Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

For Easter, I thought I would try this Facebook recipe for the “Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake”.  Omar’s mom loved lemon desserts, so it seemed like a no brainer.cake

First off, you can get the full recipe HERE.

I made this recipe as 1 1/2 times as much as I wanted extra for cupcakes to sample.

It is a fairly simple recipe.  The arbitrary amount is the “juice from 3 lemons”.  Doesn’t really say how much juice you are supposed to get from this.

It was a bit difficult to incorporate the buttermilk and juice without “overworking” the batter that it keeps warning you not to do. Perhaps that is where the cake went, for me, a bit south.

I thought the overall texture of the cake was heavy and very dense.  With a lemon cake, you want it light and airy, which this was definitely not.  I find blueberries in themselves a bit bitter sometimes. I am not sure if it was the buttermilk in the recipe that had an odd flavor, but between the denseness of the cake, and odd overtones of the buttermilk, I was just not a fan of this cake.

Part of the problem is as well, when you make a cake with a cream cheese frosting, it has to be refrigerated.  That in itself dries a cake out.  Even if you let the cake return to room temperature before serving (which I did), it still seemed a bit dry.

The verdict on this cake was mixed.  Some liked it, some did not.  I was not a fan.  My recommendation to you all if trying this recipe:

When you get to the “adding the buttermilk and lemon juice portion” try adding all at once and carefully folding in.  I tried to alternate as I was afraid the lemon juice would curdle the buttermilk (which I am sure it does, also part of the problem). It is this alternating that I think overworked my batter.

I would also make it and serve it the same day if possible so you don’t have to refrigerate right away.

Or better yet, just make a boxed lemon cake (shh… I won’t tell) and add some blueberries and homemade frosting. Sometimes you gotta go with what works!! I would not make this again.  I would with the lemon boxed cake method, since A. Its easier and B. Tastes better.


Boodles Part Duex

Finally got the opportunity to take Omar to Boodles in Madison Heights. We were on our way to the Token Lounge in Westland. Since we didn’t really know that area, we opted to stop before jumping on the freeway. Which, by the way, is conveniently located right next to Boodles!

You may recall from my previous post “Used My Noodle and Went to Boodles” that this restaurant is one that we go to occasionally for working lunches. It is one of my company’s CEO’s favorites.  As I stated in this post this place really is a hidden gem.  It has that old school mafioso feel. You almost expect an old time Detroit mobster, who I shall not name, to walk in at anytime.

We started the evening with a local brewed beer, Devil Dog Oatmeal Stout, brewed right here in Royal Oak at the Roak Brewery. The beer was strong, with a 8.0 abv, creamy head and smooth finish. Aromas of roasted malts, dark chocolate, oatmeal and black coffee. Served iced cold in a snifter glass.

I ordered the dijon herb crusted salmon, with mashed potatoes, and a cup of french onion soup.  The soup broth was flavorful, but the croutons seemed like rye croutons which I do not love, and frankly could have used more cheese.  Overall tasty, I do only order this soup for the gooey melty onion-y infused cheese on top! Overall warmed me up nicely on a cold day. My main course, the salmon, arrived atop a mound of mashed potatoes, and frankly looked rather unexciting. However, I am happy to admit I was very wrong.  The salmon was juicy, not overcooked, and the crispy dijon herbed coating was delicious.  Combine this with the fresh made mashed potatoes with a hint a garlic, and I was in heaven. My only complaint is that I feel in restaurants, one should not have to choose between a starch and a vegetable.  You get potatoes OR fresh vegetables.  How about both people? I like those restaurants that pair sides with a main.  Salmon, with wild rice and asparagus for example.

Omar ordered the sesame seared tuna.  He was not as enamored by his meal as I was with mine.  He said the tuna had a slight fishiness that fresh tuna should not have.  Otherwise the dish was flavorful.

I must say though, our waiter was exceptional, the service prompt and attentive.  Water glasses remained full, beer brought cold and timely and a great experience.  We actually got in and out much faster than expected.

Would I go back? I do, I have. I went for lunch there just a week later with the president of my company and guess what? I had the salmon again and was not disappointed. I would recommend a visit to this local hidden gem.

Ye Old Detroit Burger Bar

Last Friday, Omar and I snuck out for a quick dinner, with a craving for a good burger and a new destination in mind, The Old Detroit Burger Bar, which took over the old Mr. B’s on Rochester Road in Troy. The website touts itself as “the best burger in town”. With a claim like that, we had to try it.
The walls of this restaurant are decorated with old pictures of iconic Detroit landmarks which tell a story of Detroit’s history along with widescreen TV’s and subtle lighting.
The menu incorporates many Michigan based companies, Vodka distilled from Ferndale, Beer from Kalamazoo and Birmingham, Faygo, Towne Club, wines from Traverse City, Better Made potato chips, Dearborn Brand and Wigley’s Meats.
The burgers come in baskets, branded with the company logo, juicy and delicious with a side of fries, waffle fries, onion rings or tater tots.
It was Wigley’s corned beef that first grabbed Omar’s attention. Omar ordered the “Ambassador” Burger. 1/2 lb perfectly cooked beef topped with Wigley’s corned beef, swiss cheese and Thousand Island Dressing. The burger was juicy, although Omar said could use a bit more seasoning.
I stuck with the standard Old Detroit Classic, a 1/2 lb Angus burger to which I added bacon and cheddar cheese. My burger was amaze-balls. Juicy, flavorful and huge!! I could only manage to eat half of the monster!!
Both Omar and I agreed that the sides were good, not great. I ordered the tater tots, because, really when do I ever eat tots? I expected them for some reason to be extraordinary. They were just tater tots. Nothing more, nothing less. Omar’s waffle fries were the same. Just your run of the mill waffle fries.
They had a decent selection of Michigan Beers. I ordered my usual Vanilla Java Porter. Cold and frosty as usual.
If you are feeling adventurous, try the I-75 burger. A 2 lb $25 burger topped with grilled onions and jalapenos. Finish the burger and you get your picture taken and placed on the “wall of fame”. As Omar and I didn’t want our picture to appear in the news with caption “gluttonous couple eats themselves to death” we did not order it.
We were sat quickly, our waitress was attentive and our beer and food came out very quick. Overall, a great experience and we will go back!! Forks up to this one!!