S’mores Bundt Cake

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From overtimecook.com, this showstopper cake can be prepped in under 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

For the graham cracker streusel:

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil

For the chocolate cake:

5 large eggs
2/3 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup soy/almond/coconut milk

For the marshmallow glaze:

1 ½ cups marshmallow fluff
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. boiling water
Optional garnish-graham cracker crumbs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F and spray a Bundt pan well with floured baking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and oil until just combined. Set the streusel aside.

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In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade, combine the eggs, oil, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and vanilla until smooth.

Add the flour, cocoa, and milk, and pulse until just combined.

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Transfer half of the batter to the Bundt pan and cover with about 2/3 of the graham cracker streusel.

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Transfer the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining streusel over it.

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Bake for 50 minutes.

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Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan before inverting.

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To make the glaze, combine the marshmallow fluff, vanilla and boiling water in a bowl. Mix until it is a pourable consistency then drizzle over the cake.

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Sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.

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Macaron

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These are a difficult project. They take a lot of patience, but if done properly can be mastered.

Ingredients:

200 g almond flour
200 g icing sugar
200 g granulated sugar
50 g water
150 g egg whited, divided into 75 and 75, at room temperature

Directions:

Stack two baking trays on top of each other. Line with parchment paper or a silicon mat.

Process almonds and sugar in food processor. Sift out and large pieces of almond.

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Heat water and sugar on the stop. Mix and heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches 245˚F.

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While heating begin whisking 75g egg whites in electric mixer on high. When they have stiff peaks either stop mixer.

Turn mixer on low, slowly pour sugar mixture into egg whites.

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Continue to whip on high for 5-7 minutes until cooled, glossy and firm.

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Mix almond mixture and other 75g egg whites (until just combined).

Fold egg whites into almond meal without deflating. Batter should be thick and flow slowly without over-mixing.

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Scoop into piping bag with circular tip (1/2 inch diameter).

Pipe 1 1/2 inch circles onto baking sheet. Hold piping bag about 1 cm above tray, and move tip quickly off the circle when finished piping.

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If top doesn’t smooth out, use a finger dipping in water to smooth out top.

Allow shells to harden for 30 minutes, tops should be dry and not glossy.

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Preheat oven to 320˚F.

Bake for 15 minutes, rotating halfway through.

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Fill with jam, nutella or buttercream icing.

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Cold Brew Cheesecake with Espresso Ganache

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Adapted from kitchen-tested.com, this cheesecake has multiple layers of coffee and is covered with a rich chocolate ganache topping.

Ingredients:

For the crust:

2 ½ cups chocolate baking or graham cracker crumbs
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the cold brew cheesecake:
24 oz. (three 8 oz. bricks) light cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups light sour cream
3 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup cold brew concentrate
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup espresso liqueur

For the coffee liqueur ganache:

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup whipping/heavy cream
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. espresso liqueur

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper sprayed with nonstick spray.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the “s” blade, pulse together the baking/graham crumbs with the melted butter until moistened.

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Transfer the mixture to the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 325F.

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While the crust is cooling, in a cleaned food processor bowl fitted with the “s” blade, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, maple syrup, cold brew, and salt until smooth.

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Transfer all but ½ cup of the batter to the baking pan.

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Add the espresso liqueur to the ½ cup batter and combine until smooth.

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Drizzle the mixture over the cake and swirl with a toothpick.

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Place a small bowl of boiling water beside the baking pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Turn the oven off but leave the door closed for 15 minutes. Prop the oven door open for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

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Place the pan in the fridge for 4-24 hours. To make the ganache, in a double boiler combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream until smooth.

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Add the butter and espresso liqueur and stir until melted.

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Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake and allow it to set for 30 minutes in the fridge before serving. The ganache will cover any cracks in the cheesecake.

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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.