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MICROWAVE

A Cake That Frosts Itself

May 23, 1991|MARCIA CONE and THELMA SNYDER

Many people object to microwave cakes because they don't brown. But with a topping of glistening blueberries, which appears once the cake is turned over, this problem is solved.

Lemon sauce goes well with this cake, and you can make a tasty blueberry sauce that can be layered with angel food cake, along with the lemon sauce. Slice the cake horizontally in thirds, then spread some blueberry sauce between all layers. Reassemble the cake, smooth some of the lemon sauce on and garnish the outer rim with toasted coconut or finely chopped nuts.

BLUEBERRY UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

5 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 cup plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 egg

1 cup cake or all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon Sauce

Place 1 tablespoon butter in 8 1/2-inch-diameter cake dish. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 35 seconds to 1 minute.

Combine blueberries, cornstarch, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in large bowl, stirring to coat berries. Spoon evenly over melted butter. Beat together remaining 4 tablespoons butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in mixing bowl until light. Beat in egg.

Combine flour and baking powder in separate bowl. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to creamed butter. Beat in vanilla. Spoon batter evenly over blueberries, spreading with spatula to make level surface.

Place dish on microwave-proof cereal bowl in oven. Microwave, uncovered, on MEDIUM (50% power) 8 minutes, then on HIGH 3 to 5 minutes or until cake tests done, rotating 1/4 turn 2 to 3 times, if necessary. (Top may appear damp but not wet--wood pick inserted in center will come out clean.)

Let cake stand directly on counter 10 minutes before turning out. Invert cake onto serving plate, tapping bottom of dish to release. Spoon any berries that cling to dish onto cake top. Serve warm with Lemon Sauce. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup cold water

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Combine sugar and cornstarch in 4-cup glass measure. Stir 1/4 cup cold water into mixture to form smooth paste. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup water. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100% power) 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture boils and is slightly thickened, stirring once.

Place egg yolk in small bowl. Pour little of thickened hot mixture into egg yolk, stirring constantly. Pour egg yolk mixture back into glass measure with remaining thickened hot mixture. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest until blended. Serve warm or chilled. Makes 1 cup.

WARM BLUEBERRY SAUCE

2 cups fresh or 1 (12-ounce) package frozen unsweetened blueberries

2 tablespoons orange liqueur

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine blueberries, liqueur and lemon juice in 4-cup glass measure. If using fresh berries, microwave on HIGH (100% power) 4 to 5 minutes or until just heated through, stirring once. Microwave frozen berries 7 to 9 minutes. Make sure berries stay whole. Makes 2 cups.

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