Saturday, July 3, 2010

Use it Up...

"Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, Or Do Without"

For some odd reason, I've had that World War II phrase rolling around in my head for the past few days. And really, it's appropriate - most of my missions in the kitchen start out with the goal to try and empty out the wealth of impulse buys that pack into the pantry and freezer. When you have stuff shoved into the entire top of a fridge-freezer, the top of a large pantry and still have to stock ingredients on top of the cupboard, well, there's no wanting of ingredients! But how to use them in a cohesive, tasty way... now that's the fun part!

Luckily there are other bloggers out there with brilliant ideas and recipes, prime for me to snag and play around with based on what I've got on hand. I spend a lot of time surfing Flickr groups, TasteSpotting (and it's tongue-in-cheek alter ego, TasteStopping), and FoodGawker, opening window upon window of things that just look darn good. And it's a great way to discover new blogs, even if they've been technically blogging for months or years! One of the fabulous discoveries I've come across was the blog Form V Artisan, where Christina Marsigliese is essentially Toronto's answer to Alton Brown - a bona fide food scientist (I would so love that degree!) and caterer has everything from basic baking tips to an in-depth gluten free essay!

What drew me to her blog, though, was a recipe for Blueberry Ricotta Cake. Since I had just bought all those berries, and still had a glut of ricotta in my freezer from co-op, it was a perfect excuse to try something new and make something delicious in the process!

I slightly adapted her formula for this cheesy, dense berry cake, and baked it in a square pan rather than the pretty tins she used. Even then, it received rave reviews with my tasting squad and even got requests for a repeat performance! I'd love to try out the basic idea with cherries, peaches or even a cranberry-mango mixture, but I'll have to add those to my (ever-growing) list of "to-dos"!


Blueberry Ricotta Cake
With thanks to Christina Marsigliese of Form V Artisan
Serves 12
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, divided
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 cup 1% milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F, grease and line an 8" pan.
  2. In a small pot, combine 2/3 cup blueberries, honey and water.
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook until very thick and syrupy, stirring often, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat, mash with a potato masher or fork and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, flaxseed, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar.
  6. Add egg, vanilla and ricotta, beat well.
  7. Add half the flour mixture to the creamed blend, then add milk and blueberry mash, beating in.
  8. Add remaining flour and reserved 1/3 cup blueberries, folding in well.
  9. Bake until a toothpick comes out with brownie-like moist crumbs, 28-30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 165.3
Total Fat: 7.9 g
Cholesterol: 36.8 mg
Sodium: 53.5 mg
Total Carbs: 20.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 3.9 g

2 comments :

Chef Dennis said...

Hi Sarah
I hear you on the use it up, I see all these great foods, and rush out and buy ingredients....I finally sort of emptied out my refrigerator...tomorrow I organize my pantry...
Your blueberry ricotta cake sounds and looks delicious!!
thanks for sharing
Dennis

Jannett said...

This cake sounds delicious.... :)