Monday, June 11, 2012

blueberry lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting. hello summer.

i hate to say it.
i really, really do.
don't make me do it!
ok fine.

this blog took a back seat.

i graduated from college, moved back home, and couldn't find a job.

I had so much time on my hands, it was a problem.

but then i got a job, a good job. like i'm-the-general-manager-of-a-new-restaurant-and-i-kind-of-love-it-kind-of-good-job.

and now i have so little time on my hands, it's a problem.

so with staff to train, schedules to make, liquor to order and people to schmooze, i gotta say, this blog was not on the top of my priority list.

but don't fret, i've still been cooking on my days off! so hopefully after writing this one, i'll have a little more oomph to write a few more and then i'll get back into it.


on to more delicious topics, please look at this cake.

drooling accepted... and encouraged... and expected.

as soon as summer comes around, i have an impulse to eat and cook with as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible.

as in instead of bringing cupcakes and snickers for my staff, i bring snap peas and bing cherries.

as in i've been waiting to make a blackberry cobbler for about 3 months now.
as in a normal stop at the grocery store has changed from cereal, milk and wheat bread, to cereal, milk, wheat bread, raspberries, green beans, and peaches.
as in... this cake.

blueberry lemon cake with lemon buttercream frosting.

oh. hello my favorite pairing of fruit.

lemons and blueberries go together so well. which is exactly what makes this cake so ridiculously great. subtle lemon flavor in the cake, but huge lemon kick in the frosting. and the blueberries exploding with each bite of the dense, moist cake just gets me every time.

hence why i made it for my birthday.

(22, baby!)

the flavors going on in here were a little nostalgic for me as well. wanna hear a possibly-boring-for-you-story, but one that brings me back to a more carefree time?

of course you do... (wink).

it was the summer of 2010, my first summer in door county. tia had worked with me all summer, and subsequently we had become best friends. we worked together, went to lunch together, blah blah blah, laid underneath the stars and talked about life together. :) on our last night there, we decided to go to all the restaurants we hadn't been to and just grab either an appetizer or a dessert. on our last stop, we grabbed dessert to go, so we could enjoy it at the drive-in movie theater. and as soon as we found out the restaurant had their own pastry chef, we knew we chose the best for last. it was a slice of peanut butter chocolate ganache pie for her, and a lemon curd tart with blueberry compote for me.

and they were crazy good. and when you share crazy good food with a person who is just as much of a foodie as you are, there's no room, or desire, to talk of anything else.

but seriously, warm blueberry compote over a cooled lemon tart... are you kidding me?

whoever the pastry chef was (i picture them as a her for some reason), we should probably all be friends. because i can only imagine her being as big of a food nerd as i am. and when we become friends, i will make her this cake. and we will all sit down with a fork in our hands, blueberry lemon cake on our plates, and a conversation on our tongues that speaks only of it's greatness.

Blueberry Lemon Cake

2 cups + 6 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray three 8" round cake pans with nonstick spray and dust with flour. Sift dry ingredients into medium bowl. Transfer 1 tablespoon flour mixture to larger bowl. Add fresh blueberries and toss to coat them with flour. Set remaining flour mixture and blueberries aside.
Stir whole milk, sour cream, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest in small bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar, until pale yellow and very fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Mix in flour mixture alternately with milk mixture, starting and ending with flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Divide batter equally among 8" round pans.

Bake cakes about 25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a nonstick-sprayed surface.
Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon lemon zest
5 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
pinch salt
few drops of yellow food coloring

Cream butter and lemon zest in bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, about 3 minutes. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing on low speed for about 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and beat on med-high for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy. Yields enough to frost outside of three layer 8″ round cake.