Coconut & Cream Cake with Roses
#baking #cake #roses #coconut #simplysweet #love
Coconut & Cream Cake with Roses
#baking #cake #roses #coconut #simplysweet #love
A Canadian favourite.. butter tarts! Whether they’re runny: or thick; filled with nuts or raisins; or fall apart in your hands; butter tarts are always a popular sweet. The rich, buttery maple flavour is what ‘us’ Canadian’s have come to recognize and love in a butter tart. I grew up with my Grandma’s all time best butter tarts (to this day I haven’t tasted a butter tart that has even come close to her’s). Sadly after she passed the responsibility was left to me, since I was the only one she had shown her recipe to. But I could never get it right!! And that’s one of the reasons that drove me to take baking classes at George Brown College! To this day I still feel the pleasure from the family to get it just like Grandma’s. Baking is funny sometimes, we could all sit down with the same recipe but results may taste and look different. Sometimes you just have it and sometimes you don’t! My Grandma had a knack for pastry, she didn’t even need a recipe!
Butter tarts can be overwhelming to make and a bit messy. That’s why I wanted to share this easy version of butter tarts made into squares. I find the recipe straight forward, easy and mess free, and they taste just as good as a butter tart (except Grandma’s). They have a buttery shortbread crust topped with that rich, maple like filling that we all love!
You can play around with the recipe too, make them as runny as you’d like by baking them less, or thicken them up by baking them longer. You can add favourites like raisins, currants, or toasted pecans tp make them your own.
I hope you enjoy baking these.. whether you have it or not, it sill can be fun to play in the kitchen!
For the filling:
Cut into small squares as they are very rich. Store in an airtight container…if there are any left!
My friends and family mean the world to me, and they are my biggest supporters in my business. They are the reason my business developed and has become what it is today. Hence my logo 'Simply Sweet, Baking for Friends'!
It’s not often I get to see all of my friends, with busy schedules, growing families and distance to hold us back. But every few months we make time to plan a get together, and what’s better than a picnic in the park?
Planning a picnic is fun and easy, as long as everyone contributes to the meal. Have each person in charge of bringing one or two snacks and a game with them (I brought ‘pick-up sticks’). Add a blanket, a picnic kit of plates and cutlery and voila!!
I wanted to make a cake that was light and refreshing but didn’t want to make anything too elaborate as I’d have to carry it around. I ended up with the sweetest bundt cake made from fresh grapefruit! It was a big hit with the girls!! I brought little boxes with me for leftovers and everyone got an extra piece to take home :)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grapefruit zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
3/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup grapefruit juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon grapefruit juice
Happy Picnicking !!
It’s time to celebrate Canada and there’s no better way to do it than to be by the lake, doing everything Canadian like canoeing and camping. And enjoying in some of ‘our’ favourite cuisines; Canadian maple syrup, and butter tarts to name a few of my favourites!!
There are some recipes that I like to keep to myself, and this is one of them!! It’s rich and flavourful and a little different than your typical cakes! But, in the spirit of being Canadian I will apologize to you for holding back, and am happy to share one of my favourite ‘Canadian Maple Syrup’ recipes with you now ;)
Maple Walnut Cake
Maple Butter cream Icing:
Maple butter cream icing:
Putting the cake together:
This is a very rich cake so a little goes a long way! It will definitely feed a party of 16-18 of your closest friends. And would pair perfectly with Kawartha Dairy Vanilla Ice Cream!
Happy Canada Day!!
With summer comes fresh and local produce, picked right from your back yard or bought from your local markets! I love being able to use local ingredients from neighbours and/or venturing to the markets to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies. Rhubarb is in season right now and it’s perfect to pair with strawberries or apples. Last weekend I ventured out to Eastcliff Farm in West Grey to put on a Farm to Table event. I couldn’t think of a better dessert to serve than tart and sweet Rhubarb Crumbles, all locally sourced from neighbouring farms and friends!
Rhubarb pairs nicely with more than just strawberries. I like it baked with apples and butter, brie cheese and honey, caramel sauce with ice cream, in custard, in pastries with raspberries, even topped on pork as a chutney.
For the event I did two kinds of rhubarb crumbles, your classic strawberry and rhubarb, and the other I mixed with macintosh apples! The best part of these little guys is the buttery crumble on top. I used brown sugar and Stirling butter (Churn 84 with higher butter fat), and it was the perfect combinations to pair with the tart rhubarb.
For the crumble:
Variation: Rhubarb Apple Crumble; Subsitute the strawberries for Macintosh apples. Add 1tsp of cinnamon to the crumble.
With summer comes longer days, hot sunshine, and the chance to spend more time outdoors. Okay it’s not summer yet, but it’s close!! Last week we had a few beautiful days, and it was absolutely lovely! It was definitely a long winter and it was nice to spend some time out side enjoying the warmth of the sun. The first thing I did was fire up the bbq, make a fresh light salad and called some friends to join in on a picnic.
Recently I read an article in the Toronto Star about Chef Brad Long and his signature salad with a browned butter vinaigrette. It sounded delicious, a little different, and I love butter so I had to give it a try. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (basically because I wanted to use up what I had in my fridge) but the results were absolutely delightful.
It’s strange to describe a salad as crisp, fresh, yet melt in your mouth. Yet that’s exactly how it tasted. I found a little goes a long way so you don’t need to use a lot of the vinaigrette, which means I had a lot left over and have been using it for other salads and even on pasta!
As I mentioned I altered the recipe, but the results were lovely. You can reference back to Chef Brad here to see his recipe. His recipe calls for salted butter, but, honestly as a baker I rarely use salted butter. I opted to use my favourite butter from Stirling Creamery, which is their Whey Butter. The butter gave the salad a flavourful and rich depth.
For the Vinaigrette
This vinaigrette must be served warm. If not using immediately, transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate up to 2 weeks. Reheat when you’re ready to use it.
For the Salad
Makes about 4 large servings.
This will definitely become a staple salad and vinaigrette for the summer! I promise you’ll love it!!
Still haven’t figured out what to bake your Mom this Sunday for Mother’s Day? No need to stress, I have the perfect (and easy) cake for you that looks beautiful and tastes delicious… promise!
This Cookies and Cream cake is also known as the the chocolate log cake that you may be familiar with. There are 3 ingredients in the entire recipe and it’s fun to assemble. I made my own Chocolate cookies/wafers but you can buy them from the grocery store.
Instead of making the cake into a log I placed the cookies/wafers into a circle then layered with whipping cream, and continued this step until I ran out of cookies. I ended up with a beautiful cake, then topped it off with fresh raspberries!
Yup that’s it; chocolate wafers, whipping cream, and raspberries!! I told you it’s fast, easy, and I promise everyone will love the cake.. best of all Mom will be impressed.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful, caring and loving Mother’s out there!
love Simply Sweet
This bread is perfect to share with your friends on a lazy Saturday morning. It’s filled with cinnamon and sugar and it’s best served warm from the oven. The smell alone will wake any sleepy visitors in the house, and will be sure to impress!
I will warn you now, once you start pulling apart the sheets of bread, you won’t be able to stop until it’s all gone!! It is simply irresistible!! Pair with a fresh fruit salad, a pot coffee and you have the beginnings for a sweet little brunch.
Tip: When placing the stacks of dough in the bread pan make sure to leave room for the dough to expand. I used the extra dough stack and made a mini loaf. I found the mini loaf’s bread was lighter because it had more space to grow.
Tip: I also brushed the top of the bread with the left over melted butter and sprinkled more sugar and cinnamon on top. You can omit this part, but I couldn’t resist :)
Get the girls together and pop open a bottle of bubbly, bring out the tray of cupcakes and let the party begin. There is no better way to celebrate a bride to be, then with a room filled with your best friends and sweets of course ;)
Last month I had the pleasure of working on Becky’s Bridal shower, her theme for the day was as simple as love itself… 'Love is Sweet'
With bursts of pink and white we filled the table full of Becky’s favourites desserts and much more.
With a guest list of 70 women, the table was stocked for every kind of sweet tooth imaginable. The ends of the table were filled with jars of candy like, strawberry bonbons, saltwater taffy, watermelon rings and a ‘LOVE’ dish full of jelly beans.
In the the centre of the table was the featured cake (vanilla buttermilk with raspberry icing), designed to resemble sweet little rosebuds. Keeping the table asymmetrical, the rest of the desserts mirrored one another with chocolate cupcakes and vanilla icing, rosewater meringues, heart shaped sugar cookies, lemon shortbread squares and vanilla marshmallows.
Overall it was a beautiful day. It’s so nice to be part of someone’s journey of special moments that they will treasure for a life time. Congratulations Becky on finding love.
Love Simply Sweet
Spring, summer, fall or winter; galettes are always a good idea! These cute individual galettes can easily change to from season to season by just changing the filling.
Everyone loves apples so it’s an easy choice and you can always find lots of apples to choose from at the markets. I drizzled warm caramel sauce over the galettes but for more of a summer dessert you could add vanilla and caramel ice cream! Yum!
Galettes are like pies but are more forgiving and less stressful. Making galettes are fun and easy, there are no rules as how they are supposed to look and it’s okay if the pastry rips. The more rustic, the better the galette looks, not like a pie!
When choosing apples for baking make sure you don’t buy apples that will turn into applesauce! You want to stick to Cortland, Spartan, McIntosh, or Golden Delicious. I used Spartans in this particular recipe.
You can make these galettes ahead of time and freeze them up to a month, just let them defrost at room temperature and reheat in the oven at 300°F for approx. 10 minutes.
Who doesn’t love caramel sauce?
Believe it or not it’s not hard to make your own, and this fool proof recipe doesn’t take long to make and will last for about a month in the fridge - that’s if you can keep it that long!!
Caramel Sauce is a nice treat to have around the house and it’s such a versatile topping to spruce up any sweet. You can drizzle it over ice cream sundaes, apple pies, chocolate cake sprinkled with sea salt, or add it to a cheese plate with fresh apples, nuts and cinnamon, yum!!
Serve immediately or let cool and transfer to a glass jar with lid and store in the fridge for 1 month. Reheat as needed.
Tea is the most drank beverage in the world other than water! Every culture in the world has there own take on ‘tea’ but one thing is for sure the health benefits that follow tea are incredible. It’s said that in order to benefit from any health properties you need to drink tea for a long period of time, a daily ritual is perhaps a good idea! But more on the benefits and types of tea for another time, today I want to talk about the beauty and what attracted me to the wonderful world of tea.
Africa! A very much loved country that I have spent a lot of time travelling, working and living. It’s beauty captivates me, there is always something to learn, to see and to grow. The country is large and differs from North to South, but two of my favourite parts of Africa when discovering tea.
Rooibos literally means ‘red bush’ in Africans, and it isn’t actually tea! It is know as a tisane or herbal tea because it doesn’t contain the Camellia sinensis plant with it’s caffeine properties. It has a sweet yet earthy notes, and it’s a bright red/brown in colour when steeped. The people of Africa drink it every way possible, with milk and sugar, with lemon, they even drink it as lattes, cappuccinos (called ‘red expresso’), and of course ice tea. You will also find is every product possible from soaps, shampoo’s, beauty products and of course infused into food. When it comes to this plant, the people here believe in it strongly and it is a great source of exports for their country, as the plant can only grow and thrive in the South and West of Africa.
I drank this tea everyday if not more while I was on the African soil. Today it brings good memories of friends and adventures when I brew a cup here in Canada.
An exotic place and a tea to match its beauty! Sweet and fresh it’s guaranteed that anyone will love this tea. Mint leaves are infused into a pot of green tea (gunpowder tea) with lots of sugar. The colour of a brewed cup is pale yellow, and the notes are mostly minty and sweet, it’s hard to taste any green tea properties as the sugar and mint over powers. Tea in the north is a sign of hospitality, friendship and is very much a tradition. It is drank all day long and after most meals. It would be very rude to turn down a cup of tea. There is an art to Moroccan tea, how it’s brewed and prepared, served and poured and of course the exquisite tea pots and cups. Every Moroccan will tell you they have the best cup of tea, and this I can not argue with!
Once while shopping in the Marrakech markets (which can be very over whelming) I had my eye on a particular pair of traditional babouches shoes, although I was not willing to pay the outrageous price the vendor was asking. So, in the store over tea we discussed prices until we could both agree on a price. I really wanted those shoes, and the tea was perfect!