Fig & Flax Swirl Cookies

Ideal for fall, fig & flax swirl cookies have beautiful warm flavors from the fig preserves and spices and a little crunch from the flax seeds. Figs flavor has been described as kind of a honey-taste with hints of berry. And of course, they give a crunchy-crisp texture from the seeds.

Figs are a distinctive and vibrant fruit that work with sweet and savory dishes. There are so many ways to use them in autumnal bakes, salads, meat dishes and more. Then there’s an added dimension to take it a bit further by using figs in preserve form such as:

  • Homemade Fig Newtons.
  • Swirl into a cheesecake batter for a fig cheesecake.
  • Spread on melted baked brie fresh from the oven.
  • Spread it on toast, English muffins, or biscuits instead of jelly.
  • Spread on crostini with goat cheese, prosciutto & balsamic vinegar for an appetizer.
  • Combine with rosemary and balsamic vinegar & use as a glaze for chicken, pork, or kebabs.
  • Mix with softened cream cheese as a crepe filling.
  • Mix with oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to make a vinaigrette.
  • Use it in grilled ham & cheese sandwiches.
  • Swirl it into ice cream.
  • Use in lieu of syrup for a topping for pancakes.

If you like fig preserves, you will love these cookies.

Print Recipe
Fig & Flax Swirl Cookies
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
COOKIES
Ingredients
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
COOKIES
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, baking soda & salt in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the butter with the brown & white sugar. Mix on medium speed for a minute or two. Add the egg & vanilla and continue mixing until well incorporated.
  3. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture & stir with a spoon until combined & forms a ball. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap & refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Roll chilled dough out on a lightly floured piece of waxed paper to a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread smooth fig preserves on the dough to within about 1/2-inch of the edges. Starting at one of the long ends, begin to carefully roll the dough into a log.
  5. Place egg white in a small bowl. Combine 2 Tbsp each brown sugar & ground flax seeds in a shallow dish. Brush log with egg white then roll in the flax/sugar mixture. Wrap the rolled dough in the wax paper & refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 F.
  7. Slice roll, (using a piece of floss for easier slicing), into 1/4-inch slices. Place on a parchment lined baking sheets & bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven & allow to cool on baking sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Chicken Breast w/ Rhubarb Chutney

CELEBRATING FATHER’S DAY!

It seems as we get older, reminiscing becomes part of our lives. It is that important psychological process called ‘life cycle review’. Both of our father’s were men who always had great, real-life stories to tell. If only those stories had been recorded or written down so we could enjoy them once again. There is never a week goes by that Brion & I don’t reminisce about something we remember about one or the other.

For this blog post, I’m preparing a chicken meal I think they both would have enjoyed.

Seasonal tastes are the wonder of the food universe. Because you can’t have them every day, they are precious. Rhubarb, with its gorgeous pink and green stalks, is a prize of spring and summer produce. It’s delicious in savory applications, like the complex sauce for tonight’s chicken.

Over the years, I think I’ve used rhubarb in every way possible but then I see another idea and …. On the savory side, it seems it can be paired with any meat or fish.

The mild flavor of chicken takes to the spicy/tart flavor of rhubarb and perfumes your kitchen with delicious aromas as it cooks. A side of roasted potatoes and French green beans rounds out this gourmet seasonal meal.

Print Recipe
Chicken Breast w/ Rhubarb Chutney
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Rhubarb Chutney
  1. Heat 2 t oil in saucepan over medium heat and cook onion about 3 minutes.
  2. Add rhubarb, raisins, brown sugar, vinegar, ginger, and 1/8 t pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat (stir occasionally) until rhubarb gets soft and is breaking down, then 5 - 10 additional minutes. Remove and cover.
Chicken Breast
  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and 1/8 t pepper and brown 2 - 3 minutes each side in 1 T canola oil on medium high heat.
  2. Serve the chicken breasts topped with the rhubarb chutney & sides of roasted potatoes & green beans.

Strawberry-Banana Crumble

Crumbles aren’t just for Autumn and Winter. Most people don’t like to turn on the oven in summer and I realize no-bake desserts are wonderful, but there are some desserts worth risking the heat for. Fruit crumbles certainly fall into that category and of course, it goes without saying that it should be topped with ice cream or a whipped topping at least.

It seems that nearly any fruit is improved when you cover it in a layer of crunchy, buttery crumble. Strawberry and banana are a winning combination for many reasons. Strawberry gives a slight sweet and sour taste and banana adds a sweet and creamy texture.

This crumble is an incredibly simple and delicious dessert for when you need a last-minute dessert or for when you’re just craving a sweet, fruity treat.

Print Recipe
Strawberry-Banana Crumble
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, bananas, 3 Tbsp flour, sugar, lemon juice & salt. Toss together gently to avoid bruising the bananas, Pour into a 9-inch baking dish or 6 ramekins.
  3. Combine all ingredients for topping using fingertips to form a crumble. Completely cover fruit mixture with crumb topping.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes or until mixture is bubbling on the sides. Allow to sit for 15 minutes before serving with ice cream or whipped topping.

Lemon Gel ‘Crumble’ Wedges

Nothing says spring more than the zesty, fresh flavor of lemons. I think this lemon dessert is the perfect way to celebrate spring.

Crumbles are a true British dessert, which can be made any time of the year. They are believed to have originated around the time of World War II which brought the world to a standstill; shops were closed, people were left unemployed. As the war progressed, food scarcity became a major scare and due to inflation and rationing, the accessibility to basic food ingredients became a problem. In these hostile times, British housewives came up with many recipes; some of these recipes were lost in time, but some stayed and even gained cult status with time. One such British recipe is that of ‘apple crumble’.

Typically, crumbles use soft fruit like apples, pears, rhubarb or plums, but berries or even a lemon filling can be used. The crumb topping can be made with flour, nuts, breadcrumbs, cookie or graham cracker crumbs, or even breakfast cereal.  

This dessert is very different from the usual crumble. You start with a crumble crust/ topping but the filling is uncooked. It is so nice with fresh lemon juice and zest in it. As it bakes, it becomes almost gel-like and the top crumbles soak slightly into the filling. The flavor of lemon always seems to give such a refreshing taste to everything its used in.

Print Recipe
Lemon Gel 'Crumble' Wedges
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine American, European
Keyword lemon crumble
Servings
Ingredients
Crust & Crumble Topping
Lemon Filling
Course dessert
Cuisine American, European
Keyword lemon crumble
Servings
Ingredients
Crust & Crumble Topping
Lemon Filling
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Crust/Crumble Topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all topping ingredients. Mix well with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup of topping; set aside. Place remaining topping in a 14 x 4-inch baking pan pressing it up the sides as well as on the bottom. Set aside.
Filling
  1. Mix all filling ingredients well, then pour into crust.
  2. Place baking pan in oven & bake for 30- 35 minutes or until filling is set & crust is golden.
  3. Remove from oven & cool completely. This dessert is best refrigerated overnight or at least 6 hours. Cut into wedges or bars & serve with WHIPPED TOPPING.

Apricot Orange Newtons

Do you recall the iconic Fig Newton? For some, fig newtons were the loser cookie – the one you would only eat out of pure desperation if there was nothing else resembling dessert in sight. What could be worse than mysterious, brown fruit ‘goo’ wrapped up in flavorless, dry ‘cake’? They felt that it was not a treat, it was a healthy breakfast disguised as a cookie.

I really don’t remember eating any amount of fig newton cookies myself, probably because my mother always baked. When I did finally taste them as an adult, I actually liked them. Maybe that had something to do with my love for figs or maybe I just like cookies…not sure!

The ‘fig newton’ was one of the earliest commercially baked products in North America. Introduced by the Kennedy Biscuit Company in 1891, fig newtons were named after the town of Newton, Massachusetts, which was near the factory that first produced the cookie commercially. Kennedy Biscuit eventually merged with several other bakeries to form the National Biscuit Company, now known as Nabisco.

The recipe for the fig filling was the brainchild of Charles M. Roser, a cookie maker born in Ohio, USA. Roser worked for a bakery in Philadelphia who sold his recipe to the Kennedy Biscuit company.

The manufacture of fig newtons was made possible by the creation of Florida inventor James Henry Mitchell, who revolutionized the packaged cookie business by building an apparatus that could make a hollow cookie crust and fill it with fruit preserves. His machine worked like funnel within a funnel; the inside funnel supplied jam, while the outside funnel pumped out the dough. This produced an endless length of filled cookie, which could then be cut into smaller pieces. 

Original fig newtons were the only variety available until the 1980s and as of 2012, Nabisco now makes several varieties of the ‘newton’, which, in addition to the original fig filling, include versions filled with apple cinnamon, strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and mixed berry.

As Nabisco likes to remind us, ‘newtons aren’t just cookies’, they’re fruit and cake. Bringing me to the idea of apricot newtons. There seems to be numerous versions of them around so we shall see how these one turn out.

Print Recipe
Apricot Orange Newtons
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Course dessert
Cuisine American
Servings
Ingredients
Dough
Filling
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Dough
  1. Whisk the flours, baking powder, cardamom & salt together in a medium bowl.
  2. Beat the butter & brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer & add the egg & vanilla. Finely grate the zest of the orange into the bowl (save the zested orange for the filling). Beat on medium speed until incorporated. Stop the mixer & scrape down the sides of the bowl & the paddle with a rubber spatula.
  3. Return the mixer to low speed, gradually add the flour; mix until just combined (the dough will be very soft and sticky). Scrape the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap & press into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap the disk tightly in the plastic wrap & refrigerate until firm, but still pliable, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, make the filling.
Filling
  1. Place the apricots in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment & process until finely chopped, about 30 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan. (No need to wash out the food processor; you will use it again.)
  2. Juice the zested orange and add 2 tablespoons of the juice to the pan. Add the water & honey. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the apricots plump up and all the liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture back to the food processor and process into a smooth paste, about 1 minute. Let the mixture cool completely.
Assembly
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper & set aside. Transfer the cooled apricot mixture to a piping bag or resealable plastic bag.
  2. Dust a work surface generously with flour. Unwrap the disk of dough and cut it into 3 equal pieces (about 6 1/2 oz (185 gm) each). Place one piece on the work surface, rewrap the other 2 pieces back in plastic wrap; refrigerate those 2 pieces.
  3. Reshape the remaining piece of dough into a log about 2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Place the log with the short side facing you, generously dust the top with flour, and roll into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle about 4 inches wide and 12 inches long.
  4. Using kitchen shears, snip off a bottom corner of the plastic bag or piping bag. Pipe enough filling down the center of the piece of dough so that it is 1-inch wide and 1/4-inch thick.
  5. Using a bench scraper, scrape up the right side of the dough & gently fold it over the center so it reaches the middle of the filling. Repeat with the left side of the dough. Gently pat the top of the dough down with your hands, pinching it together as needed, so that it completely covers the filling and flattens slightly. (It should now be in a Fig Newton shape.)
  6. Cut the filled dough in half crosswise. Using the bench scraper, carefully flip each piece over & transfer to the baking sheet so that it is seam-side down. Repeat with the rolling & filling of the remaining 2 pieces of dough, using flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking. You will end up with 6 filled & shaped pieces of dough on the baking sheet, so space them in 2 rows of 3 each, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Chill the logs for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 F.
  8. Bake until just lightly browned around the edges, 15 to 17 minutes. Cut each bar crosswise into 5 pieces and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nanaimo Bar Thumbprint Cookies

Much like the butter tart and date square, the Nanaimo bar fits Canada’s apparent fondness for rich, decadent sweets. It is a dessert bar that requires no baking and generally consists of three layers: a graham wafer crumb and shredded coconut base, custard-flavored butter icing in the middle, and a layer of chocolate ganache on top. It is named after Nanaimo, British Columbia, where it was popularized in the years following WWII. It subsequently rose to wider prominence after Expo ’86.

Susan Mendelson is perhaps most responsible for commercializing the Nanaimo bar. She sold the bar during the 1970s to help pay her tuition, and in 1979 founded The Lazy Gourmet, a café and catering company in Vancouver, which claims to be the first business to sell the dessert. Mendelson wrote the official cookbook for Expo ’86, held in Vancouver, and included the Nanaimo bar.

After that, the Nanaimo bar began to be sold on BC Ferries and spread in popularity across Canada. It can now be found in Costco, Starbucks and countless cafes in Canada and the United States. There can be some variations with each of these layers — e.g., adding mint, mocha or other flavoring, as well as food coloring, to the icing center, or various nuts to the base — but a classic Nanaimo follows the traditional trio.

In a bid to take advantage of the bar’s popularity, the city of Nanaimo launched a tasting trail much like Ontario has done for the butter tart. Different locations in and around Nanaimo serve different variations on the classic dessert, from flavors such as maple bacon and peanut butter to deep-fried Nanaimo bars, Nanaimo bar spring rolls, Nanaimo bar waffles and cheesecake and Nanaimo bar coffee and cocktails.

All that being said , here’s my Christmas version of a Nanaimo thumbprint cookie.

Print Recipe
Nanaimo Bar Thumbprint Cookies
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Ingredients
Filling
Drizzle
Servings
Ingredients
Filling
Drizzle
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, graham crumbs, cocoa, baking powder & salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the butter & sugar for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy. Beat in the egg & vanilla. On low speed or using a spatula, stir in the dry ingredients, along with the coconut and walnuts.
  4. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch size balls & place a couple inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your thumb to create an indentation in each cookie.
  5. Bake for 14 minutes, until just set. Remove & use the back of a small spoon to gently reform the indentations. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Filling
  1. In a bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar, custard powder, cream and vanilla until smooth and fluffy, adding a bit more cream or powdered sugar as needed to create a spreadable frosting. Place the filling in a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain tip, or in a zip-lock bag; seal and and cut off one corner.
Assembly
  1. Pipe some frosting into each cooled cookie. In a small bowl, melt the chocolate & butter in the microwave in 10 second increments, stirring in between, until smooth. Drizzle the cookies with a fork. Set back on the cooled baking sheets to allow them to set.
Recipe Notes

Substitute for Bird's Custard Powder:

  • For each Tbsp of custard powder that's called for in the recipe, you can make your own custard mix with 1 Tbsp of cornstarch plus 1 tsp of vanilla extract & a pinch of salt.

 

 

Krispy Chocolate ‘Eyeballs’/ Halloween Brownie Bites

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

While trick-or-treating has been a tried and true modern Halloween tradition, historians say the origins of kids begging their neighbors for food may date back to ancient Celtic celebrations or even a long-lost Christmas custom. Halloween customs, such as wearing disguises to ward off ghosts and offering food to appease malevolent spirits, were brought to Canada in the mid-to-late 1800s by Irish and Scottish immigrants. North America’s first recorded instance of dressing in disguise on Halloween was in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1898, while the first recorded use of the term trick or treat was in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 1927.

Every Halloween, children on the hunt for candy dress up in costumes, knock on doors and ask homeowners the infamous question: ‘Trick or Treat?’

Lethbridge historian Belinda Crowson said research has confirmed the term ‘Trick or Treat’ was first documented in the Lethbridge Herald on Nov. 4. 1927.

Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word ‘trick or treat’ to which the homeowners gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.

Crowson says Oct. 31 in Lethbridge used to be a big night of pranks, saying kids would take part in ‘gate night’ where they’d remove gates from yards and hide them around the city. The occasional outhouse was also moved on Halloween night, sometimes onto a streetcar track for it to be pushed down the route by the unknowing driver.

Alberta’s known for many things: the Rocky Mountains, the oil industry, the Calgary Stampede. But you wouldn’t think that it’s also home to one of the most beloved Halloween traditions, that is, trick-or-treating.

Having lived in Lethbridge years ago, for about 25 years, I was not aware that the term trick or treat had originated there until I stumbled on it when I was doing some research … who knew!!

Nevertheless, Halloween has rolled around again so here’s a few treats to enjoy.

Print Recipe
Krispy Chocolate 'Eyeballs'/ Halloween Brownie Bites
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Ingredients
Shortbread Crumbs for 'Eyeballs'
Caramel / Chocolate & Rice Crispies
Halloween Brownie Bites
Servings
Ingredients
Shortbread Crumbs for 'Eyeballs'
Caramel / Chocolate & Rice Crispies
Halloween Brownie Bites
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Shortbread Crumbs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, cream together the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour; using your fingers, work together to a crumbly but moist dough. Place mixture in baking pan and press down with the back of a spoon until firm and smooth. Bake shortbread until cooked but not browned, about 12 minutes. Remove from oven, lift out of pan with parchment paper & cool. When cooled, break into pieces & place in a food processor. Pulse to create shortbread crumbs. Set aside.
Caramel / Chocolate
  1. Place a heavy bottomed, non-stick pot, over a larger pot of boiling water. To the top pot add condensed milk, butter & brown sugar. Stir until combined, bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring continuously for a full 5 minutes. Add the milk & white chocolate & continue stirring until melted.
  2. Turn off heat under the boiling water. To the caramel/chocolate add shortbread crumbs & rice crispy cereal. With a rubber spatula, combine mixture.
  3. Keeping the pot over the hot water so the mixture doesn't harden to fast, scoop into small balls to form 'eyeballs. Place on a parchment paper lined tray. The scoop I used made about 44 balls. Press candy eyeballs into chocolate balls. If they aren't sticking well, dip them into a bit of white corn syrup first.
Halloween Brownie Bites
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Line 30 mini cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch & salt. Set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat sugar & eggs on high speed for 5 minutes, until it becomes light & pale in color. Melt the butter & add it along with oil & vanilla. Mix on low until combined. Slowly add dry ingredients, continuing to mix on low speed until combined. Put aside about a 1/4 of a cup of the brownie batter to use for decorating. Place a small scoop of brownie batter in each of the mini muffin cups.
Cheesecake Layer
  1. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla extract on high speed for 1 minute. Add the orange food gel & mix until desired color. Then add the egg & mix on low speed. Place a Tbsp of cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter. Add the 1 1/2 Tbsp HOT water to the remaining 1/4 cup of brownie batter & whisk until combined.
  2. Drizzle the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter in 2 circles (per brownie). With a toothpick draw lines from the center to the outside edge, creating a spider web effect.
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes or until not a lot of batter remains on a toothpick when tested. Cool on a cooling rack completely. Decorate with Halloween spiders, cats, ladybugs etc. These are nice when wrapped in foil & chilled overnight.

Chai-Spiced Peach Cobbler w/ Pepita Oat Crumble

Homespun desserts such as crisps, cobblers, betties, slumps & pandowdy’s are all variations on the same theme. As much as we like to be definitive, these old fashioned desserts are ‘folk-food’ passed down orally from mother to child and like all folk culture slight variations arise from kitchen to kitchen.

My spice drawer gets a good workout in the fall. I want to add fall spices to as many things as possible. Warm fruit desserts are a perfect candidate for doing just that.

The filling for this cobbler is a combination of peaches, brown sugar, butter and some added spices. All of that is cooked briefly to give it a caramel-like flavor. The topping is a simple one but the combination of spices adds such amazing flavor and is the perfect complement to the peaches. I’ve added cardamom to both the filling and topping. If you follow the blog, you are probably aware of my obsession with cardamom. Definitely feel free to use your favorite combination and ratio of spices.

I think this Chai-Spiced Peach Cobbler is everything you could ever want in a fall dessert.

Print Recipe
Chai-Spiced Peach Cobbler w/ Pepita Oat Crumble
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Ingredients
Pistachio-Oat Topping
Chai-Peach Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Pistachio-Oat Topping
Chai-Peach Filling
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Topping
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, pistachios, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom & sugar.
  2. Using a pastry blender, combine flour mixture with butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Store the mixture in the fridge until ready to use.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place a large saucepan over medium heat & add in butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the (thawed) peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom & black pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer & cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Pour cooked peaches into a large casserole dish & evenly top with the pistachio-oat crumble.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown & the sauce bubbles around the edges.
  5. Once finished baking, serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream if you wish.

Black Forest Desserts

While the origins of the black forest cake aren’t all that clear, some historians believe that its origins can be traced back to the Black Forest Region of Germany. This part of Germany is well known for its sour cherries and ‘Kirschwasser‘ … a clear cherry brandy.

This iconic creation is a layered confection of a liqueur ‘soaked’ chocolate cake with rich whipped cream and sour cherries between its layers. The liqueur and cherries give the cake an intense and unique fruity flavor. It’s these sour cherries which gave it its German name: Schwarzwald Kirsch Kuchen or Black Forest Cherry Cake.

There are many origin stories about the cake. Some sources claim that the name of the cake is inspired by the traditional custom of the women of the Black Forest region, with a characteristic hat with big red pom-poms on top called a ‘Bollenhut’. The earliest published written record of black forest cake was in 1934, by a German confectioner. Today, the cake is well known worldwide and probably one of the most popular cakes in Germany.

Since we just happen to have a nice little sour cherry tree growing in our garden, why not put some of them to good use in these cakes?!

Print Recipe
Black Forest Desserts
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Course dessert
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
Course dessert
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cherry juice in the bottom of each of two 8-ounce ramekins. Microwave ramekins until butter and brown sugar are melted and bubbling, about 1 minute. Arrange cherries in a tightly packed layer in the bottom of each ramekin.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. In another small bowl, stir together 2 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in egg yolk, then flour mixture and milk. Divide batter between ramekins.
  4. Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out with only a few crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 20 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, beat cream, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and cherry brandy until soft peaks form. Run a paring knife around edge of each cake and invert onto a plate. Serve cakes with brandy whipped cream.
Recipe Notes
  • Kirschwasser is German for 'Cherry Water', and while it may be as clear as water, it packs quite a punch.  This double distilled brandy made from the sour Morello cherries is, more often than not, simply referred to a Kirsch. This 'not too sweet with a subtle cherry/almond flavored' liqueur is a vitally necessary ingredient to make a traditional Black Forest Cake; for that is where both the cake and Kirschwasser hail from...  The Black Forest, or Schwarzwald, in southwestern Germany.  

Apricot Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart

Strawberry-rhubarb … raspberry-peach … blackberry-plum … the possibilities for combining summer fruit in amazing ways are truly endless. I’ve recently became aware of the apricot, strawberry & rhubarb combination. This combo had never occurred to me, superseded as it is by the mighty strawberry/rhubarb duo.

Fruit tarts are stunning desserts that look like they should be in a French bakery window, but the truth is they can easily made at home. This super simple, mixed fruit tart with an oat pastry really celebrates the flavors of the season.

Print Recipe
Apricot Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings
Ingredients
Oat Pastry
Servings
Ingredients
Oat Pastry
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Instructions
Oat Pastry
  1. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, brown sugar, spices & salt. Add melted butter & vanilla; stir to combine. Press 2/3 of mixture onto the bottom & up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan; set aside.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Prepare fruit & place in a mixing bowl; add the orange juice, vanilla, sugar & spices. Stir to coat & set aside.
  3. Pour the fruit over crumble mixture; sprinkle the rest of the crumble around the outside of the fruit.
  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until crust turns golden brown. Serve warm or cold.