Monthly Archives: September 2011

Apple Puffs with Fresh Cream and Warm Caramel Sauce

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apple puff3smallTGIF! Are you guys ready for the long weekend? We left a day early and are vacationing with some family and friends on the Oregon Coast. I love hearing the sound of the waves as I fall asleep. It’s so calming!

So, with relaxation on the brain, I decided to post a no brainer fail proof dessert recipe that looks fancy but couldn’t be simpler!

All you do for these is cook some apples in some butter, brown sugar and cinnamon until they’re soft. Then wrap them in little puff pastry bundles and bake. Top with whipped cream and warm caramel sauce. That’s it!

Hope you all stay safe and have a great fun-filled weekend!
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Apple Puffs with Fresh Whipped Cream and Warm Caramel Sauce
yield: 4 servings
Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
1 large granny smith apple
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 defrosted sheet of puff pastry
flour {for rolling}
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup caramel sauce, warmed

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place medium skillet over medium low heat. Melt butter. Peel, core and thinly slice apple. Place into warm butter with sugar, cinnamon and salt. Cook until apple slices have softened, about 7 minutes.

Sprinkle clean work surface with flour. Roll out puff pastry to a 10 x 10 inch square and to seal the edges from where it was folded. Cut into 4 even squares. Place equal amounts of cooked apples into the center of each puff pastry square. Whisk egg and milk in small bowl and brush onto the edges of puff pastry to help seal. Bring the opposite corners up and seal together at the top. Press the edges together to seal completely. I pressed the dough against my finger with a fork to help seal it well. Brush the tops with more egg wash and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar each.
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Bake 13-15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.

While apple puffs are baking, whip cream together on high speed with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Warm caramel sauce in microwave.

Remove apple puffs from the oven and cool 5 minutes.

Place large dollop of cream over each warm apple puff and drizzle caramel sauce over top. Serve.
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Red Velvet Crêpes

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Red Velvet Crêpes

I rolled my eyes at the red velvet cake trend, but now I can’t get enough. I’ll make any excuse to have ‘cake’ for breakfast– here’s my take on a classic.


Red Velvet Crepes
(Makes about 24, 8″ crepes)

Ingredients:
– 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 2  cups butter milk
– 1 1/4 cup whole or lowfat milk
– 1 large egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted
– 1 tablespoon red food color gel
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
+ 2 tablespoons cooking oil (for pan)

*Update: Because the buttermilk lends to the acidity of this batter, do not substitute the baking soda for extra baking powder. If you add more baking powder, and omit the baking soda, you’ll end up with a heavy and dense crepe. In order to activate the baking soda, it requires an acidic substance, which the buttermilk provides.  Double-acting baking powder (likely, this is what you have in your kitchen) is activated by heat and an acidic element, and in this case, baking soda does the trick.  Enough with the chemistry lesson– just don’t make substitutes if you want light and fluffy crepes; the recipe is balanced to account for ingredient properties.

Mascarpone Cream Filling
– 500 mL heavy cream
– 300 gr mascarpone cheese
– 1/2 cup icing sugar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– zest of 1 orange (optional, but adds nice tang)
+ 1/2 cup raspberry jam (optional, for filling crepes)

Chocolate Ganache  Topping
– 75 gr bittersweet chocolate
– 75 mL heavy cream
– 1 tablespoon sugar

Directions:

For the Mascarpone Filling:
1. Using a mixer, mix mascarpone cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla until soft and fluffy.  Set aside.
2. Whip cream and remaining sugar to a stiff peak. Carefully fold into the mascarpone cheese until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For Chocolate Ganche Sauce
1. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set aside. In a small sauce pan, heat cream and sugar to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and pour over chocolate. Carefully mix until homogenous, and set aside until ready to use. If the ganache sets, re-melt the chocolate over a double boiler.

Red Velvet Crepes
1. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, milk, egg, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract and food coloring. Whisk until combined.

3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are combined. The batter will be a little runny (think soup). If you find that the batter is too thick and pancake like, add more milk (regular). Make sure the batter is clear of lumps.

4. With a pastry brush, brush the surface of large (non-stick) skillet with cooking oil. Heat it over medium heat. Test skillet after a couple of minutes by drizzling a few few drops of water onto the cooking surface. If the drops sizzle and evaporate, the surface is hot enough.

5. Turn the heat down to medium. For each crepe, spoon or ladle about  1/4 cup of the batter into the center of the skillet. Holding onto the handle of the pan, remove it from the heat and swirl the pan so the batter coats the bottom of the pan. You want to make the coating as thin as possible. If you have holes in the crepe, go ahead and add more batter to the pan to cover them. Return to heat.

6. As the batter cooks, it will dry and lose its shine (~ 2 minutes). Once this happens, use a non-metal spatula and carefully flip the crepe over. Finish cooking the crepe on the other side (~ 45 seconds).

7. Gently slide the cooked crepe onto an ovenproof plate, and keep the finished crepes warm in an oven set at 195 degrees.

Assembling the Crepes:
– If using raspberry jam, place a small amount the center of the crepe.  Pipe mascarpone cream filling, and carefully roll.

– Drizzle with chocolate ganache sauce and dust with icing sugar.

How to Make Marshmallow Fondant

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Marshmallow fondant is easy to make and pretty fun to use. You can cover cakes and cookies with it to give them a smooth professional-looking finish or you can cut out shapes and designs to decorate your icing with. Its cheaper to make your own fondant than it is to buy it pre-made plus the pre-made stuff tastes a bit like cardboard unless you are willing to pay for a very high end product.

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All you need is:

  1. Marshmallows – they can be big marshmallows or mini ones, either one works fine.
  2. Icing sugar – You’ll be mixing the icing sugar into the marshmallows to make a dough so I usually make sure that I have an entire bag on hand.. but I rarely use the whole bag.
  3. Food colouring
  4. Flavoring oil – This is optional. If you don’t add this your fondant will be sweet and flavorless which works well if your got all the flavors your want in your cake already

P1150680This time I decided to make it with those mini fruit flavored marshmallows. I had to sort them by colour first. I figured they would add a little bit of flavor to the fondant so I wouldn’t have to add much flavoring oil.

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I use gel colours to dye my fondant but regular food colouring will work too. You won’t be able to get really dark colours without making your fondant sticky, but for lighter colours you can just even it out with more icing sugar.

I also had lemon oil and coconut flavoring on hand.. oh la la the value brand  (which still works fine).

P1150704Step One:

Take a couple of handfuls of marshmallows and put them in a microwave safe bowl. Add a couple of drops of water and toss the marshmallows in it until they are all a bit damp. If you are going to just make one colour then put the whole bag of marshmallows in the bowl and add a couple of teaspoons of water. If you’re going to put flavoring oil in, add it now and add less water

I like to make smaller batches because its easier to add the colour to the melted marshmallow than it is to work the colour into the fondant later.

Step Two:

Stick the marshmallows in the microwave for ten seconds at a time until the are puffed up and easily stir into a goo with a wooden spoon. Tip: Grease your spoon with butter, things can get a bit sticky.

Step Three:

Add food colouring  to the melted marshmallows until you get the colour you want. Remember that you’re going to be adding icing sugar which will lighten the colour so make it a bit brighter than you need.

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Step Four:

Start folding icing sugar into the marshmallow goo until it becomes a soft and fluffy dough. Grease your hands with a bit of butter and turn the marshmallow out onto a table sprinkled with icing sugar. Continue to knead in icing sugar until the fondant is stiff enough to roll out.

If you add too little icing sugar the fondant will be very sticky- Just add more icing sugar

If you add too much icing sugar the fondant will be very stiff and hard to roll out – knead in a little bit of butter

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Fondant with the icing sugar kneaded in.

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Finished fondant!

For this batch of colours I made larger batches of lighter colours and then worked some extra gel colouring into the already made fondant to make smaller batches of darker colours. The dark purple and dark green were made from the a light pink and light green.

All you need to do is knead the gel colour in.. it takes a while to get it all mixed in which is why I only do it for smaller batches.

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To store your fondant wrap them in pieces of lightly greased plastic wrap and keep them either in a big ziplock bag or a tupperware container. The fondant is essentially a sugar paste (its just marshmallows and icing sugar) so it has a shelf life of three or four months. If it feels a bit stiff and hard to use after being stored for a long time you can soften it up by kneading a bit of butter in or putting in the microwave one-two seconds at a time.

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Now its ready to roll out and use to decorate your cakes and cookies!

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I’ve been over and over my deep, undying love for cheesecake, and also my reluctance to make a full size one because I will undoubtedly eat it all myself.  Recently I’ve been experimenting with various ways to have cheesecake in individual, more portable portions that make it slightly easier to prevent the gobbling situation – mainly because it is so easy to give away and share with others.  These raspberry cheesecake cupcakes were a natural choice for me, a lover of both cheesecake and cupcakes (and raspberries!)

I didn’t make any major changes to this recipe.  However, a water bath is suggested to prevent the cakes from cracking. I didn’t have a pan big enough to create a bath for a cupcake pan.  I skipped it all together and it worked out fine.  My cakes didn’t crack or sink, so I think a water bath is unnecessary.

The raspberry marbling on the top is beautiful and adds a pop of color with a touch of raspberry flavor.  I made these sweet treats for a get together with friends and once they were set out on the table, they did not last long.  Most people who had one quickly had another – so I guess maybe these aren’t completely immune to overindulging.  But two of these is still healthier than a whole full size cake, right?  And you’re unlikely to get more than two because they will all have disappeared before you have the chance.

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Cupcakes
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Yield: 32 cupcakes

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. sugar

For the topping:
6 oz. fresh raspberries
2 tbsp. sugar

For the filling:
2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar.  Stir together with a fork until well blended and all the dry ingredients are moistened.  Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  (I like to use a small drinking glass to easily and evenly press the crumbs down.  One of Andrew’s sippy cups works wonderfully.) Bake until just set, 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack.

To make the raspberry puree, combine the raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth, then pour through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.

To make the cheesecake, beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy.  Blend in the sugar until smooth.  Mix in the salt and vanilla.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

To assemble, spoon 3 tablespoons of the cheesecake batter over the crust in each cupcake liner.  Dot a ½ teaspoon of the raspberry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling.  Use a toothpick or a wooden skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.


Bake until the filling is set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  (They will look quite puffed initially but will return to normal quickly.)  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Source: barely adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes Read the rest of this entry

Strawberry-Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

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ok So I folund this  recipe on pintrest, and have decided that I will make these delcious looking cookies in the near future ❤

I don’t know where the original recipe came from, but if it is yours then let me know, and I will be more than happy to give you your credit 🙂

 

 

What I need: [Makes 22 cookies of the size shown]

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter [softened]
  • 7 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder [use aluminium free]
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp thick crushed fresh strawberry mix [homemade by crushing  strawberries with 1 tsp of milk [if required]+2 drops of red food color] [the quantity of strawberry mix will vary depending upon the consistency,please be judgemental]
  • Nutella [for filling]

How I did it:

  • Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.Set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar using a hand-held mixer for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and crushed strawberry to the bowl and combine well with the butter mixture using a whisk.
  • Fold in the flour mixture with the butter mixture gently to form a dough.The dough will be soft and a little sticky but not loose.Do not over mix. You might need to oil your hands and bring the dough together.
  • Once combined, cover the dough with a plastic cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
  • Line your cookie sheet with a parchment paper.

  • Take out the refrigerated dough,lightly oil your palms and make small balls with it.Put the balls on the cookies sheet and press down slightly to flatten out.

  • With the help of your thumb or back of a tea-spoon make a small hole in the middle of the cookies where u ll fill the nutella after baking.
  • If at this point you feel that the butter in the cookies is melting, refrigerate again for about 15 minutes.

  • Bake the cookies in the oven for about 8-12 minutes or untill the bottom starts turning brown. Mine took 10 minutes exact.Do not bake them beyond 12 mins.These will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
  • Take out the cookie sheet from the oven and using the teaspoon again press out the hole in the cookies.You will not be able to do this after the cookies have cooled.
  • Once the cookies have cooled, fill in the nutella in the little holes in the cookies.
  • Serve with cold milk.

I have adjusted these from a basic recipe here .Notes:

  • The consistency of strawberry mix is of real importance.Make a thick, almost paste like mix in your processor/blender.If some bits remain, it does not matter but the mix should not be runny or watery.
  • The color of cookies/dough can differ depending on how red your strawberries are.I chopped off the white portions and used red part only.
  • I made my cookies less sweet because with nutella filling they could be very overwhelming.
  • The dough can be slightly difficult to work with,but refrigerate and it will be manageable.
  • Since every oven is different, the time of baking may vary from appliance to appliance.
  • You can fill in the cookies with any jam or melted chocolate chips too.

Pink Lemonade Pie Recipe

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This pie can be made in a deep dish pie pan or a springform pan.  We nearly always use a springform pan, either a ten-inch or a nine-inch.  (The one in the picture was made with a ten-inch pan.)  With a nine-inch springform pan instead of a ten-inch or a deep dish pie pan, you will have a tall, mounded dessert.

This pie is made in three parts: a graham cracker crust, a lemonade and cream cheese filling, and a whipped cream topping.  If you prefer, you can use a commercial whipped topping or whipped cream from an aerosol can for the topping.

For the Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter

  1. Mix the crumbs, sugar, and butter in a nine inch pie pan or spring form pan.  Mix until the crumbs have absorbed the butter and the mixture is uniform.
  2. Press the crumbs across the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
  3. Bake for eight to ten minutes at 350 degrees.  (If it’s a hot July day, you can choose not to bake the crust.  A baked crust holds together better because the heat melts the sugar to help hold the crumbs together.)

For the Filling

1 8-ounce packet of cream cheese, softened
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
3/4 cup pink lemonade concentrate (not mixed with water)
2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
red food coloring as desired

  1. Using the whip attachment and your stand-type mixer or with a handheld electric mixer, mix the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk together on medium high speed until the mixture is smooth.  (If you place the sweetened condensed milk in the bowl first, the cream cheese will not stick to the bowl and you will have little need to scrape the sides.)
  2. Add the lemonade concentrate and lemon juice and continue beating.  Color with red food coloring as desired.
  3. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and place it in the freezer while you mix the topping.

For the Topping

1/3 cup shredded coconut
red food coloring
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Place the coconut in a small bowl with a drop of food coloring and a couple drops of water and stir until the coconut turns pink.
  2. Whip the cream until stiff, adding the sugar and vanilla in the process.
  3. Spoon the cream over the pie filling and garnish with the pink coconut.
  4. Freeze the pie until firm.

INCREDIBLE Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

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INCREDIBLE Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies Recipe
these look so yummy! and I fully plan on making these soon!!! and only 4 ingredients! how could you not love that?!?!?!
Prep Time:
15 Min
Cook Time:
15 Min
Ready In:
45 Min

 

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 (17.5 ounce) pouch sugar cookie mix
  • 2/3 cup raspberry baking chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy with an electric mixer, then beat in the egg until thoroughly combined. Mix in the cookie mix, then stir in the raspberry chips. Drop the dough about 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets with a tablespoon or small scoop. Lightly pat the cookies to flatten.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden, 9 to 12 minutes. Cool before serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 213 | Total Fat: 9.9g | Cholesterol: 25mg