The Camas Farmer’s Market has been canceled this week because of the heat wave. It was over 100 degrees here yesterday and the temperature promises to reach into the 100’s through Wednesday. Now that the Camas market is being held on Wednesday afternoons the challenges are different. When the temperature soars, it does get brutal out there on the pavement in the afternoon and due to National Weather Service recommendations that people avoid the sun the organizers felt it was best to close the market this week for the safety of visitors, farmers and volunteers.
Luckily I have some blueberries left from last week’s market. They have been nestled in the refrigerator and still look great. There are enough to make a batch of Summer Berry Basil Sauce. Poured on top of a white chocolate yogurt based cake batter and topped with lots of toasted almonds this spiced blueberry sauce adds a complex tart-sweet blueberry edge as a counterpoint to the dense rich cake beneath and the crunch of the toasted almonds on top. It makes a delightfully fresh and summery taste combination.
Enjoying the Dog Days of Summer
I plan to avoid the heat of the day by baking these delicious Blueberry White Chocolate Bars early. Maybe I’ll serve them for an afternoon snack with a glass of iced tea or some beautiful Lavender Lemonade. Or, plated on top of a drizzle of the same Blueberry Basil Sauce, maybe even topped with a little ice cream, these cake squares would make a delicious conclusion to a light evening meal.
Then again, maybe I’ll pack them in a basket along with some good bread, olives, cheese, and a salad for a picnic at Crown Park. There’s lots of shade under the big trees there. With a picnic blanket and some cold drinks it would be a great way to make the most of these dog days of summer.
Blueberry White Chocolate Bars
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
8 ounces white chocolate, chopped or in morsels
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
5 ozs. plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 batch of Blueberry Basil Sauce (recipe below)
1 cup toasted sliced almonds
More Blueberry Basil Sauce for plating, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
Place the white chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler. Set over simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove from heat. Transfer the white chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Stir the sugar, yogurt, eggs and vanilla into the white chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined and smooth.
Stir the dry ingredients into the white chocolate mixture just until combined.
Spread batter in prepared pan.
Spoon Blueberry Basil Sauce over batter.
Insert a table knife or thin spatula through the berry sauce and into the batter. Draw the knife through the batter, back and forth, from end to end, then side to side, every few inches to achieve a lightly marbled effect.
Sprinkle toasted sliced almonds evenly across the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, or until done. (The edges will begin to brown and the fruit will appear somewhat set.)
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
When cool, cut into squares.
Blueberry Basil Sauce
2 cups blueberries
¼ cup fresh basil (several sprigs)
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
In a small saucepan stir together the basil sprigs, honey, lemon juice, cinnamon and the blueberries.
Cook gently, over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes, or until berries have begun to soften. With the back of a spoon squash some of the berries against the side of the pan while cooking.
Remove from heat. With a spoon, remove the basil sprigs and discard.