Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Going Patriotic for Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance and reverence for those who gave their lives to give us our freedom. My own family has been fortunate enough to have not lost anyone in service, but we nonetheless honor those who have fallen. At the same time, the day is a celebration of our freedom. Memorial Day parties have become an inherent part of our culture, and what better way to celebrate then with a cake that pays homage to the Red, the White, and the Blue?

I've moved to a small apartment that I'm subletting for the summer, so this cake was the test-run on using the new kitchen. I'm going to take a small tangent to talk about ovens - for the past 12 months, I was using an electric oven and stove. This apartment I'm subletting has a gas oven and stove. Basically I am in LOVE with gas. The overall efficiency is ten times better than electric. I was always having to worry about the outside of my cakes burning, but not with this new oven!
I was looking for a "summery" cake as the weather has been (as of late) absolutely gorgeous! For Boston, that's quite a feat. Whenever I think of summer desserts, berries is almost always my go-to. I had just bought a whole crate of fresh blueberries and figured that would be perfect. I didn't want to make a pie, and shortcake felt too Betty Crocker for me. When I came across this recipe, I knew that not only was it exactly what I wanted but it was also perfect for Memorial Day.

Based on the photo, you can't tell that melted white chocolate is also incorporated into the dough. And let me tell you, any time a recipe calls for melted chocolate to be added you can 9 times out of 10 bet it will be a winner. This recipe came from a website a frequent quite often called Very Best Baking. It has a collection of recipes sponsored by Nestle, Carnation, and Libby's - three companies whose ingredients any baker should be more than familiar with.

A few suggestions with this cake - use fresh lemon. I used packaged lemon juice, and the taste was tangible in the finished product, but I imagine it would have added an extra kick with the zest. if you plan to use fresh blueberries, toss them in a bowl with about a tablespoon of flour - this will guarantee they don't sink during the baking process. I omitted the lemon extract in the glaze - it just seemed superfluous. This is a great recipe, and you will certainly wow your guests with both the taste and presentation of this cake!

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Glaze and Strawberries
Adapted from VeryBestBaking.com
Serves 12 - 14


  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) white chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon peel (about 4 medium lemons; I used 2 tbsp juice)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/3 cups whole milk + 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (optional; I omitted this)
  • 2 cups fresh whole strawberries (one crate will suffice for decoration)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour 10-cup Bundt pan.

  2. Melt 1 cup morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute, checking every 20 seconds to prevent burning. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Cool slightly.

  3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Beat sugar, butter and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in lemon peel (or lemon juice) and melted morsels. Gradually beat in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk just until combined, beginning and ending with the flour. Pour half of batter into prepared Bundt pan. Toss blueberries with 1 tbsp flour and sprinkle over batter; top with remaining batter and smooth down top.

  4. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely. Transfer to serving platter.

  5. Melt remaining 1 cup morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Drizzle over cake; allow to set for a few minutes. Place strawberries in center of cake before serving.

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