Showing posts with label sweet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sweet. Show all posts

Flower Birthday Cupcakes with Buttercream Icing

flower cupcake cake
I made this flower birthday cake with 12 cupcakes for my daughter's birthday. I used the following buttercream icing to decorate, which was easy to work with and tasted delicious. 

For the buttercream icing you will need
4 oz butter unsalted
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbsp milk*

Tagine of Lamb with Prunes

I made half the portion of this sweet, delicious Tagine of Lamb with Prunes recipe is from Cooking at the Kasbah cookbook. It was a little unusal for our taste becuase I usually cook meat as a spicy dish and not sweet.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
2 lbs lamb 2" chunks
2 onions

Easy to Make, No Bake Date Pastries

1/4 cup ghee or clarified butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom ground
3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates like Medjool

In a small saucepan melt the ghee and add the nutmeg and cardamom and leave aside. Place the flour in a heavy bottom pan and heat it in medium heat until it has toasted and has become lightly brown, stir continuously to avoid it from getting burned.

Sweet Potato Doughnuts

Happy 2014 Everyone! Wishing you all the best and a healthy New Year. Thank you for being part of our family and site :)
This delicious recipe for Sweet Potato doughnuts or kueh keria is from a blogging friends's site that I had bookmarked for a while and glad I got a chance to try it. The following recipe will make about 8 so I doubled the following amounts to make about 16 doughnuts. 

Chocolate Treasure Island Cake

I made a Treasure Island cake using the following chocolate cake recipe for my son's birthday to accompany the pirate ship cake.

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Delicious Cheesecake From The Greek Yogurt Cookbook

The Greek Yogurt Cookbook by Lauren Kelly has over 125 nutritious recipes. Although, my family and I enjoy yogurt we barely eat it on its own. However, I find when I incorporate yogurt into our food such as in desserts or savoury dishes it gets eaten. Greek yogurts are different from traditional yogurt because it goes through an extra straining process that removes excess sugars and liquids. Some historians think yogurt was found accidentally far back as 9000BC when milk was stored in warm climates and it fermented resulting in yogurt. 

Our Thoughts on The Sugar Alternative Xyla

I received a package full of Xyla® products to review, I had no knowledge of Xyla before this review and wanted to share our thoughts and details with all of you. Xyla® or xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from nature and made from 100% sustainable North American hardwood. It does not have the side effects of sugar or most artificial sweeteners as it promotes good health, stabilizes our insulin and hormone levels and does not harm our teeth. A note that some competing brands manufactured in China is derived from corn.

Quick Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
2 carrots (about 1 cup) grated
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
2 eggs
1 tbsp orange juice

Pumpkin Streusel Muffin

1/2 cup sugar pumpkin purée
1/2 cup whole milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup walnuts chopped

Almond Sweets Halwa

Everyone celebrating Eid, have a blessed Eid 
عيد مبارك 
2 tbsp ghee
1/2 cup fine semolina
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 tsp nutmeg*
1 1/3 cups milk
sliced almonds, raisins, cranberries optional for decoration

Berry Muffins

We can use any of the Dorset cereals mueslis for this Berry Muffins recipe that I adapted from the Hellmann's website. We are very impressed how tasty the muffins turned out. 

1 1/2 cups flour 
3/4 cup Dorset cereals
3/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp cinnamon optional
1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries** 
1 cup milk 
1/2 cup Hellmann's® mayonnaise dressing 
1 egg 

*I used frozen mixed berries 
In a large bowl combine flour, Dorset cereals, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in berries. 
In another bowl beat together milk, Hellmann's® mayonnaise dressing and egg. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined. 
Spoon mixture into 12 paper lined or greased muffin cups. Bake in 375F preheated oven for 20 minutes or until muffin top springs back when lightly touched and toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Hellmann's mayonnaise founded on the principle of real, simple ingredients such as egg, oil and vinegar is celebrating their 100th anniversary. More than 80% of the ingredients in Hellmannʼs are sourced from within Canada and the brand is committed to using 100% Canadian Free Run Eggs in all their products by 2020. Everyone in our home enjoys mayonnaise, but we didn't know about the nutritional benefits associated with it. Mayonnaise is a wonderful substitute for traditional cooking oils since it locks in flavour and moisture, giving added benefit of omega-3 and a polyunsaturated fat.
  • Good fats like omega-3 fats help our bodies to absorb vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K. Vegetable omega-3 fats are an essential part of a healthy balanced diet because our bodies do not produce them. We can get omega-3 fats through foods like canola and flaxseed oil, walnuts, or mayonnaise. 
  • Nutrition guidelines suggest that we should choose more mono and polyunsaturated fats, like those found in vegetable oils, soft, non-hydrogenated margarine and mayonnaise, instead of saturated fats found in butter and cream. Trans fat, found in hydrogenated oils and shortening should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Canadaʼs Food Guide recommends eating a small amount (30-45 mL or 2-3 tbsp) of unsaturated fat each day. This includes oil used for cooking, salad dressings, margarine and mayonnaise.
I used the delicious Dorset Cereals in these muffins that gave it a fabulous taste and texture. The mueslis mixture recipes are made with a blend of oats, flakes, fruit, nuts and seeds. Their muesli and honey granola are not only delicious to eat for breakfast with yogurt, but also to include in all types of desserts. 
The different blends of Dorset cereals have unique combinations of nuts, fruits and grain to suit everyone's preference.
  • simply delicious muesli (raisins, sultanas, sunflower seeds, dates, brazil nuts, roasted hazelnuts, multi-grain flakes) 
  • simply nutty muesli (multi-grain flakes, almonds, dates, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds) 
  • fruit, nuts  & seeds muesli (raisins, flame raisins, dates, sultanas, banana, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, flaked almonds, whole hazelnuts, multi grain flakes) 
  • super high fibre muesli (toasted cereals, raisins, flame raisins, dates, sunflower seeds, toasted coconut, chopped roasted hazelnuts) 
  • really nutty muesli (cashews, brazils, hazelnuts, almonds, sultanas, dates, flame raisins, multi-grain flakes) 
  • super cranberry, cherry & almond muesli (cranberries, cherries, almonds, raisins, sultanas, sunflower seeds, flame raisins, toasted cereals) 
  • honey granola (oats, sunflower seeds, flaked almonds, rye flakes, pecans, pumpkin seeds baked in honey with a hint of vanilla extract* alcohol based) 
Their mueslis do not have added preservatives or sugar. It is high in fibre and has whole grains. Dorset Cereals can be bought in many countries
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Sticky toffee Pudding

Sticky toffee Pudding
the cake
9 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup pitted dates 
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup water
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs

In a pan simmer the dates with the baking soda and water for 5 minutes until it is soft. Puree with the cooking liquid in a blender. 
In a bowl add the butter, sugar, salt, eggs and sifted flour. Using a mixer, blend everything until it is combined. Mix the date puree into the mixture. 
Prepare the 9 x 13 baking dish with butter, then add a few of the simmered dates coarsely chopped and pour the mixture. Bake in a 375F preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the cake is firm to the touch. Turn out onto a plate and drizzle with toffee sauce before serving.

toffee sauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter cubed
2/3 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

Prepare the sauce while the cake is baking. Melt the sugar, butter and cream together in a pan until it is smooth and combined. Stir in the salt and allow to boil for a few minutes. Serve the warm pudding with the hot toffee sauce.

The pudding and sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and reheated before serving. We can also make in 8 individual 7 oz ramekins and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. 
This sticky toffee pudding is adapted from the DK baking book.
Sticky toffee Pudding
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Apple Nut Mesquite Muffins

1/4 cup mesquite meal *
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped apple
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup yogurt (or milk)
1/3 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
1 tsp vanilla optional
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts)

Combine the flours, baking powder, salt, and sieve it. Add the chopped apples and nuts to the flour mixture. 
Beat eggs, yogurt, vanilla if using, agave nectar and oil together. Then combine the liquid mixture with the flour mixture, until it is combined. 
Use a tbsp and fill the lined muffin tin with the mixture. Bake the muffins in a preheated 350F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

This recipe from here makes 12 muffins. *We can buy this mesquite flour from Kokoplell's kitchen online.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Making Cupcake Bouquets

I took a cupcake bouquet class at Le Dolci, as I was curious how cupcake bouquets are made. I found the experience fun, as the instructor explained us how to pipe three different flowers. She taught us how to make roses, carnation and daisies using the tear drop shaped tip. I have experience piping so I found it easy to follow the instructor, and had fun making these flowers.
After practicing for an hour on parchment paper, we got to decorate 12 mini-cupcakes that were pre-made for us. The buttercream icing was made with only butter and not shortening, so I found it was too quick to melt for my warm hands when I was piping :) 
I like that the icing only had butter and not shortening. Here is the recipe for the butter cream icing from Le Dolci, which I am looking forward to make at home to decorate cakes and cupcakes.
1 cup butter 
2 cups icing sugar 

Use room temperature butter and whip it for 2 minutes. Add the icing sugar slowly. 
It is optional to add a few drops of vanilla. For thinner consistency we can add water or milk a tsp at a time.
To make the cupcake bouquets, we need 
bamboo skewers 
clay pot 
craft flower arranging foam* 
knife and scissor 

*found in the dollar store and craft shops 
We cut up a piece of craft foam to fit into a clay pot so the cupcakes will have more balance when placed. The skewers were cut into 3 and placed in different heights. I pierced the cupcakes with a skewer lightly, but not all the way so it could be easily placed on the skewers.
I really liked how the bouquet looked after it was complete. I am glad that Le Dolci packs the goodies we make there to take home. My family thought it looked really pretty and enjoyed the bouquet of cupcakes. 
I usually think icing is just for the looks and not encourage my children to have a lot on their cakes, so I removed most of the pretty icing before they enjoyed the cupcakes.

I think it is always better and fun to learn a skill by having hands on experience. Le Dolci offers many different classes so we can learn to make cake pops, croissant, macaroons, cookie decorating truffles and more. Check out their website to take a look at the upcoming classes.
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Rice flakes sweet treats made with organic coconut sugar

This delicious sweet treat would be a wonderful quick snack to have anytime especially in the evening for tea time.

1/2 cup Rice flakes (flattened rice or beaten rice or poha or aval)
2 tbsp coconut sugar* (jaggery) to taste
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut to taste
warm water
Put the rice flakes into warm water and leave for about 5 minutes. Squeeze the rice flakes and put in a bowl, discard the water. 
Mix the rice flakes with the coconut sugar or jaggery and grated fresh coconut. Make it into bite-sized round shapes or serve it in individual dishes.
*Organic coconut sugar is a rich unrefined natural sweetener that is similar to brown sugar with a slight hint of butterscotch and caramel flavour. I have grown up with this delicious flavour has many  traditional preparations of dishes are made with coconut sugar that is well known as jaggery. 
The coconut sugar comes from the fresh nutrient-rich sap that is collected from tender coconut flower buds. The sap is gently heated in an open pan and boiled until it turns into granular form. This gluten free, healthy tropical favourite has no cholesterol and tastes delicious when included in beverages, cooking and baking. 
As it is made with natural ingredients there are no preservatives or artificial flavour or colour. The low glycemic qualities and high nutrient profile of the coconut sugar puts less stress on our blood sugar levels compared to highly refined white sugar. This Grace Coconut Sugar 500g jars are priced at $6.99 and is available in the international aisle at Loblaw’s, No Frills, Metro, Food Basics, Sobeys, Freshco, Walmart, Longo’s, Highland Farm and local ethnic store.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Cookies for Spring

cookies for spring
7 tbsp butter at room temperature
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
Callebaut Crispearls* or chocolate chip desired amount optional

Beat the butter, egg and then add in the sugar with an electric mixer. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon to make a soft dough. Then mix in the chocolate chips or Callebaut Crispearls.  
*Callebaut Crispearls are tiny toasted biscuit kernel coated with chocolate.
Callebaut Crispearls
Chill the dough in the fridge for about 1/2 hour before making 16 balls from the dough. Place the cookie balls in a lined baking sheet and flatten it about 1/4" thick before baking in a preheated 350F oven for 8 to 10 minutes until it is golden.  
Cookies will slightly harden after it cools on a wire rack so don't over bake as it might burn on the bottom.  This recipe is adapted from here.
cookies for spring
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Win 1 of 2 Flower Cookie Gift Baskets to celebrate spring

I am excited about the upcoming warm weather, especially the flowers :)  In celebration of this excitement I am hosting a giveaway for everyone in the US to win 1 of 2 Flower Cookie Gift Baskets (a value of up to $65).  
These cookies are perfect to celebrate any occasion so hope you will enjoy entering the contest through the rafflecopter below before April 7th.  
The Cookie Gift Baskets have a wonderful range of flower cookie designs and flavours for us to choose from.  They also have sugar-free cookies.  If you win you get to choose the baskets you like.

Please leave a comment on this post and follow the social media networks to be eligible.  This giveaway is open to everyone over the age of 18 in the US until April 7th.  

The winners will be randomly picked and contacted by email by April 14th.  Winners will have 3 days to respond from the time of contact.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I am co-hosting this giveaway and don't have any first-hand experience with the product.  The company is responsible for the delivery of the gift baskets.  All rights reserved on opinion of the written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First  

Apple Pudding

apple pudding
2 tart apples
2 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp sugar for the first part
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar for the second part
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup milk

1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Mix the topping ingredients and leave it ready to sprinkle over the top of the batter before baking.

Grease and flour the pan and leave it aside.  Peel and slice the apples and sprinkle it with lemon juice.  Arrange the apple slices over the bottom of the cake pan.  Sprinkle 4 tsp sugar over the apples.

In a bowl cream the butter and sugar.  Then add the beaten egg to the mixture.  Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and add this to the butter mixture, while adding the flour alternate it with the milk.  
Spoon the batter over the apples and gently smooth the top. Sprinkle the topping ingredients and bake for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated 350F oven.
Update: I used a 8" springform or removable pan, you can use a square pan as well.
My daughter made this apple pudding at summer camp last year. This warm delicious pioneer pudding recipe is wonderful to serve on its own or with vanilla ice cream.
apple pudding
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Chocolate Bonbons

This recipe for Chocolate Bonbons (alcohol free) was learned during a media event that I attended at Bonnie Gordon college in Toronto.   
345g Cacao Barry Mexique dark chocolate*
250g 35% cream
60g butter
55g honey
80g hazelnut paste

Heat cream, hazelnut paste, butter and honey until it reaches 65C.
Place the chocolate in a bowl then pour the cream mixture over the chocolates.  Allow it to sit for a few seconds then stir until it is smooth. Cover the ganache with a saran wrap in contact until it sets.  
Scoop the mixture into balls and allow it to firm up for at least 2 hours.  The instructor placed the ganache inside a bag and piped it.
This step of placing a hazelnut in the middle before making a ball is optional.
After it sets, we can make it into balls.

Using gloves roll the balls and leave it aside to dip each truffle into tempered chocolates then it can be optionally rolled in cocoa powder, chopped nuts, shredded coconut or icing sugar.
* I learned about different types of chocolates and how to temper chocolates in the microwave without burning it, check out this post for more details.  This is a video I took when the instructor at Bonnie Gordon College was tempering chocolates.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Healthy sweet moong dal snack or susiyam

1 cup split moong dal or mung bean *
1 1/2 cups water or more to cook the dal
1/2 cup fresh coconut shredded
1/2 cup grated jaggery or brown sugar to taste
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
*Instead of moong dal we can use split chickpeas or channa dal.  Adjust the amount of jaggery and coconut to taste.
Cook the dal until it is tender enough to mash, don't over cook the dal as it will become soggy and will be hard to form the ball shape.  Mix the dal with the coconut, jaggery and cardamom then make it into balls.
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp turmeric
coconut milk or water to make the batter

Mix the batter ingredients in another bowl to make a thick batter.

Coat the dal balls in the thick batter and fry in hot oil without overcrowding the pan until it becomes golden in colour.  
Serve warm or at room temperature as a snack.    
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2010 - 2013 unless mentioned. Please Ask First