Portland Local, Recipe Time, Sponsored Post, Uncategorized

Lemon Cake with Oregon Blackberry Glaze

Deliciously moist lemon cake topped with a fresh blackberry glaze. Sponsored by The Oregon Berry Commission.

Blackberries were never something I ate growing up. Being from the Chicagoland area, we didn’t have more than blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries to be excited about in the summer–and don’t get me wrong, we were! It wasn’t until I moved west though that blackberries, huckleberries, salmonberries, and my most favorite, marionberries, came into my life. This summer I’ve teamed up with The Oregon Berry Commission to share some fun new uses of Oregon berries in the kitchen.

Let me be the first to say that I had my doubts about blackberries, which is why that was the way I leaned over creating a recipe with raspberries. Blackberries are difficult to pick, as they have very sharp barbs and are beloved by bees and wasps (then again, raspberries aren’t all that easier!). The dark, tart fruit also has the ability to grow like a weed in Oregon, which makes them easy to find in the summer months. It’s even easier to find them frozen–less damage to your hands too! If using from a frozen state, I prefer to thaw prior to use in the Lemon Cake with Oregon Blackberry recipe below.

Remember to use berries liberally! Their tartness is the perfect compliment to the rich cake and sweet glaze.

 

Lemon Cake with Fresh Oregon Blackberry Glaze

Deliciously moist lemon cake topped with a fresh blackberry glaze. Sponsored by The Oregon Berry Commission.

Ingredients

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c sour cream
  • 2 T lemon zest
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • Parchment paper (for cake pan)
  • 1 round cake pan, 9 inches

For Blackberry Glaze

  • About 2 cup (16oz) fresh or frozen Oregon Blackberries (see note about storing at bottom of recipe) – reserve 1/2 c of prettiest berries to top cake and put in between layers
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1/4 c butter, melted

Method

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and sugar together and cream. Bring the mixer down to medium-low and add each egg, fully incorporating after each one. Add flour and sour cream little by little, interchangeably until fully combined. Now slowly add 2 T lemon juice and zest. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Trace outline of your pan(s) on parchment paper (you may use 2 pans and fill halfway or 1 pan and cut the cake in half out of the oven–it’s up to you! I usually do the 1 pan option as it saves on dishes) with a pencil. Cut out circles and place in bottom of the pan. Quickly pour cake batter into the pan to keep on top of the parchment. Swiftly slam pan on the counter top a couple of times, not enough to upset the cake batter but enough to persuade any bubbles in the batter to escape. Bake cake for about 60 min (for 1 cake – 30-40 min for 2 smaller pans). The best way to tell doneness is to use a long toothpick to assess crumbs. Cake should look golden brown and the toothpick should be able to enter and come out of the cake without more than a single crumb attached to it. Once done, remove from oven, and then turn the cake over on to cooling rack. It should slide out of the pan quite easily.

Allow to cool for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

Begin prepping the glaze. In an electric mixer, combine butter, lemon juice and remaining zest on medium speed. Turn down to a low speed and add the powdered sugar slowly, 1 cup at a time (I suggest to taste, however you may also add above 2 cups should you have a sweeter tooth/enjoy a less runny glaze). I like the consistency to be a bit opaque and runny, as pictured below. Messy cakes are more fun!

Lemon Cake with Fresh Oregon Blackberries

Assemble cake on to cake plate, cut in half lengthwise (if you’re not sure how to do that, check out this cake cutting tutorial). Don’t get upset if your cut is a little high or low – this will be an amazing cake regardless. If you really hack it up, turn it into a trifle (can you tell I’ve messed up before? Whip up some cream and layer up small pieces of cake, whipped cream, glaze and top with some fresh slices of lemon and blackberries. It will still be delightful). Remove top half of cake and spoon on some glaze – just enough to spread a nice thin layer. Add in up to 1/3 c of blackberries, but remember to keep some for the top!

IMG_2917

 

Carefully put the top layer on, being sure to match your slice width where possible so the cake is even. If the top layer is very uneven the glaze will fall off to one side only. Now for the fun part – spoon the rest of the glaze on top of the cake, allowing it to flow freely down the sides and on to the cake plate. Because of the mess, I suggest either a cake plate with a well to catch the glaze or a nice piece of parchment paper underneath to allow the glaze to pool. This stuff is not fun to clean off your counter tops, trust me.

Top with a mound of fresh berries and zest some extra lemon on that cake, baby! Serve immediately, or store at room temperature.

These particular berries I picked from PDX Food Love’s yard and stored in a mason jar in the fridge for about a week – they developed a lovely juice, which I used very liberally in the glaze. This is similar to if you thaw frozen berries in the fridge. Topping the cake with some of the juiciest berries can make for an attractive cake, but be warned, the juice can bleed into your glaze making it a little less “perfect” (note the below picture). Whatever you’re looking to achieve in looks, know it’s going to be delicious regardless.

Looking to learn more about Oregon Berry Commission? Check out their website as well as the delicious recipes linked below from other Oregon Bloggers!

Deliciously moist lemon cake topped with a fresh blackberry glaze. Sponsored by The Oregon Berry Committee.

Deliciously moist lemon cake topped with a fresh blackberry glaze. Sponsored by The Oregon Berry Committee.

Some of My Favorite Berry Recipes from Other Oregon Bloggers:

PDX Food Love’s Berry Hand Pies

A Well Crafted Party’s Marionberry Champagne Cocktail

Uproot from Oregon’s Greek Yogurt Blackberry Oatmeal Muffins

Kevin is Cooking’s No Bake Blackberry Tarts

A Girl Worth Saving’s Paleo Raspberry Cobbler

Blahnik Baker’s Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes with Marionberry Frosting

Cooking with BS’ Lamb with Roasted Fennel and Chipotle Boysenberry Sauce

Gluten-free, Recipe Time, Sponsored Post

Peas with Spinach and Mustard Featuring MAILLE White Wine Mustard

Peas with Spinach and Maille Mustard

Recently I learned there’s a lot more that you can have on tap than beer and wine. The World Foods by my work just added mustard on tap – yes, you read correctly. Mustard. Cold, through a tap system. Needless to say, I was intrigued. I made my way over after work one day and picked up a jar compliments of World Foods. A rotating tap, the celebratory first on tap was their white wine mustard, a tangy, intense flavored condiment that finds home in  the most adorable little ceramic pot.

Maille-Mustard-on-Tap-Recipe-1

I had a keen interest on this new idea as mustard is a condiment I love quite dearly, nearly as much as hot sauce. When you go on a diet that eliminates most things, mustard tends to be one of the few condiments left that is okay as it tends to be low/no sugar, comes in many varieties, and packs a flavorful punch. While on different cleanses and restrictive diets over the years, my fridge held no less than 4 different types of mustard. My favorite? A bold mustard where a little goes a long way. Maille’s White Wine Mustard falls pretty squarely into that category. I have used it for marinades, dressings, and as the secret ingredient in thrown together dinners (see my dinner a few weeks back). It’s available at World Foods in Portland for

The most recent use was while practicing a recipe out of Plenty More, a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi (who also penned my favorite cookbook to date, Jerusalem). I would eventually like to collect all his books, but for now I must rely on the (albeit FABULOUS) Multnomah County Library System for his books (I do own Jerusalem though). When Ktams goes out of town, I become what I call a lady flexitarian- nothing bad on flexitarians at all – I just mean that I usually only eat chicken – I don’t make beef, pork or other meats really – I eat a lot of salads and soups and wraps and ice cream–I’m basically like a kid without their parents home. At least I’m making all my soups and salads and wraps and such from scratch (is what I tell myself) — the ice cream is usually just a mainstay in the freezer.

The below recipe for Peas with Spinach & Mustard is an adapted version of Yotam’s Peas with Sorrel and Mustard found in Plenty More. I had a really hard time finding sorrel this week for some reason so I subbed some spinach (and personally, added some lemon zest for the sorrel-esque flavor). I did not use any dried mustard as my product was quite above paar, and I topped the salad with fresh feta and cracked pepper to add some visual appeal and extra tangy-ness.

Remember that a recipe is merely a framework–enjoy the journey from raw ingredients to finished product.

Peas with Spinach & Mustard Featuring MAILLE White Wine Mustard

Peas-with-spinach-maille-mustard-2

Ingredients

  • 2 c fresh peas
  • 3 t Maille White Wine Mustard (or dijon equivalent)
  • 1 1/2 t dry mustard (optional)
  • 3/4 t superfine sugar
  • 3T water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 8 oz green onions, sliced diagonally 
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T black mustard seeds (optional)
  • 6 T Greek yogurt
  • 3-5 oz fresh organic spinach
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method

Peas first! In a pot of boiling water, blanch peas for 1-2 minutes (test texture halfway through cooking – texture is a personal thing). Drain and soak in ice water to revive. Set peas to the side for now. Mix sugar, Maille Mustard, 3 T water, and 1/2 t salt into a sort of paste – reserve.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan and add garlic and green onions; fry for about 8 minutes, then add the mustard sauce and yogurt, turning the heat to low. stir for a minute, just to bring the temperature of the mixture back up. Salt and pepper to taste.

Incorporate the saucy veggies into the spinach and serve immediately, topped with mustard seeds should you have them.

Peas-with-spinach-maille-mustard-1

If saving leftovers, be sure to only mix together what you intend to serve right away. This recipe would serve up to 4 for a main meal, and up to 8 for a side salad.

What’s your favorite condiment?

Reference

Sous Vide?

Sous What? The Spicy Bee

This last week I bought something I don’t know how to use, and by don’t know how to use, I mean that I don’t know what use it will be for me as a cook. Here’s how it all went down—

I was home on my couch mindlessly adding items to my Amazon cart when I remembered that I’ve been meaning to get myself a new immersion blender. So I toddle on over to the right page, pick my favorite color, add to cart, then decided that I would be interested to know what a cordless immersion blender costs. a few clicks later and I found myself here somehow…

Anova Culinary Precision Cooker Amazon | The Spicy Bee

(I should have probably prefaced this story with the fact that it was Amazon Prime Day–and that I had been on and off looking for some useful device). Anyway, Long story short, I bought the Anova Culinary Precision Cooker/Immersion Circulator because Ktams wasn’t home to talk sense to me (and in my defense I tried to text AND call him. Don’t tell me I’m not a good wifey). He and I have talked about sous vide for some time now, and we basically leave all discussions at “well it’s quite an expensive kitchen tool that we have absolutely no idea how we would use.”

UNTIL TODAY.

I even got more money off with my Amazon Affiliate-ship. So all in all, it’s ok, right?

Right. So to explain what sous vide is – it is cooking an item while keeping it at a consistent temperature via a heated water bath (but under boiling) for an extended period of time to cook it through properly but to keep tenderness a top priority. I first learned about sous vide from another Portland Food Blogger (Kyle from Our Daily Brine) at an event I attended. First I was intrigued. The chicken’s texture we were dining on was unreal. I wanted to learn more. What better way to learn than to do it myself?

Then I had an even bigger “AH-HA” moment a day or two later. For months now I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to make my own yogurt at home (ever since attending a very sweet class by author Janet Fletcher for her book Yogurt and hosted by Cyril’s at Clay Pigeon Winery). I’ve had trouble deciding how I would keep a controlled environment for the yogurt for the extended time it requires (we are talking up to 12 hours). Then while searching on Pinterest for sous vide recipe ideas, it hit me like a ton of bricks – sous vide yogurt. It’s too perfect. And thus begins the goal of my weekend.

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Have you ever bought something you had no idea how to use?