Chocoholics are fierce. I know several who would give up a limb for just one tiny bite, I promise. This time of year, spring fever provokes a wandering eye over to the vanilla camp where sweet is not so showy. There find a cake so simple it’s ridiculous.
Unadorned, maybe this leans a bit boring. The testers in this house didn’t think so-they went at the cake before I could even try any embellishment, like one to use up some frozen wild blueberries lurking around in the freezer. Heart of the smoothie, these berries cooked up in a sauce are all about kicking winter’s rear right on out the door.
Full confession: I’m a vanilla freak and this cake has a double shot. It also has a delicious outer coating that may fool you for a moment. You may think it is over-baked. Nope. Inside is a moist and delicious crumb. My girls immediately pronounced it “GREEK CAKE” as it reminds them of many delicious treats made by their Yiayia.
The only pronouncement I made was: AWESOME.
Double Vanilla Cake with Warm Blueberry Sauce
adapted from Posie Hardwood
What you need:
For the cake:
- 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting the pan
- 3 eggs, warmed slightly
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
For the blueberry sauce:
- 2½ cups frozen wild blueberries
- ¼ cup water plus another ¼ cup for cornstarch mix
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch round cake pan and dust it with granulated sugar. Set aside.
- If your eggs are cold, place them in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes.
- Beat the eggs with the sugar in mixer for 5 minutes until pale and almost doubled in size.
- Add the vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract and salt. Mix gently.
- Sift the flour over the egg mixture. Using a spatula, gently fold the flour into the batter.
- Add the melted butter to the batter and fold gently but thoroughly using a spatula.
- Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake should be nice and golden on the top.
- Run a knife around the edges of the pan and let the cake cool for 5 minutes before turning onto wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve with warm blueberry sauce.
For blueberry sauce:
In a small bowl combine cornstarch with 1/4 cup very cold water. Set aside. In a medium pot bring berries, water, OJ, and sugar to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir gently for 4 minutes until sauce thickens.
Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract and cinnamon.
Serve warm over this double vanilla cake. Or a fancy-pants pancake brunch. Or another vanilla favourite: vanilla bean ice cream.
From spring last year: Apricot-Blueberry Crumble
From spring two years ago: Maple glazed apple cake