from one generation to the next
I’ve been making birthday cakes for my kids for more than four decades.
When they were little they’d spend months prior to their birth date poring over the Women’s Weekly Birthday Cake Book trying to decide what elaborate design they’d choose for their celebration cake. Their choice always entailed solid butter cake, lurid coloured icing and lots of lollies.
As they matured their tastes changed. For a few years I made strawberry cream sponge cake or berry mousse cake, flourless chocolate cake or cassata ice cream cake. As adults they prefer fruit, minimal wheat and no cream.
For a recent birthday celebration, after a lot of head scratching I decided to make a cake with blueberries. I’d been experimenting with buckwheat flour, using it as a substitute for wheat flour, and decided that the flavour profile would be perfect with hazelnuts and so this cake came to be.
It’s a deliciously moist cake with a dense texture, even a thin slice cuts cleanly and the nutty flavour complements the blueberries beautifully.
After singing “Happy Birthday” and humouring the 2 year old by letting him blow out the candles multiple times, we enjoyed our Hazelnut, Buckwheat and Blueberry cake with blueberry compote on the side.
I suggest you eat the cake within 3 days as I noticed that the flavour of the buckwheat strengthened with time until it over took the hazelnuts.
Store in an airtight container.
Hazelnut, Buckwheat and Blueberry Cake
150g castor sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
150 buckwheat flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
150g ground hazelnuts
160g thick natural yoghurt
120g frozen blueberries
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 25cm ring tin and lightly dust with rice flour.
Melt the butter, and set aside to cool a little.
Use a whisk to combine the dry ingredients and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre.
Lightly whisk the eggs into the butter one at a time then whisk the yoghurt into the buttery mixture until smooth.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry then gently stir the dry until thoroughly combined. Spoon 1/3 of the batter into the base of the cake tin spreading it to the edges of the pan. Scatter over half the blueberries.
Add a second layer of batter, then the remaining berries. Top with the remaining cake batter.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the centre of the cake is cooked through when tested with a skewer, about 40 minutes.
Turn the cake out of the tin onto a rack and allow to cool.
lemon glacé icing:
3/4 cup of pure icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Sift the icing sugar to remove all the clumps.
Slowly add the lemon juice mixing as you go to make a thick viscous icing.
Pour the icing into a squirter bottle and drizzle icing over the cake.