Cherry Lemon Poppyseed Loaf

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If you’ve got a spare half an hour, make this incredibly moist summer loaf cake which is slightly adapted from Yossi Arefi’s Sweeter off the Vine book. The delightful combination of poppy seeds, zesty lemon, crunchy streusel and juicy sweet cherries makes it a perfect cake for breakfast or an afternoon pick me up. Because of its richly dense and moist texture, the cake slices freeze really well when wrapped individually and are perfect for a last minute treat.

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Ingredients:

Streusel:
35g (¼ cup) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp old-fashioned oats
1 tbsp granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
30g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

Cake:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
½ tsp salt
150g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
120 ml (½ cup) canola oil
3 large eggs, room temperature
225g (1 cup) full fat plain yogurt
60ml (¼ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 2 small lemons
250 g (1+2/3) pitted fresh sweet cherries*

*Cherries can be substituted with berries or stone fruits.


Directions:
• Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9”x5” (23cm x 13cm) loaf pan.
Streusel: In a small bowl, stir the flour, oats, sugar, poppy seeds, and salt together. Add in the butter and use your fingertips to mix until small crumbs form. Set aside.
Cake: In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt together.
• Add the sugar to a large bowl and grate the zest of the the two lemons (about 1 tbsp) directly into the sugar. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until evenly distributed.
• Add the oil, eggs, yogurt, lemon juice and whisk to combine.
• Add the flour mixture all at once and stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in half of the cherries into the batter.
• Pour the batter into the prepared loaf panned scatter the remaining cherries on top. Sprinkle the streusel in an even layer over the cherries. Bake the cake until puffed and golden and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes.
• Let cool completely before slicing.
• Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap each slice individually and freeze for up to 2 months.

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Bittersweet Chocolate Cointreau Cupcakes

Bittersweet Chocolate Cupcakes Brownie Box

I had many requests to post a chocolate cupcake recipe– so here it is! After trying three or four recipes this year, this one instantly became my favorite chocolate treat and I didn’t look up another recipe again.

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The cupcakes are moist, light, and moderately sweet with a refined taste and texture. Typical chocolate buttercream frostings are heavy with butter and sickly sweet, but this whipped ganache frosting is a winner. It’s actually THE reason why these cupcakes are so successful: it’s almost mousse-like and flavored with orange liqueur which enhances the intense chocolate flavor (hey–a little booze won’t hurt!). You can also substitute it with rum, brandy, vanilla extract, or omit it completely.

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bain marie
ganache

Start with melting the butter and dark chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Add sugar, eggs, and water and mix until homogeneous.

dry ingredients

Sift the cocoa powder and the flour in a bowl, and pour in the chocolate mixture.

paper liners

Divide the mixture evenly among cupcake liners, about 3/4 full.

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Bake until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cake.

ganache cooled

Make the chocolate ganache and refrigerate for an hour or until it reaches a “spoonable” consistency.

whipped ganache

Whip it with a whisk or a stand mixer. Note: Make sure the ganache is chilled well before whipping.

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And finally pipe ganache onto cupcakes!

Makes ≈ 22 cupcakes.
Preparation time: An hour and a half (with ganache frosting). Baking Time: 20-25 minutes.

Ingredients:
(Adapted from Cupcakes, a fine selection of sweet treats)
Cakes

150 g (5½ oz, 2/3 cups) unsalted butter, chopped
200g (7 oz, 1½ cup) dark chocolate chips
285 g (10 oz, 1¼ cup) caster sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
185 ml (6 fl oz, 3/4 cup) water, room temperature
185 g (6½ oz, 1½ cup) self-raising flour (check substitute here)
30 g (1 oz, 1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

Frosting (Whipped Ganache)
200 ml (6½ fl oz, 3/4 cup) cream
250 g (9 oz) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Optional: 1½ tablespoons Cointreau (orange-flavored liqueur) – Or Rum, Brandy, Vanilla extract.

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F/Gas 2-3)
2. Line standard muffin holes with paper cases.
3. Place the butter and chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl. Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
4. Stir the chocolate constantly until it is melted.
5. Add sugar, eggs, and water to the melted chocolate mixture. Mix well.
5. Sift the flour and cocoa into a large bowl.
7. Pour in chocolate mixture and stir until well combined.
8. Divide the mixture evenly among the case (3/4 full).
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the center of a cake.
10. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Making the Whipped Ganache:
1. Finely chop the chocolate. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until it comes to a boil.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 30 seconds. Then slowly whisk until smooth and shiny.
4. Add Cointreau (or optional flavoring) and mix until fully incorporated.
5. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour– or until the mixture is at a “spoonable” consistency.
6. Whip mixture with a whisk or the beater attachment of your mixer for 1-2 minutes on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
8. Pipe chocolate ganache onto cupcakes.