Tag Archives: dessert

Homemade Chocolate Éclairs with Banana Cream Filling

At a recent trip to Paris, I fell in love with éclairs all over again. These delicate treats offered in Parisian patisseries were far from the chocolate-coated cream filled ones I’ve had in the past. These were next-level, and filled with all kinds of creative ingredients and topped with incredible glazes. They were a feast for the eyes as well as the mouth!

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It may come as a surprise, but making choux pastry couldn’t be easier. Yes, it requires a bit of muscle to constantly mix the batter but these éclairs, featuring banana pastry cream and chocolate topping, are worth the effort.

Ingredients:

Choux Pastry
1 cup water
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs

Banana Cream Filling
2 cups whole milk, separated
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar, separated
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 brown bananas, mashed (about ¾ cup)

Chocolate Topping
1/4 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp butter
11/4 cup icing sugar
3 Tbsp hot water
Banana chips to top (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a medium sized pot combine the water, butter, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the flour. Continue to mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook the flour mixture, while continually stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the eggs, one at a time. The mixture may look like it won’t mix together once you’ve added an egg, but keep on mixing and it should become glossy. Once you’ve added all the eggs, put the mixture into a piping bag fitting with a 1-inch round tip.

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4. Pipe 3-inch lines, spaced 1-inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the baking sheets on the top and bottom thirds of the oven for 25 minutes, switching the sheets half way through cooking.

5. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the éclairs in the oven to cool completely. This ensures the éclairs are perfectly crisp on the outside. You can crack the door of the oven slightly to let out some of the heat.

6. While the éclairs are cooling make the banana pastry cream filling. In a medium sized bowl combine 1 cup milk, cornstarch and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.

7. In a medium pot combine 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar and the butter. Bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Whisk 1/4 cup of the warm milk mixture into the cold milk mixture. Continue to whisk in the remaining warm mixture, 1/4 cup at a time. Add the egg yolks and whisk until yolks are broken up and the mixture looks smooth. Once the mixture has been combined put it all back into the pot and add the vanilla. On medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. If the mixture looks like it has curdled, continue whisking until it becomes smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas. Let cool.

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8. Put the pastry cream into a piping bag fitted with a ½-inch round tip. Poke a hole in the bottom of the éclairs with a small knife and fill each éclair.

9. For the chocolate topping, combine all ingredients in a small pot and melt together on low heat. Dip each éclair into the chocolate mixture and place on a rack to set.Banana-chocolate-eclair-recipe-4

Guilty Kitchen: Banana Bread Ice Cream

Recently, a friend and neighbour gave me four pounds of overripe bananas. Living in a small community, the grocery store had become over run with the things and needed to get rid of them. So I cooked banana bread, duh. But I still had a surplus of bananas sitting around. So I started digging through the fridge and pantry, and I found everything I needed to make a seriously delicious ice cream that would taste just like the banana bread I just made!

This ice cream is a step up from your average one-ingredient banana ice cream, of which I am not a big fan (too icy!) and takes you to a whole new level of flavour, and it’s so easy to make. The peanut butter and stracciatella are optional, but they do pair nicely with the flavours of the banana bread. Cause, you know, I eat my banana bread smothered in peanut butter and sometimes, Nutella. Doesn’t everybody?

Get my delicious banana bread recipe here, and then get started on this delicious ice cream below:

Banana Bread Ice Cream
Makes 1 litre

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

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Ingredients:

The Bread
2 pounds ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup half & half (or for a creamier ice cream use all heavy cream)
2 teaspoon vanilla

The Peanut Butter Chunks
1/2 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, natural or not so natural)
1 Tablespoon icing sugar

The Stracciatella
3 ounces dark chocolate
1 Tablespoon + 1 tsp butter

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Directions:

  1. In small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook until it begins to foam and bubble, but do not stir. Cook until foam dissipates and you are left with a browned butter.
  2. In 2 small baking dishes (such as 9? rounds), slice bananas into coins. Pour browned butter over bananas and coat. Bake in 400°F oven for 20-25 minutes. The bananas should begin to caramelize and be slightly golden in colour when you take them out. Allow to cool before next step.
  3. In a blender or food processor, purée the banana/butter mixture with the sour cream.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat cream with brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Do not allow to boil, but just bring to a high enough temperature that the cream begins to steam and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  5. Cool to room temperature and add to blender or food processor with puréed bananas. Blend until smooth.
  6. Pour into bowl or container, cover and refrigerate over night. This is your ice cream base.
  7. In a small bowl, mix peanut butter and icing sugar until well blended.
  8. On a cookie sheet spoon out small teaspoon sized portions of peanut butter. Place in freezer overnight.
  9. Over a double boiler or a metal bowl, set over a pot of gently-boiling water, melt chocolate and butter together until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
  10. Remove ice cream base from refrigerator, place in ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your machine.
  11. When the ice cream is basically done, begin to drip the chocolate in a fine stream into the ice cream. This will create the stracciatella (little bits of chocolate that melt in your mouth).
  12. Remove ice cream from machine, stir in peanut butter chunks and freeze for at least four hours.

Elizabeth-Nyland-0012-2 Elizabeth Nyland, author behind “Cooking with Coconut Oil: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Recipes for Good Living” and “Cooking with Avocados: Delicious Gluten-Free Recipes for Every Meal” is also a mother of two and is the blogger behind guiltykitchen.com, a food, fitness and health blog that’s been going strong since 2009. You can find Elizabeth in her home gym lifting heavy things, in her kitchen cooking up new recipes or at the bakery down the street attempting to uncover the world’s best doughnut.

Elizabeth Nyland is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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Topics: Banana Bread, Ice Cream, Dessert

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

There’s nothing better than a Sunday afternoon that involves cool, crisp weather and some delicious coffee cake that’s full of Fall flavours. I decided to take my favourite coffee cake recipe and switch up the spices; I’ve added lots of pumpkin spice and maple flavour to turn this cake into the perfect holiday treat.

Serve this cake for Thanksgiving and top with a big dollop of whipped cream!

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Crumble Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
½ cup butter, softened

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Cake Ingredients:

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon maple extract (or vanilla)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, then grease a large bundt tin.
  2. Begin by making the crumble. Mix together the flour, sugar and pumpkin spice. Mix in the softened butter with your hands until fully combined. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin spice. Combine the buttermilk and maple extract. Add half of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk. Then continue to add the remainder of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Add half of the batter to the bundt tin, followed by half of the crumble. Layer the remainder of the batter on top and sprinkle with the remaining crumble mixture.
  5. Place in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, until the crumble is golden and when a cake tester or skewer comes out of the cake clean.

How to Make Summer Fruit Popsicles

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In case you weren’t aware already, it’s really hot outside. Even on the days that our iPhones tell us it’s only 20ºC, we still find ourselves in a sweaty, frizzy-haired mess. And since we still have a few more weeks left of summer, I’m sharing the ultimate recipe for the quintessential frozen treat.

No, I’m not talking about the Frappucino you opt for over a steamy cup of coffee (no-brainer), or that cup of FroYo you eat for dinner a couple times a week (it’s summer vacation—duh!). I’m talking about the perfect, healthy alternative to tasty frozen desserts.

Instead of blowing all your money (and bikini bod!) on candy-covered yogurt and Frappa-whatevers, try my easy, inexpensive and refreshing recipes for real fruit popsicles.

Whether you make them for a mid-day snack or a BBQ dessert, you’re in for a real treat.

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Ingredients:

  • Popsicle molds (I got mine from Ikea)
  • Orange juice
  • Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Peach
  • Raspberries
  • Banana
  • Kiwi
  • Blueberries
  • Ice
  • Large popsicle sticks
  • Gel pen
  • Magic Bullet Blender

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Directions:

1. I started with writing the different fruit combinations as labels on the popsicle sticks: fruit punch (a mix of whole fruit slices with orange juice), strawberry-banana (blended together), and blueberry-raspberry (blended separately with vanilla Greek yogurt).

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2. Prepare by slicing the kiwi and peach, and a few strawberries for the fruit punch popsicles (you can leave them whole for the strawberry-banana popsicles).

3. Using a blender (I used the Magic Bullet), blend strawberries and bananas with ice. Then blend raspberries, ice and vanilla Greek yogurt (about half as much as you made for with the strawberry-banana mix), followed by blueberries, ice and vanilla Greek yogurt. By the end you will have three different fruit blends. You can put the blueberry one in the fridge—we’ll get to that later.

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4. Pour the raspberry mix until the halfway mark of the container, and pour the strawberry-banana mix to the brim of the container. For the fruit punch pops, place kiwi, peach, strawberries and blueberries in the containers, and fill them with orange juice.

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5. Using the cardboard packaging from the popsicle molds to secure the sticks, place the labelled popsicle sticks into the molds, and put them in the freezer. After about two hours, take them out, and top the raspberry pops off with the blueberry mix, then put them back in the fridge and leave them overnight.

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6. Ready to enjoy the pops? Run each mold briefly under warm water (but don’t let the warm water touch the popsicle!) and they should slide right out. Enjoy!

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headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

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Best Mason Jar Desserts for Any Picnic

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Salty snacks and comfort foods are great. But desserts? Desserts, I adore. The way I feel about cakes, ice cream, pies, and cookies is how Don Draper feels about his Lucky Strikes cigs. It’s basically impossible to get through the day without something sweet, and pretty rare not to see one in my hand.

However, unlike Lucky Stripes, desserts don’t come in secure little packaging, ready to be taken wherever you go. Until now that is.

I’m highlighting the best, tastiest, must-try desserts that can be made in a mason jar. It’s the perfect (read: essential) companion for any picnic. Just picture it; sitting on a blanket under a tree, with your own individualized, mess-free dessert in hand. Now that’s heaven.

Below, you’ll find eight easy recipes to make your own mason jar desserts. And you really should be making your own because I’m not sharing.

1. Banana Pudding from Lets Dish Recipes

What to do: Crush up ¼ bag of Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies and put half of them at the bottom of the jar. Make the filling found in this recipe and scoop some on top of the crushed cookies. Then, add whipped cream, banana slices, more filling, more whipped cream, and then top with banana slices.

2. Cheesecake from I Am Baker

What to Do: Make the crust and cheesecake from this recipe, but be sure to bake them separately. Crush up the crust and place into the mason jar as the first layer, and then do the same with the cheesecake. Cook strawberries and a few teaspoons of sugar over the stove (about 2 strawberries and 1 teaspoon of sugar per serving), let cool, and then scoop onto the cheesecake.

3. Birthday Cake from Babble

What to Do: Using this classic vanilla birthday cake recipe and vanilla buttercream icing recipe, whip up a batch of each, adding sprinkles to the batter and dye to the icing (if preferred). Crumble up the cake, use one scoop for the first layer of the mason jar cake, add icing, then add more crumbled cake and more icing, and top with a couple of candles.

4. S’Mores from How Sweet It Is

What to Do: Crumble up graham cracker and make a batch of this chocolate cake and crumble. Put the cracker pieces in the mason jar for the first layer, the chocolate cake for the second, and put a few large mashmallows on a baking sheet, broil them for a couple minutes until golden, then carefully push them down in the mason jar to top off the s’mores dessert.

5. Butterfinger Pie from Crumbs and Chaos

What to Do: Whip up a batch of this cheesecake crust, and the follow Crumb and Chaos’ recipe for the filling. Layer the crumbled crust then the peanut butter filling into a mason jar, then top with whipped cream and a piece of Butterfinger.

6. Eclairs in a Jar from Me and My Pink Mixer

What to Do: Crush up one quarter bag of Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies and put half of them at the bottom of the jar. Scoop in French vanilla pudding, and top with this chocolate frosting and a few sliced almonds.

7. Lemon Meringue Pie from It All Started with Paint

What to Do: Start with this cheesecake crust crumbled at the base of the mason jar. The more experienced bakers can go ahead and cook and crumble the lemon curd filling and meringue from our famous recipe, but the rest of us (Aye!) can simply follow the instructions on the “Cook & Serve” box of Jell-O.

8. Apple Pie from Eat Boutique

What to Do: Make this “Blue Ribbon” apple pie crust and filling, baking and crumbling separately. First put the crumbled crust into the jar, followed by the apple filling, then sprinkle lightly with more pie crust.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

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3-Minute Summer Dessert Recipe: Caramel Apple Dip

FN_RReardin_18July

Whether it’s due to our jam-packed summer schedules or our somewhat carefree (read: forgetful) warm weather lifestyle, BBQs, dinner dates and other under-the-sun soirees seem to pop out of no where this time of year. Of course, we’re so happy and grateful for the many events with friends and family, but they tend to leave us in a bit of a tizzy until we figure out what to bring.

No need to waste your summer days in shops or stuck in the kitchen. We have an amazing recipe for a delicious dessert that only takes three minutes to make. Let us introduce you to your new answer to that dreaded question, “what can I bring?” Caramel apple dip.

Only requiring three ingredients (plus the apples), this easy recipe will allow you to bring a thoughtful, homemade treat to any event, while saving your time, money, and looking bad in front of your loved ones.

Ingredients:

Light cream cheese
Caramel sauce
SKOR bits
Granny Smith apples, sliced

Directions:

  1. Using a spoon, smooth layer of light cream cheese over the bottom of a bowl.
  2. Pour caramel sauce on top.
  3. Sprinkle SKOR bits on top, and serve.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

 

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Strawberry Cream Puffs for Easter

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We can all agree that no holiday feast is complete without a great dessert. After indulging in a hearty meal, we’re often in need of a treat that satisfies our sweet tooth, but doesn’t put us over the edge. Well, we have an easy recipe for an Easter dessert your guests are bound to love. Cue the strawberry cream puffs.

They’re light enough that you always have room for one, so these mini bites of heaven are the perfect way to end a great meal (and a day of binge-eating chocolate eggs).

What could be better on a sunny spring evening than an airy pastry with homemade whipped cream and tangy strawberry jam? And that’s not even the best part: chances are you already have most of the ingredients in your pantry, so they’re totally inexpensive to make.

 

  • What You Need (for pastry):
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup 3.25% homogenized milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • Icing Sugar
  • Strawberry Jam
  • What You Need (for vanilla cream):
  • 1 ½ cups 35% whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
 Click through the gallery for steps by clicking ‘caption’


 


renee-headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin. 
 

 

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