Archive for Sweets

Fany Gerson’s Avocado Paletas

The paleta is slightly sweetened and gets its creaminess from the natural avocado oils rather than any dairy. For another layer of indulgence, dip it in some melted bittersweet chocolate.

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 small ripe avocados
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar has dissolved. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut the avocados in half lengthwise. Remove the pit and scoop the fl esh into a blender, along with the cooled syrup and salt. Blend until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Add the lime juice and blend just until combined.

If using conventional molds, divide the mixture among the molds, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid, about 5 hours. If using glasses or other unconventional molds, freeze until the pops are beginning to set (1 1/2 to 2 hours), then insert the sticks and freeze until solid, 4 to 5 hours. If using an instant ice pop maker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Yield: Makes 8 to 10.

Fany Gerson’s Avocado Paletas


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Strawberry and Almond Crumble

Adapted from a Nigella Lawson recipe. Nigella says you must serve with heavy cream, but I think it is optional, and that whipped cream or vanilla ice cream would work equally well. Also, I made this with frozen peaches & raspberries instead of strawberries and liked it even better.

For the filling
1 lb strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons ground almonds
4 tsp vanilla extract

For the topping
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup brown sugar

Vanilla ice cream, heavy cream or whipped cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 400F. Put the strawberries into an ovenproof dish or pan (it should hold about 1 quart) and sprinkle them with the white sugar, ground almonds and vanilla extract. Give the dish a good shake or two to mix the ingredients.

Now for the crumble topping: put the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and cut in the cold, diced butter. You can use a mixer, food processor, or just use your fingers. When you’ve finished, it should resemble rough, pale oatmeal. Use a fork to stir in the sliced almonds and brown sugar.

Pour the crumble topping over the strawberry filling, covering the strawberries in an even layer and pressing the topping in a little at the edges of the dish. Set the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Cook until the crumble topping has darkened to a pale gold and some pink-red juices are seeping and bubbling out at the edges. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes: The crumble can be assembled one day ahead. Cover and store in fridge until needed. Bake as directed in the recipe, but allowing an extra 5–10 minutes’ cooking time. Check crumble is piping hot in the centre. Crumble topping can also be made and frozen in resealable plastic bags for up to 3 months. Sprinkle the topping direct from the freezer over the fruit, breaking up large lumps with your hands. Alternatively, the assembled but unbaked crumble can be frozen, wrapped in a double layer of plastic wrap and aluminium foil, for up to 3 months. Defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and bake as above.

BBC: Strawberry & Almond Crumble

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Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite alternative)
2 tbsp agave, brown rice syrup, maple syrup or stevia to taste
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together. It may take a little time to incorporate the cocoa, but eventually it will. After everything is mixed, cover and leave on your counter for 20 minutes before enjoying. Or you can leave it in the fridge overnight and enjoy the next day. Can even go into the freezer. The chia seeds continue to absorb the liquid they are in so you may need to “water down” with some more almond milk. Top with fresh fruit, chocolate chips or just eat it plain.

Food Doodles

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Date Pudding

This is the pudding that is usually served with toffee sauce and billed as “Sticky Toffee Pudding.” I prefer it without the sticky sauce, though, which I think makes it too rich and too … sticky.

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pitted dates, finely chopped
1-1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 10-inch round or square baking dish and set aside. In a bowl, sift the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a small bowl combine chopped dates, boiling water and baking soda and set aside.

In a mixing bowl using a stand or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla to butter mixture and beat until blended. Add in 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Continue to add remaining flour 1/3 at a time until completely combined. Using a spatula, fold in the date mixture to the batter and fold until blended.

Pour batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake until pudding is set and firm on top, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven serve warm. If desired, top with a spoonful of whipped cream or ice cream.

Chefs Catalog

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One-Ingredient Banana “Ice Cream”

Creamy, soft-serve style ice cream with just one ingredient — and no ice cream maker needed! The smidgen of fat in bananas makes a magic trick when they are frozen and blended up. They turn creamy instead of crumbly, with a smooth texture. Some bananas, depending on their ripeness, have a bit of that green aftertaste. If that happens, try adding in another ingredient or two, like a tablespoon of peanut butter and another of honey. Delicious!

• Peel your bananas first.
• Cut them into small pieces.
• Freeze for just 1-2 hours on a plate.
• Blend, blend, blend – scraping down the bowl when they stick.
• Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream!

The Kitchn: How to Make Creamy Ice Cream
The Kitchn: Step-by-Step

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Smitten Kitchen’s lemon yogurt anything cake

The core recipe comes from Ina Garten … here are other ideas:

  • Swapping all of the vegetable oil with olive oil
  • Swapping a few tablespoons of the vegetable oil with a nut or coconut oil
  • Swapping grapefruit, orange, blood orange or lime for the lemon
  • Swapping blackberries or raspberries for the blueberries
  • Using 1/3 cup of poppy seeds instead of the blueberries for a lemon-poppy cake
  • Adding 1/2 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Swapping almond extract for the vanilla
  • Covering the cake, once completely cooled, with a glaze of 1 cup of powdered sugar whisked with 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Adding 1 cup chocolate chips to an orange version, producing something reminiscent of  Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake
  • This recipe will also yield about 12 standard muffins or 36 miniature muffins, baking time adjusted.
  • It could be doubled and baked in a well-greased and floured bundt pan, baking time adjusted.
  • This recipe could also be baked in an 8-inch square or 9-inch round, to create a thin cake (approx. 1 1/2 inches tall), baking time adjusted.

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour (if you’re skipping the fruit, you can also skip the last tablespoon of flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar (leave out the extra tablespoon if you aren’t going to glaze)
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (approx 2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and rinsed*
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (ignore if you aren’t going to glaze)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.

Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil.

Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix the blueberries with the remaining tablespoon of flour, and fold them very gently into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, if you want to glaze the cake, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack.

If you want to glaze, carefully place the cake on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is still warm, pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in (a pastry brush works great for this, as does using a toothpick to make tiny holes that draw the syrup in better). Cool.

*Miniature wild blueberries are great for this, and pose the least risk of sinking.

Smitten Kitchen

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Mexican Wedding Cookies

* 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter*
* 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon almond extract, optional
* 1 teaspoon salt*
* 3/4 cup almond flour or 3/4 cup blanched almonds, finely ground
* 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
* *If you use salted butter, reduce the amount of added salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
* 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (for coating)

1) Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets.
2) In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, and salt.
3) Beat in the almond flour, then the all-purpose flour.
4) Scoop chestnut-sized (1″) pieces of dough, and roll them into balls. A level teaspoon cookie scoop will give you just the right amount of dough. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1″ between them.
5) Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, until they feel set on top: and some of them are MAYBE beginning to barely brown around the edges.
6) While the cookies are baking, put the topping sugar in a shallow bowl.
7) Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them, 5 or 6 at a time, to the bowl. Roll them in the sugar to coat, then transfer them to a rack to cool.
8) When the cookies are cool, roll them in the sugar again; they should be thoroughly coated and snowy white.
9) Store airtight at room temperature. Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

King Arthur Flour

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