Lemon Blueberry Poundcake

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Do you guys remember watching Arthur, as kids? It was the greatest show of all time! Back in the days, my brother and I used to watch Arthur pretty much every single day, to a point where I can still sing the song. There was an episode where Arthur and D.W. (his little sister, for those of you who spent your childhood under a rock), wanted to bake a birthday cake for Grandma Thora. Of course, the two of them chose the most complicated cake in the recipe book, and they also decided that the middle of the night was the most ideal baking time.

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As would be expected, they messed up the cake, and also set off the smoke alarm, if I remember correctly. After all of these shenanigans, Mr. Read (their Dad) woke up, and baked a simple pound cake instead. The point of this story is that pound cakes are the easiest type of cake to bake, and require the smallest amount of effort for a very high taste payoff! So, as I was tight for time, I wanted to make a simple yet delicious cake, and chose this Lemon Blueberry Poundcake.

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As you can probably tell, I took those photos on my phone, and for that I apologize! The real camera’s battery ran out, and these are the consequences of bad planning. Back to the pound cake! The recipe includes two of our favourite things to bake with: blueberries and lemon. The lemon flavour is just fantastic, and the blueberries add a stunning colour to the loaf. I didn’t add the glaze that is included in the original recipe, but it was wonderfully sweet and moist without it. I’ve made it in past with half whole wheat flour and half white, but to be honest, it tastes best with white all purpose flour.

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The first time I made this, my discerning brother said that this was the greatest thing I had ever baked, so it must be fabulous!

Thanks for coming by and have super duper weekend!

-G

Lemon Blueberry Poundcake

Globe and Mail Newspaper

Makes: 2 Loaves

Loaf

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

zest from two lemons

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

3 cups white sugar

5 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup buttermilk (1 cup milk + 1 tbsp lemon juice)

2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)

Glaze

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons buttermilk

2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups icing sugar

Method

Loaf

Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease and flour two 9×5 loaf pans.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the lemon zest. Set aside.

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter on medium high, then scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the sugar a ½ cup at a time, and cream until fully incorporated. Add the eggs, one by one, making sure that they are fully mixed in before adding the next. Once all the eggs are incorporated, turn up the speed on your mixer and beat until fluffy (about 10 seconds). Return to medium speed and beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Turn the mixer back up for a few seconds to fluff it up again.

With the mixer on low speed, or with a large spoon, stir in ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by ½ cup of the buttermilk. Then stir in another ⅓ of the flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup of buttermilk. Add the final ⅓ of flour and gently mix until just incorporated. Fold in the blueberries.

Split the batter between two greased loaf pans. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 85 to 95 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out on to a wire rack. Drizzle liberally with the glaze while still warm. Let cool before slicing. Makes two 9×5 loaves.

Glaze

Mix the lemon juice and buttermilk together. Gradually whisk in icing sugar until the glaze is sweetened to your liking (it should be a little bit tangy to compliment the sweet cake).

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Lemon Knots!

Hey there! For once, the future isn’t looking like a frightening thing. For the first time in a while, I’ve found myself happiness baking, not stress baking. With summer coming up so quickly, its time for some more lemon citrus goodness. This week, I baked some lemon knot cookies. Lemon-y, but not too in your face. If anyone knows why these cookies are made into knots, please let me know. I’m genuinely curious. These cookies were pretty simple, and tasted like a lemon shortbread.

Make the dough, and then put it into the fridge to harden a little bit. Since I’m a pretty impatient person, I only waited an hour. But 3 hours to overnight would be better, I understood why after I had a little difficulty with the knot forming part of this. Cut it into strips then roll them out.

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Now the slightly tricky part. Tie these into lose knots. Maybe keeping these in the fridge for longer would have been helpful, but once you get the hang of it, this isn’t too difficult.

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And bake away!

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(Consistency not required)

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These are coated with a glaze. I used some icing sugar and lemon juice.

I’m not going to lie; I’ve eaten way too many of these. March Madness TV time requires some intense snackage.

Have a wonderful week!

– S

Recipe from Laura Vitale: http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=398

I made one third of this and got about 15 cookies out of it.

Ingredients:


4 cups of All Purpose Flour

3 tsp of Baking Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

1 cup of Granulated Sugar

½ cup of Shortening

Zest of One Lemon

Juice of One Lemon

3 Eggs

1/3 cup of Milk

For the Glaze:


1 ½ cup of Confectioner Sugar

Zest of one Small Lemon

1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice

1) In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.

2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the sugar and shortening, add the lemon zest and eggs and beat until the eggs are well incorporated.

3) Beat in the milk and lemon zest and make sure its all mixed well.

4) Add the dry ingredients and mix them in so that everything is well combined (the dough will be sticky)

5) Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours or overnight.

6) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.

7) Take your dough out of the fridge and cut it into 3 equal pieces. Cut each piece into 12 pieces.

8) Take each small piece and roll it between your fingers to make a 6 inch rope.

9) Tie the rope into a loose knot and place it on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Continue with the rest of them and place them about an inch apart on the baking sheets.

10) Bake them for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden, let them cool on the baking sheets.

11) To make the glaze, combine the confectioner sugar, lemon juice and zest and whisk to combine. Add one teaspoon of water a time and whisk it in until the mixture becomes the consistency of heavy cream.

12) Brush the glaze on top of the cookies and place them on a rack to dry.

13) To store, place them in an airtight container and store them in the fridge

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Have you ever gone to Costco and bought those their lemon poppy seed muffins? And by muffins I mean cakes, because those things are enormous. However, they are delicious. So I went online to try and make something equally delicious myself since, in my books, lemon in anything = instant perfection. I’ve made this recipe at least 10 times, and even taken it to my boss’ house (and that obviously requires perfection). Here’s what you’ll need:Image

Get started by mixing the wet ingredients. Image

Then the dry. Image

Mix the two while adding in the milk. Image

And bake.Image

Then make the syrup. On the site, they tell you to make way too much. Here’s how much I make:Image

Poke some holes in the bread then pour on the syrup. Leave it covered with plastic wrap overnight. Then enjoy 🙂 Image

See, simple and tasty, all at once! Hope you have a wonderful week!

–       S

Recipe from http://www.canadianliving.com/food/lemon_poppy_seed_loaf.php

Ingredients

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened

1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

2 eggs

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour

3 tbsp (45 mL) poppy seeds

1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon rind

1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1/2 cup (125 mL) milk

Lemon Syrup:

1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar

1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind

1/3 cup (75 mL) lemon juice

Preparation

  1. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, poppy seeds, lemon rind, baking powder and salt
  3. Stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of flour mixture and 2 of milk.
  4. Spread in greased 8- x 4-inch (1.5 L) loaf pan.
  5. Bake in centre of 325°F (160°C) oven for 1 hour or until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Place pan on rack.

Lemon Syrup

  1. In saucepan or microwaveable measure, warm together sugar and lemon rind and juice until sugar dissolves.
  2. With skewer, pierce hot loaf in 12 places right to bottom; pour lemon syrup over loaf.
  3. Let loaf cool in pan for 30 minutes; turn out onto rack and let cool completely.
  4. Wrap and let stand for 12 hours before slicing.

Lemon Squares!

So I’m flying solo with this post today since the two of us can’t always get together to bake on Saturday nights (wild social lives, we know).

I decided to make lemon squares since its incredibly easy and I was feeling incredibly lazy. This recipe is pretty easy to follow; even my brother could pull it off (I may have just lost us one of our 5 readers). The original recipe is from allrecipies.com. If you haven’t used this site before, I highly recommend it. You can essentially find anything you’re looking for and the reviews are usually pretty helpful. I changed up the ratio of base to lemon filling just out of personal preference; I like a little more lemon filling and a little less base.

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Mix together all the ingredients for the base first. I started doing this by hand but then remembered that living at home as a student has a couple of perks, one of them being a Kitchenaid standing mixer.Image

Press this crumb-like mixture firmly into the bottom of a pan (I used a 9x9inch) and bake for 20 minutes (or the edges are very slightly brown).

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While the base is baking, whisk together all this gloriousness:

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I like to add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest to get more of the lemon flavour. I only had one lemon on hand so I added a little bit of the ready to use stuff. Don’t judge me…

Pour this onto the baked base.

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Bake for another 20 minutes.

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And you’re done 🙂 You can dress them up a little bit with some icing sugar but they’re equally as delicious as is.

Enjoy!

-S

Edited Recipe:

Base

  • ¾ cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Lemon filling

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Original recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/the-best-lemon-bars/)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, blend together softened butter, 2 cups flour and 1/2 cup sugar. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 inch pan.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm and golden. In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Whisk in the eggs and lemon juice. Pour over the baked crust.
  4. Bake for an additional 20 minutes in the preheated oven. The bars will firm up as they cool. For a festive tray, make another pan using limes instead of lemons and adding a drop of green food coloring to give a very pale green. After both pans have cooled, cut into uniform 2 inch squares and arrange in a checker board fashion.

Starting off with… cupcakes?

We planned to make brownies for our first post, but that failed.

So instead, we made these cupcakes for our friend who was going to France for the summer. Lemon cupcakes with whipped vanilla buttercream and candy melt butterflies.

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The cupcake recipe is from Laura Vitale (http://www.laurainthekitchen.com/all/episode.php?episodenumber=368).

These cupcakes have fresh lemon flavour from the lemon zest and have a similar texture to pound cake. We’ve made these cupcakes lots of times and they’re essentially fool proof (coming from us, that means a lot).

ImageImageDon’t forget to tap the tray before baking so they don’t explode (like some of these did…).

We figured we were putting in so much sugar into the icing so hey, chocolate ganache on top? Why not.

Just take equal parts whipping cream and semi-sweet chocolate, heat the cream to a simmer, then add the chocolate and stir until smooth.

For the icing, we used the recipe for classic vanilla buttercream frosting from Bakers Royale (http://www.bakersroyale.com/cupcakes/banana-split-cupcakes/).

First, add the sugar and egg whites together until you can put your finger in and it’s just a little too hot (clearly, we don’t own a candy thermometer) and all of the sugar has dissolved. Whip until its cools down and the mixture doubles in volume (don’t try this by hand) and then add the butter and remaining ingredients. Butter = good for the heart?

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For the butterfly decorations, we melted the candy melts in the microwave until smooth. Transfer into Ziploc bags and pipe on wax paper into butterflies (if artistically challenged like us, follow a stencil).

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To assemble:

1. After cupcakes are cooled, spread a thin layer of buttercream on top.

2. Put in freezer for about 10 minutes to harden.

3. Dip into prepared chocolate ganache.

4. Pipe on buttercream.

*If you want to reuse your piping bag, check out this link, http://chefmommy-brandao.blogspot.ca/2011/04/tip-best-tip-ever-for-filling-pastry.html*

5. Carefully place piped butterflies on top of buttercream.

To be even more ambitious, we tried to make some 3-D butterflies too. We piped the wings and bodies separately and let them cool. Then, we glued them together at an angle with extra candy melts.

ImageAnd voila! Aren’t they pretty 🙂

If you’re not as super keen as we were, piping this icing onto the cooled cupcakes will taste just as good (slightly healthier? Not likely)

You could even top with toasted coconut flakes and a strawberry slice just for kicks (or just sprinkles would do too).

First post = accomplished!

Stay tuned for weekly posts (that means you, Mom)!

Lemon Cupcakes from Laura Vitale:

1 ½ cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tsp of Baking Powder

¼ tsp of Salt

1 cup of Granulated Sugar

½ cup of Unsalted Butter at room temperature

2 Eggs (We’ve substituted the eggs with yoghurt before and it ends up equally as delicious)

¼ cup of Whole Milk (We used 2%)

¼ cup of Sour Cream (We used yoghurt)

2 tsp of Freshly Grated Lemon Zest

1 Tbsp of Fresh Lemon Juice

½ tsp of Vanilla Extract

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a 12 piece cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
3) In a large bowl, using a hand help whisk or you can do this in a big standing mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, add the eggs and incorporate well.
4) Add the sour cream, milk, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix until its all well incorporated.
5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix them in to combine but make sure you don’t over mix.
6) Using a large ice cream scoop, divide your batter evenly in lined muffin tin. Bake for about 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Classic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Bakers Royale

5 large egg whites

1 ½ cup sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, diced and softened

¼ teaspoon salt

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1) Combine egg whites and sugar in a bowl placed over simmering water. Bring mixture to 150 degrees F while whisking constantly.
2) Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until mixture cools and doubles in volume.
3) Add butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.   The frosting may appear to look separated, keep mixing and and it will come together (this commonly happens when making Swiss Meringue Buttercream.)