Displaying items by tag: desserts

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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With so many gelato places booming across the country, buying gelati and garnishing them with sauces or fruit makes a lovely instant dessert. My favourite combination is lemon-ginger, peach and any variety of chocolate, but feel free to experiment. Buy a pint of each. They keep well.

3 pints of assorted gelati

Arrange three scoops of assorted gelati on a single plate and garnish with blueberries, sliced peaches, chopped ginger in syrup if you can find it and a little raspberry sauce. Serves 4.

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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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A star dessert that is lighter than the usual pumpkin pie, yet has the same pumpkin-spice flavour. The crunch is similar to sponge toffee.


Panna Cotta:

2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons powdered, unflavoured gelatin

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup sugar

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Spiced Crunch:

3/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons corn syrup

1 teaspoon ginger, grated

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Pinch nutmeg


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and oil 8 half-cup ramekins. Set aside.

Place 1/2 cup milk in a small pot and sprinkle with gelatin. Heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside.

Heat cream and remaining 1 1/2 cups milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in pumpkin puree, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and gelatin mixture. Let mixture cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally. Carefully pour into ramekins and refrigerate until set, overnight.

To make the spiced crunch, combine sugar, corn syrup and grated ginger in a large pot over medium-low heat and cook, shaking pan occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Simmer for 5 minutes or until golden. Remove from heat and quickly whisk in baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. The caramel will begin to foam to double the size.

Pour foam onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and leave to set at room temperature until crisp, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Unmould the panna cottas onto individual serving plates by dipping the ramekin in hot water to loosen (or leave them in the ramekins). Serve with pieces of spiced crunch. Serves 8

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Ripe pears take less time to roast. If your pears are really hard, bake them for 10 minutes in an empty baking dish before adding the rest of the ingredients. I prefer Anjou pears for this dish, as they take on the flavours of the spices best, but Bartlett pears would be a good substitute. The salty finish adds flavour and cuts sweetness.

4 firm Anjou pears, peeled, halved and cored

1 cup apple juice

½ cup white wine

½ cup whipping cream

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon allspice berries

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 4-inch cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon Maldon salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place pears, cut-side down, in a baking dish just large enough to hold a single layer. Combine apple juice, white wine, whipping cream, sugar, peppercorns, allspice, cinnamon and salt. Pour over pears.

Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes or until pears are tender and translucent. If the pears are not covered with liquid you may need to turn them over halfway through cooking.

Strain sauce into a pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce is golden and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Pour sauce over pears and sprinkle each pear with an extra tiny pinch of salt just before serving. Serves 4.

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White chocolate can be temperamental. Be cautious about overheating it or overbeating because it will curdle. You can use any type of grapes for this dish, but dark blue wine or concord grapes are especially delicious if you can find them.


1 bunch grapes, frozen

3/4 cup whipping cream

¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces

½ teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios


Place grapes in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Combine cream, butter and salt in a heavy pot over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat, add chocolate and stir until melted and uniform. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for about 4 hours, or until chocolate has set and mixture has thickened.

Beat with an electric mixer for about 30 seconds, or until soft peaks form.

Spoon mousse into glass dishes and top with frozen grapes and pistachios. Serves 4.

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