Tag Archives: fbcigers

Date Energy Balls

Except my sweet tooth, I think I have a fairly healthy lifestyle. I exercise regularly, I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, drink a lot of water. I try to avoid eating too much carbs and fat. And about a month ago, I started doing kickboxing classes ! Yes, isn’t that crazy ?! It is a pretty strenuous workout, but it’s a lot of fun ! And what a great way to release my stresses…..you know, I can just imagine I am punching my “enemies” …. LOL ! And after all the hard punching and kicking, I made these energy balls to treat myself ! They are delicious, nutritious and super easy to make ! Loaded with vitamins and minerals, they sure can give me a kick of energy before or after my class ! Medjool dates and nuts are however, fairly high in calories, so just keep in mind not to indulge yourself too much….even though they are so tasty and healthy !  

Makes about 12 balls

  • 90 g blanched almonds (or other nuts)
  • 250 g medjool dates (about 13-14 pitted dates)
  • 10 g chia seeds 
  • 15 g hemp protein powder 
  • 25 g cocoa powder 
  • 15 mL coconut oil 

  1. Put dates into a food processor and pulse until they are in small pieces 
  2. Add all other ingredients and blend until well combined
  3. Roll into one-inch balls
  4. Keep in refrigerator 

 

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Strawberry Mousse Cake

I first made this cake for my son’s 13th birthday last year. He specifically wanted a strawberry cake. It came out alright…but the cake was slightly dry and the mousse layer was too thick…..

My son’s birthday cake

I have been wanting to remake and “upgrade” it ever since, but never had a chance. It’s Mother’s Day, so I thought this is the perfect time! I added a jelly glaze on top to brighten both the colour and flavour. Each of the three layers has a different texture but they match very well together. It looks much prettier than last time too! I can now share it with my mom and my family. Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms! I wonder what my kids are doing to surprise me this year…….

Makes one 6 inch cake

For the cake

  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 75 g cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 1 g salt
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 5 mL fresh lemon juice
  • 30 mL vegetable oil

For the mousse and jelly glaze

  • 400 g fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 160 g granulated sugar
  • 10 mL fresh lemon juice
  • 250 mL cold whipping cream
  • 4 x 1 g gelatin sheets

To make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  3. Whisk together egg yolks and 60 g of sugar until pale
  4. Mix in vanilla and oil, then gently fold in flour mixture
  5. In a separate bowl, make a meringue by whisking together egg whites and lemon juice until frothy
  6. Slowly add in 15 g of sugar, whisk until medium peak
  7. Gently fold meringue into flour mixture
  8. Pour batter into a lightly-greased 6 or 7 inch cake pan, lined with parchment paper at the bottom (see notes)
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes
  10. Let cool, then trim top and side of cake

Notes : I baked my cake in a 7 inch springform pan and trimmed it to fit into a 6 inch cake ring. You can just bake and assemble your cake in the same pan.

To make the mousse and jelly glaze

  1. For the mousse, place a large mixing bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes
  2. Soak 3 gelatin sheets (1 g each) in cold water for a few minutes
  3. Blend strawberries and strain seeds out through a mesh
  4. Add sugar and lemon juice, and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved
  5. Set aside half of the puree for the glaze
  6. Drained gelatin and add to remaining puree, stir until dissolved, let cool
  7. Whisk whipping cream in the cold mixing bowl until stiff peak
  8. Fold in strawberry gelatin mixture until just blended
  9. Pour on top of cake, smooth with a spatula and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours until set
  10. For the jelly glaze, soak 1 gelatin sheet in cold water for a few minutes
  11. Reheat the saved strawberry puree over medium heat
  12. Add drained gelatin and stir until dissolved
  13. Let cool, pour on top of mousse layer and refrigerate for another 3-4 hours until set
  14. Release cake from pan or ring and decorate as desired

Homemade Pop Tarts

My daughter loves to read ever since she was very young, and she loves all kinds of books…novels, science, history, comics and even cook books ! So, a lot of times, our bedtime reading will include looking at recipes, sweet or savoury, and deciding what we should try. Pop tarts was one of them that’s on the top of our list. It’s easy, colourful, fun and of course, super yummy ! Personally, I like them without the sprinkles, but my daughter will definitely disagree. She had so much fun putting on the glaze and the sprinkles….yeah, might be just a little too much…..    

Makes about 6 tarts

For the crust

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 20 g granulated sugar
  • 2 g salt
  • 240 cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
  • 2 eggs
  • 30 ml milk
  • 5 ml pure vanilla extract

For the glaze 

  • 120 g icing sugar 
  • 30-45 ml milk

Other ingredients

  • Fruit jam of choice (I used raspberry)
  • 1 egg white for brushing
  • 30 g vanilla sugar or granulated sugar 
  • Sprinkles for decorating
  1. To make the glaze, mix together icing sugar and milk until smooth, set aside
  2. To make the crust, put flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl
  3. Rub in chilled butter with fingers until butter is pea-sized
  4. Mix in eggs, milk and vanilla
  5. Gently press dough together, do not knead
  6. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight
  7. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F
  8. Roll dough to about 0.5 cm in thickness. If dough was in the fridge overnight, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before rolling
  9. Cut into 8 cm x 12 cm rectangles (2 rectangles per tart)
  10. Place half of the rectangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  11. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of fillings on top
  12. Brush sides with egg white and cover with the other half of rectangles
  13. Press sides gently to seal, then press down with a fork
  14. Make a few holes on top to vent
  15. Brush top with egg white and sprinkle with vanilla sugar or granulated sugar
  16. Bake for about 30 minutes
  17. Cool, then decorate with glaze and sprinkles

Coffee Cake Muffins 

The past month has been super busy! Kids were on spring break, we went for a mini vacation to Portland with my parents. I came back to start a new pharmacy job, meanwhile trying to prepare for 3 Spring markets….. I was basically working 14-16 hours a day! It was exhausting but I had so much fun doing the markets. I love to share my baking passion and people’s responses are very positive and encouraging. I also love meeting and talking to other artisan vendors. It makes me really appreciate the time and effort that they put into their art, whether it’s food related or not. So go visit your local artisan markets and I am sure you will discover some very amazing local vendors and their products.

This is a recipe I did a while ago. I usually try to have one or two “spare” recipes so I can keep posting when I am busy. It’s a very simple muffin recipe but the crumble makes them taste so good! It’s a perfect afternoon snack with a cup of coffee! And definitely need it on my 16 hour-day!

Makes about 12 

For the muffins

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 4 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 180 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 60 mL canola oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 300 g sour cream
  • 10 mL pure vanilla extract

For the crumble

  • 60 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 90 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 g ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. To make the crumble, mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt
  3. Rub in cold butter with fingers until resemble wet sand, set aside
  4. To make the batter, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda
  5. Mix in sugar and salt
  6. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream, melted butter and oil, stir until just blended
  7. Spoon half of the batter, then half of the crumble into lightly oiled and floured muffin tins
  8. Layer with the remaining halves
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes

Recipe adapted from Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins with Streusel Topping at www.justataste.com

Baked Nutella Churro Nests 

​We love churros ! Well, who doesn’t ? I have been hoping to make some for a long time. But personally, I cannot eat too much fried food. Not that they don’t taste good, my very sensitive stomach just can’t handle a lot of oil. I guess that’s both a good thing and a bad thing……

I remembered watching a video in which people make churro ice-cream bowls, what a great idea ! So I thought, since Easter is coming up, why don’t I bake some churro bowls and turn them into little nests ! I decorated mine with some feuilletine that I have, which is a crispy crumb mixture of crepes. You may be able to find them in some specialty kitchen store. I got mine from the Gourmet Warehouse in Vancouver. Or you can just use cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks, even some popcorns. With some chocolate eggs on top, they look exactly like little nests ! And I am sure the kids are going to love them ! Have a Happy Easter ! 

Makes about 8-10 nests 

For the nests (choux paste)

  • 200 mL water
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract

For the fillings

  • 7.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 45 g granulated sugar
  • 30 g unsalted butter, melted
  • Nutella spread
  • Cookie crumbs, pretzel sticks or feuilletine
  • Easter chocolate eggs
  1. To make the cinnamon sugar, mix together ground cinnamon and granulated sugar, set aside 
  2. To prepare the choux paste, heat together water, butter, salt and demerara or brown sugar in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil
  3. Turn heat down to low, add flour all at once
  4. Stirring constantly, cook until a thin film of paste formed at the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes
  5. Transfer paste to a heat-proofed mixing bowl and cool down
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375ºF and prepare piping bag with large star piping tip 
  7. Add vanilla, then eggs to paste, one at a time and mix well after each addition
  8. Transfer to piping bag and pipe into domes on back of oiled muffin tins
  9. Bake for about 25 minutes until starting to brown, turn heat up to 450°F at broil setting and bake until top is golden (about 2 -3 minutes, watch closely, as they can burn very easily)
  10. Take puffs out, let cool
  11. Brush outside with melted butter then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  12. Fill inside with about a tablespoon each of Nutella
  13. Decorate with crumbs and chocolate eggs, best to serve immediately 

Tools that I used

Wilton Decorating Tip 6B

 

DayMark IT112793 18″ PipingPal Plus Disposable Pastry Bag with Dispenser (Roll of 100)

You can get the piping tip and bags the Amazon website by clicking the above link. I will receive a small compensation if you purchase the item. 
 

Maple Pecan Tart 

“Pee-can” or “Puh-kahn”, no matter how you pronounce it, pecan is a very delicious and nutritious nut ! It’s high in fibre, healthy fats, magnesium and many other vitamins and minerals. It contains quite a bit of calories though, so don’t overindulge yourself if you have to watch your calorie intake. (Yeah, I know how hard that is, especially with this yummy tart !) I originally made a pecan pie, but I just felt that a buttery and crumbly tart would work better, and with the maple syrup…..Mmmmm, just so rich, aromatic and satisfying !

I found this beautiful rectangular tart mold in a discount store a few weeks ago and it’s perfect ! At first, I was worried the tart would break cause it’s so long, but it came out really nice ! My only problem now is to resist having a second piece ! 

Makes one 4″ x 14″ rectangular or one 9″ round tart

For the tart 

  • 120 g cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 180 g cake and pastry flour, sifted

For the filling

  • 150 g pecan halves
  • 100 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 40 g granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 40 mL maple syrup
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  1. To make the tart, 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 with the wooden spoon, then transfer onto a table or counter and gently knead 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. Place inside slightly greased tart mold, trim off excess dough 
  9. Bake for about 8 minutes, let cool 
  10. Toast pecan in a pan without any oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, set aside and let cool 
  11. Whisk together eggs and sugars until frothy 
  12. Add maple syrup, vanilla and cornstarch and melted butter, whisk until blended 
  13. Stir in 1/2 of toasted pecans (try to save the better pieces to put on top later)
  14. Put filling into cooled tart shell and top with remaining pecans 
  15. Bake for about 40 minutes until crust is golden and filling is set
  16. Cool slightly, serve warm 


Strawberry Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is one of my daughter’s favourite desserts. She loves it plain with just a bit of vanilla flavour, but I prefer some fruits with it to cut down the richness. Valentine’s Day is coming up, so I made this panna cotta with strawberry sauce on top. It’s easy, tasty and perfect for the occasion ! The best thing for me is, my daughter and I can both enjoy it, with or without the sauce ! You can also use other fruits like mango, passion fruits, coconut or other berries. Happy Valentine’s Day ! Hope we all get to spend some time with our loved ones !  

Makes about 6 servings

For the panna cotta

  • 350 mL whipping cream
  • 150 mL milk (at least 2%)
  • 45 g granulated sugar
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 6 g gelatin sheet or 1 envelope of gelatin powder

For the strawberry sauce

  • 360 g fresh strawberries (washed, hulled and cut into small pieces)
  • 90 g granulated sugar (adjust if needed)
  • 15 mL fresh lemon juice
  1. To make the panna cotta, bloom gelatin sheet in cold water until soft (alternatively, you can sprinkle gelatin powder over about 50 mL of milk)
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat whipping cream, milk and sugar over medium heat
  3. Turn heat off when liquid starts to bubble, add vanilla
  4. Gently squeeze out excess water from softened gelatin sheets and add into pot (or add the milk gelatin mixture if using powder), stir until all dissolved
  5. Pour into desired containers, cool then refrigerate until set, about 3-4 hours (To avoid a skin from forming, you can use a plastic wrap, pressing gently on top of the panna cotta when setting)     
  6. To prepare the sauceheat strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a non-stick pot over medium heat
  7. Turn heat down to low when liquid starts to bubble
  8. Cook until thickened, let cool and puree
  9. When ready to serve, spoon strawberries sauce over panna cotta, decorate with finely chopped chocolate if desired