Happy Friday everybody! Who’s excited for the long weekend? I sure can’t wait for the weekend to start. This week’s featured blogger for Friday Favs is Hannah from BitterSweet. What a cute name for a blog, right? I found Hannah’s blog back when I first learned that I was lactose intolerant. I wanted to continue baking cupcakes, so I started getting into vegan baking. Thanks to Google, I came across one of Hannah’s cookbooks – My Sweet Vegan, which Hannah published before starting college. Then I found her blog and was instantly hooked.
Greetings, readers and fans of Beantown Baker! My name is Hannah, and I blog over at BitterSweet. I’ve written two cookbooks, My Sweet Vegan and Vegan Desserts, with a third on the way. Needless to say, my passion in life is writing recipes and photographing the results- Especially if they’re sweet! I’m honored that Jen invited me to share a little taste of my work in this lovely space here, and hope you all enjoy it as well.
Slim pickings. Literally, that’s what we found after embarking on our much-anticipated annual blueberry picking adventure. We’re spoiled with riches of wild raspberries all across our county, but blueberries? Those round, sweet gems are a bit harder to come by, and even the farms were sorely lacking this year. After being turned away due to poor picking conditions once already, we were determined not to go home empty handed yet again.
Arriving near the tail-end of their growing season, it’s reasonable to expect a less than bountiful harvest, but this was downright pitiful. Shriveled, grey berries remained where they once blossomed and were forgotten, while others had over-ripened to the point of bursting, like weak balloons filled with shaving cream. Regardless, with a bit of careful, diligent plucking, there were still enough berries to fill a small bucket, and satisfy the peckish picker, of course.
The effort, though more demanding than usual, was rewarded by modest heap of fresh, juicy blueberries, far more flavorful than anything store bought. After hungrily wolfing down about half of our plunder whole and plain, I was itching to make more of this seasonal treasure. Colorful filling to sandwich cookies started the wheels in motion, but I wanted more; something seriously blueberry-filled, rich and ripe.
Cake, the universal party centerpiece, fit the bill with ease. More of a simple tea cake or even breakfast treat, white whole wheat flour contributes a more hearty texture, without any overbearing wheat flavor. Touches of lemon brighten up the soft and tender bundt, although orange could also be a delightful accent instead. Though it may sound unremarkable on paper, trust me, the cut slices are anything but ordinary.
Marbled in striking blue and golden tones, this easy yet stunning dessert is like summer condensed into cake form. Now that the days have begun to cool off considerably, a warm oven is a welcome thing again, and there’s never been a better time to bake with blueberries. Handpicked berries or not, this is one recipe that’s sure to make repeat appearances in kitchen, many times over.
Yield: Serves 12-14
3 Cups White Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Plain, Unsweetened Vegan Yogurt
1 cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Cups Blueberries, Divided
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
3 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease and flour a 10-cup capacity bundt pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and sugar. Separately, mix the olive oil, "yogurt," non-dairy milk, vinegar, and vanilla to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry, and with a wide spatula, fold the two together just until you achieve a fairly smooth batter. A few lumps are just fine; be careful not to over-mix. Divide the batter equally into two parts, pouring half off into a separate bowl.
Turning your attention now to the blueberries, toss 1 cup of them into your blender or food processor, along with the lemon juice. Thoroughly puree, until smooth but still with their naturally rough, slightly seedy texture intact. Add the blended berries into one of the bowls of batter, along with the remaining 1/2 cup of whole blueberries, and stir well to fully incorporate.
With a clean spatula, mix the lemon zest into the other bowl of batter until distributed throughout.
Lay down a thin layer of the blueberry batter in small dollops along the bottom of your prepared bundt pan. Top that with a ribbon of the lemon batter; it's fine if it doesn't entirely cover, but do your best to keep them neat and even. Repeat as many times as possible, until you run out of batter. Take a spatula and swirl it through the whole assemblage ONLY ONCE to create a neat but discernible swirl throughout the cake.
Move the whole bundt into the center of your oven, and bake for 60 - 70 minutes, until a wooden dowel inserted into the center of the cake pulls out clean. Let cool completely in the pan, and then turn out on a wire rack.
To finish the cake off, a thin glaze of lemon syrup is a nice touch to keep everything moist. Simply place both the lemon juice and sugar in a small sauce pan, and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved. Brush the syrup evenly over the whole bundt- Chances are you won't need it all. (Save the extra for sweetening tea!) Slice and serve right away, or store it covered, in the fridge, for 4 - 5 days.