Sunday, 21 December 2014
Wishing Everyone a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and Happy New Year!
These cookies are my fanciful take on chocolate chip cookies. I've used cocoa nibs instead of chocolate chips...and a butter cookie instead of a toll house drop batter. These cookies are so easy and pretty. Cut slices from a refrigerator-cold triangular log of my butter cookie recipe (below). Then top with cocoa nib pieces and sprinkle with unrefined cane sugar. Bake and package with the plain butter cookies and you've got a nice selection for gifting.
SPARKLY COCOA NIB CHIP COOKIES
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup Organic unrefined cane sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, ground up)
2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
Extra ½ cup organic unrefined can sugar for sprinkling and rolling
Extra 3 tablespoons cocoa nibs for sprinking on cookies
1. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt and mix until combined.
2. Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Form log into triangular shape. Place each log on a 12-by-16 inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1 ½ inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer parchment-wrapped log to refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Roll log in extra cane sugar. Cut into ½-inch thick slices. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Sprinkle with cocoa nib pieces and extra cane sugar. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. (cakebrain note: ensure the cookies are golden brown and they'll taste much more flavourful as well as have a better crunch). Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
|love the chandelier in Ayoub's|
Sunday, 17 August 2014
Saturday, 16 August 2014
|Matcha Latte Afternoon Tea special ($5)|
Friday, 15 August 2014
Wednesday, 13 August 2014
My friend gifted me a HUGE ice-cream pail full of perfectly sweet local blueberries from a UPick farm in Richmond. The blueberry season is here NOW! and I don't know about you, but I have blueberries starting to turn mushy and I'm heading to the freezer now with trays of them to save them for smoothies and baking.
Aside from a healthy smoothy, a more decadent way to enjoy a nice heap o' blueberries is in a milkshake. Here's my quick recipe:
2 scoops vanilla ice cream (can be made dairy free with almond or coconut ice cream)
1 cup milk (can be made dairy free with almond or coconut milk)
1 cup blueberries
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until combined and no longer lumpy.
|Spanakopita (Spinach pie)|
Wednesday, 6 August 2014
|Matcha Chiffon (GF)|
The following GF flour blend recipe is the one I have tripled and kept in an airtight container to be used in place of regular flour. It has been truly amazing and I imagine you can adapt it, as I have seen numerous permutations on the net. For cakes, you will find that using the Thai Rice Flour brands that I have pictured below are important for fine texture. You will find the 3 Elephants Brand rice flours in Asian markets. They are really cheap. You can buy a whole bunch at once and blend up your mix. For the other starches, I believe brands are not as important.
Tuesday, 5 August 2014
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
|One Blueberry Muffin. Now.|
My 7 yr old loves blueberry muffins. The trouble is no one else in the household is that crazy about them.
Monday, 28 July 2014
|Christmas in July Cookie Contest!|
|Matcha Coconut Mochi. An excellent Japanese sweet to serve with tea or coffee.|
Monday, 7 July 2014
|Fresh local strawberry & vanilla ice cream tarts|
In keeping with my "Lazy Summer" theme I started with my last post, I thought I'd show you a sneaky-delicious treat to use up those local strawberries that are so juicy sweet this month. After we visited the driving range in Richmond, we noticed the blueberry & strawberry farm next door to it had a "U Pick" sign. It didn't take much to convince the kids to pick berries. They were half-way across the strawberry field before I could finish "Do you want to pick..."
Sunday, 6 July 2014
|Matcha Madeleines (gf). Note the "hump"...a good thing|
|Madeleines are one of the most beautiful little cakes I've ever seen and positively scream of lazy days on the patio. Perfect for afternoon tea or coffee. |
Saturday, 5 July 2014
Monday, 2 June 2014
|Gluten Free Banana Chiffon Cake|
No regrets though (sorry dear readers) as real life takes precedence over virtual life!
|"Cloud 9" GF Flour Blend from Costco & Whole Psyllium Husks|
Saturday, 4 January 2014
|Chocolate quinoa layer cake with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream|
I doubled my usual cupcake recipe and baked the batter in 8 inch circular pans. Then I ended up reserving one layer for the freezer as I thought 3 layers would be enough. And it was. I had just enough SMB to frost all the sides. The layers were moist and I did not have to slice them though if you like lots of frosting I guess you could. However, at that point you would also need way more buttercream.
I thought of melted chocolate decorations as I was too lazy to pipe buttercream around the cake. I think they turned out quite well considering I had not made these before. I made big evergreen trees and plastered them on the sides of the cake. Then I topped the centre of the cake on top with a daisy and a bunch of swirls of chocolate.
For the over the top Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I used THIS recipe and added 4 oz dark melted chocolate to the buttercream.
For the Chocolate Quinoa Layers, I used THIS recipe BUT ADDED 1/4 CUP MORE COOKED QUINOA TO EACH BATCH. It has more quinoa than the original recipe; is baked in 8 inch layers (2) and I doubled the recipe and added 5-10 minutes to the baking time. Make the recipe twice because only one batch will fit in your blender or processor anyway. You will kill your Vitamix if you try to do a double batch (and it won't fit anyway). Freeze one of the layers so that you'll have 3 layers in total from the double-batch (or make extra cupcakes with the batter after you make 3 layers).