Monday, November 10, 2008

Raw, adjective: 1. uncooked, as articles of food: a raw carrot.



(Belated) Bundt Cake Saturday!

Morning: actually, it's afternoon
Mood: mellow
Music: the cars on the street down below my bay window

Ok, so it's a few days overdue, but whatever.  The Obama afterglow still shines.  And since this recipe was all about encouraging All Things Blue in honor of election night (and Jinny's birthday) last Tuesday, the lingering periwinkle vibes still apply.  And hopefully will continue to do so for the next four years.

So in honor of the new Prez and the several election parties that were graced by my champagne-addled presence last week, I give you a  

BLUEBERRY CREAM BUNDT CAKE

I've never really baked with blueberries, and most recipes tend toward the cobbler or pie variety.   So here's a twist.  Because your other options for "blue" cakes are pretty, well, bizarro, tending toward strange children's renditions of Cookie Monster and relying upon eerily vibrant food coloring action.

INGREDIENTS

1 package yellow cake mix
2 small packages cheesecake pudding
1/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups blueberries lightly coated with flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.  In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in eggs, cream cheese, oil and vanilla. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Stir in blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

The original recipe I found for this didn't include pudding, but the last several months have taught me it's a key ingredient for a moist cake.  So in the first version that I made, I added cheesecake pudding; in the second, vanilla.  Both worked well.  I'd probably choose cheesecake the next time I make it, though.

Given the cream cheese in the cake batter, I assumed that only cream cheese frosting would be appropriate.  The first cake - for Jinny's birthday party that night - I sprinkled with edible blue, red, and silver glitter.  The second - the one pictured here that I took along to a shindig - I decorated with deep red Gerber daisies.  I really loved the striking contrast, and felt a little like Martha Stewart.  The red was the closest thing to a McCain solidarity shout-out that I came all week.  Gotta feel a little bit sorry for the old loser.

Feedback on this recipe seemed particularly positive.  That might've had something to do with the fact that most people who ate it were already feeling pretty giddy about the results of the election (also something about cocktails laced with blue curacao), but whatevs.  I'll take it.

Definitely a recipe to keep in your files for future use.  It's equally good as a summery treat and a morning breakfast cake served warm with coffee.  And the beautiful blue swirls accompanying the berries in the finished cake lend their own pretty aesthetic touch.

So here's to blue: states, presidents, and cocktails!

Recipe courtesy divinerecipes.com

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