Tag Archives: blueberries

Today’s cake – Francesca’s frangipane cake with blueberries

My “cyber friend” Francesca writes a really lovely blog called Almost Italian which I stumbled across one day some time ago and love to read.  One of her most popular posts has been her apricot frangipane cake, which she then tried with raspberries. Since I’m somewhat neutral on apricots, and raspberries and I don’t get along, I thought I’d try a blueberry version; as advertised it is ridiculously easy to make.  It was a hit with the crowd.  Thanks Francesca!

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Ingredients
125 g softened unsalted butter
150 g of castor sugar
4 eggs
50 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
375 g almond meal
2 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur (I buy Disaronno)
250g fresh blueberries
25 g flaked almonds
Icing sugar for dusting

Making it
1. Preheat oven to 180c or 160c fan forced. Grease a 25 cm loose bottom tin. Line base with baking paper
2.Place butter and sugar and eggs in a mixer bowl and beat for 5 minutes until thick and pale.
3.Stir in the flour mixed with the baking powder, then fold in the almond meal, followed by the Amaretto. Pour into the prepared tin.
4.Arrange blueberries over the top and lightly press down so they are submerged. Scatter the top with the flaked almonds.
5.Bake for 45- 50 mins. Cool in tin, remove and dust with icing sugar.

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Today’s Cake – Blueberry Crumb Cake

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Blueberry prices have been a King’s ransom of late.  I saw this cake by Smitten Kitchen back in July and knew that my husband would love it, but waited till the weather got warmer and blueberries were more reasonable, otherwise it’s one very extravagant cake! I used 3 x 125g punnets (375g) of blueberries but as the recipe suggests, you can use even more if you wish. Me, I’m take it or leave it when it comes to berries, not a fan (except for mulberries, which I adore), but as I predicted, the husband was a big enthusiast and loved the end product. The walnuts, by the way, are optional.

Crumb topping
40g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
55g unsalted butter
Pinch of salt

Cake
240g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons table salt
55g unsalted butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
340 to 455g fresh blueberries, clean and dry
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped medium fine
Icing sugar, for dusting

Making it

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Butter a 23cm round baking pan and line with baking paper
  1. Prepare the topping by mixing the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt, then cutting the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and zest together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Beat in 1/3 of the dry ingredient mixture until just combined, followed by 1/2 the milk; repeat with remaining dry ingredients and milk, finishing with the dry mixture. The batter will be quite thick. Fold blueberries into cake batter until evenly distributed.
  1. Scoop cake batter into prepared pan and smooth so that it is flat. Scatter walnuts on top. Sprinkle with prepared topping. Bake in heated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out batter-free. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the tin, then remove, dust with icing sugar and serve.

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Today’s cake – Torta di Verona my way

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I love the Torta di Verona dessert at Buzo.  They haven’t published a recipe, so I thought I’d make it up.  I daresay they make their own pandoro, but I’m not that ambitious and buy it.  Consequently you can only make this around Christmas time when the pandoro arrives from Italy. I made this on Christmas Day, but prepared the blueberries and almonds the day before to make it easier; it got a big wrap. You’ll need one whole pandoro – I had a 1kg pandoro and used about three quarters of it.  Its unlikely the slices will fit your chosen bowl exactly so tear off pieces as needed to fill in gaps as you create the layers. Serves 8-10.

Blueberry Compote
250g blueberries
4 tbsp. water
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Put the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pot and stir well to combine. Add the blueberries and cook over medium to low heat, until the blueberries soften but still have some shape. Set aside and allow to cool. Seal in a container and refrigerate until ready to use.

Sugared almonds
100g slivered almonds
1 tbsp. caster sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. amaretto (Italian liquor)
Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 150 degrees. In a bowl, combine the almonds, sugar and amaretto and stir well. Spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in oven until golden, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, dust generously with icing sugar, and allow to cool. Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate until read to use.

Mascarpone cream
5 eggs, separated
5 tbsp. caster sugar
500g mascarpone cheese
50ml marsala
80ml amaretto

In a bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until pale, then add the mascarpone and mix at high speed. Add the marsala and amaretto, then fold in egg whites.

Assembly
Slice the pandoro into 2cm slices. Remove the outer brown crust.
In a ceramic or glass dish, place 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture, top with a layer of pandoro, another layer of cream, another layer of pandoro, then a final layer of cream. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Using a serving spoon, serve a portion into a bowl. Top with a spoonful of blueberries, followed by a sprinkling of the almonds.