Tag Archives: lemon

Strawberry Lemon Yogourt Cake

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This marks my 20th blog post and I couldn’t be happier to be sharing this recipe! I had to figure out a dessert to bring to a friend’s house this past weekend, and I wanted to do something different, but had a ton of leftover lemon cream cheese icing in the fridge that I wanted to incorporate. (I made lemon cupcakes for a cancer fundraiser, but sadly they somehow went un-photographed, meaning I can’t share them with you!). So you get this cake instead!

I found this recipe from Ina Garten, and after reading the rave reviews, decided it would be a good choice. I don’t know if I’ve said it on the blog before, but Ina aka the Barefoot Contessa, is the QUEEN! Everything she touches turns into edible gold. Her recipes are amazing, and I never have any doubts when I’m making IMG_0839something that she has created! If you do not know who the Barefoot Contessa is, go watch the food network right now! (Well, after you read the rest of this!)

I decided to make the cake, cut it in half, put some of the cream cheese icing and strawberries in the middle, and then cover the whole thing in more icing. It would be a lemony package of deliciousness. The cake calls for yogourt, which makes it extremely moist and Ina claims that the yogourt makes it healthy…..I’ll take her word for it!

Once the cake comes out of the oven, you pour a lemon simple syrup over it, which will absoIMG_0840rb into the cake, and infuse it with an intense lemon flavor. I was a little nervous thinking that the whole thing would be TOO lemony considering I was also coating it in a lemon icing, but it turned out perfect!

I am not a big fan of buttercream icing on cakes because it is always too sweet, which is why I use cream cheese most of the time. I am still searching for the perfect buttercream recipe though!

I don’t have any pictures of the inside of the cake because, a) I forgot while I was making it, and b) I am not at the crazy foodie stage of taking pictures of everything I eat..yet. I loved that it only made a loaf sized cake, which is perfect when you don’t have a lot of peopleIMG_0843 to feed. I think the cake on its own, without icing or strawberries, would also be really good. Ina uses a simple glaze on her cake, and I think it would be a good solution for something a little less labour intensive! I would even consider adding a few handfuls of poppy seeds to make it a little fancier. I know it looks long, but If you skip the filling and the icing, it is a pretty simple, but impressive cake which can be pulled together pretty quickly.

Strawberry Lemon Yogourt Cake

Adapted from Ina Garten

Cream cheese icing from Annie’s Eats

Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogourt (I used 1%, you can use whatever you like!)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Lemon simple syrupIMG_0854

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Fresh strawberry filling

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Lemon Cream Cheese Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 block)
  • 2.5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 1/3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2-1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the entire pan with the parchment paper in place.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine yogourt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix until well combined.

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, just until combined. Fold the canola oil into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 mins, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, combine sugar and lemon juice for simple syrup in a saucepan, and heat over low heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Remove from heat and pour over the warm cake. (If you want to make the filling, cut the cake in half before you pour the syrup on, and then pour the syrup equally onto each half). Let cake cool completely before filling and icing.

For icing, beat cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined, 1-2 minutes. Add in lemon juice and zest. Gradually add in icing sugar until well incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat for a few more minutes until icing is smooth.

Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a bowl to make filling, and spoon strawberries onto bottom half of cake. Smooth a layer of icing on the inside of the top half of cake, and place it on top of the strawberries, so the strawberries and icing are sandwiched in the middle of the cake!

Cover the outside of the cake in the remaining icing, and decorate with strawberries, or as desired.

I would recommend storing this in the fridge if you are not eating it immediately. The icing will melt if it is warm, as you can see from my pictures! Just take it out 10 to 15 mins before you want to eat it, to let it come to room temperature.

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Lemon Spaghetti with Chicken and Broccoli

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Another dinner recipe? I know, things are getting a little crazy over here, and everyone is experiencing sugar withdrawal, but I promise this recipe is a good one! My mom started making this probably the year before I moved away from home. I made it a few times while I was on my own, but then kind of forgot about it until a few months ago. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I have rediscovered it.

It is so easy to whip up on a weeknight, and it is so so sooo delicious. Every time I eat it, I can’t believe how simple it is, yet how good it tastes! I think you should probably make it tonight!

I usually never make it with feta, but it just so happened IMG_0815that this time we had some kicking around in the fridge. It tastes amazing with or without it, so don’t worry if you don’t have it. The parmesan is essential though!

I have gone through like 12 lemons this week, and I have to say that I LIKED it. My other lemony creations were full of sugar and butter and lots of other gross stuff like that…..who am I kidding, we all know sugar and butter make everything better! I can’t wait to share those recipes with you very soon!

Anyways, here is the recipe, one of my all time favourites, and one that you should definitely try!

Lemon Spaghetti with Chicken and Broccoli

Serves 2-3

  • 1 large or 2 small chicken breasts (you can really do as much or as little chicken as you like)IMG_0817
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 yellow or green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 lb.  spaghetti or any other long pasta (about half of a box)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (could be more or less depending on your tastes)
  • Parmesan cheese/feta, to your liking

Slice chicken into strips or chunks, and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Add 1-2 tbsp. of oil to a skillet, and heat over medium-high. Once pan is hot, add chicken and garlic, and stir. Turn heat down to medium, and cook until chicken is cooked through (5-6mins). IMG_0828

Meanwhile, add spaghetti to a pot of boiling salted water. Add broccoli and peppers to boiling pasta water with pasta during last few minutes of cook time.

Drain pasta and vegetables, and add cooked chicken to pot.

Mix in juice from one lemon, and parmesan cheese/feta to your liking. (Start with a little, and add until it tastes good to you, we like a lot of lemon and cheese, but everyone’s tastes will be different.)

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Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

Happy Wednesday!

 
We are officially midweek and getting closer to the weekend! I think a little cheesecake could make any wednesday just a little bit better! I know my day would be complete if I had a piece of this bad boy for dessert tonight!!

 
I made this a few weeks ago on request from a birthday boy. This was my first cheesecake attempt and I have to say that I was very happy with the results!! It is fairly easy to put together, and the end result is very impressive and delicious!
The standard 9 inch springform pan fits this cake perfectly, and it is a huge cake! Each person will probably only eat a small piece because it is (as any cheesecake is) very rich. This would be good to serve a larger group, or to have leftovers for the week, and that can never be a bad thing. 🙂 I served mine with fresh raspberries on top, and a quick raspberry sauce which was drizzled on each piece at serving time. I didn’t add the raspberry sauce until serving because I worried about it being absorbed into the cake and compromising the texture of the cake.
The graham cracker crust was so good, I couldn’t stop eating it even before it was baked!

I wrapped the bottom of the springform pan in aluminum foil in order to prevent water (from the water bath) from seeping to the pan, and making the crust soggy. It wasn’t too successful and the crust still seemed a little soggy around the edges, but still delicious! I think you really need to create a good couple of layers of aluminum foil for it to be effective. Don’t do a lazy job like I did!

 
A water bath is basically just submurging your pan in a bath of water while it is in the oven baking. You just need to find something to fill with water, that the cake pan will fit into. The only thing I had was a baking sheet, and a water bath should rise a little higher up the sides of the pan, but I think it did the job.

I have seen a lot of contradicting things about whether the water bath is really necessary to ensure even baking and prevent cracking. I didn’t want to take a chance on this cake, but in the future I will try it without the bath and see how it works out. For the record, this cake only had about an inch long crack in the centre of it once all was said and done. I covered it up with berries anyways, so it didn’t really matter anyways!

 

Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature (eggs, cream cheese, milk, sour cream). If not, they will not combine with the dry ingredients well, and your cheesecake batter will be lumpy!

 
Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake
Adapted from All Recipes
Crust
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted

Cake

  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Zest from 2 lemons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly oil or butter a 9 inch springform pan and wrap the bottom half of the pan in aluminum foil. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with sugar. Pour melted butter over graham cracker mixture and stir until all crumbs are moistened. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add in milk, and add in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, lemon zest, and flour until smooth. Pour filling into crust.
Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours to prevent cracking (if you can’t leave it in for 5 or 6 hours, anything is better than nothing.) Chill in refrigerator until serving (I recommend at least chilling overnight)
Raspberry Sauce
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water (must be cold water)

Combine cold water with cornstarch in a small cup or bowl. Stir to fully combine. Combine raspberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine. Once the sugar has melted slightly, add cornstarch water mixture to saucepan and stir. Bring mixture to a boil, and then turn heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until desired consistancy is acheived.

I strained my sauce through a fine mesh sieve to get rid of the raspberry seeds. You don’t have to do this, but it gives the sauce a smoother texture. Keep the sauce in the fridge and it can be served warm or cold.

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