I want to make this post short and sweet. “Want” is the key word here.
Short—because it’s getting past my bed time and I’m afraid that my ability to ramble on will keep me awake way longer than what I intend to in order to function like a semi-useful human being/zombie creature for my early shift tomorrow. And sweet—because, well, everything on this blog should represent some degree of sweetness in some way or another. After all, the name of this site is sweet-lab.
But the “sweet” in sweet-lab represents more than just caramel buttercream cake, blueberry muffins, or pumpkin doughnuts; more than lemon cookies, peach sorbet, or chocolate sauce. The “sweet” in sweet-lab has the potential of symbolizing a sweet boy, a sweet day, a sweet encounter, a sweet trip, a sweet relationship, a sweet moment, etc. It can portray all the common, yet sweet things, that we hopefully encounter in everyday life and that I sometimes blab about here. As much as this blog is about my sweets and personal experiences, I hope that you can connect and bond with them in your own personal way and find some sweetness during your visit.
Okay, so anyways…here I go once more…rambling on about something that wasn’t suppose to be at all the main idea of this post. Wasn’t I suppose to keep this short and sweet?
So let’s try to shift the focus a bit to this berry bread with mascarpone cream and macerated strawberries. Yes, let’s do that.
I was in Austin a few days ago visiting my one-year-old niece, sister, and brother-in-law. During my visit, I made this sweet creation for everyone, but especially for my niece because I like to spoil her and bring happiness into her life any way I can. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like to, so when I do, I can’t help but to smother her with kisses, hold her, squeeze her, make her squeak with laughter, and bake her a special treat each time.
Last time I visited, I made her banana mini cupcakes with vanilla frosting for her first birthday. This time, I made her berry bread with mascarpone cream and macerated strawberries. You see, this one-year-old has quite the refined palate and is already able to appreciate the finer things in life!
So far each baked treat I’ve made her is rationed out into small portions and stored in the freezer in the hopes that it will last her until my next visit when I will make her a new one. The only thing is that I wish the thought of a treat having to last her until the next time we saw each other didn’t exist. I wish I didn’t have to leave her during extended periods of time like that and that my time away from her wasn’t measured in bites of baked treats. And as thankful as I am that there’s always a next time with us, saying bye to her is such a difficult thing to do….every single time. And it just keeps getting harder and harder to do.
However, I no longer think I’m the only one who feels the pain and sadness of our good-byes. This precious one-year-old is becoming more and more aware of what it feels like to be detached from someone who loves you and who she loves back. At her young age, she is quickly learning the meaning behind a suitcase and all the pros and cons that come with it. At her young age, she already feels distress when I leave and she latches on to me crying as if she fears I’m going away. And sadly, I normally am. I go away upset because I unwillingly hurt and sadden both of us once I walk out the door.
But I truly don’t want to ever leave her and I hope she knows that. And I hope that one day soon we can live closer to each other and stop this silly suitcase nonsense. Until then, I will try my best to continue to bring sweetness to her life in form of love, smiles, laughter, and of course, baked treats such as this berry bread with mascarpone cream and macerated strawberries.
But don’t just take a one-year-old’s word for it. Take mine as well and trust me when I say that this is quite a delightful sweet treat for everyone to enjoy.
And so much for a short and sweet post tonight…
- Berry Bread:
- 2 oz (1/2 cup) quick oats
- 8 oz (1 cup) milk
- 8 oz (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 8 oz (1 cup) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 oz (about ⅔ cup) vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- ½ cup blueberries, washed
- ½ cup raspberries, washed and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and 1 tablespoon of sugar to toss blueberries and raspberries in.
- Mascarpone Cream:
- 8 oz (1 cup) mascarpone cheese
- 8 oz (1 cup) heavy cream
- ¾ cup confectioners sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Macerated Strawberries:
- 2 cups strawberries, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 oz (1/4 cup) sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Berry Bread with Mascarpone Cream and Macerated Strawberries:
- berry bread
- mascarpone cream
- macerated strawberries
- Berry Bread
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9” loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the quick oats and milk together. Allow oats to soak for approximately 15 minutes—20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir to combine well.
- In a separate bowl combine eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, orange zest and soaked oats/milk mixture. Whisk all ingredients to combine well.
- Pour wet ingredients over the dry and stir to combine the two. Allow batter to rest about 30 minutes in fridge.
- In a small bowl, toss blueberries and raspberries with 1 T of AP flour and 1 T of sugar. Fold coated berries into batter.
- Pour batter into prepared 9” loaf pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes—1 hour, or until a toothpick that has been inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Mascarpone Cream
- Combine mascarpone cheese, heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, whip until cream thickens and develops firm peaks. Refrigerate until further use, up to 2 days.
- Macerated Strawberries
- In a small bowl, toss strawberries with sugar, lemon zest, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Marinade strawberries until further use, up to 24 hours.
- Berry Bread with Mascarpone Cream and Macerated Strawberries:
- Using a serrated knife, cut a thick slice of berry bread and lay it flat on a plate. Spread mascarpone cream over entire slice and top it with macerated strawberries.
Can also bake batter in a 8" x 8" baking dish.