Currently viewing the tag: "citrus"

citrus poundcake

‘What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.’ – TS Eliot, Four Quartets

Somehow we’re back to blood oranges. A year ago I made doughnuts with them, and quick bread. I’m not quite sure where the time went – months have flown by, with so many changes, yet somehow it is all a blur.

This Bundt cake is adapted from Yossy’s beautiful book Sweeter Off the Vine (the doughnuts mentioned above are found among its pages, too). I find myself taking far too many trips to the refrigerator to sneak another sliver; the sweet, tart flavors and pieces of citrus flesh scattered throughout the cake (Yossy describes them as ‘jammy pockets’) are worth any extra indulgence on my part. If you don’t have Sweeter Off the Vine, I highly recommend it. It’s a stunning collection of recipes and photographs, and everything turns out delicious.

Read More

blood orange donuts

old fashioned doughnuts

old fashioned doughnuts

blood orange doughnuts6A
Yossy Arefi’s (from Apt 2B Baking Co.) new cookbook is out today, and I’d just like to begin by saying it’s so gorgeous. I’ve been a fan of Yossy’s work for quite some time and have been eagerly awaiting this release. The book focuses on all things fruit, and is filled with stunning photographs, unique flavor combinations, and recipes that work.  ‘The recipes in this book range from simple, five-ingredient affairs to more complex and involved baking endeavors like laminated pastry dough and composed tarts. My hope is that you’ll find something that’s just your speed, and that these recipes show the wide range of desserts you can make that highlight fresh, season fruit all year.’ I’m of the opinion that you can never have too many baking books, and highly recommend adding this gem to your collection. Also, you can check out the beautiful book trailer here.
sweeter off the vine

Read More

buttermilk cake with blood orange frosting | the vanilla bean blog
If you follow along on my instagram account, you may have noticed I’ve been baking quite a bit since September (well, quite a bit more than usual, if that’s possible). The reason is that I have been recipe testing like a mad woman, working on my first book.

I’m still pinching myself about the whole thing. I spent all middle school and junior high writing short stories, novellas, and poems in the free time I had, dreaming that maybe one day my work would make its way to book form. So while ‘cookbook’ was never in my plans (I was always working on some Nancy Drew enters Narnia with Sweet Valley High make-out scenes type book), I am so excited to have this opportunity.

I still have a lot more work to do, but my cookbook will be coming out Fall 2016, and is being published by Avery in the US and Penguin in Canada. It will be a book focused on baking with a handful of favorites from this space, but will mostly contain new recipes. I will also be photographing the entire book.
buttermilk cake with blood orange frosting | the vanilla bean blog

buttermilk cake with blood orange frosting | the vanilla bean blog

buttermilk cake with blood orange frosting | the vanilla bean blog
So, how about cake to celebrate? I’m enamored with blood oranges, and decided to top a buttermilk cake with some blood orange frosting. The bright purple juice naturally dyed the icing a light shade of pink, and I couldn’t be happier. Gold sprinkles never hurt anything, either (and the color combination was inspired by these plates, which I have fallen so hard for). Hip Hip Hooray!

Read More

I often find myself flitting between two seasons. I do happen to live in a State that seems to only bring winter and summer, with more of the first. There is no mild weather here; we are freezing cold to blazing hot, with only a handful of perfect days in between (those days where the warm, breezy afternoons make their way into a cool, breezy evenings…) But here and now it is mostly cold, always cold. I find myself feeling the same inside. There times where my head and heart are racing with words and ideas and it’s all I can do to keep up with them, but mostly I feel snowed in. The words are there but buried, and I can’t dig them up and place them in sentences.

But there has been a small break through, one word jotted down on the corner of some crumbled paper on my desk: core. My heart has been beating it through me all week, over and over; it courses along with my blood: core. Here, buried in snow, waiting for spring; here, where unending white blankets bring silence to all streets; here and now is the time to focus on the core.

The core of me: of my mind, my soul, my body.

[Note: this is a re-post, again. I know, tacky. But! I love this pie, and the original post contained photos that made me cringe. So, when I had a chance to remake this pie, I decided to take some new photos, too.]

So, I’m on this blood orange kick. I keep buying bags of them, cutting them open one by one, just to see their pretty purple pieces stare back at me. I’ve eaten so many, hoping for inspiration, something new I can make with them. And then the idea came one afternoon, as I was scrubbing purple juice off my hands: blood orange pie. I am crazy about key lime pie – could I just trade some orange juice and zest and make some sassy dessert?

Yes, yes I could. And when I took my first bite, my mind immediately went to humid summer evenings, where my sister and I were tucked downstairs in the only corner of our house that was cool. There, stashed in the freezer, was a box of orange dreamsicles; our perfect summer treat. We would eat them slowly, the cold ice cream helping us momentarily forget our friend’s air conditioned homes where sleep came easy.
I think I might be breaking some blog rules. These muffins are very similar to the ones I just posted, and I’m posting about muffins twice this week. Also, I have nothing witty to say about them, except that I find these muffins amazingly wonderful – no dairy, white flour, or sugar, but yet still incredibly tasty. It’s the treat I want to start this New Year with. So, Happy New Year dear friends and readers! Let’s shake things up a bit.

Read More

When I was 17, a good friend handed me a copy of U2’s Joshua Tree. It was moments before I was headed out the door on our yearly family vacation to Wisconsin Dells, and it couldn’t have come at a better time, since I had recently worn out all my favorite recorded-off-the-radio mix tapes. Of course, I had heard some songs off the Joshua Tree in passing, but never had given the whole album a good listen. I popped the tape in my Walkman, and as my dad backed our sagging Chevrolet out the driveway, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’ filled my ears. I’ll never forget the moment Bono’s voice washed over me. I clearly remember thinking I’ve been looking for this voice my whole life. My sweet young heart was absolutely enchanted.
Now let’s kindly remember I’m seventeen. My whole life hasn’t been that long, and I was a rather dramatic young thing: every moment was turned into a poem in my secret journal. But, looking back, I am able to pinpoint some sincerity in that statement, something more than a head-over-heals infatuation on said lead singer, something I couldn’t articulate at the time. I had just felt music open a new door in my humanity, in a way it never had, and I realized there were so many layers and so much depth to that sensitive girl smashed in the backseat with her siblings. As the songs rushed past my unconscious, I saw that this world was bigger than I could grasp, and it stretched beyond all the hurts and drama of a teenage girl. I needed to plunge right in – arms wide open – to seek and find, to embrace this life.
I’m not quite sure what all that has to do with blood orange ice cream. Maybe just that sometimes the simple things, the things you aren’t expecting, catch you off guard, and change things, point you in a new direction. The moment I slice that blood orange, and the bright purple shocks me, I am reminded how lovely and glorious this world can be. There are secret treasures hidden in many corners, beauty for all of us to find, to awaken us from our slumber. It is for us to look, search for it. To reach out, to touch the flame. Oh, where the streets have no name.*
I’m sort of obsessed with blood oranges. As I am immersed in gray winter days, the shock of bright purple segments hiding under that rusty orange peel brings light and warmth into our little home.
This loaf cake is the perfect vessel for these oranges. It’s crammed full of zest, complimented by olive oil, and brushed with a blood orange glaze. The oil keeps the loaf light and moist, and the orange flavor is perfectly sweet-tart. There is some sun in this snow country after all.
I’ve been using flavored sugars in everything. I got hooked when I started making vanilla bean sugar last spring, and started experimenting with other flavors recently. Lemon zest, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and of course, vanilla bean, are among my favorites.
The little jars, stashed on my shelf, make me so happy with their tiny flecks of color. I use them a lot – sprinkled on muffins or scones, in pancakes and pie dough, even stirred into my coffee. They are perfect little holiday gifts as well – place them in tiny jars and pass them out to the neighbors.

Read More

My family is now torn between two desserts. Dessert one is the chocolate cake. Those of us with Fall and Winter birthdays always request it. It is hard to say no to it. But some people, those with early spring and summer birthdays, beg for dessert two: key lime pie. Their hearts are not changed by deep dark chocolate – they insist on this tart green goodness.
When I first made it several years ago, I really didn’t think anyone would get crazy about it. It sounded refreshing; perfect for a hot summer night. I brought it over for a family event and it was gone, gobbled down in record time. A week later I was asked to make it again, and it now it has become a cult classic. I’ve traded housework and yard work for this pie. It’s a serious dessert.

I can’t blame anyone for loving it so – it’s super tart filling is offset with a mound of whipped cream and a crisp graham cracker crust, creating a perfectly balanced bite. Your last few summer evenings just got so much better.

Read More

Purchase my cookbook!

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / BAM / IndieBound

Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit
Share with your friends










Submit