Category Archives: dessert

Cheesecake Squares

In June we had a wedding reception at our church to celebrate the start of Michael and Rebecca’s adventure together. These cheese cake squares were the dessert of my choice to bring as they are bit-size, so people can try more than just one dessert and they are easy to decorate at any season. I chose raspberries and small lemon balm leaves this time.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 3 cups (400g)  graham cracker crumbs
  • a bit less than 1/2 cup softened butter
For the topping
  • 3 blocks cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • sugar
  • vanilla
For the decoration
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • raspberries
  • small lemon balm leaves

Preparation

Knead the crumbs and the butter together and press into a 12×12 inch pan lined with parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients for the topping and pour over top. Bake at 350˚F for 30 min. Open the oven a bit and let the squares sit in there to cool off slowly. Chill for at least two hours before decorating.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I love this combination of sour rhubarb and sweet, ripe strawberries for a pie. Here is a basic pie recipe that my friend Tammy taught me. It replaces part of the butter for the pie crust with cream cheese. I sometimes also use a combination of lard, butter and cream cheese.

Ingredients

for the crust

  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 0.5 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup butter
for the filling
  • 3 cups rhubarb, cubed
  • 1 cup strawberries, cubed
  • 1-2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • cinnamon or vanilla

Preparation

Cut butter and the cream cheese over top of the flour and quickly knead under the flour. Form a ball and chill for at least 1 hour.

Mix all ingredients for the fruit filling. Grease a pie pan. Roll out 2/3 of the dough and fit it in the pan, overlapping the rim. Spread the prepared fruit out evenly over the dough then roll out the rest to fit over the top of the fruits. Turn the overlapping dough over the cover. Poke  several times with a fork. Then bake for 30 min. at 400˚F.

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Tastes great with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Any other fruit filling like apricots, blueberries, prunes or whatever you can think of works well. My latest experiment is apricots and strawberries.

What are your favourite pies?

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It’s Rhubarb Season

I love rhubarb. As soon as it appears in my local produce store or farmers market I buy it. Having grown up on the country side with an abundance of this vegetable available I do not want to miss it.

One of the first things I used rhubarb for this spring were my basic muffins. I added small rhubarb cubes and walnut crumbs and used vanilla flavouring to complement the tangy taste of the rhubarb. I baked those for my neighbour Julia and her family after she gave birth to little Monty.

A fantastic dessert I recently tried was strawberry rhubarb galettes from my favourite cookbook author Lucy Waverman posted in the Globe and Mail. Unfortunately my crust flattened down a bit. I have to try those again.

Much easier than galettes is a strawberry rhubarb pie as it sits in a pan.

Last night I opted for a rhubarb strawberry crumble as dessert. Here is the recipe that my dear friend Alison shared with me years ago when I had no idea about great American recipes yet. Alison is a great baker and has always some treats ready for her family and friends.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

Ingredients

for the crumbs

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • cinnamon

for the fruit layer

  • 3 cups rhubarb cubes
  • 1 cup strawberry cubes
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • vanilla extract or vanilla sugar

Preparation

Mix oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add not completely melted butter and form crumbs. Mix all ingredients for the fruit layer.

Grease a 6×9 inch baking pan, add the fruit layer, top with the crumbs. Bake at 400˚F for 30-40min. Let cool off a bit and serve with vanilla ice cream.

The feature photo originates from La Grande’s Farmersmarket photostream on Flickr.

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Filed under basic, dessert, easy, spring, summer

Cappuccino Cheesecake Squares

Inspired by a recipe on the lid of an Astro Yogurt I made these super- easy cheesecake squares for dessert last Sunday.

Ingredients

  • 200g amaretti crumbles
  • 125 g melted butter
  • 2 packages softened cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tsp. corn starch
  • cocoa powder for decoration

Preparation

Knead crumbles and butter together and press into a greased 8×8 inch baking pan. Mix all the other ingredients and pour over top. Bake for 30 min. at 325°F. Let cool off in the oven, just open the door, then chill for a couple of hours.

Be creative with your decorations! I simply dusted the squares with cocoa powder.

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Leche Flan

This is a recipe from my Filipino friend Mila Jahraus.  She displayed a mouthwatering picture of this dessert on her Facebook. Then I talked her into writing her own blog post about Leche flan, a typical Filipino dessert. “It’s yummy, simple and easy to make.” as she writes. Thanks, Mila, for giving me permission to share this recipe here. The Easter dinner seems to offer a perfect opportunity for me to try it myself.

Ingredients

  •    10 egg yolks
  •     1 small can of condensed milk
  •     1 cup milk or evaporated milk
  •     1 tsp. vanilla extract
  •     1 cup granulated sugar

Preparation

Beat the egg yolks with a hand mixer. Add condensed milk and mix thoroughly. Pour in the (evaporated) milk and the vanilla extract and mix again. In a flat mold (Llaneras) caramelize the sugar and let sit for 5 min. Gently pour the egg yolk mixture over the caramel sugar and cover the mold with aluminium foil. Steam for 30-35min, then refrigerate. Before serving run a thin knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a plate over the mold and flip upside down so the golden brown caramel is on top.

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World Nutella Day

I just discovered that February 5 is world Nutella day and found this incredible stack of Nutella recipes. Check it out. My personal Nutella favourite are crepes with nutella and banana slices. Add yours if you want!

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Tirami Su

This is a recipe from my Swiss friend Michaela Gruetter. I have prepared it frequently to bring along to a more stylish potluck party, and lots of my friends have asked me for the recipe. I especially like the combination of orange and cocoa powder. Sometimes I experiment with the mascarpone cream, replacing the heavy mascarpone cheese by a mix of light cream cheese and vanilla yogurt or something similar. I go the extra mile to make sure the eggs I use are very fresh.

Ingredients (makes 12 or more servings)

  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 lb mascarpone cheese
  • ½ lemon rind
  • ½ orange rind
  • 1 c. + 1/4c. strong, sweetened coffee (cooled)
  • 2 tbsp. brandy
  • 300g lady fingers
  • cocao for dusting.

Preparation

Beat the egg whites. Beat egg yolks with sugar until creamy. Add orange and lemon rind, and the mascarpone cheese. Fold in the egg white. Layer half of the lady fingers in a glass dish and soak with half of the coffee (one tablespoon per cookie). Cover with mascarpone cream. Add another layer of ladyfingers with coffee and cream over top. Let sit in the fridge for at least four hours or over night. Before serving dust with cacao powder.

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