Archive for the ‘Sweet treats’ Category

1 banana, banana bread

Posted on: August 21st, 2012 by admin 2 Comments

This week I ate some delicious banana bread and I instantly decided I wanted to make my own.  Seeing as temperatures have been cooling down, I was excited to be able to turn on the oven!  I have a few great recipes for banana breads, but I realized I only had one lonely banana in the house.  So if this ever happens to you – here’s a wonderful recipe for a 1 banana banana bread.

  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c caster sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 c buttermilk (or a combination of plain yogurt or sour cream and milk)
  • (*you can also make a buttermilk substitute – directions below)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • (you can add 1/2 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts too)

Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Lightly grease a loaf pan.

In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda.

In another bowl mix together the melted butter and the buttermilk (or substitute). Add egg and stir until well combined, then add banana and vanilla and again stir until well combined. Now add the wet ingredients to the dry mixing until just incorporated. Not too much.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 min, then allow to finish cooling on rack.

Things to note about this banana bread – it’s not a tall loaf.  In fact I love it for this reason.  It cooks evenly, stays nice and moist, no burning the edges with raw insides, or over dryness from longer cooking.  It really  is a wonderful cake.  I was also worried one banana might not be banana-y enough, but no fear, the flavour is everything you want it to be!

*You can make your own buttermilk using milk and lemon juice.  For this recipe 1/3 c milk add 1/4 tsp lemon juice, let stand for 5 minutes then use as normal.

Adapted from  theFauxMarthas recipe.

Song for this recipe:

“Caress your soul” – Sticky fingers Caress Your Soul - Caress Your Soul - Single

Sticky Fingers are a Sydney based band who apparently did quite a nutty gig at the Woodford festival beginning of 2012.  This is their latest single off and album that should come out early 2013.  The album will apparently be a unique collection of psychotic surfdub love songs.  I heard someone say of the band  ”sticky fingers some how managed to magically combine whimsical English folk, West Coast psychedelia, and classic dub reggae and make it all work”  I’ll wait for the full album to be the judge, but until then I am enjoying this song very much, so I’m hopeful for the rest.

Puffy pancakes

Posted on: August 5th, 2012 by admin 3 Comments

I love puffy pancakes!  They were my dream breakfast when I was young, but we always had thinner ones at my house.  Which I must say were equally tasty, but I craved the fluffy ones.  Beans does not eat pancakes, so we never used to make them, until we discovered he loves making them and I love having them made for me!!  Ha win win.  This is his recipe – I don’t know how he got it so right, but he makes these for me often on Sunday mornings. What a champ.  You will love them as much as me I’m sure.

  • 1 c flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 egg

Makes enough for 2 people.

Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt).  I like to mix the egg and milk together next, then add the wet to the dry.  Mix thoroughly so that there are no floury lumps.  This is quite a thick mixture, so don’t be alarmed or add more milk.

Heat a non stick frying pan or skillet to medium low heat.  This is around mark 3 on my stove-top if that helps.  You don’t want it too hot, because they’re thick, they need to cook a little slower so that there’s no uncooked centre.

Spoon big spoonfuls into the pan and let cook for about a minute.  Flip when there are lots of bubbles on the surface.  Check your first one by tearing it in half to make sure the middle has cooked through.  Beans likes to pour a little maple syrup into the pan and re-cook/caramelize the pancakes at the end.

We always serve ours with bacon, fresh fruit and real maple syrup, but you can use whatever you like!  Lemon and sugar is another favourite, or like Dad always made them, sprinkled with ground hazelnuts and honey.

Song for this recipe:

“Specialty” – The Breakfast Club Specialty - Breakfast Club

Classic one hit wonders from the mid ’80′s.  I don’t know why the Breakfast Club wasn’t more successful?  They had a lot going for them.  Although they performed for over a decade together, there was only one album.  The band features 2 of Madonnas ex’s, in fact, she was drummer for a while, before leaving to try and take over the world. Despite having a few big hits, they disbanded right after the album was released.  At least we have the one – full of classic 80′s pop beats and synths, Sunday morning fun.

Soft Pretzels

Posted on: June 24th, 2012 by admin 3 Comments

They are just so delicious aren’t they?  I can’t think of many people who don’t love a big chewy bite with coarse salt and some mustard.  Well hold my mustard, but you know what I mean.  Pretzels are wonderful to make yourself, they are surprisingly easy, just taking a little time.  They are well worth it for the smell in your house alone.  I like to make a double batch and do half with coarse salt and half dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar.

The traditional recipe calls for a lye bath, but I just can’t see how that can be healthy.  Anything that requires goggles and gloves in the kitchen scares me.

  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast (1/4 ounce or 1 packet)
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 c warm water
  • 3 c all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (or you can use vege oil)

For boiling:

  • 4 – 8 c water
  • 2 Tbsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp coarse salt

Mix yeast, coarse salt, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl, whisking until sugar dissolves. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Slowly pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to combine. Using your hands, gather dough together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Cut dough into 12 pieces, and roll each into an 18-inch rope. Form a U shape with 1 rope, and twist ends together twice. Fold twisted portion backward towards the center of the U shape, then gently press ends of rope onto dough to seal. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet, and repeat. Let rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 250ºC (475ºF). Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add baking soda. Boil pretzels in batches until puffed and slightly shiny, 1 minutes per side. Transfer to wire racks to drain. Return to baking sheet, sprinkle with pretzel salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pretzels will keep, uncovered, at room temperature for up to 12 hours.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Song for this recipe:

“The denial twist” – The White Stripes The Denial Twist - Get Behind Me Satan

The White Stripes were an American rock band from Detroit, Michigan. The group consisted of songwriter Jack White and drummer Meg White. Jack and Meg were previously married to each other, but are now divorced – there was always a lot of mystery surrounding their relationship, people said they were bro and sis…  Anyway I like Jack White.  I like his voice, he writes good songs, in most of his forms of bands (the Raconteurs, the Dead Weathers) and he’s an interesting character- which I expect from a rock musician.  Even though the White Stripes are no longer together, Jack has a new solo album out now, which I also like so far.

Yellow cupcakes with peach frosting

Posted on: June 10th, 2012 by admin 7 Comments

I usually don’t refer to cupcakes by their colour.  But I had one of these yellow cupcakes that Jessica made last week and it was one of the best cupcakes I have ever eaten!  Seriously.  So I made them too.  An awesome no-fail recipe I’d say.  Joy of baking really is good for some basic recipes.  These cupcakes are ‘yellow’ because of the extra egg yolks.  It also makes them particularly rich in flavour, but they are light and fluffy in texture.  Wonderful.

Peach frosting was something I thought would be nice and summery.  I really enjoy making icing with fresh fruit.  It gives a subtle colour and a nice delicate flavour.  I will let you know in the recipe where you can use another fruit or no fruit too.

  • 1 1/2 c (195 g) flour (all purpose)
  • 1 c (200 g) caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c (113 g) butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line or grease a 12 hole cupcake tin.

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl beat the butter, eggs and vanilla until smooth, then mix in the sour cream gently.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until well incorporated, but don’t over mix.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until they are 3/4 full.  Then pop them into the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Or until pale gold and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.  Let them cool on a wire rack and ice when cool.  These are tastiest the same or next day, but will last at room temperature for 4-5 days.

Here are the cute cupcakes that inspired me!  From Jessica.

Peach frosting

This icing is SO delicious.  I am so proud that I invented this – although it’s so basic I’m sure someone has previously also invented it!  I don’t love peaches to eat – which is weird I know.  But I do love them in pies, cobbler, cake etc…  This recipe is easy, tasty and a little unusual, which is a wonderful treat.

  • 1 1/2 c icing/confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 c butter, softened
  • 1/4 c peach juice (1 peach)

To make the peach juice, cut up one peach and place in a small saucepan on low heat.  Stir regularly until the peaches soften.  When they are soft, push the peach pieces through a sieve with the back of a spoon.  You should get about 1/4 c from one peach.

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.  If it’s too runny, add a little more icing sugar, too thick, add a little drop of milk.  Ice the cupcakes and enjoy!

Song for this recipe:

“Peaches (Vienna 88)” – Frank Zappa Peaches (Vienna 88) - The Frank Zappa Aaafnraaaaam Birthday Bundle

Frank Zappa was pretty awesome.  This album The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle is good fun.  It’s hard to explain Frank Zappa if you don’t know him.  He’s passed away now, but for a long time he wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.  He’s a wacky character, but I especially like this song right now.  It’s celebratory.  Which is perfect because it’s Kelly’s birthday.  My little sis.  I hope this is your happiest year yet Kel.  xo

Lemon blueberry cheesecake bars

Posted on: May 17th, 2012 by admin 4 Comments

Cheesecake is my favourite cake.  In fact for Christmas when my family were asking what I might like for a gift – I asked for a cheesecake. And my brother made me one. Sometimes I crave a piece during the week, but if you’ve ever made a cheesecake you know – they take a lot of cream cheese.  In fact, so much cream cheese, that cheesecake might be the only cake that is cheaper to buy ready made than from scratch. Also then you have a whole cheesecake to get through. Which could be a good thing or not, generally you have to give half away, (unless you’ve a big family). What I am getting at is, sometimes you need a cheesecakey treat that’s not quite as indulgent as a whole cheesecake. Like these bars! Wonderfully creamy, lightly lemony, a pop of blueberry, with a satisfying slightly spiced crust. That with a cider in the afternoon sun and I’m set.

For the base:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 15 graham crackers (if you can’t get them, you can make them or use digestives or gingersnaps)
  • 115 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 455 g (16 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 165ºC (325ºF). Butter the bottom and sides of a 22 x 22 cm (9 x 9 inch) baking pan.  (Please note – we love to make this recipe x by 1.5 and use a 12 x 8 inch pan also – the bars go too fast otherwise!)

In a plastic bag – or food processor, crush up the graham crackers into chunky crumbs. In a bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers. Add the melted butter and mix until everything is incorporated. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and press it evenly into the base of the pan – you can push it down with the bottom of a glass. Bake this base for 12 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, set it aside to cool.

Meanwhile prepare the filling, it will make a big difference if you make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature, this will make the bars nice and creamy. In a bowl start by mixing the cream cheese, then add the eggs, one at a time, then the lemon zest and juice, cream and sugar. Mix until the ingredients are creamy and blended together well. Pour over top of the cooled crust (it can still be a tiny bit warm). Then evenly sprinkle on the blueberries (they will sink in a little, which is great!)

 

Bake the whole thing for 35 minutes. Only allow the top to get a hint of brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Cooling slowly is important to stop cheesecakes cracking. Cut into bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like.

Original recipe a mix of Martha Stewart and Tyler Florence.

Song for this recipe:

“Pirate in the water” – Santigold Pirate In the Water - Master of My Make-Believe

Santigold is like a good MIA.  Ha – boy I’ll get into trouble with that statement. But seriously, she’s been around a while now, her first album is an oldy but goodie. I like her because she has a good combo of beats and catchy lyrics, but she’s different too.  Her new album is really fun, still Santigold style, which she calls “genre-less” music. It’s true, I guess I’d call it maybe indie rock, with some new wave and synth pop elements. Bah who knows? Give her a listen, she’ll make you feel cool.

Eatpress recipes with a twist

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by admin 2 Comments

We constantly remake most of the recipes on eatpress.  It’s like our online recipe-book that we like to share with others, but we use it more than anyone! There are lots of family recipes here that we bake and re-bake all the time, sometimes with a twist.  For instance, the Milk bread rolls we bake, often turn into either cinnamon scrolls or coconut buns.  The vanilla cookies we always bake for valentines day, often get made in other sandwiches forms.  Scones we make every Sunday, usually classic, but sometimes with nuts added.  So today we thought we’d share some of our favourite twists on recipes already here.

Coconut scrolls

Using the Milk bread rolls recipe.

Plus:

  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 3/4 c shredded coconut

In a saucepan on medium heat, add all 3 ingredients and stir gently until the mixture thickens slightly.  This will take only about 3-5 minutes, don’t left it get too hot.  Then turn off the heat and let stand.

Once the dough is made and has risen one time.  You want to roll it out on a floured surface into about a 40cm x 25cm (15 x 9 in) rectangle. Spread coconut mixture all over dough – it will be a little messy! Beginning at the long side, roll up dough into a long log and pinch the edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15  roughly 5cm (2 in) slices.

Grease the bottom of baking pan with butter. Place coconut roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about another hour. Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

……………………………

Vanilla sandwich cookies

Use our classic vanilla cookie recipe AND the decorator frosting recipe.  Before baking, cut the cookies with a larger cutter and then cut out a little circle from the middle of half the cookies. Bake as usual and when cooled spread the topside of finished cookies with frosting and quickly sandwich together – the frosting will set and the cookies double in value!

 

What are your favourite re-mixed recipes?  Ever made a variation of an eatpress recipe?  We’d love to hear it.

Song for these recipes:

“Kiss” Daft Punk Remix (This is a tricky track to find, but I’m sure if you search you will find!)

Remix recipes while listening to remixes? OK! Daft Punk, what a great time they bring me back to. Listening to Discovery on repeat, while grinding glass for my honours year at University, pretty much in syn with my friend Mere. We listened to that disc like crazy, dancing away with our no-skip disc-mans. And Prince – how could you ever go wrong with Prince? I love that he appears occasionally here in Montreal while the jazz festival is on and does a couple of surprise shows at various secret locations. What a self-loving/loveable man. What I wouldn’t give to stumble on one of those shows…

Lime coconut cupcakes

Posted on: April 22nd, 2012 by admin 4 Comments

I love coconut, fresh especially, but I love to bake with it too.  Beans doesn’t like it in cooking much, so I don’t use it too often, but lately he’s not eating treats at all, so I made these for myself and some girlfriends.  I’ve made them lots of times with lemon or lime, so you can always change out your citrus, lime and coconut do work well together though!  These are so good, they are light, slightly crisp just around the top edge, the lime is not overpowering and the coconut is chewy and delicious.

 

  • 150g (2/3 c) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp grated lime zest
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c milk
  • 3/4 c desiccated coconut

Grease 12 muffin tins or line with paper muffin cups and preheat oven to 180ºC (350°F).

Cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer or by hand. Beat in the eggs one at a time and then add in the lime zest, juice, vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet, alternating with the milk, until combined. Mix in the coconut. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins, to about two thirds full. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Lime coconut buttercream frosting:

  • 1/2 c butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
  • 3 c powdered/icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup coconut, decorating the tops of the cupcakes

In a medium bowl, beat butter, vanilla, and coconut extract until creamy. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with lime juice, beating until smooth and combined. Ice the cupcakes as generously as you like and then sprinkle with coconut.

The unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six weeks. Freeze the frosting separately. When defrosting the cupcakes, keep them in the container so that condensation forms on the outside of the package, not the cupcakes.

Recipe modified from Style at home.

Song for this recipe:

“Video games” – Lana Del Rey Video Games - Born to Die

Lana Del Rey is a dreamy singer, she sounds a little sad, but I’m not sure if she just finds being moody cool.  In any case I love her voice and her songs are enjoyable in lots of ways.  I can see this being a big summer album.  It’s relaxed, but interesting, perfect for baking treats on a Sunday and then eating them in front of the telly while playing video games!  (I’ve heard she’s a mess live, but she’s gorgeous, so it must still be quite a show).