Our book group finally met tonight to discuss Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy. We all enjoyed reading it well enough and wanted to know what would happen to the characters, but we all also agreed that it was entirely forgettable. None of the characters reminded us of anyone that we could really relate to, and we didn't get to know anyone all too well. So, neither thumbs up or thumbs down. In other words, don't go out and buy it, but if it's the only thing on your bedside table and you've got insomnia, by all means dig in. Next up is a classic that passed many of us by: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
I made the yummiest cake for our meeting. It came out looking exactly like the photo in the book, but my own photo came out lousy, so you'll have to use your imagination (yet again). The recipe comes from The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge.
Warm Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberry Cake
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream
3/4 to 1 cup blueberries (no more), rinsed and well dried
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour the bottom and sides of a 9x2" round cake pan, tapping out the excess flour.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time and beat just until blended. Add the vanilla with the second egg. Using a rubber spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the butter mixture in 3 batches alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
As soon as you put the cake in the oven, make the topping. In a small bowl, combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients together with a fork, lightly crushing the blueberries. After the cake has baked for 10 minutes, sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the cake. Continue baking until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes longer. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert a large, flat plate on top of the cake pan and, holding both the pan and the plate, invert them together. Lift the pan off the cake. Invert a flat serving plate on the bottom of the cake and invert the cake one more time so that the blueberries are on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
In the unlikely event that you have any left over, cover it in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 5 days.