Lemon Blueberry Bread

20

You know this is going to be good, right?…I mean, lemon and blueberries together, it just cannot go wrong.

5e

I always have at least two boxes of blueberries in my freezer. I buy them fresh and freeze it, and use it in everything from smoothies to muffins to pancakes and morning cereal. Same with the lemons, I always have a few lying around in the refrigerator.

7e

Tangy, sweet and moist, it is one perfect quick bread. It smells wonderful and looks amazing, thanks to the beautiful marbling from the blueberries. The sugar and lemon juice glaze on top gives it an extra boost of lemonyness. This time though, I chose not to glaze the bread since I wanted to keep it plain and simple.

Although the recipe specifies a 60-70 minutes baking time, start checking at 50 minutes.

14e

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Recipe coutesy: Taste of Home

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp. lemon juice

2 eggs

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 tbsp. grated lemon peel

Glaze:

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 deg F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice and eggs. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir into egg mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition. Fold in the blueberries, nuts and lemon peel.

Transfer to a greased 8-in by 4-in loaf pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to the rack.

Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over bread. Cool completely.

Note: If using frozen blueberries, use without thawing to avoid discoloration of the batter.

Winnie the Pooh and Friends Cake

This is my first cake of the year, made for a sweet little boy who celebrated his second birthday recently. It is a two-tiered Winnie the Pooh and Friends cake covered in fondant. Every single thing on the cake was made out of fondant. I just loved those little honey pots and those mushrooms. It was a really fun cake to create and the birthday boy loved his Pooh cake.

Taking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener!

collage3

Christmas Fruit Cake/ Kerala Plum Cake

6e

13ee

Finally the Christmas Fruit Cake is ready. Remember this? And guess what? I have found THE recipe. After years of trying many many recipes ranging from “not bad” to “it’s ok” to “well, that’s it, I’m done!”, I have fallen in love with this particular recipe. And yes, it has managed to do the unthinkable — convert me from a hardcore fruit cake loather to a budding fruit cake lover…😍.

Doesn’t it look absolutely gorgeous?…so dark and perfect!

4e

This recipe comes from the lovely Shema George at Life Scoops. This recipe is her family’s own heirloom recipe, handed down over three generations. It has got to be good, right? And she has very generously shared with us all this awesome recipe here. Although you can find the recipe at the end of this post here, I really urge you to go visit Shema and read everything about this wonderful cake and also about her family’s Christmas traditions. She also has some very valuable tips on making this fruit cake perfect. Thank you so much Shema!

19e

I soaked the fruits for about 4 weeks. Then I baked it, brushed it lovingly with rum, wrapped it tenderly, first in parchment paper, then some foil and finally put it in a ziplock bag and stored it away in a secret place, away from all the hungry monkeys in my house 😀.

The recipe yields 2 9-inch cakes, but I chose to bake this in my Bundt pan. The baking time in the recipe says about 1 hour, but my cake took almost an extra 20-25 minutes. So start checking at the recommended baking time and allow more time if needed.

14

Taking this to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener!

Christmas Fruit Cake

Recipe source: lifescoops.blogspot.com

Ingredients:

Soaking the fruits

2/3 cup sugar

5 cups dry fruits (raisins, sultanas, currants, cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, prunes, dates)

1 cup water

1/2 cup brandy/rum

Cake

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking Soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cloves

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 3/8 cups (2 sticks and 3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 3/4 cups powdered sugar

5 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp orange marmalade

1/2 tsp orange zest

3 tbsp lime juice

3 tbsp powdered sugar

1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, cashew nuts)
Method:

Soaking the fruits (A few weeks, preferably a couple of months ahead of baking the cake)

Finely chop the dry fruits.

In a non-stick sauce pan, add the sugar and let it caramelize. Once the sugar caramelizes or turns into brown color, take the sauce pan off the heat and carefully add water little by little. Be careful to avoid splashes as the caramelized sugar would be extremely hot. Stir well.

Add the chopped dry fruits and reheat mixture until it starts boiling.

Take it off the heat and add brandy or rum.

Let the mixture cool completely; cover and seal in an air tight container.

Making the cake batter

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.

Grease the cake pan and line it with parchment paper. Since I used a Bundt pan, I just greased it.

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg) and keep it aside.

Mix the butter and sugar together and add the egg yolk one by one until everything is incorporated.

Add the soaked dry fruits and mix.

Stir in the flour mixture in batches and mix.

Add vanilla, orange marmalade, orange zest and the chopped nuts.

In a big bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the lime juice and powdered sugar and mix again.

Folding egg whites into cake – Pour 1/2 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter, and stir it in. This thins and lightens the batter, making it easier to incorporate the rest of the egg whites. Mix until there are no visible streaks of egg white in the batter.

Pour remaining egg whites into the batter – This time, instead of stirring, gently lift batter from the bottom of the bowl and gently fold it over top of the egg whites. Handle the batter gently, in order to preserve the foam as much as possible. Repeat, until the egg whites are dispersed throughout the batter but still visible.

Pour the cake batter into prepared pans and bake for 1 hour or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Storing the cake

Let the cake cool completely

Prick holes in the cake with a toothpick and brush/drizzle brandy or rum.

Wrap and seal the cake with parchment paper, followed by aluminum foil; cling wrap it and store it in Ziploc bags.

Repeat the process of feeding the cake with rum/brandy occasionally, to keep it moist and rich.

Fondant Artist’s Palette and Brush Cupcake Topper Tutorial

Hello everyone 😀 …happy Wednesday to all of you!

Today I have for you a small tutorial on how to make an artist’s palette and brush cupcake topper out of fondant. I always add a little tylose powder or gumtex to the fondant when I want to make shapes and figures out of it. The Tylose powder makes the fondant firmer and also helps dry it harder and faster. You could always use store-bought gumpaste, but just make sure you work fast since it dries really quick.

ap20

Palette

Here I am making a wooden palette. You could also make a simple white palette.

collage

Take 3 shades of fondant and roll them into logs. Since I wanted a lighter shade of wood and not much variation, I chose only three — white, very light brown and light brown. If you prefer a darker wood, use darker shades.

Press them together.

Twist it into a single log.

Fold and twist again.

Keep twisting until you are happy with the marbling.

Roll out the fondant.

collage3

Make a template. I just drew the shape of the palette on a piece of cardstock and cut it out. In case you don’t want to draw a template, here is a printable template I found online.

Place the template on the fondant and cut it out using an X-acto knife.

Cut out a hole using Wilton nozzle 12.

ap10

For the paint, I melted some white chocolate and colored it red, green, blue and black and placed a drop of each on the palette.

Brush

collage2

Take small pieces of gray and light brown fondant.

Roll the gray fondant into a small thin rope. Using your finger taper the end of the rope.

Cut a piece of small square from the rope.

For the bristles, roll the light brown fondant into shape and use a toothpick to make some fine lines. See the size of the brush compared to a quarter.

Attach the brush to the palette using a little water or gum glue.

Paint the square part of the brush with silver dust.

And there you go…your fondant cupcake toppers are ready!…so easy, isn’t it?

collage4

Fruity Pebble Pancakes

p3e

Hola, any confetti cake lovers here? Oh, what’s that?…umm, yes…you are right, I should probably rephrase the question and put it this way, Is there anyone who doesn’t love a good confetti cake? I definitely do. There is something so happy about a confetti cake, don’t you think? So colorful, so playful, just a fun cake altogether.

The  little monkey loves pancakes and is now into colors and shapes, which led me into making these confetti pancakes using Fruity Pebbles cereal. The fruity pebbles add a lot of color and a faint punch of fruity flavor to these pancakes.

p5e

These make a perfect fun kiddie breakfast. A little something to brighten up your sleepy, cold mornings. I mean, how can you say no to these little cuties?

p1e

The original recipe makes a simple, plain pancake, which is quite good just like that. I always add a dash of vanilla extract and slightly more sugar/honey to the batter, though, for that extra flavor. These pancakes are tall, light and fluffy, and very easy to whip up. This recipe takes very well to adaptations. You can add anything from fruits to chocolate chips to well…fruity pebbles, and more.

p2e

 Packing these off to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

Fruity Pebble Pancakes 

Original pancake recipe source: Allrecipes.com, altered.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup milk

2 tbsp. white vinegar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cups Fruity Pebbles

Method:

Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to sour.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg into the “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone. Fold in the Fruity Pebbles.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Shaded red, orange and yellow Fall-themed Cake

11eHello helloo….did you all have a nice weekend? How was Thanksgiving? Tired after all that food and shopping? Did you score any awesome BlackFriday deals? So many questions, I know!

8e

We had a very cozy, fun Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin’s house with family and friends, and I made this rustic Fall-themed cake as a birthday cake for my niece, who celebrated her 9th birthday the same day . The pumpkins were made out of orange and yellow fondant. Oh, how I loved that baby orange pumpkin…I so wanted to steal that cute little fella and sneak it back home, but by the time the cake was cut and devoured, it was no where to be seen. In someone’s tummy, I guess…😔

collage

It was a simple vanilla cake filled with vanilla buttercream. I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Just to give it a Fall feeling, I frosted the cake in shades of red, orange and yellow buttercream, and once you smooth everything out, you are left with this beautifully marbled, shaded effect. I was pretty happy with how it turned out. And hey, the rest of the desserts at the party…pumpkin cheesecake ( recipe coming soon), pistachio pudding, flan, and pecan pie…oh yum!

Sending this cake and my little pumpkins to Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener.

 

Craftsy Black Friday Sale– All classes $19.99 or less!

(Sponsored post)

One of the questions I get asked frequently is if there are any good cake decorating classes online. My answer is always Youtube videos and Craftsy classes. They have a wide range of topics on cake decorating from buttercream to fondant to more advanced sugar flowers and techniques taught by experienced cake decorators. And for all you guys who have been wanting to try the classes, I just wanted to give you a heads up that today through Monday (Dec 1), they are having a Black Friday sale and All Classes $19.99 or less! I think that’s an awesome deal, considering that some of these classes normally cost anywhere from $24.99 to $49.99.

Here’s wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Christmas Fruit Cake in the Making…

P6

Back in India, like elsewhere, fruit cakes are all the rage during the Christmas season. Popularly known as Plum Cakes, these rustic fruits and nuts–filled cakes are made well in advance, giving it enough time to soak in all the boozy goodness. The fruits are chopped up and soaked in rum/brandy and caramel for a good number of weeks, even months before being incorporated into the cake. Once baked, more rum/brandy is poured or brushed into the cake frequently (known as “feeding the cake”) and wrapped up and stored away till it is ready to be cut.

IMG_368

Now, I am not a fan of plum cakes, but I still try to make it every year. I have used a lot of recipes but have not been totally happy with any of them. This year, it’s a new recipe and I hope it comes out really good and ends my quest for that perfect plum cake recipe. Will keep you guys posted!

IMG_371

Introducing ‘new’ bloggers #21

Thank you so much Jhuls and Sarah for the mention….you guys are so kind!

thenotsocreativecook

Yay! I couldn’t believe I am already in #21 in the Introducing new bloggers series. Introduced 100 bloggers already? Wow. I feel so proud. 😀 But I admit that I had help from some of the amazing blogging buddies (you know who you are) and this time, Sarah, is doing it again.

Five out of seven already made it to last week’s episode. And now, Sarah will bring you the remaining bloggers she has emailed me:

sayhelloMy Adventures in Dinnertime  Meet Amanda! She’s a mom of 2 and a loving wife. She makes amazing things! Take a look at this Chicken Caprese or these beautiful Vanilla Cupcakes. I expect great future posts from her 🙂

Belle of the Kitchen – Aah, meet Belle! When you visit her blog, you’re instant happy! Her blog is colorful and just full of joy!

Her about page starts really good:

View original post 520 more words