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My latest péché mignon is the anything-blueberry-dessert and with the abundance of blueberries on the market at the moment, I do not need an excuse to be baking with them almost every other day. Other than my standard blueberry muffins, I like to fold them in pancake batter or scatter them over a colourful fruit salad or simply as a topping for my boring morning muesli. This blueberry crumb cake from BarbaraBakes is packed with juicy berries and is nicely complimented by the addition of lemon zest. I chose to omit the lemon glaze for fear of going over the top with too much sugar, and also because I did not want anything to prevent me from focusing on my blueberries.

BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE

Ingredients:

For the Blueberry Cake

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup full cream milk

1 tablespoon lemon zest

2 cups fresh blueberries

For the Crumb Topping

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Lemon Icing

1 cup powdered sugar

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9-inch spring form cake pan with non-stick cooking spray with flour.

  • Prepare topping by combining sugar, flour and butter in a small bowl. Mix until crumbly and set aside.

  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.

  • Add eggs, vanilla and milk. Mix in lemon zest. Add flour mixture and mix just until it is just combined.

  • Stir in blueberries and spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle the cake with crumb topping.

  • Bake at 350ºF for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

  • Prepare the lemon icing by whisking together powdered sugar and lemon juice to create a thin glaze.

  • Drizzle the icing onto warm cake and cool completely before cutting and serving. ­Makes 12 servings.

Blueberry Crumb Cake

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These deliciously lemony bars, from The Girl Who Loves To Eat, are something you really have to make yourself to believe that they are so ridiculously good. While I scaled down the recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth, I think you should totally go for the full recipe as you will probably be going back for seconds or thirds or till it’s all over, save for the crumbs! Other than a simple sugar glaze, these lemon “blondies” as I call them, do not require any add-ons and will easily find their way into packed lunch boxes and picnic baskets as a popular request among children and adults alike.

LEMON DRIZZLE CAKE BARS

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter

100g white caster sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

100g all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

Zest of 1 medium lemon

Juice of 2 medium lemons

100g confectioners sugar, sifted

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Cream together butter and sugar.

  • Beat until it turns light and fluffy. Add eggs and keep beating for 1-2 minutes. Add flour and vanilla.

  • Add the baking powder, then add the zest and juice of one lemon. Fold them into the batter carefully.

  • Spread evenly onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes till a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

  • Prepare drizzle by mixing the juice of 1 lemon with 1 cup of water. Let cake cool for about 5 minutes.

  • Poke it with a wooden skewer all over and then carefully spoon the lemon drizzle all over warm cake.

  • When cake is cooled, make glaze by mixing the confectioners sugar with the remaining lemon juice.

  • Spread onto cake and cut into bars while glaze is still wet. Leave to stand till glaze sets. Makes 8 bars.

Lemon Cake Bars

If you love dense, buttery cakes with lots of flavor, this rich cannoli pound cake from Stellina Sweets is definitely gonna make it on your hit list. The cake will rise tall with a lovely cracked top if you bake it in a narrow loaf pan so be sure you do just that. The combination of pistachios, chocolate, citrus zest and ricotta cheese may take you a while to get there, especially if you are using raw unshelled pistachios as it might take well over an hour to shell, chop and roast before you can add them to the batter.

I dare say that you will be nicely rewarded for every ounce of hard work you put in as the finished cake tastes amazing and smells heavenly. Since I’m not familiar with the famous Italian cannoli – a deep fried, crisp cylindrical shell, filled with sweetened ricotta with the ends dipped in a mixture of chocolate and pistachios, which I hope to try at some point –  I cannot honestly say whether the pound cake version matches up to the authentic stuff but I would urge all of you to go ahead and make it anyway so that you can be your own judge.

CANNOLI POUND CAKE

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup (170 grams) mini chocolate chips

1/2 cup (60 grams) pistachios, chopped small

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1/2 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sweet marsala wine

1 cup (250 grams) whole-milk ricotta cheese

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 or 2 pinches allspice

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Method:

  • Place rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray a 8 x 4½” pan with nonstick cooking spray.

  • Line the pan with parchment paper, such that it overhangs on the long sides, and spray the parchment.

  • Whisk together the flour, chocolate chips, and chopped pistachios in a medium bowl and set this aside.

  • Combine sugar and orange & lemon zests in a bowl and rub zest thoroughly into the sugar using fingers.

  • The mixture will be fluffy and citrus-scented and flecked throughout with bits of orange and yellow zest.

  • Add the olive oil, marsala, ricotta cheese, and eggs; whisk to combine into a fairly homogenous mixture.

  • Sprinkle baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice on top, and whisk to combine everything together.

  • Use a spatula to gently fold the flour/chocolate/pistachio mixture into wet ingredients until just blended.

  • Scrape batter into pan. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Transfer it to wire rack and cool cake in the pan for about 15 minutes. Pull parchment up and out of pan.

  • Let cake cool to room temperature on the rack. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired for a festive look.

  • The cake will keep for at least 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 10-12 servings.

Cannoli Pound Cake

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