Royal Albert Tea Event & Bye Bye Summer Blueberry Cake with Lactofree Soft Cheese Frosting


Last week Nupur, Nisha and me, we met up in London to brainstorm on Bloggers' Buzz 2014. Of course our brainstorming session rolled into a long lunch and then to shake off lethargy turned into a shopping spree. Since we were near Oxford Street, we promptly got up on a bus which took us there. Now to a normal bunch of women shopping would mean buying dresses, trying on shoes, checking out the latest offerings in stockings, sighing over handbags, drooling over scarves. But not us. Don't get me wrong. We do all of that as well, very much so. But when a bunch of food bloggers meet in London we generally gravitate towards the kitchen & home sections of the luxury stores. So rather than wasting time in the cosmetic section, lingering over the new range of perfumes, we rode all the way up to the home section of the House of Fraser department store. Our oohing & ahhhing started there. If we could, among the three of us, we would have bought the entire home section. Of course how our husbands would have reacted to that is a story for another rainy day. 

Anyways so there we were drooling over pretty floral Royal Albert china, wishing we could buy all of it, when Nisha and me, we got invites to the Royal Albert tea tour. Of course we were excited, we decided to make an afternoon of it and take some of our Bloggers' Buzz buddies along. So Manjiri & Vaishali joined  the tea party with Nisha & me.

It was a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon, just perfect for tea in the Royal Albert tea stall in the Spitafields Market. The tea guys had set up a beautiful marquee and the tea van was oh-so-pretty. We were promptly seated and served tea and lovely fairy cakes with pink frosting. Pink was the theme since Royal Albert was/is fundraising for Breast Cancer Care. If you happen to be in London and want to support this lovely cause the tea tour will next be held on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th at Bloomsbury Square and on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th  at Parsons Green.

Royal Albert has just come out with 6 new vintage floral designs which are just beautiful. If you want to know more about these products please visit RA's website. House of Fraser stocks these beauties, for details check here. For more photographs including the Royal Albert ones please visit Kitchen Karma's album and if you want to see how much fun we bloggers had at the event please check out Bloggers' Buzz album.
Of course all this talk about tea made me hungry. So I decided to bake a cake. Now the question was what kind of cake? Summer is definitely on it's last legs but fall is not here yet. So I decided to bake a cake to bid summer adieu. I often do these silly things-- bake a scrumptious cake to usher or bid goodbye to a season. Remember my strawberry cake to welcome spring last year? So this year in an effort not to repeat myself I choose blue berries. These indigo coloured berries are my favourite snack. I can polish off one whole box of these in no time and still want more. They were on sale at my local store, so I picked these up and decided to put them in my cake.
I looked through several blueberry cake recipes online. But in the end decided to stick to my mother's tried and tested recipe. 

Ingredients for the cake:

2 cups self rising flour
1 and half cups of granulated sugar
3/4th cup vegetable oil
1 tea spoon of baking soda and baking powder each
1 pinch of salt
1 tea spoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup yogurt at room temperature
3 eggs (at room temperature or even slightly warm, you could keep it on the window sill if the sun is out)

1 and 1/2 cups of fresh blueberry washed and drained

Method:


Switch on your oven at 150 degree Celsius and in your mixer start blending the oil and sugar for about 5 to 7 mins. You can see the colour and consistency changing. A little patience is needed at this stage, but believe me you, it is absolutely worth it. Then add the eggs one at the time, with the first egg add a table spoon of the flour. The flour stops the egg from curdling. Give it a blitz and move onto the next egg. Once all the eggs are added mix for 3 to 5 mins more. Add the vanilla extract and the buttermilk. Give it one more blitz. For now let the mixture be, once you stop the mixer, you will see air bubbles forming in the sugar mix. These bubble are the secret to a good, fluffy cake.

In a mixing bowl, sieve in the flour, the baking powder and soda and a pinch of salt. Slowly add the liquid mixture and fold in gently, moving in one direction.


At the very end gently fold in the washed and drained blueberries in the cake batter, taking care not to break any, otherwise the batter may turn indigo.

Grease your cake tin, get your magic cake strips ready, if using any and pour the batter onto the pan. These cake strips stop the cake from doming in the middle and a flat top is a great help while spreading the icing. The cake takes usually 40 to 45 mins to bake. But each oven varies, so please keep checking. After 20 mins or so I place a big piece of foil over the cake tin. This stops the top from burning.

Once your cake has passed the toothpick test, bring it out of the oven and leave it to cool completely. 



Frosting the cake:
Once the cake is completely cooled and just a couple of hours before serving, please frost the cake.
Ingredients for the frosting:
Lactose free Soft Cheese/Cream Cheese 200 grams in room temperature
3 to 4 table spoons of icing sugar {please adjust the sweetness of the frosting according to taste}
1 tea spoon of vanilla bean paste
Half a cup of blueberries to decorate the top of the cake
2 tea spoons of icing sugar to sprinkle on top {optional}


How to frost the cake:
In a bowl gently mix the Lactofree soft cheese/cream cheese till it reaches a spreadable consistency.
Then add the icing sugar & the vanilla bean paste and gently fold into the cheese.
Spread evenly over the cake, top with blueberries and finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
Please refrigerate till you are ready to serve the cake.
This cake stays for a couple of days in the fridge.
The cake is ready to be enjoyed!





The verdict: this cake is delightful on it's own without the frosting, but with the frosting is becomes luscious. The cake can taste a little dry on it's own but the frosting adds the required moistness plus a creamy texture. I have used Lactofree soft cheese, you can use cream cheese. The Lactofree soft cheese has a slightly salty taste, which adds another layer to the frosting. Once again the Lactofree product has proved to be great. The frosting was finger lickin' good yet without the heaviness of cream cheese. 
In case you missed it, I made some chocolate chip & hazelnut cookies with Lactofree spreadable last week.

26 comments :

  1. This cake has reminded me of the desserts we had in that Pastry shop Suchi.. How we over-stuffed ourselves :P

    The picture with the frosting is so tempting !!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, tell me about it Nupur :P And for a change I wanted one and you were like no let's have two :-)

      Delete
  2. Great event, tea cups and cake. Mothers' recipes are the best!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Lucky you.. The cups look so beautiful and the cake so delightful

    ReplyDelete
  4. looks like a perfect day and great cake

    ReplyDelete
  5. the china is amazing, no wonder you could ave bought the whole home section:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. i love love love that first pic suchi...
    pity i couldnt get to taste your cake which manjiri said was awesome :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thankyou for visitng my place and introducing yourself :-) I have seen / heard in fb about you from Nisha when she add pics of the event. I totally agree when bloggers go toeghter for shopping instead for buying clothes one is going to food shops, or prop shops etc...

    ReplyDelete
  8. THe perfect cake to bid summer adieu! Love afternoon tea culture in the UK!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The tea tour sounds like fun :)
    I would love tea now with your wonderful blueberry cake.

    ReplyDelete
  10. WOW! cute blog, lovely recipes and pics, i'm your newest follower...you can visit my blog when you find time :)
    http://kitchenista-welcometomykitchen.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Suchi,

    You lucky girl! It must have been so much fun to go on a tea tour especially when you're in a "foodie" state of mind. I must check out those links!

    Blueberry season has come and gone in my neck of the woods but this year I was "smart." I stocked the freezer with tons of blueberries just for these kinds of occasions. A cup of tea and your Summer Blueberry Cake would be just perfect right about now.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
  12. The pictures are so lovely! My mouths watering! Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wonderful post , Suchi ! I haven't even bought a new lippy for months since I tend to gravitate towards the houseware section whenever I go to the department store lol I just sigh over the Royal Albert tea tour , I bet you and your friend had loads of fun ! I can't say bye bye summer since it's still hot over here *sigh* Throw a slice or two of your delicious cake over here , will you ?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tell you Anne the amount of money we spend in the homeware section is not funny!

      Delete

Thanks for visiting my space and spending some time here. Hope you enjoyed your stay. I will be very happy if you choose to leave a comment.
Au revoir friend!

 
Thank you for visiting!