Blueberries came to public attention as the first food to be lauded as a superfood’ several years ago, while not really popular here, and more familiar to us as something you ate in a muffin – not exactly the healthiest medium, but balance is everything! From a professional point of view, I believe that all foods are super foods in their natural, fresh state – that much should be clear from how I write about them – bursting with a wide range of nutrients and enzymes which work synergistically in and for our bodies.
Blueberries are rightly known as potent anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, heart-healthy berries because of their antioxidant anthocyanin content – the darker the colour, the more powerful the fruit (or veg) is. These little purple spheres offer other benefits too. In spite of being a fruit, they have a positive effect on the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetes sufferers, helping to regulate blood sugar when eaten with other low GI fruit three times a day. Another very interesting area of research has linked blueberries with improved cognitive function. I can think of less delicious ways to improve memory!
So, to celebrate how super blueberries are, and in the spirit of a little of what we fancy doing us good, how about a bit of blueberry baking with this cake; it goes a little further than muffins, with yogurt to keep the cake extra moist, and the beautiful purple flecks in the cake, topped by lavender-shaded icing, are lovely. Enjoy!
175g unsalted butter (room temperature)
175g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
225g self-raising flour
150g Greek yogurt,
150g blueberries, plus a few to garnish
a little water
a tbsp sugar
250g unsalted butter (room temperature)
750g icing sugar
75g blueberry yogurt
a little milk (optional)
violet food colouring
Prepare three 15cm round loose bottom cake tins and line with baking paper. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk after each. Add the vanilla, then fold in the flour, followed by the yogurt and blueberries. Distribute between the tins and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and springy to touch. Test each cake with a skewer in the centre – a clean skewer means a cooked cake. Cool completely before removing from the tins. To make the syrup put the blueberries, sugar and water in a small pan, and simmer until you have a thick syrup with some bits of blueberry still intact. Cool.
Beat the butter with the icing sugar and combine with the yogurt – add a little milk if the mixture needs loosening a little. Mix in the food colouring to get the colour you wish (and make it either consistent or marbled!).
To assemble the cake, place one of the cakes onto the serving plate, drizzle with half of the syrup, then spread a quarter of the icing onto the cake, using a palette knife. Place another cake on top, and repeat the process. Ice the top of the final layer before placing onto the stack, then use the last quarter of icing to fill the sides. Top with a few blueberries, and serve.
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