Quatre-quarts with Berries and a Lemon Drizzle

What do you do when you have an overload of berries that are threatening to go bad? Right, you bake! Or at least, that’s what I do. I bought blueberries on sale at the supermarket, but they were kind of mushy and disappointing, which made them perfect to put in a cake. Somehow, blueberries completely transform when they bake – both in taste and flavour. I also had a bowl full of fresh red currants from my parents’ garden, so I figured I’d throw some of those in, too.

At first, I didn’t really know what to bake – the first thing that came to mind were muffins, but that seemed kind of boring, since that’s pretty much always my go-to for when I have leftover fruit. Then I remembered this cake I baked years ago – a french cake called a quatre-quarts, only back then I used a whole lot of apples instead of berries. Turns out, a quatre-quarts is pretty much just a pound cake or a sponge. Who’d have thunk!

I also added a lemon drizzle to this cake, because lemon drizzles make everything better. It’s a fact. The cake turned out absolutely scrumptious – definitely a good one to have added to my repertoire! The fresh berries and lemon-y taste make it a perfect summer treat.

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Blueberry and Mango Muffins

I haven’t really baked a lot lately, but the weekend before last I suddenly got the urge again. I didn’t feel like going to the supermarket, so I had to make do with what I had lying around. I’d completely forgotten about it, but I still had quite a lot of blueberries in my freezer, and also some frozen mango pieces from the last time I baked these mango blondies.

Muffins are kind of my go to baked goodies for when I want to whip up something delicious but easy, and that’s how this blueberry and mango muffin recipe was born. I also added a little ginger to the recipe for a bit of extra flavour – but it’s a very subtle bit of extra flavour, so if you really love ginger you could a little more. I wouldn’t add more than 2 teaspoons of ginger in total, though.

Anyway, these were a definite success! My boyfriend (who hasn’t yet gotten used to my baking skills – which is nice) was kind of blown away by them (always a nice reaction to get), and my mother came over especially the next day to also taste them – and loved them as well. Turns out, mango, blueberry and ginger is an excellent combination!

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Banana and Blueberry Baby Bundt Cakes

Ah, the alliteration in this title tickles my language-loving heart. And it wasn’t even on purpose! Except for the “baby”. The original plan was “mini bundt”.

Anyway.

I’ve had a very productive weekend! I’ve been saying for months now that I want to redo the blog’s entire recipe index: I wanted to divide the index into categories and have a picture for every recipe instead of just a list of titles. And I finally did that this weekend! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out, I must say, so I’d love for you to take a look. While I was at it I also completely redid my About Me page, because when I read back what I wrote in 2013 I might have cringed a little bit.

And then there was this bake! Those of you who follow me on Twitter might remember that I bought a couple of mini bundt cake tins on sale a while ago, and I decided to use them for the first time this weekend. For the flavours I used the fruits I had lying around, namely banana, blueberry and lime. The lime isn’t in the title of this post, but it was already getting quite long, so I decided to sacrifice it. It happens. Plus, the whole “B”thing. You guys get it.

I whipped up these mini bundt cakes in no time, and apart from being freaking adorable they’re also really tasty! The glaze adds some lovely colour as well as moisture (I might have overbaked these a little) and it’s just a perfect little snack to go with a cup of tea. If you want to bake more than 6 of these you can easily double the recipe, but I’m not sure if doubling will be enough for one large bundt cake. It might be! Let me know if you try that. In any case, I hope you enjoy these!

Also, apparently this is my 300th post on the blog! How cool is that?

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Blueberry and Lime Muffins

Guess who’s back, back again! No more hiatus for me, people, because I handed in my dissertation this week, which means I have a three month vacation now (if my dissertation is good enough, but let’s just assume it is)! I worked really really hard to be able to make my deadline on Thursday, and was absolutely exhausted afterwards. Still am a little, in fact.

The first thing I did with my new found freedom on Friday was bake these delicious muffins! Well, actually, the first thing I did was watch the new episode of Orphan Black, because that series is my favourite at the moment. But then I baked these muffins. I had frozen a bunch of fresh blueberries for this exact purpose a few weeks ago, and I still had a lime lying around, so I figured I’d throw them together. Turns out that was a good idea!

I also used caster sugar instead of granulated sugar for these muffins and I think I prefer the caster sugar, actually. I’m pretty sure it makes the muffins just the tiniest bit more moist, which I like. Either way, these turned out great, so here’s the recipe for ya!

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Lemon and Blueberry Blondies

Spring officially started yesterday, and I couldn’t be happier about it! We had a couple of sunny days last week here in the Netherlands, and they were glorious. Biking around town without a coat on (and without getting cold, obviously) is the best feeling around this time of year. Or maybe it’s having lunch in the sun on a roof top terrace… Yep. That was definitely better than the biking.

And what better way to celebrate Spring than with a delicious, fresh and fruity baked goodie? Lemon and blueberry are perfect flavours for a sunny day, and these blondies are packed with both of them. I also added some white chocolate chips for an extra sweet little bite, but you could leave those out as well if you prefer. With or without the chocolate or the sunshine, these blondies have such a rich taste they can clear up any cloudy day.

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Nectarine Blueberry Lemon Sponge

This week, the nectarines were on sale at my local supermarket (a kilo for one euro), so of course I took advantage of that! When me and my friends made sangria on Friday, we added one nectarine, which was very tasty, and I figured I could use some of the rest of them for a nice, summery cake.

I settled on a sponge, and decided to add some blueberries and lemon juice as well (as I still had a lemon lying around). This was my first bake since my vacation started, and you have no idea how much fun it was to have all the time in the world for this recipe! I just sat behind my computer with a cup of tea this morning and scrolled through some recipes to get inspiration. Then I slowly figured out the best ingredients and amounts, and after some fine-tuning I went to the supermarket to get the last few ingredients and got to baking after lunch. I took my time. It was wonderful.

About an hour ago I took the first bite of this sponge and it is so delicious! I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do if you decide to make it. It made my day, perhaps it’ll make yours!

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You’ll need…

– 100 g butter

– 100 g white caster sugar

– 2 eggsP1010162

– 100 g plain flour

– ½ teaspoon baking powder

– ¼ teaspoon vanilla flavouring

– 2½ tablespoon lemon juice

– 2 nectarines, diced (not too small, though!)

– 100 g blueberries

optional, for decoration: another nectarine, a few extra blueberries and some lemon zest

– a springform tin (20 cm)

– parchment paper

– and an oven, of course! This sponge needs to be baked at 180 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)

So, let’s get baking!

1. Mix together butter and sugar First of all, you need to mix the butter and the sugar together, until it’s nice and fluffy. As you guys might know, I usually melt my butter, but I didn’t do so this time (it was soft, though).

2. Add eggs and half of the flour Next up, add the eggs one by one. Also add half of the flour while adding the eggs, and mix eveything together. I used a spoon for this, by the way, but you could use a whisk or handheld electric mixer as well. I wouldn’t use a free-standing mixer though, since this batter needs a lot of air in it.

3. Add rest of flour, baking powder, vanilla and lemon juice Now, you need to fold in the rest of the flour, the baking powder, the vanilla flavouring and the lemon juice (I used a fresh lemon for this). You have to stir all this together well, and make sure as much air as possible gets into the mixture.

P10101654. Add the fruit! The last thing you need to do is add the blueberries and the diced nectarines to your mixture, and mix them through it. You’ll probably get all hungry now because of the rich scent of the nectarines. Yummy!

5. Bake the sponge Line the base of your springform tin with some parchment paper, and grease the tin as well. Now it’s time to pour your batter into the tin and smooth it out before putting it in the oven. The sponge needs to be baked for about 30 minutes. It should be slightly golden brown on top, and an inserted skewer should come out clean (except if you hit a blueberry or nectarine of course).

Let the cake cool for a while before taking it out of the tin. If you want, you can decorate it like I did for picture taking or presenting purposes, but it tastes incredible without it as well!

And that’s it for this Nectarine Blueberry Lemon Sponge! I hope you enjoy!

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