Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blueberry Buckle with Walnuts and Ginger

What is a "buckle," you may ask, upon reading the title of this recipe.  Indeed, I was curious as well.  I found the recipe in a feature on coffee cakes, and did some research to discover that in a buckle, fruit is sprinkled on top of the batter, as opposed to gently folded in, so that the batter "buckles" around the fruit as it cooks.  Another online source I found said that it has to do with the crumb or streusel mixture sprinkled on top, which gives the cake a "buckled" or crumpled appearance.  My before and after pictures below should give you a sense of what to expect it to look like.  Either way, it's enough to know that a buckle is a form of a coffee cake, and a delicious addition to breakfast, brunch, or dessert in your near future! 

For the crumbs:
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegan brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoons toasted and chopped walnuts
For the cake:
  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed vegan brown sugar
  • 3 and 1/2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Ener-G egg
  • 1/2 cup plain non-dairy milk
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vegan powdered sugar
1. To make the crumb topping, combine the first 3 ingredients in a small bowl, then cut in 1 tablespoon butter with a pastry blender until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Stir in the toasted walnuts; set aside. 

(Note: the quickest way to toast nuts is to place them in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan frequently so the nuts do not burn.  Rely on your sense of smell to tell you when the nuts are done!)

2. Lightly spoon 1 and 1/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife.  Combine the flour in a large bowl with the baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 3 and 1/2 tablespoons butter, the ginger, the vanilla extract, and the Ener-G egg; beat at medium speed until well blended.

4.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the sugar mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.

5. Pour the batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle the top with the frozen blueberries and the crumb mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour - a wooden pick inserted in the center at the end should come out clean.

6. Cool for ten minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then carefully remove from the pan.  I found it easiest to invert the cake onto one plate, then invert back onto a second plate for serving so it was right-side up again.  Sift the powdered sugar over the top of the cake before serving.  You can serve this while still warm, or let it come to room temperature.

Nutrition Info:
12 servings (1 wedge), Calories 189

Tasting Notes:
It was really the ginger that made this dish.  I've baked plenty of blueberry cakes/muffins/banana breads in the past, so much so that they lump together in my mind.  But the subtle ginger bite in each mouthful of this buckle made it a cross between a gingerbread and a coffee cake, and that made it delicious.


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