Tag Archives: fruit

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.

12 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes

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.

 

17 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special

DIY Homemade Yogurt

I have made an insane amount of Homemade Yogurt in the last while.  I didn’t realize until recently just how simple the process really is and how amazing the results can be.   I’m pretty late to this party because people have been making this for years and years.  It honestly never occurred to me and now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t try it sooner. Much like making my own breads, the satisfaction that comes from making my own yogurt is the same.    It’s essentially 5 steps: scald, cool, starter, incubate, refrigerate.

The very best part of the process is that all of the work is done while we’re in bed, with no special equipment.  In the evening, I scald some cream and milk, add some organic natural yogurt as a “starter” and wake up to a full jar of creamy yogurt.  It’s left in the oven all night to incubate and become thick and creamy and tangy.  I’ve been enjoying it late in the morning for a snack with some homemade granola and a drizzle of Date Syrup that a student made for me.

homemadeyogurt

The Date Syrup is a coveted jar because she took the time to write down her mom’s recipe, which is fairly detailed, and includes soaking the dates and boiling them down into a thick syrup.  This girl is a wonderful young lady, who I know is going to change with world.  She told me it’s a Middle Eastern tradition to eat it for breakfast drizzled atop Tahini with some bread for dipping.  It makes a lovely sweetener substitute and tastes divine when stirred into some homemade yogurt in the morning.   It adds just enough sweetness, without hiding the rich, tang of the yogurt.

DIYyogurt

 

In the morning, I take the jar out of the oven and put it in the refrigerator to continue to firm up.  After an hour or two, I drain it in cheesecloth until nice and thick, which is exactly how Greek Yogurt is made.  Sometimes I can’t wait and choose to eat it warm and slightly thinner with some fresh fruit puree stirred in.   It’s absolutely heavenly.  If I drain it for quite a while I’m left with a tangy yogurt cheese (also called Labneh), which has the same consistency as cream cheese and is outstanding when spread on rye crisps.  Who knew there were so many options!

yogurtdraining

My first attempt to make it was a complete disaster, and it never set up properly.  But, I’m nothing if not persistent and I tried again until I was happy with the results.  Fresh dairy is key and I’m an advocate for using premium local dairy when I can.  It just tastes better and it’s better for my family and my community.  I use Organic Whole Milk and sometimes, when I have some left over, I use cream to make it just a little more decadent.

 

jarsofyogurt

The hands on prep time is about 30 minutes.   The longer it’s left to incubate, the tangier it is.   Be prepared because this doesn’t have the store-bought added sweetener taste that you might be used to.  It’s slightly tangy and any sweetness is added by you.  Try honey or agave.  Use fresh seasonal fruit.  Stir in some lemon curd (insanely good) or jam.  Make frozen yogurt.  Stay tuned because I made the most sensational Eton Mess with it that I’m going to share soon!

The possibilities are endless.  Just try it!   I urge you to try it.  If you’re a yogurt loving family like we are this is a win-win situation.

Happy Summer Everyone!

Renee

 

 

Homemade Yogurt

  • 4 cups Whole Organic Milk (or sometimes I sub in one cup of cream for the milk)
  • 1/4 cup Organic Plain Yogurt with Active Cultures (a MUST)

 

1.  Fill a quart sized mason jar half way with boiling water and cover lightly with the lid.  Set aside while you do the rest of the prep.  Turn the oven light on.

2.  In a large pan, heat the milk to 190° on medium heat.  This might take some time but avoids burnt milk at the bottom of the pot.  I find that if I take my time bringing the milk to temperature, my yogurt is not grainy.  Whisk often as the milk is heating.  Once to temperature, remove from heat and let milk rest until it comes down to 120°.   You can set the pot in a few inches of cold water in the sink and whisk continually to help the temp come down faster if you’re pressed for time.  Whisk in the yogurt.  Whisk well to spread all of those active cultures around.

3.  Empty the water from the mason jar and pour the milk mixture in.  Cover with the lid.  I like to wrap the jar in a towel at this point.  Place the jar in the oven with the oven light on.  Leave overnight- some have results in as little as five hours but I prefer the overnight method.  In the morning transfer the yogurt to smaller containers if desired and refrigerate.  It will firm up more in the refrigerator.  If you like really thick yogurt, strain it in some cheesecloth that is suspended from a deep bowl (in the refrigerator).  The yogurt will become thicker after an hour or so but leave it until it reaches your desired consistency.  Leave it overnight for some Yogurt Cheese.  Refrigerate the yogurt as you normally would.

Note:  1.  Keep a 1/4 of yogurt from your new batch to use as a starter for your next batch!

2.  No worries if there is a clear liquid on top.  That’s pure whey and is excellent when substituted for water in bread making.  Refrigerate it and use it in smoothies.   Some swear by watering their plants with it too.

3.  Sometimes I don’t even bother with the mason jar.   I have used the blue pottery bowl you see in the pictures with a smaller plate placed on top.  The results have always been excellent!

jarofcream

 

 

27 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special, Sauces and Syrups, Tutorial

Perfect Fresh Peach Scones {For Your Freezer}

I made these scones this morning.

I made these scones yesterday morning.

I probably will make these scones tomorrow morning.  And the morning after.

peachscone2

I’ve been making scones first thing in the morning for a really long time.  When I had the bake shop, I baked thousands of scones at the crack of dawn.  Literally.  Hand rolled and cut, these were one of our most requested items.   Some with just a sprinkle of sugar on top and some with a sweet sugar glaze.

Who doesn’t love a fresh warm buttermilk scone straight from the oven?   Rolled and layered with chunks of fresh seasonal produce, it’s the perfect morning snack or tea time treat.

peachscones4

The beauty of this scone recipe, is the versatility.  Switch out the peaches for fresh pears and some ginger.  Remove the cinnamon and add lemon zest and fresh blueberries.    Throw in some cinnamon and raisins.

It requires minimal mixing and next to no kneading.  The less you work it, the better.

I roll new flavours all summer long as produce comes into season.  Then I freeze unbaked scones on a cookie sheet.  Once frozen, I store them in a freezer bag and bake as needed all fall and winter long.

peachscones3

 

I throw a few into the oven each morning as I’m getting ready for work.  Then a quick wrap with saran and the kiddo’s can grab a warm one on their way out the door.

Isn’t that the best way to start your day?

The recipe makes a generous amount of scones, bake some today and freeze the rest!

Do you have a favourite scone recipe?  I would love to hear about it!

Enjoy!

 

Fresh Peach Scones

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, frozen
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup sour cream (full fat works best)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 medium fresh peach, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp melted butter and cinnamon sugar for topping (2tbsp sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon)

1.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon.  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 centre 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.  Roll into a large rectangle, about 22 inches by 12 inches.  Spread thin peach slices all over the surface of the dough.  Starting with the longest side, roll the dough up towards you into a log.  Tuck in the seam.   You should be left with a log about 22 inches long.  Pinch the ends together and press down on the log to slightly flatten it.   Keep the seam on the bottom.

4.  Brush the scone log with the melted butter.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Cut the log in half.  Cut each half in half.  Cut each quarter in half.   You will be left with 8 squares.  Cut each square on the diagonal to make 2 scones, for a total of 16 scones.

5.  Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes or place unbaked scones on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for at least an hour.  Place frozen scones in freezer bags for easy storage.  Bake from frozen.  Eat warm!

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Scones and Breads

Easy Summer Whipped Parfait

Well I sure have missed this place!  Been a while since I posted a recipe, but it’s not for lack of baking!   Things sure are busy in this house and summer is here in full swing.

I love today’s post for many reasons..

 

1.   It takes less than 15 minutes and looks like a million bucks.

2.  I made this this morning  and let it chill for the rest of the day until our company arrived for dinner which meant I had no dessert hassle.  Just placed it on the table and looked like the wife and hostess of the year (as I wiped my brow…).

 

3.  It’s disposable.  I’m still using that package of disposable wine glasses I got a month ago for this post here.  Then I realised that I also used these cups here, both of which are my last two posts!  I am not for filling the landfills with plastic, but I do have a package of glasses to use up.

4.  It tastes ridiculously summery good.

A lady from our local market shared a similar recipe with me.  I added the jello bottom and couldn’t resist the beautiful cherries for garnish.    For the cream cheese whip I used some frozen mixed berries with pomegranate.  I threw in some of my own frozen summer strawberries too.  Its light and delicious!

 

Easy Summer Whipped Parfait

  • 1 pkg jello, any berry flavour prepared and poured into the bottom of serving glasses ( I did this the night before)
  • 250 gr cream cheese at room temperature
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups mashed berries
  • 1 litre container of frozen whipped topping thawed

1.  Beat sugar and cream cheese until smooth.  Add berries and mix well.  Fold in whipped topping.  Pour over jello that has set.

2.  Refrigerate several hours.  Garnish with more whipped cream, chocolate shavings, berries, etc.

Note:  You can also pour the whipped mixture over a 9×13 graham crust and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

19 Comments

Filed under Extra Special, Pudding

Decadent Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

I could not imagine my life without my little girl.  For many reasons.  She has grown into such a great young lady and she’s so bright and beautiful to boot (*ahem* you know..the whole apple falling from the tree thing?..)

She has been so great about being my right hand man when I need her to help me out at work.  She doesn’t complain about the early wake up call or the loads and loads of dishes that need to be done.  She’ll sit and colour oodles of fondant for me without batting a pretty little eyelash.

She’s pretty great.

And I don’t thank her enough.

Today I thought I would make her one of her most favourite treats.  It’s so simple but so incredibly addicting.  A sweet cream cheese ball with chocolate bits mixed in and rolled in Skor bits.  Slather it over a chocolate cracker or spread it on berries and you’ll be in love.  You cannot put this stuff down.   It is that good.  Imagine a spreadable cheesecake.

Ten whole minutes to put it together, seriously.  This is easily one of the fastest things you could throw together if company was coming.  Better yet, put it on your Easter buffet table.  Your guests will thank you!

Enjoy O and thank you.

Decadent Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

*adapted from Kraft Canada

Note: you could easily half this recipe as it makes a rather large cheese ball.

  •  2 pkg. (250 g each) Brick Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp.vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of Skor Bits

1. Combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a small bowl.  Beat until well incorporated.   Mix in mini chips.  Place the cheese mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap and manipulate into a ball.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Just before serving roll into Skor bits.

Serve with chocolate crackers or fruit.

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Filed under Extra Special

Margarita Cupcakes

Cake.  Frosting.  Booze.  Perfect.

I made these adorable Mini Margarita Cupcakes for a fun couple who were having their wedding shower this week-end.  I happen to know that they enjoy having a tequila shot (or two) every now and then.

Doesn’t this just take you back to hot summer days on a patio?    Seems such a long way away at the moment, as my husband is outside stringing up the Christmas lights.

No matter, these festive shots are perfect for any adult party any season.  With tequila on the cakes and in the icing, they have all the flavour of the popular lime drink.  Sans hangover…..  gracias!

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for Lemon Cupcakes and just substituted the lemon for lime.   Then I brushed the tops of the warm cakes with some tequila.  Then, and you know this is coming, I made my favourite frosting and flavoured it with tequila and lime.  Just for an extra lime kick, I put a little dollop of lime curd right on top.

Lime Cupcakes

yield is about 30 minis

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • tequila for brushing on warm cakes

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare muffin tins with mini paper liners or line mini baking cups on a cookie sheet.

1.  Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

2.  Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Add eggs one at time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one.  Add lime zest and lime juice and mix well.

3.  On low, add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.   Mix only until just incorporated.

4.  Fill each muffin cup ~3/4 full. Bake for 8 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.  Remove cakes to a wire rack to cool.  Lightly brush each cake with tequila while still slightly warm.

Tequila and Lime Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp tequila (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two 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 the 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 (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

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, a pinch of salt tequila and lime and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Lime Curd

*from Food.Com

Note: this makes a lot of curd!  Save it and use it for a yummy lime mousse or halve the recipe.

  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice (2 to 4 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

1.  In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine lime zest, lime juice, and sugar.  Bring just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes.  Add butter and stir until it has melted and combined.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature  Beat eggs into cooled lime mixture until well blended.  Return to heat and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and coats spoon.  Refrigerate at least one hour.

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Filed under Cup Cakes

Apple Spice Cupcakes with Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Well fall is definitely upon us!  I was at the market this morning and was instantly drawn to crates and crates of local apples.  This is one of my favourite seasons to be baking, and apples are by far one of my favourite fruits!

I also bought a huge jar of homemade apple butter and decided to use it to flavour the icing.   Anyone who has been following SweetRevelations knows how much I adore my yummy Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing!

The cakes were really good.  I love any cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice combo.  And the icing was pretty yummy too!  Great apple flavour that screams fall and Thanksgiving dinners.  I thought the cakes were so good that I left some un-iced (the horror!) and packed them in the freezer for lunch treats.

The Pastry Case is where I found this yummy recipe and I have no doubt that the cakes would taste awesome with the Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream that she has on her site.  Or, you could make the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I made here (delish).

Apple Spice Cupcakes

from The Pastry Case

yield: 30 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light molasses
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 tart baking apples, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

1.  Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then beat in the molasses. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each addition.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices to blend.

3.  Add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. After each addition, beat on low-speed just to combine the ingredients. Stir in the shredded apples and vanilla.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of apple butter or more to taste

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two 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 the 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 (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

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, a pinch of salt and apple butter and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

13 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Tangy Mini Lemon Pies and Your Mama Was A Snowblower

Look at how adorable these things are!  They look like tiny white kisses.  And a burst of yellow is just what this cool, grey day needs.

I can’t believe I’m not turning these into cupcakes, but today is a special post for a special person.  My step-dads birthday is today and this is one of his favourites!  I wanted to make something just for him because he’s really a super nice guy.  And here’s the best part…..I cheated on the pastry and the lemon curd so assembly was super quick and easy.   Not that he doesn’t deserve tarts made from scratch, but I only had an hour after work and this was so simple and tasty.

He has a nickname for literally everyone I know (even my friends 25 years later…) and he’s moved me countless times (that was the last time I promise…).   He has quirky, weird sayings for everything (I can’t tell you how many times I heard “your mama was a snowblower” growing up!) and the grandkids all think he’s a hoot.  He has a big heart and he’s good to his family.

Thanks for helping me out so many times.  And for being the guy that I call when I’m lost.  Hope you have a great birthday today!

Mini Meringue Lemon Pies

1.  First, use your best recipe for pie pastry, double crust.  Store bought pastry works just as well!  Roll out pastry and cut circles out with a 2″ biscuit cutter.  Press pastry into a mini muffin pan and generously prick each mini pie with a fork.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes or until golden.  Remove pies from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes.

2.  Fill each mini pie with lemon curd.  Lemon pie filling works just as well too.

3.  In your stand mixer, whip 3 egg whites, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar.  Whip until stiff peaks form.  Pipe onto lemon filling.  Broil for a few minutes until meringue is golden.  Serve immediately.

12 Comments

Filed under Pie

Mini Cheesecakes

Today is my sister’s birthday.  The big 30.  Remember here (scroll down to May 23) when I was talking about my big family?  Said sister is the second youngest.  She has just had her first child, my precious little niece.  She has a sweet tooth like me (actually all the sibs do..) and I really enjoyed making these cheesecakes for her.  Just a mini version that she can have when she actually has 5 minutes to enjoy a treat.

Aren’t they pretty?  And so simple.  I did a few raspberry and a few blueberry because they are in season and so fresh and yummy.

I think the next one is funny.  It looks like its tongue is sticking out.  You see that right?  I wouldn’t stick my tongue out at my sis though, she’s too sweet.  I think she’s a great mom and a great person.  She has a big heart.

I hope she has a wonderful day today!  And I hope that nap time is extra long so that she can sit down for a few minutes and enjoy her treats.

Mini Cheesecakes

*adapted from Annie’s Eats

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar

1/4 cup fresh blueberries and 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
3 tsp sugar

450 gr cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup PLUS 1 Tbsp sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350°

1.  Line 1 cupcake pan with liners.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar.  Stir together with a fork until well blended and graham crackers are moist.  Press 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.  (I used a shot glass to press the crumb mixture down)  Bake 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cooling rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300.°

 3.  Combine the blueberries and 1 1/2 tsp of sugar in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Repeat with the raspberries.  Set aside.

4.  In a medium-sized bowl beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth.  Blend in the remaining sugar until well incorporated.  Mix in the salt and vanilla.  Finally, beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition.

5.  Divide cheesecake batter evenly over the crust in each cupcake liner.  Dot a 1/2 teaspoon of the berry puree in a few dots over the cheesecake filling.  Use a toothpick or a skewer to lightly swirl and create a marbled effect.

6.  Bake until the filling is just set, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Transfer to the refrigerator and let chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

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