White Chocolate Blueberry Cake

Since I started baking and then much after, when I opened this blog, I've been asked the following question more times than I can count: "What's your favorite thing to bake?" 

Seems like a simple enough question, right? The truth is, though, I was never sure how to answer this -- I sort of liked baking everything, from tooth-achingly sweet blondies to intensely bittersweet brownies, and I wasn't one to play favorites, after all. Anyways, desserts were made of the same basic ingredients (butter, flour, sugar, eggs) just in different quantities, and all seemed to have the same uplifting effect on the people who ate them, a shortbread cookie or cupcake always leaving a smile in their sugary wake (have you ever seen a sad person with a cookie?! Exactly.) As a result, I always answered this question with a vague "Oh, I like baking everything!" Mhm.

But I'm older now, wiser, a mature 28, and after three solid years of blogging, and therefore, a whole lot of baking, I've finally figured out what it is I like to bake most, what I gravitate towards, and what makes me, the baker, happiest -- so here it goes --

Simple, everyday, cakes, or rather, this Gingerbread Cake, this Lemon, Ricotta, and Olive Oil Cake, and this Chocolate Loaf Cake (among the many others on this blog) are my very favorite sort of things to bake. Now, don't get me wrong -- there's nothing wrong with a fancy layer cake every once in a while -- but I think my years in Italy, where desserts tend to be on the simpler side, have made me prefer an uncomplicated dessert to an over-the-top one. My preferred cake is not lofty, layered, and elaborate, but rather unadorned, understated, and barely sweet, where the flavor -- whether it be citrus or chocolate or vanilla -- is allowed to shine. These sorts of cakes are quick to whip up, portable, with no frosting to be made or layers to stack, baked in loaf pans or bundt pans, and endlessly versatile. Plus, its not hard to figure out the appeal of a cake that's quick to mix up, can be eaten warm out of the oven, and that's at home at breakfast as it is for dessert, now is it? 

So! Today's White Chocolate Blueberry Cake is one of these simple, everyday cakes that I'm so pleased to bake. I'd had the combination of blueberry and white chocolate in my head for a while (I have that running list) and the result was this cake, with a dense, moist texture, a (not too) sweet vanilla flavor, and lots and lots of sweet juicy blueberries, their bright vibrant flavor waking up the mild white chocolate in a match-made-in-heaven sort of way. This cake comes together in no time at all -- you just melt everything together on the stove, then add a few more ingredients -- is extremely versatile, and, of course, is superbly delicious. Make this and you won't be sorry. 

A couple of notes: This cake is very flexible; you could replace raspberries for the blueberries to make a White Chocolate Raspberry Cake, or leave out the fruit all together and add some espresso powder (about 5 teaspoons, dissolved in two tablespoons water) for a White Chocolate Mocha Cake. I've also made it with semi-sweet chocolate instead of the white chocolate, leaving out the fruit, adding the above mentioned espresso powder and about 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips to make a Chocolate Chip Mocha Cake that is reminiscent of a brownie. Swoon.


WHITE CHOCOLATE BLUEBERRY CAKE

Ingredients:
300 grams (10.5 ounces) white chocolate, chopped
200 grams (7 ounces) butter
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F/160C. Grease a bundt pan with some butter and set aside. 

Place chocolate, butter, milk, and sugar in a bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and stir occasionally. You can also just do this on a pan on the stove (that’s what I usually do) as long as you’re careful the chocolate doesn’t burn. Remove the pan from the heat when chocolate and butter have melted, and stir mixture until completely smooth. Allow mixture to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Pour into a large bowl.
Add the vanilla and eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined.
In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add one cup of the flour mixture to the chocolate and stir until a smooth paste forms. Repeat with another cup of the chocolate mixture. Add remaining chocolate mixture and stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake for 45 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean without any batter. If the cake is browning too much while baking, cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack to room temperature before turning it out of the pan. 
Serve dusted with powdered sugar. Serves 10-12.
Recipe adapted from www.prettysimplesweet.com.



























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