Lately I have had a bit of an obsession with Browned Butter so I have been experimenting with substituting it in some of my favourite recipes. This cookie recipe for Brown Butter Pecan Cookies turned out divine if I do say so myself. The spices the butter is simmered in lend a dept of flavour to the dough plus the crunch of the pecans and toffee bits combines to make a really good cookie.
If you are looking for the perfect dessert to celebrate Canada’s 150th this is the one- Sponge Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Strawberries! Delicious sponge cake, layered with vanilla whipped cream and fresh Ontario strawberries – dessert doesn’t get much better than this. Did I mention it is red and white? Canada’s colours showcased in a delicious cake that you can make ahead. White- vanilla whipped cream which is a stabilized cream meaning it will keep it’s form for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Of course it is cream which means you have to keep it refrigerated. Strawberries – finally fresh Ontario strawberries to make up the red colour in this decadent cake. Nothing tastes better than fresh local berries. These ones weren’t really local, just Ontario, but we will have local ones for July 1st I am sure. I will definitely be stopping at Emiry’s Berry Farm in Massey to get my load of berries for the long weekend!
If you are intimidated by the thought of making a sponge cake take the plunge as it really isn’t that difficult. The most important point is to make sure your eggs are at room temp. Easiest way to accomplish that is to put them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes. After the eggs are pale, thick and falling into ribbons treat them gently and fold the flour mixture in. A trick to this is not to use a spatula, but to use the whisk attachment that you whipped the eggs with- just hold it like a spoon and fold in the flour.
So whether you are hosting a gang or it is just a quiet affair this July 1st – celebrate Canada’s 150th with this beautiful and delicious cake. Enjoy!
- 6 eggs - room temp
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- Vanilla Cream
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 tsp gelatin (Knox)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
- ½ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 ℉. Line the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Butter the sides of the pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, beat eggs with the whisk attachment until foamy. Gradually add the 1 cup of sugar and increase the speed to medium on high. Beat for about 10 minutes or until the egg mixture forms ribbons when you let it fall from the whisk. Beat in the vanilla and lemon zest.
- Meanwhile in a separate bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold in gently. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture.
- Then transfer about 1 cup of the batter to a separate bowl and add in the melted butter. Blend gently.
- Add this mixture back to the batter and fold in gently.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the cake top springs back with lightly pressed. The cake will also pull away from the edges when it is done.
- Transfer pan to cooling rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Then remove the outer ring and let cool completely.
- Combine the berries and sugar. Let sit at room temperature until you assemble the cake.
- In a small saucepan sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Let stand for 5 minutes. Then place the saucepan over very low heat and without stirring allow the gelatin to dissolve.
- Set the pan aside.
- In a deep glass bowl whip the cream and icing sugar until peaks start to form. Beat in the vanilla. Then drizzle the gelatin into the cream while continuing to beat. Beat until stiff peaks forms.
- Cut the cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on serving plate. Spread about ½ of the whipped cream onto the cake then layer on about ½ of the berries. Place the top layer on - top side up. Spread or pipe the remaining cream forming a ring around the outside edge. Place the remaining berries in the middle.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Rhubarb = Spring, at least in my world it does. Spring also means lilacs which are one of my favourite flowers- the other being lavender. Funny how my two favourite flowers are both purple – not sure what that means! Back to the rhubarb. Rhubarb has to be one of those flavours that you either love or hate and thank goodness everyone in my life loves it because this time of year everything is coming up rhubarb. My rhubarb plant is a sunny protected area of the garden and it just explodes once the warm sun warms up the earth. Before you know it there is enough rhubarb to feed an army.
Summer is coming! Hopefully…summer is coming. We finally had a beautiful warm sunny Saturday and that had me thinking about summer desserts and ice cream. Now you can have a bowl of good quality vanilla ice cream (my favourite) but if you add a topping, now we are talking dessert. One of the most delicious toppings to make is Pineapple in Caramel Sauce.
If you are looking for a light yet tasty cake to serve for Mother’s Day this Orange Creamsicle Cake is the one. Orange Creamsicle Cake is as light as a feather yet full of orange flavour. The height and lightness of this chiffon type cake is achieved from separating the eggs and whipping the whites separately. To ensure the maximum volume the eggs have to be at room temperature before whipping. By folding in the whipped egg whites to the cake batter they add volume and airiness to the cake. Doing these additional steps does take more time but is so worth it in the end.
Lemony Lemon bars – the perfect combination of shortbread crust and lemon topping- my two favourite things. Bars are an easy and quick dessert to make and the more variations you have in your repertoire the better! The more lemon desserts there are the better as well, especially if you are a lemon lover. When we visited Positano, Italy a while back it was there that I saw the largest lemons ever. They were the size of grapefruits and smelled divine. They were growing on trees everywhere, it was so incredible. Definitely a reason to go back and visit again, and will definitely have to be somewhere where I have access to a kitchen to bake with those amazing lemons.
Baked Oatmeal was something I had never experienced until we had the pleasure of staying at the Captain Swift Inn Bed&Breakfast in Camden, Maine. If you are ever in the area I highly recommend this B&B, the 3 course breakfast that was served each morning was incredible. The owner, Linda, was nice enough to share her recipe for baked oatmeal with me and I am now sharing with you! I have changed her original up just a bit (hope she doesn’t mind!). Baked Fruit Oatmeal is an easy and delicious way to make breakfast for a gang. Another option is to bake it Sunday night and you have your breakfast ready to go for the week- just reheat a portion. Either way, enjoy it warm with some milk or maple syrup poured over it or if you are feeling indulgent a dollop of freshly whipped cream and maple syrup. That would be really amazing.
It is maple syrup season which can be otherwise known as Spring! Maple syrup has such a distinct flavour and although everyone drizzles it over pancakes I love to bake with it. This version of butter tarts uses both maple syrup and brown sugar without making the filling too sweet. Butter Tarts are a very heavenly dessert and these Maple Butter Tarts would make a very delicious dessert for your Easter dinner.
Pineapple Upside Down cake is one of those old-fashioned recipes that really never goes out of style. It is simple yet elegant enough for a fancy dinner party. I used the cake batter from the Brown Sugar Cupcake recipe and then just blended some butter and brown sugar together to make the yummy caramel topping – which of course is the best part of the cake. Then you just need a can of pineapple slices and you are ready to create this masterpiece.
I can’t believe that I haven’t tried Baileys Frosting before! I’ve seen it on Pinterest and on other blogs but just never got around to trying it. But today that procrastination ended and I made Baileys Frosting. Where have you been all my life? This is an amazing combination of 2 of my favourite things – Baileys and cupcakes. And what perfect timing for this experiment – St Patricks Day is just 2 days away. A wonderful Irish treat to celebrate St. Patricks Day.