Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds

Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds

After indulging myself over Christmas and New Year, I guess it’s time to make something a little healthier! Chia seed pudding has been on my “to make” list for quite a while, but I’ve been pushing it back. Somehow I associate the word “pudding” with something soft and creamy, not seedy and chewy.  So I ended up making this overnight oats.  It was really yummy, and to my surprise, my daughter loved it ! This is another recipe that can have so many variations. My ratio is roughly, 1 part oats, 2 parts milk and 1/4 part chia seeds, then add sweetener, and toppings.  It makes a great breakfast, or for me, a snack after my morning run !  

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened milk of choice (I used almond and coconut milk)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • toppings of choice, e.g. banana, berries, shredded coconut, almond slices, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc
  1. Combine milk, oats, chia seeds and sweetener in a bowl or a mason jar  
  2. Stir well, cover and refrigerate overnight
  3. Add toppings when ready to serveOvernight Oats with Chia Seeds

 

 

 

Marzipan Cake

Marzipan Cake

I never knew marzipan can be so tasty and so useful in baking ! My first encounter with it was eating some marzipan-filled chocolate. To be honest, I didn’t really enjoy it. Perhaps it was too sweet or perhaps I always prefer eating pure chocolate. But after I learned to make the Eisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies, I absolutely fell in love with it ! With high hopes for myself, I decided to make a cake this time…..but sadly…..I failed twice ! How frustrating ! The “failures” actually tasted pretty good. I realized the problem was the pans I used. For the first time, I used a 9 inch spring-form pan and the cake turned out too flat (It is a denser cake and it won’t rise very much). So I switched to a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf pan. But it took too long to bake through and the outside of the cake was dry and brown. So for the third time, I used an 8 inch cake ring and baked it in a hot water bath and…..Success finally ! I thought I would never make it !  Phew ! Now I get to sit down, relax and enjoy my cake after all that hard work !

Makes one 8 inch round cake 

  • 180 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200 g marzipan, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 120 g granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 60 ml milk
  • 60 g honey
  • Zest of 1/2 orange
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Icing sugar and almond slices for toppings
  1. Grease and flour an 8 inch cake ring  
  2. Wrap bottom with parchment paper, then 2 layers of aluminium foil and place on a rimmed baking trayCake RingCake Ring
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  5. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, marzipan and sugar 
  6. Add eggs, one at a time
  7. Mix in vanilla and almond extract, milk, honey and orange zest 
  8. Add flour mixture in two parts, mix until blended
  9. Pour batter into cake ring (it’s ok if batter is slightly gritty) 
  10. Pour about one inch of hot water in baking tray and bake cake in hot water bath for about 60 minutes  
  11. Cool and remove cake ring
  12. Top with icing sugar and almond slicesMarzipan CakeMarzipan Cake
Espresso Truffles

Espresso Truffles 

2016 has been a pretty busy blogging year for me….Trying new recipes, participating in recipe round-ups, collaborative posts, Gastroposts, etc.  I also took a few pastry courses to improve my knowledge and skills. It’s been fun and rewarding. To treat myself and write my last post for the year, I made these Espresso Truffles with two of my favourite things, coffee and chocolate ! These little balls are so yummy, just one bite can already put a smile on my face and they are surprisingly easy to make ! Looking ahead, I hope to continue to learn, create and share more recipes.  Have a Happy New Year ! Espresso Truffles

Makes about 16 truffles

    • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate (finely chopped)
    • 60 g dark chocolate (70%, finely chopped)
    • 120 mL whipping cream
    • 3 g French Vanilla or other flavoured coffee beans (coarsely crushed)
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • toppings of choice : unsweetened cocoa powder, melted chocolate for dipping (about 8 oz for 16 truffles), sea salt, crushed nuts, shredded coconut, etcEspresso Truffles
  1. Pour whipping cream and crushed coffee beans in a non-stick pot over medium heat until simmering
  2. Pour hot cream through a fine mesh and over chopped chocolate, let sit for about 30 seconds, add vanilla
  3. Stir until smooth
  4. Cool, then put in fridge for about 2 hours
  5. With the help of a melon scooper or a teaspoon, shape about 2 teaspoons each into balls
  6. Roll over desired toppings or dip them in melted chocolate 
  7. Keep in fridgeEspresso Truffles
Eggnog Panna Cotta with Frozen Sugared Raspberries

Eggnog Panna Cotta with Frozen Sugared Raspberries

We love panna gotta and we love eggnog. So Christmas seems to be a perfect time to combine them together!  It makes a great dessert for your holiday dinner.  It is super easy and you can prepare it the day before.  For the sugared raspberries, many recipes use raw egg whites which I am not comfortable with.  I think a simple syrup works just as good. I also like to freeze mine for a little crunchiness.  Have a Merry Christmas everyone !

Makes about 4 servings

For the sugared raspberries

  • 100 g raspberries (wash and dry)
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 60 g vanilla sugar (or you can just use granulated sugar)

For the panna cotta

  • 1 envelope (7g) unflavoured gelatin
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of nutmegSugared Raspberries
  1. For the sugared raspberries, prepare a simple syrup by dissolving 60 g of granulated sugar in 1/4 cup of boiling water, then let cool
  2. Gently brush raspberries with simple syrup and roll in a dish of vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
  3. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 2 or more hoursSugared Raspberries
  4. For the panna cotta, sprinkle gelatin over milk and let sit for a few minutes 
  5. Heat together eggnog, whipping cream and sugar in a non-stick pot over medium heat until sugar all dissolved and just starting to bubble, turn heat down to low 
  6. Add gelatin mixture
  7. Stir until gelatin all dissolved, add pinch of nutmeg
  8. Turn heat off, add vanilla extract
  9. Strain through a fine mesh twice
  10. Pour into ramekins or desired containers
  11. Let cool and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or overnight
  12. Top with frozen sugared raspberries when ready to serve

Eggnog Panna Cotta

Marble Chocolate Bark

Marble Chocolate Bark 

This is probably one of the easiest homemade Christmas treats that you can give to your friends and relatives. And there are so many different ingredients you can use.  All you need are three basics :

  1. chocolate, dark, milk, white or a mix
  2. something chewy, like dried fruits
  3. something crunchy, like nuts, seeds,toffee bits, crushed candy canes

I like mine very simple because I still like to enjoy the chocolate.  So here is my creation !

  • 240 g dark chocolate
  • 120 g white chocolate 
  • 30 g pistachios (remove shells and crush into small pieces)
  • 30 g dried cranberries 
  1. Melt chocolates in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Pour dark chocolate on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spread evenly with a spatula
  3. Drop spoonfuls of white chocolate over dark chocolate
  4. Swirl with a skewer or handle of a spatula to create marble effect
  5. Sprinkle dried cranberries and pistachios 
  6. Refrigerate until firm
  7. Break into pieces

 

 

Eisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies

Eisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies 

This is a cookie that I learned at my pastry course earlier this year. It was one of my favourites. It’s beautiful, festive, delicious and has a cool name! It looks like a railroad track, hence the name Eisenbahner, which means railroad man in German. When I did a google search, almost all the recipes for this cookie are in German. So, I think it’s a great idea to share this in our Canadian Food Creatives and the Canadian Christmas Cookie Exchange round-up. There are 3 parts to this cookie, the base, the marzipan paste and the jam. Yes, it may seem a little complicated, but it’s definitely worth all the work. Hope you enjoy the ride !

Makes about 12 cookies

For the cookie base

  • 120 g cold unsalted butter
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 170 g cake and pastry flour

For the marzipan paste and jam 

  • 200 g marzipan
  • 20 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 30 g icing sugar
  • 30 g honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 100 g raspberry jam (You want the jam to be hot and runny, so you can put it in a bowl and sit in a hot water bath for a few minutes before using)
  1. To make the cookie base, mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until no more lumps
  2. Add egg yolk, mix until blended
  3. Add flour all at once, mix then transfer onto a table or counter and gently knead dough together (do not overmix, just work until ingredients are mixed in)
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  5. To make the marzipan paste, mix together marzipan, softened butter, icing sugar and honey into a thick paste (I found it easier to mix them with hands)
  6. Add egg white, mix until it has a stiff piping consistency (it looks like mash potato and you may not need the whole egg white)
  7. Put in piping bag with a star tip
  8. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325ºF
  9. Take dough out from fridge and knead gently on a floured surface until pliable
  10. Roll it flat, about 0.3 cm in thickness (it’s OK if it cracks a little, just patch it back together)
  11. Cut into two 6 cm x 25 cm rectanglesEisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies
  12. Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper until edges just starting to brown, about 8 minutes
  13. Cool, then brush a thin layer of hot jam in between the 2 sheets 
  14. Pipe marzipan paste along edgesEisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies
  15. Turn oven up to 425-450ºF at broiler setting
  16. Bake 2-3 minutes just to caramelize the marzipan paste (watch closely, as it can burn very quickly)
  17. Cool, then fill centre with hot jamEisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies
  18. Cool completely, cut into pieces, dust with icing sugarEisenbahner (Railroad) Cookies

Original recipe by Chef Marco Ropke at the Vancouver Pastry Training Centre.

Be sure to check out the links below for more cookie recipes from other Canadian Bloggers.  You can also find them on social media using the hashtag #CDNFoodCreatives . Many thanks to Laura Irvin at The Blue Nose Baker , Kacey Joanette at The Cookie Writer and Evelyne Budkewitsch at The Cultureatz for organizing.

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Orange and Cranberry Scones

Orange Cranberry Scones 

The weather here in Vancouver has been very rainy and windy lately. Often, I just feel like staying home all day. I made these scones a few days ago to warm and lift myself up.  Orange and cranberry is one of my favourites.  The two flavours just work together like magic ! With a cup of coffee….Mmmmmmmm, so comforting and delicious ! Scones are actually pretty easy to make, they freeze well too, so you can make and cut the dough ahead and bake later.  You don’t need to thaw them, just take them out when you are preheating the oven.  But keep in mind, the baking time will be slightly longer. 

Makes about 8 scones

  • 360 g all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 120 g granulated sugar 
  • 120 g unsalted butter (chilled and cut into small pieces)
  • Zest of 1/2 small orange 
  • 60 g dried cranberries 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 30 mL orange juice 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract 
  • 50 g melted dark chocolate for drizzling (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt
  3. Mix in sugar
  4. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in by hands until resembles coarse crumbs
  5. Add orange zest and cranberries 
  6. Add egg, buttermilk, orange juice and vanilla and orange extract, mix until blended
  7. Transfer dough to a floured surface, and press together to form a round disc about 1/2 inch thick
  8. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 to 2 hours
  9. Cut disc into 8 triangular wedges Orange and Cranberry Scones
  10. Bake on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for about 20 minutes
  11. Serve warm with butter or drizzle with melted dark chocolate Orange and Cranberry SconesOrange and Cranberry Scones