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Category Archives: Quickbreads

Gooseberry Coffee Cake


(I am not a pretty picture, but you get the point)

Hello again!  And apologies for such measly posting.  It’s been a busy summer, and while I have still been cooking plenty, few original recipes came out of the kitchen, mostly returns to old favorites, lots of grilling and various things tossed together.  I have posted some of my food related travels, new favorite products and such over on my Twitter page, as well as on my Facebook page, so swing by for a visit!

I got a little of my baking mojo back with this little coffee cake, inspired by the gorgeous basket of fresh gooseberries I had purchased at the Dieppe farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago.  I topped and tailed them and popped most of them into the freezer where they will join other baked goodies and maybe some chutney as the fall wears on.  While at the same market, I picked up a container of Quark from Armadale Farms, one of my favorite stops !  And so, that too was destined for baking.  At lower fat content and with 10 grams of protein in 1/3 cup, this stuff is one of my new favorite products, finding its way on top of potatoes and mixed into scrambled eggs.  Love it!   If you can’t find quark cheese nearby, you can substitute an equal quantity of cream cheese in this recipe.

On to the recipe!  This cake is lemon flavored as well as studded with those beautiful gooseberries, topped with a quark mixture and a crumble topping.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In your stand mixer or large bowl combine:

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Then blend in:

  • 3/4 cup lemonade
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tbsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 cups gooseberries (if large, chop them down a little)

When mixed, turn into a greased 9 inch springform pan, set aside.

Mix together:

  • 8 ounces Quark cheese
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Spread this mixture over top of cake batter.

Use a pastry blender to combine into crumbs:

  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter

Sprinkle this over top of cake.  Bake for 60-70 minutes until tester comes out relatively clean (cheese may stick to tester).  Run a knife around inner edge of cake and allow to cool completely before removing sides and bottom of pan.  Cut, serve and share!


Potato Farls with Smoked Salmon

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Sunday morning breakfast, served with a hot cup of Just Us coffee, delicious!

Potato Farls and Smoked Salmon

Farls are an Irish quick bread that comes in many forms, and literally mean “quarters”.  These are kind of a cross between a pancake and a touton, in my mind.  They are made from a simple dough and cooked in a cast iron pan to give them a lovely crisp on the outside.

This was my first time making these, and full credit goes to for the recipe, which makes 8 farls.

While this isn’t my recipe, I also wanted to post this to talk about a new product I tried today, the delicious smoked salmon from Miramichi Smokehouse.  This was SO good, some of the best cold-smoked salmon I’ve had.  I picked this package up at the newly opened Manasseh Local Food market.  I’ve visited there twice this week, picking up some wonderful local products, and it’s really great to have a place to pick up these things much closer to home than I’ve been able to access before.  There’s also a deli at the back that I haven’t checked out yet (cash only), but I’ll definitely be back.  It’s worth a stop if you’re in the area.

I made the farls yesterday, rewarmed them slightly this morning, and topped them with the smoked salmon, a little sour cream and some red onion.  A simple and decadent breakfast !

Caramelized Fennel and Onion Farinata

For Christmas this year, I was gifted with two sturdy cast iron pans that I hope to use for many years (thanks Mom ! ).  I wanted to ease into their use with a simple dish that I hopefully wouldn’t have to chisel off the bottom if that initial seasoning didn’t work.  This was the result.

Farinata wedge

A farinata is a sort of savory pancake or flatbread that has its origins in Genoa Italy.  Similar versions are found in France as socca, which I’ve also made before with rosemary.  Very tasty, and for those of you out there following a gluten-free or vegan diet, this fits the bill.  You can even use it as a base for pizza. This version, stuffed with more vegetables, makes for a nice light meal alongside a salad of your choosing.  Read the rest of this entry

Pumpkin (or Squash) Coffee Chip Nut Bread with Streusel Topping

The last time I was home in Newfoundland I dug through my Mom’s old cookbooks and she gave me a couple from a Better Homes and Gardens series; a cookie cookbook that I have bookmarked in numerous places for Christmas cookies, as well as this one:

There are SO many good little recipes in here and I hope to make several of them, or get inspiration from, as I did with this recipe.  A couple of weeks ago I was in the grocery store and spied Hershey Coffee Chipits, and of course I had to buy, because I’m like a crow with something shiny when I see stuff like that.

And because this time of year I have an abundance of squash and pumpkin from my CSA, they made their way into this quickbread.  The recipe I used for guidance is the pumpkin nut bread in the above book, which I tweaked by using butternut squash, omitting the raisins, subbing the coffee chocolate chips and topping with streusel.  Here’s the result:

Pumpkin Coffee Loaf Read the rest of this entry

Blue Cheese & Caramelized Leek Biscuits


These were whipped up today to accompany supper (which turned out to be a big pot of soup – recipe to come), and are a take on a super simple biscuit recipe that I have been making for years.  Take out the savory ingredients in this one, and you can virtually use any mix in that your little heart desires.  It’s a rustic no-fuss recipe that can be made at almost the last minute to accompany any meal, or just because you have no bread for breakfast.  This particular version took a little extra time what with the leeks, but came out delicious, and are moist enough that you don’t need any butter.  Read the rest of this entry

Irish Soda “Bread”

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The quotes are for the fact that I’d probably be laughed out of Ireland for calling this a soda bread – this is more of a cake.  If you want to debate or read a bit more about traditional soda breads (which are also great), you can do that here Read the rest of this entry

Irish “Barm Brack” Cheesecake with Whisky Sauce & original Barm Brack recipe

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In anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, I thought I’d share a couple of sweet treats that I’ve made in the past.  This particular cake was entered into a contest last fall (recipe can be found here), and was a take on the traditional tea loaf that I’ve made in the past and whose recipe I will also share.  The cheesecake went over really well with my testers / co-workers and I was pretty pleased with it.  Alas, it did not win the contest.   Read the rest of this entry