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Saturday, 1 December 2007

blueberry and rose, gimme some of those

There is no humanity. On Saturday Australia's future was full of promise. This week I discover Bindi Irwin has released a rap song. I cry for our fair land, I really do. Closer to home, I suffered my own personal setback last weekend after a footpath flew into my face and took out my chin. The damage: a couple of hours in A&E and three stitches. Klutz. Desperately in need of fluffy loveliness, I duly baked a batch of blueberry and lemon cakes with rose icing.

The base recipe for this is lifted from the Guardian Guide to Baking. They call it 'the easiest cake in the world', totally ludicrous if you are familiar with my nan's Frankie's Cake, which I doubt, so believe me when I tell you it has nothing as fancy as sour cream or even butter in it. Incidentally, if the amount of butter in this recipe freaks you out, when I plumped the quantities with blueberries it made me a decent sized cake (18 cm round) as well as eight cupcakes. (The recipe recommends a 20cm round tin.) So unless you are planning on a heaving solo face stuffing, a lot of butter goes a long way.

What you need for a blueberry and lemon split-chin-on-the-mend cake
200g unsalted butter, softened
250g caster sugar
2 large eggs
200g sour cream
300g plain flour
3 level tsp baking powder
grated peel of one lemon
one tub of blueberries
Squeeze of lemon juice

And for the rose petal icing
50g icing sugar
100g cream cheese
rose essence
A little butter
candied rose petals and sparkly pink bits for decorating
Squeeze of lemon juice

Making it
Butter and line the base of your tin with non-stick baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add the lemon rind and eggs, one at a time, and beat well till combined. Beat the sour cream and lemon juice into the mixture then sift in the flour and baking powder and beat it through. When it's all mixed, fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into the tin or cupcake tray, heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted) and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (15-20 mins for cupcakes) or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool the cake while you make the icing. Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, squeeze of citrus, a few drops of rose essence and butter together (it may help to sit the bowl over hot water so everything mixes properly) till smooth. Slide over your cooled cake and sprinkle with lovely bits. Best served with fresh peppermint tea and a peachy grin.

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