Tag Archives: jam

Strawberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Cake isn’t the only thing I have on the brain these days.

I’ve been thinking about New York City, too!

Not that I’ve ever been, but, c’mon, I have to go — you’re not a real foodie if you haven’t eaten in NYC (and Daisy has been torturing me with her posts)! That said, I can’t tell you if New York style coffee cake is actually popular in New York or not.

Out here on the west coast it’s not all that common — just because people are too healthy!

They just want oatmeal and egg whites for breakfast before they drive off in their Jetta to go do yoga in their Lululemon and grab a latte from Starbucks.

Not my thing. Cake and an opportunity to sleep in for me, please!

Coffee cake ought to be crazy popular around here, though — I mean, just look at it.

Look at this cake: a sweet, crumby, melt-in-your-mouth topping, with light and fluffy layers of tangy, vanilla-scented cake, sandwiching soft strawberry and cinnamon filling.

Beat that, dry toaster bagels and mass-produced muffins! Ha!

In other news, I just recently finished a class project that tickled my serious cake-on-the-brain itch all over again: having to make a rolled fondant-covered wedding cake.

I gotta admit, at first I was really, really, really not pleased with having to do this project — I mean, there’s no cake inside that cake!

See, I’m what my chefs have been calling a “production” person — as in, I’m more interested in what goes inside the cake/pie/tart/cookie than I am about how it looks on the outside.

But doing a wedding cake was more fun than expected, and by the end I was surprisingly into it.

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Peanut Butter Cakewiches

First off, let me apologize for this post.

You’ll understand why in a bit.

I found this recipe for peanut butter cakewiches on a blog called Anger Burger a few months ago (Anger Burger, meet Angry Cherry — I swear I didn’t know you existed when I registered my blog name), and it called to me.

Yes, it called, but I had to resist its siren song.

Because, you see, peanut butter is not something I can just keep in the cupboard. It’s like how one does not simply walk into Mordor (yes — I’m being that serious… and nerdy).

Peanut butter is volatile — one spoonful leads to an empty jar and then to me, always wanting more.

Now my arteries are going to hell in a handbasket because of this glorious cake, so I have to say sorry at least once for encouraging others to destroy their insides with peanut butter overload!

So, if you love peanut butter, look away! If you hate peanut butter, look away! This can only end badly!

Do not be fooled by these seemingly ordinary peanut butter sandwiches — that’s not ordinary bread you’re looking at — oh, no! — it’s dense and moist peanut butter cake bread. That filling? It’s not ordinary peanut butter — it’s creamy, rich, and silky peanut butter frosting.

What kind of jam is that? Well, it’s ordinary jam, but it’s special because you get to pick your poison — whatever fruit suits your fancy!

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Arbutus-Berry Jelly

This project started when my ecological-anthropology professor brought a couple bright red, prickly-looking berries to a lecture. I think she surprised the class when she announced that not only were these berries local and edible, but that she had picked them while on her way to class.

Mystery berries — right under my nose? Awesome!

We were told that the fruits came from a leafy shrub belonging to the arbutus family, more commonly known as the strawberry tree, as the berries were passed around the student ranks. The professor encouraged us to take a nibble, but I noticed that hardly anyone did. Maybe it was because they came from outside, unwashed and unprocessed?

Well, I wasn’t about to let the wild, hand-picked nature of the berries keep me from taking a bite!

Hmm. The arbutus berry’s flavour is difficult to describe without using comparison — to me, it tasted like something between a salmonberry and a huckleberry: tangy, sweet, a hint of a tartness. When I scratched away its soft prickles, I found that it had a scent similar to that of a lychee, only much more earthy.

I mean, it was unusual — but surprisingly palatable!

Later that afternoon I went to where the arbutus shrub was said to be growing, in hopes of collecting enough fruit for a food project.

My first idea was to possibly make a jam, although making jam requires quite a bit of ripe fruit — but for a jelly a meager amount of fruit will do, and it doesn’t have to be as perfectly ripe!

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Vanilla-Ginger Jam Muffins

Sundays are quickly becoming my favourite day of the week.

They’re just so damned good these days — I can go out on Saturday night, or stay in with good company and a bottle of wine, go to bed late, sleep in til 9am (which is pretty late for me), and then wake up, do chores, run errands, satisfy my new Boardwalk Empire addiction, and, of course, bake for fun!


This week I decided to make some muffins, since I haven’t made any in forever! Why is that?

Muffins get over shadowed by the fanciness and trendiness of cupcakes, I think. Muffins aren’t a “treat” — they’re a quick breakfast for when you’re on the run. Muffins are taken for granted — even I’m guilty of hardly ever baking any. Muffins are good and can actually be good for you, too. Uhh. Not that these ones are.

These are more like “treat” muffins, or, make-for-brunch-and-impress-your-fellow-brunchers-type muffins. These aren’t loaded with whole wheat flour, oats, nuts, or dried fruits (I made some of those last week — but they’re in my freezer for quick breakfasts, and far too lumpy and funny looking to write about), but they’re full of warm vanilla flavour, a hint of ginger, and a plum jam surprise in the middle! C’mon! It’s a self-jamming muffin! It’s a muffin out to prove that muffins can be special, too.

Now if I could only invent a self-buttering muffin. Oh hell yes would I ever be in the money.

Vanilla-Ginger Jam Muffins

*adapted from Anna Olson

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