The season for blueberries is slowly arriving, and I absolutely love them. The dusty blue colour on the fresh fruit is beautiful, and the vibrant purple colour they turn when baked is gorgeous- and tasty too. Do any of you grow blueberries? I'm thinking of adding them to the garden, but I've heard they can be tricky to get to fruit.
I'd painted this cheese board with blueberries about 6 years ago, it stays at my Mum's along with most of my porcelain painting. For those of you who've never seen much of porcelain painting or onglaze painting or china painting, it's like watercolour painting in style that is fired onto porcelain or bone china. I will post a little more about my absolute passion for porcelain another time. But, basically porcelain painting uses a technique of building up fine layers of paint which are fired in a kiln, after each layer is painted. The paint is fired at a high temperature so that the lead based paints seep into the layer of porcelain, so that when it cools, it can't be removed. I'll be returning to painting again on china when my studio is finished (that's another story for a big cuppa and piece of cake, and I hope you'll join me then!)
BACK TO CAKE! Blueberries and lemons make a really fresh feel, perfect combination of tart and sweet, with colours resembling spring and sunshine! The most difficult part of baking with fresh bluberries is having enough for the recipe...I really need to stop using the excuse of 'tasting them to make sure they're ripe.'
And yes, the lemon creamer in the picture is one of my handpainted porcelain pieces too, it sits on my kitchen bench next to other object d'Art.
For this cake I used a rich vanilla bundt batter or you could use any butter cake or pound cake basic recipe, to which I added about 1/2 cup lemon juice (start with 1/3 first and adjust the taste as you go, depending on the season, your lemons will vary in flavour and intensity) and 2-3 tablespoons of freshly grated lemon rind, and stirred them at the end of the batter mixing process. Then I carefully folded through about 1 cup of blueberries- fresh if you have them or frozen if they're not in season. Don't stir them through too much or you can break up the fruit too much- particularly if they're frozen.
The frosting was made with a 250g tub of light cream cheese (easier to mix by hand and I don't need to pull out the electric beaters) about 3/4 cup of sifted icing sugar and 1/8-1/4 cup of lemon juice, with a dash of good quality pure vanilla essence. Whisk vigorously until smooth and oozey in consistency, not runny. Spread icing over cake and let set.
Enjoy, and blissful blueberry cake baking!