When I first discovered food blogs last year, I was happy to see several wonderful blogs by my fellow Slavic sisters! These ladies can bake, shake, dice and shoot (pictures, of course!) with the best of them.
I am thrilled to be connected to the talents of Marija, Medena, Vera, Maslinka, Maxiene, and other great bakers and cooks at NikkiL, Nlo and Cuisine by Monsoon. Reading their posts brought back memories of food I ate as a child when my sweet Baba (grandmother) lived with us in South Africa. She was the primary cook in the family while my parents ran the family business.
FBI is an acronym for Food Blog Inspection. Rukavice (gloves) is the Slavic version started by Mamajac of Cooks and Bakes blog. This month, at Marija's recommendation, we inspected Medena's blog, Cafe Chocolada.
I have already made several of Medena’s recipes and none have disappointed! Her blog is colorful and informative and full of traditional desserts from the ‘old’ country. Fabulous!
When I first saw Medena’s: Moist Yogurt Cake with Tart Cherries, I immediately thought of my friend Beth. Beth is a lover of anything tart – green apples, green bananas, lemon filled desserts and anything with cranberries. Beth loves cranberries - I’ve even taught her to enjoy them raw! Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. I guess that’s where she gets the energy to run her diminutive body all over the tennis court and chase all the balls down, even when she’s playing a doubles match! A real go-getter, you’ve got to love her!
So, with Beth in mind, I substituted cranberries for the tart cherries. I decided to make a small 6” cake for her and 12 muffins for the rest of the tennis team. The muffins and cake were moist and fluffy when baked, thanks to the addition of yogurt.
Here are my additions to the original recipe: I added 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (to get an extra ‘rise’), 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind and1 teaspoon lemon juice to the batter. Instead of the vanilla sugar, I added 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
I topped the cake and muffins with my Cream Cheese Icing:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice
In a mixer, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy and combined. Add sugar, essence, lemon rind and juice. On low speed, beat until just combined. Raise speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Ice cakes or pipe on muffins.