Two Valentine’s Day Recipes

Blue Chair Fruit’s Jo has come up with two mouth-watering recipes to charm your sweetie this Valentine’s Day — Chocolate Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting, and Fluffy Buckwheat Pancakes with Mascarpone. Best of all, these recipes incorporate our extra-special Valentine’s Day marmalades!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Quince-Cranberry Marmalade with Rose Geranium:

4 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/4 c milk
1/3 c brown sugar
1 yolk
2 oz. butter (room temperature)
1/3 c sugar
2 yolks
1 c AP flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t sea salt
1 egg white

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until melted.  Mix in milk and brown sugar. Add the first yolk. Set aside.

In a electric mixing bowl using a whisk attachment, whip the butter on medium-high with the sugar until white and fluffy. Add the yolks until incorporated.  Put in a separate bowl and wash the electric mixing bowl well with hot water.

Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Set aside.

In the clean electric bowl, whip the egg white until barely stiff.  Fold 1/2 of the whipped whites into the chocolate mixture.  Mix mixture into the whipped butter mixture.  Fold the rest of the whites just to under incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients just until incorporated.

Fill cupcake just under 3/4 full.  Bake in a 350 degree oven until a skewer comes out clean about 12-16 minutes.  When cool, poke a finger or small spoon hole in the middle of the cupcake.  Fill with quince-cranberry marmalade with rose geranium.

Chocolate buttercream frosting:

4 oz sugar
2 oz water
2 egg whites
5 oz butter
5 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/8 t sea salt

Dissolve the sugar with water and heat on high until 238 degrees.  When temperature hits 200, start whipping egg whites with the whisk attachment on medium.  Adjust accordingly but you’re aiming to add all the 238 degree sugar to just stiff whipped egg whites at medium-high speed, carefully.  Turn back to medium speed and whip until cool to touch.

In a separate bowl, melt chocolate in the same fashion as above and set aside.

Add butter about 2 T chucks at a time to the meringue mixture until incorporated. Add melted chocolate to the mixture.  Add sea salt to taste.  Spoon or pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes.  Decorate as desired.

Buckwheat Pancakes with Mascarpone Cheese and Apple of My Eye Marmalade

If your heart has not already melted for my chocolate cupcakes, have your sweetie stay in bed and enjoy my fluffy buckwheat pancakes with mascarpone cheese and a sweet marmalade!

1 1/2 c buckwheat flour
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t sea salt
1 T sugar
1 t Meyer lemon zest (optional)
1/4 c butter melted
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk
1/4 c milk
couple of drops of vanilla extract (optional)

Preheat a griddle at 360 degrees.  If you don’t have one, a nonstick pan warmed to about medium to medium high heat will do nicely. In one large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk (or put in a closed container for your kids to shake up).  In another bowl, whisk melted butter and eggs together.  Add the buttermilk and milk.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until just under incorporated.  This takes less than 15 seconds.  Don’t worry, lumps will cook out.  Lightly butter your pan.  Pour about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle, leaving a good 4 inches between pancakes.  3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the flip side will do the job.  Repeat.

I like whipping 1 cup mascarpone with 1/2 T of sugar and just a couple drops of vanilla.  Pipe it, smear it or spread it, but what makes this extra special is serving with our Apple of my Eye Marmalade!

Marmalade Contest Winner!

After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the winner of our first annual marmalade contest!

Our winning flavor is Gingerbread Marmalade, submitted by Julie. This will be an orange marmalade, warmed with a touch of molasses and deeply spiced with ginger, star anise, and cinnamon. We think this will be a delicious flavor to spice up a winter morning!

Keep your eyes on our website for this delicious flavor. We anticipate that we will produce it over the next month or so!

Thank you again to everyone who took the time to submit a flavor suggestion. We were truly floored by the number of submissions we received and the quality of flavors suggested. We’re already looking forward to next year’s contest!

Two Marmalades to Make Your Heart Melt

Looking for a delicious food treat for Valentine’s Day that’s not the usual chocolate and wine?

We think our Love 2-Pack is just the ticket! Two sweet marmalades, available exclusively for Valentine’s Day, make up this set: Apple of My Eye Marmalade and Quince-Cranberry Marmalade with Rose Geranium. Our Apple of My Eye Marmalade is a full of thinly sliced Meyer lemon rinds suspended in a delicate apple jelly — perfect for French toast, scones, or toast. Quince-Cranberry Marmalade with Rose Geranium is the perfect balance of sweet and sassy, with rose geranium added for a touch of romance. This marmalade in particular is stellar with cheese1

These two marmalades are a delightful addition to any homemade breakfast (how sweet would that be?), or simply an unexpected treat for your favorite jam or marmalade lover. The Valentine’s Day Love 2-Pack will only be available through Valentine’s Day, and we do expect it will go very quickly!

Market Flavors – January 29 & 30

Now that we’re in the heart of marmalade season, it feels like we have new marmalade flavors right and left. We’ll have our delicious Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Marmalade with Rose Geranium from last week (our first of the season!) as well as a new Pink Grapefruit-Blood Orange Marmalade we made this week. We haven’t tired of our kitchen smelling of citrus yet, and we don’t think we will anytime soon!

All Markets (Grand Lake January 29 & Temescal January 30):

We hope you all will come by and taste some marmalade!

Marmalade 101 Class Pictures

Our first marmalade class of the year went swimmingly. Thank you so much to all our enthusiastic students! We had a great time, and we hope you did too.

For a peek inside a BCF Marmalade class, you can see our full class album on Facebook! If you would like to learn how to make marmalade with us, we still have classes available on February 13, March 6, and March 13.

Blue Chair Fruit Makes Your Marmalade!

Have you ever this thought?: “Wow, I have this great idea for marmalade, but making marmalade can be a little time-consuming and expensive. Too bad I can’t have a marmalade expert make it for me…”

WELL, you are in luck!

We are pleased to announce Blue Chair Fruit’s first annual marmalade contest!

Here’s how it works:

  • You send us your fantastic idea for a marmalade flavor at info@bluechairfruit.com. We do request that the fruit(s) you suggest be readily available from local organic growers in the SF Bay area. Please put “Marmalade Contest” in the title of your email so we make sure it gets to the right place. Note: This does not need to be a complete recipe, but merely a flavor suggestion. Submissions must be received no later than Monday, January 31, 2011.
  • We will read each and every submission, confer with our resident marmalade expert Rachel Saunders, and make a decision. We will announce the winning flavor and its creator on Monday, February 7, 2011. We will make our decision based on which flavor we anticipate to be most delicious.
  • We’ll notify you, and get to work! Fruit availability will dictate when we actually produce the winning flavor, but it will be sometime in winter of this year.
  • Once we’ve created the delicious winning flavor, we’ll send you 2 jars of your creation to enjoy! We will be sure to give you credit as the flavor’s creator, and the flavor will go up for sale on our website.

Doesn’t that sound exciting?! We can’t wait to see what you have to offer!

Important reminders: Email your submission to info@bluechairfruit.com with “Marmalade Contest” in the title of your email. Please include your real full name in your submission so we can credit you. Your submission must be received by Monday, January 31, 2011. You may submit as many flavor ideas as you like. The winner of this contest has full bragging rights to their creation, but no legal rights to the flavor Blue Chair Fruit creates.

Meyer Lemon-Blood Orange Marmalade with Rose Geranium

Mmm, our first marmalade of the year turns out spectacularly — and quite pretty, if we do say so ourselves!

We love its perfectly clear jelly — a barely-bitter Meyer lemon backdrop for thinly sliced blood orange and Meyer lemon rinds. Sweet blood orange rinds add a bright bite, which lingers into a gentle perfume of rose geranium and lemon.

Can you tell we’re swooning over here? Rachel’s already planning her Friday morning around it, complete with croissants. This fantastic marmalade is available here.

Jam Club January 2011

We are especially proud of the flavors we sent to our Jam Club members this month, so much so that we wanted to be sure to share them!

Our Jam Club members received one jar each of:

We’re working on our first batches of marmalade for the season, so we’re sure to have some very tasty flavors for February’s Jam Club recipients! If you would like to receive three different preserves every other month, you can sign up here and your membership will begin in February. This would be an especially sweet Valentine’s Day gift!

Market Flavors – January 15 & 16

Happy Friday! January is going well for BCF: we’re very much looking forward to replenishing our marmalade supply over the next few months. We’ve been scheming about citrus all week long!

Now, for this weekend’s farmers’ market flavors.

All Markets (Grand Lake 1/15 & Temescal 1/16):

Can’t wait to see you at the market this weekend!

Aaaand we’re back!

Happy New Year!! We’ve returned from our holiday festivities relaxed, restored… and ready to dive head (and mouth) first into marmalade season! Rumor has it that our first round of citrus is coming our way this week — oranges and kumquats, yum.

As we all bravely move forward through the coldest months of the year, Blue Chair Fruit would like to offer something that helps lighten the dreariest days: two newly released jam and marmalade flavors made at the height of summer!

Our Early Summer Peach Marmalade is a perennial favorite — clingstone peaches, thinly sliced lemon, and just a touch of almond extract combine to produce a heavenly marmalade. We think the light, sweet flavor of this marmalade, along with its delicate texture, will convert anyone who is late to the marmalade loving club. We like to spread this on our toast in the morning, close our eyes, and pretend it’s the beginning of summer.

For the jam contingent, we present our July Red Nectarine Jam with Candied Ginger. The flavor of this jam is unparalleled: sweet and bright, and full of what Rachel pronounced “the best nectarines she’d ever tasted.” We’ve added tiny pieces of candied ginger to this jam — scattered bites offer the warm bite of ginger to truly emulate the warmth of summer sun. With its smooth, luscious texture, this jam is perfect for just about anything: yogurt, pastries, scones…

Stay tuned as we crank out our favorite winter marmalades: lemon, orange, grapefruit, kumquat, bergamot…