Secret Recipe Club: Bluberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

It’s my favorite time of the month again.  I get to reveal my Secret Recipe Club assignment for July.   I’m honored to be a part of this diverse group of food bloggers.  In case you forgot, everyone in the Secret Recipe Club gets “assigned” a blog from which we are supposed to pick a dish to cook.  But, it’ll all done in secret.  It isn’t until the ultimate reveal that everyone showcases the dishes and discovers who’s been their secret foodie link.

When I received my blog assignment: Chocolates and Chillies, I was thrilled as I’ve already connected with Asiya, the author in the virtual world on Facebook.  But, I couldn’t what to comb through her blog to learn more.  I was intrigued to discover that Asiya lives in Canada but, her family is originally from India.  Therefore, when you scroll her recipe archives, you’ll find a lot of Indian-accented dishes.  But, the best part to Chocolates and Chillies (in my mind) is the recipe variety.  Asiya cooks from many different types of cuisines: Asian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Tex/Mex, Italian, AND, all recipes are Halal observant so you won’t find any pork, or alcohol in them.

I leaf-eared a bunch of tasty dishes for my “to make list” including: Japanese Zucchini w/Onions; Garlic Green w/Balsamic and Roasted Shallots, Baked Samosas and Asiya’s authentic Mango Lassi.  However, I kept returning to her Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake.  I was curious how it compares to Mom’s Blueberry Brunch Cake that’s a favorite of mine.  I had a carton off freshly-picked blueberries in the fridge, and, since it only takes about 25 minutes to bake, I decided to try it out.

Like Mom’s Blueberry Brunch Cake, Asiya’s Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake doesn’t require much butter.  And, I was thrilled to learn the addition of yogurt.  I’m on a Chobani kick these days and am stocked with many yogurt cartons.  However, contrary to the directions, I decided to use Blueberry Chobani instead of plain to give the cake an extra blueberry kick.

And, I must say, I’m finally understanding the flavor punch with lemon zest.  Just the simple addition of some lemon zest completely alters the taste landscape of this cake.  In fact, when my son tried his first piece, even though he bit into warm, exploding blueberries, he asked me if it was lemon cake.

The cake is BEYOND easy to make, requiring no culinary skill.  And, all of the recipe ingredients  should already be stocked in pantry and fridge.  The best part about the cake prep is the reduced baking time; it only takes approx. 25 minutes to bake to perfection.

So, you can literally make this right before dinner and serve it for dessert.  I DID.

Within one hour we were all on our second slice.

Definitely check out Chocolates and Chillies for a plethora of tasty recipes!




Blueberry Brunch Cake

 

Ah, Mom’s Blueberry Brunch Cake!

That smell.  That pungent smell of blueberries baking in the oven still transport me back to any given Sunday when my family would gather together for brunch after a long morning at Sunday school.  And, to think that I couldn’t find that  recipe in Mom’s vast handwritten recipe collection.  So many Sunday brunch memories are woven throughout that cake; they’re as integral as its key ingredients.

How undeniably fitting was yesterday’s article, Playing Kitchen Detective, in the Food & Dining section of the Wall Street Journal:

“As people become more accustomed to cooking in their own kitchens, they start looking for [the dishes] they have fond memories of”

“Fueled by nostalgia, legions of eaters are returning to the kitchen to recreate fond dishes from their childhood made by older relatives.”

My son was only 3 years old and my daughter 6 years old when my Mom passed away.  Most of their visceral memories of her alive are only drawn from  final week(s). Through my cooking, she’s been resurrected. With the aromas and comforting heat from the oven, the sounds from the stovetop and the beautiful creations served on the table, she’s very much alive and vibrant and continues to nourish us all.

Mom spread her love through her food.  She took time and patience creating dishes that wowed the masses and made indelible imprints on every beneficiary.

The absence of that Blueberry Brunch cake recipe left a whole in my heart.  A lifetime of memories and tastes and smells contained in that one 9″ cake.

Can you imagine the huge wave of relief that washed over me four months ago when I received a random email out of the blue, entitled, “Blueberry Brunch Cake?”

The email was sent from the mother of a very good friend of mine from grade school (we’re talking MANY years ago).  She told me she recently made Mom’s Blueberry Brunch Cake to take to a friend convalescing from surgery: “I enjoy making  this cake all the time for book club.  I received it from your mom many years ago.  I miss her so much and think of her often.”

Even to this day, almost 3 1/2 years later, people are still touched by Mom and spreading her love…

INSERT LONG SIGH HERE

So, back to the cake.

Don’t be fooled, it is SWEET.  Don’t take it lightly.  The cinnamon-sugar topping makes a strong case for BRUNCH– the kind where you’re prepared to sit at the table and eat and talk for hours.

Cinnamon and sugar baked into the cake

But, the sweet flavor of the baked blueberries contrasted with the perfectly moist, fluffy cake is a must for apres dinner too.

Fresh blueberries lightly dusted with flour (to prevent them from sinking to the bottom!)

Blueberry batter!

Therefore, don’t be fooled by the name either.  This cake is so good, you can eat it all-day-long!

Betcha can’t just have one slice

 

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