Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blueberry Lemon Cake

D and I went to see his parents in Mid December.  I was talking to his mother about what I was making for Christmas Dessert (German Chocolate Cheesecake Cake) when she informed me she didn't like Cheesecake.  #&*$! What am I going to make her?  D did some investigating and found out she likes blueberry pie.  Of course, a blueberry pie would have helped our waistlines as neither of us likes it, but I really hate making pies, and D's face seemed to indicate that he wanted no part of that in our house.  So after some research (or googling), I found this recipe.  D said that it sounded good.

It was really easy to make, except the batter was really thick.  The frosting made just enough to cover the cake, so don't keep tasting the frosting or you won't have enough to cover the cake.  Seriously, it made JUST enough.

So the taste?  D's mom said it was good. I thought it tasted like a blueberry muffin with good frosting.  My brother decided it was breakfast cake.  D liked it as well.  Neither D nor I tasted the lemon, but maybe it is the season and they aren't flavorful?  I'm not really sure.

Considering this didn't have my 3 requirements to bake a cake (chocolate, cream cheese or liquor), I thought it was really good.  I need to make it in the spring or summer to test out the lemon.

Photo by ALB

Blueberry Lemon Cake

Source: "Alice's Tea Cup" - Blueberry Lemon Cake printed by NY Daily News
Makes one 8-inch, 3-layer cake (I used 3 9-inch pans, and they were just thinner layers.

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (used regular salt, because Kosher salt didn't go through the sifter)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature (used salted)
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (mixed fresh and bottled)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
4 eggs
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 1/2 cups blueberries (used ~3 cups frozen, that were partially thawed)

The Yummiest Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature (used salted)
1 pound confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature (was cold)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly butter and flour three 8-inch round nonstick cake pans. In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together.

2. In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar. Add the lemon juice and zest, and mix until smooth. Add the eggs, mixing them in one at a time until fully combined. With the mixer set to the lowest speed, alternate adding the dry mixture and the buttermilk, and mix until the batter is smooth, scraping the bowl down occasionally. Use a spatula to gently fold in the blueberries.  (The batter was really thick, and I had to use the spatula to even out the batter)

3. Fill the three cake pans evenly with batter and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. (I rotated the cakes at 11:30 minutes and cooked another 11:30). Set aside on a wire rack to cool completely before removing from the pans.

4. To build the cake, spread some of the frosting over the layers, and stack the layers; then frost the sides of the cake.

For Yummiest Buttercream Frosting

With a mixer on medium speed, cream the butter in a large mixing bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioners' sugar a little bit at a time, alternating with splashes of the milk and the vanilla. Mix until the frosting is smooth.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Lime

So Cooking Light emailed this recipe last week, I think.  I looked at the ingredients, and we had the majority of them except for the Spanish Chorizo and Cilantro.  Now, knowing our grocery store, I knew Spanish Chorizo was not going to be had. I also noticed Mexican Chorizo would taste fine with this, and easy to get.

D made it. It was easy he said.  It was similar to the Black Bean-Tomato Soup with Cilantro-Lime Cream, but he said easier.

It was flavorful and spicy.  I would have again.

Black Bean Soup with Chorizo and Lime

Photo by ALB

Smoky chorizo and bright lime add depth to a soup made quick with canned beans.
Yield: Serves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 ounces Spanish chorizo, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (used Mexican chorizo)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (used green)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
2 (15-ounce) cans unsalted black beans, rinsed, drained, and coarsely mashed
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chorizo; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove chorizo from pan (do not wipe pan). Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in oregano and next 4 ingredients (through salt); cook 30 seconds. Stir in stock and beans. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes. Stir in cooked chorizo and juice. Ladle 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 tablespoon cilantro.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 287; Fat: 12.5g; Saturated fat: 4.6g; Monounsaturated fat: 5.6g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1g; Protein: 16.4g; Carbohydrate: 27.1g; Fiber: 7.7g; Cholesterol: 27mg; Iron: 2.8mg; Sodium: 514mg; Calcium: 119mg

Cooking Light DECEMBER 2013