Friday, July 13, 2012

Blueberry Poundcake

True story: I did not understand the Ryan Gosling obsession until I watched Crazy, Stupid, Love. That's probably because I was born without the gene that makes me obsess over The Notebook. In truth, I prefer the book to the movie because I think the ending is more poignant. Regardless, I look at pictures of Ryan Gosling from 2004...and I'm so not interested. Seven or eight years later and now we're talkin'. I think it's because he looks older and therefore more...sophisticated? Put-together? Eh, suffice it to say I'm much more willing to watch one of his movies now. Oh and Crazy, Stupid, Love won me over for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with him and everything to do with Emma Stone, Steve Carrell, and the girl who played the babysitter.

Well now that I've awkwardly shared my feelings, let me not-as-awkwardly share this celebration of sunshine and sweet fruit. It gets a wonderful moistness from butter and cream cheese, and the burst of fresh blueberries are the exclamation point on the end of a tender crumb sentence.

Poundcake stuffs: Flour, vanilla extract, sugar, milk (almond in this case), cream cheese, butter, eggs, baking powder, salt, blueberries, and turbinado sugar (optional).

Start by whisking together the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Butter and cream cheese go in a large bowl for mixing.

Here they are fully incorporated. A dream of creaminess.

Add the sugar for a sweetness that doesn't overpower the blueberries.

Mix it until the sugar is fully incorporated and the batter starts to have a fluffy consistency.

Add your eggs one at a time along with the vanilla.

We're going to add the flour in three portions, alternating with the milk.

I used almond milk because I had more of it than regular milk. I like the nuttiness of it, but regular milk is a fine substitution.

The last step is to add your blueberries.

Fold them in gently so as not to break them up and to keep some air in the batter.

Scrape the batter into a buttered and floured 9x5 loaf pan. Even it out by gently spreading it with your spatula.

For a little added crunch you can sprinkle turbinado sugar over the top. This is optional of course, the cake is just as lovely without it.

After an hour (I know, an hour? Torture.), you'll have this beautiful golden brown loaf cake. Run a knife around the edges and let it cool in the pan 10 minutes on a wire rack or on a trivet. Run a knife around the edges again before you try to pop it out of the pan. Let it cool completely on the wire rack.

As if it needed anything else, a shmear of cinnamon butter takes this over the top and into a galaxy far, far away. I know I've classified this as a cake, but I like to think it also qualifies as breakfast food. Because blueberries are fruit and fruit can be eaten for breakfast. Logic.

Blueberry Poundcake (makes one 9x5 loaf cake)

2 c all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk (Regular milk may be substituted)
1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed and picked over
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese together until fully incorporated. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Alternate adding the flour mixture and almond milk, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until just combined. Fold in the blueberries gently. 
  • Scrape batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top if using. Bake 50 minutes to an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Run a knife around the edges and let it cool in the pan 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edges again before popping the cake out of the pan. Let it cool completely on a wire rack. Serve room temperature or warm with butter. 

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