I’m a bit behind with my blog posts recently but I’m trying to catch up with it all. We had a few mad days before going off to Spain on our summer holidays so cake and baking was the last thing on my mind! But I always love to have a cake or a pudding for Sunday lunch dessert. So on the first Sunday back at the beginning of August, it was a busy day as my hubby was out all day doing a classic car rally and I was at home with my two children. The kids were busy doing their own thing as teenagers do and I had a pile of ironing the height of the Empire State Building. I was just so unmotivated to get it done. In the end I did about half of it but at least I had some baking to look forward to!
I chose to bake Signe Johansen’s Upside Down Blueberry and Elderflower Cake from her Scandelicious Baking book. I have tried this delicious cake before in Baltzersens which is a Scandinavian coffee shop in Harrogate. It is just gorgeous and I love the blueberries glistening like shiny jewels on top of the cake against the pale vanilla sponge. A pretty cake with lots of flavour but not overpoweringly sweet and sickly.
In the recipe introduction Signe says “This cake doesn’t keep well as the blueberries lose their fresh intensity relatively quickly after cooking so be sure to get your friends around to enjoy it on the day of baking!”
It was a shame I hadn’t got any friends coming round on that day then but I was sure it would go down well with the family when I served it up for pudding. Or so I thought.
On this day I just seemed to have one baking disaster after another. I was in tears as I had also tried to bake a quiche for our dinner. We were having our main meal of the day at dinnertime when my hubby was due to get back but I wasn’t sure what time he would be back. The quiche going wrong was another story and I was just so tempted to say “B******r it, lets have a Chinese!” I didn’t have much food in, being as we were off on holiday a few days later I was trying to run stocks down a little.
The elderflower flavour in the cake comes from this gorgeous elderflower cordial. I recently bought some at the Harrogate Good Food Show from the Belvoir Fruit Farms stand. I love it and have bought more as it’s delicious with fizzy water!
The elderflower cordial was poured over a large punnet of blueberries.
In a large bowl I whisked together eggs, sugar and vanilla extract.
Disaster in the kitchen part one started when yet another of my hand held mixers (I’ve gone through about 5 in the last 2 years) decided to pack up. I have a KitchenAid which I love but my hubby moans about it being in the way in the kitchen when I use it and makes me put it away in the garage or the cupboard every time I’ve finished baking. This does my head in and isn’t convienient so the handheld one does the trick if I’m only baking one thing at a time. On a Sunday afternoon there wasn’t time to go and get another one so I used the whisk attachment on my stick blender which isn’t very strong.
Whisking the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract up.
Then I added spelt flour, ground almonds and baking powder and alternated folding these ingredients into the mixture along with some melted butter and some Greek yoghurt. I used a large metal spoon but the mixture did seem a little bit runny to me.
Here is the mixture all whisked up.
In the recipe Signe mentions using a 23cm round cake tin. I didn’t know whether she meant a deep one or a sandwich one. I got the deep one out that I use for Christmas cakes but I think I used the wrong base! As the cake is an upside down one, I had to put all the elderflower soaked blueberries in first. followed by the cake mixture. All seemed to be fine until about half way through the cooking time I looked through the oven window and noticed blueberry juice seeping out of the bottom of the cake tin and splashing onto the oven bottom! I could have cried. The cake was meant to be in the oven for 30-35 minutes but it got beyond that time and the cake was still raw in the middle. I kept it in for about 50 minutes in the end but because I’d had the oven door open a couple of times testing the cake it came out with a big dip in the middle. Then the tears did come and afterwards I thought “Why am I crying over a cake?”
The finished blueberry and elderflower upside down cake. Complete with sunken middle.
A slice of the blueberry cake cut up and appearances can be deceptive. It tasted lovely.
After my daughter also had a slice this is what was left. No one was really that impressed by it, sadly.
When the cake had cooled down and I’d cleared up I found out that my hubby was being given dinner after his race meeting. So a big blueberry cake dessert wasn’t needed after all. I cut up the cake and asked my children if they would like some. My daughter loves blueberries and she enjoyed it but my son turned his nose up at it. I really enjoyed it and would love to try and bake it again another time. A couple of days later we still had half the cake left so I decided to get it out and see if it was still worth eating. Unfortunately I dropped the plate and my greedy labrador scoffed the lot! I was fuming but he obviously liked it as there wasn’t anything but crumbs left on the floor! Bad dog!
Love Sam xx