Apple Pear Galette

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This recipe was based on a previous apple pie I made. I modified it to turn it into a galette which was simple and quick.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tbsp. ice water.
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten + 1 tsp water (can replace with melted margarine to be vegan)

For the Filling:

2 apples, thinly sliced
2 pears, thinly sliced
0.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
1.5 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
a pinch of salt

Directions:

Combine 1/2 cup flour, water and vinegar in a small bowl.

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In a large bowl, combine remaining flour, powdered sugar and salt.

Add margarine (cut into small pea sized balls). Cut into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fork.

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Add wet ingredients to this mixture.

Wrap dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30mins – 1 hour.

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Mix filling ingredients in a bowl.

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Preheat oven to 400˚F

Roll out to approximately 1/8 of an inch.

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Transfer to a cookie sheet.

Place filling on dough with approximately 2 inches of crust around the edge.

Fold crust over top.

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Brush crust with egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

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Bake for 35-45 minutes.

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Elaborate Vanilla Birthday Cake

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This is a vanilla cake that I threw together for a birthday that looked perfect for instagram. It was quite laborious but made during quarantine when we had all the time in the world (which is hopefully over by the time this is being posted, but we’ll see).

Give this a shot to try and impress a crowd.

The cake base is slightly modified from Earl Grey Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla “Buttercream”

Ingredients:

For the Cake:

1/2 cup strained and cooled tea concentrate (I used a vanilla oolong tea – 2-3 tbsp tea + 1/2 cup boiling water)
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 eggs
1 cup 1% milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Icing:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk or cream

For the Ganache:

1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz chocolate chips or dark chocolate

Directions:

For the Cake:

Preheat oven to 350° and spray 2-3 cake pans (depending on layers).

1) Steep tea (in filter) with 1/2 cup boiling water. Allow to cool

2) In a mixer combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on medium speed until well combined (about a minute).

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3) Add butter, a few cubes at a time until the mixture becomes like coarse sand.

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4) Add eggs one at a time

5) Add milk, vanilla and tea concentrate and beat well. Scrape down as necessary

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6) Transfer to prepared cake pans and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on 2 or 3 layers).

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Allow to cool for 1 hour before preparing icing.

For the icing

1) Cream butter. Add vanilla extract and mix well.

2) Add sugar 1 cup at a time, adding milk or cream if not combining

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Ice in between layers and assemble the cake. Trim off excess on the top to ensure layers are even. Use a spatula to smooth out the edges.

I used fondant to cover the cake as well so I only put a “crumb coat of icing” however, you can also transfer the cake the fridge or freezer to cool before adding a top coat of icing.

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For the Ganache:

Before putting ganache on top, make sure cake is cold (in fridge or freezer for > 1 hour.

Melt chocolate and heavy cream over a double boiler until combined. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to cool.

Transfer to piping bag or ziplock and cut a small hole at the bottom.

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Pipe along the edges, pausing to allow ganache to drip down the sides of the cake. Cover the top in ganache and smooth out with knife.

For Decorations:

Top with anything you can find, laying it out in an organized manner. I used a mix of sprinkles, chocolate covered pretzels, candy canes, peanut butter cups, chocolate covered espresso beans and mini eggs. I also used icing to attach crushed mini eggs (using a cast iron skillet and a ziplock) around the edge.

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

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I know, you’re over the sourdough trend – but I was out of yeast and have been trying to come up with other uses of my starter. I settled on sourdough cinnamon buns and they were delicious. If you’ve mastered the starter I highly recommend this recipe.

The base recipe comes from the Clever Carrot and the icing comes from Gimme Some Oven.

If you have a cast iron skillet I highly suggest you use it for this. otherwise use a spring form pan or pyrex.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2/3 cup milk (skim, 1% or 2%)
2 tbsp/28g unsalted butter (+ 2 tbsp/28 g additional)
1 large egg
1/2 cup/100 g bubbly active starter (fed the night before)
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cup/300g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

For the filling:

1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp cinnamon

For the icing:

:
1/2 cup/4 oz cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Melt butter. Add milk.

Put egg, starter and sugar in stand mixer. Add milk mixture and mix wiht paddle.

Add flour and salt and continue mixing until combined. Cover with towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

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Use dough hook and mix for 5 minutes. Add more flour if dough is sticking to sides.

Transfer dough to bowl coated in oil or butter and cover with towel.

Allow to rest for 30 minutes, perform a single stretch and fold. Cover and let rise overnight (8-12 hours).

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Stretch and fold edges toward the centre to deflate dough. turn over and allow to rest for 15 minutes

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Melt 2 tbsp butter. Combine sugar and cinnamon in bowl.

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Roll out dough out to approx. 16 x 12 inches on a floured surface. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture overtop.

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Roll tightly along the long end. I chose to cut them into smaller buns, approximately 1 inch each. I used a serrated knife. You can also use unflavoured floss.

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Place dough in greased or sprayed pan. Allow to rise for 2 hours.

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Bake for 25 minutes at 350˚F.

Allow to cool.

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Mix all icing ingredients in mixmaster with paddle attachment.

Transfer icing to a ziplock and piped onto the cinnamon buns once cooled.

Cranberry Tahini Brownies

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Adapted from Kitchen Tested, this gluten-free recipe uses fresh/frozen cranberries which I much prefer to dried cranberries.

Ingredients:

1 cups raw tahini paste
1 cup coconut or brown sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 ½ cups fresh/frozen cranberries, divided
Sea salt flakes to decorate

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9-x13-inch baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade, combine the tahini, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs, cocoa, baking soda, and salt until smooth.

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Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup cranberries and fold into batter with a spatula. The batter will be thick.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan and scatter the remaining ½ cup chocolate chips and ½ cup cranberries over the top of the batter.

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Bake for 33 minutes. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the baked brownies. Allow to cool before slicing.

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Extreme Lemon Cake

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This nondairy version of a classic Maida Heatter cake has the perfect pairing of lemons and sugar.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

Zest of 3 lemons
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted pareve margarine, room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup almond milk

For the glaze:

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup granulated sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F and spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray.

Combine the zest of 3 lemons and 3 tbsp. lemon juice in a small bowl and set aside.

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Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

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In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the margarine and sugar and beat until fluffy.

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Add the eggs, one at a time.

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Alternately, add the flour mixture and almond milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Fold in the zest/lemon juice mixture.

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Transfer the batter to the baking pan and bake for 55 minutes.

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While the cake is baking, combine the ½ cup lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl.

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Once the cake comes out of the oven, allow to cool for 20-30 minutes and then remove from pan, turning it over.

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Brush the cake liberally with the glaze.

Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This recipe comes from BuzzFeed – I started making these when the recipe was initially published and they were an immediate hit. I made a couple small adaptations by simplifying the instructions, adding milk chocolate chips, and decreasing the sugar. I used a scale to simplify the baking process and ensure accurate amounts.

Instructions:

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar (200 g)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (175 g)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (300 g)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
flaked sea salt

Directions:

Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda)
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Whisk sugars, and break up well (using fingers if needed)

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Add melted butter and mix well.

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Whisk in both eggs and mix well, scrape down the sides. Add vanilla extract.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well

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Add the chocolate chips and mix well.

Scoop into roughly golf sized balls (I used a small cookie scoop). Place on cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days (wrapped in Saran Wrap). You can also freeze them at this point and remove from freezer to bake (add 4 minutes to bake time)

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Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place dough balls approximately 2 inches apart and top with a pinch of flaked sea salt.

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Bake for 11-15 minutes until golden brown.

Banana Bread with Buttercream Frosting

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This banana bread uses an interesting ingredient to make it super moist. Not one you would expect, but with a little explanation it makes sense. Mayonnaise. Yes it sounds weird, but mayonnaise is made up of oil and eggs, two ingredients that make this banana bread super moist.

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Make sure to use super ripe bananas because they are sweeter and have a better texture. Some grocery stores sell their over-ripe bananas at a great deal so look out of them- I got a massive bag of bananas for 99 cents.

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Ingredients:

For the Banana Bread:

6 Medium Bananas
1 cup mayonnaise
2 egg
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

For the Icing:

1 cup butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp milk (depending how thick you want the icing)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line and spray a 9×13 pan.

Mash bananas in a large bowl (or mixmaster). Add mayo and egg and mix well.

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Add flour, baking soda, salt and sugar. Mix until combined.

Add chocolate chips and mix briefly.

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Pour batter into prepared 9×13 pan.

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Bake for 40-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Allow to cool. Remove from pan.

While cooling prepare icing. Cream butter on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.

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Add icing sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with milk. Add vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

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Ice the banana bread and cut into individual slices. I piped the icing on for the pattern here. These can be wrapped individually in Saran Wrap. Store in an airtight container.

Apple Pear Crumble

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This recipe is similar to the previous apple pear crisp, but we’ve adapted it to add a crust and turn it into a crumble. You can also swap out the fruit in the summer for the peach blueberry crisp filling to make a delicious summer crumble.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (or margarine if non-dairy), melted

For the Filling:

3 Apples (Granny Smith), chopped
2 pears (Bosc), chopped
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 ground cinnamon

For the Topping:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cold and cut into small pieces
1/8-1/4 cup melted butter or margarine

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a small bowl, mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter or margarine and mix until combined.

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Press into a circular pie dish or fluted tart pan. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.

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While baking, make the filling and topping.

Mix all ingredients for filling in a plastic bag and shake.

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Mix all ingredients for topping in a bowl. Combine with fork or pastry blender.

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Put filling on top of baked crust, and add toping on top. Bake for 30 minutes and brush with melted butter or margarine and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

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Blueberry Lemon Loaf

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This recipe adapted from Baker Bettie combines blueberries, lemon and a tart glaze.

Ingredients:

For the loaf:

1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup Tofutti sour cream
¼ cup grapeseed/coconut/olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 cups fresh blueberries, divided

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tsp. lemon zest
2-4 tbsp. lemon juice, freshly squeezed

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, process the sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest.   IMG_3326.jpg

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Add the flour mixture and pulse until just combined. The batter will be thick.

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Fold in 1 ½ cups blueberries and transfer to the loaf pan.

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Scatter the remaining ½ cup blueberries over the top of the loaf.

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Bake for 65 minutes.

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Once the cake has cooled, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Add lemon juice until the consistency is thick but pourable.

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Pour glaze on top of cake.

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The Momofuku Milk Bar Cake

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This post isn’t an original or modified recipe, but instead an experience with a recipe. I’ve included a link to the recipe I followed from Bon Appétit. I didn’t make any changes, but altered the proportions to make the cake larger. I made three times the cake batter from the proportions in the recipe and double the crumb and frosting. In hindsight I would have made triple the frosting as well (I ran a little short when assembling the cake).

I’ve included pictures of the process and a photo of the final product however you can follow the instructions and ingredients in the Bon Appétit recipe.

As for equipment, I bought a 10 inch cake pan for assembly at Michaels, and some sheets of acetate paper.

Mixed Dry Ingredients.

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Butter, sugars, and shortening.

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After adding eggs.

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After adding rest of the wet ingredients.

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After adding dry ingredients.

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Batter in prepared pan.IMG_9758.JPG

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Mixed crumb ingredients.

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Mixed frosting.

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Bottom layer of cake pieces.

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Assembled cake.

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