My friends and I decided to have some international cuisine dinner party once every few weeks. Our first night was Italian themed, so we had bruchetta, lasagna and tiramisu (all homemade)! Of course I offered to do the dessert and luckily it turned out pretty well for my first try
Combining egg yolks and sugar, beat/mix for 10 minutes on a double broiler (bowl over boiling water). Remove and whip until thick and lemon coloured. The cake turned out a little too sweet actually, next time I would probably try less sugar (1 cup instead of 1 1/4 cup).
Add mascarpone (mas-car-POH-ne) cheese to mixture and beat until combined. In another bowl, whip whipping cream until stiff peaks. If you lift some of the cream up with the beater the cream should just barely curl over. Gently fold the whipped cream into the yolk mixture – dig your spatula under the mixture and fold over and into the whipped cream.
Making a coffee/rum mix. I added about 1/4 cup of coffee and 4 teaspoons of rum. I cut up the ladyfingers and arranged them so that they all fit (with about a 1 inch gap from the sides), then I dipped them quickly and placed them back into the springform pan (a pan where the side of the pan can be detached).
I used a piping bag to pipe a border of cream around the boundary of my ladyfinger arrangement and then poured some filling to fill it up. Then I placed ladyfingers around the sides and pushed the cream towards them so that the ladyfingers stay standing and “stick” to the cream. I added a little more cream so that in total I poured half of the cream mixture.
Dip and make another layer of ladyfingers. Then add the rest of the cream and try to smooth out the top. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Before serving, sift some cocoa powder on top of the cake (and/or add fruits!). Take off the side of the pan and wrap with a ribbon to finish it off
Some glam shots of the cake
Once I cut into it the cake started sinking alot, especially in the middle. I think it may be because I dipped the ladyfingers for a little too long – they got too soggy and probably melted under the weight of the cream Oh well, next time!
Made these for a class party and they were a delicious hit. Looks impressive and easy to make!
Making the puff pastry – boiling butter and water. I loved how easy this was! Have flour ready on the side, and add flour when the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Make sure to add the flour all at once and not little by little because the dough forms quite quickly. Keep mixing until the dough forms and comes off the sides.
Let the dough cool for about 5-10 mins, then add vanilla and eggs and beat well. You don’t want the eggs to cook in the hot dough. I actually added 3 eggs + 1 egg white because online, people commented that the eggy taste was too strong.
Fill a piping bag and pipe round blobs as big as a jumbo gumball. First batch I made came out way too small (pic on left) so make them as big as the ones on the right!
Bake for about 15 mins on 425F and 10-15 min on 325F. Take them out and with a skewer, poke a hole on the side of each puff, try to find a soft side to poke through. This lets the steam out so they don’t collapse. Put them back in the oven for a little bit to dry them out.
For the filling I used chocolate and pistachio pudding mix with cream and milk. Combine and beat until it thickens.
Fill a piping bag and fill up those puffs! Tastes better when it’s completely filled
For the filling:
My first attempt at creme brulee… scary but I think it turned out well! I couldn’t resist after seeing Pioneer Woman’s post and her pictures make it less intimidating
Boiling cream & vanilla. Separated egg yolks and kept egg whites for a future creation . An easy way to separate the egg – tap the egg on the side of a bowl to make a crack (as usual). Hold the egg vertically and carefully crack off the top, letting the egg whites drop into a bowl. Pour the egg yolk into your hand and let the rest of the egg whites drip into the bowl. Slide the egg yolk into another bowl.
Mix mix mix, until the colour of the batter turns pale and thick. Took maybe 5 mins.
Make sure you scoop out the foam after mixing (last step). I didn’t do enough of that and when they came out there was an brown airy layer on top (below). I just used a spoon to scoop that off, making sure I don’t touch the custard underneath. Doesn’t look nearly as good if it came perfect out of the oven though!
Torching was a bit of a struggle. I used a friend’s “lighter” but it took quite a while to burn the sugar. I think it’s probably because I used regular (granulated) sugar instead of superfine sugar. It did warm up the custard a tad; it would have tasted better right-out-of-the-fridge cold but it will do
To my surprise it actually tasted very, very good! I attended a wedding a week ago and the taste of this creme brulee was very close to the ones I ate there. MmMmMmm
PS. I halved the recipe because I didn’t have enough ramekins/knew I couldn’t eat that much
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Pour the cream into the saucepan. Add vanilla and simmer over medium-low heat.
Whip egg yolks with the sugar until pale yellow and thick.
Strain cream using a fine mesh strainer.
Whip yolks while you very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of warm cream. Go slowly so as not to cook the eggs! Once the first cup is added, you can add the rest of the cream slowly.
Place ramekins onto a rimmed baking sheet. Pour custard mixture into ramekins. Pour water in bottom of baking sheet until it comes halfway up the ramekins. Bake for 30 minutes, or until just set. Do not allow to get brown.
Cool ramekins on countertop, then chill for at least 2-3 hours, covered in plastic wrap.
To serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon over each ramekin of custard. Use a kitchen torch to quickly (but carefully) brown the sugar. There should be a thin, crisp surface of burned sugar on the top.
My lovely friend Jean is getting married in a month and we had an awesome time at her bridal shower yesterday. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and we had a fancy outdoor tea party with lots of delicious food, games and laughter. I had the privilege of making a cake for this occasion and I was totally up for the challenge!
A couple friends who were planning the shower helped me brainstorm what kind of cake to make. Her wedding colours were brown and green, she likes white chocolate and it was a garden party, so flowers! This is what I came up with…
A chocolate and green tea cake with white chocolate icing. Two tiers with three layers in each tier – chocolate, green tea, chocolate. It took me about 3 days to complete it. Two evenings of baking and another evening/morning of decorating Totally worth it, I’m really happy with how it turned out!
I made the chocolate sour cream cake on the first night. I’ve made this cake a couple times before so I was pretty comfortable with it, but I was pretty tired from work that day so I make some small mistakes. Still turned out well though
Green Tea (Matcha) Cake on the second day. This was something new so I was slightly nervous because I would have to get it right the first time. Matcha powder is also really expensive (and somewhat rare in Ottawa) so I really didn’t want to screw up!
For this cake I used these “bakeeasy” strips so the cake bakes level. Normally when you bake a cake you get this dome and you’ll have to cut it off before you ice it but with these strips the cake was super flat! Love it!
I got the white chocolate icing recipe from the Wilton site, I figure it should be safe, couldn’t take too many risks The recipe says it makes 6 cups which sounded like alot, since I think I use about 3 cups or less when I make a normal cake. I halved the recipe at first but actually ran out when I got to the second tier so had to make more. Luckily I bought enough white chocolate.. phew!
Now the fun part – decorating!! It was fun but tedious, especially trying to get the icing nice and smooth and covering everything (with no crumbs). Not very happy with my icing job actually, as you can see in the pics but I definitely learned alot for next time.
I just finished a cake decorating course (Wilton Decorating Basics at Michaels) in July so I’m glad I got to put what I’ve learned to good use! Unfortunately I don’t have a pic of the bottom tier only but it was basically covered with those heart patterns. The heart patterns and the flowers were piped with the white icing. I placed a golden chocolate bead (from Bulk Barn) in the middle of each flower.
Congrats again Jean and Chung!!
Icing serves 6 cups.
Keep icing covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
…or “puffins” as Bakerella calls them. Got this awesome recipe from her site, they are so delicious and are a breakfast treat! I did a bit of a spin off on her original Mini Maple Pancake Muffins, and made a strawberry, blueberry and nutmeg/cinnamon version. Check it out:
Sifting all the dry ingredients together
In goes buttermilk, egg, maple syrup and melted butter
Adding wet to dry and combine with a spoon
Delicious fruits and choc chips!
Split the batter into four and put the “mix-in’s” in
Filling up my mini muffin pan!
Done.. yummy! Just use a toothpick to pop them out.
Dip into maple syrup and enjoy!
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
1 small box of blueberries
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
A friend of mine came to visit me a few weeks ago and brought some awesomeness with her. When she first told me she was bringing cheese curds I was like, “ok, I have those all the time with poutine here in Ottawa”, or “I can just cut cheese cubes from the block of cheese I have in my fridge”. However when I tried them, my eyes widened 300% and my mouth dropped. They were soooo good.
These are super fresh. They tasted chewy, elasticy, yet creamy. Most importantly, they SQUEAK! While you chew them, you can hear the squeaky cheese squeaking in your mouth. I was about to take a video and post it on here but I figured it’d be way too gross. Apparently you don’t need to refrigerate them for the first 24 hours, so you can bring it on the road with you
St. Albert is about an hour drive away from Ottawa. If you’re ever in the area, make sure you check it out!
Sorry for the big hiatus! Just finished a very busy term of school and am now settling into Ottawa for my work term. Hopefully I can do some baking while I’m here =)
Last week a bunch of us decided to celebrate one of our friend’s belated birthday by surprising her at her house. It was suggested that I should bring a cake, and funny enough the day that I was asked I actually made cupcakes with my baking guru Jen and used the extra batter to make a 8″ white cake.
Cupcakes! Used Jen’s leftover icing so sorry – no recipe
I asked a friend to help me prepare this birthday cake since I only had an afternoon to do it. Here are some pics.
Originally I wanted to use a nutella whipped cream (used in this cake) but we overwhipped the whipping cream by accident and that didn’t turn out good at all. Instead, we roasted some hazelnuts, crushed them and placed them on the bottom layer after leveling off the cake and splitting it in two with a serrated knife.
We then put a layer of Nutella on the other layer and flipped it over to make a hazelnut-nutella layer between the two cake layers. The cake was covered with a white whipped icing and topped with berries and whole hazelnuts.
And the finished product:
3 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temp
2 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites
1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon (15g) granulated white sugar
Finally got around to baking something new! I had a few blocks of cream cheese lying around which was about to expire so I’m glad I thought about making this before it did. My roomate brought a huge bottle of Bailey’s at the beginning of term so I had to use it some how
Making the crust. I don’t think digestive cookies and graham crackers are exactly the same, but I accidentally bought digestive cookies. Still tastes good though! I didn’t have a food processor to ground the crumbs so I just put them in a zip lock bag and pounded them =)
Split the batter in two and added two squares of melted semi-sweet chocolate into one of them.
Pour the regular batter in first, dropped some of the chocolate mixture and then used a spoon (or a knife) to make swirl patterns. I swirled it a little too much.
Bake it for around an hour (see recipe below) and voila!
It looked really hideous so I had to find some way to cover it up. Cocoa powder is the best!
Added some fruits to make the crack look more intentional (berries were frozen).
Happy Canada Day! Gotta add a maple leaf to join the festivities =)
How to make the leaf: Print an outline of a maple leaf, cut it out and placed it on top of the cake. Sift icing sugar on top.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 package graham crackers, ground to crumbs
3 8-ounce (250g) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Bailey’s irish cream
2 squares (2 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, melted
I didn’t expect much from this because it was my first try making this. I don’t even know how Zucchini bread tastes like but this was AMAZING!!!! These are going to be gone in a flash!
Sifted the dry ingredients. This is why you ALWAYS sift. Found a piece of the paper bag that held the flour in the flour… ew.
Grated 2 cups of zucchini. This conviently worked out to 1 zucchini.
Add dry ingredients to wet.
Fold in zucchini and walnuts.
Pour into bread pan and/or muffin pans. Add chocolate chips if you’d like.
This was SOOO MOIST!! The chocolate chips were good but I could have done without. One TERRIBLE thing I did do though – I misread and added baking powder instead of baking soda! I just tried to scoop it out and added the soda. Sigh, Janice needs to read the instructions sometimes Please don’t make the same mistake as me!
Notes for next time
(Makes approximately 1 loaf of bread and 6 muffins)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cup shredded zucchini (approx. 1 zucchini)
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
I have this thing for block shaped items. Remember when those cubed Winnie the Pooh stuffed animals came out? I ADORED them As such, I love blocky cakes so I attempted to do one. This is my second attempt to this cake so it came out much better than the first.
Baked a cake in a bread loaf pan. This was french vanilla cake mix (Was tight on time =P)
Chocolate ganache, made from chopped semi-sweet chocolate whisked with boiling whipping cream.
Hazelnut-Chocolate filling, used Nutella with whipping cream.
Cake top was levelled off and was cut into three.
The whipped filling was placed in between each layer, and then the cake was covered with the chocolate ganache =) YUM!!
Melted white chocolate wafers and poured it into a zip lock bag. Cut out a small hole and piped MANY “HBD, Happy, Birthday, Tom, 21″‘s on wax paper. Stuck it in the freezer for a while… I also wanted to make a “white chocolate roll” so I spread some white chocolate on wax paper, rolled it up and put it in the freezer. I didn’t figure out how to “unroll” the wax paper so the roll cracked in half =( The two rolls in the next picture are actually two “half rolls”
The final product =) Very very happy about this!!
Lessons for next time:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4 ounce envelope)
1/4 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1. Place 2 tablespoons cold water in a small saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin, and set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk chocolate-hazelnut spread with 1/4 cup cream; set aside.
3. Heat gelatin mixture very gently over low, stirring just until dissolved; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat remaining 1 cups cream with sugar until soft peaks form. While still beating, pour dissolved gelatin mixture over cream all at once (gently reheat gelatin mixture if it has stiffened).
5. Fold whipped cream into chocolate-hazelnut spread mixture.
250 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
235 ml heavy cream (1 cup)
15 ml dark rum (optional)
1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.
Yum! These turned out alot better than expected – thanks to the help of my boyfriend
Here are some pics of the process along with some things I did differently from last time.
Click here for the recipe/first attempt
Butter Pecan cake mix… yummm
Cake baked, mixed with cream cheese frosting and then rolled into balls. Oh, also cookie cutter-ed some of them. We actually ended up shaping them all into balls – even the ones I cut into random shapes. It’s much much easier to coat (I was tight on time).
This time I kept the chocolate heated (over simmering water). The chocolate cooled off too fast when I microwaved it last time.
We thought of a more efficient way to coat the pops – by using a spoon to scoop up some chocolate over the bowl and twirling the uncoated pop around the spoon. It’s easier to get a thinner layer of chocolate this way and looks cleaner.
Finished product! Used some sprinkles right after the pop was coated and then placed an M&M-mini on top. So cute!
For presentation I put three pops together, bought zip lock bags and cut the “zip” part off, covered the pops with the bag and tied a ribbon around it. Someone asked me where I bought them from =)
Making finishing touches at work… it was hard to get a good picture of one finished, wrapped pop. Sorry!
I wanted to think of something easy to mass produce but also something creative to bring for my coworkers since it’s my last week of work. I’m an avid reader of Bakerella who’s known for her awesome cake pops so I decided to give it a shot! Unfortunately I didn’t have small enough cookie cutters so I couldn’t make those adorable cupcake pops.
My cake balls were a complete mess the first time around as you can see in the picture. By the end I thought of some new strategies and it turned out a bit better.
During the conversion to my new layout a bunch of my photos went missing (sigh), so the pic of the finished product is gone, sorry!
However – you can see my second (and more successful) cake pop attempt here
1 box of cake mix
1 tub of frosting (cream cheese)
Decorating items (sprinkles, candies, etc)
Ugh. I found a smear of chocolate on my forehead. ~_~
It’s unfortunate that I only learned of what a Quiche is a few months ago… they’re SO GOOD! My sis and I made one tonight for dinner. I don’t really know what the “right way” to make a quiche is, I just dump everything into a bowl and pour it in a pie shell =)
You can pretty much put whatever you want in it so if there’s one item you like in particular (mushrooms for me!) put more if it in. I used heavy cream because I didn’t have half and half, and a small bar of medium cheese. I also like slicing up the mushroom instead of dicing them.
For a lighter quiche, add a bit of milk into the mixture.
Makes 2 quiches
One pack of ham
One bunch of Broccoli
200g block of cheese
2 frozen pie shells
~1/2 cup half and half cream
1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare the frozen pie crust according to box.
2. Dice the ham, onions and mushrooms. Cut off the florets of the broccoli and dice the stem
3. In large bowl, combine items in #2. Add eggs and cream until the liquid almost covers the items in #2.
4. Grate half a block of cheese and add to the egg mixture.
5. Cut the remaining cheese into thin slices to layer the bottom of the pre-baked pie crust.
6. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust.
7. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F, and bake for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden and filling is set.
This recipe is totally flexible, you really can’t go wrong with it!
I’ve been wanting to make banana bread for the longest time but I never got to it. Everytime I told my family to buy some bananas for me they always ended up turning completely black because I never got time to use them… but it’s finally time!
Yummm. I didn’t have an extra loaf pan so I just put the rest of the batter in muffin cups – they are so much more adorable than bread . Unfortunately I left the bread in the oven for a little too long and it’s a little burnt (Direct quote from my sister: It’s kinda like Kogepan). Doesn’t look that appetizing =(
You can find the recipe below. I actually used 5 bananas (someone ate one…), 1 cup whole wheat flour + 2 cups all purpose, and 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1 1/2 cup white sugar. I also sprinkled some white sugar on top. I think I’ll go without the brown sugar next time, and I definitely need that 6th banana (or even a 7th… mmm).
1 cup shortening (or butter)
2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 very ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
Dash of cinnamon1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
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