Browsing all articles tagged with dessert
Jan
23

Orange Chocolate Walnut Biscuits

What you’ll need…

2 cups flour

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup walnuts (loosely chopped)

1 TBSP orange zest

2 TSP cinnamon

3 TSP baking powder

1 TSP salt

1/2 cup butter (chilled, 1/2″ cubed)

1 cup milk

2 TSP vanilla

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 egg (for egg wash, optional)

I’m not much of a baker. So, when I ‘bake’, I make biscuits. They’re simple and consistently delicious no matter what you decide to fold into them. Since I’m not much of a baker, I don’t often excel in the dessert category of awesomeness. These orange biscuits are just sweet enough and can pass as a delicious dessert if you slice them in half, add a dollop of whipped cream and some orange slices (from the orange you zested for the recipe, peel to pulp cooking, right?). One day I’ll learn to make a one-of-a-kind cake or something…I promise…Until then, enjoy this biscuit-y goodness I guess?

So, this recipe will be easier to make than your bed. Unless you have a really complicated linens system…Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. Place the first 7 ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the chunks of butter and loosely mix in with your hands.

Next, mix the milk, vanilla and sugar together in a separate bowl, stir until sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon, or by hand, until a dough forms. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and form into a circle-esque shape, 2″ thick. Slice into 12 pieces and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of each piece of dough with the egg wash and let bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the biscuits start to brown.

Let cool slightly before eating, however hard that may be…

As previously mentioned, slice in half, add a spoonful of whipped cream, some orange slices, and you have yourself a simple, ‘rustic’ if you will, dessert. Happy eating!

Yields 12 biscuits

Total cook time…20 min

Jun
3

Creamy Coconut & Apricot Couscous ‘Cake’

What you’ll need…

Cake:

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 1/2 cups homogenized milk

1/3 cup sugar

2 TSP vanilla

1 TSP cinnamon

1/2 TSP nutmeg

3 cups couscous (uncooked)

1 cup apricots (dried, chopped)

1/2 cup butter (melted)

Walnut sauce:

1 cup walnuts

1 cup homogenized milk

1/2 brown sugar (firmly packed)

shredded coconut (for garnish, optional)

(Disclaimer: Please look away if you like rice pudding) I’ve never liked rice pudding. Ever. I didn’t mean to break any hearts, but I really can’t stand it. Consider this my ‘ode’ to questionable dish that is rice pudding. Anyway…I first tried out a version from FoodNetwork.ca of this couscous-based dessert in my Kick The KD  Start From Scratch class, which went over very well. The coconut milk adds a nice creaminess. Although not completely guilt-free, you won’t feel too bad after eating a generous portion of this!

 Place the coconut milk, milk, sugar, vanilla and spices in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring regularly until the sugar has dissolved. While you’re waiting for that to heat up, place the uncooked couscous in a large mixing bowl. Once the liquid begins to boil, remove from heat and pour over-top of the couscous. Give everything a good stir to ensure that the liquid will be evenly absorbed. Cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.

Next, add the apricots, melted butter and give a few good stirs until the mixture is nicely combined. Now, to form the sweet couscous into ‘cakes’ you’ll need six ramekins. In lieu of ramekins, feel free to use some short tumbler glasses, small bowls, or any other item in your kitchen that may fit the bill. This is purely for shaping the ‘cakes’. Place spoonfuls of the mixture into each ramekin (or similar facsimile of…), and firmly pack it in. Set aside until to dish them out.

Now, for the sauce…Place the walnuts, milk, and brown sugar in a blender and puree until smooth. Place in a small pot and leave on low heat, just to warm the sauce. When it’s time to serve the dessert, take a plate, place on top of a ramekin, and flip it over. Then, left up the ramekin and you should have a beautiful looking couscous cake on your plate. If it does not simply slide out, give it a few taps and it should come out intact! Spoon some sauce on top and top with some shredded coconut for good measure. Yum!

Take that rice pudding!

Serves 6

Total cook time…20 min

May
6

Sweet Strawberry Salsa with Brown Sugar Chips

What you’ll need…

Chips:

5 white medium-sized pitas (opened and quartered)

1/2 cup butter (melted)

1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

Salsa:

3 cups strawberries (trimmed, finely cubed)

1/2 granny smith apple (finely cubed)

1 cup fresh mint (minced)

3 TBSP cane sugar

2 TBSP orange juice

1/4 TSP vanilla extract

Sick of less than wonderful spring-time weather? So am I. Making this sweet (both literally and figuratively) strawberry salsa will enable you to go on a mental tropical getaway. If the weather happens to drastically change while you’re prepping this dish, then I would say this dessert version of chips and salsa are best enjoyed outside…with BBQ’ed anything.

For the chips…start off by preheating your oven to 40 degrees. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Using a pastry brush, apply brown sugar/butter mixture to each pita ‘chip’. Lay out chips evenly on couple of prepared baking sheets and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the chips turn golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the salsa…combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Toss until everything is evenly mixed and the cane sugar has dissolved. As with any salsa, if you give it some time to sit, chill, and flavour intermingle, it will taste that much better. I left the strawberry salsa in the fridge for 45 minutes before serving, longer probably would have been a bit better. Whatever time allows. (Hey, it’s your fake tropical vacation, right?)

Serve this up the same way you would serve standard-issue chips and salsa. Best digested with a mojito in-hand. Sounds like summer to me! Bring on the sun!

Serves 4-5

Total cook time…1 hour (or so)

 

Apr
19

Hot Honey Apple Tarts

What you’ll need…

3 apples (thinly sliced, skin on)

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)

1/4 cup honey

2 TSP cinnamon

1/4 TSP nutmeg

1/2 TSP chili powder

corn starch

12 prepared tart shells

Everyone needs a little bit of spice in their lives, and since the Spice Girls have not put out any new tunes for a while, it’s a pretty safe assumption that the only way left to spice things up is with some chili powder. Anyway…I don’t really know how to follow a Spice Girls reference so…Just make these, ok? They’re very tasty.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Place the apple, orange juice, and brown sugar in a large pan. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves completely. Reduce to medium heat, stir in the honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili powder. Let everything cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 10 minutes, if the mixture has not thickened up, whisk together some corn starch and a small amount of water. Pour into the pan, stir, and you’ll have a better consistency in about a minute. Remove from heat.

Spoon the apple mixture into each one of your prepared tarts and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry starts to turn golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Tarts and pies are best devoured warm!

Yields 12 tarts

Total cook time…35 minutes

Jan
7

Vegan London Fog Crème Brulée

What you’ll need…

2 cups brewed earl grey tea

1/2 cup white sugar

3 cups soft tofu

1 10 oz can coconut milk

1 TSP vanilla

1/4 cup icing sugar

1 TBSP agar powder

*in lieu of agar, substitute with 1 cup of raw cashews, although the crème will not taste as ‘creamy’*

1/4 cup brown sugar (for topping)

Vegans will rejoice and meat-eaters shall be fooled. This recipe for vegan crème brulée is, dare I say, easier than the original version, and tastes just as delicious. I promise! Aside from the agar powder, all ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store.

This one’s going to be nice and easy…Start off by placing the brewed tea in a small pot on the stove and add the white sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring mixture to a simmer, and let bubble until it has reduced by half, about 15 minutes or so. In the meantime, place the tofu, coconut milk, vanilla, and icing sugar (and cashews if applicable) into a blender. Puree until smooth. Leave mixture in the blender for now.

Once the tea & sugar combo has reduced, add-in the agar powder and whisk until fully dissolved, about a 1 minute. Now, remove the lid cap of the blender, and pour the hot liquid in while ‘pulsing’. Once the liquid has blended with the puree, pour out into ramekins or small bowls, then into your refrigerator to chill until serving. The agar powder helps to thicken and set the mixture, to give it the same consistency as real crème brulée.

When you’re ready to serve, sprinkle some brown sugar on top of each ramekin, then torch (fun) or place under a broiler (not as fun) to caramelize the sugar. Serve and enjoy. Do me a favour and don’t even mention to your guests that it’s vegan until after they’ve devoured it. Good conversation topic.

Yields 6 desserts (approx. 8oz servings)

Total prep time…20 min (add at least 1 hour for chilling)

Dec
14

The Living Dead: Ginger Zombies

What you’ll need…

1 egg (or egg-replacer equivalent)

1/4 cup butter (or vegan margarine)

1 cup brown sugar

1 TSP cinnamon

2 TSP ground ginger

1/2 TSP nutmeg

1/2 TSP cloves

1 1/2 cups flour

1/4 TSP baking soda

1/4 TSP salt

icing/sprinkles

creativity

You say Christmas, I say gingerbread men ginger zombies! The holidays are a happy time, merry, if you will, but if watching The Living Dead has taught me anything it’s the fact that zombie is now the new vampire. It’s true, my ginger vampires of Christmas ’09 proved to be a flash in the pan, err….baking sheet. At any rate…let’s frost!

Ok, this will be simple enough, I promise. First off, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the egg and butter into a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar to the bowl, using an electric mixer on low setting, until the mixture looks nice and creamy. Now, still mixing on ‘low’, add-in the cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Finally, slowly add the flour and mix until a dough forms.

The cookie-cutting part can be left up to interpretation. Severe limbs below baking/after, scrap out their middles with a melon baller, create your own zombie shape sans-cookie cutter, you know, something nice and creative!

Pop into your preheated oven for 8 minutes, and voila! Ginger zombies ready to be iced. Of course, let them cool a bit before applying icing so it doesn’t melt. On the other hand, that might give them a neat ‘my face is melting’ kind of look.

Yields 16 cookies (or less if you’re making mega zombies)

Total cook time…20 min


 

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