Tag Archives: caramel

Apple Pie Dessert Panini with Salted Caramel

A few week-ends ago I borrowed a Panini press to experiment a little.  I’ve had some good café lunches and wanted to try some of these recipes at home.  As a result, we Panini-d our way through the entire week-end and this Apple Pie Dessert Panini with Salted Caramel was born.

Apple Pie Panini1

I don’t have very many kitchen appliances and I don’t follow too many food fads and now I know why.  I become slightly obsessed with a new toy or idea, and I make a ridiculous amount of food with it for a while.  Remember the cupcake craze?  I didn’t just make cupcakes for every acquaintance I knew, I opened a cupcake shop and made thousands!  That cupcake craze nearly did me in.  And when I bought our first deep fryer?  This place smelled like a fish and chip shop for weeks.   Our arteries are still recovering.  So yup, when I borrowed that Panini press, I dashed to the grocery store and bought all kinds of breads, meats and cheeses and melt-y things to put inside.  I became a bit of a freak about it, grilling something, and then wiping it down and trying something new.   I’m not kidding when I say, I made something in it for every meal.  As you know, I have teenagers, so when I started making grilled sandwiches again for dinner, a lot of eye rolling ensued.  It was getting to be time to back away from that Panini press, before I started planning my next sandwich shop.  I’m not even kidding.

But I lured those teenagers back with dessert (I’ll take any small victory with my teens at this point)!  I presented them with some golden raisin bread, oozing with brown sugar cream cheese, cinnamon sugar and apple slices.  I topped it with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce while still warm.  All melt-y and sweet and gooey, this Panini dessert was a real winner.  It was a fitting end to a week-end of Panini’s, and a super quick dessert to throw together.

Apple Pie Dessert Panini via SweetRevelations

Just to prove to you how over the top I can be, we ate this insanely good treat, and then I packed the press up to return it to its rightful owner.  I had to get it out of here, before the next days meals rolled around.  But not before I made a batch of homemade cherry pie filling, and showed up at their door with a bag of fresh egg bread, and ice cream.  Then I proceeded to invade their kitchen and make dessert Panini’s for them.

True story.

Salted Caramel via SweetRevelations

Happy week-end everyone!

Apple Pie Dessert Panini with Salted Caramel

  • 2 raisin bread slices
  • butter to spread on bread
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar cream cheese (store-bought)
  • very thinly sliced apple (you will only use 1/4 of it)
  • cinnamon sugar (mix 1/4 tsp cinnamon with tsp sugar)
  • vanilla ice cream

Salted Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  1. Make the salted caramel sauce first.   You will have leftovers, so cut the recipe in half if you need to.  But seriously, why would you?  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.   Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
  2. While the Panini press is heating up, butter one side of each slice of raisin bread.   Flip the bread over, so the buttered sides are on the bottom.  Spread the cream cheese on one piece of bread.  Layer some apples slices on top of that.  Sprinkle the apples with the cinnamon sugar, and top with the last piece of bread, buttered side out.  Place on the press and grill for 3-4 minutes, until the bread is golden and crispy.  Remove, slice the sandwich in half and top with vanilla ice cream and salted caramel sauce.

 

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Filed under Ice Cream, Sauces and Syrups, Scones and Breads

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel

And so begins the season of pumpkin everything.  Some people celebrate their birthday month, but in this house, we rejoice in pumpkin month.  A celebration, all month-long, of how many recipes I can fit pumpkin into.

Isn’t it funny how the pumpkin craze becomes slightly over the top in October?  People are hoarding cans and cans of puree, and then for the rest of the year the poor pumpkin pie spice sits, untouched, literally ignored?  If you figure out what the deal is with that, let me know.

pumpkin cupcakes

I haven’t posted cupcakes in a long time, so I thought these Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel, would be the perfect start to pumpkin everything month.  Just as the name implies, it’s a spicy but super moist delicate pumpkin cupcake, with a gorgeous brown sugar swiss meringue swirl, and a sweet and salty pool of homemade salted caramel.    It’s the pumpkin and salted caramel combination that gets me every time.  Not to mention cloves and cinnamon.  I do love the smell of cloves.

pumpkin cupcakes

These pumpkin cupcakes are an excellent recipe that do double duty as easy muffins too.  I simply double the recipe and freeze half for lunches, because they freeze so well.  They are also an easy make ahead dessert, because every component can be prepared in advance.  Make and freeze the cupcakes until you need them, whip and refrigerate the icing a few days ahead, and keep that salted caramel in the fridge for up to a week!   Your prep time is literally only minutes when you need to ice and serve them.  For this reason alone, these are a superb choice for any Thanksgiving celebrations you might be preparing for.

pumpkin cupcake

And don’t be afraid to make your own pumpkin puree too!  Although I do love the convenience of canned puree, it is incredibly easy to buy pie pumpkins from market and make your own.

Now excuse me while I spend the next few hours scouring Pinterest for the next great pumpkin recipe.  Have you got one?  Share it with me in the comments!

Happy pumpkin baking friends,

Renee

xo

Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cloves
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin trays with cupcake liners

  1.  In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves, set aside.  In a large bowl combine the sugar and oil.  Mix well.  Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Mix in the pumpkin puree.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir just until combined.
  2. Fill tins with a 1/4 cup of batter or use a cookie scoop, to ensure all of the cupcakes are the same size.  The recipe will yield approx. 20 cupcakes.  Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Set aside to cool.

Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Frosting

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed and room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

 

1.  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.

2.  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 the bowl of eff whites on the 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.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and pinch of salt and beat until combined.  Use immediately or refrigerate for a week.  Icing will need to be at room temperature and whipped for about 5 minutes if kept in the fridge.

Salted Caramel Sauce

*Cooking  Channel TV

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat to medium- high and bring to a boil, without stirring.  Use a wet pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan if you need to.  Boil until the syrup is a deep amber color, about 7 minutes.

2  Remove mixture from the heat and very carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble a lot but keep mixing. Stir in the unsalted butter, and salt. Bring back to the stove on low heat and stir until you have a smooth sauce.  Allow the caramel to cool.   The salted caramel sauce will keep in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.  Reheat for a few seconds before drizzling if needed.

Cupcake Assembly

Pipe an icing dam around the perimeter of the top of the cake, with a large round tip, leaving a hole in the middle.  Using a small spoon carefully drizzle salted caramel into the hole.  Top with raw pepitas for garnish.  Serve at room temperature.

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Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing, Sauces and Syrups

Self-Saucing Pear and Whiskey Cake

I asked my husband this week-end if he ever had self-saucing cakes as a boy.  He had never heard of such a thing.  Same with the moms I asked at the arena.  They had no idea what I was talking about.

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It’s right up there with moms heart-shaped cookies she used to put in our lunch or the sweet apple strudel she would buy as a treat on the week-ends sometimes.  Those magical boxes of mix that would bake with a warm, bubbling sauce on the bottom and a moist, warm cake layer on top?

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I tried a scratch version last week-end that was insanely good and brought back all the comfort of eating desserts as a kid at mom’s house again.

Minus the whiskey…..

scoop

It was a last minute decision to generously splash some whiskey into the caramel sauce on the bottom.  I can’t even tell you how much I used.  But I could taste it in there!  It complimented the spicy cloves and pears perfectly and left the most amazing caramel whiskey sauce on the bottom.

The perfect treat on a freezing winters night.

pears (1)

Have you ever eaten Self-Saucing Cake?  Do you make a dessert that takes you right back to your mom’s kitchen table?

Enjoy!

Renee

 

Self-Saucing Cake with Pears and Whiskey

* this made 8 1-cup ramekins (probably could’ve got 9 with less overflow) or would work well in a deep dish pie plate

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1-2 sliced green or red pears

For the sauce:

  • 1.5  tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3 tbsp whiskey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Lightly spray baking dishes with non stick spray and place on a cookie sheet.

1. For the cake:  In a medium bowl mix the flour, spices and baking powder; set aside.  In another bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla.   Add the flour mixture to butter in thirds, alternating with milk, and beginning and ending with the flour.  Mix just until incorporated.  Fill the ramekins just slightly over half full.  Top each with pear slices.

2. For the sauce:  In a microwave safe bowl heat the sugar, butter and water until mixture is steaming hot and sugar/butter is melted.  Stir in whiskey.  Immediately pour over cake and pears in the ramekins, dividing evenly amongst the dishes.

3.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until skewer comes clean when inserted into the cake.  Let sit for 5 minutes and eat warm.  Delicious with a scoop of ice cream on top too!

 

 

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Filed under Cake, Sauces and Syrups

Praline-Apple Fig Bread with Rum Butter

The week has been a bit hectic around here.   Maybe you’re following closely or you’ve been affected by the terrible weather that has damaged many homes on the US East Coast and made for some miserable days in parts of Canada.  We were very lucky here to only have some storm weather with few power outages.

I think the weather along with the usual ups and downs of family life has left me feeling kind of reflective and unsettled about things.    Dusting off some of my grandmothers treasures this morning I was wondering what she would think about how the world is today.   I was feeling really lucky that my children and husband were just hanging out at home while I did all of the mom things that they depend on me for.

While they watched movies and vegged out in that way that teens do, I headed into the kitchen for some comfort of my own.    The process of kneading breads and baking goodies seems to be so therapeutic for me sometimes.   The typical stress and chaos of the world around me seems to be absolved with an afternoon in the kitchen.  It helps me focus on the things that make me happy and fills me up with positive feelings.  Kind of like the effects of an afternoon with an old friend.

I’m curious to know, what’s your place of comfort?

I sure hope that some of my readers in the US are safe and warm and with family today.  I’m sending you all a little piece of virtual comfort in the form of warm Praline- Apple Fig Bread.   It’s moist and nutty and full of fall apples and fresh figs.  This bread is amazing on its own, but to ramp it up a bit I also made a Rum Butter.  Wow.

Praline-Apple Fig Bread

Adapted from myrecipes.com

*preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped, peeled apples
  • 2 fresh figs, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  1. Beat sour cream, sugar and eggs at low-speed for 2 minutes or until well blended.  Add vanilla.
  2. Stir together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg. Add to sour cream mixture, mixing just until blended. Stir in apples and figs. Spoon batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans; lightly press pecans into batter.
  3. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack.
  4. Bring butter and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly;let boil 1 minute. Remove from heat, and spoon over top of bread
  5. Note:   This bread freezes well.

Rum Butter

Remember the rum syrup I made here?  Make it and allow it to cool completely.  Stir about 2 tbsp into a 1/4 cup of whipped unsalted butter.  Delish.

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Filed under Scones and Breads