Tag Archives: berry

Brown Butter and Berry Tea Cake

HP1B0177A couple of months ago we were at another baby’s birthday party at a park. Mr C was in his element, running around, terrorising adults and children, and being the centre of attention. Come cake time, he was nowhere to be found. I was getting a little worried when I spied a curly head peering out from under the massive cake table. There he was, staring intently at the baby’s mother cutting the cake. Mouth open and agape.When I approached him he looked me in the eye and said “cake”. I think he might just be his mother’s son. Of course, there was no denying him cake after that.

Nowadays he can identify the difference between a muffin “mussin” and cake. A muffin comes in a wrapper and a cake needs to be sliced. At afternoon tea-time when he sees me opening the freezer to grab a muffin, many an excited squeal can be heard.

The long and short of this is that I need to make sure that the baking I do is Mr C  friendly and generally on the healthier side of things. This means recipes with lots of fruit and veg, as little sugar as I can get away with and added bonuses like oats and nuts. Mr C is also very into helping at the moments so unless I bake during nap time, the recipe has to be simple enough that he can help with “missing”. Admittedly this results in about  three times the mess, but the kids loves it!

This recipe originally called for 1 cup of sugar, but I decided to halve it and substitute it with apple sauce, following the guidelines here.

I also added some nuts to the crumble topping for some extra crunch.

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Crumble topping

  • 1/4 cup butter cubed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries

Preparation

Inspired by the Brown Butter Blueberry Coffee Cake by Ambitious Kitchen

In small bowl mix together the crumble ingredients, except the pecans, gently with your finger tips until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add the pecans and refrigerate while you make the cake.

Preheat your oven to 350F or 180C and line an 8 X 8 tray with baking paper.

In a small saucepan place the stick of butter and slowly melt over a medium heat. Bring to the boil and watch the butter foam. After a few minutes you’ll notice some brown appearing at the bottom, remove from the heat at this point and leave to cool. The butter should be lovely and nutty in flavour at this point.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the frozen berries and coat well with the flour mixture.

In a second bowl mix together the egg, egg yolk, apple sauce, milk and cooled butter.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together before pouring into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the crumble topping on top and bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

This recipe is suitable to freeze!

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Filed under Non-Sri Lankan Food, Snacks and Sides, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized

Mixed Berry Muffins

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My first year of teaching, I taught a year 1 & 2 combined class. Come Mother’s Day, we decided to keep it simple. We asked the kids to draw pictures of themselves and their mothers and we cut and pasted cardboard frames. We were a government school and so had limited access to cardboard, a green sheet and a pink sheet were all we could scrounge up. On the day, we let the kids choose their own colours. Predictably, the gaggle of 6 & 7 years olds picked along gender lines. The girls all picked pink and the boys, despite it being Mother’s Day, insisted on green. Except for one lone male, he marched up bravely and asked for pink. When I asked him why, he quietly explained that he wanted pink because his mum was a girl and she would like pink. Bless.

I guess that’s the thing about Mother’s Day, it doesn’t matter whether you buy your mum a diamond ring or make her a cardboard picture frame, as long as as it’s something SHE will like.

I like these muffins because you can make them your own. Choose whichever berries you like, add some cinnamon or even add some chopped nuts if that’s what your mum likes!

If you want to make these for mum on Sunday morning, have the dry ingredients measured out on the bench and the wet ingredients mixed in the fridge. Have the muffin cases all ready in the pan. In the morning, add the berries, mix the wet and dry and spoon into the cases!

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup / 125ml canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 3/4 cups whole meal flour
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries
  • raw sugar, for sprinkling

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper baking cups.

Combine the yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and brown sugar into a large bowl. Gently stir the frozen berries and lemon zest into the flour mixture. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour and stir until combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle muffins generously with the raw sugar.

Place muffin tin on the middle rack of the preheated oven.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Filed under Cake, Snacks and Sides, Sweet Treats

Mini Baked Cheesecakes (Gluten Free)

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I want to talk a little less about the cheesecake here and more about the gorgeous cake stand that my girlfriends got me for my birthday. Isn’t it darling? It sits on our buffet and generally looks beautiful but today it was put to real use!

I’m strictly in the baked cheesecake family when it comes to cheesecake and this is my favourite recipe. I’ve changed and tweaked it a little but the best thing about it is that it is super flexible. Serve it wherever and with whatever and it’s a fabulous make-ahead dessert that can be frozen or refrigerated before you guests arrive.

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Makes 12

  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • 1 large egg (we use eggs with a minimum weight of 59g)
  • 20ml (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
  • 100ml (5 tablespoons) thickened cream (about 35 percent fat)
  •  1/2 cup  gluten free flour (simply use plain flour to make these non gluten free). 
  • 2 tbsp.  firmly packed light brown sugar
  • pinch tsp salt
  • 20g pecans (1.2 oz.)
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon cold water

Fruits, sauce, topping to serve

Based on two recipes, the cream cheese mixture is from exclusively food and inspiration for the base goes to Sprinkle Bakes

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F/ 180 C degrees. Place foiled line wrappers in the holes of a muffin/cupcake tin.

Place flour, sugar, salt, pecans and ginger in the bowl of a food processor.  Process until the pecans are finely ground.

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 Add cold butter and process until crumbs form.  Add water and process in bursts until the dough starts to come together in clumps.  Press dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pans. About 1 tablespoon per cup seemed about right.

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Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden. Cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and caster sugar in an electric mixer or food processor. Stop the machine a couple of times to scrape down the sides and base of the bowl. When the mixture is completely smooth and creamy, add egg and beat until combined. Add lemon juice and cream and beat until well combined. Divide mixture evenly among cases.

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Bake cheesecakes for 20 minutes. Remove from  the oven and allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes.

Remove cheesecakes from pan, place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Cheesecakes are ready to serve when they are cold and set. Remove cases before serving. Top with your favourite berries and sauces. I love these with lightly stewed frozen berries or passionfruit….fresh is best but even canned works brilliantly.

Cheesecakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. They are suitable to freeze.

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