Tag Archives: desserts

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart on countertop

Say Hello to Spring With This Healthy No-Bake Vegan Strawberry Lemon Tart

Pucker up for this bright and tangy, no-bake strawberry lemon tart. You don’t have to be vegan to love this dairy-free dessert, but you can still appreciate how healthy it is — a gluten-free and paleo-friendly dessert, with no refined sugar. Plump Medjool dates make the nut-based crust perfectly sweet and chewy, paired with a fruity filling of coconut milk, fresh strawberries, lemon juice and a splash of maple syrup. (It’s thickened with just a bit of agar and tapioca powders, which you can find at most bulk or health food stores).

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart on countertop

Vegan No-Bake Strawberry Lemon Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2-3 hours or overnight
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup raw walnuts
1 ¼ cup raw cashews
1 cup oats
2 ½ cups pitted Medjool dates, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing pan)
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp sea salt
4 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
Zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp tapioca starch/flour (or 2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder)
4 Tbsp cool water
1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
2 tsp agar powder

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart ingredients

Directions:

1. In a food processor or heavy-duty blender, combine walnuts, cashews, oats, dates, coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt. Pulse for about 1 minute or until the dates and nuts are combined and stick together.

2. Press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of a greased 9-inch tart pan (preferably with removable bottom). Set aside while making the filling.

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart crust

3. Add strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup and vanilla extract (and arrowroot powder only if you’re using it as a substitute for tapioca) to a blender or food processor and pulse or blend until pureed, about 1 minute, and set aside.

4. Stir the tapioca powder into 4 Tbsp of cool water. Set aside.

Related: Healthy Baking Recipes for When You’re Bored at Home

5. Add coconut milk and agar powder to a small saucepan, stirring while it simmers until thickened, around 1 minute. Once it’s bubbling, gradually add tapioca slurry, stirring continuously until it’s glossy and even thicker, about another minute.

6. Remove from heat and stir in strawberry mixture until combined. (If you have any clumps, don’t worry! Pass the mixture through a fine mesh strainer).

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart being cooked in pot

7. Pour filling mixture into tart crust, chilling in the fridge for at least  2-3 hours or overnight. (Store for up to one week). Before serving, decorate with pretty berries, lemon slices and flowers.

vegan no-bake strawberry lemon tart on countertop

Like Claire’s vegan strawberry lemon tart? Try her vegan Girl Guide cookies or her vegan Moroccan doughnuts.

Lemon poppy seed buns on countertop

Brighten Your Day With These Easy Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Buns

Baking bread (or buns) may seem a little intimidating with kneading and proofing, but it doesn’t have to be! These Baking Therapy lemon poppy seed buns come together really easily — in less than two hours. They’re soft, fluffy and filled with a sweet coconut filling. Similar to making cinnamon rolls, but the dough is knotted, so you get lemon, poppy seed and coconut in every single bite. Yum yum!

Lemon poppy seed buns on countertop

Lemon Poppy Seed Coconut Buns

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Rest Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Servings: 8 buns

Ingredients:

Lemon Poppy Seed Buns
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp instant yeast
¼ tsp salt
3 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp lemon zest
1 cup milk, warm
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 egg, beaten

Coconut Filling
½ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Egg Wash
1 egg

Lemon Glaze
2 cups icing sugar
4-5 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest

Lemon poppy seed bun ingredients on countertop

Directions:

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, instant yeast, salt, poppy seeds and lemon zest. Whisk to combine. Add the warm milk, butter, egg and give it a quick mix with a fork to get the dough going. Attach the dough hook and mix for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a clean, large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to proof for 35-45 minutes, until doubled in size.

Lemon poppy seed bun dough on countertop

2. Prepare the filling: in a bowl, mix together the coconut, cornstarch, sugar, salt, lemon juice, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix to combine and set aside.

3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Related: Healthy Baking Recipes for When You’re Bored at Home

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 16 x 14 inches. Spread the filling evenly over top. Fold the dough over onto itself, you should have roughly 8 x 14-inch rectangle. With the folded edge closest to you, cut the dough into 8 equal portions, using a knife, pizza or pastry cutter. Grab one strip of dough, hold the ends and twist them in opposite directions and tie into a knot. Place the knotted buns 2-inches apart on baking sheets.

Lemon poppy seed bun dough on countertop

Lemon poppy seed buns being formed by hand

5. Cover with plastic and let rise for 20-30 minutes until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 350°F.

6. Whisk 1 egg and brush the tops of the buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

7. Prepare the glaze: whisk together the icing sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest. Drizzle over top and enjoy!

Lemon poppy seed buns on countertop

Like Sabrina’s lemon poppy seed coconut buns? Try her key lime pie cupcakes or her rhubarb and sour cream streusel muffins.

Flat lay of baking ingredients including sugar, butter

The Perfect Pastry Butter Hack, Plus 9 Golden Baking Rules to Always Follow

The weather is turning, the days are growing longer, and creativity is at an all-time high. And with so many fresh springtime ingredients ready to be transformed, who wouldn’t want to hop in the kitchen and put that extra creativity to good use? Whether you’re baking up some fresh cookies or homemade butter tarts to cheer up friends, following an easy chocolate cake recipe for a special occasion, or kneading a loaf of crusty bread to go with that seasonal salad for dinner, there are a few golden baking rules you’ll want to follow the next time you’re getting your batter on.

But First—The Perfect Pastry Butter Hack

Cubed butter in a bowl

Whether you’re a seasoned baker like those on The Big Bake or someone who’s just beginning to dabble in the world of all-butter pie crusts, short crust pastry, puff pastry and other offerings, getting your butter to that perfect consistency and temperature can make or break your bake. If you’re working on a pastry in which you need air pockets between the layers to rise up in order to create those fabulous flakes, freeze the amount of butter you need for your recipe beforehand. Then, rather than cubing or cutting it and pinching it into your flour, use your cheese grater to grate the butter directly in. The result is an easier dough to work with, since the grated butter is much more forgiving.

But wait—what if you actually need room temperature butter for your recipe, and your butter is in the fridge or freezer? You should still grate it. Doing so increases the surface area, allowing your beurre to warm up and soften quickly. In other words, a grater is the perfect tool to hack all kinds of buttery bakes. And now onto the other golden rules of baking…

Related: Brown Butter Recipes You Won’t Be Able to Resist

Always Read Over Your Entire Recipe Before You Start

Flat lay of cookbook and coffee

This rule applies to all kinds of cooking and baking, but to baking in particular where exact measurements are required and substitutions can throw off your whole game. Read over your recipe from start to finish so that you know exactly how much of each ingredient you need. But don’t just read over the ingredient list—have a good look at the method too. It can be easy to miss simple steps like resting time, sifted flour versus poured flour, or creaming your butter and sugar before mixing. With that last step for example, creaming your butter and sugar together beats air into the butter and helps the sugar to hold that air, giving your baked goods structure. If you just mix or pour butter and sugar in without adding that vital step, you could end up with a dense, flat product.

See More: Flour 101 – Your Guide to Baking

Remember the Quality of Your Ingredients Matters

Flat lay of baking ingredients including nuts, sugars and butter

When you’re shopping for a special recipe, the quality of ingredients will help dictate the quality of your final product. Sure, you can grab artificial vanilla extract, but will it taste the same as the real stuff? Of course not. The same can be said for the type of chocolate, nuts, maple syrup and honey you use—fresh, good quality ingredients will always transform your bake. Butter is another big one. In France, some of the world’s top pastry chefs only use butter that’s high in milk fat—at least 82 per cent. In Canada, our butter is typically only churned to 80 per cent milk fat, and that two per cent drop makes a world of difference. If you really want to create the flakiest of pastries and crispiest of cookies, grab Gay Lea’s new Bakers Gold butter, which is churned to an impressive, chef-grade, 84 per cent milk fat.

Never Overbeat Batter

A stand mixer or even the handheld variety can be a wrist saver for sure, but when you’re talking about mixing together ingredients for a bake there’s a slippery slope. More often than not recipes for baked goods always come with the disclaimer, “don’t overmix.” And for good reason. When you overmix cakes, cookies, muffins, bread or even pancakes you run the risk of injecting too much air into the batter and developing extra gluten. While some gluten is key when it comes to chewy baked goods, too much of it will just make your offerings gummy and dense. In other words, when a recipe says “mix until just combined,” take the step seriously and don’t walk away from a mixer that’s having a party in the mixing bowl.

Related: Harry Eastwood’s Healthy Baking Substitutes

Stop Confusing Wax Paper and Parchment Paper

Blueberry cookies on way paper with fresh flowers and ingredients

Hands up if you’ve charred a recipe or two by accidentally putting wax paper instead of parchment paper in the oven. Baking with wax paper is never really advisable. The stuff is water-resistant, which means it’s great to lay down for cool things when you don’t want them to stick, but it’s definitely not heat-resistant. A good rule of thumb is to remember that for anything cold, you want wax paper. And for anything hot you want parchment paper, which is typically safe in the oven up to 450°F. (But check your packaging.) If you have both and you keep confusing them however, maybe consider investing in a silicon mat or liners. Depending on the brand they’re great for all things hot and cold, and they wash up easily in your sink to cut down on waste, too.

Always Blind-Bake Pie Crusts

Blind baked pie crust with raw ingredients nearby on the table

No, you don’t need a blindfold to pull off the best pie crust of your life. Instead, all you need is a blind bake and some high quality butter, like the aforementioned high milk-fat butter that is Gay Lea’s new Bakers Gold butter. Blind baking means that you bake the crust in full before putting in any kind of filling, so that you know the crust is cooked all the way through. Otherwise you run the risk of adding filling to an uncooked crust and creating a soggy mess. What’s the other benefit of blind baking a pie crust with a butter that’s high in milk fat? Higher butterfat means less water and a softer texture, resulting in butter that easily melts into those pastry layers. There’s nothing like the flavourful, flaky crust that you get as a result. One bite can basically transport you back into your grandmother’s kitchen, where your mouth waters in anticipation of that freshly baked pie sitting in the windowsill.

See More: The Best Summer Pies and Tarts

Don’t Substitute Baking Powder for Baking Soda

…and vice versa. Although it’s easy to confuse baking powder with baking soda, they each do different things in the chemistry that is baking. Baking soda, AKA the one some people keep in the fridge to help deodorize all of those food smells, is sodium bicarbonate. In order for sodium bicarbonate to activate and help your baked goods rise, it needs an acid (brown sugar, lemon, vinegar, chocolate etc.) and a liquid. Baking powder, however, is baking soda that already has an acid (cream of tartar), and sometimes a bit of corn starch. In order to activate its equally awesome rising properties, all you need is a liquid.

Browning Butter is a Baking Superpower

Would you consider this one a rule, or a hack? Either way, nothing beats the deep, rich flavour of browned butter—especially in baking. Brown butter cookies, brown butter brownies… even a cake with brown butter frosting is enough to make you hungry. If you want to execute perfectly browned butter for use in your baked goods, slowly melt it in a pan over medium heat. You want even heat distribution so that the butter cooks evenly, but be sure to constantly stir it so that it doesn’t burn (brown butter can turn to burnt butter before you can say “browning burnt butter” three times fast). When the butter is a nice brown hue and the edges begin to sizzle and foam, you’re ready to remove it from the heat. All in all, the entire process should only take about 5-8 minutes, but it makes a huge difference in your final flavour profile.

Related: Anna Olson’s Guide to Buttercream Icing

Chill Your Cookie Dough Before Baking

Chocolate chip cookies baking on a baking sheet

If you’re going through all of that effort to make cookies from scratch, don’t you want to make the best possible batch? Of course you do! So if you aren’t already chilling your cookie dough before baking it, we have to ask, why not? As a general rule of thumb, once your dough has come together you should chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that the butter can harden again. That way the butter doesn’t disperse too quickly and flatten out the cookie. If you find it tough to work with chilled dough, scoop out your balls beforehand and then chill them on a baking sheet in the fridge. Or, flash-freeze them in the freezer, throw them into a freezer-friendly bag, and bake them up anytime you want fresh cookies.

Chilling cookie dough is a golden rule to be sure, but there are exceptions. If you’re going for a thin cookie that spreads out or you have a delicate dough like macron or madeleine, those are the instances where you’ll want to bake your cookies at room temperature instead.

Weigh Your Ingredients Whenever You Can

Recipes come in all kinds of measurements, but when it comes to baking, many of the pros prefer weighing their ingredients as opposed to counting cups and tablespoons. One reason is that a recipe is easier to half or double when you’re talking about weight over volume. But more importantly, there is less room for error when you’re using a kitchen scale versus the human eye. Baking is an exact science. And while there’s tons of room for creativity and innovation, the science at the base of those recipes remains the same. Whenever you have the opportunity to weigh your ingredients definitely do so, because the better you can get at precise ingredient measurements, the better those buttery baked goods will wind up tasting.

Watch The Big Bake Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs

These Easy 6-Ingredient Easter Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

Swap out those mini chocolate eggs for these beautiful Baking Therapy Easter egg hot chocolate bombs! They are filled with a sweet homemade cocoa mix and fluffy marshmallows. Pour warm milk over them and watch them “explode” with chocolatey goodness. Because you can’t celebrate Easter without lots of chocolate, right?

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs

Easter Egg Hot Chocolate Bombs

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Rest Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

¾ cup icing sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup instant skim milk powder
¼ tsp salt
4 cups melting chocolate wafers, in various colours
2 cups mini marshmallows

Equipment: 

Semi-Sphere Silicone Chocolate Silicone Mold, Amazon, $23.

Easter egg hot chocolate bomb ingredients

Directions:

1. For the hot cocoa mix: in a bowl, sift the cocoa powder and icing sugar. Whisk in the instant skim milk powder and salt. Set aside.

2. For the chocolate bombs: add the melting wafers to separate bowls and melt either using a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, be careful not to overheat. Dip a clean paint brush into the melted chocolate and create designs in each mold. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes to set.

Easter egg hot chocolate bomb in silicone mold

3. Add about 2 Tbsp of melted chocolate to each cavity and using the back of a small spoon help guide the chocolate up the sides. Place back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until set. Carefully remove from the chocolate molds and set aside.

Related: Delightfully Easy Easter Desserts That You Can Enjoy All Spring

4. To assemble, warm a non-stick saucepan over low heat. Fill half the molds with 2 Tbsp hot cocoa mix and 1 Tbsp mini marshmallows. To seal, place one half sphere, seam side down on the non-stick pan for 2 seconds to melt slightly. Cover the bottom halves with the top halves to create one complete sphere. Place the chocolate bombs in a mug and pour 2 cups of hot milk over the egg. Stir and enjoy!

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs being made

Easter egg hot chocolate bombs being made

Easter egg hot chocolate bomb in cup with milk being poured on top

Like Sabrina’s Easter egg hot chocolate bombs?  Try her rhubarb and sour cream streusel muffins or her gluten-free quinoa chocolate cake.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Cynthia Stroud's trio of cakes with drip technique, chocolate transfer sheet and hand painted chocolate designs

Cynthia Stroud’s Expert Tips to Master 3 Beautiful Chocolate Decorating Trends

It’s easier than you might think to create show-stopping desserts with these three chocolate decorating ideas seen in Great Chocolate Showdown. From a simple chocolate drip technique to hand painting and transfer sheet designs, open your desserts up to a world of delicious decorating possibilities that taste as good as they look.

See More: Here’s What You Need to Know About Cynthia Stroud

How To Paint With Chocolate (Cocoa Butter)

Painting with cocoa butter is different to painting with water-based food colour and edible alcohol. The former is like oil painting and the latter is more like water colour painting. Keep this in mind when creating your designs with cocoa butter.

To create cocoa butter colours, melt cocoa butter and mix in edible food colour powder or dust. If a colour is too deep, you can add white edible food colour dust. Be sure to keep your cocoa butter warm and liquid the whole time you are painting otherwise it will coagulate and make it difficult to achieve the spread you want. To do this, whilst painting, balance your painting palette or a plate you are using over a bowl of warm water.

Cynthia Stroud hand painting with cocoa butter

Tips for Painting With Chocolate:

It is important that your paint brush is dry and free of water otherwise it will cause the cocoa butter to coagulate into clumps.

To create shades in your cocoa butter painting, layer over an area with white cocoa butter.

• To create texture, brush over any painted areas with dry brushes.

• To achieve colours true to type, it is worth painting a layer of white first

• You cannot use water-based food colouring to colour cocoa butter as the moisture in the water-based food colouring will cause it to seize up.

See More: Expert Chocolate Techniques to Master Now

How to Decorate With Chocolate Transfer Sheets

When painting on transfer sheet, paint on the details first. You ought to paint in reverse to the way you’d paint on a piece of paper. On a piece of paper or canvas you’d normally paint the background first and add details after, but for transfer sheets, paint the details first then the background after. To get a good idea of whether your painting is coming along the way you intend, lift the sheet from time to time and crane your neck to look at the unpainted side. That will tell you how your painted cake will look.

Cynthia Stroud's trio of cakes with drip technique, chocolate transfer sheet and hand painted chocolate designs

Tips for Creating Chocolate Transfer Sheets:

• When spreading the melted tempered chocolate, ensure it is not too warm & runny (or it will melt your painting) and don’t overwork the chocolate whilst spreading it on the painted transfer sheet or it will dislodge the painted details.

• Ensure the transfer sheet is covered from edge to edge or this will result in gaps in the transfer collar

Related: How to Temper Chocolate Like a Pro for Perfect Candy Making

How to Create a Chocolate Drip Cake Technique

Use tempered chocolate and allow it to drip down the side of your cake, creating a lovely and simple finish. Tempered white chocolate can be coloured with oil-based food colouring before pouring/dripping for a colourful look or drips can be embellished with gold leaf, dragees (also known as a Jordan amond) or flowers whilst still wet before setting.

Cynthia Stroud demonstrating a chocolate drip technique on a cake

Tips for Creating a Chocolate Drip Cake:

• It is important to cover your cake with a smooth coating of buttercream or ganache and chill the cake till firm/solid to the touch before attempting a drip pour.

• The tempered chocolate should be runny enough to run down the edge of a mug. Always do this test before attempting to drip straight onto the cake!

• It is important to ensure the tempered chocolate is fairly liquid. You can thin it down with some cocoa butter or coconut oil.

Watch Great Chocolate Showdown Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Anna Olson with Her Mirror Glaze Cake

Anna Olson’s Perfect Mirror Glaze Technique (Plus Tips!)

I love a mirror glaze cake and to be honest, while I find that entremet style of cake, mousse and fruit filling delightful to eat, it’s the making, assembling and glazing of the dessert that I love the most. Here are some tips so that you can dive right into this fun, reflective world of mirror glazing.

What to Glaze

Anna Olson mirror glaze
Photo courtesy of Janis Nicolay

Pick a dessert that has a smooth outside finish and a pleasing shape. Most mirror-glazed desserts are mousse based and are assembled in individual or full-size molds and then frozen to set them.  Silicone molds come in countless shapes and they are flexible and peel away from the mousse easily. You can also assemble a mousse cake in a regular metal springform pan.  You can use a heat gun on a low setting to gently warm the metal a little so that it lifts away from the cake easily.

Related: Anna Olson’s Chocolate Recipes for Every Skill Level

Mixing Your Mirror Glaze Colours

Anna Olson mixing mirror glaze colours
Photo courtesy of Janis Nicolay

A mirror glaze is composed of white chocolate, condensed milk, sugar, water and gelatine. When mixing, blend your glaze on low speed to avoid air bubbles and strain the glaze before tinting it.   Because white chocolate has a natural yellow hue to it, you will want to neutralize that by adding white food colouring to the glaze.  Then you can divide the glaze into separate pitchers to be tinted as you wish. Once made, the glaze can take 20 minutes or so to cool to the ideal pouring temperature, between 80-86°F (27-30°C), so be patient.

See More: Chocolate Animals DIY

How to Pour a Mirror Glaze

You have a few choices here. You can pour each colour onto your cake separately, making sure to cover the cake completely.  Drawing an offset palette knife over the top of the cake will blend the colours a little and can give you that “galaxy” look.  Or, if you’re feeling daring, you can go for the “tie-dye” effect and layer the colours before you pour.  Select your base colour and slowly pour in all of the other colours, one at a time, into the base, pouring carefully in a thin stream.  These colours will remain distinct in the pitcher (do not stir!) so that when you pour the glaze over the cake, the colours will create ripples and ribbons of colours that look like they are moving, even once set.

Remember that no two mirror glaze cakes look exactly the same, so just go for it. Before you pour, elevate the cake on a dish or stand that is smaller than the width of the cake, so that the excess glaze can run off easily and place a baking tray and rack underneath to catch that glaze.  The extra glaze can be reheated and reused again, but the colours will blend.

Anna Olson pouring a mirror glaze
Photo courtesy of Janis Nicolay

You can pour onto the centre of the cake and let gravity do its bit, or if the cake is on a wheel, you can spin the cake as you pour in the centre, creating a spiral effect.  You can also pour back-&-forth.  Regardless of the pouring technique, try to pour evenly and steadily and without disruption.  Take a moment to look at all sides of the cake to make sure it is completely covered.

See More: Anna Olson’s Best Chocolate Recipes

The glaze sets quickly, so after you see that the glaze pattern stops moving and dripping, use a palette knife to scrape away excess glaze from the base of the cake (or if you miss that window of time, use scissors or a paring knife to trim it away).  Resist the temptation to touch or move the glaze after the first minute or so – every mark will show.  But now you can add extra garnish – splatters of edible sparkle dust or top with piping detail, fruit or other chocolate decor. Remove the cake to a plate and chill until ready to serve.

Be prepared for “ooh’s” and “aaah’s” as you amaze your family or friends and impress yourself.

Watch Great Chocolate Showdown Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Molly Yeh’s Pretty Almond Tarts Are the Perfect Spring Dessert

Many of us have turned to at-home baking projects in recent months, finding comfort in the nostalgia that comes with revisiting classic desserts – and, with spring around the corner, we’re craving bright, bold treats that’ll satisfy our sweet tooth. Enter: Molly Yeh.

Almond meal, granulated sugar, fresh raspberries and colourful sprinkles with sliced almonds come together beautifully in this gorgeous, mouth-watering dessert you can enjoy year-round.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is a Birthday Treat to Remember

Molly Yeh’s Almond Tarts

Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes (includes chilling and cooling time)
Yields: 12 servings

Ingredients

1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups (228 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (168 grams) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
2 large eggs, separated
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

Filling:
1 cup (120 grams) almond meal
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
6 Tbsp (85 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract
1 large egg

Glaze:
About 1 cup (120 grams) powdered sugar, or more as needed
1/4 cup (60 milliliters) heavy cream, or more as needed, or 2 ounces fresh raspberries
1/4 tsp almond extract
To decorate: sprinkles, sliced almonds

Related: Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting is Simply Show-Stopping

Directions

1. For the shells: Pulse together the granulated sugar, flour and salt in a food processor to combine. Add the butter and continue to pulse until mealy. Add the egg yolks (reserve the egg whites for the filling) and pulse until the dough comes together. Press the dough into a disc, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to overnight.

2. To mold the shells, grease a muffin tin with nonstick spray. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/4-inch-thick, dusting with more flour as needed. Cut out 3-inch circles and press them into the muffin cups so that the dough comes all the way up the sides. (No worries if the dough tears; just patch it up with additional dough.) Freeze the shells for 15 minutes.

3. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

4. Combine the almond meal, granulated sugar, salt, and butter, either by blending it in the food processor (no need to clean it out after making the dough, you can just use it immediately for this step), or by stirring it together in a large bowl (I find it’s easiest to get in there with my hands). Add the almond extract, egg and the reserved egg whites from the shells, and continue to blend/stir until smooth and combined.

5. Fill the frozen shells with the filling so that it comes up about 1/4-inch from the top. Bake until the tops and edges are lightly browned; begin checking for doneness at 30 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then use a small offset spatula or a knife to remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. For the glaze: If making the glaze with heavy cream, combine the powdered sugar, heavy cream and almond extract in a bowl until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar or liquid to thicken it up or thin it out so that you get the consistency of a thick glue.

7. To make the glaze with the raspberries, place the raspberries in a fine-mesh sieve and give them a rinse. Place the sieve over a bowl and use a stiff rubber spatula or wooden spoon to smash them through the sieve into the bowl until you’re just left with seeds in the sieve. Be sure to scrape the underside of the sieve to get the stuff that’s sticking to it. (You should be left with about 2 tablespoons seedless puree. If it’s a tiny bit more or a tiny bit less, that’s fine.) Add the powdered sugar and almond extract and mix to make a thick glaze. If it’s too thick, add a few drops of water to thin it out, and if it’s too thin, add a few more spoonfuls of powdered sugar. It should be the consistency of a thick glue.

8. Spread the glaze over the cooled tarts and decorate with sprinkles, almonds and anything else you’d like! These will keep for several days at room temperature or in the fridge.

Related: These Gorgeous Desserts From Molly Yeh Deserve a Standing Ovation

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Watch the how-to video here:


quinoa chocolate cake icing

This Easy Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake Recipe Requires Just 10 Ingredients

If you’re looking for a gluten-free dessert that’s rich, moist and chocolatey, look no further! This Baking Therapy quinoa chocolate cake checks all the boxes. It has the texture of a classic chocolate cake and it’s made without any special flours. It might seem strange to add quinoa in a cake, but it is so delicious and adds to the perfect tender cake. It’s the perfect birthday dessert. All you need is a food processor or blender and you are on your way to chocolate heaven.

quinoa chocolate cake with icing

Gluten-Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 25-35 minutes
Rest Time: 2-4 hours
Total time: 3-5 hours
Servings: 8

Ingredients:

Cake
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup whole milk
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt

Frosting
2 cups heavy cream, divided
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Equipment:

Food Processor, Amazon, $100.

quinoa chocolate cake ingredients

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and grease two 9×9-inch round pans, set aside.

2. Cook the quinoa to package directions, set aside to cool. Melt the butter and chocolate chips either in a double boiler or in the microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

Related: Birthday Cake Recipes That Will Make You a Dessert Person

3. In a food processor, blend the quinoa, milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and chocolate-butter mixture until the quinoa has broken down and the mixture is smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

quinoa chocolate cake batter

4. In a large bowl, sift the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Create a well in the centre and pour in the wet ingredients. Whisk until fully combined. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and smooth out the tops. Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, a few crumbs are OK.

5. Let cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes then invert and let cool completely on a wire rack.

quinoa chocolate cake in pan

6. For the frosting, heat 1 cup heavy cream on the stove until it just comes to a boil. Pour directly over the chocolate chips, let sit for 1 minute, then stir to combine. Mix in the remaining 1 cup heavy cream, cover and chill for 2-3 hours. Dividing the cream helps chill the mixture quicker. When ready to serve, whip the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Spread between cake layers and on top. Enjoy!

quinoa chocolate cake being iced

Like Sabrina’s quinoa chocolate cake? Try her matcha and raspberry mochi doughnuts or her 7-ingredient Basque cheesecake.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. For more products handpicked by our editorial team, visit Food Network Canada’s Amazon storefront. However, when you buy through links in this article or on our storefront, we earn an affiliate commission.

Beautiful shot of fresh pastries

5 Expert Food Photography Tips to Show Off Your Baked Goods

The true hero of every food photo is, without a doubt, the food itself. Since you’ve nailed creating the perfect baked goodies, here are my five tips to take the most enticing photos of them, whether you wield a camera or a mobile phone!

Related: Steve Hodge’s Best Tips for a Successful Bakery

Good Light or Bust

This is my first tip for good reason! The light you shoot your subject in is the biggest determinant between a flat, mediocre photo and a stellar one.

• Natural Light: The good news is, natural sunlight is a great light source for food photos and costs nothing—but you must know how to use it right. Study the light available in your home, bakery or studio and observe how the light looks at different times of day, including intensity, colour temperature (cool versus warm) and shadows. If you have windows facing different directions, compare how the light looks next to each of those too.

• Direct Light:  Strong, direct light can be edgy and dramatic, but it’s trickier to master.

• Diffused Light: Indirect light is the easiest to make food appealing. What is “diffused indirect light”?  Think of the light that comes in through your window mid-morning before the sun’s position and intensity casts shadows inside, or an overcast day when clouds disperse its rays. Another element of light is the direction from which it hits the subject: from the side, behind or above. In general, the most forgiving natural light for a beginner photographer is diffused indirect sunlight coming from the side of the subject i.e. placing your subject at or near table-height beside a window where there are no shadows or harsh sunlight.  A north-facing window, if you have one, is favoured by food photographers because of the softer, bluer light.

• Artificial Light: Be sure to turn off every artificial indoor light. No food looks good with even the faintest bit of icky yellow cast.

Related: Explore Bakeries From Project Bakeover

Gotta Hit Them Angles

There are three commonly-used angles to shoot food:  straight-on from the front, three-quarter downward angle, or overhead.  A good exercise is to look through your camera lens or screen as you move around the subject to figure out which angle showcases the attributes you want to highlight. Below are general rules with practical examples, but be sure to explore all three (and angles in between) to find the best one.

• Straight-On: Ideal to showcase height and/or interesting layers for cupcakes, layered cakes, stack of cookies or bars.

• Three-Quarter: Best for showing off items with layers or fillings in bars, macarons, filled tarts, profiteroles, doughnuts, cinnamon rolls.

• Overhead: Perfect for flat foods or foods with interesting shapes, surfaces or toppings e.g. pizzas, galettes, pop tarts, cookies, doughnuts, macarons, cinnamon rolls.

Overhead shot of a cauliflower pizza
Photo courtesy of Sonia Wong

See More: Here Are Our Favourite Bakeries Across Canada

Bring Images to Life

Composition: How elements are arranged in your shot to be aesthetically pleasing. Keep in mind:

Rule of Thirds: Imagine overlaying a grid of nine boxes over your image, then place your points of interest at the four intersecting points of the grid.

Leading Lines: Use lines to lead a viewer’s eye to the focal point e.g. a cake knife pointing toward the confection.

Repetition: Place multiples of the same item or items of similar shape. Grouping in odd numbers is ideal.  

Symmetry and Asymmetry: There is beauty and balance in symmetry, but be careful it doesn’t look boring or manufactured. Asymmetry can evoke interest. Try using negative space as well, in practicing asymmetrical composition.

Layers: Photos are two dimensional. Introducing layers creates depth and texture. Layers can take the form of the backdrop, linens, plate, cooling rack, a sprig of mint atop a cupcake or a sprinkling of powdered sugar on a tart.

Shot of a cupcake with pink buttercream icing on a plate with a mint green
Cupcake from Bluegrass & Buttercream bakery. Photo courtesy of Project Bakeover

• Colour: Different hues evoke different emotions or impressions. Blue feels calm, orange feels warm, green feels fresh and brown feels earthy. There’s also established guidance for mixing colours in visually appealing ways such as complementary, monochromatic and analogous combinations. Complementary tones sit opposite on the colour wheel i.e. pink cupcake set on a green surface. Monochromatic combos use hues, tints and shades of the same colour i.e. red strawberries on pink frosting. Analogous combo involves three adjacent colours i.e. red, orange and yellow heirloom tomato slices arranged on a vegetable tart. Think about the impression you want your food to make and choose your colours intentionally for the props and elements in the frame.

• Props: Anything that helps your image tell a complete story is a prop. You may use glassware, napkins, plates, pinch bowls, baking tins, cake stands, cutlery, etc. to add interest by way of texture, shape and height. You can also use raw ingredients from the recipe as a prop to convey freshness, such as juicy berries, vibrant herbs, a dribble of maple syrup or a dusting of flour on the table. Scatter bits of the food around it to hint at its texture, such as streusel crumbs or bits of chopped nuts. You can place utensils used in preparation, serving or enjoyment of the food to make the viewer feel part of the experience, such as a used whisk or spoon shattered through the sugary crust of a crème brulée tart. Be sure the prop makes sense and relates to the hero food.

Capture Food At Its Freshest

With some exception, many baked goods look their best when freshly prepared. Think about the shine of chocolate chips on a just-baked cookie, the glisten of freshly dripped glaze on a cake or gooey cheese on a hot pizza. These details make them inherently more drool-worthy! This means you should prepare as much of your set up as possible before the food is ready. Pull the table next to the window, set up any surfaces or backdrops, grab all the props you might need, fire up your playlist, and if you’re using one, have the tripod set up with the camera. Arrange props (sans the hero food) in a way you think will look good, and once the hero food hits the scene, ideally you only need to make a few final adjustments before you click away.

Beautiful shot of various pastries
Photo courtesy of Sonia Wong

Editing Magic

Brightness, colour saturation, white balance, contrast, shadows: these are some of the basic adjustments you can tweak in editing software to create a more professional and polished result. You don’t need to be an expert photographer or to shell out big money for software. There are powerful mobile editing apps available, some free to download (Lightroom and Snapseed for example). Taking an excellent photo straight out of camera is always #goals, but that rarely happens. Image editing can save a photo or enhance an already strong one. That said, I caution the impulse to over-edit. It’s easy to get carried away and end up with harsh, fake-looking results, so use a gentle touch!

Tune into Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Steve Hodge on the set of Project Bakeover

Steve Hodge Shares His Best Tips on How to Run a Successful Bakery

The life of a small business owner can be a challenging one, with small profit margins, fickle clientele and staffing issues looming as potential issues just over the horizon. The COVID-19 pandemic in particular put many small businesses in peril, and the hospitality industry was particularly hard hit (according to industry association Restaurants Canada, 10,000 restaurants closed between March and December 2020).

Steve Hodge and Tiffany Pratt discuss renovation plans for OMG Baked Goodness on the set of Project Bakeover

Steve Hodge knows these challenges like the back of his baking pan — as the owner of Temper Chocolate & Pastry in Vancouver, he has built up his business from a single location to one that sells treats in retail stores across the country. Now, on Project Bakeover, Steve brings the lessons he’s learned from his own success to small bakeries across North America.

We caught up by phone with Steve, who shared some of his best tips from the early episodes of this season for struggling entrepreneurs and bakery owners.

Related: Here’s What You Need to Know About Steve Hodge

Think Outside the Store

The first thing Steve does before even entering a bakery is to eyeball the signage outside. If the word “bakery” isn’t front and center, customers can get the wrong first impression (at Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats in Episode 1, the word didn’t even appear on the signage, but “classes” and “parties” were highlighted. “This could be a party store,” said Steve). Often, the customer’s decision as to whether to enter the shop is based on curbside appeal and a clear sense of the store’s direction.

See More: Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats Gets a Bold New Look

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

If the customer can’t see what your shop is selling, then they are less likely to buy. In Episode 2, Steve recommended that OMG Baked Goodness’ poorly organized and half-empty counters be loaded full of bright lights and inviting products. Remember to spotlight the best sellers and popular products.

Close up shot of the baked goods at OMG Baked Goodness

Bigger is Not Always Better

Sometimes customers want a big over-the-top treat, but more often, they are looking for a small indulgence. As soon as Steve bit into Mrs. Joy’s cream puff, he knew it was too large and a waste of her ingredients. “She’d get a bigger bang for her buck if she cut it down a bit,” he says. Consider that customers have varying appetites and budgets, and plan accordingly.

See More: We Share Our Go-To Bakeries Across Canada

Be Ready to Change on the Fly

Especially during pandemic times, where rolling lockdowns can mean an open dining space one day and a closed storefront with takeout only the next, flexibility is essential. At Temper Bakery, Steve and his team were ready to make some quick changes to adapt when the COVID-19 lockdowns began. “As bakeries, we can change the way we run our business — we can be a dine-in or grab-and-go,” he says. “At Temper, we now sell more frozen bake-at-home products than we sell fresh from the store. It was a matter of simplifying our business model and streamlining the elements to maximize profitability.”

Keep It Simple

In the same vein, Steve advises bakery owners to think outside the box, but not to hold onto inventory because they’re too attached to it or think they’ll need it later on. “This is a great time to simplify,” he says. “At Temper, we took 20 per cent of our menu off when the pandemic first hit, and we’re never returning to the old way.” The worst mistake he saw at the bakeries he visited was an overabundance of product choice, which led to the bakery owners being overwhelmed and working day in and day out.

Related: Watch Steve Hodge’s Video Bio

Harness Social Media

“If you’re not online, get online,” says Steve, who recommends that bakery owners use social media to identify and spotlight their hero items. “When I was in culinary school, there was no social media. Now, home cooks around the world can pick up the phone and take a picture of their baked goods. Social media changed the world of pastry in terms of who we knew were the best, and you learn more by inventing and creating.”

Take It Outside

Putting tables outside for curbside pickup is a perfect opportunity to draw traffic and boost curb appeal, says Steve. “It will draw you out of the kitchen and make you more interactive as a business owner,” he says. “If you haven’t been involved in [the] community, go outside and say hello and stay safe to your customers. Really take the chance to interact with them — they’ll remember it.”

To Make Money, You Have to Spend Money

Even if margins are tight, Steve recommends some low-cost ways to garner some publicity, such as contacting the local paper and buying a small ad, or running a contest on social media. “It can be as simple as saying ‘if you like this picture, send to this person, or recommend it for a gift and you have a chance to win a gift box’,” he says.

Put Your Logo Out There

Think beyond flyers when it comes to logos. “If you sell coffee in your shop and don’t logo your cups, go buy a $20 stamp with your logo and stamp away,” says Steve. “The majority of stuff for takeout that people carry around outside is in paper cups. You want your logo everywhere: on stickers, poles, and in peoples’ hands.”

Steve Hodge at OMG Baked Goodness

Keep an Open Mind to New Ideas, Even After the Pandemic Ends

Don’t just innovate in terms of trend chasing, advises Steve.  “We ask ourselves as business owners, ‘why didn’t we think of this before?’ — well, we didn’t always have to think of that next step,” he says. “But out of the pandemic, we’ve learned a lot of great things as to how to run a business, and we’ll keep doing them.”

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Tiffany Pratt’s Top Tips for Giving Bakeries New Life

We all love freshly baked goods, but who doesn’t love a visual feast to accompany those mouthwatering croissants, cookies, and sky-high stacked deli sandwiches? HGTV Canada designer (and everyone’s favourite Queen of Pink) Tiffany Pratt gets it, which is why she’s here to help struggling bakery owners with her new series Project Bakeover. In each episode she teams with master chocolatier Steve Hodge to give new life to rundown places, tackling one bakery at a time.

Headshot of Tiffany Pratt smiling on the set of Project Bakeover

Of course, resto-design is something that Pratt is passionate about, having transformed numerous GTA eateries in the past. We sat down with the designer to pick her creative brain on what it takes to give any bakery (or restaurant for that matter) a whole new visual life.

Related: Gorgeous Restaurant Designs By Tiffany Pratt

Attract Customers at the Curb

Before a customer even walks into your establishment, it’s important to set the tone and mood with plenty of curb appeal. Go for a warm and welcoming vibe that gives patrons an idea of what they can expect when they step inside. “The space being welcoming doesn’t start when you walk in the door, it starts before you actually walk through the door, on the sidewalk from the street,” says Tiffany. “Create impact to get people inside. How I do that is with colour and shapes and textures and prints.”

Whether that’s a bright façade, a watercolour fence, or graffiti on the walls remains up to you, just make sure that it stands out and that it speaks to the vibe you’re going for.

Embrace What Makes Your Business Unique

Nothing gets customers more excited than knowing they have the option to try something new, even when you’re talking about the comfort fare featured at most bakeries. In terms of design, Tiffany says that means looking at different shapes, colours and textures that stand out and alert people that what you have going on at your space is unique and special. Of course, adding a different type of food or a daily special doesn’t hurt either. “It’s really about giving people an experience,” Tiffany adds.

See More: Mrs. Joy’s Gets a Dramatic Makeover

Maximize the Takeout Experience

These days with takeout being more necessary than ever, it’s a chance for eateries to appeal to customers on a whole new level. Because let’s face it: everyone could use a little more joy in their lives, and what’s more joyful than feeling like your regular old Tuesday night takeout is an entire experience?

“I’ve had a few people that, instead of having a door, they just did a temporary cloud window, and made it a fun little pickup window,” Pratt says. “Cafes that I’ve designed turned their diner into one of those 1950s drive-in style places. And they actually did it so that people didn’t even have to leave their cars. They brought their food outside, drive-in style. There are so many fun ways to package things.”

Put Care Into Packaging

Speaking of takeout and delivery, Tiffany says it’s just as important to think about how you package your food as it is to think about how you design your space. Because that takeout is travelling away from your eatery, with every potential to bring new and returning customers back. “We focus less on what the space looks like right now as how the food is packaged,” she explains. “How can we take pictures of this fun takeout food? This comes into the conversation about branding and stickers and bags and logos, because if people can’t go into the restaurant or the bakery, they still want an experience.”

Related: Watch Full Episodes of Project Bakeover

Take Your Clientele Into Consideration

When Tiffany designed the dining room at Piano Piano, she knew that customers would be sitting down to a long and lengthy meal—as you do at nice Italian restaurants. Add in the fact that some meals would be heavy, and she wanted to ensure that people would be more than comfortable for extended periods of time. The designer says that taking the menu and clientele into consideration when designing any space is super important, and it’s one of the first conversations she has.

“I’ll say to myself as a designer, ‘OK, well, this is the food, this is what people are expecting.’ And then what can I do that is unexpected that no one has done yet that would make more people come here instead of anywhere else?” she explains.

Create An Overall Vibe

Whatever vibe you create with your eatery’s exterior, be sure to continue that feeling on the inside. Tiffany says that she always brings samples back to the spot itself in order to see how natural light affects her selections, and then she creates her famous colour combos in order to evoke all those feelings.

“Combining colours for me is about how I want the person who’s sitting in the space to feel,” she says, pointing to her dusty pink, teal, blue and mustard yellow design at Café Cancan as an example. “I just felt like that was making a more masculine clientele feel happy by that deep teal. The orange is very playful, but the pink always no matter who you are, makes everyone feel cozy,” she adds.

See More: Explore Bakeries From Project Bakeover

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Café Cancan (@cafecancanto)

Don’t Forget the Instagram Crowd

These days everything is visual, and customers who are inspired to take a photo of your space to share with their social media crew creates a great opportunity for more publicity. Tiffany always ensures that she has such a space in her designs, whether that’s a fun dresser by the restrooms with inexpensive props, a colourful wall, or fun accessories on the tables.

“My favourite is to have something else to take pictures of. That’s what everybody—influencer or not—gets excited about,” Pratt says. “This is a very visual culture that we live in. If we give people beautiful things to experience, to try, and to look at and take pictures of, that becomes a trifecta of the commercial bakery industry, in my opinion.”

Last But Not Least, Don’t Focus on Perfection

Looking ahead, Tiffany predicts waste-free design trends with less expensive finishes. She also thinks people will continue to be excited by colour and things that spark joy and creativity. But she also says that we’re learning to be more forgiving with ourselves, and that extends to design as well.

“We have to be less attached to perfection and doing things perfectly and spending tons of money on things,” she says. “Often just opening the doors and creating great food and creating a fun, inviting atmosphere is more important than anything. Don’t focus on perfection, focus on fun. Focus on creating an environment that people want to be in. That’s the most important thing.”

Watch Project Bakeover Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Watch and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Kardea Brown’s Big Apple Crumb Cheesecake is the Dessert You Deserve Right Now

Kardea Brown’s hearty, creamy, apple-forward cheesecake may be a little more time-consuming than the average baking session, but it’s absolutely worth the wait. From the graham cracker crust and cream cheese filling to the tart and tangy apple crumb topping, there’s no need to wait for a special occasion to relish every last bite.

Related: Our Most Excellent Cheesecake Recipes for Total Dessert Bliss

Related: Kardea Brown’s Pan-Fried Collard Greens Are the Garlicky, Bacon-y Vegetable Side Dish of Your Dreams

Kardea Brown’s Big Apple Crumb Cheesecake

Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes (includes cooling and chilling time)
Yields: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
15 graham crackers (or 2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs)
3 Tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Apple Crumb Topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tart apple, peeled, cored and diced

Cheesecake Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch kosher salt
Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
Store-bought caramel sauce, for serving

Related: Kardea Brown’s Beef and Okra Stew is the Warming Dinner You Didn’t Know You Were Craving

Directions:

1. For the graham crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.

2. Add the graham crackers to a food processor and pulse until fine, then add the brown sugar and salt and pulse until well combined. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until the mixture resembles damp sand. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared springform pan in an even layer. Bake the crust until firm, about 10 minutes, then let cool.

3. For the apple crumb topping: Stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Drizzle in the butter and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand, using your hands to form some clumps. Fold in the diced apple.

4. For the cheesecake filling: Stir together the granulated sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. Pulse together the cream cheese and sour cream in a food processor until smooth. With the processor running, add the sugar mixture 1/2 cup at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add the eggs and yolk one at a time, pulsing until well combined, then add the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the processor and giving it another pulse to make sure everything is incorporated. Pour the cheesecake filling over the top of the graham cracker crust.

5. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the filling. Bake the cheesecake until it is mostly set but still has a bit of a jiggle in the center, 60 to 70 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the oven door slightly open for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature, about another hour, then refrigerate for 1 hour more. Run a paring knife around the outside before unmolding and slicing. Serve drizzled with the caramel sauce.

Watch the how-to video here:


Watch Delicious Miss Brown and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

salted caramel lava cakes on white plate

These Warm Salted Caramel Lava Cakes Only Require 8 Ingredients (Easiest Holiday Dessert Ever!)

Warm salted chocolate caramel lava cakes — yes, you read that right! These Baking Therapy treats are different from traditional lava cakes: picture a cross between a cupcake and a brownie. They’re chocolatey, fudgy and oozing with dulce de leche! Make a big batch and enjoy all winter long. Added bonus: this recipe requires only eight ingredients and takes just 40 minutes to whip up.

salted caramel lava cakes on white plate

Warm Salted Caramel Lava Cakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 40-42 minutes
Servings: 9 lava cakes

Ingredients:

½ cup store-bought caramel or dulce de leche
½ tsp flaky salt
1 stick butter
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

Lava cake ingredients on kitchen counter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease and line the bottoms of 9 muffin tins, set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the dulce de leche and flaky salt. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease with neutral oil. Dollop 1 heaping teaspoon of dulce de leche on the greased paper, place in freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Related: Our Favourite Decadent Chocolate Desserts

3. While your dulce de leche is cooling: in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate. Mix until mixture is smooth.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar on high until doubled in size, about 4-5 minutes. Stream in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla and whisk to combine. Fold in the flour.

salted caramel lava cakes batter

5. Once the dulce de leche is cold, lightly grease your hands and roll them into perfect rounds. Set aside.

6. With an ice cream scoop, fill the muffin tins ⅔ of the way full, reserving about ½ cup of batter. Push the dulce de leche rounds into the centre of each and top the cakes with the remaining batter.

salted caramel lava cakes batter in muffin tin

7. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the tops are slightly cracked. Cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes. Wedge a knife or offset spatula to lift the cakes out, peel off the parchment. Enjoy with a scoop of ice cream.

salted caramel lava cakes with ice cream on top

Like Sabrina’s lava cakes? Try her gingerbread doughnuts or her chocolate eggnog sandwich cookies.

Team Buddy featuring Buddy Valastro, as seen on Buddy vs Christmas, Season 1.

Cakes, Cookies or Pies? Buddy Valastro Reveals His Ultimate Holiday Treat

Christmas is kind of a big deal at the Valastro residence. Sure, this holiday season may look a little bit different than Christmases past as a result of the pandemic, but in a typical year Buddy and his wife Lisa go all-out when it comes to their holiday dinners. Would you expect anything less from the Buddy vs. Christmas personality?

In previous years the couple has hosted all of their extended family, which adds up to more than 100 festive people. Typically Lisa cooks (prime rib, eggplant parm, lasagna, shrimp, lobster and more), while of course, Buddy does the desserts. But don’t let him fool you — he doesn’t necessarily whip up 100 mini pastries or elaborate cakes at home for the occasion.

Related: Buddy vs. Duff: See Buddy Valastro and Duff Goldman’s Most Epic Cakes

“Well, I’m not gonna lie. I don’t want to take credit,” he tells us. “I just bring like a slew of stuff from the bakery. We bring cakes and pies and cookies and lobster tails and pastries. And you know, we still love cake. After all these years and all these holidays and all these desserts, we still love cake.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Buddy Valastro (@buddyvalastro)

While cake may be a year-round hit, Buddy adds that Christmas feels like an especially great time to indulge in pasties. He and his family specifically dive into Italian classics like cannoli and lobster tails (AKA sfogliatelle) because, let’s face it: when else do you have as much room for dessert as you do come the holidays?

“As big as the meal is that my wife makes, I swear it is just as important when we eat dessert,” he laughs. “No matter how stuffed everyone is — ‘oh, I can’t get up, I’m so full’ — they wind up all eating dessert. Every single one of them.”

Related: Ina Garten’s Best Desserts for the Holidays

For those fellow dessert-lovers out there, the host adds that around the holidays Carlo’s Bakery typically offers a red-and-white sponge cake that’s festive and crowd-pleasing — and they have a few other goodies in store for December too. This year that’s extra exciting for Canadians since the shop has expanded into Canada. In fact, Buddy says his Oh Canada Baby! cake would be the perfect thing for Christmas dessert this year.

“That would be a great Christmas cake on anyone’s table because it’s pretty and it’s delicious,” he says. “It’s also made with love. I want the Canadian people to know this is only the beginning of the plans for Canada because every time I come there fans are just so receptive and great. I’ve always felt so loved there and now it’s time for me to do some more in Canada.”

Related: Buddy Valastro’s Coolest Celebrity Cake Creations

For now Canadians can catch Buddy in his latest holiday-themed series, Buddy vs. Christmas. In each of the four episodes the baker and his team come together to face off against highly specialized artists (Broadway set designers, expert glassblowers and more) to see who can create the best life-sized Christmas displays to be presented at high-profile events.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Buddy Valastro (@buddyvalastro)

“These four creations are some of the best work — I was so blown away by what we did,” Buddy reveals. “When you see what we made, it’s just to another level. This was less about a competition because we’re all artists. Whether you’re a glassblower or whether you’re a brick artist and you make Legos or you’re a Broadway set designer or you’re someone who does animatronics in the windows, we’re all using different art forms to express our medium,” he continues.

“I love Christmas. My house is like the Griswolds at home with the decorations and stuff. And I gotta tell you, we just turned it on for this. It’s really cool.”

Watch Buddy vs. Christmas Mondays at 10EP and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Molly Yeh’s Ghost Hand Pies Are a Spooky and Savoury Halloween Appetizer

Although the days are getting shorter and the air crisper, it’s hard to begrudge the changing season when it brings us all the spooky fun of Halloween. Although the annual tradition of dressing up and trick-or-treating might look a little different this year, that hasn’t stopped Girl Meets Farm‘s Molly Yeh from conjuring up one of the best ghoulish hand pie recipes we’ve ever seen.

Homemade pie dough, sharp Cheddar and Dijon mustard form the crux of this mouth-watering savoury treat that will become an instant Halloween classic in your household.

Related: Spookylicious 2020: These Are the Hauntingly Entertaining Shows Coming to Your Screen

Ghost Hand Pies With Honey Dijon

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Yields: 8 small pies

Ingredients:

Pie Dough:
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed

Ghost Pies:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs pie dough (homemade is best, but store-bought will work too), recipe follows
All-purpose flour, for dusting
4 oz sharp Cheddar, finely chopped (1/4-inch cubes or smaller) or shredded
1 large egg, lightly beaten with a splash of water (for the egg wash)
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey

Related: Our All-Time Favourite Pie Recipes, From Classics to Clever Twists

Directions:

Pie Dough:
1. To make the dough, combine the cider vinegar and 6 tablespoons water in a measuring cup and stick it in the fridge (or the freezer even) to get really cold. In a large bowl or food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter and either use your hands to toss it with the flour and pinch the butter into flat sheets, or pulse in the food processor, incorporating the butter so that about 75 per cent of the mixture is mealy. The rest of the mixture should have some slightly larger, pea-sized bits of butter. Drizzle in the vinegar and water and mix with your hands or continue to pulse in the food processor just until the mixture comes together to form a dough. If it seems dry or is having a hard time coming together, add a bit more water a few drops at a time until it comes together. Turn it out onto a clean surface, using your hands to press on any stray crumbs, and divide the dough in half. Pat the halves into discs, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

See More: Molly Yeh’s Flaky Dill Bread, The Perfect Use for Leftover Herbs

Ghost Pies:
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions with a good pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper and cook, stirring, until very soft, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low, add 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is evaporated and the onions are lightly caramelized, 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

3. Divide the pie dough into 8 equal parts and shape into balls (keep half of the dough balls covered in the fridge while you aren’t working with them to keep them cold). On a lightly floured surface, roll out the balls to ovals that are 8 inches long and about 6 inches wide. Top the bottom half of each dough piece with a pile of cheese and a pile of onions, leaving a 1-inch border. In the top half of each dough piece, punch out an upside down ghost face with piping tips or tiny round cookie cutters (it’s upside down so that when you fold it over on top of the filling, it’s right-side up). Brush the edges with egg, fold the top down over the filling and fold the sides in on themselves so that you have ghost shape. (Or, rather, a shape of a tiny kid in a bedsheet ghost costume that’s lying down.) Press around the side and bottom edges to seal, transfer to the baking sheets, brush the tops all over with egg wash and sprinkle with a little salt.

4. Bake until golden brown; begin checking for doneness at 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

5. Mix together the Dijon mustard and honey in a small bowl. Serve the hand pies warm or at room temperature with the mustard sauce.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake is a Birthday Treat to Remember

Many of us have elevated our at-home baking game in recent months, seeking solace in the nostalgia that comes with revisiting quintessential desserts. But what happens when you combine two sweet tooth classics – chocolate chip cookies and cake? Well, it’s a whole new level of dessert that you’ll want to add to your repertoire ASAP, birthday or not.

Almond flour, brown sugar, hazelnut flour, chocolate chips and colourful homemade buttercream frosting come together beautifully in this mouth-watering dessert that comes straight from Molly Yeh‘s oven. It’s as delicious as it is gorgeous and can be enjoyed year-round.

Related: Molly Yeh’s Show-Stopping Carrot Cake With Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

Molly Yeh’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Yields: one 8-inch cookie cake

Ingredients:

Cookie Cake
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
1 cup almond flour
1 cup hazelnut flour
1/2 cup lightly-packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Buttercream
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbsp heavy cream

Related: Our Best No-Bake Desserts That Won’t Let You Down

Directions:

1. For the cookie cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond and hazelnut flours, brown and granulated sugars, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and almond extracts and egg. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips and stir to combine. It may seem dry at first but keep on stirring. Pat the dough out evenly in the prepared cake pan.

3. Bake until golden brown on top; begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes. Let the cake cool fully in the pan.

4. For the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Once combined, beat in the heavy cream until smooth.

5. Remove the cake from the pan. Transfer the buttercream to a piping bag and decorate the cake as desired (or spread on the cake to decorate).

Special Equipment: a piping bag, optional

Get to know the cookbook author and blogger behind Girl Meets Farm with 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Molly Yeh.

Watch Girl Meets Farm and stream Live and On Demand on the new Global TV App, and on STACKTV. Food Network Canada is also available through all major TV service providers.

Ree Drummond’s Rustic Strawberry Tart is the Perfect Way to Celebrate Canada Day

Baking doesn’t always require hours in a hot kitchen, especially if you try something as quick and simple as The Pioneer Woman‘s rustic strawberry tart. Ree Drummond skips the homemade pastry and opts for store-bought pie crusts to cut down on prep time, then she fills it with ripe summer strawberries and bakes the tart for 30 minutes until golden. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, it’s the perfect dessert for your Canada Day celebration at home.

Related: Ina Garten’s Easy Recipes That Start with Store-Bought Ingredients

The Pioneer Woman’s Rustic Strawberry Tart and Sweetened Whipped Cream

Total Time: 1 hour (plus cooling time)
Serves:
6

Ingredients:
4 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting your work surface
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
2 store-bought pie dough crusts, thawed if frozen
1 large egg
1 Tbsp water plus a splash
1/3 cup apricot preserves
Sweetened Whipped Cream, for serving, recipe follows

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp granulated white sugar

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s Best Summer Grilling Recipes

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. Add the strawberries to a bowl along with the sugar, flour, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and toss together until well combined. Set aside while you prepare the crust.

3. Lightly flour your work surface so the crust doesn’t stick. Unroll the pie crusts and lay one on the other, overlapping about halfway. Use a rolling pin and roll the crusts in the center to join them together and to spread them out slightly. It should be about 19 inches by 11 inches and fit on a sheet pan.

4. Use a knife to round the top and bottom edges slightly and along the sides to neaten up the edges; no more than 1/2-inch of dough should be cut away. (Discard the extra dough.) Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan.

5. Spoon the strawberry mixture into the center of the dough leaving a 1-inch border around all sides. (Be sure they aren’t too mounded so they bake evenly in the oven.) Working carefully, fold edges of the dough up and over the strawberries, pleating them as you go.

Related: The Pioneer Woman’s 30 Most Popular Cake and Pie Recipes

6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and 1 tablespoon water together. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat only the folded edge of the dough.

7. Place the sheet pan into the oven and bake the tart for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through the bake to make sure it bakes evenly. While it is baking, heat the apricot preserves in a small pan with a splash of water until warmed through.

8. When the crust is golden brown, remove it from the oven. Brush the strawberries gently with the warmed apricot preserves and cool completely before cutting and serving with the Sweetened Whipped Cream.

Sweetened Whipped Cream:

1. With a whisk, a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and white sugar until it has formed soft peaks.

Related: Red and White Desserts to Celebrate Canada Day

If you’re looking for more of Ree Drummond’s kitchen shortcuts, check out The Pioneer Woman’s Top Cooking Tips for Easier Weeknight Dinners.

Watch The Pioneer Woman and stream all your favourite Food Network Canada shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand when you sign-in with your cable subscription.

Sarah Britton’s Keto Salt and Pepper Tahini Cookies = Our New Favourite Treat

In the new Food Network Canada Facebook series The Substitute Baker, celebrated Toronto-born holistic nutritionist Sarah Britton shows us just how easy it can be to adapt your favourite recipes to suit any occasion or special dietary needs.


This time around, she’s elevated the humble cookie and transformed it into a salty and sweet keto-friendly treat that you’ll want to make on repeat.

Related: Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Want to Make Again and Again

Salt and Pepper Tahini Cookies

Homemade Tahini Ingredients: 
Makes about 2 cups (500ml)

4 cups / 300g un-hulled (brown/variegated) sesame seeds
½ tsp. fine salt
½ cup cold-pressed sesame oil (olive oil works too)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spread sesame seeds out on two rimmed baking sheets and place in the oven to toast for 15-20, stirring a couple times during cooking to prevent burning. Remove from the oven and let cool.

2. Place sesame seeds in a food processor and blend on high until smooth, adding the oil as needed. Add salt and blend.

3. Store tahini in an airtight glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 months.

Related: 20 Comforting Baking Projects That Deserve a Pat on the Back

Cookie Ingredients:

2 cups / 220g almond flour
½ tsp. flaky sea salt, plus more for garnish
1 ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup / 175ml tahini
½ cup / 125ml yacon syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup / 50g chopped dark chocolate
2 Tbsp. crushed cacao nibs, plus 2 Tbsp. to garnish

Related: 10 Surprising Foods That Boost the Immune System

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 170°C. Lightly grease, or line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, black pepper and salt. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan whisk tahini, yacon syrup, and vanilla together over low heat until runny. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to combine. The dough will be thick and you may need to use your hands to finish mixing. When the dough has cooled, fold in chopped chocolate and cacao nibs.

4. Roll about a tablespoon and a half worth of the dough in the palm of your hands, into a ball. Flatten slightly, then place on the prepared tray, sprinkle with a few more cacao nibs and a pinch of flaky salt. Lightly press the toppings into the dough.

5. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

6. Store in airtight containers at room temperature for up to a week.

For more baking inspiration, Sarah Britton’s Bold and Beautiful Raspberry Cashew Cheezecake is an instant dessert classic, or learn how to make her easy Gluten-Free Everything Bagel Loaf.

Watch The Substitute Baker Wednesdays at 4ep on the Food Network Canada Facebook page.

Sarah Britton’s Bold and Beautiful Raspberry Cashew Cheezecake

In the new Food Network Canada series The Substitute Baker, celebrated Toronto-born holistic nutritionist Sarah Britton shows us just how easy it can be to adapt your favourite recipes to suit any occasion or special dietary needs.

For starters, she’s crafted this bold, gorgeous and positively mouth-watering plant-based cheesecake recipe that will make you look like a well-seasoned baker.

Related: 20 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Beginners That Will Make You Drool

Healthy Raspberry Cashew Cheezecake

Ingredients:

Crust
1 cup/150g toasted sunflower seeds (almonds, pecans or walnuts also work)
¼ cup/35g cacao nibs
1 cup/250g soft dates, pitted
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
¼ tsp sea salt

Filling
2 cups/300g raw cashews, soaked overnight
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
½ cup/125ml virgin coconut oil
½ cup/125ml raw honey
Pinch sea salt
1½ cups frozen raspberries (thaw slightly)

Decorations
30g dark chocolate, melted
Handful of dried raspberries, crushed

Directions:

1. Place seeds, cacao nibs, cacao powder and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect (if it’s too dry, add more dates, if it’s too wet, add more seeds).

Related: Our Very Best Vegan Dessert Recipes to Make

2. Reserve ¼ cup of your crust to use as decorations later and transfer the remaining crust mixture to a lightly greased (with expeller-pressed coconut oil) and parchment-lined 7.5” (19cm) spring-form pan. Press the mixture firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Use a flat-bottomed drinking glass or bottle to help press the crust into the pan evenly. Use the reserved mixture to make balls of different sizes that you will use as decorations later. Store these in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

3. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Add vanilla and whisk to combine.

4. In the most powerful blender you own (I recommend a Vitamix), place all filling ingredients, except raspberries, and blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth.

5. Reserve ⅛ cup filling in a small bowl and set it aside. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the filling out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Tap the pan firmly against a hard surface to remove air bubbles. Add the raspberries to the remaining ⅓ of the filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling and tap again to create a smooth surface. Dollop the reserved white filling onto the raspberry layer and swirl with a knife tip. Tap the pan once more to even out the filling, then place the cheezecake in the freezer until solid.

6. To serve, remove from the freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Remove parchment from base of cake. Decorate with date and seed balls, drizzle with melted chocolate and sprinkle dried raspberries.

Related: Can I Freeze This? How to Freeze Fruit, Cheese, Leftovers and More

For more baking inspiration, try Our Most Crave-Worthy Carrot Cake Recipes in Every Form or These Banana Bread Recipes That Will Provide All the Comfort.


 

Irresistible Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Smoked Salt

The combination of chocolate and peanut butter will forever be a classic, but the addition of smoked salt takes these cupcakes to a new level. A childhood favourite, reinvented. The cupcakes feature a peanut butter base with a rich chocolate buttercream piped mile high. To find the flaked smoked salt, visit the spices section in your grocery store. Biting into one of these decadent beauties just might become the sweetest part of your week.

Related: 25 Sinful Chocolate Desserts That Are Worth the Indulgence

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream and Smoked Salt

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time:
20 minutes
Total Time:
45 minutes
Serves: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cake Batter 
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
⅓ cup natural peanut butter, smooth
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp fine salt
¾ cup whole milk

Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar, or to taste
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
¼ tsp fine salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup whipping cream, cold
Smoked flaked salt, for sprinkling

Related: The Only Oatmeal Cookie Recipes You Need in Your Life

Directions:

Cake Batter
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12 tin cupcake tray with liners.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar.

3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.

4. Sift in the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

5. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the milk. Turn mixture to medium speed and beat until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

6. Using a large ice cream scoop, evenly divide mixture among the prepared cupcake tray.

7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops bounce back to touch. Let cool completely before frosting.

Related: How to Melt and Temper Chocolate for Perfect Candy Making

Frosting
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes.

2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the whipping cream. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

3. Transfer frosting to a large piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe cupcake as desired and finish with a sprinkle of salt. These are best enjoyed within 24 hours!

For more cakey, frosting goodness try Molly Yeh’s Carrot Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting or Anna Olson’s Very Best Cupcake Recipes.

Just another msblogs site