Fall has definitely arrived here now! It rained for the first time of the season, and there is a definite crisp chill in the air. I love it. I can’t wait to wear boots, and chunky sweaters. I also love fall baking. Pumpkins, pecans, squash, zucchini, cinnamon. It’s all good.
I’ve seen a lot of recipes for Zucchini Brownies circulating on baking blogs lately. Though, after making this it is definitely more like a cake. It is so moist and spongey, not dense and fudgy like a brownie. Though, it is slightly fudgy if you don’t cook it as long. So, I think I’ll call it a cake. It would be great as a sheet cake with a whipped cream cheese frosting on top. Adam said it would be good with that peanut butter frosting I made before. A chocolate zucchini cupcake with peanut butter frosting? YUM! Maybe we’ll have to materialize that one day…
I love Zucchini baked into cakes/cupcakes/loafs. Like my zucchini bananda cupcakes and bundt cake.
I have been wanting to try using apple sauce instead of butter in baking, and was happy to find this recipe already made the switch. Adam picked me up some last week so I was good to go! And I had a gigantic zucchini from my mom who picked some up from Osoyoos.
I promise if you make this cake, you will not be able to taste the zucchini. You won’t even be able to see it, unless you leave a big chunk in it.. Little kids wouldn’t know the difference! It’s a lot healthier than other cakes/brownies and just as satisfying.
This weekend I’m going to participate in my first baking contest! It’s called the Great Canadian Bake-Off, hosted by Well Seasoned at the BBQ on the Bypass. I’m sure Adam and I will be eating some yummy BBQ eats while waiting for the *judging*
Can be made Vegan! adapted from Food + Words
Yield: one 8″ x 8″ square pan brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 2 large eggs (If you would like to make it Vegan, substitute for 2 flax eggs)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup raw organic sugar
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1-2 medium zucchini
preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish
Using grater attachment for KitchenAid, or using box grater, grate zucchini, measuring out two cups.
In stand mixer with whisk attached, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, applesauce until combined.
sift in the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda, mix until dry ingredients are dissolved and incorporated. the mixture will be on the thick side.
fold in the grated zucchini so that it’s uniformly mixed into the batter.
pour the batter into the prepared pan.
bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out relatively clean.
allow the brownies to cool in the pan on a wire baking rack completely before slicing.
the brownies will keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days.
You can also dust them with some icing sugar if you like
*I always find that baked goods like pound cake, bundt cakes and brownies are better the next day. This is so true with this cake! So deliciously moist even the next day.*
This weekend is extra special for two reasons. First, It was my mom’s birthday yesterday!! We had a delicious dinner, with not one, but two turkey’s! Because, secondly, it was also Easter! A time to get together with family and friends over delicious food!! And I’m finally finished exams!!!!! Well, I guess that’s three things that make this weekend awesome.
My mom is jetting off to Vegas this morning! Lucky huh?!
I decided to make my mom dessert in between studying for exams. Her favorite dessert is cheesecake, so naturally I had to make one. I’ve made cheesecake a multiple of times, pumpkin, and a traditional NY cheesecake for Mother’s Day one year also.
But, I have had this gigantic bag of blackberries that Adam and I had picked last summer still lingering in the freezer. Slowly we’ve been eating them but we just seem to never run out! I wanted to make something easter-y and spring-y. I decided to tweak my usual recipe, and make a lemon cheesecake with lemon juice and zest, and then swirl blackberry onto the top. And of course, I made a blackberry compote to go with it as well. It was so refreshing and delicious! If I do say so myself.
Also, being the great daughter I am ;) I bought my mom and I tickets to go see WICKED at the Queen Elizabeth theatre this June in Vancouver!! I am so excited to see it. I have heard so many great reviews about it. Have you seen it yet?? Did you like it?? My mom and I love going to the theatre, we’ve seen Mamma Mia and a few Ballet’s. I just love getting dressed up and seeing a show.
Back to the cheesecake. You can add in any additions, lime zest, lime juice, different berries etc. All delicious. I would suggest making this a day ahead, and letting it cool completely overnight in the refridgerator.
Hope you all have a great Easter weekend!!
Lemon Cheesecake with Blackberry Swirl
- makes 10-16 servings -
Adapted From Baking From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
For the crust
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
2 pounds (four 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sour cream or heavy cream, or a combination of the two
Lemon zest of two lemons
Juice from one whole lemon
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup Fresh or Frozen Blackberries
3 tbs. Lemon
2 tbs. Sugar
1/4 cup water
To make the crust:
1. Butter a 9-inch springform pan—choose one that has sides that are 2 3/4 inches high (if the sides are lower, you will have cheesecake batter leftover)—and wrap the bottom of the pan in a double layer of aluminum foil; put the pan on a baking sheet. Make sure it is tightly secured, you don’t want a soggy crust!
2. Stir the crumbs, and sugar together in a medium bowl. Pour over the melted butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients are uniformly moist. (I do this with my fingers.) Turn the ingredients into the buttered springform pan and use your fingers to pat an even layer of crumbs along the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Don’t worry if the sides are not perfectly even or if the crumbs reach above or below the midway mark on the sides—this doesn’t have to be a precision job.
3. Center a rack in the oven, preheat the oven to 350°F and place the springform on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool on a rack while you make the cheesecake.
4. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
To make the cheesecake:
1. Put a kettle of water on to boil.
2. Working in a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until it is soft and lives up to the creamy part of its name, about 4 minutes. With the mixer running, add the sugar and salt and continue to beat another 4 minutes or so, until the cream cheese is light. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs one by one, beating for a full minute after each addition—you want a well-aerated batter. Add in Lemon Zest and Lemon juice. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in the sour cream and/or heavy cream.
3. Put the foil-wrapped springform pan in the roaster pan.
4. Give the batter a few stirs with a rubber spatula, just to make sure that nothing has been left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl. Reserve about 1/4-1/2 cup batter in a small bowl, and scrape the rest of the batter into the springform pan. The batter will reach the brim of the pan. (If you have a pan with lower sides and have leftover batter, you can bake the batter in a buttered ramekin or small soufflé mold.)
4a. Using a blender, puree the fresh blackberries until liquid. Stir the blackberry puree into the reserved 1/4/-1/2 cup batter. Mix together thoroughly. Using a spoon dollop a small amount of the blackberry batter onto the top of the cheesecake batter in small circles dotted on top randomly. Using a knife, draw lines through the cake mixing the batter and swirling it ever so slighty.
4b. Put the roasting pan in the oven and pour enough boiling water into the roaster to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
5. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 30 minutes, at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just a little above the rim of the pan. Turn off the oven’s heat and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Allow the cheesecake to luxuriate in its water bath for another hour.
6. After 1 hour, carefully pull the setup out of the oven, lift the springform pan out of the roaster—be careful, there may be some hot water in the aluminum foil—remove the foil. Let the cheesecake come to room temperature on a cooling rack. Do not rush it!
7. When the cake is cool, cover the top lightly and chill the cake for at least 4 hours, although overnight would be better.
Serving: Remove the sides of the springform pan and set the cake, still on the pan’s base, on a serving platter. The easiest way to cut cheesecake is to use a long, thin knife that has been run under hot water and lightly wiped. Keep warming the knife as you cut slices of the cake.
Storing: Wrapped well, the cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 2 months in the freezer. It’s best to defrost the still-wrapped cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.
You know what I love about summer? Baking in your bikini. Try it. It’s great. It is waaay too hot out to be standing in a kitchen with a 350 degree oven on fully clothed. So today, as I was tanning on the back deck and decided to bake – I didn’t bother getting changed. And you know what else? Doing the dishes in your bikini is great too! No worrying about the water splashing up – especially when your washing chocolate covered baking dishes. Today was bikini baking day – and it was just what I needed.
This past weekend I had a meltdown – and it wasn’t because it is so hot out. No. I had a meltdown because there are people in this world who think its perfectly fine to steal from other people. Yup – I was a victim of theft. After work Saturday I wanted to go shopping to pick out a dress for an upcoming friends wedding this weekend. I had been out the night before and had my bag with me which had all my clothing, personal items like makeup and hair stuff and a bag of brand new baking supplies which I had just bought the day before. at a specialty store. Needless to say I was quite upset when I saw it was all gone. I had spent quite a bit of money on clothing on my weekend away to Whistler, and my birthday trip to Vegas so it was a little hard to believe it had all been taken. C’est la vie! The “want” list of items to buy keeps getting put on hold due to unexpected expenses! Such as my car – and the replacement of all my things. I had needed wanted a new camera desperately! Sure mine is fine and it takes pictures – but it’s got some hiccups and a new one would have been awesome! As well as a new pair of runners… the list could go on and on.
Also, I had bought some baking supplies for upcoming things I had wanted to make, like hand held pocket pies, and cupcakes which I was going to make for a wedding shower the next day and another upcoming shower. Now I have to go re-buy all the food colouring, cookie cutters, molds, piping bag and tips etc etc. So today I felt like I needed to make something to take my mind off of it. I had been thinking of making this recipe for quite a while now. I had seen a Cupcake contest by Duncan Hines, which I would have liked to have made something for but found out it was only available to the States – like most online food contests. While I had been brainstorming for it I had looked online for some new and interesting ideas I could turn into a cupcake and found a recipe for a Marquise cake. It is typically a sponge cake – made on a cookie sheet pan – which you then cut out and place into a loaf pan to make a shell type outer cake layer and then fill with a dense mousse like marquise filling. I had been thinking about turning into something slightly different, something like an Ice Cream Marquise Cake. Though I’m sure a traditional Marquise with the dense rich mousse filling is just as delicious.
It’s a perfect summertime dessert – it’s simple and doesn’t require a lot of time. You can make it a day or two ahead, as it keeps well in the freezer wrapped properly. You can change this dessert into any filling type you like – maybe with frozen yogurt? or ice cream speckled with fresh fruit between the layers, or with a vanilla cake or even mint ice cream. There are lots of different options – and its so simple! Simply take it out of the freezer a few minutes before cutting, and use a large cake knife slightly warmed under hot water.
Hope everyone is enjoying their summer =)
Follow the link for step-by-step picture directions ..