Displaying items by tag: pastries and cakes


This recipe is adapted from Chilean chef Christian Correa. Sopaipillas are a kind of Chilean doughnut usually served with sugar and cinnamon, although he has turned it into an elegant dessert.


Servings: 20 doughnuts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 7 minutes

Ready In: 17 minutes


2 cups self-raising flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup cooked pumpkin, mashed

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup water

1 stick cinnamon

Half an orange, cut into 8 pieces

Vegetable oil for frying

1 cup whipping cream

2 cups blackberries, mashed

Whole blackberries for garnish

2 tablespoons icing sugar


Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine pumpkin and butter in a separate bowl and stir until uniform. Make a well in the flour mixture, add pumpkin mixture and stir and knead until well combined. Add a little water if it is too dry.

Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick and cut out 3-inch circles using a pastry cutter.

Combine brown sugar, water, cinnamon and orange in a pot over medium heat and bring to boil. Boil for 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oil to 350 F in a wok or pot over high heat or until a cube of bread turns brown in 20 seconds. Add pastry rounds a few at a time and fry until puffed and golden, turning halfway through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Working in batches, add fried sopaipillas to syrup and soak for about 3 minutes, turning once, or until they have absorbed some liquid. Remove sopaipillas to a plate, reserving syrup separately.

Beat cream until thickened then fold in mashed blackberries To serve, garnish one sopaipilla with blackberry cream. Top with another sopaipilla, garnish with a whole blackberry and icing sugar and drizzle plate with reserved syrup.

Published in Recipes


Cheesecake is a guaranteed winner on Father's Day and this no-bake recipe gives fast results and unbelievable taste. If you don't want a ginger crust, substitute crumbled graham crackers or chocolate cookies. The fruits can change with the seasons, too. The texture of deli-style cream cheese is too soft for this, so we used block cream cheese – even the low fat version works well. The glaze should only be applied just before serving because it will run as it releases the juice from the fruit. But you don't have to glaze it. If the strawberries are small, leave those them whole. If large, they look nice sliced.


Servings: 6 to 8


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 5 minues

Ready In: 2 hours (including chilling time)



2 cups gingersnaps, crumbled

1/2 cup almonds, slivered

1/3 cup melted butter

4 ounces (125 grams) dark chocolate, chopped

10 ounces (300 grams) block cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plain yogurt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons orange rind, grated


2 cups strawberries

3 tablespoons sieved strawberry jam


Combine gingersnaps and almonds in a food processor and process until almonds are finely chopped. Add butter and process briefly.

Butter a 9-inch spring form pan and line base with parchment paper. Press cookie crumbs into base of pan and about 1 to 2 inches up the sides. Chill until firm.

Heat chocolate in a small pot over low heat until melted. Brush melted chocolate over cookie crumb base and chill for 30 minutes.

Whisk together cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and orange rind. Spoon cheese mixture into chilled shell and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

Place fruit on top of cheese. Just before serving melt strawberry jam until just liquid and brush over fruit. Remove sides of spring form and serve.

Published in Recipes


This elegant dinner menu shows off the best of the season's local delicacies – it's perfect for entertaining. (See below for the full menu.) The dessert can be made a ahead of time, leaving lots of time with your friends.When I was in Naramata in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley recently these little galettes were sold at a farmers' market – the bakers told me they sell more than 300 a day. My take on a sweet rhubarb filling provides a delightful end to a luxurious meal.


Servings: 6

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Ready In: 105 minutes including cooling time



2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup cold water

2 tablespoons lemon juice



4 cups thickly sliced rhubarb (1-inch pieces)

2 cups strawberries, quartered or halved

2/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon five spice powder


1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon whipping cream

2 teaspoons granulated sugar


Combine flour, salt and five spice powder and cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas.

Combine cold water and lemon juice and sprinkle enough liquid over flour mixture to bring pastry together into ball, adding a little extra water if necessary. Form pastry into a ball, flatten into a disc, then wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cut pastry into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece out on a floured board into a 6- or 7-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Toss together rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour and five spice powder in a bowl to make filling. Divide fruit mixture between prepared pastry rounds, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold edge of pastry up over filling to enclose, leaving centre open.

Beat together egg yolk and cream and brush over pastry. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake galettes for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 F and bake another 20 minutes or until juices are bubbling and pastry is golden. Remove from oven and let sit until juices have thickened and cooled. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Published in Recipes


This versatile recipe can be made in various guises – you can freeze it in a mould or in individual serving dishes and serve it with lime wedges dipped in sugar. Or, if you don't freeze it, you can use it as a filling for a tart or tartlets. The third option, my favourite, is to pile it in sugar-rimmed margarita glasses and drizzle a little extra tequila on top.


Servings: 6 to 8



1/3 cup lime juice

2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin

1 cup mascarpone

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons grated lime rind

¼ cup tequila

¼ cup orange-flavoured liqueur, such as triple sec or Cointreau

1 cup whipping cream


½ cup whipping cream


Place lime juice in a small pot and sprinkle gelatin over. Stir together over low heat until dissolved. Set aside.

Beat together mascarpone, sugar and lime rind until combined. Whisk in tequila, triple sec and reserved lime juice mixture.

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold into mousse mixture. Spoon mousse into serving dishes, a mould or a tart shell as desired. Place in refrigerator or freezer to set. Chill for four hours or overnight. Whip remaining cream and garnish top of mousse before serving.

Published in Recipes


The royal couple's cake is rumoured be traditional, which in British terms means fruitcake – hence these breakfast-friendly wedding cake muffins. If you have some of these leftover, they keep for a week.

Servings: 10 muffins

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Ready In: 12 hours, including overnight soaking of fruit


1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes

1/2 cup yellow raisins

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

1 cup port or other liquor

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pinch ground allspice

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup demerara sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Combine dried apricots, cranberries, prunes, raisins, grated orange rind, port, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to boil, reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring, for 5 minutes or until liquid is mostly absorbed. Scrape fruit mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight.

Butter and flour 10 muffin wells. Reserve.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and stir with a fork to mix. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions. Add vanilla extract and beat in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in reserved fruit mixture.

Divide batter among 10 muffin wells in prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.

Published in Recipes


Sometimes after I've made meringues I have lots of egg yolks left over. This light sponge cake uses 6 of them and gives a very tasty result.

Ready in: 45 minutes, plus cooling time

6 egg yolks

¼ cup warm water

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind

1 cup self raising flour

¼ cup milk


1 cup lemon curd or jam

Grease and flour a 9-inch cake pan and line with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Beat together egg yolks and water until incorporated. Slowly add sugar and continue to beat until pale and thick enough for beaters to leave a ribbon in the mixture. Add salt, vanilla and grated lemon rind. Fold in one third of flour, then half of milk and repeat, finishing with flour.

Spoon batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan. Turn cake out onto a wire rack. When cake is cool, split in half horizontally and fill with lemon curd or jam. Serve with whipped cream if desired. Serves 4

Published in Recipes


This is a one-bowl cake that works brilliantly: simply beat everything together and bake. Serve with fruit on the side. It makes a lovely breakfast cake too.


Servings: 6

Active Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 65 minutes, plus two hours cooling


½ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 eggs

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 tablespoons grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup yogurt


¼ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced candied ginger


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Combine butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cardamom, lemon rind, vanilla extract and yogurt in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes or until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out, peel off parchment and set on a rack. Prick top of cake liberally with a toothpick.

Combine sugar, lemon juice and candied ginger in a small pot over medium heat and boil for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Brush warm glaze all over cake, sprinkle with candied ginger and let cool completely. Serve with poached pears or dried fruit compote or on its own.

Published in Recipes


The seasonally available blood oranges provide a delicious contrast to the rich filling. Serve with lightly whipped cream if desired. Although the tart serves more than six, it keeps for up to a week of decadent eating.


Servings: 6 to 8 with leftovers

Active Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 90 to 100 minutes


2 cups water

1 cup sugar

2 blood oranges, thinly sliced

1 cup shelled pistachios

½ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Pinch salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 pre-baked 9-inch tart shell

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped pistachios


Place water and sugar in a wide pot over high heat and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low, add orange slices and simmer, turning oranges occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes or until oranges are soft and peel is beginning to look translucent.

Transfer slices to a rack to cool, reserving syrup for glaze. If syrup is too thin, boil down until it thickens.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Combine pistachios and butter in a food processor. Sprinkle in sugar and orange rind and pulse until mixture is combined. Add salt and eggs and process until incorporated.

Spread mixture in pre-baked tart shell and bake 25 to 30 minutes (covering the edge of the pastry with foil if it begins to get too browned), or until filling is puffed and browned. Cool.

Fan orange slices decoratively over top of tart and brush with orange glaze. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Published in Recipes

The key to making the ultimate chicken pot pie is in the amount of chicken (lots!) and the crispness of the pastry (it should be crispy!). The sauce should be thick, as the chicken will add some juice while it bakes. You can use different vegetables, but I am a purist and like carrots, leeks and peas. To poach a chicken, place it in water with a tetra pack of low-sodium chicken stock to cover. Add a few bits of onion, carrot and celery, bring to boil and simmer for 35 minutes. Let the chicken cool in the broth, then cut into chunks using both light and dark meat. Strain the stock and chill for easier fat removal. One 3½-pound (1.5 kilogram) chicken is the right amount for this pie.



2 cups chicken stock

1 cup thickly sliced carrots

3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in ½-inch rounds

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whipping cream, optional

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 poached chicken, cut into chunks

1 cup frozen peas, defrosted (use larger peas)

1 package frozen puff pastry, defrosted

1 egg beaten with a pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 400F.

Put stock, carrots and leeks into a pot and simmer together for 5 minutes, or until carrots are softened slightly. Drain, and reserve stock and vegetables separately.

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook until pale gold, about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, cream, tarragon and lemon rind and bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is very thick and glossy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in peas, softened vegetables and poached chicken. Transfer filling to an 8x10-inch (2-litre) baking dish, mounding it in centre. Set aside.

Roll out pastry to ¼-inch thick and the right size to cover top of dish. Cut a 1-inch strip from edges of pastry. Brush edge of dish with water and lay the strip of pastry along the edge. Brush with egg. Lay remaining pastry on top of dish, sealing edges. Cut a steam vent into top of pie and decorate with any extra pastry. Brush with remaining egg. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden and mixture bubbles. Serves 6

Published in Recipes


Here's a simple butter cake cut into an Oscar shape, frosted with buttercream and covered in edible gold dust. Julie Vrbos, a custom cake designer and owner of Sweet Jules in Toronto (www.sweetjules.ca), expertly carved this for us as we watched in awe.




1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

1½ cups granulated sugar

4 eggs, beaten

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup milk

Julie's Buttercream Frosting:

2 egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar

8 ounces (250 grams) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Gold leaf for sprinkling, optional


Preheat oven to 375F.

Grease a 9x13-inch metal cake pan and line with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat in one-third of the dry ingredients, then beat in half the milk. Repeat, ending with the remaining dry ingredients. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Beat egg whites until doubled in size, adding sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until incorporated. Increase speed of mixer and beat until stiff peaks form. Beat in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until it’s all incorporated, about 5 minutes. Whip on high speed until buttercream is smooth, about 5 minutes.

Trim top of cake so it is level, then cut in half lengthwise with a serrated knife. Spread the top of one half with about 1 cup buttercream, sandwich the other half on top and refrigerate for the icing to become firm.

With a small paring knife, sketch out the basic Oscar shape on the top of the cake, then cut away the excess, reserving all scraps. Squish and mould small scraps together and stick to cake to build up the arms, the face and the stand. When the shape looks good, give the cake a light masking of buttercream and refrigerate until firm.

Completely cover cake with more buttercream using a small spatula. Refrigerate.

Once buttercream is firm, smooth out any rough edges with your fingers. Sprinkle with edible gold leaf. Serves 6 to 8.

Published in Recipes