Tag Archives: dessert

Chocolate Milkshake (Light Version Available)

12 Mar
Two chocolate milkshakes garnished with chocolate syrup swirls.

Two chocolate milkshakes garnished with chocolate syrup swirls.

  • 1 cup mlik
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1.5 cup vanilla ice cream

Serves two. Adjust quantities to suit your own preferences.

1. Add all ingredients to a blender.

2. Whiz on high until thoroughly combined.

3. Pour into two tumblers and drizzle a swirl of chocolate syrup on top as a garnish.

Healthier version: replace half the amount of ice cream with frozen yogurt, use skim milk, add a banana and/or a handful of frozen fruits (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc.).

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Double Chocolate Banana Cake

11 Dec
Double chocolate chip banana cake with chocolate icing and garnished with fresh raspberries, icing sugar and cocoa powder.

Double chocolate chip banana cake with chocolate icing and garnished with fresh raspberries, icing sugar and cocoa powder.

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (if not ripe, add 1 tbsp of skim milk for moisture)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine banana, sugar, egg and oil.

2. In another bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour.

3. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Once mixed, add in chocolate chips. Combine thoroughly.

4. Grease a baking dish (8 by 9.5 inch) with oil and then coat with a light layer of flour.

5. Pour cake mixture in and bake for 350º for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cake separates from the sides of the baking dish.

6. Let cool and decorate as you choose. Our cake was decorated with chocolate icing, a dusting of cocoa powder and icing sugar, and garnished with fresh raspberries.

Undecorated cake fresh from the oven.

Undecorated cake fresh from the oven.

The above cake creation was inspired by the following double chocolate banana muffin recipe. Thank you to Lillian for making the cake. Stay tuned next week for another “double” recipe!

Plum Strudel

16 Oct

Fresh plums baked in phyllo sheets.

The following is a twist on the classic Pita od Visnja and was created by Lillian.

  • 8 to 10 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 4 plums, cut into bit size pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup carbonated water
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 1/4 plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Phyllo and pieces of plum.

1. Lightly oil a 10 by 8 inch baking dish.

2. Fold one sheet of phyllo in half and place at the bottom of the baking dish.

3. Spread about ten pieces of plum over this layer.

4. Sprinkle 1 tbsp each of brown sugar, bread crumbs and oil evenly over the plums.

5. Repeat 3 more times and for the middle layer sprinkle 1 tbsp of carbonated water over this level.

Middle layer which in addition to the plums, bread crumbs and brown sugar, includes a light sprinkle of carbonated water.

6. Cover the top with a phyllo sheet, then drizzle with oil and carbonated water. The oil will help the pastry turn brown and crispy during baking and the water will help the pastry puff up.

7. If so desired, cut the phyllo almost to the bottom before baking. This will help separate the pieces during serving.

Plums and phyllo ready for the oven.

8. Bake in a preheated over for 400ºC for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Immediately after removing from the oven, sprinkle a generous amount of icing sugar over the plum strudels.

10. Let cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Plum strudel immediately out of the oven.

A generous dusting of icing sugar over the plum strudels.

Thin Brownies

9 Oct

Brownie.

The following recipe originates from Baker’s One Bowl Brownies. There’s no baking soda or powder so they come out of the oven very thin.  When finished, these brownies have a crunchy exterior and a soft fudgy interior. This recipe makes 9 small or 4 big rectangular brownies.

  • 2 ounces of unsweetened (2 squares) chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extra
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

1. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter.

A heat proof bowl on top of a pot with steaming water. This is known as a double boiler and gently melts the chocolate and butter inside the bowl.

2. Once melted, remove from heat and add in brown sugar, white sugar and egg. Mix well.

3. Add in flour. Combine well.

Brownie batter.

4. Add in nuts. Mix well.

5. Pour brownie batter into a greased 5 by 6 inch baking dish.

6. Bake in a 350°C preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Test the doneness by piercing brownies with a bamboo skewer or fork. If the skewer or fork comes out clean, the brownies are ready.

The brownies are finished.

7. Cool completely before cutting and serving.

Pita od Visnja

14 Aug

Pita od visnja (Serbian style sour cherry strudel).

Pita od Visnja is a Serbian style cherry strudel. It is traditionally made with pickled sour cherries and phyllo. Thank you to Lillian for sharing her recipe.

  • about 10 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 1 jar (776 mL) of sour pitted cherries, drained well
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup carbonated water
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 1/4 plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup icing sugar

Phyllo and sour cherries.

Line a baking pan with parchment or aluminum foil. Spread a thin layer of oil onto the foil or parchment. Unwrap two sheets of phyllo and lay on top of the baking dish. Place a few cherries (10 to 15) near the edge of the phyllo length wise. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsps of brown sugar over the cherries. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tbsps of bread crumbs over the cherries and brown sugar. (The bread crumbs will absorb the liquids that are released from the cherries during baking and prevent soggy pastries.) Roll the phyllo closed and tuck in the edges. Repeat until baking sheet is full or the cherries run out.

Pita od visnja unbaked and uncut.

Precut pita od visnja, ready for the oven.

Drizzle oil over the top of the phyllo and  also sprinkle about 1 to 2 tbsps of carbonated water on top of the phyllo. This helps the phyllo to puff up.  If so desired, cut the phyllo (almost to the bottom) before baking. This will help separate the pieces during serving.

Pita right after it has been removed from the oven. Leave in the oven for 2 or 3 more minutes if you like your pita od visnja more golden brown and crispy.

Bake in a preheated 400 ºC oven for 10 to 12 minutes. The phyllo will begin to brown near the edges. Leave in longer if you prefer extra crispy golden brown phyllo. Immediately after removing from the oven, dust a generous amount of icing sugar over the baked pita.  Let cool for a few minutes before separating pieces and serving.

A generous dusting of icing sugar over the pita.

TIP: Work quickly as phyllo sheets dry out quickly.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Sep

Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

The following recipe makes about 30 cookies:
  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, a little less is fine for those who are more health conscious.
  • 4 tbsps of honey or agave
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups of oats
  • a pinch of salt
  • 150 grams of chocolate chips
In a large mixing bowl, combine well the butter, both sugars, honey/agave, egg and vanilla extract. Sieve in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix well and then gradually add in the oats and chocolate chips.  Ensure all the ingredients are well mixed.

Form dough into 2 inch rounds, place on baking sheet at least two inches apart and lightly flatten with the palm of your hand.  Bake in a preheated 375ºC oven for 10 minutes.  Let cookies cool before removing from the baking sheet.

Two oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with chocolate ice cream in between.

For an added treat, use the cookies to make ice cream sandwiches.  In this case, serve while the cookies are still slightly warm.  I really enjoy the hint of warmth against the icy cold ice cream.