Category Archives: Dessert

Yogurt Cake with Raspberries

“This book is perfect for you. The subtitle is A Love Story with recipes,” my friend said to me the other day. I’ve been reading Elizabeth Bard‘s Lunch in Paris and it is such a great summer read. The memoir tells the story of a young American who leaves to go to Paris to live with her boyfriend (who later becomes her husband) meanwhile exploring the food of the City of Lights. The recipes are really simple but so delicious sounding. Only a quarter way through the book, I made this yogurt cake. It is absolutely amazing. Really moist, light and fluffy. Perfect for breakfast or any other time of the day. I went ahead and made my own addition to Bard’s recipe by making a sour cream topping. Before you get grossed out, try it. My mum always used sour cream for toppings on cakes. The sauce does not turn out too sweet (and therefore does not overwhelm the flavor of the cake and fruit) and is perfect consistency for a cake like this one.

Ingredients: 1 cup plain yogurt (whole milk), 1 cup sugar, large pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 2 large eggs, 1 2/3 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, zest of 1 lemon, one 16-ounce can apricots (I used 1 1/2 cups of fresh raspberries)

For the sour-cream topping: 1 cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar, juice from 1 lemon, few drops of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Begin by preheating the oven to 350. Oil or butter a round cake pan (Bard advices to use a parchment paper but I found that I did not need one). In a bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, salt and vanilla

Whisk together until smooth. Add oil slowly and whisk to combine. Add the eggs one by one whisking between each addition.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda

Combine with yogurt mixture

Stir in the lemon zest

Transfer batter to the cake pan and top with fruit of your choice

Bake on the center rack for 45 minutes until slightly golden brown and slightly risen. Allow the cake to cool.

For the topping combine sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and raspberries in a blender. Pulse until smooth.

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Cookie Cake

I rarely bake cookies. And it’s not because I am not great at baking (surprise, surprise I can actually bake cookies and not burn the kitchen or feel lesser of a human being) but because I get irritated making individual little cookies and rolling out the batter or scooping it into small balls. I found this recipe on sophistimom through tastespotting.com and had to absolutely try it. I think this is how I will be making all my cookies from now on. In one big pan.

Ingredients: 1 cup granulated sugar (I ran out of brown sugar), 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 stick butter, 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. In a skillet (preferably cast iron which I did not have), melt the butter

Add sugar and vanilla and stir in. Remove from heat.

Add the egg and whisk with a fork

Add flour, baking soda and salt and carefully stir together until the mixture becomes smooth and well blended

Add the chocolate chips and mix together

Transfer the mixture to an oven proof pan (if you are not using a cast iron skillet) and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until corners start to become golden. Enjoy on its own or topped with ice cream and toppings.

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Blueberry Pie

So I think I might be done with all the work that needed to be done. Or at least done enough to make a cranberry/blueberry pie and celebrate. Pie crust pre made. Obviously. I mean who would I be kidding? I fool myself saying that I can’t bake because I do not own a stand mixer but recently people have been pointing out that is a false statement. That you can’t bake without a stand mixer that is not that I can bake. I found this recipe in bon appetit magazine and it looked simple enough. And the only pies I make are simple. For all the bakers out there, don’t judge. It came out delicious.

Ingredients: 1 pie crust (if you make your own, more power to you), 14 oz fresh or frozen cranberries(I used fresh), 14 oz fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen), 2 1/4 cups of sugar, 3 tablespoons corn starch, 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Add the cranberries and blueberries to a saucepan on medium heat

Add the remaining ingredients

Mix and cook the filling until the mixture thickens and the berries begin to pop for about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture comes to a boil, take off heat and transfer to a glass dish. Let the filling cool in the fridge anywhere from an hour to 1 day. When the filling is cooled, remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the filling into the pie crust.

Cover the pie with a top layer of crust and seal together

Place in a 350 preheated oven and bake until the crust is golden brown for about an hour.

Enjoy

 

 

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Pine Nuts Phenomenon

A raging epidemic broke out in Boston during this candy packed weekend. Three cases of Pine Mouth have occurred in the Boston/Cambridge area and numerous forum and sources swear that it is a real condition. Three victims, who wish to remain anonymous, woke up 24 hours ago to discover a curious aftertaste in their mouth. When asked to describe it, Victim 1 was noted to say, “It is as if I swallowed a fistful of pennies.” A more careful examination and interrogation revealed that this cooper-ish like taste overpowers everything. “Everything that I eat just tastes like coins. This flatbread, tastes like penny flatbread. This hot chocolate, I might as well be drinking melted pennies.”

This all started when all three victims had a very similar day. On Friday Victim 1 discovered a bag of pine nuts that came as a part of his birthday care package. Source 1 tried the pine nuts and went on to offer it to Victim 2 and Victim 3. Upon leaving the house together, they were offered free doughnuts from a concession stand which they heartily accepted. “At first we thought that it was the doughnuts. But then I went on Google to research my symptoms and found numerous forums discussing the Pine Mouth condition. It is real,” Victim 1 confessed.

Research and numerous articles (not just wikipedia my friends. ABC, NPR and Epicurious.com have all written article about this issue) have uncovered that Pine Mouth is a condition that occurs when one indulges in a good amount of these innocent-looking and delicious nuts. You go on with your day until 24 hours later you are haunted with the metallic taste that just overpowers everything.

While most of you spent your Sunday trick or treating, watching horror movie marathons or out drinking suspicious Halloween inspired drinks, these victims of this recent (latest complaints date back to only 2009) epidemic spent their Halloween Day attempting to get rid of this bitter metallic aftertaste. While Source 1 continuously chewed gum all day, Victim 2 went through more extreme measure. “I have been gurgling Scope all day. It just won’t go away.”

According to the numerous forums on “Pine Mouth”, this condition can last anywhere from one days to four weeks. There is no known cure to expedite the process. “Second day of Pine Mouth is the worst according to one of the sites,” said Victim 3. So dear readers, unless you would like to experience “Two Weeks of Eating a Penny” syndrome, do stay away from eating large quantities of pine nuts.

While the victims are recovering and hoping to regain their taste buds before Thanksgiving Break, here is a chocolate pie recipe for you to enjoy.

While this post was written for humorous purposes, there is Pine Mouth Syndrome that has been known to occur with the consumption of pine nuts.

Ingredients: Chocolate Pie Crust (you can make your own but I just used the store bought kind), 5 eggs, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 400.Begin by cracking the eggs into a bowl

Add the sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract

Whisk (or beat together if you have an electric mixer) everything together until all the ingredients become one smooth mixture. Pour the batter into the pie crust.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the pie bakes make the never-failing ganache using the chocolate chips and cream.

Spread the ganache over the pie once it is baked and cooled

Enjoy and again don’t indulge in pine nuts. Hope you had a great Halloween!

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My big fat baking disaster

As many of you know, I am not a baking girl. Last weekend I lured myself into thinking, once again (when I am going to learn?), that I can channel my inner pastry chef and create chocolate cake lollipops. First, let me say, that my adventure began at the grocery store when I asked one of the employees if they had popsicle or ice cream sticks. Judging by the face of the young man that I asked, you would think that I was asking for purple crocodile soup in can. This is a giant supermarket too. Perplexed by my request, the employee went to find his colleague. Soon enough five staff members surrounded me. Unable to point me to an aisle where I would find the “never-heard-of-before” popsicle sticks, I was handed a box of mini sword skewers.

I resigned to the idea of chocolate cakes on skewers. With all the hassle surrounding the search of the magical popsicle sticks, I forgot to buy 1 ingredient. Don’t you hate that feeling when you get home and realize that you forgot that one ingredient that you need? Yup that was me and the missing cream that I forgot to get. Determined to continue my baking adventure, with or without the cream, I texted my good friend, and a much better baker than me ,for advice.

“Is there anyway that I can make a white chocolate ganache with no cream? I need it to coat mini chocolate cakes.”

“Yeah you can just melt choc, or sometimes I use whole milk. White chocolate can be a pain”

Victory,or so I though. I had milk…lowfat milk. I decided to give it a shot anyway. FAIL…F-A-I-L. Not only did I pour too much milk but I also managed to burn the bottom of the pan so that my milk and chocolate had chunks of black burn floating around. It is a sad moment when you realize that even white chocolate can make you feel incompetent. Refusing to fail, I ran to the grocery store and bought more white chocolate and cream. This is what happened next…

Ingredients: 1 box of chocolate fudge brownie mix (make sure to have all the ingredients that the mix needs), 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 1/2 white chocolate, sprinkles or cookie crumbles for decoration

Begin by preheating the oven to the required temperature (mine was 350). Next prepare the brownie mix as instructed on the package. Mine asked for 2 eggs, water and vegetable oil.

Thoroughly mix together with an electrical mix or by hand and pour the batter into a non-stick baking sheet or pan.

When the brownie batter is fully baked, take it out of the oven and let it cool. When the brownies are cool enough to handle, crumble the brownie sheet into many small pieces. Add the cream cheese.

Mix together and form into balls of desired shape.

Next add the cream to a pan on medium heat. When the cream barely starts boiling, pour in the white chocolate. Whisk from the center of the mixture until the chocolate and the cream have combined into one.

Dip the chocolate cakes into the white chocolate ganache to coat on all sides.

Top with sprinkles or cookie chunks. Let the cakes cool on parchment paper. Add the popsicle sticks and serve to the guests. These lollipop cakes might not look pretty, but they are so good.

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Quick Fire Dessert

So far so good. 2nd post and it’s only Wednesday. This is my fastest and easiest dessert recipe to make when I am craving something sweet and simple after dinner. Usually a scoop of ice cream or a candy bar doesn’t satisfy my craving and so I make this. Just mix your favorite brownie mix with all the necessary ingredients and throw into the oven. Take the brownies out of the oven, cut into pieces and add a good amount to your plate. Top the steaming hot brownie with vanilla or mint ice cream and enjoy! The mixture of the hot chocolate and the cold ice cream is simply divine. And now off to watch Top Chef DC!

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Cherry Tart

Like I said many times before, I am not a baker. Neither am I a dessert person. Anna always finds it surprising when I say that I am not a dessert person. “But all the desserts you make are so good!” she says. The truth is that I have around 10 desserts that I can make really really well and the rest not so much. This cherry roll tart is one of these desserts that makes the crowd lick their fingers.

Ingredients: 3 puff pastry sheets, 30 oz of frozen cherries (preferably pitted), 1 pint heavy whipping cream

Begin by making the heavy whipped cream. I poured mine into the blender and left it to mix and stir until the cream solidified.

Leave the whipped cream in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 and roll out the puff pastry sheets with a rolling pin.

Cut the puff pastry into strips wide enough to wrap around the cherries. Lay the strips into a buttered baking sheet and line cherries along the strip. Pinch the puff pastry closed.

Make enough cherry filled strips to make a base layer and a second layer on top. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the puff pastry turns golden brown. After the strips are ready, cool the baking sheet for at least an hour before topping them with whipped cream.

Leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or better overnight.

Enjoy and be careful not to eat the whole thing

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