In honor of my new year’s baking resolutions, which included the goal to re-make things that didn’t quite work out as planned, I re-attempted the blueberry cream cheese loaf from the weekend.
To recap: this loaf was delicious, but had structural integrity problems. I attempted to solve this using four different strategies:
- I reduced the total amount of oil in the recipe from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup.
- I included NO blueberries in the bottom layer of batter. So each loaf was just one layer of plain batter, one layer of cream cheese, one layer of blueberry batter.
- I then split the recipe and half and tried two different things with each half. In one half, I replaced the frozen blueberries with freeze-dried blueberries.
- In the other half, I used frozen again, but during the “toss with flour” step, I used a sieve, and I shook the sieve a whole lot to remove all excess blue flour.
I also made a few minor changes:
- Started out with the aluminum foil tent to protect the top from over-browning; removed with 30 minutes to go.
- Baked the frozen blueberry loaf for a full 75 minutes without removing from oven.
- Very minimal stirring once blueberries were added.
- Let sit for only 2 minutes after removing from oven then remove to wire rack.
Ummm…. I think the first recipe worked better without all these modifications, y’all!
The freeze-dried blueberry version had the most structural integrity, but it was the most boring. It lost too much moisture. It didn’t taste as nice as the original recipe and I don’t think it’s worth the sacrifice.
The other version, with frozen blueberries only in the top half of the batter, tasted great! However, it lost structural integrity even WORSE, I think because when I inverted the loaf pan to remove the baked loaf, it just went SPLAT right on the weakest part of the structure. In theory, this might be work-aroundable, by lining the loaf pan carefully with foil, then removing the loaf from the top, rather than by inverting the pan. Still, it just seems like a lot of trouble for not that much gain.
In conclusion, this is still a SUPER TASTY recipe and one that I’m still pining for (I wish I had brought it with me to work). I would definitely repeat this to take as a hostess gift or just when I’m feeling like indulging. Here’s what I would do:
- Follow the original recipe for the most part, including the full 1/2 cup vegetable oil.
- Use blueberries in BOTH halves of the batter, just be careful not to over-stir.
- Use frozen blueberries & remove as much flour as possible before adding.
- Use aluminum foil tent for the majority of baking, removing 30 minutes before done.
- Bake 75 minutes.
- Let sit for a full 10 minutes after removing (or longer would probably be ok).
- Just accept that this is a messy recipe!