Tag Archives: make ahead

Raspberry Swiss Roll Layer Cake (No Bake!}

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had an amazing dinner with friends.  It was a gorgeous home cooked meal, with all of the fixings, great wine and even better company.  When dessert rolled around, my girlfriend brought out a simple trifle, layered with raspberry swiss rolls, fresh berries and pudding.  She kind of apologized for its simplicity and stated it was one of her husbands favourites.  It was so good!  Very simple, but light tasting, fresh and so moist.   I enjoyed it so much, and couldn’t quite put a finger on why it was such a familiar, and happy, taste to me.

Swiss Roll Cake via SweetRevelations

Driving home from errands a few days later it dawned on me.  It was the swiss rolls!   It was that spongy cake and sweet raspberry center that brought a flood of memories back.   I remember staying at my grandmothers, my Mémé’s, as a teenager.  My Pépé had passed, and I was staying with her to keep her company.  We discovered at that time, that we both had the terrible habit of waking in the night to eat something sweet.   I’m not sure that it’s hereditary, but what a coincidence to discover that we both would end up in the kitchen in the night to nibble on something sweet with a glass of tea or milk.   I remember our surprise, “you do this too?!” and our pleasure at sharing this naughty habit (something it took me years to break).   I can still hear her, as she giggled about it.  At Mémé’s, when I was there, the midnight offering was a slice or two of raspberry swiss rolls.  She always put the slices on little saucers, and often, we would snack without much talking, and then both of us would head straight back to bed.

It’s funny how some foods can trigger such amazing memories and feelings sometimes.  Just thinking about those sleepovers made me feel so happy and nostalgic for the time she was here.  My grandmother was a tiny woman, with a gigantic heart, who was immensely proud of her family.  When I was newly married, she moved back to her home town to live in a retirement home, over 2000 kilometers away.  I mourned her absence and visited and wrote to her often.  I was lucky enough to fly down and sit with her, many years later, as she drew her very last breath.  She was probably one of the most influential women in my life, and still is very much with me in spirit today, especially as I have recently become a Mémé myself.

Swiss Roll Layer Cake via SweetRevelations

Just a few days ago I decided to track down those swiss rolls and use them to make a simple and fresh dessert of my own.  I layered slices of them in a springform pan with vanilla pudding.  The cake was left in the fridge overnight, and just before serving I piled it high with whipped topping and fresh berries.   I was so pleased with the results.  It was super moist, slightly sweet from the swiss rolls and bursting with fresh fruit.  Kind of like trifle, but in cake form.  It was an ideal make ahead dessert too, and something easily prepped the night before.  The hardest part of the dessert was finding the swiss rolls.  Having never purchased them myself, I finally found them in the bakery department of my local grocery store.  And oh boy was I excited about those rolls!  I bought every package they had on the shelf!

I’m completely okay with using instant pudding and store-bought layers for this cake.  There’s a time for beautiful, scratch made layer cakes and there’s a time for easy, family style desserts with memories and stories behind them.  Even though Mémé never made this cake, it’s my twist on one of her favourite treats and it certainly reminds me of the love of sweets we shared.  Who knew a no bake layer cake could be so easy and so tasty!

Swiss Roll Cake via SweetRevelations

Have you got a food, smell or taste that triggers happy memories for you?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Raspberry Swiss Roll Layer Cake {No Bake}

  • 2 400 gram packages of Raspberry Swiss Roll, sliced in 1″ pieces
  • 3 packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 5 cups of half and half cream
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • fresh fruit for garnish

 

  1. Line an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with parchment, as best you can, by cutting a circle for the bottom and a long rectangle for the side.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mixes and half and half cream, for about 2 minutes, set aside.
  2. Layer the slices of Swiss Roll in the bottom of the pan, being sure to tuck pieces close together for a snug fit.  Spread 1 1/2 cups of pudding on top of the layer.  Repeat two more times.  Add a final layer of Swiss Roll on top ( I sliced the top layer about 1/2″ only).  Refrigerate overnight.   Keep any unused pudding for serving.
  3. Before serving, carefully remove from the springform pan and set the cake on a platter.  Use a spatula to spread any remaining pudding on the sides.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit.  The cake will keep, covered, for a few days in the refrigerator.

 

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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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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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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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{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

My earliest memories of baking involve rolling endless amounts of Molasses Cookies with my mom.  Standing on a chair beside her, we rolled trays and trays and dipped them in sugar.  Years later, when I opened my first bake shop, that was the first item to go on the menu, and it’s still on there to this day.   Large, bakery style Molasses Cookies also make the very best s’mores.

Its something about the slightly bitter, intensely sweet, robust flavour that seems to go so well in baked goods .

molassespie

This week-end we had company over for an afternoon barbecue.  We are in the throes of an extreme heat warning, so we decided that the best place to be was right beside the pool.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you know my go-to desserts are generally make ahead items that allow me to spend more time with my guests than in the kitchen.

I decided a grown up, {Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie was just the ticket.

molassespie

 

It’s a simple, throw together dessert that’s big on flavour.  Have I mentioned that no ice cream maker is required?  A creamy, Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream is piled high into a gingersnap crust and left overnight to chill in the freezer.  Just before serving, beautiful dollops of whipped topping and premium dark chocolate shavings are added.

It’s a cool summer treat, with all of the excitement and nostalgia ice cream brings, and a boozy adult kick.

molassespie

Molasses is often mistaken as a cool weather ingredient.  But you would be very surprised at the sweet, caramel flavour that this ice cream has.  The generous splash of bourbon just simply puts this over the top.  We were all completely over the moon with this flavour combination and the creamy texture is outstanding!

molassespie

 

Summer is here, and it’s time to combine cool friends and boozy frozen treats for the perfect duo.

Stay cool everyone,

Renee

xo

molassespie

{Beat The Heat} Bourbon Molasses Ice Cream Pie

  • 1 1/2 c fine gingersnap crumbs (about 20 cookies pulsed in a food processor)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Fancy molasses, divided
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • dark chocolate shavings, for garnish
  • 2 cups whipped topping, for serving

Preheat oven to 350°

1.   Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom and 1″ up the sides of an 8″ springform pan or pie dish.  Bake for 8 minutes and allow to cool.

2.  Whip the heavy cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Set aside.   In another bowl, mix the sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of molasses.  Fold into the whipped cream.  Stir in the bourbon.   Spread into the cooled pie shell.  Take the remaining 1 tbsp of molasses and marble it throughout the top of the cream filling.  Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.  Top with whipped topping and chocolate shavings just before serving.

 

 

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Beer and Buttermilk Crêpe Cake

Strawberries are in season and I can’t tell you how excited this house is about that.  We eagerly await the arrival of local berries, that make their appearance in early summer.   It means that soon to follow are other local goodies that we are so fortunate to gather from passionate farmers in our area.  How lucky are we!

crepecake

Recently I made a Crêpe Cake to showcase some of the gorgeous juicy berries that I purchased at market.  This is a great make ahead dish that would be stunning served on any brunch table or as dessert with a cup of coffee.  It’s light and airy and full of paper-thin crêpes stacked up high to highlight all of that delicious fruit.

The crêpes couldn’t be easier to make, and the addition of a light, hoppy lager makes them even more delicate and airy (yes, beer for breakfast can be good).   Don’t worry, although they do have great flavor, they don’t taste like beer.  The batter also includes tangy buttermilk and is best when made ahead and left to rest in the refrigerator for a few hours.   The crêpes themselves can also be made ahead, up to 48 hours, and layered between sheets of parchment paper until ready to use.  I would recommend this step as a time saver!   The cake is just a simple process of layering the crêpes with the filling of your choice.  Hazelnut spread is an all time favourite, but to keep the cake nice and light I opted for a simple banana pudding and whipped topping filling.

crepe cake

I just happily layer and fill, layer and fill, until I run out of filling.  I’m pretty sure this time I was close to eighteen crêpes in all when I was finished the cake.  Assembly took about 20 minutes total and I left the cake in the refrigerator until dinner time.  Minus the slice I removed, and ate, to photograph for you.

Geez Louise the things I do for you.

crepe cake

Just the smell in the kitchen when making these, reminded me of a trip I took to Paris a few years ago.  My girlfriend took me to the Eiffel Tower for my birthday and immediate crêpe eating ensued.    I believe at one point I had a savory crêpe in one hand and a sweet one in the other.  Life is grand.

Happy Summer,

Renee

xo

fruit

 

Sweet Crêpe Batter

adapted from Jehnee’s Crêpe Recipe from http://www.thekitchn.com

*makes approximately 25 crepes

4 cups warm buttermilk
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoons sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup light lager

Banana Filling

1 pkg instant banana pudding (or flavor of choice)

1 3/4 cups milk, cold

1 1/2 cups whipped topping

fruit for garnish

 

1.  Melt the butter and warm the milk in a microwave safe dish. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few seconds to combine.  Make a well in the flour mixture, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture and mix until batter becomes uniform in texture.   Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don’t overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.

2.   Pour  1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan (my pan was about 8″ wide), swirling the batter to create an even surface.  Cook for approx. 2 minutes on the first side (look for a golden brown colour), then about 30 seconds on other side. Layer crêpes between sheets of parchment paper.  Refrigerate crêpes until needed (I put mine in a resealable bag).

3.  When ready to assemble, make the banana filling.  Mix milk and pudding for 2 minutes.  Fold in the whipped topping.  Layer crêpes on a cake platter, starting with a crêpe and spreading about 1 1/2 tbsp. of banana filling on top.  Layer with another crêpe and continue on until you run out of filling.  Left over crêpes can be frozen for later use.  Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours or more.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit just before serving.

 

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