The Foodie Blogroll

How to Make Powdered Zest + Fig, Grape and Blueberry Cake + Tangelo Minneola and Goji Berry Loaf + Romantic Lavender Bread

The past two weeks or so now I have had the biggest craving for bread. Yes bread. I'm not sure if it's because it's been over a year now since I've eaten bread, I've eaten rice, quinoa and the like but no pasta unless I have made it, or some breads that I've made here and there. But, man, every recipe that I find of bread is screaming out my name, "SAAAAM, SAAAAAM, EAT MEEEEE!". Well, I've succumbed to it quite a bit lately. I'm feeling awfully sick from it too, but it's just so darn good, and has been so long and I miss it. I miss the crunchy outside and ooey-gooey spongey interior ahhhhh. So anyways, I have a few recipes that I would like to share with you. Now, just like my pizza, and other stuff I have been steering away from "normal" and have been going with unfamiliar and exotic, as you will see. First off however, I want to share with you a recipe I found the other day that I am so excited about.

When you're eating your citrus fruit, or juicing your fruit don't you hate throwing away that beautiful peel? I know I do. It's packed with gorgeous smelling oils, and flavourful zest. I never really keep them however because I find it rather annoying to zest a citrus fruit AFTER it's been cut, I mean, I could do it beforehand but then I find it annoying to peel. It's like a vicious circle, or I'm just making it sound much more difficult than it already is. Regardless...

As I've mentioned numerous numerous times on this blog, I HATE wasting food, it is one of the things that annoys me so much. I hate when food goes bad, it's wasted money and wasted gems of the earth. I also really dislike when people have the intentions of eating certain foods then just let them rot in the fridge yet they buy the same items each week and each week those items go bad... enough of that rant. Anyways, I really dislike throwing out food, and every time I'm cutting up my orange, juicing that lemon, or zesting that lime I cannot help but think that I could use the rest of the fruit for something else. Well, I no longer have to wonder because I found the recipe! Before or after you're done with your citrus fruit, save the peel and bake it for a few hours, grind it up and voila, you have gorgeous looking and scented zest!

I currently have three oranges that need to be gobbled up and while I was at Jordan's last night I saved the peels of the oranges his sister and I ate last night, came home and started baking. The house smelt wonderful, and while I processed (couldn't find my pestle and mortar) the scent was just overwhelming. I cannot wait to use this zest in my next recipe to try it out. It will be so wonderful to have a stock of zest at my fingers without actually having to zest my fruit! Eeeh, not only does this save time for you but it helps recycle and helps the environment as well, could it be a better recipe?

Powdered Zest

Recipe taken from here

Peel off the rind before eating or juicing your fruit. Try not to get too much of the white - it's bitter.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and fill the sheet with the rinds. Don't overlap them too much.


Leave the rinds out somewhere warm for a couple of days until they are dried and curled up (our house is too air conditioned and we are scared of bugs outside so we don't do this method), or bake at your oven's lowest temperature (ours is 170 F) for about 4 hours or until the rinds are dry are curled.

Finely grind the dried rinds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

As long as the powdered zest is completely dry, it should last for about a year.

For a point of reference, one medium-sized orange makes slightly less than one tablespoon of powdered zest. Fig, Grape and Blueberry Cake

Recipe adapted from here
The first "bread" on my list is more so of a loaf than a cake. However, when you're making this and you see the batter it turns into it's kind of the same genre as a loaf. I'm not sure, but it was really good. My favourite part of this is the orange infused sugar. You can really taste the difference, it has a nice sweet taste with just a hit of citrus which makes it so perfect. It also looked so pretty. This was delicious, I pretty much ate this all to myself since people in my household are really avert to fig's. I'm not sure why, they're healthy, they have such an exotic taste, and the seeds are just really fun to bite into! I liked this recipe because I had fruit that were going bad so I decided to top those in so that they didn't go to waste and I'm glad I did, it was the perfect berry combination to the fig.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 orange zested
  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 10 figs halved
  • 1 handful of purple grapes
  • 1 pint blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350° and butter an 8-inch square baking dish (or one with an equivelent volume).

In a small bowl rub the orange zest and sugar together and set aside. This will bring out the oils in the zest and perfume your cake. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed, about 3 minutes until light.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each. Add the vanilla and mix in well.

Reduce the mixer and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk alternately, the flour in 3 parts and the buttermilk in 2.

You will end up with a think batter. With a rubber spatula spread it evenly in the pan.
Add the fruit decoratively over the batter.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Tangelo Minneola and Goji Berry Loaf
Recipe taken from here
The past few times I went to the grocery store I came across goji berries, I was really excited because I've been eating strawberry goji yoghurt for months and looooove the flavour. I was really excited when I came across these but they really were expensive so I put them off. I returned a few weeks later and saw that they were four dollars off, I didn't even care if they were still expensive I was going to buy them because I didn't know when they'd be on sale again. These are delicious. You can put them in a lot of food, and even infuse them with in your water which is a nice change from lemon or lime water. I love these little guys, and they add such a pop of colour to your food too which rocks.
This loaf is so delicious. When you're making it, the house smells sensational. You have to boil your whole orange and the oils that are emitted during this process, I can't even tell you. It literally smells like Christmas, it's wonderful. Then you have to process it and it makes an even more gorgeous smell. This cake/loaf is so insanely moist you HAVE to eat it on a plate even if you're trying to sneak some unfortunately. It falls apart really easily but it is just, it's loaded with so many punches of flavour from the almonds, goji berries to the orange and honey to the oats. It's just perfect, I was really upset when I finished this off (again another loaf that no one was willing to try, it was apparently to crazy for them)... oh well more for me. I will certainly make this again, even if it is just for me, I don't care it's awesome, would be perfect around Christmas, you could make them into muffins and freeze them for later too if no one is willing to help you eat them. Trust me though, this doesn't last long!
  • 2 Tangelo Minneola's
  • 1 and 1/4 cups oat flakes and a little extra for sprinkling on the top
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp Goji berries, hydrated in a few tbsp of warm water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 6-7 tbsp of honey
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Scrub the oranges well, and place them on a pan of water over heat ( do not peel). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the water and chop the celementines (with the peel) and remove any seeds. Blend in a food precessor till nearly smooth.

Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C and line a loaf pan ( 8and 1/2 by 4 and 1/2 inch) with foil.
In bowl, whisk together the oats, ground almonds, baking powder and soda. Mix in the goji berries.

Add the oil and rub in with the fingertips.
Mix the honey and milk with the blended clementines.

Make a well in the centre of the oats mixture and tip in the clementine mixture. Fold in gently, preferably with a rubber spatula, til everything is moistened.
Tip the mixture into the lined pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the extra oat flakes on top.
Place the pan in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 40 minutes. Cover the pan loosely with a piece of foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
Place the pan on a rack and let the loaf cool in it for 2 minutes. Lift the loaf out of the pan very carefully ( it wil be a bit soft at this stage) and after removing the foil, cool completely on the rack before slicing.
Romantic Lavender Bread
Recipe taken from here

Last on our list is this beautifully scented and aromatic romantic lavender bread. All summer I saw blogger's posting recipes with lavender as well as with roses. I was so attracted to these recipes but couldn't find these ingredients anywhere, I mean, yeah I could go out and buy the flowers but... I just didn't. The other day however, when I was getting some ingredients at my local health store I found a bag of lavender! I immediately grabbed it and held it tightly in my arms. I didn't want to forget about this ingredient while I was browsing for the rest of my items. I was so overcome with joy it wasn't even funny, I mean it was worse than Christmas. I have problems I think...
Regardless, when I came home I immediately started browsing food blogs that had lavender tagged. There were so many I wanted to try, but I knew the first one I was going to try out this flavour on was this romantic lavender bread. Now, before I begin let me just say, I absolutely despise the smell of lavender. My room mate in University had this lavender room deoderizer and I swear I got so many migraines because of that smell. The smell of flowers just doesn't sit well with me, so why was I so attracted to the lavender? I'm not really sure probably because it is such a different flavour to what I'm used to.
While this was baking, the house smelt wonderful, it wasn't your typical lavender smell, it was just... it was beautiful. The whole house picked up the scent. I couldn't wait for this loaf to get out. When it was finished... oh my gosh. This was the devil, it really was. I had sliced the loaf and put it in Ziploc to bring to Jordan's. Well, while cutting it I had dug into three slices. We then went to the grocery store and I had it in my purse. Well, I went through a few pieces then when I stuck my hand back in to my horror it was all gone. I literally ate the WHOLE loaf by myself. The whole thing. Can you be any more of a fatty? I was ashamed and by then my stomach was really beginning to tingle because of the perfumey taste. It was just SO darn good, I couldn't stop. It was the most perfect crust ever and the insides, ooohh the insides were spongey and moist and just so delicate. I will have to make this loaf soon and definitely definitely contain myself because that was just awful, but oh so worth it. You must must must make this! AHHH, I'm wanting more as I type this, darn it!


  • 3 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (120F)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lavender blossoms, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
  • Yellow cornmeal, as needed
  • Coarse salt, for sprinkling on loaves (optional)
  • Spray bottle filled with cold water, for spritzing loaves

Combine yeast and lukewarm water until well blended and let sit about 10 minutes- it should look foamy and thick (if your water was too hot or your yeast is bad, it will not get foamy and you'll need to start over).

Combine buttermilk, oil, rosemary (or lavender), 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp salt in a mixer bowl, then add the yeast mixture and combine well.
Add flour gradually, beating slowly until enough flour has been added to form a dough ball that leaves the sides of the bowl in one mass.

Dump any remaining flour onto a flat surface, dump dough onto that surface, and with floured hands knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes.

Set dough into a large greased bowl, flip dough over to grease both sides, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk- about 1 1/2 hours.

On dough has risen, place dough onto a floured surface and cut into equal halves and form each half into a round loaf shape.

Set loaves onto a large greased baking sheet dusted with cornmeal.

Cover with a clean, slightly damp towel and let rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Using a serrated knife, slash the top of each loaf with an asterisk (*) pattern and sprinkle each with a little coarse salt (optional).

Bake in center of the preheated oven for 15 minutes, spritzing occasionally (at least 2-3 times).

Continue baking another 45-55 minutes (no more spritzing) or until the loaves sounds hollow when rapped on the bottom and they appear golden brown.

Let cool on racks completely.

Now get your butter and knives ready because I'm sure at least ONE of these recipes is screaming out your name!


Angry Asian said...

1. the lavender bread looks wonderful... i'm not a fan of floral scents either but lavender, in muted/controlled amounts is just lovely, it has a citrus undertone to it that is quite relaxing to me.

2. i made orange dust last year (it's on my main blog) and it's quite the bakinig accessory for me. you used the rinds but i used dried the entire orange slice before grinding. makes for great gifts to bakers/cooks.

Samantha said...

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you I just started work this week and have only been coming on to publish my posts.

The lavender bread really was delicious and the smell that came off of it was so different than the regular smell you get from the fresh flower it really was refreshing.

I think that's such a wonderful idea as a gift, I actually purchased 4 oz. bottles and vanilla beans today to make vanilla for Christmas gifts. I'm thinking with all the clementines coming into season maybe a jar of dust as well would be perfect?!