Thursday, April 26, 2012

Blueberry Cake

Uncle Bert celebrated his birthday this Tuesday and in honor of our beloved uncle's birthday we celebrated with good eats and blueberry treats! I had my entire menu planned and decided I would run out and buy a pie. However, I felt like it was a bit of a shortcut and wanted to present my uncle with a lovely meal that I made from start to finish.

I know he likes desserts with fruit and since I didn't have enough time to make pastry for pie I made a blueberry cake! This cake is amazing. It's deceptively airy and moist. The batter amounts to very little but rises perfectly and completely envelopes the blueberries in a bed of cakey goodness. The outer parts of the cake develop this wonderful golden brown crust which adds a welcome texture. For a bit of drama, it's recommended one adds powdered sugar. As much as I like the aesthetic, I'm not a fan of the extra sweetness and decided to forgo the additional calories. Even though it would have looked more whimsical with the snow-kissed powdering, I think it looks pretty lovely without it too!

1.5 cups FRESH blueberries (don't use frozen)
1 cup flour + extra for dusting blueberries and cake pan
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick or 1/2 cup butter at room temp + extra for prepping cake pan
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

Meanwhile prep your 9" spring form pan by rubbing it all over the base and sides with a small amount of butter and then dusting it with flour. There should be a faint layer of dusted flour. Nothing that clumps.

Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Toss blueberries in about 1 tablespoon of flour making sure to sieve off any excess flour.

Beat butter on med-high speed for two minutes until airy and fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla. Beat until well Incorporated (about a minute more). Add the eggs one at a time and beat on med until well blended.

Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour. DO NOT OVER MIX. Once everything is just blended it is ready. Even if there are bits where the flour is still showing, you can fold it over with a spatula by hand. Batter will be a bit more on the cookie batter side than the runnier side so don't be alarmed.
Transfer batter to spring form pan and even out- it doesn't have to be perfect. Add the blueberries and bake for about 50 minutes or until it starts to brown lightly and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes than remove from the pan- gloves may be necessary as the pan may still be hot so take caution.

Serve alone or with icing sugar or better yet- ICE CREAM!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Garlic and Herb Roast Chicken

This dish is so beautifully easy. Put it this way, I made this whilst staining the my 10 foot long picnic table with my husband! It's really so simple. The best part about this chicken is its crispy skin! There's so much crispiness! The reason being that I cut the chicken down its back so that all the skin is exposed when cooking.

I place 15 cloves of garlic and a halved onion under the chicken while baking and the end product is butter soft garlic and onion that envelopes your mouth with a velvety texture and sweet flavour that is literally to die for..well maybe not literally, but close enough!

1 broiler chicken (I always buy Kosher because it's brined and is the juiciest chicken)
1 onion
15-20 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Meanwhile, cut the chicken down its back bone (you can use good kitchen scissors or a very sharp knife). Salt and pepper the chicken to your liking. Add herbs de provence on the bottom side and generously on the skin side.  Place the garlic and onion in a contained circle and drizzle with a teaspoon of oil. Place the bird on top so that it tents the contents. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake for one hour. Once the skin gets to the perfect golden brown colour, reduce the heat and cook until it's done. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with garlic and onion as well as the drippings!