For the past six weeks every Tuesday evening I’ve been making the pilgrimage from my East London flat to Leiths Cookery School, somewhere West for the brilliantly informative Food Styling course run by BBC Good Food’s Sarah Cook. Our final session was on Saturday and all the group had to prepare and style a dish of our choice, which would then be photographed by Stuart Ovenden.
I knew early on that I wanted to make a cake and for the recipe to then appear here, but I also wanted it to be a recipe of my own. Of course there are probably thousands of other blueberry cake recipes, all using very similar ingredients but I promise I came up with this myself and tested it until I had the perfect recipe to share with you.
Blueberry & Vanilla Cake
260g softened butter
260g golden caster sugar
4 Large Eggs
3 tsp vanilla paste
260g sifted self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tbsp soured cream
200g blueberries dusted in tsp flour
Blueberry Cream Cheese Filling
2 tbsp icing Sugar
100g softened cream cheese
200g icing Sugar
Firstly you’ll need to lightly grease and line two 20cm cake tins and put them to one side.
Cream your softened butter and sugar together until they are light, fluffy and pale in colour. In a glass beat together all 4 eggs and the vanilla paste and then slowly add to your butter & sugar, a little at a time and beat throughly.
Sift your flour, baking powder & salt into your mixture and gently fold – once all the flour is folded in add the sour cream and gently fold that in too.
Turn your oven on to 180°c and divide your mixture evenly between your two tins.
Next comes the hard bit – the darn blueberries. To stop them all from sinking to the bottom you need to put them in at different levels, so dust them in flour and take about a quarter and place them evenly over each mixture and push them in. Then take about half of whats left, I like to throw these ones firmly at each mixture or you can push them in a tiny amount, again evenly spacing them out and then the final ones place them gingerly on top of the mixture.
Pop both in the oven and bake for between 30 – 35 minutes. The sponge should be golden and springy if touched lightly with your finger and a skewer will come out clean.
Once cooked place them on a cooling rack and let them cool for 10 minutes or so until you remove them from their tins.
Once the cake is cooled place your blueberries in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar and gentle heat them, mashing them with the back of a wooden spoon as they heat – after about five minutes take them off the heat and blend them, using a hand blender into a beautiful purpley syrup – once its cooled sift your icing sugar into a separate bowl and carefully mix the cream cheese and blueberry syrup together.
All that is left to do is sandwich the two cakes together with the cream cheese filling and dust the top with icing sugar.