Monday, August 10, 2009

Blueberry Bundt Cake

new bundt pan

My parents returned from a trip to the United States a-laden with gifts from the Calphalon cookware outlet. Lucky me, with a birthday that coincides with their travels! My dad, as I've mentioned, has recently re-discovered his love of cooking and my mom has a never-dormant love of good kitchen gear. Apparently they visited the Calphalon outlet three times. Besides getting a bunch of great new kitchen items, they also learned that they'd been using the wrong kind of wok for their entire lives. Helpful!

One of the items I was lucky enough to receive was the bundt pan pictured above. I'd asked for one specifically, since it was something that I'd often found myself wishing for when I perused cake recipes. Now that I'm mostly off the sugar, my oppourtunities for cake making have dwindled, but I was still eager to try out the new pan. So when we were invited over to lunch at one of the Man of Science's friend's houses, I leapt into action and made this cake.

I based my cake on this recipe, with a few minor adjustments. (Lemon rind makes me gag, so I automatically leave that out whenever I see it in a recipe.) Having no fancy cake-carrying apparatus in my kitchen (perhaps that's next year's birthday present) I improvised with one of our large Pyrex containers and it worked out just fine. Let them eat cake!

have bundt cake, will travel

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake

3 cups all purpose white flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp flaxmeal mixed with 9 tbsp water
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk "soured" with one tsp white vinegar
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

(glaze used was from original linked recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly grease a 10 inch (or so) bundt pan and sprinkle with a few tablespoons of sugar. Set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together and set aside.

In another bowl, cream margarine with sugar, then add lemon juice, flaxmeal and water. Mix well.

Add flour mixture and soured almond milk to sugar mixture, alternating small amounts of each until everything is combined.

Add blueberries and stir just to distribute them throughout the batter.

Pour batter into bundt pan and use spatula to spread it around evenly.

Bake for between 45 minutes and one hour, until a chopstick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let cool in pan for ten minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack. When fully cooled, drizzle glaze over the top.

Some Notes:

-I sampled a small piece of this and was amazed by how moist and fluffy it was. An excellent cake to make if there are still people in your life who think that vegan baking is dry and cardboardy. I'd make this again in a second.

-My television wish came true this week: there was a vegan challenge on Top Chef. Here are five things I thought about the episode:
1. I understand that Zooey Deshanel has an above average number of food restrictions, but I was a little shocked by her assertion that all she eats is raw vegetables most of the time AND by the fact that she'd never tried gluten-free pasta before, especially since the chef who made the pasta just went and bought a package of quinoa pasta at Whole Foods.
2. Michael Chiarello could stand to be a bit less of a jerk when it comes to his commentary on food restrictions. He came across as wildly unprofessional when he whined about the parametres of the challenge. Man up, mister!
3. I am respecting and admiring Rick Bayliss more with each episode. He was kind and adventurous and accommodating. When I was in Chicago I tried to go to his restaurant, but it was booked solid. I was so disappointed that lately I've been having dreams where I'm trying to make a reservation.
4. The chef who made dessert seemed like a sweet guy, but his rice milk ice cream (storebought) and berry dish was a huge yawn.
5. All in all the food seemed pretty disappointing. I wonder why people who are highly trained chefs with piles of professional experience seemed to just fall apart when pushed outside of their comfort zones. The challenge was tough, yes, but that's kind of the point of a challenge. That it's challenging.

-I made mini chocolate cupcakes as well as the blueberry cake and I just tried a bite of one and boy, were they ever terrible. I am a wildly inconsistent baker.



Ricki said...

Looks beautiful! Just perfect for all the fresh blueberries around this time of year.

HayMarket8 said...

Wow! This looks amazing! I love a good cake and this is awesome! Thanks for the recipe.

A said...

You cake looks delightful!! As always, beautiful photos!!! About the show, I didn't see the episode but from reading what you wrote, I too and disappointed in Michael Chiarello. I mean, you are SO RIGHT. It's a "CHALLENGE".... not a "DO WHAT YOU DO BEST!"
Great re-cap..... wonder if I can see it online....

Haley said...

Wow, that cake!! Amazing.

And I saw that Top Chef episode, too - loved that there was actually something vegan-related on TV, but jeez, some of those chefs!

sweetkaroline said...

I was upset when I realized I missed that topchef episode but hearing your recap of it makes me not sad at all. I hate it when they don't bother making inspired yummy tasting vegan food. I mean for reals.

T said...

Oh that's gorgeous! I have a really old-school bundt pan that weighs like 40 lbs. and I still haven't made anything with it... i just really like the sensation of owning a bundt pan, it makes me feel so fifties.

And yeah, I'm always disappointed how amazing cooks somehow forget that most food is already vegan. They act all of a sudden like vegetables or grains are a crazy thing to use in a recipe. WTF?

J. said...

Thanks everyone! I wish I could have you all over for cake.

For anyone who missed the Top Chef Masters episode and is curious, you can watch it online here:

If you have real TV this will probably pale in comparison, but I only ever watch poor quality online episodes, so it looks fine to me! :)