Tag Archives: recipes

Blueberry Tarts

I feel like I need 48 hours a day ! I seriously do. I have so many things I want to do, so many things I have to do but just not enough time…..I know I sometimes over-schedule myself, but at the same time, I feel the most productive this way….So yes, this post was done much later than I planned, but at least I manage to do it before the end of July! ūüėÖ

How can I not make something out of blueberries in the summer! We are so lucky to have some locally grown blueberries and I would buy at least 20 lbs of them! This is a super easy recipe. You can make the tart dough ahead of time and freeze it until use. Try to spoon the fillings in just before serving so the tart shells won’t get soggy.

Makes about three 4-inch tarts or six to eight mini tarts

For the tart shells

  • 120 g cold unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 180 g cake and pastry flour, sifted
  1. 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 350¬ļF
  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 molds, trim off excess dough
  9. Bake for about 12 minutes till golden, let cool

For the blueberry fillings

  • 300 g fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 15 mL lemon juice
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 15 g corn starch
  1. In a non-stick pot, heat blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest over medium heat
  2. When mixture starts to boil, sift in corn starch
  3. Mix until thicken, then let cool

Right before serving, spoon blueberry fillings into cooled tart shells

Caramel Brownies

Compared to many parts of Canada, our winter in Vancouver has been very mild…..until 2 days ago ! A snow pile just dumped onto us in a matter of hours ! Seriously, I was still jogging in the morning at 9 am, it was cold, but no snow. Three hours later, everywhere was covered in white ! I guess it’s our turn to experience this cold snowy winter ! And what does a baker do when it snows ? Bake of course ! So I made these brownies and also had time to decorate a whole bunch of Valentine’s cookies ! The snow has made me more productive !

I like my chocolate desserts very chocolaty, and I mean VERY……And this brownie is not only chocolaty, but also soft, fudgy and chewy ! Who can say no to that ? Especially if you are making it for your Valentine’s ! Make sure you don’t overbake, in fact, a good brownie is often slightly underbaked. It’s best to serve them warm, reheat in the oven for a few minutes if you need.

Happy Valentine’s Day !

Makes about 10 – 12 brownies
For the batter

  • 180 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate
  • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 240 g granulated sugar
  • 5 ml vanilla extract
  • 135 g all-purpose flour
  • 2 g baking powder
  • 2 g salt
  • 10-12 caramel candies

For the caramel sauce

Melt together 30 caramel candies (about 240 g) and 1/2 cup of whipping cream in a non-stick pot over low heat until well blended, stirring frequently

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļF
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Melt butter, chocolate and cocoa powder in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, let cool for about 5 minutes
  4. Whisk together eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale
  5. Mix in chocolate mixture
  6. Add flour mixture and mix until blended, the batter can be quite thick
  7. Spoon half the batter into lightly-greased silicone molds, place a caramel candy in the middle, cover with remaining batter and bake for about 20 minutes
  8. Cool slightly, drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm

Mini Apple Walnut Loaves

When my kids were younger and were still in Scouts, we used to sell apples to raise money every September. It takes quite a bit of courage for a 6 and a 9-year-old to go up to strangers and ask for donations. It was such a good experience and I was so proud of them. Now that their interests have changed and we are no longer in Scouts, I really miss those years of fund-raising, camping, hiking and all the other activities that we have done….¬†¬†

Fall is the apple season and there are so many different kinds of apple. Gala is my favourite ! It’s not too big, it’s sweet and has the perfect texture for eating or baking. And I made these mini loaves with walnuts the other day. They taste best when warm….and even better with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream ! I like to¬†make them in mini loaves as you don’t need to bake them as long and can freeze them very easily for later.¬†¬†

Makes 4 mini loaves (dimensions of pans: 5.75 x 3.25 x 2.25 inches)

  • 360 g all-purpose flour
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 4 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 3 g ground cinnamon
  • 100 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g demerara or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 mL vegetable oil
  • 150 g sour cream
  • 10 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 400 g diced apples, about 3-4 apples (I used Gala, washed, peeled and cored)
  • 120 g coarsely chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350¬įF
  2. Lightly oiled and floured 4 mini loaf pans
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, set aside
  4. Whisk together eggs and sugars until frothy, mix in oil, vanilla and sour cream
  5. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just cooperated
  6. Stir in apples and walnuts
  7. Pour batter into 4 loaf pans and bake for about 35-40 minutes

 

Tools that I used 

Chicago Metallic 59440 Commercial II Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pans, Set of 4

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

Baked Matcha (Green Tea) Doughnuts

My family took a trip to Japan this summer and we had so much fun ! It’s a really fantastic country to travel. It’s clean, organized, modern yet traditional, there is so much to see. And the food was soooo good ! From fresh sashimi, ramen, to crepe, and everything matcha…..mmmmm, they were all super delicious !

fresh sashimi, teppanyaki, ramen, takoyaki octopus balls

creme brulee crepe, matcha parfait, soft cheesecake, pancake skewer

I think the only part we didn’t enjoy was the heat and the crowd. But we were actually very lucky, as Japan was hit by a powerful typhoon soon after we left, and also an earthquake in Hokkaido…just hope everything is ok…

Matcha (green tea powder) is really popular there, not only as a tea, but in many desserts ! Mochi, cake, cookies, ice cream, shaved ice, parfait, latte……the list is endless ! I wish I could bring all of them home….or I can try making them myself ! Here are my Baked Matcha Doughnuts ! They are as delicious as the fried ones but “matcha” more easier to make !

Makes about 8-10 doughnuts

For the doughnuts

  • 75 g all-purpose flour
  • 75 g cake and pastry flour
  • 60 g granulated sugar
  • 5 g matcha powder
  • 3 g baking powder
  • 1.5 g baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 150 mL buttermilk
  • 45 mL vegetable oil
  • 2.5 mL pure vanilla extract

For the glaze

  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 2 g matcha powder
  • 15-20 mL milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 ¬ļF
  2. Sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and matcha powder, set aside
  3. Whisk together egg and sugar until frothy, mix in buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract
  4. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix until just combined
  5. Pour batter into lightly-greased doughnut pans
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, let cool in pans for 10 minutes, then completely on rack
  7. To make the glaze, sift icing sugar, whisk in milk until smooth
  8. Sift matcha powder and add a little at a time into icing mixture, whisk until no more lumps
  9. Dip one side of doughnuts into matcha glaze, best to serve within one day

Blackberry Cream Cheese Puffs

This is the third recipe of my berry series ! The stars this time are blackberries ! They tend to be more tart than other berries but are equally delicious. And instead of a muffin or a pie, I want to make something more fun. My daughter has been asking me to make cream puffs, so why don’t I put the two together ?! Blackberry and cream cheese go so well together. And WOW ! It turned out with such a pretty colour! Choux pastry is so magical, it turns into light and airy puffs without any leavening agents. And you can fill the puffs with any flavour of cream or custard, even just a spoon of whipped cream. Be sure to eat them immediately for best tasting…..but hey, they are so yummy and I guarantee they are not going to last ! 

 Makes about 10-12 puffs 

For the fillings

  • 100 g fresh blackberries
  • 250 g soft cream cheese
  • 60 g icing sugar, sifted
  1. Puree blackberries with a blender, strain through a fine mesh to remove seeds, should yield about 60 g of puree
  2. Beat cream cheese until fluffy, add icing sugar, beat until smooth
  3. Add blackberry puree, mix until blended
  4. Store in refrigerator until use 

For the choux pastry puffs

  • 200 mL water
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 2 g salt
  • 30 g  granulated sugar
  • 120 g all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  1. Heat together water, butter, salt and granulated sugar in a pot over medium heat until just starting to boil
  2. Turn heat down to low, add flour all at once
  3. Stirring constantly, cook until a thin film of paste formed at the bottom of the pot or about 5 minutes if using a non-stick pot
  4. Transfer paste to a bowl and cool down
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350¬ļF and prepare piping bag with desired piping tip
  6. Add eggs to paste, one at a time and mix well after each addition
  7. Transfer to piping bag and pipe onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper 
  8. Bake at 350¬ļF  for about 15-20 minutes until starting to brown, turn heat down to 325¬įF and bake for another 25-30 minutes until golden (if puffs are under baked, they will collapse after taken out)
  9. Turn heat off, leave puffs inside oven for about 10 minutes with oven door ajar
  10. Take puffs out, let cool  

To assemble

  1. Cut puffs in halves with a serrated knife, spoon or pipe blackberry fillings in middle
  2. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately 

Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream 

Our summer has been pretty hot, I am not complaining, it’s been great ! And nothing is better than having a bowl of ice cream on a hot summer day…..and it’s homemade ! Blueberries are in season, so why not make good use of them ! This recipe is really simple, yet flavourful. No kidding, it’s probably the best ice cream I have ever made ! It looks amazing too ! I am so glad I bought the ice cream machine, trust me, it’s totally worth it !  Oh, here are some extra tips …….

  • Don’t skim on the dairy if you want your ice cream to be rich and creamy, use full fat
  • Make sure your mixture is very cold before putting into the ice cream machine
  • Don’t mesh all of the blueberries when making the compote if you want some “blueberry crunch” in your ice cream

Hope you will give this a try and have a great summer !

Makes about 1 L

  • 150 g blueberries 
  • 30 g granulated sugar (adjust if needed)
  • 10 mL lemon juice 
  • 250 g soft cream cheese 
  • 250 mL whipping cream
  • 250 mL full-fat milk 
  • 180 g granulated sugar 
  1. To make the blueberry compote, cook blueberries, 30 g of sugar and lemon juice over medium heat 
  2. Turn heat down when liquid starts to bubble 
  3. Gently mesh blueberries with back of wooden spoon and cook until slightly thicken 
  4. Let cool then refrigerate until use 
  5. Blend cream cheese, whipping cream, milk and sugar together for a few minutes until smooth 
  6. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until mixture is very cold
  7. Pour into ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions 
  8. Spoon and swirl blueberry compote into ice cream 
  9. Freeze until serve 

Fruit Pizza (For Canada Day) 

‚ÄčSummer is here and that means…..lots of berries ! I love to eat them fresh, but also like to use them to make pies, tarts, ice cream, etc…….Just thinking about it makes me soooo excited ! To start off my “berries season”, I made this simple fruit pizza ! It’s basically a giant cookie, top with cream cheese and fruits ! I picked strawberries and raspberries just in time to celebrate Canada Day, but you can also use blueberries, blackberries, even kiwi and banana. It is so easy to put together and I think it is a nice, refreshing dessert for your summer backyard BBQ. Have a Happy Canada Day !¬†¬†

Makes about four 7″ pizzas

For the “pizza” dough

  • 170 g all-purpose flour¬†
  • 170 g cake and pastry¬†
  • 3 g baking soda¬†
  • 2 g salt
  • 120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 180 g granulated sugar¬†
  • 1 egg
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract¬†
  • 30 mL lemon juice¬†
  • Zest of 1 small lemon¬†

For the toppings

  • 250 g soft cream cheese
  • 60 g icing sugar
  • Fruits of choice¬†
  1. Preheat oven to 325¬įF
  2. Sift together flours, baking soda and salt, set aside 
  3. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy 
  4. Add 1 egg, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest, mix until blended 
  5. Mix in flour mixture, 1/3 at a time until just cooperated (do not over mix)  
  6. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is formed (dough can be stored in fridge or freezer for later use)
  7. Roll out to about 0.5 cm in thickness 
  8. Cut into large circles using a plate or a cake ring (You can collect the dough scraps all together and re-roll, cover unused dough with a damp cloth or plastic wrap)
  9. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper 
  10. Bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool
  11. Beat together cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth
  12. Just before serving, spread cream cheese on top of giant cookies, top with fresh fruits