Fall Adventures and a Belated Chocolate Blueberry Cake

Ok, so I promise there's a cake recipe coming.  It's really no longer seasonal, but it's one of the cakes I made this summer that I never posted about.  But this weekend was one of those crazy, adventurous Fall weekends, so please bear with me momentarily.

Because I love fall weekends.  For some reason I get wanderlust every fall, and mostly I want to take pretty pictures of everything.  So, here goes my pictures of the weekend!

Last weekend, NES and I also went on a short fall day trip, but I'll save those stories/pictures for next time.  I think I've probably put in enough photos for today.

But!  This summer (around blueberry season), we celebrated Mom S.'s birthday!  Dad S. asked me to make a little cake for her, and of course, I gladly obliged!

I decided to use a recipe NES had used to make me tiny cakes in the past, but instead of using the strawberries it called for, I used my fresh blueberries!

The original recipe is baked in two cans to make two tiny cakes, but I made it in my 4 inch springform pans.

Then I adapted the frosting to use blueberries instead of strawberries. I wasn't 100% sure about how that would go with the fluffy chocolate cake, but I was sold after trying it.  Woah, good combination.

Then I covered it with the ganache and fresh blueberries!  And I got to use my little cake stand, too!

Mini Blueberry Chocolate Cake
adapted from The Cake Merchant

For the cake:
1/4 cup water
Yolk of one egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt

For the Frosting:
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt
1-2 tsp. milk or cream

For the Ganache:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
4 tsp. heavy cream
blueberries for topping

For the Cake:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease three 4 inch springform pans with butter, and wrap the outsides with aluminum foil.  Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment and flour the pan lightly.

Whisk together the water, egg yolk, and vanilla in a small bowl.  Pour in the melted butter, whisking constantly.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Then add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between the three pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes in the pans, then flip out of the pans onto wire racks, and cool completely.

For the Frosting:
Puree the blueberries in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Transfer the puree into a small sauce pan, then cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  Stir until the puree thickens a bit, or a 2-3 minutes.  Set aside and allow to cool.

Beat the butter on medium speed for 2-3 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

Add 3/4 cup powdered sugar and beat until just combined.

Add half the cooled puree and beat on medium for about a minute.

Add the remaining sugar and beat to combine.

Add the rest of the puree, salt and vanilla.  Beat for one additional minute.

Beat the milk or cream in 1 tbsp. at a time, or until it reaches a good consistency.

Place a cake layer onto the cake stand, and spread a layer of frosting on top.

Add each layer, with a layer of frosting between each.

Frost the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of frosting, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Spread a thicker layer of frosting on both the top and sides.  Allow to sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the ganache:
Pour the chocolate chips into a bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat, and it begins to boil, or microwave it.

Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let stand for 5 minutes.  Stir until smooth.

Allow the ganache to cool somewhat, and pour over the top of the cake a little at a time, until the ganache starts to drip over the edge.  Use a spatula to smooth the top.

Pile fresh blueberries on top of the cake.


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