Cat Cora's Red, White, & Blueberry Velvet Cupcakes:
Yields 24 cupcakes
Ingredients for the cupcakes:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
Ingredients for the Blueberry Icing:
3 pints heavy whipping cream
2 pints fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
Directions for the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Fill two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake papers.
Sift together all of the dry ingredients (the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder) into a medium mixing bowl. In a large bowl, gently beat together all of the wet ingredients (the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla) with a handheld electric mixer (or you can beat rapidly by hand if you d not have one). Slow mix the sifted dry ingredients to the wet until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way, dividing the batter evenly. Bake in the heated oven for about 20 to 22 minutes. Turn the pans once, half way through, to assure even cooking. Test the cupcakes with a fork or toothpick for doneness (no batter should stick). When the cupcakes are ready, remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.
Directions for the icing:
In a blender, add the cream and blueberries and blend well. Pour the mixture into a cold mixing bowl and whisk, adding sugar in slowly, until it forms stiff peaks.
Frost the cupcakes and set a few raspberries on each.
*Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora
Cat Cora's Blender Cherry Clafouti (aka Custard):
A clafouti combines the creaminess of a pudding and the texture of a cake but is easier to make than either one. Cherries are great fruit to use in this summer dish!
You can make this whole dessert in a blender. You can use almost any fruit, as long as it's fresh and at the peak of its season. In summer, substitute or add plums or sliced peaches or nectarines, or try a combination of fruit you want. Serve this warm from the oven with ice cream or softly whipped cream.
3 cups cherries, rinsed and pitted
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 2-quart baking dish or 10 to 11-inch pie plate. Arrange the cherries in the bottom of the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the 1/4 cup sugar.
Pour the milk into the blender and add the eggs, flour, vanilla, and the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Blend on high speed until mixed, about 30 seconds. Pour the batter over the fruit in the baking dish.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the clafouti is lightly browned on the edges. Serve while still warm.
*Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora from Cooking from the Hip; Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007
Cat Cora's Patriotic Parfait:
Serves 2 to 4 (depending on size of glass)
½ cup diced strawberries
½ cup blackberries
1 pint lowfat yogurt
1 cup crushed graham crackers
¼ cup toasted cashews
2-4 martini glasses, depending on size
In a martini glass (or other festive vessel), spoon a dollop of the yogurt into the base of the glass and top with a sprinkling of graham crackers, then a layer of diced strawberries, and finally add a few blackberries. Start again with the yogurt, continuing the pattern until the glass is filled. Top with ½ of the cashews. Repeat with the second glass and serve!
*Recipe courtesy of Cat Cora