Tag Archives: sweet

RECIPE: Angel Lush Cake

Birthday week has hit our household. Every June, my family enters both a treat coma and goes into partial debt from all the cake that is consumed and presents that are bought. We have three birthdays within five days: my Dad’s on the 5th, mine on the 7th, and my brother’s on the 9th. But I’m not complaining. Birthday’s are notorious for specialized baked goods and that’s right up my alley. A couple of days ago, I asked my Dad what type of cake he wanted for his birthday. I immediately felt stupid for asking because I already knew the answer. He asks for the same type of cake every year. That, my friends, is angel food cake with whipped cream and berries.

I’ll admit that there isn’t anything special about angel food cake in terms of baking. In fact, angel food is the only type of cake that I will use a box mix for. It is way more convenient and although I have never actually tried, I have heard that making it from scratch is quite the challenge (but don’t let me deter you–if you want to try making it from scratch, all the power to you!). What makes angel food so delicious are the toppings. The cake is naturally very light so the whipped cream adds a little bit of density and the berries obviously contribute a bit of sweetness. It is a great dessert for those who are trying to watch their figure and who like fruity flavours as opposed to rich and decadent.

What Will You Need?

  • A box of “Angel Food Cake”
  • A package of fresh strawberries (frozen may be used as well, but I prefer fresh)
  • Half a package of fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. fruit juice (any kind)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • A carton of whipping cream
  • Additional sugar for sweetening the whipping cream

Prepare the angel food cake according to the directions on the box mix. Ensure that it is baked at least 4-5 hours before the intended serving time to allow complete cooling. Meanwhile, wash all of the berries in cold water. Place in a strainer and allow to slightly dry. Cut the strawberries into smaller pieces, discarding any bruised or white spots. Place in a medium sized bowl. Add the blueberries. Pour the fruit juice over the berries and sprinkle with sugar. Stir, ensuring that all of the berries are coated. Cover and place in the fridge. In a separate bowl, beat the whipping cream until it forms soft peaks. Add additional sugar to taste and continue to beat until it has reached a desired consistency. Cover and place in the fridge until serving.

What you do next is totally up to you. If you are planning on presenting the cake and are sure that it will all be eaten immediately, top the cake with the whipping cream and berries. However, what we usually do is cut the cake into pieces and then top each individual piece with the desired amount of toppings. This is only because the cake doesn’t all get eaten at once so it prevents the cake from getting soggy with the toppings. But do whatever your little heart desires–it all tastes delicious!

As always, my Dad loved the cake! He gobbled his piece up very quickly. His birthday was actually yesterday but there are still some leftovers that we have all been working away at. It tastes just as delicious the next day as it did the first. If you aren’t a “berry” person, it can be topped with whatever toppings you desire. Whipped cream with chocolate drizzle? Whipped cream with mangos and pineapple? Whipped cream with an orange glaze? Mmm…I’m getting a rumbly tummy just thinking about all the possibilities.

To finish off, I just wanted to share a couple of instagram photos. The first photo is some of the berries that ended up in our tummies. The second photo was taken by my Dad on his birthday when I asked him to hold my phone (complete and total mistake), and the final photo is my leftover piece of cake that I devoured this afternoon.

Happy Birthday to any of you June babies! Thanks for reading–I hope you have a delicious Wednesday.

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RECIPE: Caramel Walnut Cake (Happy 81st Birthday, Grampa)

The days and hours were counting down until my Grampa’s birthday dinner, and I was wracking my brain for the perfect cake recipe to celebrate with. I searched through many of my favourite baking blogs, failing to find any recipes that Grampa would be thrilled with. He doesn’t like cheesecakes and tends to lean more towards the sugary-sweet flavours over chocolate or fruits. After finally asking my Grandma, she suggested something maple or caramel. Suddenly, the perfect recipe shed light into my unhopeful and failing hunt.

I came across this recipe for Double Caramel Cake through Pinterest (of course). The recipe comes from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody where she titles it “The Cake That Broke My Will”. I strayed from the original frosting recipe a teeny-weeny bit, so my version is more like fudge on top of a cake. I ain’t complaining. It is fairly sweet but definitely worth every bite. I also added in a few nuts–walnuts to be exact–for a little bit of crunch. Before I begin, I just want to put a little disclaimer out there: I am in no way a skilled cake decorator. No matter how hard I try, my cakes are always hideous. Please look past the fact that this cake looks ridiculous and just trust the fact that it tastes fantastic.

So, ready to make something deliciously sweet?

Caramel Cake

Melt the 1/3 cup of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Continue to stir it until it turns an amber colour. Remove from heat and slowly stir in the 1/4 cup of boiling water. It will become syrupy. Allow it to cool.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour two matching pans. Beat the softened butter and additional sugar together until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 4 tablespoons of the syrup mixture, mixing well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another separate container, combine the milk and the vanilla. Alternately add the flour and the milk mixtures to the wet mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, beating well after each addition. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake for 25-35 minutes (depending on the strength of your oven). The cakes will be done when the centres are fully puffed up, the edges are browned, and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool for 10-15 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Caramel Fudge Frosting

Cut the rounded top off of one of the cakes (this will be the bottom layer). In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, but continue to stir constantly. Continue boiling until it reaches a “soft ball” state. You will know it reaches this state by dropping a drop of the syrup into a cup of cold water. If it holds it’s shape fairly well and can be removed from the water, it has reached a “soft ball” state. Remove the syrup from heat and stir in the butter. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Beat in the vanilla extract and beat for 2-3 minutes as the syrup thickens. Add the icing sugar and beat until combined. Immediately spread some of the frosting on the bottom layer, sprinkle with nuts (if desired) and place the second layer on top. Quickly frost the top of the cake and sprinkle with additional nuts. Voila!

The cake is really rich, but it is worth trying. The actual cake part is moist and just has a faint flavour of caramel, where as the frosting adds that extra punch of flavour and sweetness. The original frosting recipe makes more of a caramel glaze, which I imagine would taste fantastic as well. Make it the same way but omit the icing sugar.

To leave off, I thought I would just share an instagram photo of the birthday celebration. I hope you are all having a wonderful week. It’s Wednesday–hump day–which means we’re half way there. Blessings!

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RECIPE: Raspberry Macaroons

Coconut always has and always will be a favourite flavour of mine. A hint of coconut in anything is a delicious addition. From oatmeal cookies to skor bars, fruit smoothies to muffins–coconut is exactly what most treats need to taste just a little bit sweeter. As for macaroons, they’re about as good as it can get!

When I first came across the recipe for Raspberry Macaroons, I was instantly enthralled. I’ve never considered making a duel-flavoured macaroon. I decided to give them a try, and sure enough, the sweetness of the macaroon mixed with the tartness of the raspberries was incredible.

This recipe doesn’t require too many ingredients. They can be made with either fresh or frozen raspberries. I drizzled them with white chocolate to add the extra hint of sweet but they could easily be dipped or just simply left to fend for themselves (trust me, they’ll survive).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bags of sweetened coconut (400 grams in total)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh raspberries or 3/4 cup of frozen (thawed)
PROCESS
Preheat the over to 325 degrees and spray baking pans. Quickly beat the coconut and the sugar together. Add the egg whites, salt, and almond extract and beat for an additional minute. Add the raspberries. Scoop the batter onto the pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are browned. Let them cool on the tray for a few minutes, but then transfer to a cooling rack. Melt some white chocolate and drizzle over top (if desired).
That’s it! To reference the original recipe, head over to Smitten Kitchen. These treats make a delicious addition to any sweet tray or serve well as a simple tea-time snack. They are sweet and tart and store in the fridge for quite a while. Thanks for reading!
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A Family Classic: Butterscotch Squares

When you say “butterscotch“, I usually say “ew!”. I hate the flavour of butterscotch. I used to give my mom such a hard time because whenever Chipits were on sale, she would always stock up on the butterscotch chips instead of the chocolate ones. I hated that. I would scrounge the cupboards for chocolate chips and all I would find were bags and bags of disgusting butterscotch ones.

Although I always have (and probably always will) hated butterscotch, there is one recipe that I just can’t get enough of. The reason I even bothered mentioning my hate for butterscotch is so that you can take my word for it when I say that this recipe is truly delicious–butterscotch and all! My grandma used to make this recipe all the time, and as a result, my mom does too. Anytime squares or cookies are needed for any event, she is quick to volunteer (well, volunteer me or my sister) to make these guys.

The squares have a slightly crunchy bottom (it’s baked on it’s own first) and a gooey, sweet top. They contain coconut (honestly…what can taste bad when coconut is involved?) and of course butterscotch chips. They leave your fingers sticky but I’m not complaining–perfect for saving for later. Kidding (but not really).

In order to make these delicious treats, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup of butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup of coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend together the butter, powdered sugar, and flour. Pat down into a well greased 8″x8″ baking pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes. While the crust is baking, mix together the condensed milk, butterscotch chips, coconut, and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the baked crust and return the pan to the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes. The squares will be done when they are golden brown and the middle appears to be set. This may require the edges to be quite browned. Remove from the oven and cool. Using a sharp knife, cut around the edges of the pan. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Now isn’t that easy? To serve them, my mom usually cuts off the crunchy browned edges (although these are the best to snack on) and serves only the gooey parts. These truly are delicious and I encourage you to try them. But be warned that once you taste one, there’s no going back! I hope your Monday is a little more bearable with some sweet treats in sight…even if they do involve butterscotch! Thanks for reading and let me know if you try them and like them (or try them and don’t). Either way, I’d love to hear from you!
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Gooey Butter Tarts

After a long day at school, I got home and ripped through my kitchen cupboards, fridge, freezer, and pantry in search of a sweet treat. Much to my dismay, I couldn’t find anything that tickled my fancy. But luckily, I did find a few frozen tart shells and so I decided to make one of my favourite treats…

Butter tarts hold a special place in my heart. My grandmother used to make the most delicious butter tarts that were runny and so deliciously sweet. My grandmother passed away a couple of years ago (actually, just the other day was the anniversary of her death) but butter tarts always make me think of her amazing baking (maybe one day I will share her apple pie recipe–best apple pie EVER) and the beaming smile that occupied her face as she made all of her special treats. In celebration of the blessing she was in my life, this blog post is dedicated to her…

Dorothy Pearl Wideman.

Now let’s get to the goods. The following recipe comes straight from a classic church cookbook. Church cookbooks always have the best recipes because the elderly women submit authentic, traditional recipes for all sorts of things. This particular recipe is definitely a favourite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12-15 tart shells, can be either homemade pie crust or pre-made frozen tart shells
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup of corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • Nuts and/or raisins, optional

PROCESS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If using pre-made frozen tart shells, line them up in their foil wrappers on a baking sheet. If you are making your own shells, spray your pans appropriately and prepare the shells. If using raisins and/or nuts, place the desired amount in the bottom of each tart shell.
  2. Combine the slightly beaten egg, brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. Fill each tart shell 2/3 full of the mixture.
  4. Bake the tarts for 12 to 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on the tarts to ensure they do not burn. The extra time should allow the bottom of the tart pastry to bake appropriately.
  5. Cool tarts and enjoy slightly warm.

These delicious tarts are not quite as runny as my grandmother’s but they sure are delicious. They are significantly easy and quick to make, so it is a great recipe if you are suddenly craving a sweet treat or if your company is expected to come sooner than expected.

Enjoy your baking and make some memories!

It looks like Cookie Monster has got his eye on something delicious…

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