Thursday, August 15, 2013

A simply elegant Wild Maine Blueberry Spongecake with Sticky Toffee Pudding Sauce!

You can see why I'm calling this sponge cake! I have adapted and added to a very simple recipe called "Huguenot Torte" from the book "Sundays at Moosewood restaurant" - I made the recipe to the letter first time around and then second time I amended it with the addition of one more egg white for volume, twice the amount of blueberries and nixed the pecans as I felt the pecans overwhelmed the taste and texture of the cake, with just blueberries the flavour really shone through - then I added the piece de resistance of Sticky Toffee Pudding Sauce, for what couldn't be improved with it's addition??

Herewith I give you my version with the alternative of pecans if you'd like to try it that way too:
Before you start the recipe do avail yourself of a small - 6" round - baking tin, butter it and then line it with parchment which you butter again - the first time I made the recipe I didn't do this (the book did not mention doing it so I thought it was not necessary) and it was very hard to manipulate the cake out of the pan - with the parchment it was easy peasy!!

HAVE ALL YOUR INGREDIENTS AT ROOM TEMPERATURE this helps infinitely with the volume achieved when whisking the eggs!

Preheat oven to 325F

INGREDIENTS: Makes 4 small servings
1 whole egg

1 egg white

4oz/1 cup of blueberries
(or if you want to try as the original recipe 2oz/ 1/2 cup blueberries and 2oz/ 1/2 cup toasted pecans broken into pieces)

2 1/2oz/scant 1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

2oz/1/2 cup white flour

a goodly grating of nutmeg

a pinch of salt

1. Whisk, whisk, whisk the whole egg and egg white together with great aplomb until it achieves great volume - I found this was helped by popping the bowl with the eggs into another larger bowl with a couple of inches of warm water in it....

2. Add the sugar bit by bit and whisk in between additions until when you lift the whisk out of the mix it leaves a marked trail thus:
 3. Sift baking powder, a pinch of salt, grated nutmeg and the flour together and then fold into the egg mix in three batches - be gentle and don't mix too much or you'll deflate the volume - don't worry if not all the dry ingredients aren't perfectly mixed through - it will work out fine!

4. Add the blueberries in one go and gently fold through.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan:
6. Bob into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until it smells good and the top is nicely browned and set to the touch:
7. Leave in the pan for about 10 minutes then remove with the aid of the parchment, remove the parchment and leave on a cooling rack until completely cooled.

In the meantime make the 
STICKY TOFFEE SAUCE:

2 1/2oz/ heaped 1/4 cup brown sugar

 1 1/2 oz / 3 tablespoons salted butter

2 tablespoons cream or half and half

1. Put all three ingredients in a pan to melt together, mix and keep mixing whilst letting it bubble a couple of minutes until it gets a bit thick - allow to cool and then pour on top of the cake:
Now whip up a good 1/2 cup/4 fluid ounces of heavy/double cream sweetened with a tablespoon or so of sugar and dollop on top of your cake in a random but pretty mound:
Here's a picture of the nice crumbly surface of the cake which has the texture of a macaron:
This is the one I had a hard time removing from the pan when I didn't use parchment so it cracked a lot and below is a pic of the original pecan and blueberry version showing the inside texture, it was a gloomy day so I took the cake outside to photograph:
..and the better, in my humble opinion, version with more blueberries and no pecans:
and a close up of the lovely light texture:
I do hope you try this cake - it's ever so easy - there's so little in it for the size of cake it makes and it's really very lovely. I also tried it again yesterday and this time I used raisins - it wasn't as good as with the blueberries but it was still VERY good.

BTW the blue pattern you see in these photographs, my "Blue Rhapsody" can be purchased on any number of items at my CafePress shop HERE and also on fabric, wrapping paper, decals and wallpaper at my Spoonflower shop HERE - thanks!! 
HAPPY BAKING!! Let me know if you make it - Patricia
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