Tag Archives: fall recipes

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Cake 

For Thanksgiving this year, I want to make something that I haven’t made before and is easy to put together. So I made this Pumpkin Cake ! I kept it light by using vegetable oil in the batter and just a small amount of butter in the frosting. I figured everyone might be running out of stomach space after a hearty turkey meal ! The maple walnuts are optional, but they are REALLY good and make the cake a lot more flavourful ! My daughter is usually my taste tester, but this time I got my mom to try it …..and she ate 2 big pieces of it, I guess that means it’s approved ! Happy Thanksgiving !

Makes one 8-inch square cake

For the cake 

  • 150 g canned or homemade pumpkin puree 
  • 200 g cake and pastry flour
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 3 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 5 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 90 mL vegetable oil
  • 90 mL buttermilk
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

For the frosting 

  • 250 g cream cheese, softened
  • 60 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract 

Optional toppings

Mix about 60 g walnuts with a tablespoon of maple syrup and toast in a 350°F oven for about 8 minutes.

  1. To make the cake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Line bottom of baking tray with parchment paper, lightly grease and flour the sides
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking power, baking soda, salt and spices
  4. Mix in sugar
  5. In another bowl, mix together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla
  6. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just blended
  7. Fold in pumpkin puree
  8. Pour into baking tray and bake for about 25-30 minutes, let cool 
  9. Evenly trim off top and sides with a serrated knife 
  10. To make the frosting, beat together cream cheese and butter until creamy
  11. Add icing sugar and vanilla, beat until smooth
  12. Spread over top of cake
  13. Top with toasted walnuts if desired 
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Spiced Pear Tart 

My kids love to eat any kind of pears ever since they were little, Anjou, Barlett, or Asian. Pears are all very sweet and tasty no matter how you eat them. You can enjoy them raw, cook, bake, poach, etc. They are also a good source of fibre and vitamin C. It’s pretty hard not to love them ! Fall is the season for pears, so I used some Barlett pears and made this Spiced Pear Tart. I spiced up a basic short crust  for the tart shell. The dough freezes well, so you can make it ahead of time. It can also turn into yummy cookies ! So don’t throw away the trimmings after you make the tarts. Just gather them together, roll it, cut it with cookie cutters and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350°F ! I baked mine into leaves and used them as garnish ! You can adjust the amount of spices used according to your taste, both in the tart shell and the fillings. I actually would prefer a bit spicier, but my daughter said this is perfect for her palate. Well, I have to listen to my little boss ! The tarts taste delicious on their own, but my little boss likes them with vanilla ice cream, even better !  

 

Makes four 4-inch tarts or eight 2-inch mini tarts    

For the tart shell 

  • 120 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces 
  • 75 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 180 g cake and pastry flour 
  • 3 g ground ginger 
  • 2 g ground cinnamon 
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Pinch of nutmeg 

For the fillings 

  • About 3-4 pears (wash, peel, core and cut into chunks)
  • 60 g brown sugar 
  • 3 g ground ginger 
  • 3 g ground cinnamon 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

For the crust 

  • 60 g quick oats 
  • 30 g all-purpose flour 
  • 30 g brown sugar 
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted 
  1. To make the tart shells, sift together flour and spices 
  2. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until blended
  3. Mix in egg yolks
  4. Add flour mixture all at once, mix, then transfer onto a surface and gently knead dough together until everything just combined
  5. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  7. Knead dough until pliable
  8. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness on a floured surface, dock with a fork
  9. Place inside slightly greased tart molds, trim off excess  
  10. Bake for about 8 minutes, let cool
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the fillings by mixing pear chunks with brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla 
  12. Spoon into cooled tart shell 
  13. Mix all crust ingredients together and spoon on top of fillings
  14. Bake at 350ºF for about 25 minutes until golden 
  15. Serve warm 

 

 

Baked Cinnamon Doughnuts (with Butterscotch Glaze and Toasted Walnuts) 

Another school year has just started ! I can’t believe my son is in high school ! He is certainly excited to move on and become an official teenager, and I am happy to see him growing up and becoming more independent. But as a mom, I would never stop worrying about him ! Is he doing well at school, is he making new friends, and are they good kids, etc….Luckily, my kids and I are very close, and we would talk about almost everything…..I am sure there are things they don’t want me to know !

Since the kids are back to school, I finally have a little more time to work on my recipes. These cinnamon doughnuts are nice surprise ! I was trying to make some cinnamon apple waffles but they didn’t turn out right. So, I switched and made doughnuts instead. And I am so glad  I did ! They are so soft and tasty even without any toppings. But hey, why not kick them up 2 more notches ! The butterscotch glaze is heavenly ! No kidding, my daughter would have “drunk” the whole bowl if I didn’t stop her ! The toasted walnuts are really nice too, they add extra flavour and crunchiness. Pecans would also be a good alternative. You can refrigerate the extra butterscotch sauce for up to 1 week. Rewarm and drizzle it on some vanilla ice cream, and you’ll have another dessert !  

Makes about 12 doughnuts     

For the doughnuts

  • 300 g all-purpose flour 
  • 6 g baking powder 
  • 3 g baking soda 
  • 2 g salt 
  • 6 g ground cinnamon 
  • Pinch of nutmeg 
  • 30 g brown sugar 
  • 30 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 300 mL buttermilk 
  • 60 mL vegetable oil 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 

For the butterscotch glaze  

  • 60 g unsalted butter 
  • 120 mL whipping cream 
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract

You will also need about 90 g walnuts 

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF 
  2. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 10 minutes, let cool and crush into small pieces
  3. Turn oven up to 350ºF
  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, add both sugars
  5. In another bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract 
  6. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just blended 
  7. Pour batter into lightly greased doughnut pans and bake for about 12 minutes, let cool
  8. To make the glaze, cook butter and whipping cream in a small non-stick pot over medium heat until butter melts
  9. Add sugar and salt , stir continuously until thicken and smooth  
  10. Add vanilla, let cool slightly
  11. To assemble, dip one side of doughnuts into the glaze, then the crushed walnuts, best to serve immediately

 

Butterscotch sauce recipe adapted from Mark Bittman, “How to Bake Everything” 

 

Books and Tools

 

How to Bake Everything: Simple Recipes for the Best Baking

Wilton Nonstick 6-Cavity Donut Pan

You can get the doughnut pans and the cookbook through the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 

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

 

 

Pumpkin Tart

It’s Thanksgiving tomorrow. My daughter drew a picture and wrote a list at school about what she is thankful for. She made a long list, but the one I like the most was “I am thankful for my hilarious brother!” For myself, I am most thankful for having two lovely kids….they make me laugh, cry….they give me the energy to keep going but they also burn me out……Hope everyone have a good Thanksgiving!
This is actually my first time making pumpkin pie.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out.  So I decided to make a mini version to experiment.  And I have some tart shells left in the freezer, so it’s a perfect time to use them up! I prefer a sweeter and milder taste, so I didn’t use too much spices.  But you can adjust the amount to your own taste.

Makes about 24 tarts

  • 1+1/2 cup pumpkin puree, preferably homemade (420 g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 24 store-bought small tart shells
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Whisk pumpkin and eggs
  3. Add brown sugar, spices, salt and cornstarch, mix until blended
  4. Add whipping cream and vanilla, mix well
  5. Pour into tart shells and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes 
  6. Top with whipped cream when cooled

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

There are so many recipes you can do with pumpkins, sweet or savory. They are not only for carving and making jack-o’-lantern ! Freshly made pumpkin puree tastes much better than canned and it costs less.  Use it to make your muffins, pies, cheesecakes, soup, etc.  You can also save the seeds and roast them with olive oil and salt for a healthy treat !

Makes about 2-3 cups puree

  • Two medium-sized pumpkins
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. Wash pumpkins, cut stems off, scrape out seeds and fibre
  3. Cut pumpkins into large pieces
  4. Bake on baking sheets lined with parchment paper for about 45 minutes until fork-tender
  5. Remove skin, puree with blender

It can be stored in the fridge for up to one week.