Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cake - It's Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

As Bill Cosby said, "My kids wanted chocolate cake for breakfast. And I thought, well, it has wheat, eggs, and milk. That's breakfast!"

A wise man, that Cosby.

There has been one and only one time that I picked up a cooking magazine in a grocery store and immediately flipped to the recipe and bought the ingredients I needed. Cooking Light's Blueberry Poundcake looked so fresh, so yummy-all-day, so perfect on the cover that I just had to make it as soon as I got home. Trust me, even for someone as cooking-obsessed as me, that's a rare moment.

The cake lived up to its promise and has become something of my signature recipe. I've brought this cake on vacation to Tybee Island, to office meetings, to a baby shower brunch, for a birthday gift, to Sunday School, you name it. Looking at that list, I hadn't realized it's quite the travelling companion. It's also a happy coincidence that my father-in-law adores blueberries, so I make this for his birthday every year. I mean, how lucky is it that my go-to recipe happens to feature his favorite food??

When this recipe was published in 1998 it was fairly easy to find 8-ounce containers of lemon yogurt. At least in my neck of the woods, that's no longer the case. You can safely substitute vanilla yogurt or boldly substitute peach yogurt (not the fruit-on-the-bottom kind). Frozen blueberries work beautifully in this cake - and amen for that, because fresh berries get ridiculously pricey. I also love that this recipe uses eggs and not "egg product." Eggs I'm familiar with and always have in the house... egg product, not so much.


Cooking Light

2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light butter
1/2 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened - this is usually labeled "Neufachtel"
3 large eggs
1 large egg white
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) carton lemon low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice

About an hour before making the cake, take the 1/2 block of cream cheese, yogurt, and the butter out of the fridge to let them warm to room temperature. They'll incorporate into the batter much better that way.

While you're at it, if you're using frozen berries pour them into a colander so that they can thaw and drain. REMEMBER THAT BLUEBERRIES STAIN. If you have a white enamel sink try putting the colander in a metal bowl to catch the juice.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Beat first sugar, butter, and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 5 minutes).

Add eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and blueberries in a small bowl, and toss well. [Note: dusting the blueberries with flour helps them disperse through the cake. If you skip this step the blueberries will all sink to the bottom]

Combine remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Fold in blueberry mixture and vanilla; pour cake batter into a 10-inch tube pan coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool cake in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Combine powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl; drizzle over warm cake. [Note: I consider this optional. I'm sure it's terrific, I've just never bothered with it]

Cut with a serrated knife.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

You probably already know this, but 1/4 cup of "egg product" is the equivalent of 1 large egg. So go ahead and substitue real eggs, or whatever proportion of white to yolk that you desire, just keep the fluid volume measurements the same.

And yes, I can attest that this is an awesome cake!