Amidst packing at my parents’ place and cleaning the refrigerator- attempting to use left over sour cream and a batch of blueberries, and flipping through the recipes July’s Indian issue of Good Housekeeping, this moist and flavorful Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf was made.
When I told a friend of mine that I was posting the recipe for this loaf on the blog today, the question arose what is the difference between a sweet loaf and a cake. While I answered the doubt to the best of my knowledge, I wondered what the web had to say about it and did a quick google search to find the exact difference.
The most obvious difference is the tin used to make the baked good in question. Loaf cakes are always baked in a loaf pan, whereas cakes in other square or round tins. And even though both cakes and loaf cakes share similar ingredients, the ratio of flour, fat, sugar and the mixing methods are different and make a difference in the final product.
While quick breads (like banana bread, scones and muffins) are made by combining the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in the other and then mixing the two till just combined with few lumps, cakes are made by creaming the butter and sugar together (or by folding whipped egg whites into flour, sugar, yolks mixture- the chiffon method), lending a finer crumb to cakes. Thus, cakes are generally lighter than loafs and other quick breads. Kind of like the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, a cupcake being a mini cake and a muffin being a type of quick bread.
Also generally, comparing various recipes, loafs are always with some kind of fruit in them, whereas cakes can be with fruit or not.
Like all quick breads, this one too tastes better the next day. And that means its great to bake a day ahead and have it as breakfast the next day with no disappointing results.
It might be difficult to resist not cutting into it (and finishing the whole loaf) immediately but luckily for me I baked this loaf while everyone was sleeping in the afternoon and since we had been invited for dinner at somebody’s house in the evening, my family could only get to eat it the next day. I did try it out fresh out of the oven as well as the next day, and found the loaf more flavorful and moist the next day. So if you can, I highly recommend you to wait.
The loaf is moist, with a slight tang from the blueberries, lemon zest and sour cream and just the correct amount of sweetness. And who doesn’t love a crumble topping- I know I do! Crumble makes everything better.
I am not exaggerating one bit when I say the whole loaf was finished in a matter of 2-3 hours the next day. My two and half year old niece also enjoyed eating it and gobbled up 2-3 pieces in one sitting.
I did adapt the original recipe (which features in the July Indian issue of Good Housekeeping) slightly.
The recipe did not call for either baking soda or baking powder. But past experience with baking quick breads made me add baking powder out of habit.
You could use baking soda as well, since this recipe has sour cream as an ingredient which acts as the acidic medium for the baking soda to react and form bubbles and thus for your quick bread to rise. The only catch with using baking soda (besides making sure you use an acidic ingredient in the recipe) is that you need to bake your baked good right away since once it mixes with the wet acidic medium it starts forming bubbles immediately and any waiting will result in a less risen product. Most baking powders on the other hand are double acting in nature. Their chemical reaction happens twice- once when you mix them with liquids and the second time when you subject them to heat. Having said that, you still shouldn’t let a baking powder batter sit for too long since the initial reaction is vital for a well textured cake.
Since this recipe called for neither, I decided to stick to baking powder and it worked pretty well for me.
I also added a bit of lemon zest. I enjoy the combination of lemons with blueberries and since I had lemons on hand I added them to the recipe. Lemon zest is a great way to add flavor to your baked good, without messing the liquid ratio.
Next time I will try replacing some of the all purpose flour for whole wheat to make it healthier. Will let you know how that goes. Till then, hope you enjoy this version.
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 200 ml sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 200 gms flour, sifted
- pinch salt
- 170 gram sugar
- 125 gms blueberries (reserve some for the topping)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 15 gm unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 40 grams plain flour
- 15 gram sugar
- Preheat oven 180 C / 350 F.
- Grease and line a 9 by 5 inch baking tin with parchment paper. I used a silicon loaf pan so skipped this step.
- Make the crumble topping: Rub butter with the flour to clump together. Add in the sugar and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, oil and vanilla.
- In another bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest.
- Add wet ingredients to dry mixture and stir till just combined. Its ok to have a few lumps. Do not over mix.
- Fold in the most of the blueberries and transfer mixture to prepared tin.
- Top with the crumble topping and remaining blueberries.
- Bake for 50min to an hour, till tester comes out clean.
- Cool in tin for 10 minutes and then remove from tin. This tastes even better the next day.
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