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.
I know the combination sounds a little weird but trust me on this one – Brown Sugar Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting are amazing. The brown sugar gives that slight hint of caramel to the cupcake and the dark chocolate ensures that the frosting isn’t too sweet. One of the best things about this cupcake recipe is that you will probably have everything you need to whip up a batch in next to no time. I have been looking for a fool-proof simple white cupcake recipe and I think I’ve found it in this one. Now you could just as easily use all white sugar in the recipe but I think the bit of brown sugar just gives that depth of flavour that is sometimes missing in a cupcake.
Date Squares – the name might make you think of your Grandmother or potluck dinners but for me Date Squares are one of my favourite bar recipes. Dates have been cultivated since ancient times and date palms are one of the oldest fruits. Dates are also a very nutritious food as they contain iron, magnesium and calcium and are also very high in dietary fibre. Then add in oats and Date Squares have to be one of the most healthy desserts ever!