Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lemon-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake

By the time I met my husband, he was a fairly experienced "foodie" (or, at least, as much as you could be on a student budget!) He had enjoyed wonderful meals at famous NYC restaurants, and his TiVo was full of Food Network programs (mixed with episodes of "Futurama").

When his birthday rolled around during our first year of dating, I knew just what to get him: Something from a food network icon... something he could use... I bought two cookbooks! I was being a good girlfriend, right?

These weren't just any cookbooks, but ones penned by celebrity chef, Bobby Flay. We still turn to these books today, especially the fabulous Lemon-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake found in Boy Meets Grill.

Luscious sweet blueberries are mixed with lemon rind and a beautiful quick-caramel. A coconut vanilla cake batter is baked on-top. The cake is moist, rich (but not heavy), and bursting with fresh blueberries. To be perfectly honest, it doesn't come out of the oven looking like the prettiest cake you could bake, but portion this blueberry cake out, top with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes, and you have a restaurant quality dish both in taste & presentation. This recipe for Lemon-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake will knock your socks off!

Lemon-Blueberry Upside-Down Cake
recipe from Boy Meets Grill, by Bobby Flay & Joan Schwartz
directions slightly modified
makes 8 servings

For the Lemon-Blueberry Topping

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 portions
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

Preheat your oven for 350F.

Reserve a 9 inch round cake pan.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the brown sugar (yes, my brown sugar is lumpy! I just mashed the lumps with a fork after they heated up.) and cook until the butter & sugar are smooth and bubbling. After 3-4 minutes of cooking, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the mix to the 9 inch round cake pan.

Spread the caramel as best (and quickly!) as possible, creating an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Spread the blueberries evenly on top of the caramel and sprinkle them with lemon zest (I have also tried this with dried lemon zest - still came out great!). Set aside.

For the Cake Batter

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 ounces premium white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips)

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and place aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), beat the butter at medium speed until creamy (about 30 seconds). Continue to beat on medium speed as you add the sugar into the butter. Beat until the texture is light and the color has changed to a lighter yellow, about 2-3 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, totally incorporating one egg before the next egg is added. Beat in the white chocolate and vanilla extract.

Change the mixer to low speed, and beat in half the flour mix until just combined. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the coconut milk, followed by the remaining half of the flour mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter evenly, and spread over the caramel blueberries already in your 9 inch round cake pan. Make sure the berries are completely covered.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a tester toothpick comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan on a baking rack for 3 minutes. After cooling slightly, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake. Take a serving dish and place over the top of the pan, then invert (carefully!). Allow the cake to cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

I like to plate 2 wedges with a dollop or two of fresh whipped cream and coconut shavings. Totally delicious!

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