Mr Gander knew it was the card for me. It features a girl eating food, and has a food-related pun.
Puns make me go ‘squee!’; food-related puns get a ‘double squee!’
(This is the after-effect of my English honours year, when I and other fellow Honoraries lived and breathed words, words and words, until our obsession with language got a tad out of control.)
I wanted to make donuts to go with the card, but we only had a mini-bundt cake pan. So, we had mini-bundt cakes instead, they are holey and therefore kinda donut-like, right?
These were happy mini-bundts, based on a baked doughnut recipe from the fabulous Spoon Fork Bacon. These have wholemeal flour for substance, blueberries for smurf-y goodness, yoghurt for health and a buttermilk-like tender crumb.
It was just the right recipe for impromptu baking. The batter was absurdly easy to put together, and I had all of the ingredients in the pantry. (Actually, I didn’t have apple sauce that the recipe called for, and used the same amount of butter instead)
Instead of a blueberry glaze, I spooned over a sharp lemony icing, slightly thickened and mellowed with Greek yoghurt. Then, on a whim, I grated sunny-yellow lemon zest over the bundtlettes, the yellow standing out against the red-purple-blue stains from squishy blueberries.
The liquid glaze melted into the bundtlettes, pooled in the gaps where blueberries sank into the cake batter, and dribbled down onto the board next to stray bits of lemon zest. It was all a bit ad hoc and make-it-up-as-you-go, but the result was a crowd pleaser. We could almost believe winter is coming to an end in the Antipodes.
A note on the batter, baking times and lemon glaze
The batter was very thick, and would have been easier to pipe into the mini-bundt pans or donut pans. I managed with a miniature silicon spatula and teaspoon, but it was a bit messy with bits and blobs flying around. I baked the bundtlettes for about 18 minutes, and got moist, tender cakes. The leftover bit of batter were baked for a bit over 20 minutes, and I got a sturdier cake, darker brown on the outside and a little drier in the middle (but not too dry), probably a little more donut-like in texture. Both took to the lemon-yoghurt glaze like fish to water.
The lemon glaze instructions are woefully imprecise, because I ran out of blueberries and made up the glaze as I went along. Next time, I will measure things like tablespoons of icing/powdered sugar and teaspoons of lemon juice. The basic idea is to add tiny amounts of lemon juice to icing sugar until you get the right consistency, then adjust for taste. I like a lemon glaze that is almost pucker-worthy; you may prefer a sweeter glaze.
Postscript: I’m yet to think of a pun involving blueberries, bundt cake, or yoghurt glaze. But I’m sure a particularly groan-worth one is out there.
Blueberry-lemon-yoghurt mini bundt cakes
(adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon’s Baked Blueberry Doughnuts)
Makes: 12 healthy mini bundts, with some batter left over
1 cup (about 140 grams) plain / AP flour
1/2 cups (about 70 grams) wholemeal flour
1/2 cup granulated / castor sugar (note, the original recipe asks for 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup Greek yogurt (or 3/4 cup plain yoghurt)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter (note, the original recipe asks for applesauce)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
Zest of 1 lemon
Lemon juice from the zested lemon
1-2 tablespoons of Greek yoghurt
1-2 cups icing/powdered sugar, enough to get a slightly thickened but runny consistency
1. For the cake: melt the butter and set aside until cooled to room temperature. Preheat oven to 175°C / 350°F.
2. Combine all the dry cake ingredients in a mixing bowl. Whisk together to remove lumps. In another mixing bowl, whisk to combine the remaining ingredients except for the blueberries. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, fold together until the batter is almost smooth.
3. Set aside a handful of blueberries (35-40 berries). Gently fold the remaining blueberries into the batter until just combined. Note the batter will be quite thick.
4. Grease the mini-bundt cake pan. Drop 3-4 berries into each mould. Spoon or pipe the batter into the cake pan and bake for 18-20 minutes. The cakes should be golden on top, and still tender and moist inside.
5. Place the cake pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes. Remove each mini-bundt cake from the pan and place onto a large plate or something else that doesn’t mind having lemon glaze drizzled all over it.
6. For the glaze: Place 1 cup icing sugar in a bowl. Add lemon juice by the teaspoon, mixing well, until the mixture is still runny, but has a sharp lemon taste. Add a tablespoon of yoghurt to thicken the mixture. Taste the mixture, and adjust by adding more icing sugar or lemon juice until you are happy with the balance between sugar, lemon and yoghurt flavours.
7. Spoon the glaze over mini-bundt cakes. Then, sprinkle with lemon zest.