When it comes to breakfast, I’m all about savory dishes. But like love, or geopolitics, my breakfast cravings are never so black and white. One thing I can count on, is that when I feel like something sweet for brekkie, a stack of moist blueberry pancakes will fit the bill. The way the rich creamy butter, nutty sweet maple and tart bursts of blueberries intermingle in my mouth is a contentment inducing treat on mornings that call for just a bit more sweetness.
I’ve even been known to make a stack of blueberry pancakes for other meals during the day, which got me wondering: “what would blueberry pancakes look like if it were a dessert?” It’s a thought process that led me to this Blueberry Maple Cake which captures all the best parts of everyone’s favorite fruity breakfast and amplifies them into a decadent butter cake that’s great with tea, or as a summertime dessert.
First, I started by replacing the pancake batter with a pound cake batter. More sugar and more butter makes for a sweeter richer cake. To give the butter a boost, I use cultured butter (a.k.a. European butter). The reason why cultured butter is better has less to do with the pedigree of the cows and more to do with the way in the which the butter is made. In countries like the US and Japan, butter is made by churning fresh cream until the milk fats coalesce into chunks of butter. In Europe, the cream is fermented before it is churned, which creates new flavor compounds such as diacetyl (the main ingredient in artificial butter flavor).
Put simply, cultured butter tastes more buttery. meaning anything you use it with will have that movie theater popcorn taste (minus the questionable additives). The other benefit is that you can use less of it, replacing the remainder with yogurt, which adds a hint of tartness, like a great buttermilk pancake.
To ensure my cake had plenty of maple flavor, I reduced the amount of sugar in the batter, giving me leeway to pour a whole bunch of maple syrup on top of the finished cake without making it too sweet. This naturally produces veins of syrup in the cake providing a nice contrast of textures as well not unlike the pancake it was modeled after.
Like with the butter, the type of maple syrup you use will make a difference in the intensity of maple flavor as well. I like using Grade B maple syrup (known as Medium in Canada) which has a darker color and more intense maple flavor. Whatever you do, please don’t try to make this with the fake stuff as it will probably leave you with a sticky mess due to its higher viscosity.
Equipment you'll need:
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