Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bublanina: Czech Bubble Cake

Bublanina is a Czech confection that translates as 'bubble cake' because of the way the batter bubbles up around the fruit as it cooks. The beauty of this cake is its versatility. Similar to a clafouti, it can be made with pretty much any fruits that are in season, providing they're not to soft or wet. Fresh Ontario plums, cherries, strawberries and blueberries would be gorgeous, as would figs, raspberries, nectarines and apricots. Delicious served as a breakfast pastry or fabulous summertime dessert, Bublanina is a glorious way to make the most of Ontario's sweet summer bounty.

Sliced fresh summertime fruit is placed over the batter in a springform pan

Czech Bubble Cake (Bublanina)
serves 8

5/8 cup light muscovado or brown sugar
3 tbsp softened butter
2 large eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain yoghurt
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp Grand Marnier
1/2 tsp almond essence or vanilla extract
1/8 tsp of salt
1 cup each of plums, cherries, strawberries and blueberries

crème fraîche, for garnish (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between. Sift in the flour and baking powder, almond essence, orange zest, Grand Marnier and the pinch of salt, then mix well. Finally, add enough yoghurt to create quite a thick dough, almost as thick as bread dough. You want it to support the fruit when you scatter it on top. 

Pour the batter into a greased and lined 9-inch springform cake tin. Prepare the fruit: slice the plums, stone the cherries, halve the strawberries, etc. Press about two thirds of the fruit into the top of the batter. Scatter the rest over the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the batter has cooked through and is firm to the touch. Allow to cool a little before dusting with powdered sugar and serving with crème fraîche or just as it is.