Tag Archives: Lemon Sugar

sticky blueberry and lemon cake

Sticky Blueberry And Lemon Cake

Blueberries are one of my all time favorite foods. Juicy, sweet and colorful, the blueberry is a delicious fruit that lends itself to many culinary uses. I serve blueberries almost every day for my family. They’re great sprinkled on top of granola for breakfast, and a handful of blueberries thrown into a fresh fruit salad after lunch never goes amiss. I love to experiment by combining blueberries with other flavors when I’m cooking; and I have two particular recipe favorites that do just that, which I’m going to share with you today.

The first recipe is for blueberry ice cream — one of the best fresh fruit based ice cream flavors I’ve ever tasted. In my recipe, I use a scored vanilla pod infused into hot milk which makes a wonderful vanilla custard base. The combination of aromatic vanilla and the sweet blueberries is simply sumptuous, and the ice cream has a wonderful chunky texture. If you’re interested in whipping up your own batch, be sure to visit my blog for the recipe.

The second recipe is for sticky blueberry and lemon cake. Here I team up fresh blueberries with the contrasting, strong but refreshing flavor of fresh lemons. The sticky lemon topping adds a great, extra little kick. When the cake is ready to serve, you don’t actually see any icing on it. That’s the part I like about it — when you take a bite, you first smell the lemon, then savor a soft, sticky texture and then the blueberries come into the frame. Simply delicious!

sticky blueberry and lemon cake

Sticky Blueberry & Lemon Cake (Serves 10 to 12)

Cake Ingredients:
4 eggs
1 lemon
8 ounces (225g) butter + a little extra for greasing the baking tin
8 ounces (225g) golden caster sugar *
8 ounces (225g) self-rising flour
8 ounces (225g) fresh blueberries (washed and dried)
* Granulated sugar is okay if you whiz it in a blender for about 15 seconds to grind it down. Makes it easier to dissolve.

Sticky Topping Ingredients
:
2 lemons
4 ounces (125g) golden caster sugar *

You will need an 8-inch round or square cake pan, greased with a little butter.

Instructions:

blueberry lemon cake ingredientsStep 1 – Prepare the eggs and lemon:

a) Beat the eggs in a bowl and place to one side.
b) Grate the lemon rind finely and place to one side.
c) Juice the lemon and place the juice to one side.

Step 2 – In a bowl, beat the sugar and butter together until soft and fluffy.

Step 3 – Slowly beat the eggs into the butter and sugar mix. I usually add a little of the flour whilst doing this to stop the mixture from curdling.

Step 4 – Beat in the lemon rind, then slowly fold in the rest of the flour, adding the lemon juice as you do so until the consistency of the cake mix drops from a spoon.

fold blueberries into cake mixStep 5 – Take 3/4 of the blueberries and fold them gently into the cake mix.

Step 6 – Pour the mix into the greased cake pan and scatter the last 1/4 of blueberries on the top.

Step 7 – Bake at 350°F for 1 hour, (it should be firm to the touch).

Step 8 – Just before the cake has finished baking, prepare the sticky topping by mixing together the sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Ensure the sugar has dissolved.

pour lemon sugar mix over cakeStep 9 – The moment you take the cake out of the oven, use a skewer to prick it all over, then pour the sugar and lemon mix over it with a spoon.

Step 10 – Leave the cake to cool. When cold, remove it from the cake pan and cut into slices ready to serve.

 

 

Almond Joy Bars-0042

Almond Joy Bars

When I was a kid, my parents went to the grocery store once a month.  They stuffed all five kids into the minivan and headed off to a neighboring city to stock up at  one of those warehouse markets.  Oh, how I dreaded those trips.  It seemed to take hours, and even when we finally got home, we still had to unload two overflowing grocery carts worth of groceries from the van and put everything away in the kitchen. The only thing that made the trip bearable was the treat we got at the end of our trip — we all got to pick out a candy bar from the checkout aisle.

Oh, the decisions — I agonized over all of the choices every single month.  I couldn’t understand why my sister always got boring old gum, and I certainly didn’t understand why my brothers begged for baseball cards instead of candy.  Didn’t they know that they could have ANY CANDY THEY WANTED?  My parents didn’t keep a lot of junk food in the house, so this was a special occasion for me!

But you know what?  I always got the same thing.  I would pour over every single treat, and always, without fail, end up with an Almond Joy.  How could I not?  Coconut?  Good.  Almonds?  Good.  Chocolate?  okay, you get the point.

I found this recipe a few weeks ago and I have been just itching to make it.  My husband proclaimed it one of his “very favorite things I’ve ever made,”  and my daughters both got caught sneaking bites out of the kitchen.  This recipe — especially if you are an Almond Joy fan — will definitely become one of your favorites.  The crust is crumbly and cuts the sweetness of the gooey coconut middle, and the chocolate brings it all together.  I did use dark chocolate for the topping even though the original Almond Joy is made with milk chocolate, but only to help cut the sweetness a bit, and I think it worked perfectly.

Please give this one a try!  As always, I invite you all over here at Culinary.net to head over to Lemon Sugar and say hi!  I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, so please do stop by!

Enjoy!

Almond Joy Bars
Yield:  36 bars
Prep Time:  20 minutes ♦ Bake Time:  Approx 25 minutes

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 cups flour
1 (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 bag (14 ounces) sweetened, shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups sliced almonds
8 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spread the almonds in a thin layer on a large baking sheet, and toast them for about 5 minutes until they turn a light, golden brown.  Do not over-bake.  Set toasted almonds aside to cool completely before using.   After the almonds come out of the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
 
Meanwhile, prepare a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil, leaving 1 to 2 inch flaps that hang over the long edge.  This will aid in removal of the cooked bars.  Spray the foil with cooking spray, and set pan aside.
 
To make the crust, combine the butter and sugar in a food processor until smooth and completely incorporated.  Add the flour and salt, and pulse until well combined.  Add one cup of the toasted almonds (make sure they are cool!) and again pulse to combine.  Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and bake for 5 to 7 minutes at 350°F.

Remove from oven and prepare coconut filling.  In a large bowl, combine condensed milk, coconut and vanilla.  Stir to combine, and spread the mixture on to the crust, taking care not to tear or disrupt the par-baked crust.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown.

While the coconut is baking, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a double-boiler or in the microwave.  I use the microwave, heating in 15 second increments and stirring between each heating.  Do not try to melt them completely in the microwave, remove them when they are partially melted (usually after 30 to 45 seconds) and stir until the heat of the chocolate melts the rest of the chips.

Spread the melted chocolate over the baked coconut bars, and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup toasted almonds on top of the chocolate.

Put coconut bars in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, until chocolate has hardened.  When chilled, remove entire dessert from the pan by pulling up on the foil liner. Slice into bars, using a sharp knife, cleaning the knife (with warm water) between cuts if you want nice, sharp bars.  Serve warm or cold, but store remaining bars for up to three days in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Enjoy!

Recipe inspiration:  Glorious Treats

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes

I’m not sure if it’s just me or if everyone is the same way, but food evokes a lot of memories for me. The way something tastes or the aroma of a familiar food can immediately transport me to a different place and time. Pancakes with crispy edges take me right back to my Grandma’s kitchen; peanut butter bars remind me of my elementary school cafeteria; and popsicles remind me of trips to the lake when I was just a kid. Some people have a photographic memory, I guess – so maybe a “foodographic” memory isn’t that strange at all?

Of course, I just made up a word to describe my condition, so I suppose that in itself is a little strange. Sigh.

One of my very potent “foodographic” memories stirs every time I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My Mom frequently packed my lunch for school when I was younger, and PB&J was almost always the main course. But, this wasn’t your typical PB&J. Mom, in her own twisted logic, buttered both sides of the bread before she added the peanut butter and jelly.

Do you know why?

She claims that the butter kept the bread from getting soggy from the jelly. You know, it was a kind of moisture barrier. (I happen to know now that she just likes butter. She and Paula Deen are one in the same.) But friends, let me tell you, it was delicious. So much so that I can’t eat a PB&J to this day without smearing butter all over it, and I’m taken back to my childhood every single time I take a bite. My husband still rolls his eyes at me when I make them. I think he’s judging me.

I’ve been meaning to turn my buttery PB&J obsession into a cupcake for some time now, and I think this one fits the bill perfectly. The cake is buttery, the frosting is creamy and full of peanut butter flavor, and the jelly filling brings it all together.

Give these a try soon! And come over and see me at Lemon Sugar - we’ll make up some words together. And there will definitely be butter.

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cupcakes
Yield: 24 standard cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes ♦ Bake Time: 18 minutes ♦ Frost time: 15 minutes

Cupcake Recipe:
Click {here}for my favorite vanilla cupcake recipe. Prepare cupcakes, and cool on a wire rack.

Use the {cone method} to prepare each cupcake for filling. Spoon a teaspoon or so of jam into each cupcake, then replace the cone before frosting.

Filling and Garnish:
Approximately 3/4 to 1 cup of your favorite jam or jelly

Peanut Butter Frosting:
1 and 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 pounds confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons whipping cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and peanut butter until smooth. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla, and slowly beat together until the mixture starts to come together. Add whipping cream, and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Frost cupcakes. Use a spoon to create a small divot in the top of the frosted cupcake. Spoon a small amount of jelly into the divot.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Recipe inspired by Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes

I have a problem.

You see, I had absolutely no rational reason to make these cupcakes. My daughter was turning three-years-old, we were having a big princess party to celebrate and my menu was complete. I had planned the perfect dessert table, complete with every pink and green dessert I could think of. Two hours before the party was due to start, I decided that it was a beautiful display but somehow, it was uneven. I mean, I couldn’t possibly have an asymmetrical dessert table, could I?

Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with a lopsided dessert table. For one, it’s dessert, and most people don’t care what kind of arrangement you are working with as long as they get to eat the treats on display. Secondly, asymmetrical dessert tables are often desirable and more interesting than when everything is perfectly aligned. But in my head, this particular display was supposed to look a certain way, and I was one dessert short.

Cue the Oreo cupcakes. Dropped in pink and green cupcake liners, garnished with Cake Batter Oreo cookies and voila – my dessert table was complete, and all was right again in the princess-party universe, and with 30 minutes to spare.

I’ve made several variations of Oreo cupcakes before, but I have to say that these may be my favorite. Something about the rich chocolate cake flavor paired with the creamy buttercream and touch of Oreo cookie makes these a perfect blend of crunchy and creamy, chocolately and buttery — a perfect cupcake.

These start with a whole Oreo cookie dropped in the bottom of the cupcake liner — which in itself is magical, because the cookie gets soft and enhances the flavor of the cake. Crushed cookies mixed into a basic vanilla buttercream carries the cookie flavor through the frosting. And the cookie garnish? Better than a cherry on top.

I do hope you’ll give these a try, and if you haven’t yet, come see me over at Lemon Sugar! I have a Facebook page, a Google + page, or you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram for behind-the-scenes updates and more fun from my kitchen.

See you next month! In the meantime, if you have a chance to make these, let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Oreo Cupcakes
Yield:  24 standard cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 package Oreo Cookies, NOT double-stuffed (at least 45 cookies)

Cake:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 and 1/4 cup white sugar
1 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup coffee, any temperature is fine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
3 sticks (1 and 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound confectioners sugar
9 to 10 crushed Oreo Cookies (make sure you save 12 for garnish)
3 to 5 Tablespoons whipping cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 24 cupcake wells with high-quality grease-proof cupcake liners. Place a whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each cupcake paper, and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the cake ingredients and beat with the paddle attachment for 2 to 3 minutes. The batter will be thin and runny.

Using an ice cream scoop, pour batter over each of the Oreo cookies and fill cupcake papers no more than HALF to 2/3 full.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, but start to keep an eye on them at 12 minutes. A cake tester should come out mostly clean.

Cool completely on a wire rack, and prepare frosting.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add salt, and continue beating. Add vanilla and whipping cream. Beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

If frosting is too thick, you can add whipping cream one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is met. Add crushed Oreos at the last minute, stir to combine.

Frost as desired, and garnish with the remaining Oreo cookies, cut in half with a large kitchen knife.