• Lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce Lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce

    Lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce

Lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce

  Lemon-scented desserts remind me of breezy summer nights on the Amalfi coast, where every dessert menu features at least one, if not more, lemon-infused delights and trees hang low with the weight of the luscious fruit. Lemon-based sweets are just tart enough to awaken the senses but sweet enough to soothe them too. No one can turn down a slice of lemon meringue pie, or lemon poppy seed loaf. Lemon is just subtle enough to win over dieters but also to satisfy anyone with a serious sweet tooth. This year for Mother’s Day, I asked my mother what kind of dessert her taste buds desired, and she asked for a lemon cake.I knew this cake would have to travel well, so I crossed my recipe for lemon meringue tart off my list. When I found this recipe for Ina Garten’s lemon yogurt loaf cake with blueberry sauce, I was […]

desserts; Barefoot Contessa, Most Popular|Comments Off on Lemon yogurt cake with blueberry sauce
  • Welcome Baby Boy Cupcakes Welcome Baby Boy Cupcakes

    Welcome Baby Boy Cupcakes

Welcome Baby Boy Cupcakes

  I made these for the arrival of a friend’s bouncing baby boy. These aren’t quite as pretty as my pretty in pink cupcakes, or as whimsical as my Easter egg nest and Star of Bethlehem cupcakes. But they are perfect gifts for new parents of baby boy, or even to make for a baby shower. And I am definitely getting more adventurous since my days making simple cappuccino cupcakes with chocolate frosting and dragees, and a bit more skilled at using my piping tips since I made my spiced apple walnut cupcakes with brown sugar butter cream and red and green piped hearts.The best news of all? I’ve finally mastered the art of defrosting butter cream after making too much. So how do you defrost butter cream after freezing it?First, make sure you pack it in tightly sealed Tupperware container and don’t forget to place a layer of plastic […]

  • Baci di dama, or chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies Baci di dama, or chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies

    Baci di dama, or chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies

Baci di dama, or chocolate-filled hazelnut cookies

  When I was 16, my Sweet Sixteen present from my parents was a trip to Belgium and Holland. During the day, I wandered around Antwerpen by myself as my father had business to conduct. Sure enough, this meant drinking lots of coffee at outside cafes. I was pleased to discover there a small sweet treat always accompanied my coffee – perhaps a chocolate square, or a buttery cookie. And so when I saw a recipe for the hazelnut-based, chocolate-filled cookies, or baci di dama (which means lady’s kisses) in a Gourmet issue from 2004, I ripped it out with the intention I’d make it to serve alongside espresso. And it stayed in my recipe folder ever since this weekend.You can find the same recipe at this Epicurious link if you are so inclined. Unlike the use of the more traditional almonds, however, this recipe uses hazelnuts, which I much […]

  • Easter egg nest cupcakes Easter egg nest cupcakes

    Easter egg nest cupcakes

Easter egg nest cupcakes

  I know it’s a bit early to be making Easter-themed cupcakes but ever since I saw the Cadbury eggs perched atop cupcakes in one of my books, I’ve been dying to make my own version. I got the idea for the toasted coconut from Williams Sonoma’s version of Easter cupcakes, I thought it would be more realistic looking than coloured butter cream. Another great idea would have been to use kataif, a shredded wheat-material type of Middle Easter dessert, which food blogger extraordinaire Shuna Fish Lydon recommended over Twitter. Alas, I had lots of flaked coconut on hand so that’s what I used. For those who are wondering, the cupcakes are lemon-flavoured, with lemon butter cream.

Christmas desserts, cupcakes, Easter, Most Popular|Comments Off on Easter egg nest cupcakes
  • Mini-financiers au miel Mini-financiers au miel

    Mini-financiers au miel

Mini-financiers au miel

  These morsel of honey-almond goodness are underwhelming at first glance. But anyone who’s taken a bit out of the dense dough is unable to resist “MMMMing.” That’s because it’s hard to believe these small beige bites could hold so much honeyed, almond flavour. I like to serve these financiers, made in a mini muffin pan if you’re not lucky enough to get an authentic financier pan, with coffee and tea and fruit. This recipe comes from the mignardises chapter in the Chocolate & Zucchini book, from which I’ve made the chocolate-dipped hazelnut marbles in the past. If you always happen to have blanched almonds lying around, like I do, this is a great recipe to turn to in a pinch, when guests are coming over and you only have bruised apples in your fridge. Dusoulier says the financier is usually rectangular in shape and resembles a gold ingot, therefore […]

French; dessert; sweets, Most Popular|Comments Off on Mini-financiers au miel
  • Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake

    Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake

Bahama Mama Banana Rum Cake

  Ever since my trip to Bahamas this fall, I have been resenting the fact that I had to rush out of the airport without buying a box of the famous Bahamian rum cake.So I had my eye on this recipe in Jill O’Connor’s “Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey” for several weeks after buying the book. Of course, I didn’t realize the night I made this cake would forever be seared into my brain as the night of the “Carbon Monoxide Drama.” I had just pulled it out of the oven, and settled in to watch a movie with my sister when the carbon monoxide detector went off, alerting me to call 911 immediately. Sure enough, dispatch put me through to the fire department immediately, and warned me to leave my house. Within minutes, a fire truck with flashing lights pulled up to my street, a dashing firefighter leaped over a […]

  • 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 […]

desserts, Most Popular, Nigella Lawson, trifle|Comments Off on Nigella’s cherry chocolate trifle
  • 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 […]

  • Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts

    Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts

Barefoot Contessa’s tomato and goat cheese tarts

  Ina Garten has never steered me wrong. Whether I’m making her strawberry cheesecake recipe, coq au vin, or French chocolate bark, her recipes always come out just right. As one of my friends once remarked, Garten’s husband seems to have the best life in the world as he seems to appear at the end of her cooking show just when she is pulling her food out of the oven. Sure, the Barefoot Contessa’s creations aren’t “good food fast” or “speedy supper” recipes — they take time. If you’re in a rush, this book isn’t for you. But isn’t that what getting “Back to Basics” all about? I made these tomato and goat cheese tarts for dinner, accompanied by Parmesan pork chops, and a cold beet salad with goat cheese, pecans, red wine vinegar and freshly chopped basil. Here’s a recipe adapted from the “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics” cookbook. […]