Chief's Blueberry Muffin Cake

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Chief Longwind Of The North

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Class, class, claass, quiet! Thank you.

Ok, the lesson is in session. I made this cake completely without a recipe, drawing on what I know about how ingredients work together. The cake came out beautifully. So, let's go over how this works.

I know that for every cup of flour, 1/2 tsp. of salt gives the correct flavor to baked goods. I also know that the typed of flour, plus added ingredients such as sugar, and leavening agents define the crumb. Cooking oil define how moist it is. Oven temperature plays an important roll as well.

First, flour: cake flour contains more starch, and less protein than does all purpose flour, giving a softer, and finer crumb. All purpose flour gives a more substantial, more dense crumb, usually a bit coarser as well. I wanted the texture of a good muffin, so I opted for all purpose flour.

Eggs bind the batter, and enhance texture. Most cake recipes call for one large egg per cup of flour.

Sugar both flavors, and helps the structure of the cake crumb.

Baking soda requires an acidic ingredient, such as cream of tarter, or buttermilk to release the CO2 bubbles that are captured by the proteins to make the cake rise. Baking powder has both alkali, and acid already combined. Double acting baking powder contain ingredients that activate the leavening power when water is added, and another set of ingredients that don't activate until heat is applied.

Oil. not water, makes for a moist cake. I use 3 tbs. oil per cup of flour.

How long the batter is beaten also affects the crumb. As the wet flour is beaten, gluten develops, and makes for a heavier end result. This is why for my pancakes, the wet and dry ingredients are whisked only long enough to combine the, leaving small lumps that disappear while cooking. The result is very fluffy, tender, and moist pancakes. Muffins, on the other hand, are more dense, with a coarser crumb. I whisk muffin batter until smooth. Also, I add less liquid than for pancake batter, again, making the more substantial (remember, the oil is what makes them moist.

Berries- fresh, frozen, or canned blueberries contain a lot of water, and can create a soggy crumb. Canned blueberry pie filling is fortified with starches that hold the water, keeping it from leaching into the cake.

Vanilla extract improves the flavor.

Ok, now that I've explained the science behind this cake, Let's make it.

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tbs. Clabber Girl Double Acting baking powder
1/2 cup table sugar
1 1/4 cup water
2 large eggs
6 tbs. cooking oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 14 oz. can blueberry pie filling
2 tbs. butter (for spreading in the cake pan)

Preheat oven to 350' F.
Coat the inside of a 9 by 11 cake pan eith the butter.
Combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to evenly combine ingredients.

Add the eggs, water, vanilla, and cooking oil to the bow. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the pie filling into the cake pan, making an even layer. Gently pour the batter over the pie filling, taking care to make an even layer on to, without disturbing the pie filling layer. Place into the oven and bake until the cake become fragrant (about 20 to 25 minutes. I didn't time it.) Rest by inserting a butter knife into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. The top should be medium brown in color. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 hours. serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

My cake had the texture, and flavor of a great blueberry muffin, and came out of the cake pan very easily, pie filling and all. My grandkids, and DIL loved it. I had a small piece, and am very satisfied with the results.

This cake is an example showing that if you understand how various ingredients, and techniques play together, you can create your own delicious recipes. Go ahead and give this one a try, maybe with some Chantilly cream on top, and a scoop of ice cream on the side.

I would suggest you could use other pie fillings, such as lemon, strawberry, cherry, etc., and create your own masterpiece. Add cinnamon, and nutmeg over an apple pie filling, or include cocoa powder over cherry. Make it yours. Be creative.

Seeeeya: Chief Longwind of the North
 

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