Archive for Recipes: Sweet

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

I really, really love this time of the year.

First off, I’m a summer girl. I was born in the summer, and I love the heat. I know lots of people complain about it, but I will take it any day over the rain.

The other thing I love about summer is that it seems like, every time you turn around, there’s something new to cook. Something is blooming, producing fruit, basically hitting you with all of Nature’s bounty. Seasonal means cheap, and seasonal means fresh.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

It’s currently blueberry season, and Michael and I drove out to the valley last weekend to stock up. This week, therefore, is all about the blueberry.

I really love doing sweet and savoury together, like pairing blueberries with traditionally savoury ingredients, like herbs or balsamic vinegar. Last year, I did a barbecue sauce that incorporated blueberries, and served it with my pulled jackfruit on a taco (would also rock on a waffle for brunch).

They are such great, versatile berries, and packed with Vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants. You really could just eat them by the handful and call it a day, but I do like to make at least one pie or galette (aka lazy pie) somewhere along the way. I will also freeze any leftovers on a single layer on a sheet tray, then transfer to a ziploc once they are frozen, and then they get chucked into my morning smoothie.

One classic and winning pairing, however, is with lemon, and that is what today’s recipe is all about.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Traditionally, a pound cake was a very simple recipe: one pound of butter, one pound of eggs, one pound of sugar, and one pound of flour. That’s it! It was a super simple recipe.

That cake also tended to be pretty heavy and dense (but makes for the base of a lovely shortcake!). This version is lightened-up some, both in texture and in weight.

You can’t skip zesting the lemon. It’s a crucial step. There is a ton of bright lemon flavour hidden in the essential oils in the lemon skin. Lots of people use a rasp or a microplane for this step, but I prefer a citrus zester.BC Blueberries Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 3⁄4 cups flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups blueberries, tossed with 1 tbsp flour

Method

  1. Place the milk in a small bowl, and add the lemon juice to it. Set aside while you complete the next few steps.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter and sugar. Cream together well until light and all the sugar is incorporated.
  3. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, and beat again.
  5. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to the mix (with the mixer on low), alternating between the flour and the milk, in three batches.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the blueberries by hand.
  7. Pour into parchment-lined pans (you could use a loaf pan or a bundt cake–I did mine in a series of mini loaf pans) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. For the glaze: mix together 2 cups icing sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Drizzle over your cake, then allow to set.

Vegan Mirror Glaze

You probably already know this about me, but I love to bake. What you may or may not know about me is that I am terrible at decorating. Like I watch shows like Nailed It on Netflix and honestly I don’t know that I could do any better.

When I make a birthday cake (find my go-to vegan birthday cake recipe here), I mostly use a chocolate ganache, it’s just easier, and it tastes delicious.

I’m not amazing with piping, etc. But I’m trying to learn!

Vegan Mirror Glaze

I’ve been curious about mirror glaze ever since I learned about it. It’s a very cool decorating technique that makes your cake look like it has been covered by a shiny pond. You can even dye it with food colourings to make it look galaxy-like, or more unicorn, rainbow-like. The cool thing about this technique is that you don’t have to really have any “technique” to make it work. You just kinda pour and swirl, and the final effect looks like someone tie-died your cake.

The problem with mirror glaze is that it uses gelatin to thicken. And gelatin, clearly, is not vegan, or even vegetarian. Many mirror glaze recipes also call for white chocolate, which is not vegan, so I set out to try to find a vegan mirror glaze recipe. This one incorporates cocoa butter (which is the base of many chocolates) and agar as substitutes for the white chocolate and the gelatin.

I had a bit of a challenge finding cocoa butter in Vancouver, but eventually found it at Vegan Supply. Since then, I spotted it at Whole Foods as well, and I think maybe Tao Organics in North Van may stock it as well.

It’s honestly not difficult to make. The whole process, though, if you are doing this from scratch, takes some time, as you have to bake the cake, let it cool completely, make the icing, ice the cake (this one works great), let it cool completely (again) and then you can put the mirror glaze on. I had a leftover cake in the freezer that shortened my process, but I still think it took me a couple days to complete, so be sure if you are making this that you give yourself lots of time.

It’s worthwhile to note that you can sub out the cacao butter for dark chocolate, but that means that you need to choose dark colours for your glaze, like blues and purples. It’ll make more of a night sky/galaxy cake.

Mirror Glaze Vegan

Vegan Mirror Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cups coconut milk (the canned kind)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp water
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsp agar
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter chunks
  • food colouring of your choice

Method:

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