It’s a Blue, Blue Christmas

Happy holidays everyone. I hope Santa or Hanukkah Harry was good to you, but more importantly, I hope you were able to spend time with good family, friends, and food. I spent a fabulous Christmas Eve, with my big sister and brother-in-law, my boyfriend, and my parents, and naturally, I made dessert. Dessert for 6 with varied tastes doesn’t make planning easy. I’m related to the only two women in the world who don’t care for chocolate, and I’m involved with a man who doesn’t like the fun stuff, like coconut and banana. So lame.

So I had to find something neutral that could still be fun, delicious, and beautiful. I found blue velvet.

I discovered the blue velvet cake recipe on another fabulous blog, Adventures in Cooking,  and I thought it would be fun to try since blueberries seemed to get the approval of all members of The Family. The cake’s texture is similar to Angel Food because a meringue is incorporated into the batter, and the flavor is soft and full of blueberry. The cream cheese icing is, hands down, the best recipe I have ever tried because it has slightly more butter and slightly less sugar than most other variations. I’ll be using that from now on. It was a lovely combination that was much lighter than the desserts I originally had in mind (lots of peanut butter and chocolate), and I was able to get a little creative with blue gel and a paint brush.

Stuff You’ll Need

Makes 2 9″ round cakes; serves 10-12

For the Cake

  • 1 and 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1 and 1/4 cups ultra-fine sugar (I used granulated)
  • 11 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Sky Blue gel coloring from Wilton
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 greased 9″ round cake pans

For the Frosting

  • 1 stick plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract

For the Syrup

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest Blueberry Jam, or other good quality blueberry jam
  • Food procesor or blender

How to Do It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans.
  2. Sift the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl, and set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg whites, cream of tarter, and salt until soft peaks form.
  3. Add the remainder of the sugar and the blue coloring (continue to add until the desired color is achieved-I added 4-5 large drops of coloring), and continue to beat until the mixture can hold stiff peaks, about 4 minutes.
  4.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the meringue, folding 1/4 cup in at a time. Do not beat or whip the mixture, and be careful not to deflate the meringue. When all the ingredients are incoporated, fold in the blueberries.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased caked pans, and bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the tops of the cakes bounce bake slightly when pressed. Cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a plate to cool (these are too soft and sticky for wire racks).
  6. While the cake is baking and cooling, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar until all the ingredients are blended and creamy. Chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to firm the frosting a little before icing the cakes.
  7. Transfer the cake layers to plates, and refrigerate for 30 minutes before icing. Because of the soft texture, the cake is more delicate and could be damaged if it’s iced while warm.
  8. While the cake layers are cooling, make the blueberry syrup by cooking the blueberries, sugar, and water in a small saucepan over low heat for about 8 minutes or until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture has thickened slightly. Continuously break apart the blueberries by pressing them with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, and pour the mixture into a food processor with the blueberry jam. Blend until smooth. Place in a bowl, and chill the syrup until it’s completely cooled.
  9. Plate the first layer of cake, and frost it with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes so the icing hardens slightly.
  10. Frost the bottom layer of cake with another layer of frosting, and spoon a thin layer of blueberry syrup across the top of the layer without reaching the edges. Place the second layer on top of the cake, and frost it with a thin layer of cream cheese frosting. Refrigerate the cake for 10-15 minutes so the frosting can harden slightly.
  11. Remove the cake from the fridge, and frost it with a thicker layer of cream cheese icing. If you want to make the cake a little fancy, use a small, thin paint brush, and paint swirls of color into the icing. Be sure to clean the brush between each dip into the color to avoid getting frosting in the gel and to avoid diluting the color on the cake.
  12. After painting the cake, pour a little blueberry syrup on top of the cake in the center, and cover with fresh blueberries. Sprinkle with silver sugar.

Tip: By frosting the cake with a thin layer of frosting and refrigerating it, you’re creating a “crumb coat”. This helps keep your top layer of frosting smooth and free of any crumbs from the cake. It also adds more frosting to the cake 😉

Comments

  1. This is just beautiful and I bet it was really delicious too! Yum.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR….From My Blog to Yours! Wishing you all good things like peace, happiness and tons of success in 2012.

  2. That was a great cake. Too pretty to cut, but great tasting once you did.

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