Monthly Archives: March 2016

Peach Frozen Yoghurt

I finally got an ice cream machine! Now there are so many more recipes I can do! This is my first one using my new toy. My friend and her kids taste tested it for me and they all like it!

Makes about 1 L
Total time: 30 minutes (for soft serve )

  • 250 g frozen peaches
  • 600 g full fat plain Greek yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure extract
  1. Blend peaches,100 g of yoghurt and lemon juice into a puree
  2. Whisk remaining yoghurt, sugar and vanilla extract until smooth
  3. Add puree to yoghurt mixture, mix well 
  4. Mixture should be cold, if not, you can put it in the fridge for 2-3 hours before churning
  5. Put into an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions
  6. Serve right away as a soft yoghurt or put in air tight container and keep in freezer for up to 1 month

Tools I used and you may like 

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Cuisinart ICE-21C Frozen Yogurt, Ice Cream and Sorbet Maker

You can get this ice cream machine through the Amazon website by clicking the above link.  I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item.

 

Maple Bacon Waffles

I love waffles, especially the Belgian type. They are so soft, light and fluffy! The trick is whisking the egg whites separately first, then folding them back into the batter. The combination of bacon and maple syrup is both sweet and savory. I can’t find a word to describe these waffles other than yummy !

Makes about 5-6 waffles
Total time = 30 minutes

  • 4 strips of bacon (about 4 ounces)
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup cake and pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons warm melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Brush both sides of bacon strips with 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
  3. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 20 minutes until crispy, flipping over once
  4. Place on paper towel to dry and cool
  5. Cut into small pieces, set aside
  6. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl, set aside
  7. Using an electric mixer, at medium then high speed, whisk egg whites until stiff peak is formed
  8. Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, milk, melted butter, vanilla and remaining maple syrup into flour mixture
  9. Fold in egg whites and bacon, do not overmix
  10. Cook in waffle maker according to manufacturer’s instructions
  11. Serve warm with butter, more bacon and maple syrup or desired toppings

Easy Raspberry Trifle

Trifle is a dessert that usually consists of pound cake, fruits, jam, custard and whipped cream.  I changed it to a healthier and easier version by using yoghurt. For the cake base, I used a microwaved mug cake. You can bake your own cake or use a store-bought one.

Makes 3-4 servings
Total time: 30 minutes

For the mug cake

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 60 mL milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Coat inside of  mugs with 1 tablespoon melted butter
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, milk, 2 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla extract and egg until blended (butter may still be warm, add egg at the end to prevent curdling)
  3. Add flour and salt, whisk until smooth
  4. Pour into mugs, no more than half full
  5. Microwave for about 90 seconds

For the trifle

  • 300-400 g mug cake or store-bought cake
  • 100 g fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup pure raspberry jam
  • 200 g vanilla flavoured Greek yoghurt
  1. Coarsely mash raspberries with fork, add jam, mix until blended
  2. Layer cake, raspberry mixture, yoghurt in desired container…..Dig in!

My Favourite Cookbooks – The Good Looking Ones

Starting this month, I will be sharing some of my favourite cookbooks on the blog.
Whenever I go to a book store or library, I always go straight to the Cooking section. Of course I am looking for ideas of what to make all the time, but sometimes, I just love to look at all the gorgeous food photos ! People say most of us eat with our eyes first and I couldn’t agree more. So this week, I have picked a few books that show us some amazing ideas and photos on cake or dessert decorating. 

1. 1,000 Ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes
– Sandra Salomony & Gina M. Brown

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This is my number one favourite ! It showcases many beautiful cakes and cookies around the world for every occasion ! From Christmas, Valentine’s to Halloween, from weddings to kids’ birthdays. I have read this book many many times and I am still in love with it !

2. Sweet: Our Best Cupcakes, Cookies, Candy, and More
– Editors of Food Network Magazine

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This one is my daughter’s favourite ! We both get amazed by the cakes that were dressed in disguised ! A hamburger, a gigantic candied apple, even spaghetti and meat balls ! This book also has many other recipes, including cookies, pies, cakes, bars, etc. It’s a great book for both beginners and more experienced bakers.

3. Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for more than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats
– Bakerella

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When I was first started baking, cake pop is one of the challenges I wasn’t sure if I could do. But it is actually quite simple. And you can be really creative with it. This book has many cute creations that you can easily follow. You can just use it as a basic reference and let your imagination be your guide.

You can find these great books on the Amazon website by clicking on the title of the books. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 

 

 

Carrot Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

These cupcakes are a delightful treat for kids at Easter ! The carrot cupcakes are soft and moist. The marshmallow frosting is fluffy and shiny but actually contains no real marshmallows ! Overall, they contain less fat and are lighter than a regular carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  Hey ! I think I just saw an Easter Bunny taking one of my cupcakes !

Makes about 15 cupcakes
Total time = 90 minutes

For the cupcakes

  • 200 g grated carrots
  • 1+1/2 cups cake and pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Mix in eggs,milk, lemon juice and vanilla
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 portions, mix until blended
  6. Add grated carrots
  7. Pour batter into lightly greased paper muffin cups
  8. Bake in muffin tins for about 20 minutes
  9. Cool in tins for about 5 minutes, then completely on rack before frosting

For the marshmallow frosting

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Put egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a heat-proof mixing bowl, and place on top of a pan of simmering water
  2. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are warm (3-4 minutes)
  3. Remove bowl from heat, continue whisking with an electric mixer until stiff peak is formed (start slow, then increase speed to high)
  4. Add in vanilla
  5. Best to use immediately, may refrigerate for 2 days

Original marshmallow frosting recipe is by Martha Stewart at marthastewart.com

Matcha Green Tea Pudding

Matcha green tea is one of my favourites !  It is served as a tea and is found in many sweets, like ice cream, cakes, cookies, candies, etc. This pudding is another tasty dessert using matcha. As the pudding cools, some matcha powder settles at the bottom which gives the pudding two layers of flavour and texture.  I like mine with sweetened red bean paste, but you can also top it with whipped cream.

Makes about 6 servings
Total time = 3 hours

  • 1 + 1/2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 envelope or tablespoon unflavoured gelatin powder
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sweetened red bean paste or whipped cream
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup of milk, let sit for a few minutes
  2. In a non-stick pot, heat remaining milk and sugar over medium heat until just starting to boil, remove from heat
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk green tea powder in about 1/2 cup of hot milk until no more lumps
  4. Add gelatin mixture, green tea mixture and vanilla into pot, stir until all dissolved
  5. Strain through a fine mesh twice and pour into bowls
  6. Cool, then wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2-3 hours or overnight until set
  7. Top with red bean paste or whipped cream

Banana Maple Pancakes

Who doesn’t like warm fluffy pancakes in the morning ? Sweetened with just banana and maple syrup, they contain no refined sugar. Serve them warm with fresh fruits, butter, or more maple syrup. We just had them for breakfast this morning, yum !

Makes about 4-6 pancakes
Total time: 20 minutes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Whisk in egg, banana, milk, maple syrup and oil
  3. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto a lightly oiled non stick pan or griddle over low to medium heat
  4. Cook about 1-2 minutes until bubbles begin to form on top
  5. Flip pancake over and cook for about 1-2 more minutes until lightly brown

Lemon Coconut Thumbprint Cookies

Can’t believe Spring is already on its way ! The weather is warmer, Cherry Blossom trees are blooming….and my hay fever is back ! Even though my nose is a little itchy and stuffy, I can still smell these delicious cookies. They are loaded with lemon flavour ! I added some shredded coconut around the cookies for extra crunchiness. You can omit it, or use almonds or hazelnuts if you are not a coconut fan.

Total time: 90 minutes

For the lemon curd

Makes about 1/2 cup

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 50 gram unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  1. Whisk together egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice, water and zest
  2. Heat mixture in non-stick pot over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened (mixture should coat back of spoon)
  3. Turn heat off, mix in butter, a few pieces at a time until all melted
  4. Cool, can refrigerate up to 2 weeks

For the cookies

Makes about 20 cookies

  • 1+1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter,at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF
  2. Sift together flour and salt, set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  4. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla
  5. Add flour mixture in 2 portions, mix until blended
  6. Roll dough into one inch balls
  7. Gently crate an indentation in the middle of balls with thumb or tip of a wooden spoon
  8. Coat top of cookies with shredded coconut
  9. Bake for about 10 minutes, take cookies out, gently crate centres again
  10. Bake for another 7-8 minutes until golden
  11. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes, then completely on rack
  12. Spoon lemon curd into centres of cookies