Drama. That’s what this cake is about. A moist, puckering yellow lemon cake bathed in vivid purple, all naturally hued.. It will produce oohs and aahs when served, and is delicious to boot. Lemon and blueberries are a perfect summer pairing, when the berries are perfectly ripe and in season. I love the combination in my Frozen Lemon Bisque with Blueberry Compote for a refreshing treat or in mouthwatering bite size Blueberry Lemon Bars or Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Cookies, but this cake is all about the drama of that lush purple ganache. It is a showstopper of a dessert.
The simple loaf cake is tender and moist with the nice verve of lemon. Buttermilk adds to the tang, and the texture. The white chocolate ganache is a real treat and just takes a little patience. When you first put the berries in the pan, make sure to squish each berry until it pops open before adding the cream. Keep the heat on medium so the cream just begins to bubble but the berries have time to soften and melt into it. Stir and squish and watch the cream turn lavender. Set up the strainer and the bowl before you heat the cream so it its ready to go and the hot cream immediately begins to melt the chocolate. When you stir the ganache, it will deepen to a darker purple. There’s your drama!
Lemon Cake with Blueberry Ganache
- For the Cake
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest of one lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup buttermilk, For that room temperature
2 Tablespoons lemon juice (you may need two lemons)
- For the Ganache
4 ½ ounces white chocolate chips
½ cup blueberries
1/3 cup heavy cream
- For the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
- Beat the butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to break it up, then add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating one before adding the next and scraping down the bowl. Beat in the flour, baking powder and salt alternately with the buttermilk, scraping down the bowl, until incorporated. Add the lemon juice and beat for a further minute to combine. Scrape into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top. Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, but with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 45 – 50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. While the cake is cooling, make the ganache.
- For the Ganache
- Put the chocolate chips in a small bowl and place a small wire mesh strainer over the top.
- Put the blueberries in a small pan and use a fork to mash them as best you can. Make sure every berry is popped open. Pour in the cream and place over medium low heat. As the cream is slowly heating, continue to mash the berries – I switch to a sturdy spatula as they soften – stirring and mashing until the berries are mostly broken down and cream is heated and steaming. Do not let the cream boil. The mixture will be a vivid lavender. Pour the hot cream through the strainer over the chocolate in the bowl. Scrape out as much cream as possible, leaving the blueberry skins behind in the strainer. Let the chocolate sit under the cream for a minute or so, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. The color will transform to a deeper hue. If you need to, wipe out the pan and pour the ganache into it and heat over very low heat stirring constantly until the chocolate is completely melted. Return it to the bowl and leave to cool.
- Spoon the cooled ganache over the cooled cake, spreading it out with the back of the spoon. Let the ganache set for an hour or so before serving. The cake will keep, covered, for a day.