get this amount)
100 ml buttermilk

  • In a saucepan, add the butter in and cook over low fire. Once the butter has melted, keep a watchful eye over it. Soon enough you will hear popping and crackling sound. That is water cooking off in the butter. Once th water is cooked off, milk solids in the butter will begin to brown. Swirl it gently and keep watch! To prevent the butter to brown too quickly, just remove it from the pan.

  • Set the butter aside and let it cool. Once the brown solids has settle to the bottom and the butter is cool enough to handle, pour the butter out leaving the brown solids out.

  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and lined two small loaf or 1 big loaf pan. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, sift in the cake flour and baking powder. Add salt and give it a mix. Add in the sugars. In another bowl, combine the mashed banana, eggs, buttermilk and brown butter together. Whisk till well combined. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Fold it gently and do not over mix.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes for small loaf, 50-55minutes  for a big loaf. Or till the tester comes out clean and cake is golden brown.

Simple bake and yet so much depth in flavor and aroma. With the addition of buttermilk sure made this cake really soft and moist. My tip would be try to get the real store bought buttermilk rather then making it with milk and lemon (unless you really an't get it), because it does taste different. 

Do try this out when you have ripe bananas hanging around in the house. I am sure you have your favourite banana recipe, but I bet you have not tried browning that butter you add into the recipe. ;)

Okay guys, gonna catch a couple more hours of shut eyes before I head out for more shopping later. Catch you guys later!