Tag Archives: baking

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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Filed under Breakfast, Cake

Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookies

Oh it’s soon to be Valentine’s Day!  The day devoted to showing our love for each other, through sweet cards and kisses, flowers and chocolate.  I for one, have been dropping hints about my favorite chocolate all week long.

Heart Sprinkle Cookies via SweetRevelations

It just wouldn’t be Valentine’s around here if these Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookies didn’t make an appearance.  They’ve been a Valentine’s tradition in our family since I was a wee one myself.  They always arrived in our lunch boxes during Valentine’s week and mom usually sent enough along for the whole class.   I can’t really think of a time that she missed it, even as we entered high school and college.  As a matter of fact, they still made an appearance when I was newly married with young children at home.  That’s mom though, still baking those sweet, sprinkle specked childhood favourites, even when we’re all grown up.

Do you see how my love of baking and passing on these sweet traditions for my own family got started?  I mean, doesn’t that just say love right there?!   It’s these little things, like simple cookie traditions that are the real gifts during special holidays.   Because what mom gave to us, essentially, was her time.   Each year, without fail, the way she made things in the kitchen for us communicated her love for us.  And now, when we share them with our own children, we get to feel all those good feelings all over again.   And isn’t that better than a box of chocolates?

Heart-Shaped Sprinkle Cookie via SweetRevelations

These are a very simple buttery, tender sugar cookie recipe, with the addition of some lemon extract, and colourful sprinkles.  The ingredient list is fairly basic, which means you probably have everything you need to make a batch today!   As baking recipes seem to become more complicated these days, I’m reminiscing about all of the simple, and sweet, recipes of generations past.   I often like to add my own flair to recipes that have been passed on to me, but for this time, I think simple is best, and I’m leaving moms just as they should be.    Sometimes less is more, you know?

heart cookies 1

It’s always great to give people a special treat for Valentine’s Day, but even better when you put your time and love into it.   And maybe a few sprinkles.  Get the kids into the kitchen this week-end and start your own baking story.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Renee

xo

 

Heart Shaped Sprinkle Cookies

Makes 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp sprinkles

Preheat oven to 375°

  1.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg and lemon extract.  Mix in the flour mixture just until combined.  Barely mix in the sprinkles.  Wrap and chill the dough for 1/2 hour.
  2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Cut heart shapes with a 3 inch heart cutter and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 7-8 minutes.   Store cooled cookies in an airtight container.  Cookies can be made ahead and freeze very well.

 

 

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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

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Guys, this pie.

So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I’m completely, utterly nuts over it.   The idea came to me last week-end while still tidying up from the holidays.  What on earth were we to do with all of those in-shell nuts I bought?  And why, for heaven’s sake, did I buy so many to begin with?!  I say this, but I know why.  It’s the same reason I buy those stuck together, hard as a rock, assorted Christmas candies.  When I was growing up, there was always a bowl of mixed nuts sitting out during the holidays.   It was tradition at our house, and at my grandparents.  With the same old-school nutcracker that my mom had for years, the bowl of nuts came out and stayed out for the duration of the winter.  As kids, we cracked them simply for entertainment purposes, nut pieces and shells flying across the room.  We were so convinced that if we just squeezed hard enough, we could crack them open with our bare hands (never happened I can assure you).  But growing up, I certainly began to appreciate the value of shelled whole nuts a little more.  My husband often cracks a few for a quick snack just before dinner.  Sometimes we are catching up about our day, and we’re both just absent mindedly cracking and eating amongst the chatter.  When the kitchen is busy with guests and family, someone is undoubtedly cracking open a meaty walnut or a crunchy filbert, while usually the brazil nuts are largely ignored.

So there I was, holidays over, company dwindling, and hoards of mixed nuts left.  I knew without a doubt that I would be using the walnuts for a pie.  A warm pie to me is the ultimate comfort food.  A sweet, nutty winter pie seemed just right.  And adding chocolate and sea salt was a logical step.  Crunchy walnuts, dark chocolate and sea salt amongst a tender, flaky pastry?  Count me in!

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie via SweetRevelations

I knew I would be using a recipe similar to pecan pie for my base.  I took a few recipes I currently have, and adjusted them until I found something that I was happy with.  The sea salt just takes this pie over the top.  It’s only a subtle salt flavor, but one that pairs perfectly with the other ingredients.  So perfectly in fact, I’ve made it two more times since then.  So. Good.

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

I love baking pies in the winter.  I usually keep lots of local summer fruit frozen just for that reason.  However, a nutty, decadent Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie is not only an appropriate alternative to fruit, I guarantee you that it will warm up your house and chase those winter blues away!

So I think I’ve given that ages old tradition of whole nuts during the holidays a new twist.  And when my children are in their own houses, and questioning their own winter bowl of nuts, “why do I put these out?” and “why on earth did I buy so many?!”, they’ll think back to these days in our kitchen.  And they’ll do it just the same, after all, its tradition.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Salty Walnut Chocolate Pie

Preheat oven to 375°

Ingredients

  • 9″ unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup Hershey’s dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1 tsp sea salt (more to taste if desired)
  1. Scatter the cup of chocolate chips on the bottom of the unbaked shell, set the shell aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.  Add the flour, eggs and corn syrup. Mix well.  Mix in the walnut pieces.  Pour the mixture into the pie shell, on top of the chocolate chips, and bake for 45 mins to an hour.  The filling will be puffed up and set at the sides, but still slightly jiggly in the center.  Don’t hesitate to leave it in longer if need be, the filling should be slightly jiggly but not sloshing around or it won’t set.  Cool completely and sprinkle with sea salt just before serving.

Walnuts via SweetRevelations

 

 

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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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Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies {Featured Post}

Happy holiday cookie baking everybody!

I recently shared a recipe post over at Hello Creative Family, all about Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies.  This is a dream cookie dough mix for busy bakers during the holidays!  It’s a super versatile, delicious, buttery dough, that can mixed into 4 different cookie flavours, and the best part is, that the dough can be made well ahead of time.   Just follow this link to the recipe here:

http://hellocreativefamily.com/easy-icebox-shortbread-cookies-recipe/

Check out the recipe and start your holiday baking off right!

Happy cookie baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Back-To-Basics-Easy-Icebox-Shortbread-Cookies-Recipe

 

 

 

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Better Ginger Cookies

This week I’ve decided to showcase one of my earlier recipes, with a kind of rewind.  Mom’s Ginger Cookies make their appearance at every family get together.  I had them at my wedding.  I sold them in the bake shop.  It’s hands down my most favourite cookie, the recipe that literally ignited my love for baking and all things sweet.  Just the smell takes me home instantly.  Perhaps it has to do with the hours spent with mom in the kitchen, rolling cookies in sugar.  My innocent seven year old self, standing on a chair beside her, taking in her love and kitchen knowledge like a sponge.  The music was always playing loudly while we worked, moms foot tapping away.  The same scene still holds true for my baking today.

 

ginger cookies- SweetRevelations

I originally posted the recipe using butter and dark brown sugar.  But I’ve got to admit, that this is one of those times that mom was right, and the recipe really tastes best as originally written, with shortening and white sugar.   The shortening produces a better cookie in this instance, that has a nice rise, a slightly crispy first bite, with a tender, chewy center.  I’ve kept the crystalized ginger in there too, not one of moms additions, but it adds just an extra zing that is drool worthy!

ginger cookie - SweetRevelations

 

This is one of my go to recipes around the holidays, because these cookies are easily made ahead and frozen, with absolutely no compromise to taste.  They are an excellent addition to dessert trays, and a sweet and spicy hostess gift, best delivered in a pretty holiday tin.  I almost always have a batch in my freezer.  Truth be told, I love to dip these frozen gems in hot tea.  Mom froze baked goods to keep us out of them, but I sneaked them just the same, and developed a love for frozen cookies and bars.  I’m guessing many of you did the same.

We’re heading full swing into holiday season every body.  This is one cookie tradition that is best left untouched.  Thanks mom.

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

Ginger Cookies

Pre-heat oven to 325°

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

 

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt, set aside.  In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and mix well.  Slowly add dry ingredients into creamed mixture. Mix just until flour is combined.  Stir in crystallized ginger.   Shape into 1″ balls and roll in sugar (no need to flatten).

2.   Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 2″ apart.  Bake for 14 minutes (exactly!).  Cookies will still be soft when they come out of the oven.  Leave cookies on pan for 2 minutes then move them to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  1. For larger, bakery style cookies, roll into larger balls.  Simply increase your baking time by a few minutes.  I often make 2″ balls when baking for gifts.  I increase my baking time to approx. 18 minutes with the 2 minute rest on the cookie sheet.
  2. This recipe is easily doubled, even tripled.
  3. The cooled cookies freeze very well, for a few weeks.
  4. These cookies make the BEST s’mores!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

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Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes

Snickers Trifle Bowl {5 Minutes!}

This is probably the most epic 5 minute dessert I’ve ever made.

SweetRevelations Snickers Trifle Bowl

I always keep extra layers of cake in the freezer.  Always.  And this is one of those times that it has paid off.  Deliciously.  Epically. Decadently.  Honestly, the most stunning 5 Minute Trifle, that literally only took 5 minutes to prepare.

Listen baking friends, I think we’re on to something pretty amazing here.

SweetRevelations Snickers Trifle Bowl

I love trifle just as much as the next guy, but I’m rethinking the whole layering into one large trifle bowl thing.  I mean, once scooped out, they’ve lost all presentation appeal.  Am I right?  So I think we might have solved that problem, just in time for your next get together, since trifle is so easy to whip up and is the perfect make ahead dessert.  Why not just assemble in some pretty dessert bowls and leave them chilled until you’re ready to serve them?

oh yes, friends, and did I mention that these only take 5 minutes to prepare?  You are most welcome.

Happy week-end everyone!

Renee

xo

 

Snickers Trifle Bowl {5 Minutes!}

*yield 5 dessert bowls

  • 2 pkgs instant chocolate pudding
  • 4 cups of evaporated milk (regular milk works too)
  • 1 chocolate cake layer, or store-bought chocolate pound cake, cut into cubes
  • 2 Snickers Bars, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts
  • whipped topping for garnish
  1. Whip the two packages of instant pudding with the evaporated milk for 2 minutes.  Divide among 5 dessert bowls.  Top with cubes of chocolate cake, slices of Snickers Bars, chopped peanuts and a dollop of whipped topping.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes:

  1. Easily change up the trifle flavours.  Switch out for your favourite pudding, chocolate and cake flavours.  Use fruit as a garnish too.
  2. Did you know that you can substitute evaporated milk for regular milk in instant pudding?  It mixes up into a very creamy pudding.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Cake, Pudding

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