everlasting blueberry almond coffeecake
Everybody was watching Violet Beauregarde as she stood there chewing this extraordinary gum. Little Charlie Bucket was staring at her absolutely spellbound, watching her huge rubbery lips as they pressed and unpressed with the chewing, and Grandpa Joe stood beside him, gaping at the girl. Mr. Wonka was wringing his hands and saying, “No, no, no, no, no! It isn’t ready for eating! It isn’t right! You mustn’t do it!”
“Blueberry pie and cream!” shouted Violet. “Here it comes! Oh my, it’s perfect! It’s beautiful! It’s … it’s exactly as though I’m swallowing great big spoonfuls of the most marvelous blueberry pie in the world!”
“Good heavens, girl!” shrieked Mrs. Beauregarde suddenly, staring at Violet, “what’s happening to your nose!”
“Oh be quiet, mother , let me finish!” said Violet.
“It’s turning blue!” screamed Mrs. Beauregarde. “Your nose is turning blue as a blueberry!” . . .
“Mercy! Save us!” yelled Mrs. Beauregarde. “The girl’s going blue and purple all over! Even her hair is changing color. Violet, you’re turning violet, Violet! What is happening to you!”
“I told you I hadn’t got it quite right,” sighed Mr. Wonka, shaking his head sadly. . . .
“It always goes wrong when we come to dessert,” sighed Mr. Wonka. “It’s the blueberry pie that does it. But I’ll get it right one day, you wait and see.”
-excerpt from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
While you are waiting for the Oompa-Loompas in Willy Wonka’s factory to perfect his Gopstoppers dessert with blueberries, I have gone into my laboratory to see how I can maximize the blueberry flavor in a dessert.
Project Blueberry requirements:
1. Pack in as many blueberries as possible in a dessert.
2. Blueberries should burst in the mouth with every bite.
3. Include complimentary flavors to bring out the essence of blueberry.
4. Do NOT create an everlasting dessert that you chew forever. Ewwww!
After many experiments—and taste tests—I came up with a moist Everlasting Blueberry Almond Coffeecake. The bright freshness of the violet fruit captures the feeling of Summer, while the nuttiness of the almond flour and extract compliment the sweetness of the blueberries. It’s something that you hope lasts forever, without fear of turning into a Wonka creation yourself.
Everlasting Blueberry Almond Coffeecake
- 1/2 cup (2-1/2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces/1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (7-1/2 ounces)
- 1/2 cup almond flour (2 ounces)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (1-1/4 stick), softened but still cool
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar (about 4-3/4 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 cups fresh blueberries (about 20 ounces), picked over
1. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds. Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin pan with paper liners.
2. Whisk flours and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In the stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scrape down bowl. Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken).
3.With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Stir batter manually with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be thick. Gently fold in blueberries with rubber spatula until evenly distributed.
4. Transfer batter to prepared muffin cups; with small off-set spatula or spoon, spread batter evenly to cup edges, gently pushing in to fill all gaps. Remove streusel from freezer, break up in to small chunks with hand and sprinkle streusel evenly over batter. Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool until just warm or to room temperature, about 1 hour.
1. You can make the streusel ahead of time, freeze for 30 minutes and refrigerate until ready to use.
2. Do not store coffeecake in a airtight container or streusel won’t stay crunchy. Instead, cover them loosely with a tea towel for up to 2 days.