Posts Tagged 'blueberry'

Maple-Blueberry Cake


This weekend started off so perfectly. Mike came home Friday night with little surprise for me:

Yep, that would be an animal style grilled cheese from In N Out. This is only the second time I’ve had fast food this pregnancy and it was exactly what I wanted.

Now that I’m within 12 days of my due date, I’ve been thinking about the whole impending giving birth thing. I didn’t take a birthing class, and I haven’t read all that much (or seen The Business of Being Born – am I the only expectant mother that hasn’t? Because it kind of seems like it). HOWEVER, I have come to the conclusion that I want an epidural, and here’s why:

1. I’m a badass and I don’t need a natural birth to prove it. I’ve run marathons and a trail ultra, I’ve done a half Ironman, and I’m still hitting the gym and lifting weights at 38 weeks pregnant. I don’t need to withstand the pain of a natural birth to prove to myself that I can handle it. I put myself through plenty of painful things on my own, thanks.

2. I’m pretty stoked on modern medicine in general. Modern medical technology made me able to run thanks to the 3 titanium screws in my hip, and it’s done a ton for other people too. I like the advances that have been made in pain management and I want to use them.

3. I take Tylenol when I have headaches. This is going to be infinitely more painful than that. Therefore I want drugs. Strong ones.

I have absolutely nothing against people who choose to give birth naturally. The beauty of this country in this day and age is that we get the choice…and this is mine (I choose my choice!) And now that I’ve posted something (possibly) controversial for the first time, lets talk about this cake.

I bought probably the last blueberries of the season last week and wanted to bake something amazing. Blueberry Boy Bait has always kind of appealed to me, but I wanted to incorporate maple flavor as well. So I took a recipe for that, cut half the butter, replaced some sugar with maple syrup, and added extra blueberries. It tasted kind of like pancakes (and Mike wanted me to call it Pancake Cake), with a hint of maple and plenty of berries. Divine.

Recipe:
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

cake
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 maple syrup
3 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup blueberries

topping
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 13 x 9 pan.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and brown sugar together in a stand mixer until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in the maple syrup.

Add half the yogurt and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down the bowl, add the flour mixture, and mix on low just until all traces of flour disappear. Stir in the remaining yogurt.

Gently fold in the blueberries using a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the pan.

Sprinkle the half cup of blueberries for the topping evenly over the cake batter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the cake.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

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Whole wheat berry pancakes


This was the first thing I made in our NEW kitchen! I’m still trying to get used to the fact that we have plenty of cabinet space for all our stuff, and that Mike and I can both be in the kitchen at the same time without running into each other constantly. It’s pretty luxurious.

Our first night in this place was Friday. However because the kitchen was pretty much a complete disaster…
we decided not to cook. I realize it doesn’t look that horrible in that picture, but what you can’t see is that pretty much every kitchen item we own was in a box in the living room, so cooking wasn’t really an option.

We got pizza delivered and celebrated the move with bubbly…water.

Saturday we spent the ENTIRE day cleaning the old apartment then took a much needed break at the San Jose Earthquakes v. New York Red Bulls game.

When you’re used to watching English Premier League games the MLS looks…kind of weak. But it was fun, and the fireworks after the game were awesome.

This morning we made a little more progress unpacking and I made some patriotic pancakes for a little early Independence Day cheer. These are just buttermilk pancakes, but using half whole wheat flour makes them hearty and the berries add enough sweetness that you don’t really need syrup…a dollop of yogurt and some fresh berries are pretty much perfect.

Recipe:

makes 8-12, depending on size

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted
about 1/2 cup mixed blueberries and sliced strawberries, plus extra for serving

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Stir the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter together.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix gently (it’s fine if the batter stays a little lumpy).

Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Ladle a little batter onto the griddle, then sprinkle with a few berries. Let cook for a few minute, or until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook an additional minute or two. Repeat with remaining batter and berries.

Serve with plain yogurt and berries.

Blueberry Cheesecake Tart

I’ve been on summer break almost a week now. I mentioned to my friend the other day that I was a little bored, and she told me I should enjoy this boredom now because after the kid comes, I’ll probably never be bored again. Good point, I should probably stop complaining…not only for that reason, but because I realize that having summers off is a huge perk that a lot of people are jealous of, and it’s kind of obnoxious to take it for granted.

So no more complaints here! I think I just had a tough time transitioning to spending my day with hundreds of teenagers to sitting quietly at home with no papers to grade or lessons to plan. But there ARE workouts to do, things to knit and bake, and books to read. Oh and that baby to get ready for…

My sister was here last weekend and she’s a better baker than I am. She doesn’t have a blog, but I keep telling her she needs to guest post on mine because she takes more pictures of food than I do and makes AMAZING cupcakes and cakes and cookies. She also happened to get the shot of me in action.

It took us FOREVER to decide what we wanted to bake when were hanging out this weekend, but the huge container of blueberries from Trader Joe’s beckoned and we settled on this. Our mom used to make something similar when we were little, and it’s delicious. I’d never made it in a tart pan before, but Mike said I have too many different pans that I never use so I had to prove him wrong. Score one point for maturity there! It would work well in either an 11″ tart pan or a regular pie pan.

Recipe:
(adapted from Notes From My Food Diary)

crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp sugar

filling and topping
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

3 cups fresh blueberries, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp freshly-sqeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease an 11″ tart pan (or a 9″ pie pan).

Combine the cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar and press into the tart pan. If the mixture seems especially crumbly, add a little extra melted butter so it holds together. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling and topping.

To make the filling, beat the cream cheese on high until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, and mix on medium until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the zest, eggs, and sour cream, then mix on medium until smooth.

Pour into the crust and spread evenly. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until set and slightly puffed up (it will settle as it cools). Cool to room temperature, then make the topping.

Combine 1 1/2 cups of blueberries with sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until fruit is soft and has released juices (about 5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and remaining berries. Cool to room temperature, then pour over the cream cheese layer, spreading evenly. Chill about 3 hours before serving.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins


First it was cupcakes, then it was Cheesecake bars. Seeing lemon and blueberry together, and then walking into Trader Joe’s to find they finally have the big packages of blueberries again (and from the USA, not Chile!) made it impossible not to make my own lemon and blueberry recipe.

I tried to make these a little healthier than your standard muffin. Some yogurt, some applesauce, whole wheat pastry flour, and a beaten egg white to keep things light, and I was really happy with how they turned out.

These muffins completely put me in the mood for summer. I just finished the class I was taking at San Francisco State, and I have 19 more days of work until my 2-month break. I’m already dreaming about all the baking I’m going to be doing in the next couple months. Oh, and I bought a baby knitting book.

Mike sarcastically told me after I bought it “yeah Cate, you definitely need more hobbies,” so I had to remind him that I’ll be running FAR less than usual this summer. I’m not sure how much I’ll actually accomplish considering that the last time I successfully used double pointed needles was when I made a hat 10 years ago, and I currently am working on a scarf that I started before we left for Asia (almost 3 years ago). I just could not resist the cute little booties and hats!

Recipe:
zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp zest and 2 Tbsp juice)
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
1 egg white
pinch cream of tartar
1 cup blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan.

Stir together the lemon juice, yogurt, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.

Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry.

In yet another bowl, whisk the egg white with a pinch of cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter, then fold in the blueberries and lemon zest.

Divide evenly into the muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan 5 minutes then remove muffins from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Cupcakes

Sometimes I have a really hard time deciding what kind of cupcakes to make. There are just too many options out there, and it kind of stresses me out, so I tend to just go with basic chocolate or vanilla. It absolutely thrills me when someone requests a flavor I hadn’t thought of, because then I get to branch out a little bit, but I have enough direction to not be overwhelmed by possibilities.

Mike LOVED the Strawberry cupcakes I made a few weeks ago, and hinted that I should try making some blueberry cupcakes just like them. So I did. I just subbed blueberry puree (pushed through a strainer) for strawberry puree. I used frozen berries, which I thawed first, because they are much juicier than fresh blueberries (and where can you find a fresh blueberry right now, anyway?) I might simmer the puree next time to concentrate the flavor a little bit more, but these are pretty addictive just how they are. Plus I really love it when things take on pretty colors without the use of artificial coloring!

Oh, and by the way (totally off-topic): Cate’s World Kitchen now has a facebook page! Click here and become a fan!

Recipe:

Makes 6 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
3 tablespoons blueberry puree (just puree thawed frozen blueberries in a food processor then push through a mesh strainer)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg

Frosting:
1/4 cup soft butter
1/2 cup thawed frozen blueberries, pureed and strained
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

To make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Put paper liners in 6 cupcake tins.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt onto a piece of wax paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, and blueberry puree.
Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and add the sugar. Beat for a few minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix on low until combined.
Add half the flour mixture and mix briefly on low. Scrape down the bowl and add the milk mixture, mixing just until combined. Scrape down the bowl and add the remaining flour mixture. Mix on low, then divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting:
Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the blueberry puree a teaspoon or two at a time until the frosting is smooth and spreadable (you will probably not need to use the full amount of puree).

Blueberries and Cream Ice Cream

I wanted to bring back a little bit of summer by making blueberry ice cream. I picked up a bag of frozen blueberries at the store decided to try coming up with a recipe on my own. I’m calling it blueberries and cream because you definitely taste the sweet cream flavor along with the blueberries. I left the whole berries in because I just love chunks of fruit in my ice cream.

2 cups blueberries (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 eggs
2 cups half and half

In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water, and simmer for about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and wash out the pan.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
In the clean pan, heat the half and half just to a simmer, then whisk gradually into the egg mixture. Transfer it all back into the pan and cook over medium, stirring constantly, until it coats the back of a spoon.
Stir into the blueberries, then set in an ice bath or refrigerate for a few hours.
When cool, transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions.



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