Monday, August 11, 2008

Desserts from the Garden



I’m not a big dessert person, but lately the hubby has been making all kinds of desserts inspired by the fresh produce we have. My Uncle Foster gave us a giant zucchini that sat on our counter for a couple of weeks, just begging to be eaten.

One day Steve couldn’t take any longer. He dug out a recipe for Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake he found on the RecipeSource website that the guys love at the men’s cooking class he teaches at the Yarmouth Senior Center. It is so moist it doesn’t even need frosting. Just add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

We finally found a way to serve vegetables that even our son Tommy will eat!

No sooner was the cake gone and Steve found another recipe to use up the whole loaf of French bread that I bought but we never got around to eating. It was rock hard stale, but he hates throwing out food. A quick look in the fridge and he found lemons and blueberries and decided to make Lemon Blueberry Bread Pudding.

Baking is different than cooking and a recipe is usually a necessity. Steve found a recipe from Food and Wine magazine that Emeril Lagasse created. The biggest change he made was he left out the dried blueberries and substituted all fresh ones. A few tweaks to accommodate the ingredients we had and a new recipe was born.

Lemons and blueberries are two of my favorite dessert flavors. Served warm with a drizzle of light cream, this was total YUM!

Have I mentioned that I’ve gained five pounds since this food blog started…

The Recipes:

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

Cream together:
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup oil

Add:
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream (or yogurt, which we substituted)

Mix together and add to Liquid Mixture:
2 1/2 cups flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat well, then stir in:
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

Grease and flour a 13 by 9 inch baking pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 – 45 minutes or until cake tests done with a toothpick.

Lemon-Blueberry Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for baking dish
4 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream (we used half and half because that’s what we had)
2 cups milk
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
10 ounces stale brioche bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (6 cups)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Generously grease a 10 by 14 inch baking dish. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with the cream, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the bread cubes and the blueberries and stir well. Add the melted butter. Let the bread soak for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared dish and bake on the upper rack of the oven for about 1 hour, until firm when pressed in the center. Let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

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