The fresh berries were washed and spread on a towel to dry. Once dry, they were tossed with a little flour. The rest of the flour was sifted with salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. This cake batter included only one egg and two tablespoons of butter. Those were mixed with orange juice, and the dry ingredients were added. Last, orange zest and toasted, chopped pecans were folded into the batter. Maida offers a great tip by having you spread one-quarter of the batter in a prepared loaf pan and then folding the blueberries into the remaining batter. That way, there’s less chance of the blueberries sinking to the bottom. The remainder of the batter with the blueberries was then poured over the thin layer in the pan. The loaf cake baked for a little over an hour. Another good tip was to remove the loaf cake from the pan after it had cooled for ten minutes to prevent it from steaming in the pan which would cause a wet bottom crust.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love a buttery pound cake. But, that’s just not what this was. This was laden with juicy blueberries and crunchy nuts and smelled lovely from the orange juice and zest. I had to add an orange and confectioners’ sugar glaze because I can’t help myself, but it wasn't even required. The slices of this loaf cake made a great, grab-and-go breakfast the morning of the last Young Chef class. Maybe we’ve started future chefs or food bloggers on their way, but definitely we’ve gotten a group of kids to talk about food and think about how to prepare meals at home.
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