Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Happy 147th Birthday, Canada!

Traditionally strawberries are the star of our annual dessert, but this year the season started early and the local ones are finished.  It didn't take too much to inspire a raspberry dessert.  What is lacking is inspiration for the name.  Fresh Raspberry Supreme? Oh Canada Raspberry Dessert?  Raspberry Créme de la Créme?  While I decide, enjoy the pics.

It's simple to make, I'll show you.

1.  Line up dessert dishes or custard cups.

2.  Fill with approximately 1/3 cup vanilla pudding and chill to set.  (I made mine from scratch because it tastes better and doesn't have chemicals.)

3.  Spread a heaping tablespoon of whipping cream over cold pudding and refrigerate.

4.  Wash raspberries gently, allow to dry on paper towels.

5.  Place raspberries on top of whipping cream layer.

6.  Make semi-thin glaze from raspberry juice, sugar and cornstarch and allow to cool slightly.

7.  Gently spoon glaze over berries.

8.  Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Any fresh fruit could be used for this dessert and chocolate pudding could be substituted for vanilla.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Plum Cake Season

September afternoons have felt more like July or August this year.  As the colour of leaves change from green to yellow, gold or red, the fruit on the plum tree slowly ripens and it becomes Plum Cake Season at my house.  Last year I made 13 cakes.  I gave a few away and froze the rest, mostly for my father.  It's his favourite and he savours every bite.  Much to my mother's chagrin, he often licks his plate clean.  Did I mention this is his favourite?  ;)  Dad is in the autumn season of his life and I find great pleasure in adding a bit more sunshine to his days, especially in the form of Plum Cake.  Here is the recipe if you like.  

  Plum Muffin Cake

1/3 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. soft butter

In small bowl, combine all topping ingredients, blending in butter with fingertips.  Set aside.

1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp. soft butter or margarine
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1 3/4 c. sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sliced fresh plums (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

Dust well-buttered 10-inch bundt pan with cookie crumbs.  Set aside.  In mixing bowl cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg, lemon peel, and vanilla.  Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with the milk.  Fold in sliced plums.  Spread batter in prepared pan; cover evenly with topping.  Bake at 350º for 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan.  Serve warm with whipped cream or whipped butter.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Super Healthy Spinach Salad

Are you looking for a salad packed with flavour and nutrients?  This one has it all, from iron rich spinach and blueberries, to low fat turkey bites and a tangy raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  The bread, dressing and dried blueberries were home made but good quality store bought items would work too.  Rye bread croutons are especially tasty. Although not shown above, I typically add chopped sweet red bell pepper for a punch of colour and vitamins.

For the dressing I combine 1/2 c. sweetened raspberry juice, 1-2 tbsp. raspberry vinegar, 5-8 tbsp. canola oil, freshly ground pepper. Shake well before serving.  

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Biscotti Anyone?

Welcome to my latest baking interest--biscotti.  My goal is to improve on the break-your-teeth coffee shop variety and come up with a very crunchy, but not hard product.  These are Chocolate Tangerine Biscotti and the recipe needs some work yet.  I shall increase the tangerine or orange flavour and mellow the chocolate by adding more vanilla.  While I achieved the crunchy result, they were more crumbly than I'd like so I also plan to bake them 5 minutes less next time.  Stay tuned!  

F is for Finland

F is also for fika and Finnish coffee, which is all that's needed to go with these Lemon Anise Biscotti for a special treat.  To perfect these all I need to do is substitute anise extract for the ground anise seeds. Unfortunately, the anise seeds I used were a little stale and lacking in flavour intensity. I'm also planning to increase the nutritional value and add oat bran next time. Here's the recipe. 

Lemon Anise Biscotti

2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon anise seed extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons grated lemon rind

Beat eggs & sugar for 2 minutes.  Add oil, extracts, and lemon rind. Mix well. Sift flour, baking powder & salt. Add to liquid mixture and beat. Divide dough in half.  Shape each into 12 inch rectangle on parchment lined baking sheet and flatten to 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle with a little flour to prevent sticking to hands or rolling pin, if used. Bake at 350º for 35 minutes or until golden. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut into scant 3/4 inch slices. Place cut side down on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 5-7 minutes until firm and golden brown. Cool on wire racks.  Store in airtight container. 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Caramel Cravings Anyone?

Having mastered the molten chocolate cakes I decided to try variations so last night it was caramel.  The trick with this one is to cut down on the sugar, unless you like really sweet desserts.  Here is my version of the recipe.

Molten Caramel Cakes

112 g  caramel sauce including water if too thick
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°.  Generously butter 4 custard cups and dust the inside with sugar.  Set aside.

Melt butter into caramel. Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer unti
l it turns pale, and doubles in volume, about 6 minutes. On low speed, blend in the caramel mixture and vanilla.  Add the flour and mix for 1 minute.  Divide batter among the cups and place them on a baking sheet. 

Bake for about 14 minutes.  Immediately invert each cake onto a plate and unmold. The center should be slightly runny.  Serve with vanilla yogurt/coolwhip topping or vanilla whipped cream.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Rise of Yorkshire

My first attempt at time lapse photography resulted in this little movie. While not the best quality images were produced, it was fun all the same.  At my house, Yorkshire Pudding is not just reserved for roast beef dinners.  I enjoy serving it with pork, chicken, turkey and sausage.  Did you notice their jumbo size?  For some reason I have a designated Yorkshire Pudding Pan, used only for baking these monsters.