June 7 2017

Lemon Balm Cake with Candied Flower Syrup

Lemon Balm Cake

This mildly sweet cake tastes of flowers and lemons and sunshine. And when I say it tastes of flowers, I mean that literally. Lemon Balm cake by itself is a light lemony treat, but covering it in syrup made with chamomile flowers really makes it special! This herbal cake is a great way to use the herbs in your garden. Also, Chamomile and Lemon Balm compliment each other beautifully!

I can just imagine eating this cake with tea in a lacey white dress and hat, and feeling very refined.

Lemon Balm Cake
Lemon Balm Cake with Candied Flower Syrup
Print Recipe
A simple cake, flavored with Lemon Balm. What really makes it special is the candied flower syrup which gives it extra sweetness. It also looks pretty!
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Lemon Balm Cake
Lemon Balm Cake with Candied Flower Syrup
Print Recipe
A simple cake, flavored with Lemon Balm. What really makes it special is the candied flower syrup which gives it extra sweetness. It also looks pretty!
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 slices 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Cake
Candied Flower Syrup
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour an 8" round cake pan.
  2. Cream together butter, lemon balm, and sugar.
  3. Separate your eggs. Set aside the whites (preferably in the refrigerator!). Add the egg yokes and vanilla extract to the butter-sugar mixture.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to your butter mixture. Then add the buttermilk. You should have a thick batter.
  5. Beat your egg whites on high until soft peaks form. Fold into your batter until just combined. Do not over-mix!
  6. Bake your cake for approximately 20 minutes. When its done, the top will be a golden brown.
  7. While your cake is baking, put water and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved, and the water has partially evaporated.
  8. Once your water and sugar are slightly thickened (you want a light syrup), add your chamomile flowers. Stir to cover the flowers in syrup, and allow the syrup to cool.
  9. Pour the syrup over the cake once both have cooled. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Chamomile flowers give a syrup a lovely flavor, but you can use other edible flowers too! The orange flower in the picture is a Nasturtium. Other edible flowers include violets, and lavender.

The Lemon Balm Cake was inspired by this recipe from Magnolia Days.

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January 22 2017

Farmer’s Cheesecake

I try to keep my fridge stocked with the basics – eggs, milk, and butter. The jar of white flour should be full, and there should be extra whole wheat flour stashed away somewhere. I keep sour cream or yogurt around because I tend to cook with it, but I try not to keep multiple packages of cream cheese around. Its dangerous!

So what to do when I just have to have cheesecake? (these are the important questions)

Yes, cheesecake. Very dangerous. Very rich.

It turns out, you don’t need to use cream cheese. There are recipes for cheesecake which use a variety of other cheeses – like ricotta, or farmer’s cheese. The beauty of using Farmer’s Cheese, of course, is that you can make it yourself, and flavor it however you like while making it.

I tried this recipe using cheese made from apple cider vinegar and sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with applesauce. Awesome.

Farmer's Cheesecake
Print Recipe
Cheesecake made from Farmer's Cheese - delicious, rich, and made from ingredients already in your fridge!
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Farmer's Cheesecake
Print Recipe
Cheesecake made from Farmer's Cheese - delicious, rich, and made from ingredients already in your fridge!
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 40 minutes
Ingredients
Filling
Crust
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Pour your milk into a large pot, and gently warm until it is frothy. Use the apple cider vinegar to separate the curds from the whey and drain. Add cinnamon if desired. (this is just the standard Farmer's Cheese recipe adapted; you can find more details here.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Cut in butter, as if you were making pie crust dough.
  3. Beat 3 egg yolks and 3 tablespoons of sour cream together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix until it forms dough (again, resembling pie crust dough). Roll out and place in pie plate.
  4. Beat the 4 eggs and one egg white at high speed until frothy. You will probably want to use an electric beater!
  5. Put farmer's cheese, granulated sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream, and vanilla extract in a blender. Blend well. The Farmer's Cheese will be naturally rather granular when first made; it should be chopped up until very fine and liquid. Add some of the egg mixture if necessary.
  6. Fold together the farmer's cheese mixture and egg mixtures. Pour into the pie plate.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. The cake will rise in the oven, turn golden, and set.
  8. Cool for a few hours in the refrigerator before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

One thing I like about this recipe is that it does have instructions on making its own crust. You could definitely still do a typical graham cracker crust with this, but if you don't keep graham crackers around either, this makes it simpler.

As long as you have eggs. Lots of eggs.

Based off of Country Cheesecake.

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November 2 2016

Soul Cakes

A soul cake, a soul cake, a penny for a soul cake!


In honor of All Souls Day

These sweet biscuity-cakes are a traditional food for Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day; the cakes were given out to beggars and children who went door to door on All Hallow’s Eve. There’s not really one “official recipe” for soul cakes; I imagine that people used different combinations of sweet spices and dried fruit over the years. But this recipe is nice!

Soul Cakes
Print Recipe
A slightly sweet and spicey biscuit, traditionally given out on Halloween.
Servings Prep Time
8 cakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Soul Cakes
Print Recipe
A slightly sweet and spicey biscuit, traditionally given out on Halloween.
Servings Prep Time
8 cakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 cakes 10 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cakes
Instructions
  1. Cut butter into the flour. Do yourself a favor and use a food processor. That way, you won't warm up the butter too much, and it goes faster.
  2. Add sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger to the flour mixture. Mix well.
  3. Beat the egg, apple cider vinegar, and milk together in a separate bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry, and then mix / knead until it forms a stiff dough.
  4. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Cut out rounds with a glass or cookie cutter. The number of cakes you get will of course depend on how big your glass or cutter is!
  5. Poke your cakes 3-4 times with a fork. This will make them a bit fluffier.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

The original recipe called for Allspice. I bet it tastes great, I just can't ever seem to find it in my cabinets! (or remember to buy it)

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October 2 2016

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot cake is great. Its nice, and moist, and cakey. But it has a veneer of healthiness. After all, it has carrots! And. . theoretically less sugar!

Its cake. And veggies. And cake!

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake
Print Recipe
A lovely moist carrot cake. If you don't put any icing on it, you can pretend its healthy and eat it for breakfast.
Servings Prep Time
9 pieces 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
9 pieces 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake
Print Recipe
A lovely moist carrot cake. If you don't put any icing on it, you can pretend its healthy and eat it for breakfast.
Servings Prep Time
9 pieces 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
9 pieces 20 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. Prepare your carrots. Finely grating them in fine, but so is cooking them down and mashing them. Put to the side.
  2. Beat your two eggs. Add in oil, sugar, pumpkin puree, molasses, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  3. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in another bowl. Combine your wet and dry mixtures.
  4. Add carrots to your batter. Mix well. Pour the carroty mixture into a buttered 8x8 baking pan.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour. Make sure the cake is done by inserting a knife into the center; it should come out clean.
Recipe Notes

Its fairly common to cut the oil required in a carrot cake recipe with applesauce, but pumpkin puree works well too! Its especially practical if you've been cooking down a lot of pumpkin recently.

Blackstrap molasses actually tastes acceptable in this cake - possibly because it is not the main sweetener, it just gives the cake a nice brown color. You could probably also use brown sugar and no molasses.

This cake is good enough to be dessert for sure, especially if you ice it with cream cheese frosting. But I like to leave it plain and have it for breakfast with my morning coffee. Yum!

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