Displaying items by tag: pastries and cakes

This flaky/tender shortcake is quick to make. To drain the yogurt, place it in a paper-towel-lined strainer and allow to sit for 1 hour or overnight in the refrigerator.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

2/3 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

¾ cup buttermilk


1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 teaspoon sugar


4 cups raspberries

2 tablespoons chopped mint

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon sugar


½ cup whipping cream

1 to 2 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup drained yoghurt


Preheat oven to 425 F.

Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Stir in orange and lemon rind. Cut in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in buttermilk to make shaggy, sticky dough.

Place dough on a floured board and knead gently once or twice to bring together. Pat into a 1-inch thick circle and use a floured knife to cut into 6 wedges. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, brush with buttermilk and dust with sugar. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Let shortcakes cool then split in two horizontally.

Combine raspberries, mint, orange rind, lemon rind and sugar and let macerate until juicy.

Whisk together cream and sugar until it holds its shape. Fold in yogurt and half of raspberry mixture.

Fill shortcakes with raspberry cream and spoon remaining raspberries over top. Serves 6.

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Full of real cherry flavour, these tarts are my new favourite summer treat. Pitting cherries is a hassle but absolutely worth the effort. The tarts do not freeze well but the pastry does. Ingredients



2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup cold water

2 tablespoons lemon juice or white vinegar


2 pounds (1 kilogram) red cherries pitted and halved (about 7 cups)

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup pomegranate juice or sour cherry juice

1 tablespoon tapioca flour

2 teaspoons cold water

Glaze for crust:

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon whipping cream

2 teaspoons sugar


Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter by hand or in a food processor until it is the size of small peas. Combine water and lemon juice and sprinkle enough over flour mixture to bring pastry together. Gather pastry into a ball, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine half of cherries, sugar and pomegranate juice in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes or until cherries begin to soften.

Combine tapioca and water and add to pot, stirring to combine, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in remaining cherries. Let cool.

Divide pastry into 6 portions and roll out on a floured surface into circles about 6 inches in diameter, then place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide cherries and juice among pastry circles and pile them into the centre of each, leaving a 1-inch border. Lift pastry edges and pleat around fruit to enclose slightly.

Beat egg yolk with cream to make glaze. Brush pastry edge with glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbling. Serves 4 with lots of leftovers.

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This recipe comes from Michael Hartnell, the young executive chef at Le Caprice, the sister establishment of London's Le Caprice, possibly one of the most difficult restaurants to get into in that city. The menus and the rooms are much the same, although the New York location is much more relaxed. I've adapted this recipe with ingredient suggestions you can find more easily. If you can't get smoked haddock, use smoked trout or hot smoked salmon. If you can't find quail eggs, use small regular eggs or omit. Wilt the spinach for this recipe in a skillet.


Velouté sauce:

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Hollandaise sauce:

2 egg yolks

1/2 cup butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste


4 ounces (125 grams) smoked haddock or hot smoked salmon

4 cups packed baby spinach, wilted and squeezed of excess liquid

4 4-inch prebaked puff pastry tartlet shells

4 poached quail eggs


Combine butter and flour in a small pot over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Whisk in stock, bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute or until thickened. Whisk in mustard and season with salt to taste.

Place egg yolks in a blender and whirl until combined. Combine butter and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat and heat until melted and uniform. Turn on blender and pour hot liquid into egg yolks in a slow steady stream until fully incorporated. It will thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine velouté, 1/4 cup hollandaise, smoked haddock and spinach and place a thin layer of mixture inside each of the prebaked tartlet shells. Top with a poached egg, and then fill up tart shell with remaining haddock mixture to conceal egg. Pour 1 tablespoon hollandaise over top of each tartlet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until filling is hot and top starts to brown. Serve hot. Serves 4

To prebake tartlets, buy frozen butter puff pastry and cut out four 6-inch circles. Fit pastry circles into 4-inch tartlets shells or large muffin cups. Prick the base and the sides and bake for 10 to 12 minutes at 400 F.

To poach eggs: Simmer eggs in a pan of water for 2 minutes if quail eggs, 3 minutes if regular - they should be runny as they will bake again.

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If you're short on time, you can also fill these pies with whipped cream or traditional marshmallow fluff. The discs can be large or small.



3 ounces (90 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1 3/4 cups boiling water

2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup white sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/3 cup full-fat mayonnaise

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel filling:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

4 cups icing sugar, sifted

1/4 cup salted caramel (recipe below)

Fleur de sel for sprinkling


Combine chocolate and cocoa powder in a medium heatproof bowl. Add boiling water and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Combine white sugar, brown sugar and mayonnaise in a stand mixer and blend until smooth (about 2 to 3 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping sides as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add a quarter of flour mixture, blend in and add a third of chocolate mixture. Continue alternating, blending well after each addition. Chill for 1 hour or until mixture has firmed up slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Scoop tablespoon-sized mounds of batter onto a parchment-lined (or greased and floured) baking pan about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool. Repeat until you have used up all the batter.

Combine butter and icing sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend until smooth. Slowly add salted caramel and mix until well blended. Chill until ready to use. If it hardens too much to spread, let it warm up slowly at room temperature.

Spread one chocolate disc with caramel filling and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. Top with another chocolate disc to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining chocolate discs and filling. Chill for 30 minutes to set. Makes about 30.

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This simple cheesecake can also be made with the salted caramel if you want.


1 pound (500 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 vanilla bean (seeds only) or

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 9-inch sweet pastry tart shell, pre-baked


1/3 cup red currant jelly

2 cups blueberries


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Add cream cheese to a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and cream until smooth. Slowly add sugar and blend until smooth. Blend in sour cream, then egg and finally vanilla. Mix on medium speed until creamy and smooth, scraping sides as needed.

Pour filling into tart shell and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until slightly puffed but not browned or cracked. Let cool completely.

Combine jelly and 1/2 cup blueberries in a small pot over medium heat and cook, stirring, until jelly has liquefied. Remove from heat, add remaining 1 1/2 cups blueberries and stir to combine. Spread berries over tart in a single layer and drizzle with juices. Makes 1 large tart.

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Any soft fruit, such as figs, plums, apricots or berries, would work well in this tart.


1 3/4 cups whipping cream

3/4 cup sugar

9 large egg yolks

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and/or cinnamon

1/2 vanilla bean (split) or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch salt

1 pluot, chopped

1 9-inch sweet pastry tart shell, pre-baked


Whisk together whipping cream, sugar, egg yolks, nutmeg, vanilla bean and salt in a bowl. Let stand until sugar has dissolved (about 30 minutes), then strain through a sieve.

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This is a traditional dessert at Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing sweetness in the coming year. If you have never made a honey cake before or if you are used to dry, disappointing honey cakes, this moist and flavourful version should appeal.


3½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup strong coffee

1¼ cups honey

4 eggs

1 cup light brown sugar

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup golden raisins or chopped dates

1 apple, grated

Icing sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 300 F. Heavily grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in large bowl. Set aside. Stir together coffee and honey in a separate bowl. Set aside.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in brown sugar. Stir in vegetable oil until just combined.

Beat together half of flour mixture and all of honey mixture into egg mixture. Stir in remaining flour mixture, raisins and apples.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until cake is springy to the touch, has begun to come away from the edge of the pan and releases a cake tester cleanly. Let cool in pan for 20 minutes. Run the point of a flexible knife around the edge, unmould onto a rack, cool fully and leave in a cool place, covered, for 24 hours to allow flavours to mellow. Dust with icing sugar just before serving. Serves 10 to 12, but lasts for 2 weeks well covered.

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This is a simple but delicious German plum tart. Serve with a dollop of cream or ice cream. If you use prune plums, use about 16 and slice them in half.



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter

¼ cup cold water


6 to 8 large red or black plums, halved and pitted

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon


2 large eggs

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon honey


Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in enough water to absorb flour so that it begins to look like pastry dough, but do not bring it together into a ball. Pat dough into prepared pan and prick all over with a fork.

Slice plums about ½-inch thick. Arrange plums in overlapping lines over top of dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle over plums. Bake for 15 minutes.

Beat together eggs, cream and honey in a bowl. Drizzle over plums.

Return pan to oven and bake for 40 minutes or until custard is golden and fruit is soft. Serve warm or cool. Serves 8

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