Berry Breeze

Mr. BrookCook searched for the perfect Mother’s Day cocktail and this was it. 🙂 Springy, tasty, and, in the vein of a Moscow Mule, topped with a splash of ginger beer. I loved it!

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Camille Austin of Hakkasan in New York City, via Town and Country magazine. It would also be perfect for the upcoming holiday weekend- and all summer long.

Yield: 1 drink

  • 2 oz lemon vodka
  • 4-5 blackberries
  • .25 oz fresh lime juice
  • ginger beer, to taste
  1. Muddle blackberries in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add vodka and lime juice; shake over ice.
  3. Strain into ice filled double old-fashioned glass or copper mug.
  4. Top with ginger beer, to taste.
  5. Garnish with a lime wheel, a lime wedge, and/or blackberries. Serve.

Two Years Ago:

Three Years Ago:

Four Years Ago:

Raspberry-Ricotta Cake

This recipe encourages the use of frozen berries! It was very quick to put together, had a lovely presentation, and most importantly was delicious as well. 🙂 We ate this cake for dessert but it would also be an amazing coffee cake. This recipe is from Bon Appétit.

Yield: Serves 8

  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups ricotta
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries or blackberries, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 350° (preferably on convection).
  2. Line a 9”-diameter cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with nonstick spray.
  3. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Whisk eggs, ricotta, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth; fold into dry ingredients just until blended.
  5. Then fold in butter, followed by ¾ cup raspberries, taking care not to crush berries.
  6. Scrape batter into prepared pan and scatter remaining ¼ cup raspberries over top.
  7. Bake cake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes on convection or up to 60 minutes in a standard oven. Let cool at least 20 minutes before unmolding.

Note: Cake can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

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One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Oat Cake with Blackberries & Blueberries

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I have such good intentions when I cut recipes out of my magazines and newspapers. Then I add them to my GIGANTIC recipe pile…. It is terrible, but sometimes it is so daunting to go through my pile when I am meal planning, I find myself just browsing for recipes online. I have had the recipe for this delicious cake sitting around for a while- but I remembered it. I had to dig for it. 🙂 I can’t believe it took me a year to make it!

I saved my last bit of fresh-picked blueberries for this cake. We LOVED it. The recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart Living. I modified the recipe to use old-fashioned oats and to incorporate whole wheat flour. It was definitely a treat for breakfast- warm from the oven. It is sweet enough to be served as a rustic dessert as well. Great!!

I am sharing this at Fiesta Friday #32 at the Novice Gardener this week. It’s a wonderful party and fun to check out!

Yield: Serves 8

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mixed ripe or overripe blueberries and blackberries, divided
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (convection). Butter and flour an 9-inch square metal baking pan, tapping out excess flour.
  2. Combine 1 cup oats and water and let stand until oats have softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
  3. Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Reduce speed to medium and beat in egg and vanilla until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary.
  5. Add flour and oat mixtures and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in about half of berries.
  6. Spread batter in pan and sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons oats and sanding sugar. Scatter remaining berries evenly over top.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 28 to 30 minutes (convection) or up to 40 to 45 minutes in a conventional oven. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes; cut into squares.

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Blackberry-Raspberry Hand Pies

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There are pie crust lovers and pie filling lovers. This one is for the crust lovers- like my husband. 🙂 They are cute and pop-tartesque but I prefer lots of filling. I did love their presentation! I changed my dinner-party dessert plans at the last minute and used store-bought crust, but included the crust recipe below. (for next time…) This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living. We ate the leftovers – warm- for breakfast. 🙂

Yield: Makes 8

For the Crust:

  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

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  1. To Make the Crust: Whisk together sour cream, lemon juice, and ice water in a bowl. Mix together flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and beat with a mixer on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse meal with some blueberry-size clumps remaining. Gradually beat in sour-cream mixture until just combined but still crumbly. (Squeeze a small amount of dough to see if it holds together. Beat in more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary.) Divide dough in half, gather into 2 flat rectangles, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until just firm, 45 minutes.
  2. Roll out each rectangle of dough into a 7-by-14-inch rectangle on a piece of floured parchment with a floured rolling pin. (Dough will be very thin.) Transfer rectangles on parchment to 2 baking sheets and refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Stir together berries, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
  4. Slide 1 dough rectangle, still on parchment, onto a work surface. With a long side facing you, cut dough crosswise into four 3 1/2-by-7-inch strips.
  5. Mound 2 tablespoons berry mixture in center of bottom half of each strip. Brush edges with egg wash and fold top half over fruit to enclose. Press firmly (I used a fork) to seal and trim bottom edge, leaving folded top edge uncut. Cut vents in each pie and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with fresh parchment. Transfer to freezer. Repeat with remaining dough and berry mixture. Freeze hand pies until very firm, at least 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly brush pies with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, rotating sheets and switching racks halfway through, until pies are golden brown, 28 to 30 minutes on convection or up to 40 minutes in a standard oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

One Year Ago:

Buttermilk Cake with Raspberries

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I am upset that the summer is coming to an end for many reasons- one of which is the end of fresh berry desserts! This cake is very moist with a fabulous crispy sugar top. It can be made with either blackberries or raspberries and is quick to make. It is a dessert but we ate it for breakfast without the whipped cream. Isn’t a coffee cake really a dessert? 🙂 It was a treat for the last day of summer vacation. The tartness of the berries have a nice balance with the sweetness of the cake. Delicious! This recipe is from Food and Wine, contributed by Amelia O’Reilly and Nico Monday.

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups blackberries OR raspberries, plus more for serving
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for serving, if desired
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Butter the parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with 2/3 cup of the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the buttermilk and dry ingredients in 3 alternating batches, ending with the dry ingredients; do not overbeat. Gently fold the batter just until blended, then scrape into the pan; smooth the top.
  3. Scatter the 1 1/4 cups of berries over the batter; lightly press them in. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar over the cake. Bake for about 20 minutes (on convection), or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Transfer the cake to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake and remove the paper. Turn the cake right side up and let cool completely. Serve the buttermilk cake with whipped cream and more berries, if desired. (We ate it warm, without whipped cream, and it was great.)

If you like this you may also like: Strawberry Summer Cake

Blackberry Crumb Cake

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I LOVE crumb cake so this recipe was irresistible as a use for my last half pint of fresh picked blackberries. It was originally a recipe for Blackberry Crumb Muffins. Because the description in the New York Times article made it sound so decadent, I decided it should be more of a dessert than a breakfast and more of a cake than muffins. After eating some for dessert, we woke up and ate more for breakfast! I preferred it for breakfast with a cup of coffee. It would also be wonderful for a special snack with a cup of tea. 🙂 This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I substituted Greek yogurt for sour cream in the cake.

For the Crumb Topping:

  • 255 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 75 grams granulated sugar (about 1/3 cup)
  • 105 grams dark brown sugar, lightly packed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 6 grams ground cinnamon (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 gram ground allspice (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 gram fine sea salt (about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 170 grams unsalted butter, melted (12 tablespoons; 1 1/2 sticks)

For the Cake:

  • 170 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (12 tablespoons; 1 1/2 sticks)
  • 200 grams granulated sugar (about 1 cup)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream or fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 325 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 10 grams baking powder (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams baking soda (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3 grams fine sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 pint fresh blackberries (or use raspberries, blueberries or diced strawberries)
  • confectioners’ sugar, for dusting, if desired
  1. Heat oven to 350. If making muffins: Grease or line 24 muffin cups. If making a cake: Grease and line a 9 x 13-inch glass baking pan with parchment paper; grease parchment.
  2. Make the crumb topping: whisk together flour, sugars, spices and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Pour in melted butter and stir until crumbs form.
  3. Prepare the cake: using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, then scrape down sides of mixer. Mix in yogurt/sour cream, vanilla and zest.
  4.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to batter and beat until just mixed. Fold in berries with a spatula and make sure batter is completely mixed.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans, filling each cup only halfway. Pinch large crumbs from topping mixture and scatter evenly on top of the batter.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for muffins, or 35-40 minutes (on convection) for a 9 x 13-inch cake, or until golden and the center springs back when very gently pressed with a finger. (A cake tester will come out with crumbs attached, but it shouldn’t be wet.) Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or let cool completely and freeze.
  7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired, before serving.
Yield: 24 muffins or a 9 x13-inch cake

Blackberry & Corn Pancakes

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My family and I went blackberry, raspberry and peach picking on the same day! It was irresistible- we were surrounded by ripe and beautiful fruit! 🙂 We really blew it out on the organic blackberries- so it was difficult to pick a recipe to use our gorgeous, overflowing half-pints of berries. This was it!!! The fresh corn sealed the deal. So special and delicious. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Bobby Flay.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed, cobs reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the griddle
  • 1 pint blackberries, halved lengthwise
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting or pure maple syrup, for drizzling
  1. Preheat the oven or warming drawer to 200°. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, granulated sugar and salt.
  2. Working over a blender, use a table knife to scrape the milky liquid from the corn cobs. Add half of the corn kernels, the milk and the egg yolks to the blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Whisk the corn puree into the dry ingredients. Fold in the melted butter and the remaining corn kernels.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the beaten whites into the batter, then carefully fold in the blackberries.
  5. Heat a large griddle. Brush lightly with butter. For each cake, pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle and cook over moderate heat until small bubbles appear on the surface, about 3 minutes. Flip the corn cakes and cook until golden, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the corn cakes to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the rest.
  6. Stack 3 or 4 corn cakes on each plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar or drizzle with pure maple syrup. Serve right away.

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