Lemon Blueberry Mini Bundt Cake

I recently bought my first silicon baking pan. I didn’t realize how flexible these pans can be until I actually handled it, which made me slightly suspicious of whether these would be ideal for baking and holding shapes. Fortunately, the pan more than surpassed my expectations – it’s completely non-stick, does not even need to be greased, the baked goods can be popped right out, and it’s barely a pain to clean. For more on basics of baking with silicon pans and how to check the quality of silicon bake ware, check this link out.

To inaugurate my new mini bundt cake pan, I went with one of my favorites – the lemon blueberry combo. These cakes aren’t as light as muffins, but I also decided to have them without icing or any kind of glaze, so that it’s a great and filling breakfast on-the-go.

Lemon Blueberry Mini-Bundt Cakes

Lemon Blueberry Mini-Bundt Cakes

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home. Gives 9 mini-cakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Confectioner’s sugar (optional)

Directions

  • In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in blueberries.
  • Pour into three 4-in. fluted tube pans coated with cooking spray, filling them only two-thirds of the way.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Dust with confectioner’s sugar or with some glaze if you please.
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Lemon-Blueberry Bread with a Lemon Glaze

And my love affair with lemon continues! Having made cookies and bars, my next stop was some kind of a bread. I wanted to mix things up a little bit though, and given that I just bought a bunch of frozen berries that were on sale, I settled on a lemon-blueberry bread. Though I ended up drizzling a lemon glaze on top of it at the end, it would be perfect even without the glaze (especially if you want a breakfast bread).

Recipe adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen

For the Loaf:

  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approximately 1 large or 2 small lemons)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, frozen, thawed and rinsed (presumably it turns out even better with fresh blueberries)

For the Lemon Glaze:

  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and sides of one 9 x 5-inch loaf pans; dust with flour, tapping out excess.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

    Getting the ingredients together

  4. In a separate bowl, mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour.

    Remember to coat the blueberries in flour so that they don’t sink to the bottom while baking

  5. Take 2/3 of the blueberries and gently fold them into the flour. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the bread pan. Then add the remaining 1/3 of the blueberries and sprinkle them on top of the batter in the bread pan. Top up with the remaining 1/3 of the batter. (This step ensures that all the blueberries do not sink to the bottom).
  6.  Bake 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing loaf to a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

    The bread straight out of the oven! Let it stay in the pan for 10 minutes before taking it out and placing it on a wire rack to cool off

  7. To make the lemon glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 3 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. Add up to another tablespoon of lemon juice if the mixture is too stiff. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes, before serving.

Easy Desserts I: How to satisfy cravings the fast and cheap way

One of my new year’s resolutions was to post more on my blog and try out many new recipes. Unfortunately, that resolution is failing in the face of a super-demanding semester. So the last time I shopped for food, I decided to look for things that wouldn’t take time to make and also didn’t cost me a bomb. Strangely, I managed to find a combination of super-cheap and easy to whip up desserts. Here are some of these ideas:

1. Yellow Cake – Banana Muffins

Main Ingredient: Pillsbury Moist Supreme Yellow Cake Mix costing  just $1

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Prepare yellow cake mix according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Mash the bananas with the baking soda and stir into the cake mix batter. Pour batter into one greased and floured 9×13 inch baking pan/muffin trays
It took me 5 minutes to prepare the batter and around 15 minutes for my cupcakes to bake. Just keep checking yours with a fork – if the fork comes out clean and the batter’s not runny, then your cupcakes are ready! I personally prefer them refrigerated.
You can use walnuts and chocolate chips as well (though depending on your cake mix, your batter could already be pretty sweet, so you might stay off chocolate chips or similarly sweet frosting).
Alternatively, if you’re making these cupcakes for a fancier occasion, you can try putting this awesome lemon glaze on your cupcakes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/lemon-blossoms-recipe/index.html

Yellow Cake Mix Cupcakes

2. Parfait

Main ingredient: 1-2 cups of yoplait light/fat free yogurt costing 60 cents each!

I only recently discovered Yoplait’s many flavors and their fat free/light flavors are absolutely delicious. My favorite ones are: Strawberry-Banana and Blueberry. The Red Velvet and Blackberry are also decent, but the Boston Creme Pie is a bit of fail.

So if these yogurts are not enough by themselves, go ahead and whip up a parfait! Most of us have granola, different kinds  of berries or bananas always lying at home. It makes  for a delicious, filling and a healthy snack.

Berry Parfait

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some other ideas include:

1. Toasted Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich (though I personally would not add maple syrup to this): http://allrecipes.com/recipe/toasted-waffle-ice-cream-sandwich/detail.aspx

2. Chocolate-covered strawberries (http://www.marthastewart.com/313844/chocolate-covered-strawberries?center=276948&gallery=275225&slide=281675

3. Grilled banana-nutella panini (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes-and-cooking/quick-and-easy-dessert-recipes/pictures/page-4.html)

 

Blueberry-Pineapple Jello Dessert

Having made the blueberry muffins for breakfast on Christmas, the next day blueberry dish is going to be a blueberry-pineapple  jello dessert for the evening. I’ve found similar recipes that have been called ‘Blueberry Salad’ – let me just say there is nothing even remotely salad-ish or healthy about this recipe (This recipe has been adapted from one that I found on cooks.com) Don’t be worried, it’s not as unhealthy as that gummy bear salad with 14 cups of mayonnaise that is made on Christmas in How I Met Your Mother.

Overall, it does seem like more of a summer dessert given that it gelatinous.

Ingredients

  • 15 oz can blueberries dipped in light syrup (NOT the pie filling) – we used the blue Oregon brand can
  • 20 oz can crushed pineapple
  • 1 large pack raspberry jello
For the topping:
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

1. Drain the juice from the blueberry can into a container and add enough water to it to make 2 cups of liquid. Then heat the liquid so that it starts boiling.

2. In a different bowl, empty the raspberry jello. Add the boiling liquid to the jello, stirring slowly so that it dissolves properly. It is important to empty the boiling liquid over the jello, rather than put the jello into the liquid while it is on the gas because the latter will result in clumps getting stuck at the bottom of the liquid container.

3. Empty the blueberries and the pineapple into the jello. Move it to a pyrex dish and put into the refrigerator to chill. It should take around 4-5 hours to get set.

For the topping

Mix the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar. When it has been properly mixed, add the nuts as well. I just used a food processor to chop the walnuts, though you can most certainly do so with a knife as well, it’s just more time consuming. Put the topping on when the above mixture has been set. Serve chilled! Next time I’m going to make sure there is some leftover fruit to put on the topping 🙂

The jello and fruit mixture

With the topping on..would probably look amazing with blueberries on top

Blueberry Muffins

Christmas baking has started 🙂 First up, blueberry muffins. This was the first time I made blueberry muffins, since I’m so biased towards bananas and chocolate stuff. This recipe makes 12 medium-sized muffins. You can double it if you want more (which is what I did). Just remember, you’re only supposed to use frozen fresh blueberries with no preservatives  in this recipe, as recipes normally change a bit when unfrozen fruit is involved.

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries (though I might have increased it slightly more just because I love them so much)

Getting the batter ready

Getting ready to put in the oven

Directions

1. Switch on the oven to 375 F.

2. Sift into a bowl flour, baking powder and salt. Add to this,  brown sugar and white sugar.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, milk and oil.

4. Add the above mixture to the flour mixture, beating it until it moistens. It is best to use a an electric beater, though if you don’t have one, you can use a fork. Do not over-beat the mixture – mix it only until the batter is properly mixed, no need to have uniform consistency. Add the blueberries to this mixture in the end.

5. Spray the muffin pan with some cooking spray. There is no need to use  paper cups as long as you have a non-stick pan. Pour the batter in the muffin pan and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes (depends on the oven).

How to check if a muffin is done:

1. Poke the muffin with a toothpick or fork. If it comes back without any crumbs or batter on it, they should be done. If it has the mixture/crumbs on them, let it bake some more.

2. Also, if you lightly press the top of the muffin and it bounces back, then it should be done.

Next time I want to try and find blueberry sugar (small granules of sugar that taste of blueberry) so I can sprinkle it on top of the muffins.