Sunday, June 10, 2012

Blueberry Doughnut-like Cake for The Greatest TV Show Ever!

I know these look *very* similar to past blueberry dishes I've posted about, but I swear, these are a whole new ballgame! So, like many of the recipes I post about, this particular one was inspired by/adapted from one from the fierce diva Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen. I intended to make her Strawberry Summer Cake, (the recipe for it can be found here):

Midway through, I realized I couldn't bear to use the "these are way too good to be true and are sweet enough to qualify for a dessert all by their lonesome selves" strawberries I got from the Farmers' Market in Burbank this morning, (hollaback Orange Grove & Third Street)! I decided to improvise: I had a ridiculous amount of blueberries in my fridge and what better home for them than swimming in sweet cake batter? Are you ready for the recipe? I refer to it as Blueberry Doughnut-like Cake, simply because the cake unintentionally tastes a little like blueberry doughnuts, and let's face it: how could that ever be a bad thing?

What show is this recipe inspired by? Believe it or not: The Wire. Okay, okay, it's a stretch, but I promise it'll make sense in just a bit: The Wire is probably the greatest TV series of all time. I've heard that stated by multiple people, (people who have never met each other by the way), and couldn't agree more. Each season of this phenomenal show focuses on a different social issue, (season 4 focused on problems in the public school system and is coincidentally my favorite). It doesn't hurt that they have some serious talent in the ensemble: Andre Royo, Sonja Sohn, Idris Elba, Michael K. Williams, Clarke Peters, the list goes on and on.

During (my favorite) season 4, the focus shifts to a group of kids. These young actors are insanely gifted, and one of them plays a kid who steals cars and goes by the nickname of "Donut." Let's think of this cake as an ode to him, his friends, and Omar Little.  Hey, I know it's a stretch, but any excuse for getting people to watch this TV show is just fine by me. So without further ado, here's the recipe. No go make it quickly and get to watching The Wire. Trust me, you'll thank me later!

Here's what you'll need:

1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1.5 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries


(1) Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
(2) Cream together butter and 1.5 cups sugar. Save the last tablespoon for later!
(3) Add the egg and whisk thoroughly.
(4) Add the vanilla, lemon extract, and milk and stir until well-blended.
(5) Add the dry ingredients. Make sure to stir until the mixture is completely combined.
(6) Stir in the cinnamon and then careful add 3/4 cup of your blueberries. Save the last 1/4 for later!
(7) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
(8) Lightly coat a 9-inch square pan with cooking spray. According to Deb's recipe, a 9-inch round one will not hold the cake and will make a mess, so be sure to put this in a square pan or a larger round one!
(9) Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula or the back of a teaspoon. Sprinkle remaining blueberries and then 1 tablespoon of sugar on top.
(10) Bake for 10 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a fork stuck into the center comes out clean. One more note from Deb's recipe on this: assume that the fruit will be gooey no matter what, so test a central area of the cake where there's no fruit.
(11) Cool cake completely before cutting into small squares. Enjoy with an episode of The Wire! Check out HBO's official website for it, (no copyright infringement intended). These fancy HBO people were smart enough to support this beautiful piece of work, so they better get it! 

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