08 July 2009

Seriously, here

One of the major things I miss about living anywhere else but here (and Paris) is the absence of a personal grill. Man, do I love grilled food. But who's kidding whom? We all love grilled food. So last night, when we were invited to an impromptu backyard/patio barbecue, we dropped everything else and hightailed it over there. And it was such a pleasant evening--sitting around with wine and beer, the tantalizing aroma of fat sizzling on hot coals, looking up at a quickly overcasting sky, it was great. I offered to bring dessert. Quelle surprise!

Even though Deb at the Smitten Kitchen only posted this recipe yesterday, I couldn't resist making it immediately. (By the way, how much do you love the Smitten Kitchen? I mean, seriously, here.) I had blueberries lying around from my less-than-stellar foray to the grocery store, and leftover buttermilk from my cherry cake from a few weeks ago, so there was nothing standing in my way! (I love knowing that I have all the ingredients for something. Running to the store can be the pits.)

And our cake? Light, luscious, slightly caramelized from the sugar topping--this may be my new favorite dessert. We all had seconds. More than a few of us surreptitiously went back for (small!) thirds. As one of our friends described it, it tasted fresh--not heavy, not cloying, just fresh. With or without all the baited boys that hang around the door.

Blueberry Boy Bait, adapted from the Smitten Kitchen

2 cups all purpose flour, + 1 tablespoon, set aside
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks/ 16 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar (use vanilla sugar if you've got it)
3 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup blueberries (if frozen do not defrost first

1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup sugar (vanilla, again, if you've got it)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Whisk two cups flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugars and butter until light and fluffy; add eggs, one at at time, stirring until just incorporated. Beat in one third of the flour mixture in, and stir until just added; add half of the milk, and stir in. Repeat, ending with the flour mixture. Toss blueberries with remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold in to the batter with a spatula. Spread batter into prepared pan.

3. Scatter remaining blueberries over the top of the batter. In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Let rest in pan 20 minutes, then turn out and let cool completely.

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