Orange Blueberry Yogurt Bread

April 7, 2008

We nearly always have oranges at home.  To me, it’s no different than having lemons, limes, garlic and onions.  They’re all essential.  The only difference is that I can eat an orange by itself without having to do anything to it.  More often than not, though, the oranges end up in something I’m cooking.  Usually it’s a salad because we rarely eat salads with vinegar.  It isn’t that we don’t like vinaigrettes, but being able to grab a piece of citrus, quickly juice it, then combine it with a fruity extra virgin olive oil and some seasonings is so easy, and very delicious. Often, if I’m thinking about it, I grate the zest from the fruit as well — the intensity of the citrus oil adding that much more flavor to a salad dressing or a dish.

Although I do have a newer (ergonomic) version of the box grater, and also a small grater with a handle, there’s nothing like my Microplane zester, or "microplaner" for zesting citrus.  I’ve had mine for nearly seven years, and it’s still as sharp as the day I came home with it, marveling as I pulled it from my shopping bag.  I’d never seen one before, so when the woman at the cooking store offered it to me free of charge as a bonus for purchasing my very first All-Clad sauce pan, I thought nothing of it beyond the expected, "Wow!  Something free!"

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But then I used it, and life zesting citrus, or grating fresh hard cheeses like parmesan, romano, or mizithra has not quite been the same.  Of course, my knuckles haven’t been the same, either.  It’s so sharp, that I inevitably scrape at least one knuckle and it’s taken me until recently to realize that I’ve gotten the method of using this amazing utensil all wrong.  I expect my scarred knuckles to thank me from this time forward.

Do you have a microplaner?  If not, you need one.  When using one, instead of holding the item being grated over the microplaner and grating away, try holding the food under it.  Instead of moving the food back and forth across the teeth, move the microplaner over the food. Not only can you actually see the progress you’re making removing the zest from the citrus, you can relax that you won’t have to stop for first aide due to skinned knuckles.  I could go on and on about whether it’s best to grate upward or downward, but I’d rather discuss something that I’ve recently made using my microplaner.

I know this sounds like some kind of funky advertisement, but it isn’t.  It was supposed to be my entry to Jolen’s Culinary Adventures event:  "Tasty Tools" but I sort of blew the date.  You think it’s a problem to have noted on my calendar that this entry was to be due on the date of her round up?  Whatever.  One of these days, I’ll have a clue.

In the meantime, get yourself a microplaner.  You’ll never regret it.  Your knuckles might, but you won’t.  Besides, it will help you make this yummy bread.  Or is it a cake?  I’m not sure, but I did find the inspiration (um…I added blueberries?) for the recipe at Pinch My Salt and couldn’t resist whipping out my microplaner.  I just happened to have some pink navels that were dying to be made famous.

Pink Navels?  Yes.  I nearly crashed my shopping cart in the produce section when I saw them.  They’re beautiful!

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Orange Blueberry Yogurt Bread

2/3 c. butter, softened

1-1/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c. plain nonfat yogurt

1/2 c. fresh squeezed orange juice and pulp

1 T grated orange peel

2-1/2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. fresh blueberries

For the Glaze:

1/2 c. powdered sugar

1-1/2 T orange juice

more grated zest to taste

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 6" x 3" cake pan with a removable bottom.  Cut a piece of parchment to fit in the bottom, place it in the pan, and butter it as well. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light in color and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add the yogurt, orange juice and zest and mix well.

In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Whisk quickly to mix ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until all ingredients are moist.

Pour most of the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the blueberries across the batter, then pour the rest of the batter over.  Place in the center of the oven on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 60 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center is clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing the cake to cool completely at room temperature.

To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, orange juice and zest until the desired consistency is achieved.  Poke holes in the top of the cake with a wooden skewer, then pour glaze slowly over.   Perch blueberries across the top if you wish, and then dust very lightly with additional powdered sugar.

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Notes:  The original recipe calls for a 9" x 5" x 3" loaf  pan that is supposed to bake approximately the same amount of time — 55-65 min.  I used a convection setting, kept a close eye on it thinking I’d have to take it out around 50 minutes and was surprised to find it not done.  I did place a piece of foil over the top after it had completed its rise to keep it from getting too brown.  I wasn’t going to make the glaze because I’m not a fan, but the intensity of the orange flavor was nice with this cake and I only poured as much as I wanted on it.  The blueberries went nicely with this cake.  Usually blueberries are something I see paired with lemon, but I couldn’t resist the orange, and there you go!

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The cake is perfect for breakfast or a snack, and very nice toasted.  It’s dense but very flavorful, and cuts into thin slices easily for sneaking a nibble or three when no one is looking.

Yummy!

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

laurie April 7, 2008

Holy Yum! I so wish I could wake up to that in the AM!

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peabody April 7, 2008

I do have a microplaner…two to be exact. :)
I love yogurt bread or cake…always so moist. Yours looks especially moist!

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Kitt April 7, 2008

Yum!
I heart my microplane, too.

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Kate April 8, 2008

I love my microplane zesters. I have several, including one which I keep dedicated to my feet, believe or not. They make for great smoothers for your rough heels (as evidenced by the fact they now make a Pedi Egg for your feet, out of a microplane). One of my favorites is also a miniature version I got from an online spice store — it is a little hinged case that has whole nutmegs in it, and you open it, take out the nutmeg, and grate it on the lid which is a microplane, and then close it back up again with the nutmeg inside. I adore it.

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DaviMack April 8, 2008

If you used yours for zesting cinnamon it’d wear out in only about 5 years, instead of staying sharp forever, alas. It’s time for a new one for us… some day. Until then, we’ just peel the zest off & chuck it into the coffee grinder – it’s almost the same, and it’s much faster. :)

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kj April 8, 2008

microplane graters are the best. they make life so much easier. i love yoghurt cakes. So fresh and delicious.

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Elle April 8, 2008

Now THAT looks delicious! And yes, I do have a microplane zester, and I love it. I just gave it a good workout yesterday with 6 limes. It’s the little things that make me happy, you know? hehe

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Patricia Scarpin April 8, 2008

I have never found Microplane zesters here, so when I was in London I bought one – it was expensive (18 pounds), but worth every penny. I have used it so much in the past 8 months that I don’t know how I’d lived without it till then. :)
That bread looks stunning, Kelly. and I love the flavors you used!
80% of times I go for limes or lemons instead of vinegar when making salad dressings. I’ll be trying oranges now, too. Tks for the inspiration!

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Nicole April 8, 2008

What a beautiful, beautiful cake! Love that you added the blueberries! Now I might have to give your version a try!

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Fearless Kitchen April 8, 2008

How funny – I found the same recipe, on the same site, last week and made it! (I haven’t posted it yet). I like your use of blueberries, though. While they aren’t my favorite flavor, they’re amazingly healthy and so many people do like them.

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Deborah April 8, 2008

I have never tried a salad dressing from citrus and olive oil – where have I been??? This bread looks delicious, too!

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cheryl April 8, 2008

That is a beautiful tall cake. I have looked for a microplaner for my mom quite a few times and have had a hard time finding one.

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kellypea April 8, 2008

Laurie, I wish I’d had some this morning, too. Unfortunately, I ate a dry 100 calorie “breakfast bar.”
Hey peabody — I agree about the addition of yogurt to anything. YUM!
Hi Kitt — if I’m not mistaken, might you not also have woodworking microplaners?
Hi Kate — I’ve got to check out that cute & efficient nutmeg grater. It’s amazing what people come up with.
DM — Now that you mention it, I’ve probably done the same. I do use it for nutmeg because the others won’t put a dent in that hard little nut. But cinnamon? Does it shred?
Hi KJ — Totally agree with you and this cake is seriously moist.
Elle, little things indeed. Grating never used to be something I looked forward to, and no wonder. What are you making with limes? Key lime pie maybe? Love it.
Hi Nicole, and thanks! Let me know how it turns out. Not too much different than the original, though. Good recipe to make into lots of things that would be tasty.
Fearless — I wasn’t a big fan of blueberries, either, but have learned to eat them raw in my plain nonfat yogurt if you can believe it. And acquired taste for sure!
Deborah, citrus dressing is amazing. Anything with orange is sweeter, of course, and I do fix that a bit differently, but any of them make a terrific salad that won’t interfere with a wine you might be enjoying like something with vinegar will.
Hi Cheryl — That’s why I provided the link. It’s the company link and the site is full of their products. I saw a few things I’d like to add to my collection.

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Melissa April 8, 2008

Love the cake. I find the microplane graters indispensable. They are good for many things, even
chocolate. Do the pink navels have a different taste?

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june2 April 9, 2008

Wonder if your ‘pink navels’ are Cara Cara’s? That’s what they sound like. Also, I love the use of the 6 x 3 pan. It’s such a better size to help keep indulgences like this under control!

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Melissa April 9, 2008

Where did you purchase your 6×3 cake pan with a removable bottom?

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kellypea April 9, 2008

Hi Melissa — I was wondering about the taste, but unless I had another type of orange to taste at the same time, I think my opinion would be swayed by that beautiful color. A good comparison would be that they’re nowhere near as tart as blood oranges. And maybe a tad sweeter than regular navels.
Hi June! You are right. I did see “Cara Cara” on the little round sticker but couldn’t remember the name when I was writing this. Thanks! And yes, I purchased those little pans to keep the results of my baking at bay. It’s a little trick that Tartelette & Peabody taught me ;)

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Tempered Woman April 9, 2008

Geesh, between you and Smitten Kitchen I’m starting to sense a conspiracy. I’m actually wanting to try this with orange and cranberries. It looks so darn good!

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kellypea April 9, 2008

Hey Melissa — Not sure how I skipped your question until today, but I got them at a kitchen store very near to where I live called Great News. But
cooksdream.com has them (different label, same pan) and a lot of other very cool things, so maybe you can order them!

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Jenny April 9, 2008

pretty! and i’m with you on the zester, i love it and could not see being without it!

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Chuck April 9, 2008

That bread yogurt bread looks delicious! I think your kitchen drawers look like mine … packed with kitchen gadgets. I just can’t help myself, I have to try every new gadget I see out there.

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