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Happy meal #14: Blueberry buttermilk

Blueberries! Ah, love that squishy purple berry that stains everything from my plate to my fingers. Every time I buy freshly made waffles from the bakery, I go for the blueberry flavoured ones. So when I saw punnets of these at the supermarket, I grabbed them without thinking.

The most logical thing would be to make blueberry muffins, of course. But I decided that I shall not go down the typical road and turned to trusty ‘ol Google for something more interesting. And guess what, it led me to the website of the sadly defunct Gourmet magazine, where a Raspberry Buttermilk Cake recipe was awaiting me.

There’s something about buttermilk that always makes me confident that whatever I bake with it will turn out great. It could be the thick, creamy consistency or the wonderfully warm aroma, I don’t know. But it just happened that I had a carton of buttermilk in the fridge and a Blueberry Buttermilk Cake I shall bake.

I love that the list of ingredients is fairly simple and short, and the baking process is straightforward. It also doesn’t take too long to prepare. And it definitely helps that I now have a stand mixer, which speeds up the process significantly!

Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
(Adapted from Gourmet)

What you need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 of a 250g stick of butter, softened at room temperature
    2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
    1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 large egg
    1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    1 punnet of blueberries (about 125g)
  • Directions:

  • * Preheat oven to 200°C with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

    * Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

    * Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

    * At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined (ie. flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour).

    * Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter blueberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar.

    * Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.


    "Whrrrr" goes the mixer

    Before baking

    The finished product looking very bruised indeed

    Cake for tea

  • Happy meal #12: Gingerbread run amok!

    I’ve always wanted to bake something festive for Christmas and seeing that it’s our little household’s first Christmas, I decided that gingerbread cookies were the way to go.

    First things first: I had to pop over to Phoon Huat to pick up some baking supplies. I officially declare that place my favourite bakeware supplier. It is not only a treasure trove but the products are cheaper than what you get outside. Butter for just $2! A pair of cookie cutter for slightly over a dollar! Rolling pins for slightly over a dollar (which I stupidly did not buy)! Thanks to Dr.Low’s recommendation, I went to the Sims Lane outlet which was HUGE. Love.

    Next, find the perfect (read: “easy”) recipe. A search on Google and tadah! Found it on Not Quite Nigella.

    Butter and brown sugar

    Fugly, lumpy dough

    The rise of the gingerbread in the oven

    Freshly baked (dude at the bottom left seems to have suffered a head injury during baking)

    The anonymous gingerbread army

    And then after an hour of creative, gleeful artistic endeavour, the final product was ready to be presented to the world:

    The Gingerbread Fashion Show

    We love it! The cookies were not overly crumbly or sweet – just the perfect touch of spice and sweetness. The only problem I had during the baking was that the dough, with three cups of flour, was too unkneadable. It kept falling apart and in the end, I had to work with small portions to keep it from breaking. Many a gingerbread limb was lost and emergency surgery had to be performed to make the boys and girls whole again.

    Oh and added to my woes was the fact that I didn’t have a rolling pin and the Ribena bottle that I had used was utterly useless. I was kneading and pressing and shaping everything with my hands and coupled with my handheld mixer, I was certainly giving my arms a good workout.

    Thankfully, east end gets a lot of the monsoon winds at this time of the year and there was a cool breeze circulating in the kitchen. The cats were snoozing in the living room so I could bake in peace, with beautiful Christmas carols playing in the background.

    You bet I’m going to be making this again!

    Nutella goodness

    One weekend, I woke up with a burning desire to bake. So I did.

    Thanks to the tools that we had bought at Pantry Magic at Chip Bee Garden (I love, love, love that place!), I had everything I needed to make nutella cupcakes. Rather than pay through the nose for a teeny tiny cupcake from Marmalade Pantry, I could jolly well whip up some on my own, couldn’t I?

    The search began, as it always does, on Google. It led me to Nicole’s website Baking Bites, which had an adapted Donna Hay recipe. It was extremely simple to make and since I wasn’t doing anything on a Saturday morning, I unpacked my baking tools and started the quest.

    In the end, we had about 30 cupcakes. The recipe called for 140g of unsalted butter but the standard block of butter in the supermarkets is about 225g. I decided to finish up the butter and make two batches of cupcakes instead. They turned out to be pretty scrumptious! Both Mr Thick and I love nutella and it was heaps of fun swirling the nutella into the dough. Plus, the house smelled so lovely as the fragrance of the vanilla and chocolate wafted through the air – that always puts me in a good mood.

    We delivered some to friends and family members the same day and the feedback was pretty positive. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

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