Archive | Desserts RSS feed for this section

Granola and Flax Crusted Pecans

27 Jan

IMG_0296

Happy New Year!

Better late than never, right?

Maybe that will be the new name of this blog: Healthy Recipes, Better Late Than Never.

I have found myself using the term with a lot of free will these days. The whole work/get-a-life balance mixed with the occassional curve ball has left me appologizing for being tardy or absent more frequently than I’d like to admit. Most of the time when I feel like I am spread very thin in life I get a hankering to push my physical limits. Not sure of the psychology there, but let’s all agree that it’s not worth checking into a mental health clinic. Yet.

Last Saturday with the wheels in my head spinning,  I had a deep longing to get outside for some serious solitude; plug in my headphones, and run. My spirit of adventure and I decided on a trail run at Mount Tamalpais, one that I have never done before.

IMG_0189

Running the trails, amongst the giant redwoods and lush greenery was pretty inspiring. The fact that I never tripped and managed to make it out of the 7 miles or so unharmed was a feat for me. As I am typically pretty klutzy. Pretty klutzy meaning very.

IMG_0201

When I made it to the top of the Steep Ravine I stopped for a snack…. you see where I’m going with this? Granola and Flax Crusted Pecans! And water, so much water.

These pecans are the perfect quick snack, full of protein and quick carbohydrates. The cinnamon and sugar touch is one of my favorite flavor profiles ever, so I am biased in saying that I think they are the perfect treat.

Why you should eat this?

Pecans are full of good, heart healthy fats and fiber. Helping to decrease the overall LDL (bad cholesterol) and promote HDL (good cholesterol). If you are running, hiking, or doing any kind of moderate excercise, pecans are a great anti-inflamatory snack to help speed up muscle repair.  If you are not into physical activivty then just eat these because they are delicious and won’t kill you.

Granola and Flax Crusted Pecans

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded or flaked unsweetened coconut
2 tablespoons ground flax
1/4 cup dark or light brown sugar (will try maple syrup another time)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Few pinches sea salt
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons water
2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

IMG_0275

In a food processor, pulse oats, coconut, ground flax (also added a few slivered almonds), sugar, cinnamon and salt.

IMG_0277

Make sure that you do not totally process this mixture, you want some whole oats left for texture. You don’t want to make this a powder or flour texture.

IMG_0279

In a large bowl, beat the egg white and water until frothy.

IMG_0289

Add pecans to the bowl and coat them very well. VERY WELL. Stir the nuts around in the egg white mixture for a few good turns to ensure that every pecan gets a good amount of moisture, this is how the oat mixture will stick to the pecans and that is the point here guys.

Pour oat mixture into bowl with egg mixture and fold very gently. You will have more oat mixture than pecans, but that is all part of the deliciousness.

IMG_0290

Spread all of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes. Move the pecans around once with a spatula to ensure an even browning for all pecans involved.

IMG_0291

Allow nuts to fully cool. Then break up clusters and store in a tighly sealed container until ready to eat. Or whatever, just eat them straight off of the pan.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

Advertisements

Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam

7 May

IMG_0314

It’s spring. I know where has the time gone? It feels like yesterday I was talking about Pumpkin Pie smoothies. Mmmm pumpkin pie smoothies.

While there are so many things that I love about spring: strawberries and rhubarb are what make it delicious.

The other part of spring that I love, should be no surprise to anyone in the world that knows me: baseball. In particular the World Champion San Francisco Giants. strawberries, rhubarb, and San Francisco Giants make this continuing relationship with life really worth it. I tell ya.

Lookit.

Two championships in three years. Go Giants.

Two championships in three years. Go Giants.

So this jam. It’s sweet from the strawberries, tart from the rhubarb, and the little bubbly texture from the chia makes it fun. I like to leave mine a little chunky so when people eat it they know what they are eating. Alright, I ate this whole batch by myself, but IN THE FUTURE if I choose to share, people will know what they are eating.

I enjoyed mine with my morning steel-cut oats, spread on some toast with butter, in greek yogurt, and by the spoonful. I would never eat standard jam or jelly by the spoonful because it is SO sweet, but this one tastes like what it really is: fruit. Which makes it heavenly and palatable by the spoonful. As with all of my recipes, let your imagination soar. Looking to the future where there may be a chance this ends up on ice cream.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how incredibly easy this is to make. It might be more work than buying a jar of jam, but just barely. If you’ve never made a jam before, no worries! This won’t require canning, keep this in the fridge and use it within two weeks (mine didn’t last that long, no surprise) if you’d like to freeze the jam, let it cool completely and freeze in a Ziploc bag. Then defrost and store in glass.

Why you should eat this? 

Chia Seeds can be found in the bulk section of health food stores.

Chia Seeds can be found in the bulk section of health food stores.

Chia seeds are a whole food that can easily be absorbed by the body. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. And sometimes they are used to grow grass like hair on a rendition of Homer Simpson’s head. Don’t use those ones.

IMG_0321

Quickly: strawberries are best when bought organic. They are such a delicate fruit that they really absorb a lot of the chemicals from standard growers. They are also MUCH much more flavorful when organic. Look for farmers markets this time of year to get great deals.

Darling little strawberries are significant in vitamin-C which is a powerful antioxidant. They also contain vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. They are an anti-inflammatory food that has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and improve the regulation of blood sugar to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Strawberry Rhubarb and Chia Jam (Yield: 1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 cup stemmed and diced strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • ½ cup rhubarb, small dice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons honey, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

IMG_0322

Dice strawberries and rhubarb to about the same size. Maybe a 1/4 inch each.

IMG_0317

Add all ingredients except the lemon juice  in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring frequently.

IMG_0316

Continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice.  Stirring frequently and breaking up any larger pieces of fruit along the way with a spatula.

IMG_0305

When the jam thickens significantly, a spatula will leave a clear path along the bottom of the pan. Like so.

Remove from heat. Allow to cool; jam will thicken as it cools. Spoon cooled jam into a jar. Enjoy as you will and go Giants.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

Blueberry and Lemon Muffins. Paleo Style.

17 Jan

IMG_2656

DO NOT BE ALARMED.

This blog and myself have not gone Paleo. Though, that would be a good excuse for my absence. Something like: ‘I hate everything and everyone. You can all just piss off. I am so miserable that I have to give up grains and beans that I might die and this blog is just not worth it anymore’! Now THAT would be an excuse.

Instead, same old – same old. Your girl is busy.

Don’t get me wrong here. I respect those who have made a commitment to a Paleo diet. I know someone who had terrible arthritis and has been Paleo for more than a year now, her symptoms are all but gone. There is no doubt that some people have allergies to food and have no idea that their health problems may be affected by what they are eating. It is certainly worth it to give an exclusion diet a shot if you feel like your health might be affected by an allergy.

With that in mind, I asked for this book for Christmas. See what the fuss was all about.

IMG_2659

I had picked it up once before and thought that the basic nutrition principles were great, something that I would enjoy reading. Really concise and easy to follow. The recipes were also right along my lines of healthy and holistic eating. I do really enjoy the book and will have my way with adapting the recipes to my liking. Not that they need much, they are pretty great.

OK: the goods. These muffins caught my attention in that they would be a low-glycemic-protein-packed-snack-on-the-go type of treat. You know how I roll, this is my thing.

Why you should eat this? 

It’s cold/flu season! What you need now is antioxidants. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and these muffins are not shy of blueberry goodness. In fact, I feel as if the ingredients in this muffin that are not blueberries, are just there to showcase how much blueberry goodness there is in these muffins. Added bonus that the muffins are hearty in egg which makes them packed with protein and gluten-free which makes them low glycemic. Perfect snack to make you feel full until the next meal.

Rejoice in these muffins, guys. They are healthy and delicious.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Source: Diane Sanfillipo (Servings: 12)

  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup grade B maple syrup
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • ½ cup coconut flour (I feel like you can use Almond flour or Oat flour if your not going Paleo here)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk together the eggs, butter or coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and lemon juice/zest.

IMG_2658

Fold in the blueberries.

IMG_2662

Add mix to lined muffin pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

IMG_2664

They won’t rise very much, so keep an eye on how brown they get.

Eat warm with a slather of butter or just as they are.

Trust me. So good.

Nichole

Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes

31 Aug

Well, I’m still hungry.

Here is what I came up with last night in a moment of desperation. That moment was about 11-ish. In case you missed my last post (ahem, how dare you) I am training for a half marathon and my metabolism is off the charts.

I know what it feels like to be Michael Phelps. Minus all the gold. Ok, perhaps I just know a little about what it is like to have Michael Phelps’ metabolism. And his long wing span, my arms are really long.

Anyhow, these pancakes are good. They were especially good as a guilt free midnight snack. Don’t limit your pancake consumption to weekend brunches, folks. Live a little. These pancakes are a dense and gooey version of the classic. Banana filled, with a nutty texture, sweet and cinnamon-y. Good. AND good for you. Full of protein, omega 3’s, potassium, fiber, and gluten free.

Golf claps.

I like my pancakes with fruit preserves (jams, jelly, marmalade, you get the idea) and fresh fruit. By all means you can put butter and maple syrup on these … and if the mood stikes you – NUTELLA (food of the gods).

 

Here I had them with guava jelly and almond butter…mmmmm.

Why you should eat these? 

Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains 467 mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent or reduce high blood pressure.

Potassium is also one of the most important electrolytes, which helps to regulate heart function and fluid balance. Very important for athletes (yes, I’m an athlete).

You shouldn’t need more reasons to eat these. Sugar free, gluten free, full of goodness, and so easy.

All you’ll need.

Gluten Free Banana Protein Pancakes (Servings: 6)

  • 2 small bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 tablespoons oat flour (Can use ANY flour)
  • 3 tablespoons of protein powder (I like Hemp, can use any or none at all)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) Coconut Milk (Can use water, milk, or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend. Check consistency, depending on the flour you use, you may need a little more liquid. Add in a tablespoon at a time.

 

Heat a pan with oil or butter. I used coconut oil, it is a high heat oil and it imparts a sweet nutty flavor that I like.

Let the pan get hot, then add your batter. Turn down the heat to medium to medium low. The key here is slow and low. Cook on this side for about 7-10 minutes.

 

The pancake will get brown around the edges, then like a normal pancake, they will form small bubbles. Flip.

 

This side will take another 7-10 minutes to cook. Guys, they’re worth the wait.

Serve hot.

Eat happily, brush your teeth, and go to bed. I know I will.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Almond Sponge Cake

13 Jul

Raise your hand if you love strawberry shortcake. The dessert, not the cartoon.

Oh, you too?

Well, I am deeply devoted. The perfect summer time dessert. Yeah, yeah, yeah, ice cream is good, but you can have that ANY time of year and don’t even say frozen yogurt to me.

Here is my take on the perennial favorite: a gluten-free almond sponge cake, fresh strawberries, and a simple, sweet whipped cream. My goodness.

I made this for friends to enjoy on the 4th of July. Boy, did they ever. OK, I may or may not have also made bourbon and coke floats too…. which may or may not have impaired their judgement. But seriously, as a Chef, if you are NOT trying to impair the judgement of your diners with alcohol:  you’re not doing it right.

Float in question. Bourbon+Coke+Vanilla Ice Cream = happy guests.

Happy Birthday America.

Here I am on the holiday+the BBQ that I was invited to = reason for bourbon and coke floats.

Why you should eat this? 

Back to the headline: GLUTEN-FREE ALMOND SPONGE CAKE. ANNNNDDD it’s sugar free.

For just a second, forget about that float up there and imagine this guilt-free cake, with fresh in-season strawberries and a maybe the cashew cream  we discussed a few weeks ago. Super healthy, over-top-goodness.

The cake stands up with the help of almond flour (you will be making your own). Almonds being the sweethearts that they are nutrient dense, full of fiber, good fats, rich in vitamin E, potassium, and manganese. Almonds are essential for a healthy heart, protecting against heart disease with monounsaturated fats. They have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and protect against diabetes.

I know, what are we waiting for!!

Gluten-Free Almond Sponge Cake 

  • 4 Eggs, Seperated
  • 1 ½ Cups Whole Almonds (will need 2 Cups ground)
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Oil and parchment a 9” cake or springform pan.

Separate the eggs. Add yolks to one bowl.

and whites to another.


Grind the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Careful not to grind too much or you will end up with almond butter, which wouldn’t be terrible, but it won’t make a cake. AND that is what we are here for, cake.

Add to the bowl with egg yolks and the rest of the cake ingredients and whisk together.


Whip the egg whites with a whisk or mixer until peaks form.


With a spatula, gently (I SAID GENTLY) fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until well-combined.

This is well combined, you can do it. GENTLY.

Pour into the prepared pan and put into the oven. IF, you are the type of person who likes to do jumping jacks while a cake bakes… this is not the time. This cake’s height and airiness are dependent on those egg whites staying nice and fluffy. If you slam the oven door, check on the cake too much, or do jumping jacks in the kitchen while this cake bakes… you will have a flat cake. You do not want a flat cake.

Step away from the oven

Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking at 25 minutes with a toothpick.

As for the strawberries: I cut up fresh ones into quarters and sprinkle VERY lightly with powdered sugar. Let these sit in the fridge for an hour or so, to let the strawberries’ natural juices release and mix with the sugar.

Whipped topping? You know what to do here. Make your own.

Trust me, so good.

Nichole

Gluten Free Walnut and Flax Cookies

31 May

I cut my finger.  A bad one. I guess that I was due. Considering I haven’t cut or burned myself in a long time. As a professional cook, these are our work hazards: cuts, scrapes, burns, jalepeno juice squirts in the eyeball… far from glamourous. I actually had to see a Doctor for this one. I knew that he couldn’t put it back together since I lopped the top of my finger off, but I needed the good Doctor to stop the bleeding, which he did. Right after he gave me a hard time for continuing to work all day with my hand in a bloody latex glove. SO GLAMOUROUS!

Doctor gave strict orders to stay out of the kitchen for a few days in order to keep the wound and bandages dry.

“Pretty certain I can do anything with one hand”. – Overly optimistic Nichole

I took 24 hours off.

Got to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge, by hanging out with friends on the bay and eating food that I did not cook. Watched the firework spectacular. Stunning, though my heavily bandaged finger did not fit into my gloves, so my hand was freezing! Yep, I wore one glove on my right hand, like Michael Jackson.

Here is the crowd at East Beach waiting for the sun to set and fireworks to start.

The next day I was back at it (No worries, Doctor knows nothing about this blog). Cooking in my home kitchen and making things that I felt would make my finger feel better. It’s ANOTHER therapeutic recipe!

Cookies, because the coconut milk ice cream was a disaster … will need to fine tune that one and get back to you guys about it. These cookies on the other hand are solid. A friend gave out this recipe as part of a presentation on aging. She handed out copies of the recipe and I have held on to it for years, like that scary troll thing from Lord of the Rings… my precious.

I have actually made them so many times, that I know the ratios by heart and I have had my way with adapting it many ties over. Add raisins or dried cranberries or dried cherries, no dark chocolate, MORE dark chocolate. You get it. It’s a versatile cookie. Have I mentioned how healthy they are? Because that is the reason we’re here in the first place.

My finger. It hurts. Naturally I needed cookies to make it feel better. It’s a a super bonus that these cookies happen to be delicious and healthy. Which will ultimately help to heal my finger, which will get me back into the kitchen faster. Perfect sense.

Why you should eat this? 

First off: these have no gluten, and depending on the kind of chocolate you use, no dairy or sugar. (I choose, DARK chocolate, 70%) Gluten, dairy, sugar are acidic in the body. So the less of these you eat, the better you will feel. Simple.

Need more? OK, Walnuts make up the texture and most of the moisture in this cookie because of their fat content. Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein. Rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.  Nuts in general are also high in plant sterols and fat – mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (Omega 3’s, in particular, alpha-linolenic acid ALA) that have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

With all these healthy fats and minerals, my body will have a much easier time regenerating the top of my finger, I really need that to grow back.

Gluten & Dairy Free Walnut Cookies (Yield: 48)

Adapted by Elise Dubois, Via Susan Steele

  • 2 ½ c. Raw Walnuts
  • ⅔ c. Gluten Free Flour, I have used Brown rice flour & Oat Flour both worked very well
  • ⅓ c. Ground Flax
  • ⅔ c. Maple Syrup
  • ⅓ c. Dark Chocolate
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp Salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.

 

First up: make your own flax meal.

I keep flax seeds in the freezer, they have volatile oils (Omega 3’s) that will go rancid if not kept properly. Those volatile oils, they are the most effective when they are ground fresh, the bags of flax meal at your market, who knows how long they have been sitting there?

I take the whole seeds and throw them in my coffee grinder, give them a whirl and just like that, fresh ground flax meal.

You did get that coffee grinder, right?

Now take all of the dry ingredients and throw them in a food processor. Add Vanilla.

Then drizzle in your maple syrup. The dough will get really sticky here and the blade of your processor may or may not mix it very well. You can step in and mix by hand from here if needed.

Chef tip: If you like to make cookies (or meatballs), get yourself a mini ice cream scoop to create even portions.

These cookies do not spread, so after I scoop them out, I pressed down with a fork shape them into rounds.

So they now look like this.

Bake for 15 minutes.

These cookies won’t brown too much on top, they’ll get brown on the bottom. I think 15 minutes is a good amount of time for them to cook. You really would rather these cookies be under cooked than over. Under cooked will leave some moisture and days later they will still be edible. Over cook them and you might break a tooth.

Let cool, and enjoy! WITH NO GUILT!

So good, trust me.

Nichole

 

 

 

Dark Chocolate Nut, Seed, and Fruit Brittle

26 Feb

I might need to change the title of this blog to something like: Girl-on-the-go-needs-something-to-shove-in-her-face.

So here it is, another recipe for jet-setting. This one rich dark chocolate, cinnamon, and orange. Protein packed full of nutritious nuts and seeds. A tart zing from the dried fruit. So good.

I end up making different versions of this a few times a month. Seems that I have been going through a lot of it lately.

I have really been giving it away pretty frequently too. I like to bag it up into portions, so that it is easy to grab and go. This makes it easy to control the amount I eat because if you set a large bag in front of me, I might not know how to stop myself. The bags make sharing pretty convenient too. If someone mentions that they are hungry, need something sweet, or looking for a snack. I reach into my bag and have this ready to satisfy.

Food in my purse? That’s how I roll.

Being my friend DOES have its minor perks…. aside from my stunning personality. I just might feed you.

This version has unsweetened cranberries and turkish apricots as its dried fruit additions. I like the sweet apricots and tart cranberry contrast. You can pretty much use any dried fruit. I often use Goji berries or dried cherries, maybe Thompson raisins if I have them around.

As for the nuts and seeds? Anything, really. I would highly recommend that you use raw nuts and seeds. You can find them in a bulk section at most health food stores. These are not roasted or salted, which leaves the flavors really true and lets the fruit and chocolate shine though. If you HAVE to use roasted and salted nuts…. fine. Maybe you can do me a solid and at least go unsalted? Thanks.

I typically keep a rotation of cashews, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax on hand. If I happen to see pecans or walnuts that interest me, then I will throw some of those in too. As for the flax, I know, you won’t get the full benefits of all the omega-3’s without grinding them, but I like to add them in hopes that I can smash a few in my teeth to make a difference. At the minimum, they are at least adding a little extra  fiber.

Who doesn’t need fiber, right?

Why you should eat this? 

Lets go with the fun one here: Dark Chocolate.

Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans, which are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate’s health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants. I like to chose dark chocolate that is over 70% cacao content. This means there is little to no milk and sugar. I say most because you always want to read the labels of the chocolate you are buying, a shame, but some chocolates are better than other. In fact, most over 70% cacao is very low on the glycemic index, meaning it will not spike your blood sugar like most sweets are known to do.

Dark chocolate is something that I have found to be best bought in these 3.5oz bars. I haven’t found one that I like in bulk. I like the one pictured because it is Organic, over 70% cacao, and fairly traded.

I should mention that if you wanted to use milk chocolate or any other type of chocolate in lieu of dark, go ahead. It works. Just disregard all of the time I spent putting together the above information on dark chocolate, fine.

Dark Chocolate Nut, Seed, and Fruit Brittle

  • 2 – 3.5oz Bars of Dark Chocolate
  • 1/2 c. Raw Cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 c. Raw Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/3 c. Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 c. Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 c. Turkish Apricots, chopped
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add your nut, seed, and fruit selection to a large mixing bowl.
Add the orange zest and cinnamon and give the mixture a good stirring.
Chop chocolate into even sized pieces. I like to chop directly on the paper (on top of a cutting board, of course) so that I get all of the little pieces to slide off right into the double boiler.
If you do not have a double boiler, you can boil water in a pot. Put a metal or glass bowl (one that fits nicely, not too big, too small would be a disaster) directly on top of the pot of boiling water.
With a whisk or fork stir chocolate pieces constantly to melt and remove from the heat.
Should be shiny and smooth. Be VERY CAREFUL, when you lift the bowl off of the boiling water. You will want to wipe away the water on the bowl quickly and not get any water in the chocolate or on the nut and fruit mixture.
Water and tempered chocolate are mortal enemies.
Add chocolate to the nut mix and stir to coat.
Spread mix into an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Let set in the fridge for a least 30 minutes.
Break into pieces.
Share the health and enjoy!

Meyer Lemon Cake

19 Feb


This is not a healthy version of Meyer Lemon Cake. This is straight up, butter, sugar, and all-purpose flour.

When I was given these glorious fruits by a client, he said “I hope these will be useful in your kitchen”.

There it was, he was giving them up and expecting to never see them again. I, being the codependent Chef that I am thought right away that I would use some of these gorgeous Meyer lemons to make something FOR him. I gave it some good thought and decided that it was best to go full fat, total indulgence on this one.

It couldn’t have turned out any better. The cake: soft, sweet and tart. I had a basket of blueberries ready to eat, but decided to throw them in the batter at the last minute. Sweet serendipity. When it was all said and done. We sliced it up for about 20 of us to enjoy, sat in the timely February sun on a Friday afternoon and indulged in this seasonal treat. I have no regrets about this one.

If you don’t have Meyer Lemons on hand, then by all means, use regular Lemons. I suspect that this cake minus the blueberries would be delicious as a combination of orange, lime, and lemon. Maybe lemon and raspberries?

Possibilities are endless.

Why you should eat this? 

Lets face it: any of the antioxidant and antibiotic effects that lemons provide will be cancelled out by the sugar and fat in this recipe. However, Meyer Lemons are very seasonal. You won’t find them in the summer or fall. THIS is the time of year to celebrate its harvest and delight in the bounty. If you are lucky enough to know someone with a tree, you are SERIOUSLY lucky. If you are buying these sweet treats at the market you will pay a pretty penny and they should be put to greatness. So there it is,  justification.

Go ahead. Eat this.

*Just run a little extra or add a few extra crunches in the next day.

Meyer Lemon Cake (Servings: 8)

 For the Cake:

  • 4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest of 3 Meyer Lemons
  • 1 ½ cups cake flour (or AP Flour)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Meyer Lemon Syrup:

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup Meyer Lemon juice
For the Meyer Lemon Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Meyer Lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and allow the excess to hang over the sides. Like this.

Cream the butter sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the lemon zest.

You can do this with a hand mixer or by hand. Especially if you are looking at burning a few extra calories prior to this carb feast.

In a separate  medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

Here, I used a sifter, because we have them in our commercial kitchen and I like how pretty and light they make the dry ingredients. If you don’t have this, just whisk them all together.

In another bowl, combine lemon juice,  heavy cream, and vanilla.

I know, this is a lot of bowls. If you want to save a step and a bowl to clean, go ahead and throw these wet ingredients into your butter mixture and give a GOOD mixing.

So many bowls!

Now, add the flour and lemon juice/cream mixtures alternately to the butter batter, beginning and ending with the flour. End by folding in blueberries.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan, smooth the top, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

MEANWHILE….

To Prepare the Meyer Lemon Syrup:

In a small saucepan, combine sugar and Meyer lemon juice and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

** Good time to mention, if you have any Limoncello hanging around … do what should come natural here and sub it in for the syrup. Give a strong pour.

When the cake is done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and set it on a rack.

With a toothpick or kabob skewer, prick holes all over the cake.

Spoon the Meyer lemon syrup over pricked cake or if you have a steady hand go ahead and pour directly from the pot on to the cake. Let the cake cool completely.

MEANWHILE….

To Prepare the Meyer Lemon glaze:

In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and the Meyer lemon juice until smooth.

Drizzle over the tops of the cake and allow the glaze to drip off the sides. Let the icing set for a few minutes before you slice and enjoy.

Hey, I didn’t say it would be easy, but it will be SO worth it.

Eat up!