Blueberries, Rosepetals, Lemons, oh my! What a coffeecake!
After working hard on my garden and deck, it was only right to invite a few ladies from the Horticultural Society over for some cake and a visit. This group of ladies isn’t an official group, just a collection of us who regularly post on the online forums for the Calgary Hort society, as it’s called. We go to each other’s yards, ask lots of questions, and learn about obscure plants and how to take care of them.Meanwhile I had a carton of sour cream in my fridge, and it was tempting me badly. I knew I had to create something floral for the ladies, something to include the sour cream, so I didn’t devour the heavenly stuff all myself. I’d originally planned to make scones and Devonshire cream, draped with my lemon and rose-petal marmalade, but I couldn’t part with a whole jar of my precious precious precious marmalade! So I doled out just a tiny bit, and spread it on top of this cake, which has the flavours of Devonshire cream, but not the expense.
|World's oldest copy of Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook|
Turning to one of my oldest cookbooks, I leafed through the quick breads and coffee cakes section, and I found and adapted this recipe:½ cup softened butter
1 cup jaggery (raw Punjabi cane sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup dairy sour cream (or plain yogurt)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)¼ cup lemon and rose-petal marmalade
(or zest a clean lemon, and combine zest with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and a tablespoon of jaggery and add fresh rose petals later.)
Heat oven to 350 F and line a cake tin with parchment paper. Using electric beaters on high, whip butter and jaggery till the mixture becomes fluffy and turns a lighter colour. Jaggery is more stubborn than sugar, so be prepared to keep the mixer on for at least ten minutes. I found myself using a spatula to scrape the sides often.Slow the beaters down to bottom speed, and add one egg. Beat till it’s incorporated, then add the next egg. Turn the beaters up to medium and beat till the eggs are smoothly mixed in. Turn off the beaters and add the vanilla and sour cream (or yogurt). Turn to high speed, and whip till very well mixed. Turn off the beaters and set aside.
I never sift flour. Too lazy. Instead, I pitch all the dry ingredients into a clean bowl, and stir with a whisk. The problem with a flour sifter is that it’s impossible to clean, and you can’t let it sit around with dusty old flour, for fear of it collecting vermin. If anyone has a successful method of using a sifter, you’ll have to let me know. My lazy bones method works, so why not?Turn the beaters back on to the lowest speed, and add the dry mixture, a bit at a time. Mix for a few minutes, barely. You don’t want to be beating this batter, as it will toughen the finished cake. Use a spatula to mix ingredients if you fear the beater is too much.
The batter will be quite stiff, but spoon half of it into the cake pan. Smooth it over with a spatula. Sprinkle the blueberries over the batter. Spoon over the rest of the batter, being careful to not mix the blueberries up into the batter. You want a layer of blueberries in the middle.
Once all the batter is in the pan, give it a final smooth over with the spatula. Heat the lemon and rose petal marmalade in the microwave for 30 seconds. Dribble it over the batter, smoothing here and there, to distribute it evenly. If you don't have the marmelade, zest a clean lemon, mix a half teaspoon of lemon juice with zest and a tablespoon of jaggery powder, and sprinkle that over the batter. (If you like, toss a few clean rose petals on after it's cooked.)If the blueberries are fresh, bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. If they’re frozen, add another ten minutes to the cooking time, being careful to test the centre of the pan.
Blueberries and lemons always go together beautifully. Including a few rosepetals send the flavours straight up to heaven! I have no idea why coffee cake is named that, when it contains no coffee, and is often served with tea, or in the case with these nice ladies, wine. Regardless, it’s a nice treat to serve at an afternoon party out in the garden.