My neighbors are on vacation so I am, as I have for the past ten years, pet-sitting and watering their garden while they are out of town. It's a precious thing to have the trust of good neighbors--they have the key to my house, just as I have the key to theirs.
As a lovely little bonus for my help, they insist that I partake of whatever is ripe in their small garden. Last evening, I stood happily in their yard eating blueberries, unwashed and fresh from the branch, still warm from the afternoon sun. And I also picked spears of asparagus to enjoy with my supper. This morning, I brought home beautifully yellow summer squash for breakfast. But I also brought something else because I had a bright idea: more berries!
Early this morning I remembered those wonderful blueberries, and I imagined adapting the chocolate cake recipe that I used recently (see: Almost Forgetting Fifth Sunday) to make a blueberry coffee cake. And that's just what I did.
~*~ Bonus Blueberry Cake ~*~
1 3/4 cups flour + 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon vinegar
6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
Oil an 8-inch square pan. Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Add all dry ingredients together and stir until blended. Add all wet ingredients to dry and stir until fairly smooth.
Rinse fresh berries and pat dry with papertowel. Dredge berries with flour to help prevent them sinking in the batter. Fold floured berries into batter. Pour into prepared baking pan.
In a small bowl, cut softened butter into flour and brown sugar until it resembles cornmeal in texture. Sprinkle over batter. Add Secret Ingredient.
Bake for about 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. (Note: I started testing at 40 minutes and actually baked the cake for nearly 55 minutes.)
.....*Ready to discover that Secret Ingredient? It's Sea Salt. I keep a jar filled with mixed fine and coarse Sea Salt. I sprinkle just a little on baked toppings of many kinds. It adds a tiny extra kick to boost flavor--kinda like the idea behind salted caramel.
Another note: although I intended the topping to be a sort of streusel, it soaked instead into the cake. This turned out to be a tasty addition anyway and not a failure at all.
I am not a great cook, nor even a really good one. I just like messing about in the kitchen using whatever comes to hand--in fact I really have to do that because it's budget-friendly and it shows gratitude for what I'm given. Thus any recipes I come up with may want adapting to suit your needs or to suit your greater talent. In any case, I hope you have a chance to enjoy fresh blueberries soon, too.