The Ultimate Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins in a Muffin Tin | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I had a forehead thumping moment recently when a friend asked me for a blueberry muffins recipe. In all the years I’ve been doing this site, I’ve never posted the most basic of breakfast treats. How did I get away with this, especially when they are one of my favorites. For me the perfect blueberry muffins are light, fluffy and bursting with blueberries. I added a touch of ginger because it perks up the flavor of the berries, but not so much that it’s overpowering. The topping is buttery, sweet and bakes into a lacy crust. I like to bake them in large “Texas-sized” muffin cups, so there is lots of muffin top and just as much of the berry center. They are great small, but I am always left wanting for more and for some reason I feel less guilty eating one big one, instead of two little ones. Read More

Berry Cobbler with Cheddar Biscuits

 Berry cobbler | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I have to admit this recipe was an accident, a happy one, but a mistake nonetheless. I was going to post on shortcakes, with balsamic roasted strawberries. I was mixing up the biscuits and got distracted, probably by something I read on Twitter. I added way too much buttermilk to the dough and they were no longer useful as biscuits. How disappointing to have a recipe in mind and then blow it.

These weren’t just any biscuits, they were made with cheddar cheese, so they would have a slight sharpness to them, which I find a perfect compliment to the sweet berry filling. What to do? There was no way I was tossing these beauties, but they were too soft to work with in the traditional way. Then it hit me, COBBLER.

All the same ingredients, but baked together at one time, even better. I added blueberries, fresh ginger and lemon zest to the strawberries and topped it with my sticky biscuit dough. Thanks to my inability to focus yesterday, I have a new favorite dessert! Read More

Red, White and Blue Bakewell Tarts

Bowl of cherries | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

The June Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Jasmine of Confessions of a Cardamom Addict and Annemarie of Ambrosia and Nectar. They chose a traditional (UK) Bakewell Tart….er….pudding that was inspired by a rich baking history dating back to the 1800’s in England.

This month’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge, at first glance didn’t have me all that excited. It is a tart consisting of a simple shortbread crust, a layer of jam and frangipane (almond cream). Bakewell is a classic style of tart I’ve made lots of times and perhaps seemingly dull because I know it so well. But, after a good nights sleep, a cup of coffee and a burst of inspiration, I had renewed longing for the Bakewell tart. It is one of those challenges where you are basically given a blank canvas and told to paint a picture. This tart can take on the personality of the fruit or filling you introduce. I decided to play with many different flavors and add a bit of texture to the filling by adding fresh fruit, that compliments the jam.

In honor of the 4th of July I decided to make Red, White and Blue tarts; Cherry, Coconut and Blueberry. Read More