Sunday, February 24, 2013

blueberries do not grow in Singapore but you can have cake

I have a weakness for blueberries. I acquired a blueberry habit in Australia and to my horror, it followed me to Singapore.

Blueberries do not grow in Singapore.

They grow in America, England, South Africa and Australia but not Singapore. This means that the blueberries that do finally get to this country tend to be painfully expensive and powdery - very sad-making. It also means that recipes like these are usually out of reach.

I posted last year about the recipes I wanted to try when I finally moved out and got my own kitchen and one of them was a recipe for a cake evocatively named "Blueberry boy bait". For a year, I kept a sharp eye out for blueberries on sale but! BUT! I had not reckoned on Mr Grey liking blueberries just as much and so every time we bought affordable delicious blueberries, Mr Grey would persuade me that they were best eaten all by themselves.

I gave in every time. After all, he's right. Blueberries - like all fruit in season - taste beautiful unadorned. Besides, they were still quite expensive and I didn't have the heart to experiment with them. So it was that we made apple crumble and flapjacks twice in a row (apples and raisins being cheaper) and didn't do a single blueberry related food item.

This weekend I finally spotted blueberries going for $2.65 a punnet and I decided that at this price point, I could bake with them.

Ooooh let me just say, this recipe is worth the price of those blueberries. It turns out a buttery delicious cake wafting blueberries and cinnamon in equal measure and we loved it. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

But uh, because it was kind of difficult explaining the name of the cake to my  Chinese speaking family, I decided to just tell them it was blueberry butter cake. It's less evocative but the cake is good enough that it will stand on its own, sans the cute name.

I'm sorry I don't have pictures - the cake went real fast! But it was goooood and I will bake it again - that's a promise!


Yes I realise it's been all food posts for awhile - but I can't help it. I moved to Singapore in mid 2008 and didn't get my own kitchen till April 2011 - that's a really long time to go without my own kitchen so I've all this cooking-ness and baking-ness all built up within me.




Blueberry Boy Bait Butter Cake

2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
225g butter, softened**
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not defrost first as it tends to muddle in the batter)

1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used brown sugar and it was fine)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cake: 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugars on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down bowl. Reduce speed to medium and beat in one-third of flour mixture until incorporated; beat in half of milk. Beat in half of remaining flour mixture, then remaining milk, and finally remaining flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining one teaspoon flour. Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries. Spread batter into prepared pan.

For the topping:
Scatter blueberries over top of batter. Stir sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and sprinkle over batter. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and place on serving platter (topping side up). Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cake can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.)

**Recipe is American and called for 2 sticks of butter which converts to roughly 225grams. 

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