desserts

  • Company’s Coming: Top ten last-minute desserts Company’s Coming: Top ten last-minute desserts

    Company’s Coming: Top ten last-minute desserts

Company’s Coming: Top ten last-minute desserts

  We’ve all experienced the familiar panic of an unexpected visitor. The phone rings, so-and-so is in the neighbourhood, and they’d like to drop by later in the day. “Only for a coffee,” they insist.But if you’re anything like me, serving only coffee would go against every hostess philosophy I’ve ever subscribed to.If you have a few tricks up your sleeve, your guests need never know that you were sweating under pressure.First and foremost, before you start to hyperventilate, open up your pantry and freezer and see what you have. Vanilla ice cream is a great start, as you’ll see from my top ten list below. Or maybe you have a box of cake mix. Why not use that heart-shaped muffin tin you bought ages ago and make mini cakes? Sprinkle them with confectioner’s sugar, carefully place a couple of ripe raspberries on top, and no one will be the […]

  • Butterscotch spiral coffee cake Butterscotch spiral coffee cake

    Butterscotch spiral coffee cake

Butterscotch spiral coffee cake

  If you love cinnamon buns, you’re going to love this gorgeous coffee cake with an adult twist. So many times, delicious coffee cakes are baked in loaf pans, and they just don’t have the same wow factor. I found this recipe in a new book I purchased, “Baking for All Occasions” by Flo Braker, which I have been poring over for weeks now. There are few photos in this 396-page book but it is full of tips about technique and variations on old classics. Already, dozens of ripped Post-it Notes are peeking through the pages. This was the first recipe I tried from this book and it won’t be the last. The wafting smell of cinnamon was enough to win me over from the beginning. Below, you will find the recipe with some adaptations. Yield: One 9-inch round cake, 14 to 16 servings. Dough Ingredients2 1/2 to 2 3/4 […]

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  • Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

    Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

  I’d been dying to make red velvet cupcakes and what better opportunity than for a Pink Party with some of my friends. (Yes, the frosting is a deeper pink, but for some reason my camera didn’t capture the exact hue.)I used this recipe from the Food Network site, but I must offer some caveats. My oven is slow to heat up, but once it does, it always goes above the temperature it’s supposed to be.I should have kept a closer eye on these cupcakes, but I didn’t, and for that reason, they were a little more dry than I would have liked. This meant the red wasn’t quite so vibrant in the outside layer. To be safe though, I think I would use more food colouring than the recommended amount in the future.My main pet peeve, though, as my husband discovered when he found me sulking in the kitchen […]

  • Nigella’s cherry chocolate trifle Nigella’s cherry chocolate trifle

    Nigella’s cherry chocolate trifle

Nigella’s cherry chocolate trifle

  I bought this glass bowl just to make this trifle for Christmas. If chocolate custard and sour cherries and chocolate pound cake don’t spell Christmas dessert, what does? In my mind, Christmas dessert should be indulgent, should be creamy, should be luscious, moist, decadent. Should make you feel guilty. Hence – cherry chocolate trifle. I must admit, I’m a sucker for Black Forest cake, so the ingredients in this pudding were a no-brainer. Even if you don’t like Black Forest cake, however, chances are you’ll fall head over heels over this one.If you don’t have a trifle bowl, like I didn’t, try a large glass bowl. As long as your guests can see the layers of gooey, luscious, decadence, it will do.Here’s the recipe, as created by Nigella Lawson. You can also find it in her book “Nigella Feasts”: Ingredients:2 (approximately 12 ounces each) chocolate pound cakes 1/2 cup […]

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  • Cupcake Decorating 101: My Designs Cupcake Decorating 101: My Designs

    Cupcake Decorating 101: My Designs

Cupcake Decorating 101: My Designs

  When I signed up for an all-day designer cupcake decorating class at Bonnie Gordon’s School of Confectionary Arts, it was all I could do not to tell everyone who crossed my path. Her wedding cakes have been featured in countless magazines and Hollywood movies and I’d been drooling over her cakes for years. While I can say I am confident with my baking abilities, I was always intimidated by decorating.I did my best copying the finished product in my cookbooks, but I stayed away from pastry bags, and tips, and coloured buttercream. No more! Not only did I come home with seven beautiful cupcakes, but a bag full of gel food colouring, a cupcake turntable, piping and decorating tips, and even fondant and gum traganth. In this class, we learned how to make: spiced apple cupcakes, cappuccino cupcakes, coloured fondant, chocolate glaze, chocolate frosting, and of course, the ever-elusive […]