So I think I might have solved the whole Monday blues thing and…it involves this blueberry loaf cake.
And lots of almond streusel. Because, let’s face it, streusel makes everything better. Correction! Two layers of streusel make everything better.
I added a totally unnecessary (but oh, so lovely) layer of streusel right in the center of the loaf, just because I could. I’m (not) sorry.
Is it just me or are great blueberry loaf cakes (or muffins) really hard to come by? And yet, I seem to crave them all. the. time.
A few months ago, I finally had, in my very own kitchen, the perfect blueberry muffin. It was soft and moist, chock full of wild blueberries with hints of dark molasses and sweet honey, and had the perfect crumb. I ate one…and within minutes, was reaching for another.
Those perfect blueberry muffins were the brainchild of none other than Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel. It all makes sense now.
I had recently bought the Bouchon Bakery cookbook and instantly gravitated towards their recipe for this classic baked good. Had I finally found the perfect blueberry muffin? I gathered the ingredients and got to work.
It was my first time baking something out of the book and whenever you are weighing ingredients to half grams, refrigerating batter overnight, and measuring eggs in liquid cups, your expectations will inevitably be high. This-better-be damn-good-if-I’m-going-to-go-through-this-much-trouble-for-muffins high.
I was pretty invested in the muffins by that point, if you can’t already tell.
Luckily, the muffins came out beautifully and they totally exceeded my expectations. Except for a few minor details…
While I personally don’t mind breaking out the scale and weighing everything with precision (in fact, I personally love seeing grams and ounces in recipes), I don’t think its as convenient for most people, especially if they don’t happen to own a kitchen scale.
And, despite understanding the purpose of refrigerating the batter overnight (to absorb the flavors and hydrate the flours), since the batter was inevitably cold the next day, it made it very difficult to fold in the blueberries without bleeding the color into the batter.
Plus, muffins that require 18 hours of planning don’t usually jive with most peoples’ schedules…
So I ended up tinkering with the recipe. A lot. Thomas Keller probably wouldn’t approve, but let’s just assume he won’t find out…
First off, I decided to turn the recipe into a loaf cake to make it a little more different and unique. What’s better than muffins? Muffins in loaf cake form. I also left out the step to refrigerate it overnight, making it much easier to incorporate the blueberries–plus, I couldn’t discern any difference in the final baked good. Plus, it means you can make this in just over an hour.
In addition, I adjusted the streusel recipe, as well as many of the other ingredients to avoid the whole “1/4 cup + 1.5 teaspoon” egg measurement of the original. Because, let’s be honest, that is just a pain in the butt.
The bones of the original recipe are still there, which in this case is a very good thing, but it now has the added bonus of being much easier to follow, execute, and and therefore, bake on a regular basis–as opposed to only special occasions.
Which, hopefully, will result in more of you making and enjoying the outcome!
Blueberry Loaf Cake with Almond Streusel
Blueberry Loaf Cake:
- 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons frozen wild blueberries (which have lower water content than regular)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup + 1.5 tablespoons cake flour
- 1/2 + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 1/2 ounces unsalted butter, softened just slightly
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsulfured molasses
- 1 tablespoon wildflower honey
- 2 whole large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 ounces cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set aside.
- Combine flour, almond meal, cinnamon, salt, and sugar in a small bowl.
- Add the butter, chopped into 1/4" pieces, and toss to coat. Using fingertips, break the butter into very small pieces, incorporating it evenly among the dry ingredients. If butter gets too soft, place in freezer for several minutes before continuing.
- Once streusel is ready, place in freezer and begin making cake batter.
Blueberry Loaf Cake:
- Toss the frozen blueberries with the one tablespoon of all-purpose flour. Place in freezer.
- Add remaining all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together to combine evenly.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Add the sugar and beat over medium speed for an additional minute, until mixture is fluffy and light.
- Scrape down the bowl using a spatula and add the honey and molasses, mixing over medium speed for another minute to incorporate.
- In separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla until. Turn the stand mixer over low speed and slowly add the egg mixture, scraping down the bowl once or twice, until just combined.
- Over low speed, add half the flour mixture and mix until just combined, followed by half the buttermilk. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk. Do not over mix.
- Remove bowl from mixer and using spatula, scrape down side and bottom of bowl, insuring that all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Remove (flour-coated) blueberries and streusel from freezer and using spatula, carefully fold them into the batter. Try to fold as little as possible to avoid color bleeding into the batter.
- Add about half the batter to the loaf pan--spreading it out lightly so it is in an even layer. Sprinkle half the streusel mixture over the batter.
- Add remaining batter on top and spread out a small offset spatula. Top with remaining streusel (it will be a relatively thick layer) and pat it down gently on the surface using fingertips.
- Bake at 350 F degrees (on center-rack) for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow loaf to cool (in pan) on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Using a knife, run along edges of loaf pan, and invert (carefully) to release the loaf. Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Best served the day of baking or wrapped in foil and placed in plastic bag for up to 2-3 days at room temperature.
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