• Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake

    So it’s been a while!! Almost 3 months exactly…yikes. I have to say, cooking for fun just isn’t as easy or possible when you only go to the grocery store once a week, and I have found myself feeling really unmotivated to experiment. But! Now that summer is here, and open-air farmstands are open, I’m starting to feel better and miss the feeling of baking something “just because”. Embarrassingly enough, I baked and shot this cake back in MAY, thinking that I would feel like writing about it way sooner than this, but hey, better late than never! Taken from this New York Times Cooking recipe by Yossy Arefi, this cake is the perfect summery dessert, moist and light, but with SO much fresh strawberry flavor.

    A few notes on this- when reading the recipe on NYT, a 16 cup bundt pan is mentioned as the recommended size. I have never seen a 16 cup bundt pan, nor do I own one. I don’t even know what size mine is, but I suggest using what you have, and simply fill the pan 3/4 of the way full. That way you don’t have to worry about the pan overflowing in the oven, and you still have a beautiful looking cake, with some leftover batter (put it in muffin tins maybe??). Also, this recipe very specifically says whole milk yogurt, not Greek yogurt. Because I am a dummy, I read this too quick and specifically got greek yogurt instead. Fear not! If that is all you can find, measure out 1 cup of greek yogurt and fill the rest of the 1/4 cup with whole milk. This will thin it out enough and add a nice tang. Finally, this goes without saying, but try to find the freshest strawberries possible, and do NOT under ANY circumstances, use anything but fresh lemon juice. But I’m sure you already knew that.

    Okay! Before we get started, you know what time it is! Since I have left my “Things To Be Happy About” book in my apartment, I’ll make these ones up from scratch today, here goes!
    ONE. Taking all your downtime at home and turning it into something productive.
    TWO. Finally seeing a friend after months apart.
    THREE. Settling into a work from home routine.
    FOUR. Writing down five things you’re grateful for each day.
    FIVE. Wearing your mask outside, because you care about the safety of the people around you 🙂

    Let’s bake!

    Fresh Strawberry Bundt Cake Ingredients
    (adapted from NYT Cooking)

    1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened (plus more for greasing the pan)
    3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting the pan)
    1½ tsp baking powder
    ½ tsp baking soda
    1¼ tsp kosher salt
    1¾ cups granulated white sugar
    1 tsp lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
    3 eggs
    1¼ cups whole milk yogurt (or 1 cup greek yogurt + ¼ cup whole milk)
    ¼ cup lemon juice
    1 tsp vanilla extract
    2¾ cups (~1 pound) fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped into pieces


    Fresh Strawberry Glaze Ingredients

    ¼ cup fresh strawberries
    2 cups confectioner’s sugar
    2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice


    Steps

    Move one rack to the center of the oven, and preheat to 325 degrees F. Generously butter and flour your bundt pan, making sure every crevice is covered.

    In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder + soda, and salt. Set aside.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer (or separate bowl with electric mixer), combine together the butter and sugar until uniform. Add the lemon zest, and beat this mixture until light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes.

    Turn the mixer down to low and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition and scraping the bowl as necessary. Add the yogurt, lemon juice, and vanilla, then mix on medium speed until combined. The mixture may look curdled at this point, I promise it fixes itself once the flour is added!

    At this point, carefully add in all the flour mixture at once, and mix on low speed until almost fully combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, stir around the sides and bottom to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

    Take a ½ cup of the batter from the bowl and drop it, a tablespoon at a time, around the bottom of the prepared pan, until almost fully covered, smoothing out as you go. This will make sure that the strawberries don’t all sink to the bottom and stick.

    Add the chopped strawberries to the rest of the batter and mix until even. The batter will be quite thick! Spoon evenly into the pan and smooth out the top. Remember, if you’re using a bundt pan smaller that the 16-cup, only fill the pan about ¾ of the way full to prevent overflowing. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

    Bake the cake until the top is golden and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. It should be about 70 minutes, but I would start checking around 1 hour. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.

    To make the glaze: in a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the strawberries until smooth. Whisk in the confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to start. The glaze should be quite thick, but still pourable. If it seems too thin, add some confectioner’s sugar, if it’s too thick, add the extra teaspoon (or more) of lemon juice.

    Place the cake (still on the cooling rack) onto a rimmed baking sheet and pour the glaze evenly over the whole thing, catching all the excess drips on the baking sheet. Let it set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

    xoxoxoxD

    Looking for more summery fruit desserts? Look here, here, and here!

  • Cinnamon Ice Cream

    Soooo this all started because of a little show called Gourmet Makes. You know it? I hope so. If you don’t, it’s a Bon Appetit YouTube series where Claire Saffitz of the BA Test Kitchen reverse engineers different popular candies and snacks, to make them less processed and even tastier. Last week’s episode? Gourmet Ben and Jerry’s! She tried a series of flavors like pistachio, cherry garcia, and coffee chip, and by the end of the episode I wanted ice cream more than I’ve ever wanted it before. But, since it was almost 11:30 at night and all stores were closed, I had literally no choice but to order an ice cream machine on Amazon. I don’t make the rules, that’s reasonable, right?

    You know what’s so great about making ice cream? Once you have a good base recipe, you can play around with it any way you like, steeping the cream with different aromatics, swirling jams or chocolate into the mixture while it churns, you name it! I myself can’t wait for summer corn season, so I can make a blueberry jam swirl with a sweet corn base.

    But today’s recipe is inspired by a gelato that I used to eat (almost) every single day while studying abroad. The Gelateria was called Edoardo, and I would get the same two scoops in every cup- honey poppyseed, and cinnamon. When I tell you I still think about that cinnamon gelato at least once a day, I’m not lying. Now I know this is ice cream and not gelato and they are slightly different, the flavor is just as good. Real cinnamon is such a delicate, warming flavor, and when combined with a thick, vanilla custard, you will never want to eat another flavor. So naturally, instead of doing any Super Bowl related anything on Sunday, I made ice cream! And watched Chilling Adventures of Sabrina for the third time! A weekend well spent if you ask me.

    Anyway, before we get started, here are 5 things to be happy about today!
    ONE. Remembering a memory that had been foggy for so long.
    TWO. The Notes app on your phone holding all your random thoughts.
    THREE. Wearing your favorite outfit and feeling the confidence boost.
    FOUR. Remembering your reusable bag for a trip to the store.
    FIVE. Taking a risk that pays off.

    Let’s do this! Beware the brain freeze!

    Ingredients

    6 egg yolks
    2 cups heavy cream
    1 cup whole milk
    2/3 cup granulated sugar
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla bean, sliced in half)
    1/8 tsp fine sea salt

    Steps

    Add all the egg yolks to a medium bowl. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar until combined. In a saucepan, heat together the cream, milk, cinnamon sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste (or split vanilla bean). Simmer this mixture until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat.

    Whisking constantly, drizzle about a third of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks, then transfer these tempered egg yolks to the saucepan with the rest of the cream. Return the pot to medium heat and cook slowly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Allow the cinnamon and vanilla to steep for 30 minutes at room temperature before straining.

    Cover the strained custard and chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.

    Churn the custard in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturers instructions. Once completed, it can be eaten immediately as soft serve, or store in the freezer for scoopable ice cream. Congratulations, you’ve made ice cream!! I’m gonna go eat some for dinner.

    xoxoxoxo

    Looking for more weekend projects? Look no further than here and here!

  • Cherry Jam Coffee Cake

    Does anyone else come home from work and shirk all other responsibilities to bake something instead? No? Just me? Okay cool, cool. Anyway, as you can guess, that’s exactly what I did last week when I came across some coffee cake inspiration. It all started when I saw a picture of some coffee cake on Instagram, and it had a beautiful layer of rhubarb laced through the middle. However, since it’s January and rhubarb is not exactly “in season”, I had to take another route. The base recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen and it can be found here, but I made a few tweaks and god it was so good. SO good in fact that I went back to my parents house this weekend and made another one within an hour of being home.

    The best part about this cake? Within an hour its prepped and in the oven, and it can be customized based on what you have on hand! The reason why mine had cherry jam? It was in the fridge and I didn’t feel like going to the store! The middle could have any other kind of jam, nutella, cooked fruit, or it could be served plain, it’s totally up to you. It’s also lovely with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, a drizzle of glaze, or with nuts mixed into the crumble. While it’s best eaten the day of, I can confidently tell you that I was eating it for three days as a “before dinner dessert”.

    Here are 5 things to be happy about before we get started!
    ONE. A spur of the moment trip.
    TWO. Little Women (2019).
    THREE. Eating dessert before dinner.
    FOUR. Coming in from the cold and getting under a warm blanket.
    FIVE. Sneaking your own candy into the movies.

    Let’s bake!

    Ingredients

    2 cups plus 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour, divided
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    Dash of nutmeg
    ¾ teaspoon salt
    1¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened and divided
    2 eggs
    ½ cup whole milk
    1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
    1 cup cherry jam (or fruit of your choice!)

    How To:

    Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

    Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl down after each addition. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the milk and vanilla.

    Turn the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the milk mixture alternately in batches, starting and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.

    Spread half the batter in the prepared cake pan. Spoon the jam over the cake batter, leaving a half inch border on all sides. Carefully drop the remaining batter over the jam layer in small spoonfuls, spreading evenly until the jam is fully covered.

    In a small bowl, mix the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, tablespoon of butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar with your hands until crumbles form. Sprinkle the crumbles over the top of the cake. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes in the pan before removing. Best eaten warm with a cup of coffee because DUH, coffee cake!!!

    Looking for more quick desserts? Look here, here, and here!