Dried Currants, Cranberry, Blueberry and Lemon Hot Cross Loaf

Dried Currants, Cranberry, Blueberry and Lemon Hot Cross Loaf - Candy Coated Culinista

Dried Currants, Cranberry, Blueberry and Lemon Hot Cross Loaf – Candy Coated Culinista

This recipe is one of my bucket list recipes that year after year I let pass me by because I find the recipe intimidating. It’s Good Friday and tis the season to make hot cross buns. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday this sugar spiced bun with the cross on top represents the crucifixion of Jesus. The spices inside signify the spices used to embalm him at his burial. Well the time is now and I decided to use half of the last of the yeast in the house to try this. Good Vibes for my hot cross loaf please …

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 2 hrs & 30 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium


• ½ cup 2% milk
• 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
• 2 tbsp warm water
• 1 egg
• 2 tbsp granulated sugar
• Lemon zest of one small lemon
• 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup dried currants, cranberries and blueberries, finely chopped
Glaze (Egg Wash)
• 1 egg yolk
• 1 tsp water
• ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp 2% milk, more if needed


1. Using a small saucepan over medium heat, warm milk until it bubbles and set aside to cool down to a lukewarm temperature.
2. In a small bowl add yeast to 2 tbsp of warm water, stir and set aside.
3. Add egg to the lukewarm milk and add in the yeast and set aside.
4. In a stand-up mixer pour sugar and lemon zest in a rub zest into sugar until it turns yellow and fragrant with your hands.
5. Add the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter and again rub together with your hands until the butter is incorporated.
6. Use a dough hook and add the milk mixture until dough is smooth and elastic.
7. Flour a cold marble pastry board or counter and add dried fruits by hand and incorporate.
8. Place dough in a grease bowl and cover with saran wrap and allow to rise until it has double in size, about 90 minutes.
9. Remove dough and place on floured marble pastry board or counter and diving into six equal portions.
10. Form into a ball and place in a loaf pan.
11. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375°F and then cover loaf pan with a tea towel and continue to let proof for another 45 minutes.
12. When dough has risen mix your egg wash in a small bowl and brush over loaf.
13. Bake for 25 minutes or when a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
14. Turn out and remove from loaf pan and let cool.
15. Using a medium sized bowl mix confectioners’ sugar, milk and butter and place in a piping bag and make a cross design.
16. Slice up and serve with a nice smear of butter.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I really picked a bad time to be making untested recipes as items are becoming hard to find those basics and I’m not about to line up to do my groceries. My life right now is lots of substitutions and planning meals well ahead or on the fly. I hadn’t seen a bag of flour in four weeks and only saw sugar this week for the first time in three weeks. For a baker it was really tough and I was rationing my baking supplies; but I carried two of the biggest bags of flour on my back home and I’m set for a bit and still rationing my supply very carefully. This recipe came together surprisingly well and I managed to get by only using two eggs and I have some egg whites left back. I had never used my dough hook before and was so happy it did all the work for me. I was expecting the dough to rise more than it did; but it did rise and I’m happy for that. The bread was the perfect texture and spring with little morsels of dried fruit. I will have to work on my icing as the consistency wasn’t up to my standards; but again I am trying to ration confectioners’ sugar also. Next time I will use a bigger pan so these can be a hot cross bun and not a loaf. I will also make the flour cross instead of an icing cross. I am thoroughly happy with how these turned out and will make these again and before another Good Friday comes around. A blessed Good Friday to you and yours.

Crustless Blueberry Pie

Crustless Blueberry Pie - Candy Coated Culinista

Crustless Blueberry Pie – Candy Coated Culinista

Still being the fraidy cat that I am of a proper pie crust I have exclusively stayed away from it for a couple years now. A doughy crust does not please me in any way and those recipes I have tried have never made it out the door for public consumption; friends and family are all good but to those just outside those parameters – no way. Thanksgiving dinner was upon me and I planned to make two recipes. Pie is a Thanksgiving classic; but what is the Candy Coated Culinista to do when she is still so frightened of the pie pastry dough… I’m making a crustless pie. Perfecto.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy
• ½ cup butter, at room temperature
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 541 ml blueberry pie filling

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray an 8” x 8” pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
3. Using your stand mixer on low speed, cream butter and sugar together for about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add eggs, salt and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
5. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
6. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the pan and reserve half the dough for the topping.
7. Pour pie filling over the dough base.
8. Drop small pieces of the reserved dough over top of the blueberry filling.
9. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown.
10. Let cool.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
A lovely recipe that wasn’t too sweet from my dessert lovers. I’m starting to perfect the correct amount of sugar even though I have sugar in my diet normally. I will however enjoy it in my baked goods when I must and this wasn’t overly sweet in any way. Score.

Pomegranate Glazed Carrot Medley

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots - Candy Coated Culinista

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots – Candy Coated Culinista

If I can find a way to use pomegranate I will. I have always loved pomegranates and even though they are a mess to eat I enjoy cracking into it. I remember as a child when my mom gave me a pomegranate I would run upstairs to change into an old t-shirt and then have at it while sitting in front of the TV, enjoying my cartoons. This is still my routine to this day; but I also love finding different ways to incorporate pomegranate into dishes.

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 35 – 40 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 150 ml pomegranate juice
• 2 tbsp pure fancy molasses
• 4 medium sized carrots
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch, sea salt
• Pinch black pepper
• ¼ cup cashews
• ¼ cup dried blueberries
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat; let pomegranate juice reduce (10 – 15 minutes) and then stir in the molasses.
3. Peel carrots and cut on the bias and place to the roasting pan and coat the carrots.
4. Bake for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Drizzle glaze over and bake for another 10 minutes.
6. Add in the blueberries and cashews and bake for another 5 minutes.
7. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.

• You can make the glaze in advance if necessary.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The taste of this dish was great. I loved the addition of it as a glaze and this is a great and healthy vegan dish. This would be a great side for Thanksgiving or Christmas and I will be adding this to my Holiday menu.

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

I never thought I would say this but I am officially a cake lover. Just in the last year I have realized I really enjoy cake and I mean all types (even the chocolate and red velvet I try to stay away from because I don’t like chocolate and cream cheese on cakes; they are slowly creeping into my dessert selections) and I’m eating more of my creations instead of giving them all away. I must say for a newly self proclaimed cake lover a breakfast cake is the way to go for me.

Yield/Serving: 8 loafs and one mini cake
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 70 min. for me
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Seven Spoons

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tbsp poppy seeds
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
• 4 eggs, at room temperature
• Seeds scraped from a vanilla bean, or 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp crème fraiche or sour cream or yoghurt
• Juice and lemon zest from one whole lemon
• 1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh

1. Preheat oven to 300°F with a rack in the middle of the oven.
2. Butter or spray pan with non-stick spray.
3. In a large bowl whisk flour, seeds and sea salt and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 8 minutes on medium-high, scraping regularly. (or use a spatula edged paddle attachment)
5. Reduce the speed to medium and add the eggs one at a time.
6. Add the vanilla.
7. On low speed add half the flour, milk, lemon juice and zest, and the last of the flour and don’t overmix.
8. Fold in the blueberries by hand.
9. Pour mixture into prepared pan, smooth the top and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
10. Bake for 80 to 90 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
11. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes in the pan.
12. Unmold and let cool completely.

• I used milk instead of crème fraiche or sour cream.
• Cake can be kept for 4 days covered or under a cake dome.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I used milk as I had no intention of wasting money on a container of crème fraiche when the recipe only requires 2 tbsp. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly and I will say I questioned creaming the butter for 8 minutes as that seemed to be very long time; also I have never done this in the past, but the batter turned out amazingly. I have been enjoying my snacking cake for breakfast as fruit and poppy seeds make perfect sense for breakfast. My taste testers said this had the right amount of sweetness; granted a few were like oh blueberry and poppy seeds “what no chocolate” I said here’s a healthy cake for once. I think next time I will add more lemon as I like the brightness lemon adds. This recipe reminds me a lot of my Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Vanilla Glaze, which is probably why I gravitated to this recipe in the first place. I will be making this again and again.

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Blueberry Poppy Seed Snacking Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon and Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

I was walking to work one morning and it was such a nice day out (for March), that I decided to take my walk to work outside and not use the underground PATH. When I got to Yonge & King there were free samples of Silhouette Greek Yogurt being handed out. I was given blueberry and since Mr. C. has his favourite yogurt already in the house and I don’t like the stuff unless it’s in a smoothie, (It’s a texture thing). I decided to find a recipe where I could use it and not waste my freebies. I knew that yogurt could be used in cakes to make it extra moist so I made a go of it.

Yield/Serving: 1 bread loaf pan & 1- 9” cake pan
Prep Time: 30 minutes for cake, 10 minutes for syrup and 10 minutes for glaze
Cook Time: 55–60 minutes for Bread loaf and 50-55 minutes for 9” cake pan
Difficulty level is: Medium (Labour intensive but so worth it)

• Flour to grease the pans
• Butter to grease the pans
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp of salt
• 400g Blueberry Greek Yogurt
• 2 cups sugar
• 6 eggs
• 2/3 cup canola oil
• Lemon zest grated from one lemon
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 125g (4.4 oz) fresh blueberries & 2 tsp flour
Lemon Simple Syrup
• 2 freshly squeezed lemons, juiced
• 2/3 cup sugar
Vanilla Glaze
• 3/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• milk, as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Grease and flour a bread loaf pan.
3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In a separate large bowl (or your mixer bowl), whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, canola oil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
5. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix (using the paddle attachment) until batter is smooth.
6. In a small bowl sprinkle 2 tsp of flour over blueberries and toss to coat.
7. Gently fold blueberries into the cake batter.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick tester comes out clean.
9. Now start of the lemon simple syrup. (see below)
10. When the cake is finished baking, run a silicone knife along the edges of the pan to loosen.
11. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
12. Transfer cake to wire cooling rack on top of a sheet pan.
13. Pour the lemon syrup over the cake and allow it to soak in.
14. Let cake cool (for at least an hour or longer if you have the time).
15. Prepare the vanilla glaze. (see below)
Lemon Simple Syrup
1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the lemon juice and sugar.
2. Cook until the sugar dissolves completely.
3. Turn off heat and set aside.
Vanilla Glaze
1. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and enough milk to make a glaze consistency.
2. Pour over the cooled cake and let it run down the sides.
3. Transfer to a serving platter, slice and enjoy!

• I was making dinner and baking at the same time so counter space was at a premium for me. If you don’t have lots of counter space you can take the cake out of the pans and let it cool, and put the cakes back in the pan and pour the simple syrup on them. When it’s time to pour the glaze on, you can place the cakes on some wax paper on a cutting board and let it cool – This is what I did.

Please Enjoy

I gave Mr. C. six thick slices to take into work in the morning, and within an hour of him getting in, he emailed me to say. I have requests for the cake recipe.
“I have to say that was delicious indeed. And I didn’t feel guilty eating it…should I have?”

“I do like my lemon-y desserts. Also, it’s totally moist and that glaze was definitely the best”

Mr. C. said, “The cake was really moist and I enjoyed the bursts of fruit flavor when you bit into those pieces. The lemon added a bit of tartness to it and the hint of vanilla glaze on the outside made for a sticky mess on my hands, but it balanced against the tartness of the lemon nicely. If anything I would ratchet up the icing used a little bit to balance between the sweetness and tartness, as the blueberries were fairly tart themselves.”

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemony Letdown: Boozy Blueberry Margarita Ice Pops

Here is a lemony letdown from my 7 Days of Ice Pops…Not all my experiments go well.

I was starting batch #2 of my popsicles when Mr. C. said “Are you making Pina Colada’s over there?” I said no and he made the cutest puppy dog eyes. (He makes these eyes when he wants me to make something special). So I grabbed my ingredients and made him his treat, then I started on my task.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 24 hours in the freezer to set
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 2 cups blueberries
• 1/3 cup tequila
• 2 tbsp agave nectar

1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into moulds and leave a little space at the top for expansion.
3. Place the sticks in and freeze for 24 hours.
4. Once frozen run a little cold water over the mould to dislodged the pop.

Please Don’t Enjoy

My thoughts
This Popsicle was strong and it also didn’t set; it was more like a sorbet. Next time I will lessen the amount of alcohol and maybe it will set fully.

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