Tag Archives: dessert recipes

Frozen Banana Pops

I love bake, cook or do crafts with my kids whenever they are free, especially my daughter. Spring break is here and it’s a perfect time to have some fun together.  I love to do them with my son too, but I think he has “outgrown” that stage…Well, he would still cook some noodles for himself as he loves them. These banana pops are super easy and they made a great healthy snack. It can get a little messy with the melted chocolate but that’s the best part mom, right ?!  Our favourite topping is the maple roasted pecans,  you can find the recipe here…..Carrot Spelt Muffins with Maple Roasted Pecans

Makes about 12-16 pops

  • 300 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate 
  • 3-4 bananas (Do not use bananas that are too ripe, otherwise they will be too soft to work with)
  • Toppings of choice (sprinkles, roasted nuts, shredded coconut, etc) 
  1. Place toppings in separate dishes 
  2. Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, cool slightly 
  3. Slice bananas into big chunks 
  4. With the help of a fork, coat banana chunks with melted chocolate, tap off excess 
  5. Roll in desired toppings 
  6. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper 
  7. Insert popcicle sticks 
  8. Freeze until frozen 

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 

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

Choux Pastry Puffs 

I was going to call these Cream Puffs, but my daughter insisted that these are cream sandwiches ! She said cream puffs should have a hole to fill the cream inside the puffs… OK, OK… So, now I call them Choux Pastry puffs ! Whatever it’s called, they look cute and are absolutely delicious ! (Actually I think Choux Pastry Puffs sounds fancier !) They will be a perfect dessert for your upcoming holiday dinners! 

Makes about 16 puffs 

  • 200 mL water
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g  granulated or vanilla sugar 
  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar, plus more for dusting, sifted 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 50 g semi-sweet chocolate (melted), for drizzling
    1. To prepare the whipped cream, place a mixing bowl into freezer for about 15 minutes 
    2. Using an electric mixer, whisk together whipping cream, 2 tablespoons of icing sugar and vanilla, in the cold mixing bowl, until stiff peak is formed 
    3. Refrigerate until use 
    4. To prepare the choux paste, heat together water, butter, salt and granulated or vanilla sugar in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil
    5. Turn heat down to low, add flour all at once
    6. Stirring constantly, cook until a thin film of paste formed at the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes
    7. Transfer paste to a heat-proofed mixing bowl and cool down
    8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF and prepare piping bag with desired piping tip
    9. Add eggs to paste, one at a time and mix well after each addition
    10. Transfer to piping bag and pipe into rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, no bigger than 2 inches in diameter Choux Pastry Puffs
    11. Bake at 350ºF  for about 12-14 minutes until starting to brown, turn heat down to 325°F and bake for another 15 minutes until golden (if puffs are under baked, they will collapse after taken out)
    12. Turn heat off, leave puffs inside oven for about 15 -20 minutes with oven door ajar
    13. Take puffs out, let cool on baking sheets, then completely on rack Choux Pastry Puffs
    14. Cut puffs in halves, fill centres with whipped cream
    15. Drizzle with melted chocolate and dust with icing sugar, serve immediately Choux Pastry Puffs

Matcha (Green Tea) Mochi 

Mochi is one of my favourite desserts ! It’s sweet, soft, chewy….. just delicious. Traditionally, it is made by steaming a short-grain rice called mochigome, then it is mashed and pounded with wooden mallets in a mortar. I saw a video on YouTube on the fastest mochi maker in Japan. Wow !  It sure takes some serious skills and labour ! (Here is the link if you are interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmSrULDVRPc).

Of course I don’t have those skills and tools. This recipe uses sweet rice flour and is very simple. The red bean paste matches so well with the green tea flavour.  With a cup of green tea, I feel like I am in Japan……I wish ! 

Makes about 8-10 pieces

  • 150 g sweet red bean paste (coarse or fine)
  • 180 g sweet rice flour (mochiko)  
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 60 g granulated sugar 
  • 300 mL water
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (for dusting) 
  1. Scoop red bean paste with a teaspoon into small balls (about 1/2 inch) 
  2. Place in freezer for about 15 minutes 
  3. Mix together sweet rice flour, matcha powder and sugar in a large microwavable bowl 
  4. Add water, mix well 
  5. Microwave on high for 1+1/2 minutes, remove and stir, then microwave on high again for about one more minute (each microwave oven is different, you may need to adjust the time) 
  6. Cool slightly for about 5 minutes 
  7. Place a piece of parchment paper on work surface and dust generously with potato starch 
  8. When dough is still fairly warm, spoon about 1-2 tablespoons each onto dusted parchment paper (dough is very sticky)
  9. Put a red bean paste ball in the middle, wrap and seal by pinching the edges together 
  10. Dust with more potato starch if needed to prevent sticking (you can dust off the extra with a pastry brush when mochi is cooled
  11. Place seal side down on a tray lined with parchment paper  
  12. Cool and serve. You can keep them in an air-tight container for up to 2 days at room temperature 

Matcha (Green Tea) Mochi

 

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

 

 

Raspberry Swiss Roll

The other night, my daughter said,”mom, I want some cake ! ” , but I didn’t have any at home and it was a little too late to bake.  So the next day, I decided to make a Swiss Roll, using some fresh raspberries that I had.  The first attempt……not so good, I put too much filling in and did a bad job in rolling, so it looked more like a Halloween cake with “blood” all over.  Lucky the cake tasted pretty good, so my daughter could at least have some tasty cake.  The second time around, much better.  I tried not to use my electric mixer and do everything by hand. It came out perfect! I actually learned that when making meringues, you can get more volume whisking it by hand. Also you don’t need to worry about overbeating, cause you sore arms will tell you to stop! I used raspberries as the filling, you can switch it up easily with other fruits, whipped cream, Nutella, even peanut butter.

Makes one log (about 6-8 slices)

For the raspberry filling

  • 350 g fresh raspberry
  • 60 g granulated sugar (adjust to your own taste)
  • 15 mL lemon juice

For the sheet cake

  • 4 eggs (separated)
  • 120 g granulated sugar (20 g is used for the meringue)
  • 75 g cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • icing sugar for dusting

Meringue

  1. Prepare raspberries by heating them together with sugar and lemon juice in a non-stick pot over medium heat
  2. Turn heat down to low when liquid starts to bubble
  3. Gently mash raspberries with a wooden spoon, cook until thickened
  4. Strain seeds, let cool
  5. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Lightly grease a 8″ x 10″ baking tray and line bottom with parchment paper 
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat together egg yolks and 100 g of sugar until pale
  8. Add vanilla and the flour, mix until blended
  9. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites, and cream of tartar until frothy, then add sugar slowly, a little at a time, and whisk until medium peak is formed
  10. Gently fold meringue into batter, do not over mix 
  11. Pour into baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes until golden
  12. Let cool, but still a little warm to touch
  13. Gently invert cake and place on top of another piece of parchment paper
  14. Carefully remove top sheet of parchment and trip sides of cake
  15. Spread a very thin layer of raspberry sauce on top
  16. Gently roll cake up
  17. Dust with icing sugar

Raspberry Swiss Roll