Apple Walnut Crumble

Apple Walnut Crumble

September has been pretty busy, school has started, so does hockey, piano, drawing class…..etc.  And I want to go back to my running routine…… just wish there was more time to bake and blog ! September also means it’s apple season, there are so many varieties.  My favourite kind is Gala.  They are sweet, juicy with medium firmness.  They are excellent for both eating and baking. Other good choices for baking are McIntosh, Golden Delicious and Fuji.  A lot of recipes use Granny Smith, but I found them too tart and hard.  The crumble tastes delicious on its own, I had it with yoghurt.  You can also use Vanilla Ice Cream or Creme Anglaise

Makes about 4 servings 

For the fillings

  • 2 medium-sized apples (peel, core and cut into chunks)
  • 50 g chopped walnuts 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

For the toppings

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flour 
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 45 g unsalted butter, melted 
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF 
  2. To prepare the fillings, mix apples with walnuts,lemon juice, lemon zest, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon, set aside 
  3. Prepare crisp toppings by mixing oats, flour, brown sugar and melted butter together 
  4. Put apple mixture into 4 baking dishes, top with crust mixture
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes until top is golden and apples are soft 
  6. Serve warm with Vanilla Ice Cream, Creme Anglaise or yoghurt

 

 

Cinnamon Bites

Cinnamon Bites

When I hear the words “comfort food”, I would somehow think of cinnamon buns ! Warm, sweet bread with ooey, gooey cream cheese icing……yum ! To no surprise, I found that they are originated from Sweden. (that’s why they sell them at Ikea?!) In Swedish they are called “kanelbulle”  which literally means “cinnamon buns” and October 4 is “Kanelbullens Dag” ,Cinnamon Roll Day. Wow, Swedish people must love their cinnamon buns !  I wish I can be there to taste the authentic flavour. Well, for now, I will comfort myself with these little cinnamon bites !  (I made them in bite-size pieces cause I often found the rolls too big) 

For the dough

    • 540 g (3 cups) bread flour
    • 1 cup warm whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 4 g instant yeast
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the coating

  • 100 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the cream cheese icing

  • 180 g soft cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Dissolve sugar in warm milk, add yeast and let sit for a few minutes until frothy
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt, egg, vegetable oil and yeast mixture
  3. Stir with hand and mix until dough starting to form
  4. Transfer to a lightly floured surface
  5. Knead dough until smooth and stretchy
  6. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rise for about 60 minutes until double in size 
  7. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  8. When dough is ready, punch air out, cut dough into 4 parts
  9. Roll each part into a long log, about 12 inches long
  10. Cut each log into about 12 small pieces
  11. Grease two 8 inch round flat pans or pans of your choice
  12. Mix cinnamon and 1/2 cup of sugar together
  13. Dip each small piece into melted butter, then coat with cinnamon sugar
  14. Place in pans, about 24 pieces each
  15. Bake for about 20 minutes
  16. Meanwhile, prepare icing by beating cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla together until blended
  17. When bread bites are ready, serve warm with cream cheese frosting

Cinnamon Bites

 

 

No Bake Nutella Bites

No Bake Nutella Bites 

Can’t believe September is here already ! Kids are back to school, routines are slowly getting back to normal, and I have to start making lunches and snacks. I made these little energy bites as an after school snack. They are like mini granola bars and are super easy to make. Keep them in the fridge and the kids can just grab them when they want. They come in handy before hockey practices too ! There can be many variations to the recipe.  I used Nutella, but you can also use peanut butter, cookie butter or sunflower butter. You can also choose other nuts, seeds and dried fruits. 

Makes about 25-30 

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup rice crispy cereal 
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds 
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed 
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 1/2 cup Nutella spread 
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
  • 2 tablespoons honey 
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together 
  2. Add Nutella, coconut oil and honey, mix until blended 
  3. With the help of a melon scooper or spoon, roll mixtures into small balls
  4. Refrigerate until firm
  5. Keep in refrigerator 

No Bake Nutella Bites

Pineapple Coconut Cake

Pineapple Coconut Cake

My family took a vacation to Hawaii last week. Both kids and adults had a lot of fun. We swam, snorkeled, paddled even parasailed ! To be honest, parasailing at 300 feet high was a little scary, but it was really fun ! My daughter had absolutely no fear and she just loved it ! We enjoyed the food too. There were garlic shrimps, fruits, desserts of course. Their Japanese food was also really good. Food is always the best part of my vacation ! To reminisce some of these wonderful flavours, I baked this Pineapple and Coconut Cake yesterday. I used canned pineapple as I was too lazy to chop one up, you can definitely use a fresh one.  I guess I am still in holiday mode !  :)  

Makes one loaf (I used a 4.5″ x 8.5″ loaf pan)  

For the cake

  • 225 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 1 +1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 120 g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 120 g cup granulated sugar  
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g canned pineapple tidbits 
  • 25 g shredded coconut 
  • 60 mL canned coconut milk 
  • 90 mL pineapple juice 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

For the glaze

  • 150 icing sugar 
  • 45mL pineapple juice 
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut 
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Drain pineapples well, pat dry with paper towel and save the juice 
  3. To make the cake, sift together flour,baking power, baking soda and salt, set aside 
  4. Using an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy 
  5. Add eggs, vanilla and coconut milk 
  6. Add half of the flour mixture and pineapple juice, mix until blended
  7. Add remaining of the flour mixture
  8. Fold in pineapples and shredded coconut 
  9. Pour batter into a lightly greased and floured loaf pan
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes
  11. To make the glaze, whisk together icing sugar, pineapple juice and shredded coconut
  12. When the cake is cooled, drizzle glaze on top 

Pineapple Coconut Cake

 

Banana Milkshake

Banana Milkshake (Vegan and Dairy-free)

This is probably the simplest recipe I have ever made.  It has just 2 ingredients !  I often make myself a banana smoothie after my morning run. It’s delicious, satisfying and very healthy. The past week has been quite hot, even in the morning. Not that I am complaining about the good weather, but when the temperature is up, I do get more tired after I run and I would be soaking wet.  So to quench my thirst and “refuel” myself, I turned my smoothie into an even cooler treat…. a milkshake ! I simply freeze the bananas before blending, how easy is that !

Makes about 2 servings

  • 4 ripe bananas 
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla-flavoured almond milk, you can use unsweetened if preferred)
  1. Peel and cut bananas into small pieces, put in freezer for about 3 hours or overnight
  2. Blend frozen bananas and almond milk together until smooth, serve immediately 

Banana Milkshake

 

Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt and Granola

Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt and Granola 

My uncle has a green fig tree in his backyard. Every summer, he would give us a generous portion of his harvest. We like to eat them fresh, but I also like making them into desserts. This recipe is fairly simple and is a good way to use up figs that are starting to get too ripe.  You can serve them with yoghurt and honey like I did or eat them with ice cream, even in a salad ! I made some granola the other day, so I added them for extra crunchiness. 

Makes about 4-6 servings

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 15 g unsalted butter 
  • 30 g demerara or brown sugar 
  • 300 g plain Greek yoghurt 
  • 60 mL honey 
  • 1 cup homemade granola 
  1. Cut figs in halves, coat with brown sugar 
  2. Melt butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat 
  3. Add figs, cut sides down
  4. Cook for about 3-4 minutes (be careful not to burn the sugar)
  5. Flip figs over, remove from heat 
  6. Serve warm with yoghurt, honey and granola

Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt and Granola

 

 

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

I love recipes that can be used in many ways. Sweet pastry is definitely one of them. Once you’ve found a good recipe, there are so many things you can do. Pies, tarts…..and cookies ! This is the same recipe I used for the shell of my Chocolate Pistachio Tart ! But instead of putting them in a tart mold, I cut them into squares and dressed them up with some melted white chocolate ! If you don’t want chocolate cookies, you can easily replace the cocoa powder with flour or even ground almond ! 

  • 120 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 170 g cake and pastry flour (sifted)
  • 10 g unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 20 g white chocolate chips (optional)

Makes about 30 cookies

  1. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until no more lumps
  2. Add egg yolk, mix until blended
  3. Add flour and cocoa powder, mix with the wooden spoon, then transfer onto a table or counter and gently press dough together (just work until ingredients are mixed in)
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Knead dough until pliable
  7. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness on a floured surface, dock with a fork
  8. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters (dough scraps can be re-roll, but only do it once or twice or it may crack)
  9. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart 
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes 
  11. Cool on cookie sheets for about 10 minutes, then completely on rack 
  12. Melt white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly
  13. Drizzle on top of cookies 

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies