Category Archives: Breakfast

Honey Glazed Fig and Date Breakfast Cake

I am not a morning person.  I need a few quiet moments (more like 60 quiet moments) to myself, with a steaming cup of coffee, to clear out the cob webs and figure out how I’m going to tackle the day.  I trudge to the kitchen, in the darkness, one eye open, hair all askew, heading directly for the coffee maker.  Even the dog knows it’s best not to approach.  Truly, I admit it, I’m an ogre.   On the flip side, if you want to stay up all night and party like it’s 1999, I’m most certainly your gal.

Fig and Date Breakfast Cake via SweetRevelations

Weekends thankfully, are different.  I can wake on my own time and head to the kitchen to make something a little more decadent for everyone.   Often it’s buttermilk pancakes, scones or cinnamon rolls, sometimes fresh doughnuts (the best!).  Sometimes, it’s cake!  Like this super moist, cardamom spiced cake, topped with fresh figs, fresh dates, sliced almonds, pepita’s and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.  Just to make it more indulgent, I poke holes in it when it comes out of the oven and pour a sweet honey glaze on top.  This is how I redeem myself for my grumpiness from Monday to Friday.  Glazed breakfast items.  Works every time.

Fig and Date Breakfast Cake via SweetRevelations

This is a brunch worthy, company worthy, breakfast cake.  The cake itself is very fast and simple to throw together.  It’s also pretty versatile, so you can play around with your toppings and spices and add what appeals to you.  A simple dusting of powdered sugar works too, if you want to exclude the honey glaze.  But seriously, why would you?  I mean truly, honey glaze should never be excluded.

I’m curious to know, are you a morning person or a night owl like me?

Happy week-end everyone,

Renee

xo

Honey Glazed Fresh Fig and Date Breakfast Cake

*adapted from Joy The Baker

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 8 fresh figs, sliced in half
  • 3-4 fresh dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tbsp. pepitas
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons turbinado sugar for topping
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp. liquid honey
  • 2 tbsp. hot water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter and flour a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 10-inch cake pan.

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.  In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter and vanilla and almond extract.  Add the buttermilk mixture all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir until just combined, careful not to over mix.
  2. Spoon batter into the prepared pan.  Top batter with fresh figs and dates, gently pressing them into the top of the batter.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds, pepitas and coconut  and then sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
  3. Bake for approx. 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool slightly while you prepare the glaze (keep it in the pan).  Whisk the powdered sugar and honey in a small bowl, adding 1-2 tbsp. of hot water to make a smooth, thin glaze.  Using a skewer, poke holes in the cake, to allow the glaze to seep through.  Pour the glaze over the warm cake.  Allow the cake to come to room temperature before serving.  The cake will keep well for a few days at room temperature.

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Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake

Guys, I’m really feeling sun deprived.  We’ve had some cold, damp, icy weather these days.  Followed by more snow.  And more rain.  And bone chilling cold.  You get the idea.  I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring.  Desperate for it in fact!  I’ve decided that since it isn’t coming fast enough, I’m going to start welcoming spring in early myself!  So I’ve been posting all things sunny and bright on my Facebook page, and pouring over springtime posts from blogs that I follow, and scouring Instagram for some energizing inspiration.  I’ve even been literally stocking up on cheerful, sun-kissed things for the house.  I’ve got some serious colour cravings happening.

Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake via SweetRevelations

All the more reason to bake this outstanding Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake.  You might say I’ve gone a bit overboard with Meyer lemon purchases lately, but their bright golden yellow colour just screams happiness to me.   They’re tart and definitely sweeter than a regular lemon, and they have an almost exotic floral scent.  I knew that I would be using some to make a flourless lemon cake, as I’ve always been completely smitten with Nigella Lawson’s Clementine Cake.  The idea is similar, in that the whole fruit is included in the recipe.  That means the whole Meyer lemon is pureed right into the cake.  Four of them in fact.

Well, that’s a lot of happiness in there if you ask me.

lemon cake 1

The best news here friends, is that this cake simply gets better with age.  It’s incredibly moist and bakes up as if it’s been drizzled with a lemony syrup or something.   You can top it with a dreamy meringue, like I’ve done here, or you can serve it with a simple dusting of powdered sugar or a lemon glaze at tea time, all  are just as good.  Either way, the cake is a snap to make, and the lemon flavour is like a sweet kiss from the sun.  Your friends will never believe that it doesn’t contain any flour what-so-ever.

Flourless Meyer Lemon Meringue Cake via SweetRevelations

Honest to goodness, as I was baking this the other night (for the second time in a week!), the sun came out for just a brief moment.  It was shining so brightly through my kitchen window that I couldn’t help but feel like Mother Nature was hearing my plea.  It felt, for just a few minutes, that spring might soon be on its way.

I hope the sun is shining bright wherever you are!

Renee

xo

Flourless Lemon Meringue Cake

  • 5 Meyer Lemons
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Meringue Topping:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups of sugar

Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9 inch springform pan with non stick spray and line the bottom with parchment.

  1.  Mix the almond meal, salt and baking powder in a small bowl and set aside.  Place 4 of the lemons in a pot and cover with cold water.  Bring water to a boil and continue boiling the lemons for 25 minutes.  Remove from the water and set aside until cool enough to handle.  Once cool, cut the lemons in half, remove the seeds and puree the whole lemons until smooth.  You will need 1 cup of puree.  Set aside.
  2. Zest the remaining lemon and place in a medium bowl with the sugar.  Using your fingers, rub the zest into the sugar.  Add the eggs and beat for at least 5 minutes until mixture is pale and increased in volume.  Slowly add the almond meal and mix just until combined.  Pour into prepared springform pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until center is slightly springy when touched.  Allow cake to fully cool.  Remove from pan and place on serving platter.
  3. For the meringue, you will need a stand mixer.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.  Use immediately to ice the cake.  Use a kitchen torch to toast the meringue.  The cake will keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.  Enjoy!

 

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Delicious Ways To Enjoy Homemade Yogurt

Homemade Yogurt via SweetRevelations

Remember a while back, I shared with you my recipe for DIY Homemade Yogurt?  I couldn’t believe then, how simple the process was, and how much I loved the idea of making this creamy, tangy staple for my family.  I’ve pretty much got the process down to a fine science now, making it faithfully every Sunday evening before bed, and waking up to the magic of fermentation each Monday morning.  If you’re making it too, you might find that you end up with more yogurt than you know what to do with, so I’m sharing with you some of the ways we enjoy this 2 ingredient gem.

1. For Breakfast

Use it in smoothies or smoothie bowls, with overnight oats, or on its own with nuts and honey or a swirl of jam.  Figs, honey and pistachios are my current morning favourite.   If you process your yogurt in small jars, breakfast to go is made even easier.

yogurt

2.  Frozen Yogurt

One of my most loved uses for extra yogurt.  There are endless options for Homemade Frozen Yogurt that don’t require an ice cream maker and you get the added pleasure of knowing exactly what ingredients are in there.  Here’s one of our summertime, or anytime, favourites.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt.  You’re welcome.

Peanut Butter Frozen Yogurt via SweetRevelations

3.  Cakes and Breads

If you’ve made and drained homemade yogurt, the remaining whey (the leftover liquid) can be used instead of water in bread making recipes.  Yogurt is also an easy substitution, cup for cup, for sour cream in most cake recipes.  This Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake from King Arthur Flour, is one of our family favourites (I use 1/2 cup of yogurt and 1/4 cup milk in the batter).

Blueberry Coffee Cake made with Homemade Yogurt via SweetRevelations

4.  Yogurt Cheese {Labneh}

When you drain yogurt overnight or for several hours, the result is yogurt cheese.  It’s thick and tangy and has almost the consistency of cream cheese.  You can add fresh herbs and seasonings to flavor this easy spreadable cheese or eat it plain.  It’s delectable when spread on Rye Crisps with apple slices and pumpkin seeds (a drizzle of honey is super too!).

Homemade Yogurt via SweetRevelations

5.  Fast Dessert

Did dinner company arrive at the last minute?   You can throw together a super quick Eton Mess in no time flat.  Mix some thickened homemade yogurt with macerated strawberries (or strawberry sauce) and crushed meringue nests.  Layer in a dessert glass with fresh berries and cream.

Homemade Yogurt via SweetRevelations

Now that I’m using my own yogurt I don’t think I’ll ever go back to store-bought again.  I have the comfort of knowing exactly what’s in it and I can flavor it to my own liking.   I’m curious to know, do you make your own yogurt?  Is it something you might be willing to try?

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

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Filed under Breakfast, Cake, Extra Special, Ice Cream, Tutorial

Coffee Shop Worthy Date Squares

My girlfriend and I have a serious appreciation for good coffee.  We’ve visited some of the best coffee shops and cafes within our area, and talked with those who make a living roasting beans from around the world.   Undoubtedly, we settle in with a good cup of caffeinated bliss, share a pastry or two and get caught up about our busy lives.  I don’t know why, but often times I choose a date square with my coffee.  It’s something I rarely bake at home, but I love to enjoy a nice big serving when in a coffee shop.  You might say I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur about these dense, date filled, oat bars.

Date Squares via SweetRevelations

I have no idea where my love for these classic homemade bars came from.   Just thinking about them makes me think of old-school recipes that are hardly made at home anymore.  I mean, with all of the salted this and caramel that options we have these days, the date square is hardly at the top of the list for the newest generation of home bakers.  Even though they keep well, travel well, freeze well, and are fairly fuss-free, they’ve kind of disappeared from potluck menus and home kitchens.  Years ago, a sweet relative of mine used to bring them with her to pretty much every family function.  They were thick and sweet and had the best crumble on top.  She passed away a long time ago, and unfortunately her recipe was never passed on.  Since then, I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect one.  As a result, I’m often comparing the servings I’ve had from one coffee shop to the next.  Too dense, too crumbly, too thin, too sweet.

Date Square via SweetRevelations

This week-end, after another coffee shop visit, I decided to make my own.  I already knew what some of my requirements would be.  A thick bottom layer is a must, with a slightly sweet date filling, and a golden crumbly oat top.  Classic date square recipes require that you boil the chopped dates for a few minutes in water, to soften the dates and thicken the filling.  As I was pitting and chopping the dates, I had an epiphany!  Instead of adding water to my date filling, I brewed a cup of my favorite coffee and used that instead.   The results were just as I had hoped.  A thick filling, that was slightly sweet and only made richer tasting with the addition of coffee.  Don’t be alarmed, the coffee taste doesn’t exist at all, it just enhances the date flavor.  The buttery, crumbly topping was pretty simple, but the last-minute addition of pumpkin seeds has made these a little more, well, glamorous I’d say.

I’m voting for a date square comeback every one!

Date Squares via SweetRevelations

I must confess that these were pretty satisfying.  Coffee shop worthy in fact.  The filling to base ratio was spot on and they didn’t crumble in my hands.  And they made a hearty breakfast treat this morning (by the way, they qualify as a breakfast option on account of the fruit and oats in my books).   My friends can expect them to be making an appearance at our next pot luck!

Date Square via SweetRevelations

Have you got a family date square recipe?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy coffee shop lingering and baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Date Squares

Preheat oven to 350°

Filling:

  • 2 1/2 cups Medjool dates, chopped and pitted
  • 1 cup hot black coffee
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Base:

  • 1 1/2 cups large flake oats
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and slightly soft but still cool
  1.  Line an 8 x 8 square pan with parchment paper and set aside.  Make the filling first by combining the coffee, dates, sugar and lemon juice in a pot.  Bring to a boil.  Add the baking soda and stir mixture continuously for approx. 4 minutes, until filling is thick and dates are soft.  Set aside to cool while you prepare the base.
  2. Combine the first 6 ingredients of the base recipe in a medium-sized bowl and mix to combine.   Add the butter and use your hands or a fork to coat the flour mixture with the butter until crumbly in texture.   Press 3 1/4 cups of oat mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Spread on the layer of date filling.  Top with remaining oat mixture and press down slightly.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until topping is golden.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.

 

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Filed under Bars, Breakfast

Cranberry Swiss Zopf Bread

I hope that you enjoyed the holidays where ever you may have been, with the people most important to you.  We had a busy few weeks and I’m just settling back into a routine.  Although I have thoroughly enjoyed my daily naps, hockey games and endless hours reading, it looks like Christmas threw up in here!  It’s time to get things tidied up.

Swiss Loaf- SweetRevelations

Usually, on week-ends, when I set my mind to an afternoon of cleaning, I start off right away with making some bread dough.  I spend a few quiet minutes mixing and kneading, and when the bread is left to rise, I get straight to work.  Must be something happening in my subconscious about settling in for a few hours of work, to make the house in order again, with a sweet, yeasty, warm reward at the end.   I’ve been kneading homemade bread for years and the comfort it brings me is unmatched to any other item I bake.  There’s a swish and roll on the countertop while kneading, sometimes the only sound in the house, as I do my work.  Some of my best thinking happens in these moments.  I do think of my ancestors, living in a simpler time, doing the same thing for their family.  Perhaps my great-grandfather, a cook, baking fresh bread and biscuits for his children!  It’s more about the process for me, the kneading and then resting, allowing the ingredients to do their magic.   A simple task really, that takes a few hours from start to finish, that this whole house gets to enjoy.  This weekly, sometimes daily, mixing and kneading ritual for me, centers around spending time in our home, making it a home, and inviting my family to share in this good wholesome food with me. Not to mention the smell, that intoxicating, welcome home smell, that really is like no other.

swiss bread- SweetRevelations

I regularly use fresh or dried fruits in my breads and biscuits.  Often adding fresh berries, when I can.  For the most part, fresh fruits do very well in breads and biscuits as long as they aren’t overripe and super juicy.  Fruits actually help the leavening process, by adding some extra sugar for the yeast to feed on.  This time, I opted for a pretty Swiss Braided Zopf, a gorgeous recipe from King Arthur Flour, that I’ve made many times.  I didn’t actually mix the berries in the dough this go around, but quickly tucked them in all of the nooks and crannies just before the second rise.  The recipe uses sour cream and eggs and produces a rich tasting, not too sweet, moist loaf, with a tender crust.  Perfect for coffee break.   Or breakfast toast.  Or French Toast.  Or Bread Pudding.  You get the idea.

Swiss Braid- SweetRevelations

Don’t let working with yeast intimidate you.  It’s really pretty straight forward, and with fast acting yeast, it’s almost impossible to mess up.   Most bread dough does very well with an 8-10 minute kneading time.  It generally doesn’t need to be complicated or fussy.  Bread dough is usually pretty forgiving, and you can work on some of your errors the next time you bake a loaf.  As with all baking, it’s a learning process, but so worth it!  At the end of the day, you’ll end up with a stunning loaf that your family will drool over.   You won’t be able to butter it fast enough!

I’m curious to know from you, dear friends, what are some of your baking or food traditions?  Are you starting new ones, or continuing on with some of the kitchen love you grew up with?  This year I will really be more focused on sharing more of my food traditions and stories with you.  I’ve loved writing about my bake shop experiences, but really, the heart of this baker, started a long time ago in my childhood home with some great teachers.  It has only increased as I’ve become a homemaker, in this amazing community with access to outstanding farm to table foods and locally sourced ingredients.  I’m going to share with you more about my passion for using simple ingredients, and a no-fuss approach to creating new food traditions while still embracing the old.  Lets make homemaking the new food trend for 2016 every body!

Thank you, as always for a wonderful blogging year.  I do so appreciate you.  Happy New year!

Renee

xo

  Cranberry Swiss Zopf Bread

*from King Arthur Flour

  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 egg and 1 egg white, lightly beaten (reserve remaining yolk for glaze)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries (thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Set aside.
  2. Warm the sour cream to lukewarm in a microwave, for approximately 15 seconds, stirring once removed. Add the melted butter and stir.  Add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture, then stir in the egg and 1 egg white. Stir until the mixture comes together to form a shaggy mass, then set it aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Knead the dough, by hand, until it’s smooth and elastic, for approximately 8-10 minutes (or use a mixer and a dough hook too if you have it).  Place dough in a greased bowl, cover the bowl with a tea towel, and set the dough aside to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it’s doubled in bulk.  I usually put mine out of the way, on top of the fridge.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased countertop and knead it gently a few times, to expel the excess carbon dioxide. Divide it into three equal pieces, and roll each piece into an 18-inch log. Braid the logs together, pinching them at both ends and tucking the pinched ends under.
  5. Place the braid on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and tuck fresh cranberries in all of the folds and crevices.  Cover it again, and allow it to rise for another hour.
  6. Whisk the remaining egg yolk with 1 tbsp. water, and brush the braid with this glaze. Sprinkle with almonds.  Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and shiny. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Zopf is traditionally served at breakfast, toasted or not, and makes an outstanding French toast too!

 

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Scones and Breads

Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones

Get your skillet out!  Spoil your family this week and make Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones for breakfast.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know about my weakness for this quick bread, because it’s so incredibly versatile.  I rolled thousands of scones when I owned a bake shop, and still regularly make them for home.  These buttery scones are bursting with cranberries and orange zest, and then glazed (twice for good measure) with a sweet orange glaze.   I’ve really come to love baking a small batch in the skillet, and the presentation is simple and beautiful.

Cranberry Scones SweetRevelations

Often people mistakenly think that scones are bland, dense, and dry.  I can assure you, these are not.  The trick with scones, is to handle the dough as little as possible, use good quality frozen butter, and fresh buttermilk.   A batch of scones is easily mixed in 20 minutes or less, is done by hand, and they can be prepared ahead of time, frozen and baked as needed.   I know right?  I can’t talk these things up any more, they sell themselves!

cranberry scones, sweetrevelations

With the holidays approaching, I always, and I mean always, have a batch ready in the freezer.  They are the perfect tea time treat when company arrives, make an excellent gift, and are a delicious addition to any holiday brunch table.  I can also bake up a few in the morning, right from the freezer, for the kids before they head off to school.

cranberry scones- sweetrevelations

I bet your kitchen is in full swing with holiday baking.  I hope you might take a few minutes to mix up a batch of scones and have a much deserved coffee break!

Happy baking friends,

Renee

Skillet Cranberry Orange Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 cup butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

Orange Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice

 

Preheat oven to 415°

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and zest.  Use a cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.  Mix gently with a fork to coat the butter with the flour mixture.

2.  In a separate small bowl mix the buttermilk, extract, sour cream and egg.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture in.  Mix gently to incorporate.

3.  Knead dough on a floured surface, maximum 1o times.  The idea is to knead very little to keep that butter cold.  As best you can, fold in the cranberries with your hands.  Pat the dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.  Cut the dough into eight even wedges, but still keeping it in the circle shape.  Place the scones into a well seasoned skillet (a circle of parchment on the bottom works well too).  Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until dough is cooked and scones are golden.

4.  While scones are baking, mix the powdered sugar and orange juice into a smooth glaze.  Once scones are baked, drizzle with orange glaze while they are still warm.

Notes:

  1.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a skillet.  You can use a round cake pan, lightly sprayed with baking spray, or bake the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  2. Scones do very well in the freezer.  Roll a batch and freeze on a cookie sheet (before baking).  Simply bake from frozen, adding additional time as needed.
  3. This recipe doubles nicely.  I usually make a double batch, baking one up and freezing the other for later.

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Reese Krantz Cake

It’s officially fall now, which means I start baking all of the glorious recipes that signify autumn (think pumpkin everything!) and I get back into the routine of baking different kinds of bread every week-end.  It’s something I’ve done for years, and a process that I get so much satisfaction from.   There are so many amazing yeasted bread and cake recipes out there to try, and literally nothing makes the house smell better!

Reese Krantz Cake

I do especially love to make yeasted coffee cakes, or sweet breads, for friends and company.  Krantz Cake is one such treat; a stunning, chocolate-y swirled, sweet yeasted cake that is rolled and twisted into a beautiful decadent loaf.  Once baked, it is brushed generously with a simple syrup that creates a shiny loaf that’s almost too pretty to eat!  I decided to make a Reese version, and bake it in a springform pan instead of a loaf pan, which created this gorgeous twisty cake.  The folks at Hershey’s Canada kindly sent me some Reese Spread to try, and I knew as soon as I licked that first spoonful, it was destined to be in a yeasted cake.

The process couldn’t be simpler, and I easily adapted my homemade white bread recipe to include more eggs and butter.  I left this rich egg-y dough to rise and then spread it with 2 gloriously chocolate-y, peanut-y, cups of Reese Spread and sprinkled it with chopped peanuts before baking.  Once out of the oven, I brushed it with a simple syrup and left it to cool.  I had to guard this warm, delicious cake with my life as others were eager to dig in!  Once cool, the flavor was just as I suspected, a sweet, soft yeasted cake full of little pockets of Reese peanut butter decadence.  Reese swirls everybody! Reese swirls!

Reese Krantz

Don’t be intimidated by working with yeast.  I used a rapid rise version, which requires no proofing and is simply added to the flour at the beginning of mixing.  Most Krantz recipes call for refrigerating the dough overnight, but I’ve opted to skip that step with outstanding results.   A stand mixer makes this process ridiculously easy and there is very little hands on time.  The dough has two rise times before baking, which leaves plenty of time to do other things in between.

Reese Krantz Cake

I’ve made this a few times already.  The last time I promptly divided the cake into thirds and delivered it to friends.  Honestly, something this good is meant to be shared.

Happy peanut-y, chocolate-y, finger licking Reese baking friends,

Renee

Reese Krantz Cake

  • 4 1/2 cups of flour (up to 5 cups if needed)
  • 2 tsp rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup milk, warmed to 110°
  • 1/2 cup soft butter cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups Reese Spread
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. chopped peanuts
  • 2/3 c water
  • 12 tbsp. sugar
  1. In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add two cups of flour, the yeast and honey.  Stir for about one minute.  Add another cup of flour, the milk, and salt.  Mix until dough starts to combine.  Add another cup of flour, the eggs (one at a time) and slowly add the butter.  Add the last 1/2 cup of flour and knead the dough for 3 minutes, adding an additional 1/2 cup if needed, just until the dough starts to pull away from the side of the bowl.  It will be tacky to touch.  Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with non-stick spray, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draft free area for 2 hours.  The dough will rise very little.
  2. After the first rise, roll the dough out, onto a floured surface, into a rectangle that is approximately 15″ x 20″, with the longest side facing you.  Spread the dough with the Reese Spread (right to the edges) and sprinkle with the 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts.  Roll the dough up into a long tight log and use both hands to even out the long piece.  Using a sharp knife slice the entire log in half (lengthwise), exposing the gorgeous layers of Reese Spread and dividing the log into two long halves.  With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat this process, but this time lift the left half over the right, to create a simple, two-pronged twisted plait, keeping those Reese layers at the top.  Gently place this twisted dough into a well sprayed 10″ springform pan, winding it as best you can, to make it fit. Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts. Cover again with the tea towel and leave to rest for an hour.
  3. Bake at 375° for approx. 27 minutes.  While the cake is in the oven, make the simple syrup.  In a small saucepan bring the water and 12 tbsp. of sugar just to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Once cake is removed from the oven, brush all over with most of the simple syrup while it’s still hot.  I didn’t use it all, there were a few teaspoons of syrup left when I was done.  Release the pan once the cake is cool.  This cake kept very well in a covered cake carrier for a few days.  It never lasted longer than that!

Notes:

  1.  This cake can easily be made in two 9″ loaf pans.  Once the dough is twisted, cut it in half and place each piece in a well sprayed loaf pan.  Cover with a tea towel for an hour and bake as directed above.

 

*This post has been sponsored by Hershey’s Canada and I have been compensated both monetarily and with product.  All opinions here are my own.  I wouldn’t endorse any product unless I thought it was fantastic and I’m happy to share it with you!

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Filed under Breakfast, Cake, Scones and Breads

Skillet Apple Scones {with Maple Butter Drizzle}

Fall is here which means it’s apple picking time everybody!  I’ve been heading to local markets every few days, to buy varieties picked fresh from our local orchards.  They’re so, so good.  Good for eating, amazing for baking.  It’s my favourite time of year, and means the leaves are turning colour, temperatures are changing and the days are getting shorter!  It’s truly the best time of year for baking.

applescones

As you know, I love my Sunday mornings and often I’m up before the others to bake something fresh.  I’ve posted my favourite scone recipe a few times, which is so versatile, and it’s easy to adapt the recipe to whatever fruit is in season (these Peach Scones are brilliant).  Apples are an excellent choice too!

I opted for baking in the skillet this morning, which makes for a beautiful presentation.  The scones are rustic looking and full of apple flavour and great texture.  Often people tell me they don’t enjoy scones because they find them dry.  These couldn’t be further from that, moist inside with chunks of cinnamon-y apples and drizzled with an amazing Maple Butter that a friend gave to me.

applescone

You don’t need to bake these in a skillet.  You can easily roll and cut them as I’ve done in this Glazed Cherry Almond Scone recipe.  Bake some now and throw the rest in the freezer for later.  They bake up perfectly, right from frozen, and make an excellent breakfast treat or fast dessert with tea when company arrives.

apple scone

Happy fall baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Skillet Apple Scones

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, frozen
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped apples mixed with 1 tbsp. brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • small apple sliced thinly for garnish
  • Maple Butter for drizzle

Preheat oven to 415°

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.  Use a cheese grater to grate the frozen butter into the flour mixture.  Mix gently with a fork to coat the butter with the flour mixture.

2.  In a separate small bowl mix the buttermilk, sour cream and egg.  Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour buttermilk mixture in.  Mix gently to incorporate.

3.  Knead dough on a floured surface, maximum 1o times.  The idea is to knead very little to keep that butter cold.  As best you can, knead in the cinnamon apples.  Pat the dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.  Cut the dough into eight even wedges, but still keeping it in the circle shape.  Place the scones into a well seasoned skillet (a circle of parchment on the bottom works well too), and top each wedge with two apple slices.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until dough is cooked and scones are golden.  Eat warm and drizzle with Maple Butter.

Notes:

  1.  My Maple Butter was from Gilbertson’s Maple Products.  Amazingly good.  My jar is hidden in the back of the fridge.  Some things aren’t meant to be shared, like colds, chocolate, bad photos, and really good Maple Butter.

 

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Scones and Breads

Dutch Baby Pancake

We are a lazy Sunday morning kind of family.  Usually, we indulge in a brunch of some sort, that includes endless cups of premium coffee (because life is too short to drink bad coffee), crispy Canadian bacon and something sweet.  Sometimes,  it’s these doughnuts (insane) or these beignets (oh mercy) on the menu, depending on whether I was able to prep the night before.   More often than not, my husband will have pancake duty.  It’s entirely his job, always has been.  He’s good at it and I’m generally pretty useless until I’ve had a few servings of that premium coffee I was telling you about.

sweetrevelationsdutchbaby

This week-end we threw a Dutch Baby Pancake  into the oven.  Sometimes called a German Pancake or a Bismarck, this is literally one giant egg-y, custard-y pan of Sunday morning awesomeness.  With only 5 ingredients, that virtually every household has, there really is no excuse for not making one.  If nothing else, get the kids involved and watch how delighted they are when the magic happens with this seemingly plain and boring batter.  Once fully baked, this Dutch Baby Pancake is a giant puff of sweetness that deflates moments after being out of the oven.

Have I mentioned that this takes only twenty-five minutes from start to finish?  And that it’s made in a blender?  That makes this totally doable on a weekday morning too.

dutchbabypancake

Some seasonal fruit, a handful of nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar is really all that is needed for garnish (a dollop of whipped topping also never hurt anyone).   For something so simple, the results are deliciously outstanding and a great way to showcase some of our sweet, local peaches!

dutchbabysweetrevelations

We’re gearing up for a hectic week of back to school routines here.  I hope you’re all enjoying the last few lazy days of summer too!

Renee

xo

Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • fruit, powdered sugar or maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 425°

  1.  Put the butter in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate or cast iron pan.  Set the pan in the hot oven to melt the butter while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a blender, mix the eggs for about 1 minute.  Add the flour, milk and vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into the pie plate with the hot melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the edge of the pancake is lightly toasted brown and the pancake is puffed up.  Resist the urge to open the oven door during baking.  Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or powdered sugar.

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

Muffins are one of my favourite, quick treats to make.  Usually little fuss is required, all can be done in one bowl, and there’s plenty to share.  Muffins are also an excellent school or work snack and generally freeze very well.  I like to freeze them in individual bags so everyone can grab and go as needed.

 

strawberry muffins

 

And sometimes you can dress them up with a wee bit of whipped topping.  And since muffins are thought to be generally healthier for you than cupcakes, these are still considered healthy.

You’re welcome.

 

strawberry muffins

See the fruit in there?  Large pieces of sweet, juicy, red farm fresh strawberries.  We are still lucky to have some available locally, so my crew can enjoy these muffins all summer long.

This is a recipe that one of my gal pals shared with me.  I have to say it hasn’t disappointed, I’ve made it many times!

Have you got a favourite muffin flavour?  An easy muffin recipe that freezes well and makes a good school snack?  Please share it with me in the comments!

Enjoy the rest of your summer friends!

Renee

 

Fresh Strawberry Muffins

adapted from, Home of My Heart

  •  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  •  3/4 cup sugar
  •  1 egg
  •  2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 tsp kosher salt
  •  1/2 cup milk
  •  1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  •  3 tsp sugar
  •  1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • whipped topping for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°

1.  In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2.  In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.  Add flour mixture and milk alternately to the butter mixture.
Gently fold in strawberries.

3.  Spoon batter into muffin pans, lined with muffin liners or sprayed with non-stick baking spray, until about 3/4 full.  Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.   Bake for approx. 20 minutes.

 

4.  Let cool completely and top with whipped topping and a strawberry if desired.  They are just as excellent without!

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Filed under Breakfast, Muffins, Scones and Breads