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07/25/2019

~ My Glazed Blueberry, Lemon & Ricotta Bundt Cake ~

IMG_2894Bundt cakes are perhaps my favorite cakes to bake.  Even the words "bundt cake" sound warm and inviting.  Simply saying "bundt cake" evokes happy, fond memories from kinder, gentler times. I'm not saying that humble sheet cakes and grandiose layer cakes don't have a place in this food world -- they do and they're delicious too.  I'm merely suggesting that bundt cakes have more gravitational pull (haha) than other cakes -- even an unembellished bundt cake will pull more people to the dessert buffet than the other cakes.  That said, more often than not, the base recipe for a bundt cake is a recipe for a tried and true, reliable and crowd-pleasing pound cake.  

6a0120a8551282970b01bb097d3e86970dA bit about pound cake ("quatre-quarts" in French, meaning "four fourths":  Originally, this fine-textured loaf-shaped cake was made with 1-pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs, plus a flavoring, most commonly vanilla. Nothing more, nothing less.  Over the years, variations evolved, mostly adding leaveners like baking powder and baking soda to encourage rising, resulting in a less dense cake.  Vegetable oil is sometimes substituted in place of some of the butter, to produce a moister cake.  "Sour cream pound cake" and "buttermilk pound cake" recipes substitute sour cream or buttermilk in place of some of the butter to produce a moister cake with a pleasant tang too.  My grandmother's pound cake recipe uses a bit of both.

IMG_2785The inspiration for today's pound-cake bundt-cake appeared in an issue of Eating Well magazine back in 2015.  What caught my eye about it was the use of low-fat ricotta cheese in place of low fat- buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt, which appealed to me (a lot).  I tried it and couldn't have been more pleased with the results.  After that, the recipe became pretty much my own, full-fat ingredients and all, which is resemblant of any random recipe for the common combination of blueberry and lemon flavored pound cake.  Yes, of course you can make this pound cake in a loaf pan, just cut the recipe in half and bake it for about 60-75 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.  No matter how you decide to make it, this is indeed the last blueberry and lemon cake recipe you'll ever want.

The last blueberry & lemon bundt cake recipe you'll ever want: 

IMG_2826For the dry ingredients:

3 1/2  cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

4  teaspoons baking powder

2  teaspoon sea salt

4  cups ripe-but-not-overripe blueberries (20 ounces)

For the wet ingredients:

1 1/2  cups salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (6  ounces/1 1/2 sticks)

6  large eggs, at room temperature

3  cups sugar

4  teaspoons pure blueberry extract

2  teaspoon pure lemon extract

2  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2  cups whole-milk ricotta cheese

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing loaf pan

IMG_2876For the (optional but highly recommended) drizzly lemon-blueberry glaze:

1 1/2  cups Confectioners' sugar

2  teaspoons pure blueberry extract

1  teaspoon pure lemon extract

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3-4  tablespoons whole milk, 3 tablespoons will be needed, add the rest, in small increments, if necessary, to control consistency

IMG_2838 IMG_2838 IMG_2838 IMG_2838 IMG_2844~Step 1. Prior to mixing the batter in step 2 (no longer beforehand), in a medium bowl, use a fork to stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add two cups blueberries.  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold blueberries into the flour mixture.  Repeat with second two cups of blueberries -- this helps prevent berries from settling to bottom of cake when baking.

IMG_2829 IMG_2829 IMG_2829 IMG_2829~Step 2.  In a large bowl, place the butter, sugar, eggs and extracts.  On high speed of hand-held electric mixture cream these ingredients together, until fluffy and light colored, scraping down the bowl on all sides with the rubber spatula during the mixing process, about 1 minute.  Lower the mixer speed, add the ricotta cheese and thoroughly incorporate it.  Remove the mixer.

IMG_2847 IMG_2847 IMG_2847 IMG_2847~Step 3.  To incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, use a large rubber spatula to add and gently fold the flour/blueberry mixture into the butter/ricotta mixture in 2-3 increments. Transfer the cake batter to a 12-cup bundt pan that has been sprayed with no-stick spray.  Use the spatula to level the batter.  Place the pan on a baking pan that has been lined with a sheet of parchment -- this will keep the bottom of the cake from browning faster than the top.

IMG_2866 IMG_2866~ Step 4.  Bake cake on center rack of moderate 325º oven, 1 1/2 hours, or until a cake tester inserted into the center in several spots comes out clean. If, anytime after the first hour of baking, top appears to be over-browning, place an aluminum foil sheet loosely atop cake.  Remove from oven, place on a wire rack and cool cake, in pan, 60-75 minutes.  Use a paring knife to loosen cake around outside and inside perimeters.  Invert onto wire rack to cool completely, 3-4 additional hours -- this dense cake needs time to cool.

IMG_2881 IMG_2881 IMG_2881 IMG_2881 IMG_2881~Step 5.  To prepare the glaze, in a small bowl, stir the sugar, extracts and 3 tablespoons of milk.  Add additional milk, if and as necessary, by teaspoonfuls until a smooth, drizzly consistency is reached.  Cover with plastic wrap and set glaze aside for about 15 minutes -- this will ensure an extremely smooth glaze.  To glaze the cake, transfer the glaze to a measuring container with pourer spout, a pastry bag, or, a plastic squeeze bottle (my favorite). Using a back and forth motion, slowly drizzle the glaze over the surface of the cake.

Allow the glaze to "dry" (harden up a bit -- about 2 hours):

IMG_2889Slice, serve & savor the love only a bundt cake can give:

IMG_2898My Glazed Blueberry, Lemon & Ricotta Bundt Cake: Recipe yields 1, 10" bundt cake, and, depending on how thick or thin you slice it, 16-20 servings.

Special Equipment List: fork; large rubber spatula; hand-held electric mixer; 1, standard-size 12-cup bundt pan; 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pan; parchment paper; aluminum foil; cake tester; wire cooling rack; sharp paring knife

6a0120a8551282970b0240a4be9486200bCook's Note:  Blueberries are a fruit best served cooked.  Simmer down and read on.  When it comes to eating fresh, perfectly-ripe, high-quality, locally-grown berries hand-to-mouth, there are three seedier-types I enjoy more -- blackberries, strawberries and raspberries (in that order).  I love blueberries, but, it's my opinion that the blueberry is enhanced by cooking. ~ Love is Blueberry Oatmeal-Crumble Cookie Squares ~, and, this recipe, which contains two full pints, is loaded with blueberry flavor.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)

Comments

Good Morning Rose Marie -- This particular bundt cake recipe is my Joe's favorite bundt cake. He and I were disappointed that our own blueberry bushes didn't yield many berries this year (barely enough for eating out of hand), but, luckily, about half a mile from us, Tait Farm, a sprawling produce "ranch" that sells from A-Z all their own local, organic stuff, had plenty to purchase. Hope you and your Joe enjoy the cake!

I’m going to pick blueberries next weekend . I will definitely will be baking this soon. Thank you, Melanie.

Friend, you saved my life with this post! Could make more related articles? Greetings from your reader kevin duart of california

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