Tag Archives: Blueberry

Cranberry Blueberry Scones

6 Sep

Everyone seems to be catching social media fever these days. I never really paid much attention to online marketing brands such as living social, groupon and social shopper until I worked in the retail industry. As a great way to motivate team members, build team work and productivity, groupon came into play. Still I was not convinced; however, when friends started posting tasty photos of food thus a dangling carrot, I quickly hopped and pounced at it. Drat!!! Like a mouse to cheese I was lured into purchasing a online special with more to come :). The first of these outings was afternoon tea at the Vancouver Airport Hotel. There was a certain ambience and grandeur to the hotel. Fairmont definitely spent a shinny penny to pretty up the place. From over hanging brilliant translucent lights resembling a wave in the lobby, to the sophisticated yet modern decor in lounge and tea area, I really was amazed. You could definitely relax while sipping away at smooth tea and savouring delicious delights. (photos to come shortly)

The highlight of the whole experience were the scones for me. I really liked the crumbly texture. It was to die for when served warm with jam and devonshire cream. Well, I liked the scones enough that I decided to make some at home. Unlike biscuits, scones actually contains eggs and higher amount of sugar. IMHO, this added to the richness of the scone. There was a saying in Chinese, one hits the iron when hot to form something. With this in mind, I surfed the net and came across a beautiful blog created by a pastry chef. I really liked his recipe for scones and thus decided to try it.

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To make the scone batter, first combine the cold butter, flour, sugar and baking powder. Work the dry ingredients together until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add in the eggs and milk/cream. Although the recipe called for raisins, I opted to add dried cranberries and blueberries. I found that berries added complexity to the flavour of the scones. Once combined together, let the dough rest for approx 10 mins. Roll and cut into cirlces and brush the tops with egg wash. I baked mine for approx 20 mins at 390 F.

If you find the dry add bit more cream and milk. The results were superb. I really liked warm baked pastries and with jam… well….you can decide….

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Scones (recipe also found here)

500 g flour (I used all purpose and organic flour)
95 g sugar
25 g baking powder
125 g butter (I used approx. 115)
2 eggs
100 ml milk (I used a combination of cream and milk)
60 g sultanas (I used dried cranberries and blueberries)
Bon Appetit !!!

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Fireworks, Art and Blueberry Friands

30 Jul

My new best friends are the summer festivals in town, each with their own identities and personalities. This past weekend started with a bang and what a bang it was with the Honda Celebration of Lights. Nothing says summer better than a vibrant colourful display of pyrotechnics accompanied by wonderful music. I have been going on a yearly basis as far as my little pea sized brain can remember. Despite the swooning crowds, avid photographers, high mercury, bottlenecks, scampering feet, chattering and munching, I was not deterred. It lit up my heart, sniff sniff…:) and was highly regarded in all Vancouverites’ hearts as they gallantly raced down to the beach early to secure a coveted seat and admire the gorgeous sunset. Along the bay, one could see children splashing around the water while others built sand castles. Camaraderie and smiles were literally everywhere from ages young and old. For families and friends, nothing bonded like the Fireworks.

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Along the quick and brisk walk, I noticed another piece of beautiful artwork. Sidewalk art was gaining popularity as artists gather around to showcase their talents. One piece really stood out. An exquisite piece of artwork, you could literally see the artists skills by the incredible and intricate detailing that went into the drawing. Each stroke was carefully placed to accentuate the features. Bravo to the artist.

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Wow what an amazing weekend, can’t wait to see more fireworks.

As with always, I always bake on the weekends. This time I chose to make something with the blueberries I picked from my berry picking adventures. Like little superheroes, blueberries are packed with an powerful antioxidant punch. I can also safely say that you will not turn bluish-purple as in Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. High and low I searched and finally found a interesting blog with a wonderful recipe, Blueberry Friands.

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Blueberry Friand Recipe(found here)

100 g butter
4 large egg whites
45 g plain flour ( I used 65 g organic flour)
140 g icing sugar ( I used 90 g icing sugar)
85 g almond meal (I toasted the almond and then ground it)
approx 40 g blueberries ( I used about 50 g)

Baked at 350F for about 25minutes.

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I found the recipe quite delicious, light and delicately sweet. The little blueberries were the stars. In this recipe I chose organic flour. Needless to say, the chef was right. Fresher flour does make a big difference as it retained its moisture. Next time, I will probably combine it with all purpose flour and see the results. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Enjoy!!!

White Chocolate Green Tea and Jasmin Delice

27 Feb

I have been wanting to do a cake again and since I got today off, I wasted no time in making a cake.  I have made this cake before previously and had decided to make it again since I had alot of matcha in storage.  I decided to make Claire Clarks Green Tea and Jasmine Delice cake.  Unlike previous times which I stacked fruit on top of the finished cake, this time I opted to go the simpler route and the ending to me was more hmmmm…well you be the judge, it’s personal preference.

The original cake had three components, but I opted to change it a bit and instead of a pistachio sponge cake, I chose to make a chiffon cake instead.  Besides that, I stuck to the Jasmine Tea and Green Tea Mousses.

I first made the Jasmine Tea Mousse.  As the first step, I soaked the gelatin in cold water to soften it up and steeped the jasmin leaves.  To me this will prevent lumps in the gelatin.  Of note, prior to adding the gelatin to the white chocolate, make sure the white chocolate was warm still and the gelatin was warm or the result would be a lump of gooey mess.  Chocolate was not cheap-grrrrrr…..While the chocolate was melting, I whipped up some cream.  Once the chocolate has melted, the gelatin and steeped tea was added.  Caution, as mentioned before, all ingredients need to be warm or the gelatin will set fast.   I then folded the whipped cream into the chocolate/tea/gelatin mixture.  In terms green tea mousse, I made a paste with the water and green tea first and then added it to the melted white chocolate.  Emphasis again was placed on, I soaking the gelatin.  All the components were then added together and folded in the whipped cream.

As for decoration, I added some strawberries and blueberries and added a dusting to ground pistachio and freeze dried strawberries for colour.The ended result was a creamy light cake complimented with the taste of matcha and jasmine.  It would be an ideal cake for tea and matcha lovers.

Jasmin Tea Mousse (I opted for 1/2 recipe which was sufficient)

3 tablesp. water

2 tbsp. jasmin tea

300 ml double cream

2 gelatine leaves

150 g white chocolate

2 tbsp. liquid glucose

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3 tbsp. water

2 tbsp. green tea

300 ml cream

150 g. white chocolate

2 tbsp. liquid glucose

You could use any kind of cake, but I would suggest either a pistachio cake or chiffon cake.  It will work wonders as you would taste the mousses.

Berries and Berry Muffins for Berry Lovers

31 Aug

I guess I have been baking quite a bit these few days simply because I started working at a new assignment.  It’s part of the daily process, more like habit,  to make munchies and snacks to work instead of buying them outside.  While store bought snacks, or pastries look quite gorgeous, I find they are either too rich, sweet or fattening  which results in me nibbling a little bit here and there.  Rarely, do I finish the baked goods I buy outside.  When I do, they end up in my fridge.  😦  Because of this, I looked for alternative methods,  such as starting this blog, making my own desserts to my taste.

Having said that, I had fresh strawberries, frozen farm picked blueberries from this season and yoghurt handy;  thus decided to make some muffins.  I scoured the internet and found a decent looking recipe and decided to give it a try.  Although I can not speak for everyone, I found the muffins sweet with a tang from the strawberries and berries.  Quite refreshing and healthy from a fattening muffin.

Strawberry Blueberry Yogurt Muffins 
(spark people.com)

1 cup all purpose flour ( I used 2 cups all purpose flour instead)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar ( I used 1 cup sugar)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup yoghurt

1/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla (I substituted 1/2 vanilla bean)

1 cup fresh strawberries chopped

1/2 cup blueberries

pinch of cinnamon (I added for tasting)
Method:

  • Preheat oven to 375F.  Line pan with baking cups.  In a large bowl sift flour, sugar and baking soda together (dry ingredients)
  • In another bowl stir egg, yoghurt, butter and vanilla until blended.  Toss strawberries, blueberries into flour mixture.
  • Pour egg mixture into flour mixture and mix until flour just moistened.
  • Batter should be lumpy
  • Spoon into muffin cups
  • Bake 20-25 or until golden brown

Notes:

The muffin came out tangy and had a fragrant fruity vanilla  aroma.  I think the tang came from the yoghurt.  The muffin was moist and light and not too sweet even when I opted for 1 cup of sugar.  Cinnamon was subtle if any.  For next time,  nuts  could be added on top of the muffins during baking such as walnuts or pecan.  A crumble could be done for added taste and texture to the muffin.  Overall the recipe produced a a nice moist and light muffin that is not too sweet.  A good recipe for individuals who like fruits and like their pastries light.

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