In the Oven: Nonnie’s Blueberry Buckle

Next up — we’re celebrating blueberries with Nonnie’s Blueberry Buckle!

Posting Date is August 30!

Nonnie's Blueberry Buckle
Yield: 12 generous servings
For the Blueberry Cake
  • 1½ cups (170 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups (170 g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 ml) canola oil
  • 2 ounces (½ stick/55 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (115 g) sour cream
  • 4 cups (14 ounces/395 g) fresh blueberries
For the Cinnamon Topping
  • ¾ cup (165 g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup (40 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄3 cup (40 g) cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 ounces (¾ stick/85 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Make the Blueberry Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Generously spray the inside of a 10-cup (2.4-L) tube pan with a removable bottom with nonstick cooking spray; alternatively, butter it thoroughly, dust it with flour, and knock out the excess flour. (You can make this cake in a tube pan without a removable bottom or a 12-cup Bundt pan; just make sure it is extra well greased.) If you want to ensure supersimple removal, you can cut out a ring of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking powder, salt, ginger, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar, oil, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and egg yolk and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the vanilla and lemon zest, and beat again for 10 seconds.
  4. Measure out the cream into a glass measuring cup. Add the sour cream and whisk until combined. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture in the standing mixer in three parts, alternating with the cream mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture; beat at medium speed after each addition until incorporated, 10 to 15 seconds.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the blueberries into the batter, which will be very thick, and transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Smooth the top with an offset spatula and prepare the topping.
Make the Cinnamon Topping
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, both flours, and cinnamon (do not worry if large pieces of the sugar remain). Drizzle the butter over the mixture and use your very clean hands to pick up the mixture, squeeze it in your fist, and let the mixture fall back into the bowl, repeating until the topping comes together.
  2. Pinch off chunks of the topping and drop them over the top of the buckle batter. Use all of the topping and cover the batter completely.
  3. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, 50 to 60 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a paring knife, then push the bottom of the pan up to release the cake. Use the knife to loosen and remove the cake from the bottom of the pan, then cool completely, topping side up, on a cooling rack.
How to store: The cake can be stored, tightly covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days.


In the Oven: Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches

We’re making ice cream sandwiches next – not just any ol’ ice cream sandwiches but fancy ones, with brioche instead of cookies.

Posting date is August 16!

Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: 12 ice cream sandwiches
For the Brioche
  • 1¾ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2¾ cups (385 g) bread flour
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 10 ounces (2½ sticks/285 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into 2-tablespoon-size pieces, plus more for the pan
For the Assembly
  • 1 recipe Brown Sugar Praline Ice Cream (see page 59), or 2 to 3 pints (946 ml to 1.4 L) of your favorite ice cream or gelato
Make the Brioche
  1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the yeast with ½ cup (70 grams) of the bread flour. Add the milk, and mix on low speed until combined. Turn off the mixer, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside for 45 to 60 minutes so the mixture can ferment.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and salt with the remaining bread flour.
  3. Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Add the flour mixture and eggs to the bowl. Mix on low the speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to medium-high. Mix until a dough forms and begins to pull cleanly from the sides and bottom of the bowl, 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, the dough will have a nice sheen and look very elastic.
  4. With the mixer running on medium-high, slowly add the butter, one chunk at a time, waiting for each addition to incorporate before adding the next piece. After all the butter has been added, keep mixing until the dough is smooth and uniform. This whole process should take anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the dough hook, use your hands to scrape any dough on the hook back into the bowl, cover the bowl lightly with plastic, and place it in a draft-free environment until the dough doubles in volume, between 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes. While the dough is rising, butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
  5. Use a dough scraper to scrape the light, silky dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand for about a minute, folding it in half and then over itself. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions (use a scale if you have one), about 2½ ounces (70 g) each. Form each piece into a ball by rolling it on the counter between your thumb and fingers; don’t incorporate too much flour, as the dough should retain a little bit of stickiness. Place each ball in a greased muffin cup. The dough might pop over the top of the tin by about ½ inch (12 mm) or so. Cover the muffin pan lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours (or overnight).
  6. Prior to baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 90 minutes, but no more than 2 hours. At this point, the dough may have risen a full inch (2.5 cm) over the top of the tin. During the last 30 minutes of the rise, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  7. Bake the brioches until the crust is golden and the bread is cooked all the way through, 12 to 18 minutes; the internal temperature should hover near 195°F (90°C) on an instant-read thermometer. If the crusts brown too quickly before the center of the bread is ready, cover the tops of the bread with foil until finished baking.
  8. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes and pop the individual brioches out of the pan.
Assemble the Ice Cream Sandwiches
  1. Slice each brioche in half (slightly warm is divine, though room temperature is fine), separating the “muffin top” from the bottom. Place one generous scoop, about ¾ cup (180 ml), of ice cream on the flat surface of the bottom of the muffin and sandwich it with the top. Serve immediately. We have also been known to toast the brioche before filling it; this is a must-try at least once in your life.
How to store: If you want to make the sandwiches ahead to serve later, it is better to freeze the components individually rather than in sandwich form. Wrap the completely cooled brioches in foil and freeze until ready to use. Bring the brioches back to room temperature before filling with ice cream.


In the Oven: Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake

Next up is Everyone’s Favorite Birthday Cake in honor of Martha Stewart’s birthday. Who are you going to bake it for?

Posting date is: Sunday, August 2nd

Everyone's Favorite Birthday Cake
Yield: 10-12 servings
For the Sour Cream Cake
  • 2½ cups plus 2 tablespoons (330 g) cake flour
  • 1 scant tablespoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 7 ounces (1¾ sticks/200 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) pieces, plus more for the pans
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (165 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups (345 g) sour cream
For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce/226-g) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 3½ cups (340 to 395 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 ounces (85 g) dark chocolate, melted and cooled
For Décor
  • Candles (of course)
Make the Sour Cream Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter two 8-inch (20-cm) round cake pans, line them with
  2. parchment paper, and butter the parchment. Dust with flour and knock out the excess.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until just incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low; add the flour mixture in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, alternating with the sour cream, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before loosening the sides of the cakes from the pans with a small knife and inverting them onto a wire rack. Remove the parchment paper and turn the cakes right side up; let them cool completely.
Make the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat the butter in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add only 3 cups (340 g) confectioners’ sugar and the salt; beat until smooth. Add the chocolate and mix until well combined. If the frosting seems too loose, add additional confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it becomes thicker. Do not overbeat. The frosting can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator; let it soften at room temperature before using.
  2. Place one cooled cake layer on a serving platter. If necessary, trim the top to create a flat surface. Spread about ¾ cup (200 g) of frosting on top. Add the top layer and trim if you want (some people prefer a domed cake top). Spread a very thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake (called a crumb coat, this helps to keep loose cake crumbs under control when you frost the outside of the cake), and place it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining frosting. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes to set before serving.
How to Store: This cake will keep beautifully in a cake saver in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.