Blueberry Velvet Cake

This cake has a rich and indulgent flavour that is to be enjoyed on special occasions only!   For this cake I have not used a heavy dose of food colouring (though please do if you want a luridly gorgeous purple cake) I have just used puréed blueberries with an additional 3 tablespoons of blueberry syrup and a tablespoon of purple organic food dye.  Don't be scared though, it is fabulous when it is bright purple too!

Blueberry Velvet Cake

  •  1 ¼ cups butter
  • 2 cups caster sugar plus 2 tablespoons
  • 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (or the seeds of 1 ½ vanilla beans)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons of blueberry syrup
  • 1 ½  cups puréed blueberries, sieved (about 2 cups whole fresh or frozen blueberries)
  • 3 tablespoons pure cocoa powder
  • 3 ½ cups self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Purple food colouring – colour to the colour you prefer, a tablespoon or so of natural colouring gives a deep indigo purple, by all means though go nuts.

Pre-heat oven to 175°C

Cream the butter and sugar with the vanilla until very pale white and very fluffy.
In a separate bowl or food processor/mixer add the salt and the additional 2 tablespoons of sugar to the eggs and whip until they are thick, pale and fluffy.
Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mix, then add the cocoa.
To make the blueberry purée take 1 ½ cups of whole, ripe blueberry (frozen is fine) and blitz with a blender until they are totally smooth.  Pass the purée through a fine sieve, ensuring there are no seeds in the purée.  Once smooth, add the buttermilk to the blueberries and mix well.
Add the purée to the cake mix with the additional syrup, then fold in the flour.  Once the flour is combined, add the food colouring ensuring it is mixed through evenly.

Lastly, in a small bowl add the baking powder to the vinegar and mix before adding to the cake mix and stirring well.
Allow the batter to stand for about 10 minutes, then divide evenly between two lined and greased 20cm high sided cake tins.
Bake for around 40 minutes, or until a skewer can be removed cleanly.
Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool completely before attempting to decorate – in fact this cake keeps incredibly well as it is so moist, so it can be refrigerated overnight in a sealed container before decorating the next day.

To decorate:
Trim down each cake to remove any uneven surfaces, then cut each cake in two.

Fill with two layers of whipped cream and one central layer of White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing.

For the icing:
There is some debate about the "correct" icing for a Red Velvet cake, but here I have been a bit less traditional.  In my view, make whichever icing is going to make you smile the most and please as many of your family as possible.  For the record, the cake pictured is iced with old fashioned butter icing with a layer of White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing in the central layer of the cake with additional blueberry syrup and a few whole blueberries added to the icing.

Butter icing is pretty much what it sounds like - equal parts butter and icing sugar with a scraped vanilla bean for flavour, whipped until very pale, light and just the right spreading and piping consistency.  Any other flavour can be added too, citrus, cinnamon etc.  Basic proportions are about 150grams butter to 2 or 3 cups icing sugar a tablespoon of milk, liqueur, citrus juice or warm water to assist in bringing it to the right consistency.

White Chocolate Cheesecake Icing
  • 300 grams cream cheese (low-fat is fine)
  • ½ cup white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla or raspberry liqueur (optional)

In a heat proof bowl, warm the butter and white chocolate to melting point.
In a separate bowl or in a food processor/mixer, add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and liqueur and begin beating.
Once the butter and white chocolate has melted, pour over the cream cheese mix and whip on high speed until entirely lump free.

If desired, this icing can be tinted any colour you like, I used Royal Mauve for the rosettes!
Once completely smooth, chill to firm up the mix before spreading on your cake with a palette knife.  For smooth results do a 'crumb coat' or rough under coat then chill the cake, before adding a second layer of  icing as the top coat for decorating.

To make you own blueberry syrup, cook down 400 grams of fresh or frozen blueberries with ½ cup maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a generous grating of nutmeg until it is thick and gluggy.  (It's also great on pancakes!)

10 Easy Steps to Succeed in Your Online Classes

Congratulations Youve made up our minds to pursue your upper schooling, and doing so online is how to pass if you have an interest in a versatile, studentcentered educating manner. Studying online permits you to pursue different pursuits and attend to different responsibilities whilst nonetheless operating your method towards some extent. However, it will now and again imply that its clean to get distracted. Here are 10 clean steps to verify luck on your online categories.

  1. Connect together with your instructors once conceivable. Even in case you are doing smartly within the category, its extraordinarily vital to increase a rapport together with your trainer. When you do that early on, you temporarily understand what the priorities are within the route, what expectancies the professor has of you and youre going to be motivated to prevail, surer of whats forward and higher ready to do smartly with the impending subject material.

Valuable questions to invite your trainer come with the next

How versatile are you with time limits How versatile are you with grownup freshmen What applied sciences do you employ within the route How to be had are you through e mail and different sorts of verbal exchange How do you put up an internet neighborhood and what are the expectancies for participation in it In addition, since instructors are to be had to lend a hand all over the classes, its all the time just right to have had private touch with the trainer early on. This method, when you wish to have lend a hand, its more straightforward to achieve out and get the help you wish to have.

  1. Confirm the technical necessities of the route. Online categories can also be very advisable for college kids with busy schedules, however provided that they are able to simply get right of entry to the fabrics. It is vital to obviously perceive what the technical necessities are. So, ahead of the route begins or as quickly thereafter as conceivable, youll want to test that your pc will paintings with the entire online equipment, and that you understand how to navigate them. This will be sure that you dont must spend time all the way through the route attempting to determine the generation.

three. Create a time table and stick with it. Quality online instructors create classes which might be clean to navigate and feature transparent expectancies. Having that roughly easytodealwith framework in position will make learning and succeeding that a lot more straightforward. However, although the framework and necessities of your category arent as transparent, youll create a time table and construction, which is able to very much fortify your probabilities of luck within the route. Using equipment equivalent to Google Calendar is a good way to start out. Knowing how your weeks and months glance and scheduling blocks of analysis time for each and every activity or module will will let you stick with a time table.

four. Ask questionsall the time. When you dont perceive, ask questions. When you do perceive, ask additional questions. Instructors recognize scholars who take part, and if theres a participation or dialogue part a part of the grade, then asking high quality questions is helping guarantee your grade on this space. Even if there isnt a participation part, its all the time helpful to invite inquiries to remember to perceive the fabric and are transparent on what is needed of you.

five. Be arrangedand keep arranged. Students whore taking conventional, campusbased classes most often have a constant time table to observe each and every week, through which study room instruction is adopted through assignments out of doors the category. However, for online classes, scholars will have to search out their very own techniques to stick on most sensible in their paintings. It is crucial that you just be arranged from the start of the semester with the intention to achieve success in an internet route. For instance mark task due dates on your calendar, discover a submitting machine for each online subject material and bodily subject material that is helping you stay monitor of the whole lot simply, and shed light on find out about schedules that duvet sections of the route one by one so youve got an arranged tactic to protecting the semesters subject material as you pass alongside.

  1. Have a blank, quiet, and constant workspace. One factor online and inclass classes have in not unusual is that scholars all the time want a spot to review or whole assignments this is blank, quiet, and constant. You can select the place that is for youwhether or not its at a espresso store, a college library, a devoted place of business, or at house. Wherever you select to review and whole assignments, you must make it a constant location that doesnt have out of doors distractions. It is basically key that where is quiet and lets you focal point in your paintings with out distractions.
  2. Do no longer procrastinate. Successful distance freshmen hardly procrastinate. They dont do away with assignments or wait till the final second to write down their papers. Successful online scholars experience freedoms that come with operating at their very own tempo and the facility to finish their paintings in as a lot time because it takes them. On the opposite hand, they know that finishing their assignments is best performed early and on time cramming merely doesnt paintings, and it doesnt will let you retain knowledge longterm. Get began early on getting a success.

eight. Work in your studying comprehension. Successful distance freshmen generally tend to have just right studying comprehension abilities. Most conventional, campusbased scholars concentrate to lectures and take notes, and a few online classes additionally require this. However, the vast majority of distance freshmen are anticipated to grasp subject material thru a large amount of studying. Although far finding out classes be offering video recordings and audio clips, maximum systems require scholars to hide and grasp a considerable amount of written knowledge. If it is a problem for you, it could be very useful to first sign up in a studying comprehension route there are lots of assets online that will help you do that. This ability by myself could make a huge distinction on your luck.

nine. Establish and admire routines that be just right for you. If, for instance, youre employed best within the morning or in brief bursts, then set find out about routines that can help you find out about within the prelunch hours when your mind is contemporary. If, then again, you do best through learning at evening or at the weekends when youll devote nightowl hours or longer blocks in your learning, then make it some degree to take action. Consider how and whilst you paintings best, and enforce a find out about plan that respects the routines that be just right for you.

  1. Connect together with your friends. Establishing sturdy connections with friends and professors is a very powerful facet of tutorial luck, in addition to skilled development. One of essentially the most rewarding reports in schooling is finding out thru collaboration. Forming significant relationships together with your friends and professors can can help you be told extra, keep motivated, and feature an outlet to specific your personal working out of subject material. So, keep attached thru message forums, chat rooms, e mail, and different digital assets. And take note lots of the other people you meet in faculty shall be conceivable process assets down the road so determine connections and keep in contact

Florida National University gives a wealth of tutorial and professional online classes. Check out the entire choicesyour long run is ready