Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

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Summer Berry and White Chocolate Trifle

July 2, 2020

This is a light and cool dessert perfect for sunny summer days. It also makes some nice red, white and blue layers — if you are looking for a patriotic treat for the Fourth of July!

There are a lot of different layers, so this recipe involves a whole bunch of prep. This will give you smooth white chocolate mousse, compotes of various berries, and a soft marshmallow layer.

You will need:

  • 2 1/2 c heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 1/2 c white chocolate chips
  • 3 t vanilla extract, divided
  • 3 pints blueberries
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • 2 pints strawberries
  • 1 lime, zested
  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 c + 2 T sugar, divided
  • 10-12 oz lady finger cookies

Then you will…

  1. In a small sauce pan, warm 1 cup of the cream until hot enough to steam but not hot enough to boil. Stir frequently to avoid scalding the cream.
  2. Put the white chocolate in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate and allow to rest for one minute, softening the white chocolate.
  4. Stir together until the white chocolate is melted and smooth.
  5. Optional: strain the white chocolate mixture through a fine sieve to make it extra smooth.
  6. Set the white chocolate mixture aside and allow to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  7. In a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 1 1/2 cups of the cold cream with 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract until firm peaks form.
  8. Fold the white chocolate mixture into the whipped cream until incorporated and smooth.
  9. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to allow the white chocolate mousse to set.
  10. In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries with 2/3 of the lemon zest and 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.
  11. Heat over medium heat, stirring periodically. Allow the berries to break down into a compote, about 8-10 minutes.
  12. Transfer the blueberries to a bowl and allow to cool.
  13. Wash out the saucepan and return to the stove top.
  14. In the saucepan, combine the raspberries with the remaining lemon zest.
  15. Heat over medium heat, stirring periodically. Allow the berries to break down into a compote, about 4-6 minutes.
  16. Transfer the raspberries to a bowl and allow to cool.
  17. Wash out the saucepan and return to the stove top.
  18. Slice the strawberries (we cut them fairly small for kids) and put into a medium mixing bowl.
  19. Mix the lime zest and 2 tablespoons of sugar into the fresh strawberries. Set aside and allow to macerate.
  20. In the small saucepan, bring a few inches of water to a simmer.
  21. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer or large heatproof mixing bowl, mix together the egg whites with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar until starting to incorporate.
  22. Place the bowl with the egg white mixture on top of the saucepan with water. Whisk constantly for 6 minutes to gently heat the mixture and dissolve the sugar into the egg whites.
  23. Turn the burner off and remove the bowl from the stove top.
  24. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla into the egg whites.
  25. Continue whisking 6-8 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and glossy and resembles a soft marshmallow topping.
  26. Now you are ready to assemble the trifle!
  27. In a large serving bowl or trifle dish, place a layer of lady fingers on the bottom (we broke ours in half to make it easier to eat for kids).
  28. Top the lady fingers with half of the blueberry compote.
  29. Add another layer of lady fingers and top with half of the white chocolate mousse.
  30. Add another layer of lady fingers and top with the raspberry compote.
  31. Add another layer of lady fingers and top with the remaining half of the white chocolate mousse.
  32. Add another layer of lady fingers and top with the remaining half of the blueberry compote.
  33. Add a final layer of lady fingers and top with the soft marshmallow.
  34. Just before serving, top the trifle with the macerated strawberries.
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“Big Marshmallow” Pavlova

May 24, 2020

Our boys call this the “big marshmallow” and quickly clean their plates. A pavlova is a meringue-like dessert that you top with whipped cream and fruit. It’s very popular in Australia and New Zealand (where we first had it), and it is thought to have been inspired by ballerina Anna Pavlova in the 1920s. It’s been made and enjoyed in the same day, but you could make it a day prior if you cover it tightly — you want to prevent moisture from getting back into the meringue part.

You will need:

  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 2/3 c + 2 T sugar, divided
  • 1 t cornstarch
  • 1/2 t cream of tartar
  • 2 1/2 t vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 t white vinegar
  • 2/3 c whipping cream
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 4-6 T powdered sugar, to your sweetness preference
  • 2 c sliced strawberries
  • Zest of one lime
  • 3-4 oz of your favorite fruit curd (we loved using passion fruit curd)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.
  3. In a small food processor, pulse together 2/3 cup of the sugar with the cornstarch and cream of tartar (about 5 pulses).
  4. Add the sugar mixture to the egg whites in 2 parts, mixing in between, before continuing to beat until stiff peaks form.
  5. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vanilla plus the vinegar and beat until very stiff peaks form. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without losing any of the meringue from the bowl.
  6. Spread the meringue in a 9-10 inch circle on the prepared parchment paper. I like to give it a slightly higher lip around the edges, which will help it hold the whipped cream in place later.
  7. Put the meringue in the oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees.
  8. Bake for 90-100 minutes or until the meringue is dry. It does not need to be golden.
  9. Turn the oven off and allow the meringue to cool in the oven.
  10. Beat the whipping cream with the sour cream and remaining teaspoon of vanilla until soft peaks start to form.
  11. Add the powdered sugar to taste (we prefer less sweet, since the meringue and berries add sweetness too) and beat until it holds soft peaks.
  12. In a small bowl, combine the strawberries with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and the lime zest. Stir gently and allow to rest for 15-30 minutes.
  13. Top the meringue with the whipped cream, dollops of the fruit curd, and the strawberries. Serve immediately.
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Apple Ginger Cake

March 31, 2020

This is a feel good cake, perfect for tea time or sharing with friends. I love the warm ginger and how well it goes with all of the apple!

You will need:

  • 2 c currants
  • 1 c (~ 6 oz) dried apples, chopped
  • Scant 1/4 c (~2 oz) crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 c brandy or bourbon
  • 2/3 c whole milk
  • 1 c molasses
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 4 c flour
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c toasted nuts, chopped (I used pecans)

20191227 Apple Ginger Cake 01

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the currants, dried apple and crystallized ginger.
  3. Warm the brandy or bourbon for 20 seconds in the microwave.
  4. Stir the brandy into the dried fruits and set aside.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine the milk with the molasses and baking soda.
  6. In another medium bowl, combine the flour with the cloves, nutmeg, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt.
  7. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar.
  8. Mix in the eggs.
  9. Mix the milk mixture and the flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternating between the two.
  10. Gently mix in the fruit and nuts.
  11. Pour into the prepared pan.
  12. Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil, tightly crimped around the edges of the pan.
  13. Set the pan in a deep roasting pan.
  14. Add boiling water to the roasting pan until it reaches about halfway up the bundt pan.
  15. Bake for approximately 2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  16. Remove the Bundt pan from the water and allow to cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a plate
  17. Serve warm in slices with some whipped cream.
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Buttermilk Banana Bread

March 22, 2020

We usually have bananas in the house, and we all love banana bread. We had some extra buttermilk that we needed to use, and voil√°! The result was a bit hit with the whole family and some friends that were visiting.

You will need:

  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 1/2 c butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c chopped nuts (I suggest pecans or walnuts)

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugars with the butter.
  3. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, cinnamon, vanilla, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Stir in the mashed banana.
  5. Mix in the flour, oats and nuts.
  6. Spread in the loaf pan.
  7. Bake 60-75 minutes, or until golden and a tester in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before removing and cooling on a rack.

20191231 Buttermilk Banana Bread

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Cranberry Cookie Bars

December 24, 2019

20191216 Cranberry Cookie Bars 02These sweet, rich treats are a great way to celebrate the fresh cranberries that you will find in the store in the late fall and winter. They will disappear quickly!

You will need:

  • 2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1 T plus 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 c flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, picked through for any stems, rinsed and patted dry (you can substitute frozen — but use them frozen!)

Then you will…

  1. Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil and lightly grease.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Mix in the flour until incorporated.
  5. Using your hands, spread 3/4 of the batter into the prepared pan. Allow it to come a little up the sides.
  6. Spread the fresh cranberries on top.
  7. Crumble or drop the remaining batter on top of the cranberries.
  8. Allow to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden and set.
  11. Allow to cool for a half hour in the pan before you try to remove the cookie bars.
  12. Then allow to finish cooling on a wire rack before cutting.

20191216 Cranberry Cookie Bars 01

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Cranberry Nut Cake

November 4, 2019

This buttermilk cake studded with fresh cranberries and white chocolate and full of ground walnuts. I loved the combination of sharp tartness, creamy sweetness, and nuttiness.

20181229 Cranberry Chocolate Cake 04

You will need:

  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 8 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 c buttermilk (substitute: combine 1 T lemon juice with cup of milk and let sit for 5 minutes; stir and use)
  • 1/2 c walnuts, finely ground
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 c white chocolate chips
  • 3 T cinnamon sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 8 or 9-inch springform and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugars with the orange zest to release the orange oils.
  3. Cream the butter into the sugar mixture.
  4. Mix in the egg, vanilla, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt.
  5. Mix in the buttermilk, ground walnuts, and flour.
  6. Fold in the cranberries and white chocolate
  7. Spread in the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Bake 45-60 minutes, until golden and set in the middle.
  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

20181229 Cranberry Chocolate Cake 02

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Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

August 11, 2019

20190728 Sour Cream Blueberry Coffee Cake

I am a sucker for coffee cake, and summer is such a sweet time for blueberries. I love the crunchy exterior of this coffee cake and hope you do too!

You will need:

  • 1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 t ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries (or 1 c frozen blueberries)
  • 1/2 c chopped pecans

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nonstick Bundt pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter together with the sugar and 1/2 cup of the brown sugar. 
  3. Beat in the eggs.
  4. Then beat in the sour cream, vanilla, 1 teaspoon of the ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
  5. Beat in the flour until just blended.
  6. Fold in the blueberries.
  7. Gently spread a third of the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
  8. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar with the remaining teaspoon of cinnamon and the pecans.
  9. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the batter. Using a knife, gently swirl the mixture into the batter.
  10. Gently spread the remaining batter in the pan.
  11. Bake for 60 to 75 minutes. Tester should come out clean.
  12. Allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before inverting to remove from the pan.
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Citrus Lime Chicken with Mango Salsa

August 5, 2019

20190717 Citrus Lime Chicken

This recipe is perfect for hot summer weather. The citrus is bright, and the mango salsa is juicy and fresh.

You will need:

  • 3/4 c orange juice
  • 5 limes, juiced and zested (4 in the marinade and 1 in the salsa)
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 1 T honey
  • 3 T low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t cumin, divided
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1/2 c finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 lb chicken breast, cut into half thickness
  • 1 small mango
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped

Then you will…

  1. Prepare the marinade in a large bowl. Mix together the orange juice, juice and zest of 4 limes, olive oil, honey, soy sauce, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cumin, salt, pepper and the cilantro.
  2. Place the chicken in a large sealable bag or storage container. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper..
  4. Bake the chicken for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165.
  5. While the chicken bakes, make the salsa. Peel, core and chop the mango and the avocado. Mix them in a small bowl with the red onion, remaining lime (juice and zest), and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
  6. Serve the chicken topped with the mango salsa.
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Strawberry Bunny Cake

April 11, 2019

Growing up, my grandparents made a Bunny Cake every Easter. I recall being dazzled by the cake year after year. It was always so special looking…plus it was served on an extra big tray (and what little kid doesn’t get excited about that?!). This past Easter my mom and I made one at my house. We baked, frosted, and covered it with coconut the evening before. Then my mom added some fresh fruit to make the bunny face before serving. It was a huge hit with the whole family (and inspired some pretty wide toddler eyes too!).

20180331 Bunny Cake 02

You will need:

  • 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 c milk, room temperature
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 3 c hulled and chopped strawberries
  • Favorite white frosting (we used two containers of whipped vanilla frosting from the store)
  • 14 oz sweetened coconut flakes
  • Berries for decorating (we used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)

20180331 Bunny Cake 04

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the vanilla and eggs until smooth and well blended.
  4. Mix in the milk, baking powder and salt until well combined.
  5. Mix in the flour and beat until smooth.
  6. Fold the chopped strawberries into the batter.
  7. Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out mostly clean. The sides should be have begun to come away from the pan.
  9. Cook the cakes on a wire rack for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn the cakes out from the pans and remove the parchment paper lining.
  11. Allow to cool completely on the wire racks.
  12. Cut one of the cakes into two ears and a bowtie(the cake between the “ears” will become the bowtie; see the first photo above).
  13. Set the cakes on a large serving platter (in a pinch, you can use a large foam board covered in plastic wrap).
  14. Frost with your favorite frosting.
  15. Sprinkle coconut on top and gently press it into the frosting.
  16. Just before serving, decorate with fresh fruit to make the bunny’s face.

 

20180401 Bunny Cake

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Cranberry Cake

December 31, 2018

I am loving cooking with my toddler. He was very excited to help with this cake, and we all loved that it was not ultra sweet. The cranberries and lemon make it a very bright cake, even for the winter.

You will need:

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries, picked through to discard any that have gone soft
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Approx. 1 c powdered sugar

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in the eggs, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  4. Mix in half of the flour and the sour cream.
  5. Mix in the remaining flour.
  6. Fold in the cranberries.
  7. Spread into the prepared bundt pan.
  8. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden on the sides. A tester in the middle should come out clean.
  9. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
  10. Allow to cool another 15 minutes before icing.
  11. In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest and juice with the powdered sugar to make a smooth glaze. Drizzle over the cake before serving.

20181125 Cranberry Cake 03

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