Friday, June 29, 2012

Cocoa Almond Meringues

In a weeks time I will be going to Paris for four days. I am super excited! It will be just me and my hub! Although we are going to see a concert of the amazing Regina Spektor, my sweet, sweet husband decided to turn it into a four-day journey. I have to admit...he knows how to treat a birthday girl! It's been a while since we went to Paris so I've been scouring the internet looking for fun things to do (besides the obvious) and great places to eat. To get in a bit of a Parisian mood ( get even more in the mood) I decided to make something very Parisian....Meringues.

These meringues are almost like macarons without filling. The almond and chocolate provide a wonderful texture, making these meringues light as air and crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy and chocolatey on the inside. Yum!

They are a breeze to whip up and will disappear all too quickly. I can't wait to make these again...and again! Once again Dorie Greenspan delivers with a great recipe!


Cocoa Almond Meringues

Yield: about 30 meringues


1 cup confectioners' sugar (plus a little extra for dusting)
1/3 cup finely ground almonds
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
4 large egg whites, room temperature
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup very finely chopped bittersweet chocolate


Preheat the oven to 150˚C (300˚F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a medium bowl sift together the confectioners' sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder. Set aside.

Beat the egg whites and salt on medium speed in an electric mixer until the whites are opaque. Increase the speed and add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue whipping until the whites are firm and hold stiff peaks, but are still very shiny.

Beat in the vanilla.

Quickly but gently fold in the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula.  Then fold in the chopped chocolate. Try to deflate the egg whites as little as possible, but it will deflate some.

Drop tablespoons of meringue on the baking sheets, with about 2 inches between each meringue. Dust the tops of the meringues lightly with a little confectioners' sugar.

Bake the meringues for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 100˚C (200˚F) and bake for 1 more hour. Do not open the oven door during this time.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the meringues cool in a cool, dry place until they reach room temperature.

Store in an airtight container.

 Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Who doesn't love a good chocolate chip cookie? Right? Right! There are about 3.465.298 different chocolate chip cookie recipes in existence and you probably have about 52 favourite recipe that you like to use, but I'm going to ask you to add one more to your repertoire.

These cookies are seriously delicious! Chock full of texture, the ingredients work together and make something truly spectacular. The peanut butter isn't overwhelming, chopped peanuts and chocolate chips make it chunky and the oatmeal provides texture. All in all it makes for one great cookie.

They are easy to make and pass out to people around you. But you're going to have to be willing to hand out the recipe!

The recipe comes from what has quickly become my favourite cookbook: Baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. If you haven't bought it already... I strongly suggest getting a copy! So far every recipe has worked and I've tried out a few (or maybe a lot).


Chunky Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chipsters

Yield: about 60 cookies


3 cups oats (old-fashioned)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, room temperature
1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, not natural)
1 cup sugar
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2-3/4 cup chopped peanuts


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a medium bowl whisk together the oats, flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.

Beat together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat for about 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, beating until just blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped peanuts.

Drop tablespoons of dough on the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches in between. Slightly flatten the dough with a spoon.

Bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes, rotating the sheets after 7 minutes, until they are golden and just firm around the edges.

Transfer the cookies, carefully, to cooling racks. The cookies will firm up as they cool.

 Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

If the weather is warm there is nothing I crave more than ice cream. Unfortunately most ice creams involve a lot of work and if you're working with a custard based ice cream it's even better to start making it a day in advance. Not really what you're looking for when it's hot outside... enter this Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt. This is about as lazy as you can get. You slice some strawberries and let them soak with some sugar. Put all the ingredients in a blender, refrigerate and pour it into your ice cream maker. But even that was too much work for me.

A while ago I bought a massive amount of strawberries and put lots of them in the freezer, thinking that there are a lot of ways I can use those strawberries... and boy, was I right, because these frozen strawberries are perfect for making this ice cream. I just tossed the strawberries right into the blender along with the other ingredients. Flipped on the blender and just let the blender work its magic. Because of the frozen strawberries, the mixture becomes very thick, it's already almost frozen. After this I just poured it into the ice cream maker (no refrigeration necessary!) and let it churn for about 20 minutes. So with this combination you can have strawberry frozen yoghurt in 30 minutes! Wooohoooo! I foresee a summer filled with this ice cream!


Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt

Yield: about 1 quart


1 pound strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vodka or kirsch (optional)
1 cup plain yoghurt (whole milk, but non-fat works also)
1 teaspoon lemon juice


If you're using fresh strawberries, slice them and toss it in a bowl with the sugar and vodka (or kirsch). Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Set aside and let stand for about 1  hour. If you're using frozen strawberries, just skip this step.

Put the yoghurt, strawberries and lemon juice into the blender and purée until smooth.

If you've used fresh strawberries refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour.

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Monday, May 28, 2012

Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries

On weekdays we never have the time to make much of breakfast. Erik leaves really early (and I mean reaaaaly early) and I'm not much of a morning person.  I try to keep it as simple as possible so my head can process what is going on and make sure everything gets done on time.

But in the weekends I do love to make a bit more work of breakfast. This isn't always possible, but I'm always so happy when I can give my family something special, and more importantly, something delicious.

These pancakes are, despite the long title, easy to whip up. They are fluffy and flavourful, filled with chocolate chips (because, let's face it... what doesn't taste better with a bit of chocolate in it?) and the strawberries are divine and go great with these pancakes. And although it isn't shown in the pictures....we topped these pancakes off with a bit of whipped cream, making it a bit over the top. It feels like you're eating a dessert for breakfast and well...who doesn't like that!


Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes with Vanilla Strawberries

Yield: a lot of pancakes, we even had some leftovers...


For the pancakes:
2 eggs
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk and 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt)
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips

For the strawberries:
1 pint strawberries
2-4 teaspoons vanilla sugar (or 1/4 vanilla bean and 2-4 teaspoons sugar)


Start by cutting the strawberries into slices. Put the sliced strawberries in a bowl and add the vanilla sugar (I always keep a jar handy, just fill a jar with regular sugar and stuff in some vanilla beans which have been scraped empty of the seeds. Every time I have a leftover empty vanilla bean I replace the ones in the jar with these) or scrape the seeds out of 1/4 vanilla bean and add regular sugar. Mash everything together a bit (not too much!) and put the strawberries aside, so they can release their juices and the sugar can dissolve.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk (or milk and yogurt), melted butter and vanilla and mix well.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix together until almost smooth.

Fold in the chocolate chips and let the batter rest for several minutes.

Over medium heat, heat a pan or griddle. Add a little butter or oil.

Pour the batter onto the pan and cook until bubbles start to form that pop. Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook until the other side is golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter. The amount of batter that you use depends a bit on how big you want your pancakes to be. I like my pancakes to be a bit bigger, so I use a small ladle, but you can make yours smaller and add about 2 tablespoons of batter to the pan.

To serve the pancakes, top them with the strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream!

Source: slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Simple Brownies

Every self-respecting human has to have a go-to brownie recipe. Mine is simple, uses staple ingredients and the end result is always delicious. Fudgey and chocolatey, everything a brownie needs to be. This version is plain, but you can add raisins, chocolate chips, nuts or whatever catches your fancy!

The recipe calls for oil instead of butter, but don't be afraid, it is still moist. A combination of cocoa powder and melted chocolate creates a great chocolate flavour and raw cane sugar makes it extra gooey (or sticky? I never know the right word to describe a brownie). It is easy to whip up if you need a last minute treat!



Yield: about 16 small pieces


150 gram (1/2 cup) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
120 ml (1/2 cup) canola oil
215 (1 cup) gram raw cane sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
65 gram (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
4 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Additional: chopped nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, etc.


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Lightly grease a brownie pan.

Melt the chocolate au bain marie.

Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Add the melted chocolate and mix until well combined.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the mixture and fold it through.

At this point you can fold in any additional ingredients.

Pour the mixture into the brownie pan. Make sure the batter is spread evenly.

Bake the brownie for 30-35 minutes. Let the brownie cool in the pan. After it has cool, cut it into pieces.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rocky Road Ice Cream

For some bizar reason it feels as if spring and summer do not want to come. Where last year March, April and May were filled with sunshine and warmth, this year we've  had about two nice days so far... It is frustrating and depressing.

In an attempt to put some sunshine into our hearts I decided to make ice cream. Because frankly, who doesn't become happy from fresh home made ice cream? Right? Right! And being the chocolate addict that I am, of course I had to pick a chocolate ice cream! That makes me even happier!

Unfortunately, the ice cream was gone all too soon, but....fortunately I'm writing this post with the sun shining outside. It's not very warm, but it's a start! So I'm off to enjoy some sunshine!


Rocky Road Ice Cream

Yield: about 1 quart


2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup roasted peanuts


In a medium saucepan warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder, whisking thoroughly to blend. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 30 seconds, while whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Stir in the remaining cup of cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl.

Warm the milk, sugar and salt in the same saucepan. In a seperate medium bowl whisk together the egg yolks. Very slowly pour a little of the warm milk into the egg yolks, while whisking constantly. Keep slowly adding the milk and whisking until it is completely combined. Pour the mixture back in to the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping the bottom as you stir. until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through a strainer into the chocolate mixture and stir the mix well. Add the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

After the ice cream is ready fold in the marshmallows and peanuts.

Source: The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Like many women, I too have a serious chocolate addiction. I prefer to eat chocolate everyday. I know this is not the smartest thing to do, so I try to restrain myself as much as possible. But there are times when I, like the best of us, cave. Especially when I run into a recipe like Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes. It goes without saying that I'm already hooked when reading a title that contains Double Chocolate, but I have to admit that I love the combination of chocolate and raspberry.

So I caved and made these cupcakes. And you know what? I am so glad I did, because these cupcakes are a little piece of heaven! No, I am not exaggerating... they are fluffy, moist, almost light as air, with an amazing chocolate flavour. Inside you find that fresh, slightly tangy flavour of the raspberries and the whole thing is covered with ganache! Like I said... a little piece of heaven....

I know these cupcakes lack the outer display of raspberries, but the reason for this is simply that I didn't have any fresh raspberries on hand. I used frozen for the filling, but they don't look nice enough for the decoration on top, so I decided to just skip that. It's maybe even more fun this way, because people expect to eat a chocolate cupcake and are surprised when they taste the raspberry filling. Makes it a little bit more fun!

If you love chocolate, or have a serious chocolate addiction, go make these! You have my blessing!


Double Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Yield: 24-28 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Dutch processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or yogurt
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
12 oz. frozen raspberries, thawed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the frosting:
12 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Line cupcake pans with paper liners.

Put the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and add the hot coffee. Let stand for 2 minutes and whisk until the chocolate is melted and incorporated in the coffee.

In a separate large bowl mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Beat the eggs on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until slightly thickened and pale yellow. Gradually add the oil, buttermilk or yogurt, vanilla extract and coffee-chocolate mixture to the eggs, making sure it is well blended.

Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.

Divide the batter between the paper liners, filling them about 3/4 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 5-10 minutes in the pans, before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

To make the raspberry filling, puree the raspberries in a blender. If you want to remove the seeds (which I recommend) strain the mixture through a fine sieve. Put the puree in a small saucepan and whisk in the sugar and cornstarch. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Once the mixture has thickened, remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool before use.

To make the ganache, add the chopped chocolate to a medium heatproof bowl. Combine the cream, corn syrup and sugar in a saucepan and heat until it starts boiling. Immediately pour the mixture over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk the mixture carefully until it is smooth and well blended. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until completely incorporated. Let the ganache cool to room temperature to thicken so it can be spread. If you want to speed up this process put the bowl in the refrigerator, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until it has reached the desired thickness.

Once you have made all the elements it is time for the assembly! Put the raspberry filling in a pastry bag, fitted with a plain fine tip or a special tip for filling, if you have one). Just stick the tip of the pastry bag in the top of a cupcake and pipe in some filling. If you're not sure how much to use, go easy and if you have filling left at the end, just make another round. You don't need more than a few teaspoons of filling for each cupcake.

Spread the ganache over the tops of the cupcakes with a knife or an offset spatula. Allow the ganache to set completely before serving.

Source: barely adapted from Annie's Eats

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

I made these cookies quite some time ago and even managed to post about it. Unfortunately I had an argument with my computer almost right after posting and I somehow deleted the post without any back-up in existence...

I planned on posting it again but for some reason forgot about it... until now!

These cookies are very nice. Soft and flavourful and very girlie. They are so very easy to make and contain ingredients most people always have on hand! One warning though....if you follow the recipe you end up with really big cookies...I mean BIG cookies. For most of you that is not a problem, but if it is... just make the cookies smaller!


Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen large cookies


For the cookies:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
5 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the frosting:
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
7-8 tablespoons milk (plus more, as needed)
Optional: food colouring and sprinkles


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and line baking sheet(s) with silicone mats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer cream together the sugar and butter on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla and blend.

Turn the speed of the mixer to low and add the dry ingredients mixing just until the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 1 hour in the refrigerator.

To make large cookies scoop a scant quarter cup of dough and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball slightly with the palm of your hand and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, leaving the cookies about 2-3 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or just until set. Be careful not to over bake the cookies. You want the edges a very lightly browned at best, if browned at all.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting sift the confectioners' sugar into a medium bowl. Add the butter, vanilla and milk and whisk until everything is smooth. It might be necessary to add more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach the consistency you want.

Colour the frosting with food colouring if you want to.

Use a knife or offset spatula to frost the cookies. Add some sprinkles and you're done!

Store the cookies in an airtight container

Source: Annie's Eats

Friday, April 6, 2012

Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies
Are you drooling yet? I know I was the moment I laid eyes on these beauties! Of course I am a big chocolate lover. But if you are too, I can definitely recommend these cookies. They are easy to make but pack a big chocolate flavour, not to mention all the chunks of chocolate and Oreos. Who wouldn't love these cookies?

I was afraid the recipe would give me way too much cookies, so I decided to make half the recipe. What was I thinking?! They were gone way too soon and I felt really stupid for not just making a whole batch. Next time I will definitely make more, much more! And I think I'll make these again really soon...and by soon I mean I think I have to go make some right now.....
Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies


Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

Yield: about 3-4 dozen cookies


2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar, granulated
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped white chocolate
1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup chopped Oreo cookies


Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F) and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa in a medium bowl and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugars with a mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and mix until blended.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until the flour disappears. Stir in the chopped chocolates and Oreos. This works best if you do it by hand.

Drop tablespoons of cookie dough onto the baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between the cookies.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes in the oven. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a rack to cool completely.
Triple Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

Source: Two Peas and their Pod

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake

I realize I have been absent for a looooong time, but that doesn't mean I didn't bake or thought of writing up posts. It just means I have been crazy busy...and I've also been a bit conflicted about blogging. Don't get me wrong I love blogging, but these past few months I have been tired, busy and well....not feeling up to much. So much was happening that it felt like riding a rollercoaster...non-stop...

But I kept asking myself the question: to blog or not to blog? Well, I guess the answer is to blog.

So without much further ado I'm going to give you a recipe for a Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake. As far as cakes go this is one you can eat without feeling extremely guilty. Sure it contains sugar and calories and a few other things that probably aren't too healthy, but....BUT it also contains fresh grapefruit, olive oil and whole wheat flour! In my opinion...that makes this cake very healty!!! The end result was very surprising. It was moist, fluffy and very flavorfull! Definitely one to make again!


Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake


For the cake:
2 grapefruits (organic if possible)
1 cup sugar
Scant 1/2 cup buttermilk or yoghurt
3 eggs
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 teaspoons grapefruit juice (from the grapefruits for the cake)


Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and butter and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan or a Bundt pan.

Zest the 2 grapefruits directly in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and rub the zest and sugar together with your fingers. This makes sure all the oils from the grapefruit zest get combined with the sugar.

Squeeze one halve of a grapefruit and pour the liquid in a measuring cup. Fill the measuring cup with the buttermilk or yogurt until you have 2/3 cup of liquid.

Add the grapefruit juice mixture to the sugar mixture and whisk well. Mix in the eggs and the olive oil.

In another bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients slowly to the wet mixture and mix well to combine.

Pour the batter into the buttered pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean. Mine was done at 48 minutes, depending on the size of your pan etc. You could start testing at around 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool for 10 minutes then unmold and let cool on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before adding the glaze.

For the glaze: squeeze the juice from the remaining grapefruit. Mix the sugars with 4 teaspoons of the juice. Stir well. Spread the glaze over the top of the cake and let harden slightly before cutting.

Source: The Yellow House