Monthly Archives: March 2010

Lemon Coconut Tea Cake TWD

Spring, don’t you just love it? Toronto is emerging out of winter and I couldn’t be happier, I am NOT a winter person. The temperatures are rising, the grass is greening and hope is in the air. I just can’t get enough of it. Since Claire, my sister and co-blogger, is in Jamaica I made this week’s TWD recipe (even though my term paper is due tomorrow!) I have to say I am glad I was ‘forced’ to make this one, it was delicious. And I made it spring like by adding lemon, spring is lemony, don’t you think?

Coconut Lemon Tea Cake

I made mine in multiple pans. I used my new heart shaped muffin tin (thanks Jenny!), some mini bundts and a 9 x5 loaf pan. You have just got to love a cake in multiple formats (I think that may be the librarian in me speaking!)  Another reason I liked this recipe was that it was quick and easy, very important at the end of the semester. This one gets two thumbs up from me. My faithful tester S. will get his tonight so we will see what he thinks. Thanks to Carmen of Carmen Cooks for picking this one, good call! Head on over to her blog for the recipe or check out another TWD baker.

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TWD Dulce de Leche Duos

Did anyone else sense a little passive aggressive tone coming from a certain someone in last weeks TWD post? I will have you know that I was a busy girl last week, not to mention the fact that I had already baked this weeks recipe for friends who were in town last weekend. I’m just saying.

Anyways, on to the recipe. I was excited about this recipe for a few reasons. First, I love dulce de leche. Second, I have been meaning to try the President’s Choice dulce de Leche but have always felt some strange guilt about buying it since I could technically make it myself. But since even Dorie herself suggests using the store-bought variety, I thought it was a good reason to give it a try!

These cookies were quick to whip up and people tend to be impressed by the extra effort of a sandwich cookie. Overall, I though these cookies were yummy and our friends seemed to enjoy them, plus I think they looked pretty cute:)

Thanks to Jodie of Beansy Loves Cake for choosing this weeks recipe. It can be found on page 161 of BFMHTY.

Banana Buttermilk Muffins

I usually stick to my favourite banana muffin recipe; however, I had some leftover buttermilk from my Valentine’s Day cupcakes, so I went searching for a new recipe to try out!

Caroline mentioned something about us trying to post a few more “healthy” recipes on the blog, so I figured I might as well make a healthy banana muffin:)  Not to mention, the bf just today requested a healthy snack he could take to work with him. Finding food to take to work in the pharmacy is a little tricky, especially when most food is eaten while you are standing up! So little snacks throughout the day tend to be important!

As previously mentioned, I don’t like adding nuts to most muffin recipe but since the bf enjoys walnuts, I made a few sans nuts for myself, and then added nuts to the remainder of the muffins. I found this recipe at She Bakes and She Cooks and it looked quite good! Although I love my other banana muffin recipe, I think these were very yummy and make a slightly healthier alternative. I will definitely make these again.

Soft Chocolate and Blackberry Tart TWD

I asked Claire if she wanted in on this week’s TWD and she wasn’t  game so it fell to me. I am glad it did because this recipe was super easy and delicious. I made a few changes including switching up the fruit. I chose blackberries because they are tasty and were on sale;) Given that the last thing I needed after the b-day party extravaganza was more dessert, I halved the recipe and made it for S. He has this thing for graham crusts so that’s what I used instead of the pastry crust. I was prepared not to like this dessert but I was pleasantly surprised and S. really enjoyed it as well. Why do I doubt Dorie?

Thanks to Rachelle of Mommy? I’m Hungry for today’s selection. Head on over to her blog for the recipe or check out the TWD blogroll to find a new favorite blog.

Flourless Fudge Cookies

I made these Flourless Fudge Cookies for my birthday party extravaganza. There were two reasons I settled on this recipe, one being that it was gluten-free and that was important for one of my guests and two being that I felt like my dessert table needed some more chocolate. The cookies are light and delicious, easy to make and really not that bad for you in the grand scheme of baked goods. The chocolate and espresso powder together are bang on, chocolate and coffee, does it get any better?

Image Credit Robin Bergart

The recipe is available here. The good folks at King Arthur Flour managed to make their’s much flatter than mine. Not to sure why but regardless they were delicious.

Banoffee Pie

As I previously mentioned, I had a birthday party on the weekend. I took requests and my good friend Bindhu piped up with banoffee pie request. Now, BZ’s would tell you that she has been asking for this for years, so I guess it was about time that I made it for her. The banoffee pie (from now on to be called BP) was the surprise hit of the evening. It was the only dessert on the table that was eaten in it’s entirety, in fact I didn’t even get a piece. S. was kind enough to give me a bite of his so I can at least report that it was a tasty treat.

Banoffee Pie Image Credit Robin Bergart

Now those of you who are regulars around here know that there is no way that I took this picture. My friend Robin is a great photographer and she snapped some photos of my baked goods for the blog. I should get her to take all my photos, she rocks. Doesn’t my BP look seductive? It’s daring you to try some. Thanks RB!

BP Image Credit Robin Bergart

I followed Curtis Stone’s BP recipe, sorta. I layered bananas over the bottom of the pie crust and then I poured all of the toffee over the bananas. I added a couple of tbsps or so of sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it up. I then took one of my favorite chocolate bars, a Cadbury Twirl and crumbled it on top. You should go make this, it’s a keeper.

Coolest Birthday Gift Ever!

I had a birthday party this past weekend. It was a 30th birthday do-over (three years later) that was awesome. About 30 friends and family gathered to drink wine and of course, eat baked goods. In attendance were friends from elementary school, high school, undergrad, grad school and work, all under one roof; it was beyond fun. The reason I bring this up is that at the party my friend Rachel gave me the coolest gift ever. She made me a scrapbook of the first year of our blog, Bake with Us in PRINT, how cool!

Bake with Us in Print

Rachel selected a variety of posts including our first TWD (which was a disaster, but memorable), baking with my niece, recipes made to impress suitors, family recipes, Christmas recipes and celebratory ones. It was amazing! Rachel is a creative and thoughtful friend and I was touched by the care she took in creating me such a special birthday gift. Thanks Rachel!

Claire, Caroline and Rachel

It took us five tries to get this photo, there was lots of laughter, shakiness, closed eyes and guffaws in the making of this photo. No baked goods were harmed.

TWD: About and the RULES

Rachel took special care to include information about TWD, which of course was the inspiration for this little piece of the blogosphere. I will be sure to post some of the baking that was served at the party. Claire and I made some new recipes and some old standbys including lemon squares, caramel squares, and my favourite cake (it was my birthday after all!)

Red Velvet Cupcakes Part Two

Last month I was browsing through some cookbooks and thinking about Valentine’s Day. Last year at Valentine’s Day there was a lot of red velvet posting on various blogs and since I have never had red velvet cake, I thought this years Valentine’s Day would be the perfect time to give them a whirl. Conveniently, I was invited to a party which meant that I would be able to share my treats and avoid eating them all myself.

Cupcakes with Leah's yummy chocolate cookies

 

Apparently, my dear sister and I are two peas in a pod because when I called her one evening she told me she was planning on making red velvet cupcakes for Valentine’s Day too! I had looked at the Martha Stewart recipe that she chose but had already settled on this recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery book. I chose this one because it didn’t require the gel food colouring, although it did require a heck of a lot of liquid food colouring!

Since I have never had a red velvet cupcake before, I don’t have anything to compare these with but as far as I am concerned, they were pretty darn good! I did have quite a few tasters who all enjoyed them too so I guess we will call them a hit! The cake was just right and the icing was very yummy.  I think these will definitely make an appearance next Valentine’s day or even sooner, perhaps a Canada Day party!?

Red Velvet Cupcakes
source: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

60 g unsalted butter at room temperature
150 g caster sugar ( i just used regular sugar)
1 egg
10 g cocoa powder
20 ml red food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
120 ml buttermilk
150 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 325.
Put butter and sugar in freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use handheld electric whisk) and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy and well mixed. Turn the mixer up to high speed, slowly add the egg and beat until everything is well incorporated.
In a separate bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, red food colouring and vanilla extract to make a thick, dark paste. Add to the butter mixture and mix thoroughly until evenly combined and coloured (scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula). Turn the mixer down to slow speed and slowly pour in half the buttermilk. Beat until well incorporated. Repeat this process until all the buttermilk and flour have been added. Scrape down the side of the bowl again. Turn the mier up to high speed and beat until ou have a smooth, even mixture. Turn the mixer down to low spped and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Beat until well mixed, then turn up the speed again and beat for a couple more minutes.
Spoon the mixture into 12 paper cups until 2/3rds full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the sponge bounces back when touched. Leave the cupcakes to cool slighly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. When cooled completely, ice with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

300 g icing sugar, sifted
50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125 g cream cheese, cold
Beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. Do not overbeat, as it can quickly become runny.