Archive for ‘Baking & Sweets’

July 20, 2014

berry yogurt cheesecake with [gf] granola crust

berry cheesecake gf

Want the divine decadence of cheesecake without all the heaviness and extra fluff? This recipe is a total spin on traditional cheesecake, that draws on whole + fresh seasonal ingredients, the resulting mini cheesecakes are like fluffy cheesy pillows of fruit crisp-ness. So forget the gelatin, condensed sweetened milk, icing sugar and corn syrup of cheesecakes past, and bust out the ; raw honey, coconut oil, granola, quinoa flakes, yogurt, old fashion cream cheese and freshly picked berries! * I am swooning over my first ever harvest of blueberries here on the home-front!

This granola crust is a great alternative to too sweet graham cracker crust… have you ever read the ingredient on the nation brand graham cracker crumbs, ACK! I will take my home made granola goodness any day.

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July 14, 2014

saskatoon syrup slam

saskatoon berry syrup

Drowning in berries these days? I sure am. I feel barely able to keep up to the picking, let alone the processing!

My saskatoon tree is literally exploding the biggest juicy saskatoon berries I have ever seen! I find these berries a little mealy for my taste, not ideal for smoothies or jam IMHO, BUT dynamite as a jelly / syrup or baked in a pie!

I made a quick saskatoon berry syrup today using a little raw honey and a day of lazy berry dripping.

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January 25, 2014

maple maca bliss balls

maple maca balls

These represent my favorite flavors in one little healthful mouthful! There is this sweet cafe in a nearly town that sells lots of yummy raw treats and I often find myself with a pocketful of their maca maple balls when my sweet tooth sings to me. This is my bliss ball perfection easy take on those treats. Quick and lovely super-food-rich-guilt-free treats.

In a food processor combine:

2 cups unsweetened coconut  (+ more to roll the balls in after)
4 tbsp coconut oil1/4 cup raw honey1/4 cup maple syruppinch of sea salt1 tbsp black maca powder1/4 cup hemp seeds (hulled and organic)splash of vanilla

Process until your mixture begins to ball.
Portion bliss mix into small bite size balls by rolling them in your palms, then toss in a small bowl of coconut to fully coat the balls.
Allow to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes, they dig in!

enjoy.

January 12, 2014

gluten free coconut almond jam bars

gluten free jam sqares

Eager to bake something gooey and gluten free, my daughter and I set out to make some nice jar squares. These are similar to those really yummy mojito mint coconut bars I made back when the mint was flushing in the bog below. These days I am still flush with a big batch of refrigerator raspberry jam I made weeks back to fill those gluten free doughnuts with. I realized half way through this recipe I didn’t have any more coconut flour, and I decided to make my own, just like I make bean flour, or oat flour or nut flour… and it seemed to work OK. After a long ride in the processor my fancy shred organic coconut was very flour like and preformed well in the recipe.

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January 7, 2014

squash streusel muffins

gluten free squash muffins

Round 2 of using up that giant squash I roasted. These gluten free muffins were lovely and spicy. They baked up really nice with a perfectly risen muffin top. I made these dairy free and gluten free and the whole family loved them. Even my sweetie who hates pumpkin in anything but pie ate a number of these warm from the oven.

I mashed together a couple different recipes to come up with these, and was thrilled with the results. I used chickpea flour and some gluten free four mix (Bob’s) along with freshly roasted winter squash, coconut oil and my daughter insisted we throw in chocolate chips. The streusel topping was the perfect finish to these lovely muffins.

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December 29, 2013

tourtiere a borrowed tradition

tourtiere

So pretty, isn’t it? This holiday season I was adamant that I would make French Canadian tourtiere to be served on Christmas Eve along side my new favorite killer condiment green tomato ketchup. What a great idea! I read about a million recipes for traditional tourtiere from various regions all over Quebec, which differ vastly. I settled on a flaky pork lard and butter whole spelt crust and created a dish of rich browned pork, lamb and beef seasoned with garlic and onion, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, bay and savory. I added small pieces of potato and a little chili for just a hint of heat.

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December 20, 2013

cheeze-luv gluten free crackers

hommade cheez-its

Just like the processed snack cheez-it’s or cheese-nibs these golden cheesy puffs are perfect for snacking… only these are gluten free and made with real food… well aside from the orange cheese I purchased just for this occasion! I had an epic holiday kitchen marathon today which started with another round of Hot Damn Bacon Jam, then I made a batch of Amazing Apple Pie Jam followed by a double batch of these darling cheese-luv crackers. All day I was imagining how amazing a dollop of apple pie jam would be atop of fresh crisp cheese cracker, and I was more than right! This combo is like an instant cheese slice on an apple pie party in your mouth! Killer Killer Combo!

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December 15, 2013

jelly filled gluten free doughnuts

jelly filled doughnuts

This is totally over the top, but when you are aching to bake and your oven is broken the 12 or so tedious steps it takes to makes these darling indulgent holes all seem worth the effort. Not only did we alternate a traditional fried yeast doughnut recipe to be gluten free, but we (my daughter and I) whipped up a fresh batch of raspberry jam from the summers frozen stash to lovingly hand pipe fresh filling into warm sugar drenched dough balls. oh my. So if you have all day to make something truly s[special, please by all means try out this recipe:

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December 3, 2013

holiday baking ideas…

I know some of you are chomping at the bit to get some holiday baking done, and that is why I have highlighted some of my all time favorite recipes for sweet holiday cheer. I’ll have plenty of new recipes to share starting next week. Some of these are vegan, some gluten free, some so buttery and wheat-y you’ll feel like your at grandmas.

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Rosemary brown butter shortbread-cookies

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Dreamy coconut pecan date bliss balls

lemon ginger pillows

Lemon ginger meringues

rosett-2

Scandinavian rosettes

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Ginger Blissmas

buckwheat pear loaf

Ginger pear chocolate buckwheat loafs

cinnamon buns

OMG cinnamon bun madness

chocolate pretzel almond bark

Chocolate almond pretzel bark

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Truffle kisses chocolate mousse

vegan nut butter truffle balls

Vegan nut butter truffle balls

perfect pumpkin pie

Pumpkin luv’in pie

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Marvelous ginger marmalade

Now where to start?

November 22, 2013

chocolate oat bars

choclate oat bars

Easy no bake energy boosters, not too healthy not too sweet, just right for a simple treat.

In a double boiler melt

1 cup of almond butter

1 cup coconut oil

2 cups chocolate chips

a splash of vanilla

Once melted mix into a bowl of:

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup cacao chips

pour mixture into lined pan, portion with  ice cream scoop, or press into chocolate or mini muffin molds, set in fridge and serve.

I decided to pour half the mixture into a terrine pan lined with parchment and sprinkle with some beautiful coconut chips, the rest I poured into some really lovey little flower cast iron molds I had. So cute.

no bake chocolate flowers

October 19, 2013

sweet potato skillet pie

sweet potato skillet pie

This recipe is the origin of so many amazing adventures in my life. I recall always disliking Thanksgiving dinner as a child… I didn’t eat meat, I hate stuffing, dry potatoes arg, overcooked brussel sprouts… all bad things. One year my aunt brought to dinner something that changed my life forever… a baked mashed sweet potato dish covered in sugar coated pecans… finally FLAVOR for a holiday meal! I started making it myself as a teenager and really amped up the seasonings, I played with maple coated nut toppings and loved it all. It soon became the dish I always brought to the festive meals… that and the turkey later on, as I would seek out sustainable happy turkey farms and drive for hours and pay top dollar to deliver a raw fresh bird to whom ever was hosting the big family dinner that year, just so I could indulge in turkey and gravy along with my sweet potato pie!

This sweet potato pie dish welcomed me to the world of sharing food with folks, presenting a truly stand out dish and soaking up the oohs and ahhs. From there I was hooked on nourishing people with really tasty foods! Fast forward many years and when I was opening my second bakery and was developing vegan and gluten free recipes I decided one day to plop a couple cups of holiday left over sweet potato pie into the mixer… that moment the famous Pure vegan Sweet Potato Pow cookie was born. Here is a revised version of that killer cookie recipe and a little more of the story, but back to the pie…

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September 24, 2013

harvest wedding desserts

wedding dessert

Please excuse my absence over the past while, our friends equinox country wedding has taken over my culinary life for a time. I had the great pleasure of baking all of the desserts for their local harvest feast, along with the wedding cake, and some lovely condiments to go along with the exceptional charcuterie table, whole hog roast and the stunning seasonal dinner Chris Cho of Ayden Kitchan and Bar rolled.

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September 16, 2013

cafe “caramel” nut brownie : gluten free

gliten free cafe caramel brownies

This is a remake of an old gluten free brownie I revamped to use what I had on hand. With this formula you get a nice dense square with some spring and loads of nutty chocolate notes. I say caramel, but really I used dates, when they are baked like this you end up with moist sticky ribbons through the batter that taste like caramel, it’s lovely.

There is no butter or oil or sugar added to this batter, just almond butter and cocoa with a blend of black bean flour and brown rice flour, farm fresh eggs and just a hint of molasses and maple syrup, all rounded out by some strong coffee. It is like a no guild chocolate caramel coconut milk mochachino.

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September 15, 2013

“making banana pancakes…

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… pretend like it’s the weekend” –  Jack Johnson was on to something… and I am afraid I have been in the dark about this Banana Pancake phenomenon! I just discovered, through various means in short succession that if you combine 1 banana 2 eggs and 1 spoon of peanut butter you get the most dense, moist rich gluten free pancakes on the planet! HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS ????  In the event you are like me and desperately looking for a carbie tasting breakfast snack to sop up some egg yoke, then your in luck! This recipe is way too easy, and once you ditch the gluten free pre-mixed pancake mix, for this you will be laughing!

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July 31, 2013

raspberry tart with chickpea coconut crust

g;uten free tart : raspberry chickpea coconut

I have been really enjoying baking with chickpea flour over the past few weeks. It’s dense and almost nutty tasting and it blends nicely with all kinds of other flours. Yesterday we picked the last of the very deep dark ripe raspberries of the season and had to put them to work immediately so I set out to bake a gluten free dairy free tart made in the lazy crumble top fashion of old school date bars (love this 2 step technique) The dough is a blend of chickpea flour / brown rice flour / coconut / coconut oil / and cane sugar used on the bottom and again on the top with a thick layer of smooshed freshly picked berries and some coconut chips.

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July 25, 2013

raspberry ringer

raspberry ringer

This frozen dessert is so simple there is no way it should taste this fresh and lovely. Your just 3 ingredients away from something that screams summer and takes no time at all to prepare. We just just picked 2 huge baskets of raspberries and I planned to make a gluten free berry cake in this sweet little vintage cake pan, but the very thought of turning the oven on yesterday had me feeling faint… instead I threw a few things in the stand mixer, made a pink puddle and froze it in the spring form pan, viola… raspberry frozen dessert!

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July 14, 2013

berry binge loaf cake

best berry bing loaf

Wow that is a crazy hot pink glaze! I made a batch of triple berry gratitude loafs and finished them with a quick saskatoon berry glaze that gave them this pink show stopping finish! We had a few folks to thank for some favors so I finally made time to do some batch baking and use my berry-berry-berry abundance! I also ran down to the local thrift shop in search of some semi disposable pans and came how with 8 small loaf pans which was the kicker in turning my berries into lovely loafs. The pans are great little commercial units and they baked these loafs perfectly!

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July 7, 2013

quinoa cake + saskatoon berry syrup

chocolate quinoa cake with saskatoon syrup

My dear friend turned 50 this weekend, and I had to make a show stopping cake to help her celebrate in style. I decided on making that lovely chocolate quinoa cake I made a couple weeks back, and to go all out  I made two batches of cake and opted for a coconut milk chocolate mousse center finished with a stellar Saskatoon berry syrup. Then the whole cake got a coconut oil butter cream chocolate frosting and a final raw cacao nib crumble edge.

The whole cake was gluten free and flour free, and parts of it are vegan, other parts are powered with super foods… And although it is deeply indulgent, on the whole I would say it’s a pretty healthy option as far as chocolate cakes go.

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June 17, 2013

qunioa chocolate cake

quinoa chocolate cake

Wheat free, flour free, gluten free, dairy free cake that is divine and deeply chocolatey, it must be too good to be true, right? WRONG, and the kicker is I finally cracked the perfect vegan frosting dilemma! So my intolerant friends, rejoice you can have your cake and eat it too!

I have been carrying this magazine page in my cookbook for about 3 years, and never had the time or energy to make this quinoa chocolate cake made with whole grain cooked quinoa not quinoa flour… well finally the day arrived and I just so happened to have need of 1 delicious chocolate birthday cake and as it happened I had on hand about 2 cups of left over un-seasoned cooked quinoa… PERFECT.

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June 13, 2013

mojito coconut bars

mint limr mojito jelly and bars

These gluten Free lime and mint jelly bars with coconut flour and chick pea flour make for a truly guilt free tropical escape. These bars started with an adventure in mint mojito jelly making, and ended with a truly special gluten free cookie bar.

Lets start with the canning adventure: My intention in the canning process was to make a small run of mint jelly to be used for roast dinners (along with 2 other jelly batches I had been waiting for sunny day and some free time to set out on), One of my interns Dave who I tough how to make jam a little while back, jumped in to learn the jelly making process, and I think at the end of it all, he and I had a refresher on what NOT to do!

Here is the abridged version of events:

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May 19, 2013

mint cubed chocolate cupcakes

choco-mint cupcakes

Inspired by the wafts of mint coming from our little mint bog My daughter and I found the time to squeeze in a batch of perfect little chocolate mint cupcakes on Saturday afternoon. The easy 1 bowl batter and the coconut milk gnache both were laced with peppermint essential oil, and then we topped them each with a whole fresh mint leaf. They are triple threat kind of mint muffins!

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May 16, 2013

wild forage souffle; nettles, dandelions, mint and morels

wild forage

So much foraging happening this time of year, wild food abounds! We have been eating nettles like crazy, also drying a good lot of it, same with the mint,  fresh in teas and dishes and drying it on mass to keep us cozy in the winters to come. Also the dandelions have been sunny and singing out to be made into another stellar batch of that dynamite dandelion jelly I made last year! And just today a tiny stash of morel mushrooms from the woods out back started to trickle in to the kitchen!

With such a big crew of folks to both help forage and keep well fed, the wild hunting is such a treat for all of us.

Today I tried my hand at a couple firsts:

1)  I made a cheese and nettle souffle, my virgin souffle, and it was lovely, golden and perfectly poof-ed and rich with nettles and a hint of sorrel.

2) I made two pretty darn nice looking loafs of caraway rye spelt bread.

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May 5, 2013

coconut drops

coconut drops

No bake – vegan- gluten free cookies AKA; monkey poo balls, haystacks, cocoa drops, etc…Whatever you call them, this is a redo of an old and easy classic. I made these with no dairy, and no wheat, they take about 10 minutes to make and about an hour to set up in the fridge, they are not to sweet at all, just perfectly balanced with coconut and chocolate.

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April 27, 2013

coconut milk streusel coffee cake

coconut milk streusel cake

I have been subbing out butter in recipes in exchange for coconut oil for some time, but more recently I am leaning on coconut milk instead, which offer’s another coconut flavor component to anything baked, or raw for that matter. Today I used my goto coffee cake recipe but opted to omit all the dairy (our latest farm intern is lactose intolerant). In place of sour cream and butter I used grapeseed oil and coconut milk, I made sure to add coconut into the cake batter as well as the streusel layer, and the result (although it took much longer to bake than usual), yielded a soft coco-nutty cake with the perfect tooth, and just the right sponge like spring, balanced with crispy deep dark crumble line through each slice.

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April 16, 2013

PB+J pie

PB+J pie

… a little reprieve (at least for the day from the pork-ness of the pig)

Our newest intern got a gold star cookie request for doing an ungodly task which saved me (and my flake-y constitution) from a barf-fest. His request was for peanut butter cookies, he also has a keen interest in learning how to preserve food. So I combined today’s jam making lesson with peanut butter cookie dough to make this really lovely peanut butter and freshly made jam tart with a sprinkle of sea salt and toasted peanuts.

Dave and I made two batches of jam this morning; the first was a double batch of saskatoon berrie jam, In the attempt to free up freezer space for our little piggies arrival, tomorrow. We used up the last of June’s frozen saskatoon harvest , and then we did a triple batch of raspberry jam, made with a trade-sie bag of berries from my best back road girlfriend. I think we got all of 4 raspberries from our new canes last year.. looking forward to a better yield this time around.

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April 10, 2013

vegan nut butter truffle balls

vegan nut butter truffle balls

I promise these are way better for you than they look! These also happen to be extremely quick to make and are a pretty rewarding dessert to serve and enjoy. Inspired by that crazy vegan coconut mousse I made for valentines this year I decided to play off that formula to create these coconut milk and peanut butter chocolate truffle balls.

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March 8, 2013

my spring chicken

chicken cake

It’s that time of year again, when I take up the Birthday cake challenge my daughter set forth and this year was a doozie! She requested a chicken cake, and not just any simple cute sheet cake chicken… but a 3D rendition of one of our Wheaten Maran Hens, which just happen to lay lovely dark chocolate brown colored eggs. Yikes, I am swamped with feeding a hungry man-crew of builders 2 meals of day, drowning in client work, fighting off a bug and prepping for Birthday weekend for my 11 year old chicken lover, and had to take on the 3d chicken challenge.

I started with old faithful, the Joy of Cooking’s, white cake recipe, which I am certain is what my grandmother used for the dozens and dozens of wedding cakes she pumped out in my youth, when I was the child labour icing rose maker! You know when ever I need something that will certainly work or I am roasting some new cut of meat, or need to source out a real classic, I turn to the joy of cooking, In fact if I am honest it is one of the ONLY recipe books I actually follow without question.

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February 19, 2013

brownie double tap

double tap brownie-6

I think we can mostly all agree that everyone loves brownies; fudgey dense chocolately squares, rich and dark… not to cakey, certainly not under-baked and gooey. Now when your imagining the perfect brownie what could make it even more perfect, aside from a fudgey frosting? What about a second layer of brownie, and yet another slap of frosting. Let me attest that a brownie double tap does indeed make for an even more perfect brownie, especially when your recipe (like this one) makes the quintessential brownie.

I didn’t actually set out to make a two layer brownie, but sometimes in the kitchen you just go with the flow and remarkable things happen. I knew this recipe would fill a 9×13 pan… but frankly I really dislike the rounded corners of pyrex bakeware and I opted to use my smaller rectangle tart pan with a scalloped edge and a push through bottom (which makes for dreamy presentation). Because of this I had about 1/4 of the batter left over and decided to add to it 1/3 cup of strong cold coffee, whisk well and bake off in a smaller rectangle tart pan. Ta-Da brownie slab was born.

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February 13, 2013

vegan quickie 4 your lover

vegan chocolate mousse

And who doesn’t love a quickie on Valentines Day?

I whipped these uber-super food loaded chocolate coconut milk mousse’s off in about 5 minutes. Lickety-split. Your lover will swoon. Or maybe you cozy up by your self and feel ZERO guilt for eating the whole batch on this hallmark holiday.

Remarkably I was driven to make something nice for my family today even after doing a mega baking stint in the bake shake at the local cafe pimping out the bakery cooler with Valentines Sweets…Did I say pimping? I all out loaded the cooler with dozens of sinful sweets; I pulled out some of my old favorites, but everything got a valentines spin, adored with chocolate hearts, pinked-up with beet root powder galore (which made for a huge pink mess to address) and berry buttercream blissmass-ed.

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February 6, 2013

apple butter brown betty

apple butter brown betty

I totally forgot just how divine the ginger apple butter I canned this fall is! It’s great and this recipe is a lovely way to use a pint of a golden rich deep apple spread to infuse oat crumble with fall goodness. After spreading apple butter on the crust of this dessert i liked the spoon and swooned, I think it’s time to bust open a jar for toast topping!

I used the same crumble crust recipe as I used for the fabulous balsamic fig dessert I made a couple weeks back, but this time I added slivers of dried apple chips to the topping for a double hit of apple preserve. I also kicked up the cinnamon warmth and the results were perfect, this dish was my contribution to a permaculture pot luck, and my sweetie dashed around all night soaking up the glowing reviews telling everyone how hard he worked at the dessert all day!

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February 1, 2013

quinoa coffee cake + masala spice pack give away!

masala quinoa cake

Think about this for a minute… Gluten free chocolate quinoa cake laced with the deep dark flavors of coffee and masala spice, are you drooling yet? What about dreaming up winning $60 worth of the best organic hand-ground  spices ever?! Maybe I have your attention now?!

Today’s recipe is a tribute to my favorite masala maker; I baked a chocolate coffee cake to die for (gluten free especially for her), the recipe is posted below, but first lets talk about my eatingwithSOLE, first ever GIVE AWAY:

You all know how much I adore Chamela Giri’s hand-ground traditional organic masala spice blends, I always use them and can’t imagine going back to making my own sub-par blends again. Here are some of my favorite recipes I have shared over the years here that feature her premium masalas: masala hashslow cooker vindaloo, kale + goat palak, my garden grown korma, cosmic chocolate chai cookies, roasted eggplant  masala, cinnamon chai hemp twists, channa masala guyanna style,  & chocolate chai pansy cake.

Well the exciting news is that Chamela Giri has offered up to one of my followers a masala gift package worth over $60! It features all of her spice blends ( a package each of her: winter chai, summer chai, chat masala, garam masala along with a package of her new and deeply divine masala coffee (which I am totally addicted to), AND 3 sample vials of her handmade all natural powdered perfumes!

masala coffee

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January 22, 2013

balsamic fig + currant oat bars

baslamic fig oat bar

A few years ago, my sister-in-law and I made a huge batch of balsamic fig spread after picking stunning figs from her fraiser valley neighbor. I haven’t got my hands on any fresh figs since and my cheese and cracker platers have been missing that sweet spread for so long! Well when I was placing a big bulk grain order with our wholesale organic food supplier I noticed they had dried mission figs for a pretty good price, so I ordered a bag and today I set to work testing out a little batch of jam to see how well they would reconstitute and puree. Success! Sweet balsamic maple success.  This amazing jam needed a perfectly golden baked “oattie” welcome to my pantry so I whipped up an old school (super easy) oat and jam bar.  I will be processing a bigger batch of this jam soon and will post canning details then, for now here is the small quick batch recipe I used, and the details on how to make a lovely oat bar. 

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January 21, 2013

vegan banana rum bread with coconut glaze

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I finally got sick of looking at 5 black mushy bananas occupying prime real-estate in my freezer and set them out to thaw… destine for some banana bread of sort. I scanned through my goto banana bread recipes (most of which use sour cream or butter) and opted to experiment with a vegan version. The result was nice and not to sweet, but dense perfectly moist and layered with some lovely tropical flavors… dark spiced rum, coconut, cardamom, apple, and banana. If you don’t have frozen overripe bananas lurking in your freezer and your using freshly browned ones I would recommend you roast them as your bringing the oven up to temp, to add a deeper banana flavor.

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December 30, 2012

flakey prosciutto chicken pot pie

flakey spelt pot pie

I had a chicken carcass from a roast dinner with family and friends the other night along with some lovely left over gravy and pan drippings, and I set out to make good ‘ol chicken noodle soup, but had a hankering to bake something lovely, with this urge I decided to make a flakey spelt pie crust and bring together a thick and savory chicken pot pie with roast potatoes cabbage and slivers of prosciutto ham.  This is so funny;  we haven’t had TV for years and years and years and only just got good internet out here in the bush so over this holiday time I have been knitting and streaming food porn, mainly master chef. I watched the first 3 seasons in the last 2 weeks, so now as I cook anything I can here Ramsey addressed each of my steps. “Just look at that pastry… flakey, golden… it’s (dramatic pause) absolutely perfect” I can here him saying.  Master chef, that is a reality show I would love to rock! But enough about Gordon, lets talk about pot pie. You can make a bang up veggie pot pie, in fact I do that more often, as we only roast a couple chickens a year in this kitchen. Mushrooms, onions, potatoes, carrots, peas, and squash slowly simmered in a thick mushroom gravy,  all makes for a divine pot pie. Tonight I veered from the veggie train and assembled a luscious lemon infused herb chicken gravy that you could literally eat with a spoon.

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December 24, 2012

omg cinnamon bun madness

cinnamon buns

This would make for a lovely start to Christmas morning!

First off I got to use the Proof function on my new convection oven, which made this recipe a real treat, but the sweet dough itself was to die for! It was so very lovely to work with, dreamy in fact. I found the recipe through Chef Michael Smith (whom I really do admire for focusing on local Canadian seasonal food often), My daughter requested  we make cinnamon buns and as I have no go to recipe I hit the net, when I found Michael Smiths recipe I knew I could trust it, he has a way about his cooking I really resonant with, I love how he cooks with his nose and without stuffy measurements.

Anyway I didn’t make any changes (which is soooo unlike me) I only added a slathering of maple cream cheese frosting on the warmed soft and perfectly baked buns. Did I say how delightful this dough was already? the initial rise was huge, after a punching and re rising it really started to shine, then after forming and sheeting the buns and a 2 hour proofing in the oven the buns were huge and almost marshmallowy.

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December 20, 2012

ginger blissmas

ginger blissmas cookies

In case the world does end tomorrow, I thought I should at least bake one last batch of cookies, and the holidays just wouldn’t be sweet without chewy sugar rolled gingerbread cookies. Just like grandma used to make, these are awfully close to the Gingerbread we made by the millions and sold at my cookie shop (or the dough hole as I lovingly refer to it as). I think you’ll love these as much as we have been.

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December 19, 2012

chocolate peanut butter pie

PB pie

For someone who loves so much to cook and bake as much as I do, I must admit I have had some challenging equipment to “enjoy” over the past few years of mountain living. This smallholding adventure started with only a fire pit and camp stove  to cook on, which was fine, even novel and fun in the spring & summer, but by fall I was thrilled to upgrade to a 2 burner electric cooktop and the infrared oven!  Finally a vintage wood / electric stove from the 50’s caught my eye (it was love at first sight), however the love dwindled as the reality of cooking with ancient wiring where scald or burn were the only two settings I had. All in stride I managed to pump out some very lovely meals in volume for the last 2 years, enjoying my single oven rack in it’s cozy  16″ oven. Well that all change yesterday when we installed my spanky new convection range! yip convection range! The hum of the mixer called to me and I was eager to get baking and test out just how even the convection baking could be!

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December 18, 2012

when life gives you quiche… make fudge!

trio of quiche

I had a lovely afternoon of knitting with my backroad fibre-y friends on Sunday, but found myself stumped with what to bring to snack on. It was early and I was running late so I opted for a no bake sinful super berry chocolate number. Upon our arrivals we quickly realized 3 of the 4 of us, all made / brought quiche, and not just any old quiche but spinach and feta quiche, a trio of them to be presise! We had a lovely filo crusted cumin kissed variety, one with a rustic sourdough tart shell made with homemade goat feta , and one with a traditional flakey pie crust  laced with shredded carrot. What a delicious suprise! Good thing my chickens were on strike and I was eggless or else we may have had a serious quiche-athon! As I said I opted for chocolate and whipped up this super silly easy fudge, which actually went very well with quiche and snake bites on a snowy sunday in the slocan.

This fudge couldn’t be easier:

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December 6, 2012

dobos torte

dobos torte

I had the great pleasure of finally making this Hungarian 6 layer cake this weekend, and even more pleasurable was the eating of it! My friend had his mother share his family traditional favorite with me in hopes that I would make it for his birthday months ago, and instead we made it together for mine. I taught him a few baking tricks and he made sure each step tasted and looked like his mom’s. Considering all the steps and careful mixing, I think we did pretty good. Each thin layer of fluffy spongey cake is slather with a chocolate coffee layer of frosting. We took the liberty of adding freshly toasted and then ground hazelnuts to 2 of the layers, and did a chocolate top rather than the caramel sauce shown below… I did try to make the carmel sauce but my vintage stove is all hell at heat control, I have hot and burn settings only on my cooktop, and when it comes to candy making consistent heat is key. I did however get to play with deeply sticky candy sugar and had fun making a little decorative poof for the top.

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November 12, 2012

apple sauce coffee cake

Ok so here is the reason I spend all this effort cooking and milling and canning apple sauce endlessly in the fall… So I can enjoy quick and easy apple sauce baking the rest of the year. This loaf is laced with walnut cinnamon strussel  and made with spelt flour and coconut with a pint jar of homemade apple sauce to add just the right amount of sweetness and moisture. This tastes like your grandma grew the apples and baked the loaf herself, I promise you’ll love this homey loaf.

Combine in a large bowl:

1  cup cane sugar

1 pint homemade applesauce

3/4 cup grapeseed oil

3 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

slowly add in:

2 1/4 cups sifted spelt flour

1 tsp bp

pinch of fine sea salt

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tsp blend of the following ground spices: nutmeg, allspice & cloves

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped coconut

In a small bowl make streusel:

1 tbsp cane sugar

1 tbsp walnut pieces

1 tsp cinnamom

1 tsp cocoa powder

1 tsp coconut oil

pinch sea salt

combine into crumb

 

Into a prepared loaf pan pour 1/2 of the batter, then sprinkle 1/2 of the streusel crumble, and top with the rest of the batter, finish with the rest of the streusel and bake at 350 for about an hour and ten minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Serve warm with a hot ‘cuppa!