*disclaimer: back to horrendous lighting, as it was a gloomy day… these look much better in person than these pix*
today was a day for baking things that start with a ‘b’: berries, buttermilk, butter, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, butter (yes, MORE butter), boy bait. wait– what’s that last one?
last week i went to the doctor and instead of focusing on my physical health, this guy kept asking me about my dating life, or lack thereof, and encouraging me to “get out there”… and with a few interjections about how i should eat meat. i felt like he was a pushy little italian/jewish/greek grandmother who thought that i would be all better if i could just meet a nice guy and go out for some steak with him. in any case, when i stumbled upon a recipe for something called “blueberry boy bait” i thought i would make my doctor proud and give it a whirl. legend has it, in 1954, a 15-year-old girl stole the show (but only won second prize) in the junior division of an early Pillbury Bake-Off with a variation of this recipe, named, she said, after the effect it had on boys.
now, usually when i am scouring the blogosphere (wow, this is an approved word by spellcheck??) for buttermilk recipes it is usually because i made something and now have extra left over. this time, i will openly admit that i really have no idea why i even bought buttermilk. maybe it is just one of the staple items that i now purchase as a reflex? maybe i had something in mind when i was shopping that i since forgot? whatever the reason, the “best by” date was quickly approaching, so i shelved my other baking plans and decided to use it up.
i ended up finding the blueberry boy bait on smittenkitchen, and in her description she commented that it was similar to her raspberry buttermilk cake, which of course had to try as well! since the raspberry cake was a smaller portion and i still had an abundance of buttermilk, i decided to double it. i planned to make these in my brand new bar pan, but when i opened the box from amazon, i found that they had shipped my qty 3 of this instead, and the original pan is no longer on the site at all. of course, this means that i am going to have to make something in these new pans! i cant turn down inspiration sent to me from the baking gods (or an error made by someone in a warehouse). this morning i went to a couple stores in an attempt to find the pan that i actually wanted, but with no luck. then, this afternoon after i had completed both cakes, i decided to head to bed bath & beyond since they have a decent variety of pans.
i was apparently on auto-pilot again, as i got on the highway headed towards work instead of the store. once i turned around, i found myself at bb&b unable to find the pan. instead, i walked out with $110 of things that were not, in fact, the pan. this $25 pan has cost me $140 so far (i added in the amazon order), and i don’t even have it yet! as i was driving away, i remembered that i believe i have seen it in target before….but then i also remembered that i am incapable of going in to target and only buying one thing and i had just spent more than i should for the week, so perhaps next week i shall get it.
anyways… i got home, had a mid-afternoon meal, and noticed that some of that pesky buttermilk was still in the fridge. i poured some into a cup to see how much was left and it easily filled it up. :::grunt::: i found a recipe on allrecipes that got good reviews; it was for muffins (which i decided to make mixed berry), but since i had made the other two as cakes, i did the same for this. between the member reviews and my personal preferences, i modified this recipe quite a bit.
i still have a little buttermilk left, so if it enough to do anything with i will make some scones for my moms visit this week. i always used to make them when she came to visit, but i taught her how to make them a couple months ago so she eats them on her own on a regular basis now.
the boy bait is a bit buttery for my liking, as had been noted on the recipe so i cant be surprised, but good nonetheless. i am a little disappointed that the raspberries sunk into their cake, though it came out good otherwise; next time i will coat them with a little flour in hopes that at least a few of them will stay up. i had some difficulty getting the muffin cake to cook evenly, but otherwise i was happy with it. i think next time i will also add some lemon zest to the two without. i haven’t eaten a full piece of them all yet (just cutting scraps), as i have had more than enough sugar today, but once i have better reviews on the flavor and texture i will update.
now, i know that i could have used the remaining buttermilk after the boy bait on something seasonal (like i planned on baking this week), but i am trying to find “best of” recipes within a theme so i stuck with berry cakes. i did it with cinnamon, and i plan to do it with brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and a few other things on rainy sundays, such as today. hopefully the verdict tomorrow at work will be clear and i will have established a go-to berry cake recipe.
Blueberry Boy Bait
Adapted from Cook’s Country, which adapted it from the original (via smittenkitchen)
Serves 12, generously
2 cups plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk (though buttermilk, which was all I had on hand, worked just great)
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 (do not defrost)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
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.)
Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2009 (via smittenkitchen)
Makes one thin 9-inch cake, i doubled it and cooked it in a 13 x 9 inch pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 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.
Mixed Berry Cake
based loosely on a recipe found here on allrecipes
2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 heaping cup fresh or frozen berries
- In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and buttermilk; mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in berries. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until browned. I baked this in an 8×8 pan for about 35 minutes.