Today was the baptism of the son of one of my best friends – the extremely cute Ellis. Knowing my love of baking my friend Rachael asked if I would make a cake for after the service. It was the perfect opportunity to try something new. I had some blueberries that needed using up so I decided to try out this recipe for Jo Wheatley’s blueberry muffin loaf. This is a lovely, moist, fruity cake with the added bonus of a crumble topping. Jo recommends serving it warm for brunch but I think it would go down well at any time of day. The recipe comes from ‘A Passion for Baking’ but you can find it online here.
You will need a greased 2lb loaf tin, with the base and ends lined with a strip of buttered baking parchment.
25g plain flour
20g unsalted butter (cubed)
20g caster sugar
200g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
75g soft brown sugar
50g caster sugar
70g unsalted butter (melted)
160ml full-fat milk (I used 1% fat and it didn’t seem to make any difference)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2) Begin by making the crumble topping. Tip the flour, butter and sugar into a bowl and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it looks like a crumble mixture.
3) Then move onto the loaf. Sieve the flour and bicarbonate soda into a bowl, add both the sugars and mix well.
4) Melt the butter, leave to cool slightly and then mix with the egg, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk the mixture until smooth.
5) Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk and egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon, fold the two mixtures together until only just combined.
6) Fold the blueberries into the mixture (make sure you don’t overwork the mixture as otherwise you will get a heavy sponge).
7) Carefully spoon the mixture into your prepared loaf tin and scatter over the crumble topping. Bake on the middle shelf of your oven for about 1 hour or until golden, well risen and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (mine took 50 minutes).
8) Enjoy warm or at room temperature.