Tag Archives: sweets

Fighting the sweet tooth

One of my goals, that I did not do well on last month was avoiding sugar. I put it down as a goal for this month as well. Tonight, I was really wanting something sweet, so to combat the craving I made chocolate date truffles. They are nice and quick to make and all you need is a food processor.

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Ingredients

15-20 dates
1/4 cup of cocoa (unsweetened)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup coconut (unsweetened)

Soak the dates in a bowl of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and place in a kitchen whizz (food processor) along with the other ingredients. Pulse a few times (~ 2 mins).

Roll the mixture into balls and either roll then in coconut or cocoa powder (above I used cocoa). Place in the refrigerator to cool and set.

Alternatives:
I have seen other people who have made these without oats and replace them with almond, walnuts, hazelnuts or almond butter. I like the oaty taste more than the nutty taste. You could also add vanilla essence for flavor.

Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake

I have brought buttermilk several times over the last month and have thrown it out unused, something I really don’t like doing. This time determined to use it before it expires, I found a great recipe in the Cooking Light Magazine (November 2008) for Vanilla Buttermilk Pound Cake.

The recipe makes two 8×4 loafs, which I iced with a lemon icing. Next time though I would either make a plain butter sugar glaze with the vanilla buttermilk loaf, or switch out the vanilla in the loaf for lemon. Also in my oven, it did not require the full hour of baking.

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Ingredients (Vanilla buttermilk pound cake)

3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup of butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups low-fat buttermilk

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the first 4 ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk. Put aside.
  • Place sugar and butter in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk to the sugar mixture in stages, beginning and ending with flour.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly into the two greased and lined loaf tins. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from tins. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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Ingredients (Lemon Butter Icing)

1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 lemon (finely grated lemon peel + juice from one lemon)
1 1/2 cups icing sugar (confectionary sugar)

  • Place butter and lemon ingredients into a bowl
  • Add the icing sugar in stages, so you can ensure the thickness you want for your icing. Mix together with a knife until blended
  • Apply icing to the cooled loaves with a  knife
  • Serve 🙂

Pumpkin Bread – Great recipe for freezing

I found an amazing recipe for pumpkin bread in a Cooking Light magazine (November 2008 page 176) that the whole family loves. It is very moist and it freezes great.

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Ingredients

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup flaxseed
2 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 canola oil
2/3 cup honey beer (room temperature; NOTE: I use a dark beer if I do not have honey)
1/2 cup egg substitute + 2 eggs (NOTE: I use 4 eggs instead of the egg substitute)
1 can pumpkin (14-15 oz)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, salt and next 4 ingredients (through pumpkin pie spice) in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk
  3. Combine water and flaxseed in a small bowl
  4. Place sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs) in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add flaxseed mixture and pumpkin, beat at low-speed until blended. Add flour mixture, beat just until combined. Divide the batter between two 9×5 inch loaf pans coated with cooking spray. (NOTE: We use silicon pans and do not require spray….also for taste you can opt for a greased time with butter).
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in the center and comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then remove and place on wire rack.
  6. To freeze, wait until cold, place into a Ziploc bag and store for up to two months.

I think the flavor of this loaf fresh, is better the second day. Serve by slicing the loaf – great as for afternoon tea/snack.

 

Sweet things: A pear tart

One of my favorite german sweets is a pear tart. What a perfect time of year to make one with pears coming into season and needed to take something to a potluck dinner 🙂

My favorite recipe from “Das Buch vom Backen – Die Grosse Schule” is listed below – it is a pear and almond tart.

Ingredients

Pastry
155g flour
90g cold butter (diced)
60g sugar
2 egg yolks
1-2 Tbsp ice-cold water (optional – use only if dough does not form a ball)

  1. Combine the flour and the butter, by rubbing in the butter into the flour, until it appears crumbly.
  2. Mix in sugar.
  3. Make a well in center add in the egg yolks with a fork until pastry will stick slightly together to form a ball. If you think it is still too dry add 1 Tbsp of cold water
  4. Put the mixture in glad wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes
  5. After 30 minutes, place the dough between two plastic pieces of glad wrap and roll the dough out into a circle big enough to fit into a 24cm (~12 in. ) spring form cake tin.
  6. Place dough in the tin, with baking paper covering the dough and weighed down with a pie weight. Place in the oven at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
  7. Bake blind (i.e. covered) for 10 minutes, then take off the paper and pie weight bake for 10 more minutes.
  8. Allow the pastry to cool.

Filling
165g softened butter
160g sugar
3 eggs
135g almond flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Flour
2 ripe pears (sliced)

  1. Cream the butter and the sugar in a bowl for approximately 30 seconds.
  2. Add one egg at a time and mix into the cream mixture until well blended
  3. With a metal spoon mix in the almond flour and flour
  4. Place the filling mixture into the pastry.
  5. In a cross formation, place the pears into the filling; largest slices (outside edge) to smallest slices (towards the center).
  6. Place the tart into the oven and bake at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 50 minutes. You need to ensure that the center is cooked.
  7. Take of the spring form cake tin, and allow the tart to cool for two hours.
  8. To serve, sprinkle confectionary sugar (powdered sugar/icing sugar) on top; and serve. The tart goes great with a dollop of whip cream.

Linked up with Tuesday At the Table

Preparations for Halloween

Over the weekend we prepared for halloween. I finished Sean’s Ghost costume, made halloween cupcakes and we carved a pumpkin.

Sean’s Ghost Costume (minus the face paint)Thought it turned out well considering I had no pattern to use.

Halloween Cupcakes 

These are vanilla cupcakes from a previous blog, with a great vanilla butter cream frosting I found on food.com.

Carved Pumpkin