Cakes, Muffins and other sweets

Pumpkin Cake for a Pumpkin lover

Three layers pumpkin cake with cream-cheese pumpkin filling covered in chocolate ganache. I found the inspiration on Life’s Ambrosia’s page and I was so happy.

My daughter is not fond of pumpkin or squash of any kind and yet this was the first dessert with pumpkin she tried and enjoyed. For me that says it all 🙂

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Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond ground
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 x 250 cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened

Ingredients for the ganache ( 3 ingredients chocolate gahache without heavy whipping cream )

  • 225 g ( 8 oz ) semi-sweet dark chocolate
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup of milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lined with baking paper a removable bottom round cake pan.

In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the edges after adding each egg.

In a second bowl stir together flour,  almond ground, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly add the the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Add the pumpkin puree and fold into the bather.

Pour the bather in the prepared pan. Level well with a knife or a spatula.  Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for several minutes. Gently remove the ring from the cake pan cake  and place it on a cooling rack after removing the bottom.

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To make ream cheese filling, mix together the butter and cream cheese. Add the sugar and mix until stiff but spreadable mixture forms.

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For the genache:

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl on bain – marie. Do not allow the water to boil. After chocolate melts add the butter and stir to incorporate. Add the milk and give it another stir. The ganache should have a glossy look and it will thickened  in about half and hour at room temperature and much faster placed in the fridge. I would advise you to make the ganache when you assembly the cake and let it settle to room temperature.

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With a long knife or a cake cutter ( I used a knife ) cut the cake in three equal layers. Fill them with cream cheese filling. After finishing with the filling and the last layer is added it pour the ganache from the center and cover the full cake.

Before let it set in the fridge:

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Because I finished my cake at midnight I had to refrigerated for the next day:

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And a slice for you to enjoy:

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Thank you Des from Life’s Ambrosia for your inspiration!

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Muffins and other sweets

ClaFouTis / ClaFouTi

I am in love with a new dessert. It’s a very easy one. However it took me a few tries to have right taste and texture.

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The traditional recipe asks for black cherries. Actually the cherries have to be used with pits for an intense almond flavor.  Another little tidbit to take into account is: this lovely, delicious desert can be made with pears, figs, grapes ( red and white ), berries. Lots of great variations to appeal to everyone’s tastes!

Another love of mine are berries: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, currants, raspberries. I have to have at least one type of  berry ( fresh or frozen ) at all times. It’s a must. I cannot survive without.

For this recipe I used blackberries and strawberries; fresh from the market.

  • 30o g  blackberries
  • 200 g strawberries ( cut it in half if they are too big )
  • 4 eggs
  • 400 ml milk
  • natural vanilla extract
  • 1/2 stick of butter ( melted ) + some extra for the baking form
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds ( optional/ original recipe doesn’t ask for it )

How you do it:

 

Preheat the oven at 350. Butter a baking dish with butter. Sprinkle with sugar and add the fruits ( washed, drained and cut it, if needed it.) to the dish.

 

Lightly beat the eggs; add the sugar and whisk together until smooth. Stir in the flour.

Add the milk and vanilla extract and chia seeds. Pour into the baking dish over the fruits.

 

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until golden brown.

You can sprinkle icing sugar. We prefer it just as it is 🙂

Bon Appetite ! Enjoy !

Muffins and other sweets

BuTTer CooKies

My daughter told me while she was indulging a piece of Blueberry Pie

” Mom, could have the filling ? All I like is the dough !”

” Sure ! Maybe you should just have a cookie instead of a piece of pie ! LOL ”

I woke up Sunday morning with only one thought: to make some cookies.

What I used for about 12- 14 cookies

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs ( lightly beaten )
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar ( the only one I had home now, I believe any kind if suger will work)
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • natural vanilla extract ( you can also use almond extract; I just ran out and did not have handy)felisrecipes

How you do it:

Mix the flour and oats in a large bowl. Beat the eggs. Make a hole in the flour and pour the eggs, sugar and melted and cooled butter and mix well. Also add the vanilla extract mix ti incorporate.

Line a baking tray with baking sheet and with an ice cream scoop place the cookie dough  1,5 – 2 inch apart.

Bake for approx. 15- 20 min depending on the oven. The cookies were a bit soft when I removed them from the oven but they will shape up in a few minutes while they are cooling on a cooling rack.

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Enjoy !

Muffins and other sweets, Uncategorized

Cappuccino – chocolate cookies

Could I have added more chocolate ? Oh, yes !!!

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I would have added white chocolate chips  if I would have had any handy.

It took me quite a few years to get the courage to try making cookies. I always had the impression they are a really big deal. When a rec therapist from my work did it in a cooking class with our clients, I decided that if they could do it ( and I had one and they were amazing 🙂 ) I could to it too.

I asked my colleague for the recipe just to play safe. However, it took me another few weeks until I said: today is the big day.

No Butter Granola Cookies

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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Some of them ” melted ‘ too fast and had no chance to reach the picture session. LOL

Now I decided to leave away the raisin and granola and to go on chocolate side 🙂

Cappuccino – chocolate cookies 

What I used:

  • 1/2 cup whole grain flour
  • 3/4 cup a; purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 table spoons Organic Macaccino Drink Mix Organic Traditions Macaccino Drink Mix, 227g

( because I ran out of cacao powder and I forgot )

  • chocolate chips ( I cut into pieces a half of the package ‘ Bakers semi-sweet dark chocolate )
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup of soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

How you do it:

  • Preheat oven to 375ÂşF.
  • Cream together butter, brown sugar. Add brandy, salt and eggs ( one at a time ) and mix together thoroughly.
  • Mix together the two flours, cappuccino mix and baking powder.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour and mix well by folding in the ingredients. Add the chopped chocolate.
  • With a ice-cream spoon place the cookies in a tray lined with cooking paper leaving, about 1 inch apart
  • Bake for about 10 min. NO LONGER THAN 10 MIN. They seem to be soft and you might think are not done but they will settle when you let them rest 5 min in  the tray and than for about 10 min on  a cooling rack.

Enjoy !!!

 

 

Muffins and other sweets

Butternut – squash Cake

DSCN6299DSCN6304Whenever I ask my hubby ” What do you want for desert? ” 8/10 times the answer will be….

” pumpkin pie”.

The cake that  I did last time was not really a pie and I will have to do it again to write down the recipe ( with the exact measurements) , but it was a real success.

By memory, here is what I used:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1 cup kefir ( yogurt or cream will owrk as well )
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • ÂĽ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 table spoons chia seeds

Wash the butternut squash well and cut it in pieces. I did not peal the skin. Put the  squash pieces on a tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake it for about 40 min. Let it cool before you start using it in the cake.

In a large bowl: add the eggs, the sugar and the oil and mix well until creamy. Add the kefir or Greek yogurt and mix well.

In a second bowl: mix together the flour, cinnamon and chia seeds and add the flour mixture to the egg mixture.

After the squash cools down, remove the skin and place it in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon and puree all together. Add the squash to the egg mixture.

Using a large spoon, add flour to the squash mixture and mix well to incorporate it. Then, add the baking powder and sprinkle the lemon juice over. Mix slowly by folding the flour to incorporate it. Add half of the pumpkin seeds and chia and mix one more time.

Put the mixture in a lined baking tray and bake for about 35 to 45 min depending on the oven. Do the tooth pick test. Let it cool in the tray before cut it in pieces and enjoy it.

Bon Appetite !

 

 

 

 

 

Brunch, Muffins and other sweets

Pesto swirls /Black olive pate swirls

Today in Toronto ( and all Southern Ontario ) was a red cold weather alert with temperature that went between minus 30 to minus 40 last night.

So I asked myself…what could I do during such weather? If you know me, by now, I think you already know the answer.

I decided to bake.

I  took a peek in the fridge and I saw I have some pesto and black olive pate; I didn’t need  more than a few seconds to come to a decision: buns … savory buns !!!

What do you need:

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry east
  • 1 teaspoon organic chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon organic golden flex seeds (optional)
  • 2 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 3 teaspoons of pesto
  • 3 teaspoons of black olives pate

Combine the flour ( both types ) turmeric and the seeds if using.

Make a hollow in the flour and add the yeast and one cup of warm water.

When it start to bubble add the olive oil, sprinkle the salt and the rest of the water and

mix all together. Once combined, knead by hand for about 5 to 10 minutes. The dough is

ready when it feels soft, springy and elastic.  Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl and set

aside covered in a warm place.

In about an hour and 30 minutes the dough should triple the size and to be ready for the buns.

Line a muffin tray with baking paper liners. The dough is a bit oily so there is no need to oil the tray or the liners.

Oil a work surface and roll the dough in a rectangle shape.

Spread the pesto on half of the dough and the olives pate on the other half.

VARIATION: If you really want and have handy ( I did not ) you can add some more cheese on top; like shredded  mozzarella.

Roll the dough in a long sausage and cut it in about about a inch wide buns.

Place them in the muffin tray. If some buns are smaller ( the ends ) you could add two buns in one liner 🙂

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the oven.

What can I say more ???  I couldn’t stop at just one piece ! Delicious !

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♥

 

 

Muffins and other sweets

No butter granola raisin-cranberry cookies

Even though I was thinking not to make any deserts at least until Valentine’s Day I was not able to keep my promise.

I was looking at my coconut raisins granola almost every morning but I was not in the mood for granola breakfast.

But I did not want to get to old so I decided to make something out of these granola. First thing that came to my mind was cookies !!! But no butter in my kitchen.

Not to worry that’s why we have so much opportunities today so I open Google and started browsing for a cookie recipe with no butter.

What capture my attention was Oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies from overtimecook.com/2015/01/28/oatmeal-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-cookies-without-butter-margarine/.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of grape seed oil ( as the recipe asked for; I tried to go ahead with only half a cup but the mixture was to dry )
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar ( the recipe was calling for a cup; I just tried to cut the sugar of and they were quite OK; if you have a sweet tooth I think you should go for the cup of sugar instead )
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 1/2 whole wheat flour ( the recipe was asking for 2 cups all purpose
  • 1 cup raisins granola ( the recipe was calling for 1 cup of old fashion oats )
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries ( the recipe was asking for chocolate chips but I did not have in my pantry; they were great with cranberries as well )

Beat together the oil and peanut butter until creamy and well incorporated.   You can use an electric mixer. ( I just used the whisk and worked well ). Add the sugar and eggs one at a time and mix well. Add vanilla extract, oats and cranberries. Add the flour on top of the mixture and the baking powder over and add over the lemon juice. Mix all together until well incorporated.

Scoop the cookies in a cooking sheet lined with cooking paper and bake it the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. Just be careful to check them as they burn easily 🙂

 

 

Bon Apetite !

 

Muffins and other sweets

Pineapple upside-down cake with sour cherries glaze

Last Friday my hubby went for groceries shopping alone and forgot the list home.

Still his intuition helps so he bought almost everything I wanted and needed, plus four pineapples and I had to figure it out what else I can make with pineapples ?!?

I decided to give the pineapple upside-down cake a try. It was on my list for too long so maybe it was the time for this cake right this weekend to be done.

After I was surfing the internet and a recipe from a dear friend ( which I realised I have lost one page … so it became useless ) I decided to try Marcus Wareing cake from the book: Cook the perfect …

Ingredients ( 8 large / 16 small servings )

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3-4 tbsp warm golden syrup ( which I substitute with the same amount of sour cherries gem )
  • 6 rings of fresh pineapple
  • candied cherries
  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan ( I had only one stick home so I substitute the missing ones with 1 cup of sour cream 5%)
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar ( I used only 1 cup ) 
  • 5 large eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar ( my choice )
  • 1 tsp almond extract ( my choice ) 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl and set aside.

Butter a rectangular baking pan or any shape you want with butter and parchment paper.  Brush the paper with butter and pour the warm gem into the pan and spread it evenly. Arrange the pineapple rings in two rows and place candied cherries in the center of the rings and in between.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla sugar and almond extract. With the mixer on the low speed slowly mix in the eggs.  Using a spatula fold the flour into the butter mixture until completely incorporated.

Slowly pour the cake batter over the pineapple then spread the batter evenly over the fruits. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Leave the cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn it upside-down on a wire rack and peel away the lining paper.

Serve the cake warm as dessert with cream or vaqnilla icecream or cooled as a snacking cake.

Bon Appetite !!!

Muffins and other sweets

Apple strudel

There are mornings when I am craving for a sweet breakfast to my hot black coffee. Doesn’t it happen to you too?

If I am not working on the very early morning shift, which starts at 7.00am, I call myself lucky and I have plenty of time to prepare one of my favourite sweet breakfasts. Of course this is not only a breakfast but a dessert itself.

Ingredients for 10-12 strudels

  • 1 package butter puff pastry
  • 5 medium apples
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • poppy seeds ( optional )

Take the pie dough out from freezer with two hours before using it or leave it in the fridge overnight.

Peel and cut the apples in small pieces and put them in a pot with sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice.

Simmer on low heat for about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.

If there is left too much liquid, drain the mixture and let it cool down.

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Unroll one pie dough directly in the tin with the cooking sheet that was provided. Place 5-6 tablespoons of apple mixture over the dough. Roll it up and drizzle with poppy seeds. Repeat the procedure with the second dough.

Bake them for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool down, cut them in pieces and enjoy them.

As usual, I was craving them too bad so I had a bite right away … yummy!!!

Muffins and other sweets

Cocoa-peanut butter swirl muffins

One day, I had some special guest but not too much time to bake a cake so I wanted to make some special muffins. Looking through my cooking books I find this Peanut butter swirl muffins and I could not move farther: I had to try them !!!  … and I decided to share them with you because they are really amazing !

I simply love this muffins and I find them different with a nutty flavor  and very moist  … in a simple word: delicious !!!

Ingredients ( 12 muffins )

1/2 cup grape seeds oil or canola oil
2 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour (used 1 cup all purpose and 1 cup whole wheat)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

For peanut butter swirl
1/2  cup natural crunchy peanut butter (you can use creamy if you like so)
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 tbsp milk (used low fat)
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Let`s do it

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Line a 12 muffin cups tin with paper liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, together into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and sugar until creamy. Add sour cream and vanilla . Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, mixing just until combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans.

In a small  bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Add the milk and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Drop a spoonful of peanut butter mixture on top of each muffin and swirl it in with a paring knife.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan before removing each muffin to a wire rack to cool completely. (If you resist not to try one right away :)).