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Strawberry Season is HERE! It is one of my favorite fruits next to peaches and mangoes! Strawberries are juicy, tart, sweet – all at the same time and make amazing desserts! I get 6 pounds of strawberries from the market and we pretty much finish it all in a week. I use them to make jams, tarts, smoothies, you name it.

 

Strawberries and Cream is such a winning combination!  It is a British classic and it was first served at Wimbledon in 1877, when 200 spectators came to witness the championships. On an average of 10,000 liters or heavy cream and 28,000 kgs of strawberries are consumed at the tournaments each year, according to the official Wimbledon website!

My dad and brother are avid tennis fans, and growing up we all would be glued to the TV during tennis seasons, for all the 4 Championships, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, Australian Open, and French Open. We would stay up at night, get up early in the morning do what it takes to watch those matches! My mom would see people eating strawberries and cream during the Wimbledon matches, and she would want to eat them too! But strawberries are in season in Dec/Jan in India. So she would serve strawberry and cream as dessert for parties!  She would make strawberry souffles too, served with fresh strawberries, or strawberry custard, or strawberry pudding. She would also make strawberry milkshakes! She loved strawberries too, just like our household!

My kids and I love to go strawberry picking and we make it a point to go once every season. We are lucky growing up in bountiful California, that there is an abundance of strawberries, so we get to eat fresh local strawberries that are mega sweet and juicy! We usually go to Gizdich Farm at Watsonville. They even have ollalieberry and boysenberry picking. They have apple picking during the Fall season and also a little shop that sells pies and jams and fresh produce! It is a wonderful place if you want to experience picking, and for a good price!

 

So my inspiration for these little bundts comes from all the Strawberries and Cream that my mom fed us! I love minis and I think bundts just make for the cutest desserts, with a tad bit of frosting so I made little Strawberry and Cream Bundts with a Strawberry and Cardamom Frosting. I puree strawberries in a high speed blender, and then I reduce it in a pan, on a gas stove, for about 10 minutes so that when I add the puree to the bundt, it gets a concentrated flavor! For the bundts, I add in almond flour because it just gives the bundts a good texture and flavor. This recipe makes 12 bundts!

The frosting is made with a hint of cardamom, freeze dried strawberries, and heavy cream and is so luxurious! I like it slighty thick and and a sprinkling of freeze dried strawberries is perfect on top of each bundt! They make great entertaining desserts, very easy to make, can be made in a couple of hours and they turn out moist and delicious!

Hope you get a chance to make it, and if you do make it, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab in your creations and/or leave a comment on my blog post! I would so appreciate it! 

 

Hope you all are having a great summer and enjoying the beautiful weather and longer days!

 

Much love!

XO

Amisha

Yum
Strawberry and Cardamom Cream Bundt Cakes

Ingredients

  • !Strawberry Bundt Cake:
  • !Makes 12 bundts
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (minus 4 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter + 2 tbsp, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 oz strawberries pureed
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 oz lemon juice
  • !Strawberry and Cardamom Cream:
  • 2 tbsp freeze dried strawberries – ground in a coffee grinder to a powder.
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups leveled powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar
  • 5 tbsp cold heavy whipping cream
  • !Garnish:
  • ¼ cup freeze dried strawberries

Instructions

  1. !Strawberry Bundt Cake:
  2. !To make the strawberry puree:
  3. In a small saucepan, on medium heat, add in the pureed strawberries, granulated sugar and lemon juice. Let the mixture come to a boil. Then let it boil for about 7-10 minutes, stirring it with a rubber spatula occasionally to ensure that it does not stick to the pan. It should thicken in about 10 minutes and reduce in size. You want the concentrated strawberry flavor in the bundt cake. Strain the mixture to remove any seeds.
  4. In a medium bowl, add in the all purpose flour, corn starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt into a sieve, and sift into the medium bowl. Whisk to combine.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add in the butter and sugar and whisk at high speed for 2 minutes. Add in the 3 eggs, one at a time and beat to incorporate. Add in vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Add in the heavy cream and whisk to combine. Now slowly add in the dry mixture in 3 batches, whisking to incorporate after each batch addition. Add in the concentrated strawberry puree and use a spatula to mix until well incorporated.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Now using baking spray on the 6 mini bundt pan, make sure you get all the crevices. Add batter about ¾ way to the top of each hole. Bake the bundts for about 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown in color. Remove from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes to cool. Gently invert the pan onto a wire rack and gently tap to release the bundts. Let them cool completely for an hour. Repeat baking the remaining bundt cakes using the same procedure.
  8. !Strawberry and Cardamom Cream Frosting:
  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, whisk the cream cheese and butter together for a minute till light. Add in the powdered sugar, ground cardamom, strawberry powder, pinch of salt and whisk for a minute until well incorporated. Add in the heavy whipping cream and whisk for 2 minutes. The mixture should be smooth and NOT runny. It should be thick yet pipable. Put the whipped mixture into a pastry bag with a ½ inch round tip. Pipe in the nooks of the bundt cake, or however you fancy. Crush the freeze dried strawberries on top of each bundt. They are ready to serve!
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Living in Mumbai, during my childhood and college days, I was used to drinking a glass of whole milk before going to bed. It was a habit that I loved and looked forward to! I came to the US, and when I started drinking the whole milk here, I found it quite heavy for my stomach and digestion. So I switched to reduced fat milk. I would drink the 2%, and sometimes even the 1% .

When  a2 Milk®  Company contacted me to try their milk, I was very intrigued. What is the difference between their milk and the milk found at grocery stores? Ordinary cows’ milk naturally contains a mix of both A1 and A2 proteins. a2 Milk® comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein and no A1. Published research suggests that a2 Milk® may help some people avoid discomfort. They are on a mission to bring people, with delicious, nutritious and pure a2 Milk®. They take great care to bring you milk naturally free from the A1 protein from cow to cup. The cows are not treated with growth hormones, rBST or antibiotics. All of the family farms are independently certified by the Validus Group to ensure they meet strict animal welfare guidelines.

My husband is lactose intolerant and funny symptoms happen to him when he has regular milk. After having the a2 Milk®, his tummy feels much better and does not have the same symptoms as well! They have a ton of fun recipes on their website as well, using their various products. They carry 1%, 2%, whole milk and chocolate milk.

I wanted to make a fun breakfast recipe, that involved waffles, and all the glorious summer fruit that is there at the farmer’s market! So I made Peach and Pecan Waffles with Grilled Stone Fruit, whipped coconut cream, maple syrup and sprinkle of toasted pecans. I puree Peach and Apricots with a bit of granulated sugar. This mixture goes into the waffle batter along with toasted pecans. The waffles by itself are very flavorful with the hint of cinnamon and vanilla in it! The grilled stone fruit like peaches and apricots, along with cherries and blackberries, and toppings like whipped coconut rum cream, maple syrup, pecans and thyme elevates this breakfast to a new level! It is a must try while stone fruits are beaming right now in all its glory!

For the whipped coconut rum cream, I use this recipe, and add a tablespoon of rum to it! It is just so delicious!

Waffles are a weekly affair in our house, and my husband could eat these delicious waffles without any issues! Not being able to make milk products or any food item made with milk, is really hard, but when a product comes along that can help to relieve discomfort, it’s a win-win!

If you do try this recipe, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab and/or leave a comment on this blog post!

Cheers and hope you all are having a great summer so far!

XO

Amisha

Yum
Peach-Apricot and Pecan Waffles with Grilled Stone Fruit and Whipped Coconut Cream

Ingredients

  • !Peach-Apricot and Pecan Waffles:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • 3 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
  • 2 eggs, egg yolks and white separated
  • 1 ¾ cup a2 whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 peach and 2 apricots
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar
  • !Garnish:
  • 2 peaches cut into equal slices about 10
  • 2-3 apricots cut into halves
  • 12-14 cherries pitted and halved
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • ¾ cup good honey, warmed slightly to loosen consistency
  • Maple Syrup or honey
  • ½ cup toasted and finely chopped pecans
  • Whipped sweetened coconut cream
  • Thyme leaves

Instructions

  1. !Peach-Apricot and Pecan Waffles:
  2. In a high speed blender, puree the peach and apricots(with seeds removed), along with the sugar, until completely pureed. You should get about 1 cup of puree.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add in the all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt. Whisk to mix. In a small mixing bowl, add in the a2 whole milk, melted butter, egg yolk, vanilla extract, peach and apricot puree and whisk to blend well until smooth. Add the wet mixture to dry mixture and whisk until well blended. Mix in to the toasted pecans well into the batter.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, with a hand mixer, whisk the egg whites until foamy and fluffy for 2 minutes. Gently fold the egg white fluff with the batter, until it is all blended. Let it sit for 15 minutes before making the waffles. Heat the waffle maker, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Spray the waffle maker with cooking spray. Put in the batter in waffle maker. I put about ½ cup for each waffle. Once the waffles are done, let them rest to crisp up, against some surface.
  5. To grill the fruit, use a pastry brush to brush all the peach and apricot slices with warm honey. Heat a grill pan on medium heat. Use cooking spray so that the fruit will not stick to the pan. Place the fruit open side down on the grill and grill for a minute to make the grill marks. Do the same on all the open surfaces. Remove from the pan and let cool.
  6. Plate the waffles. Top with the grilled fruit, cherries and blackberries. Top with whipped coconut rum cream and pour maple syrup over it. Sprinkle with fresh thyme and toasted pecans!
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Jam Lab by Amisha - 3M ago

Blondies are the easiest cookie bars to make! It is literally very few ingredients, put together, and you can add in whatever fixins that you want to, to customize it for your taste! I love how dense they are, and how chewy they get with the brown sugar. They are great for people who do not like chocolate as well, aka brownies. Although I am not sure how a person cannot love chocolate!!!

April is the first month the sun really shines, it feels nice and warm during the day, and the weather is just perfect! And I start thinking about tropical flavors, beaches, sun and the sea! Tropical flavors are my favorite flavors to work with, especially since I grew up with them. All of the pineapples, guavas, coconut, orange, jackfruit and more! With us in the month of April and Easter coming this week, I wanted to make tropical blondies with pineapple, coconut and macadamia nuts in the blondies, and garnished with pineapple and coconut on the top! The coconut on the top gets a bit toasty while baking, and gives it a nice texture! I garnished these blondies with white chocolate shavings on the top, and mini eggs for the kids! They simply loved the blondies and it was a good afterschool snack as well!

You can substitute the pineapple, coconut and macadamia nut with equal amounts of other fixins, be it some other nuts and chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips, or even chocolate chips and sprinkles to make it fun! Try different combinations! They are so easy to make! My kids helped me make it twice after and they did great!

We have plans to go to Mendocino for a couple of days and I am really looking forward to that, to beaches on one side, and redwood forests on the other side. We really need a break from our busy lives, and it will be a good to just get away and take in a deep breath.

Hope you have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the weekend!

XO

Amisha

Tropical Blondies

Ingredients

    Blondies:
  • Makes in an 8 inch pan
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick(8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup diced dried pineapple
  • ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
    Garnish:
  • 1/3 cup diced dried pineapple
  • 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • Shredded White chocolate(let it be warm ever so slightly, to get wonderful curls with the vegetable peeler)
  • Mini eggs for decoration

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease with a baking spray, an 8x8 pan. Add in a parchment paper with an overhang, so that you can lift the blondies off when they are ready. Spray on the parchment paper again.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt. In another medium bowl, add in the melted butter and brown sugar and mix well with a whisk. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well to combine. Now add in the flour and fold in, until well incorporated. Add in the pineapple, coconut, macadamia nuts and mix well. Pour it into the baking pan. Garnish with the pineapple and the coconut.
  4. Put it into the oven for about 25 minutes, until light brown in color and a tooth pick comes out clean from the center of the blondies. Remove it from the oven. Let it cool completely.
  5. Cut it into equal pieces. Garnish with shaved white chocolate. Make sure that the white chocolate is slightly warmed in your hand, so that it shaves off easily. Decorate with the eggs!
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