Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire pudding is a classic British dish. It’s usually seen as a side dish served with a roast beef dinner.

Paul brought me home some braised beef and mashed potatoes from his job. He ate his when he got home, but I wanted to save it for lunch the next day. As I was contemplating this awesome meal, I had a really strong craving for Yorkshire puddings.

I have been contemplating making Yorkshire puddings for a long time. I found a Jamie Oliver video where he breaks down how to make proper Yorkshire puddings. After watching the video and keeping Jamie’s tips in mind, I found a Jamie Oliver inspired recipe.

These babies bake up in less than an hour, and are so good! I don’t have a popover or Yorkshire pudding pan, so I just used a muffin tin, and it still worked just fine.

They are also super easy to make, and only have four ingredients! If you have eggs, flour, milk, and salt, you can make these Yorkshire puddings!

Ingredients

Yield: 12 Yorkshire puddings

1 c. milk
3 eggs, at room temperature
4 oz. (approx. 1 c.) flour
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. In a 12-sectioned muffin tin, fill three of the muffin tins on the end with oil. Tip the muffin tin so that the oil flows into the rest of the sections. There should be about 1 centimeter of oil in each tin.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together until lightly frothy. Add in the salt and milk, and whisk again. Add the flour, and whisk again until there are no lumps, and the batter coats the back of a spoon.

Let the batter rest for 15 minutes. Put the oil-filled muffin tin on a baking sheet, and place in the preheated oven while the batter rests.

After resting the batter, take the muffin tin out of the oven, and very carefully pour the batter into the oil-filled cavities. Use a spoon to minimize spills between muffin tin cavities.

Once the muffin tin is full, place back into the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until dark golden brown and puffy.

Serve immediately.

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Fluffy Japanese Cheesecake

Hello lovelies!!

This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to make for a VERY long time, and I’ve finally gotten around to it! (Thank goodness being a teacher in the summertime!)

So, I love cheesecake. And in my downtime, I shamelessly watch a lot of YouTube videos, focusing mostly on Buzzfeed, and more specifically, their Tasty Videos. Now Buzzfeed’s Tasty (from what I can glean from watching their videos) is a bunch of cooks and chefs that pump out videos about FOOD. All the food. They do sweet, savoury, quick, slow, and all the food hacks you might ever need.

One of my favourite videos, and one of the most intriguing, was this fluffy Japanese cheesecake. It looked AMAZING. Tall, fluffy, soft, dark top, light sides…. It just looked great. So when I saw it, I was immediately interested because of Paul. You see, I love cheesecake. Love it. But Paul? Not so much. He is not a huge fan of the texture of cheesecake (but I still love him! Everyone has faults! Ha!), so I began thinking about whether or not he would like this specific cheesecake.

Because it has so much less cream cheese, and so much more meringue and air in it, I knew that the texture would be a whole different ball game. There was a chance I could be successful!

Oh my word, guys. The only thing I changed from the recipe was add about a half-teaspoon of lemon extract, because I wanted the cheesecake to have a little bit of flavour.

**Update: I made a Mocha version of this cheesecake, and it turned out beautifully! I followed the exact same base recipe, except added 2 tbsp. espresso powder in with the milk, cream cheese and butter mixture, and ½ c. of cocoa powder in with the flour and cornstarch. It turned out a luscious, chocolatey, hit-of-coffee confection. I’ve added a picture of this version below. **

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecake

½ c. milk
4 oz. cream cheese (half a block)
7 tbsp. butter
8 egg yolks
¼ c. flour
¼ c. cornstarch
13 egg whites
2/3 c. sugar
½ tsp. lemon or vanilla extract (depending on flavour preference)
Icing sugar, for garnish.

Preheat oven to 320°F.

Line the bottom and sides of a springform pan or 3 inch tall cake pan with parchment paper. (If the parchment paper is curling badly, I’ll rub a TINY amount of margarine on the side of the paper that will face the pan edges.) Set aside. If you use a springform pan, wrap the bottom in 2-3 layers of aluminum foil to keep out the water.

In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream cheese, and butter on medium heat, and whisk until smooth and combined. Take off the heat and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until incorporated. Slowly whisk in the cooled cream cheese mixture until incorporated and smooth. Sift in the flour and cornstarch, and whisk again, making sure there are no lumps. If using lemon or vanilla extract, add to the yolk mixture, and whisk again.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly start adding the sugar, a little bit at a time, and whip on high until stiff peaks form.

Add ¼ of the egg whites to the egg yolk mixture, and fold in gently with a spatula, until you have a cohesive batter. Be gentle, because we want to keep the air we just beat into the batter!

Repeat with the remaining egg whites, until you have a smooth batter with all the egg whites combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Tap once or twice, gently, on the counter to pop any large air bubbles.

Use a baking pan or dish that is larger than the cake pan you are using, and place two paper towels on the bottom. Put the cake pan in the middle of the paper-towel lined pan, and fill with hot water, no more than an inch up the sides.

An easier way to do this is place the baking dish in the oven with the paper towels and your cake pan, then add the hot water into the pan while the oven door is open. This reduces the risk of hot water burns.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, then turn down the heat to 280°F, and bake for an additional 55 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and carefully, invert the cake onto your dominant hand to remove it from the pan, and take the paper off, then revert back onto a cooling rack.

If you are using a springform pan, just remove the foil and the sides. Leave the cake to cool before trying to invert and remove the paper from the bottom. (I learned the hard way. I tried the original way, suggested above, and deflated my cake a bit. 😦 Sad day.)

Sprinkle icing sugar on the top of the cheesecake for garnish.

Slice, and enjoy! Many people say to enjoy a slice of this warm or cool, so it’s your choice!

Chocolate Raspberry Charlotte Cake

Hello again!

I have had an extended absence from the blogging world, and for that, I am sorry! It has been a crazy last month and a half. Since my last post (almost a month ago! Agghh!) classes have ended, final exams are over, graduation is done, and I have been to, and am back from, Edmonton, where I marked diploma exams for a week.

After I got back from Edmonton, I got sick with a cold for a week, got better, went to Lethbridge, and began to clean out and move my classroom.

With all that insanity behind me, I decided to make something a little fancy before the insanity starts again. I have a friend’s wedding coming up, and I am making centerpieces and the cupcakes.

A charlotte cake is French in origin, usually with a sponge cake of some kind at the base, and ladyfinger cookies surrounding a fluffy smooth mousse filling.

I decided to make my own version of a charlotte. I did use recipes I found for all components, but put all the recipes together for my own version. I used the sponge cake and raspberry mousse filling from this site, and the chocolate mousse from here. Honestly, I should have halved the chocolate mousse recipe, because it made so much. I have reflected the proper measurements below, but if you want just a chocolate charlotte, double the recipe and use just the chocolate mousse as a filling.

The recipe I used consists of the following: a ladyfinger cookie outline surrounding the pan, a sponge cake base, a raspberry mousse, a chocolate mousse, and a middle layer of ladyfinger and sponge cake trimmings.

Here is a fancy dessert that (other than the sponge cake), requires no turning on of your oven. In fact, some versions of a charlotte use more ladyfingers as a base instead of a spongecake. This is a perfectly fine, and the only reason I didn’t use ladyfingers was because I ran out, so I made a sponge cake base. Them’s the breaks.

I will warn you: this dessert is not for the faint of heart! It’s a time and labour intensive dessert, but SO worth the effort.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch cake

For the sponge cake:

4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. flour
¼ tsp. baking powder
3-4 tbsp. raspberry preserves, jam, or liqeur

For the raspberry mousse:

2½ c. frozen raspberries
½ c. sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. unflavoured gelatin
2 c. heavy cream
6 tbsp. icing sugar

For the chocolate mousse:

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. milk
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
3 eggs, separated
¼ c. sugar

For the lining and garnish:

2-3 dozen ladyfinger cookies (more if you use ladyfingers as a base as well as the lining)
1 c. heavy cream
Fresh raspberries (if desired)
Chocolate shavings (if desired)

To prepare, line the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper, and the sides of the springform pan with plastic wrap. Trim ladyfinger cookies ½ inch, so there is one flat edge. Place upright in the springform pan, sitting on the flat edge. If desired, line the bottom of the pan with more ladyfinger cookies, and use the cut pieces to fill in gaps.

If not lining the cake pan with ladyfinger cookies, begin preparation by making the sponge cake. In a 7 inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs for 1 minute. Add the sugar, and beat again on high speed approximately 7 minutes, until light, fluffy, and 3-4 times the volume.

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture in two additions, folding after each addition. Be thorough, and catch any hidden flour pockets, but keep the air in and do not over-mix.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes, until top is golden and springs back when poked lightly.

Let cool completely, then slice cake in half. My cake did not slice evenly, so I had one even layer, and I turned the remainder into a secondary “crumb” layer with my ladyfinger pieces in the middle.

For the raspberry mousse, combine the frozen raspberries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the raspberries reach a jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on the fruit to extract as much liquid as possible.

Into the strained raspberry juice, stir in the lemon juice and gelatin. Transfer back to the saucepan, and over the warm burner whisk together until gelatin dissolves, then take back off the heat and let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream and the icing sugar together until thick and spreadable. Once the raspberry syrup is at room temperature, fold into the whipped cream a ¼ at a time, until all of the raspberry syrup is incorporated. Set aside, at room temperature.

For the chocolate mousse, in a heat-proof bowl add the chocolate, and melt over a double boiler or in the microwave for 30 second blasts, stirring constantly.

Add the milk, and whisk completely. Add the butter, and the egg yolks, whisking again until fully incorporated.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream until fluffy and thick. Fold in the chocolate mixture.

In a clean mixer bowl (with no grease whatsoever!), whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, and whip egg whites into stiff peaks.

Fold egg whites into the chocolate mixture until cohesive.

To assemble the charlotte, in the prepared springform pan lined with ladyfingers, place the sponge cake in the base of the pan. Brush with the raspberry preserves, jam, or liqueur if using.

Spread half of the raspberry mousse in an even layer, and place in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes to set up. Top with half of the chocolate mousse, and refrigerate again to begin setting up. Be careful not to knock the ladyfingers out of place.

If desired, use another layer of ladyfingers and cake crumbs on top of the chocolate mousse layer.

Top with remaining raspberry mousse, set for 10-20 minutes again, the remaining chocolate mousse, and refrigerate 3-4 hours until set.

To garnish, whip the cream into soft, thick peaks. Fill a piping bag with a star tip, and the whipped cream. Pipe onto charlotte, and garnish as desired with raspberries or chocolate shavings.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream Pie

April means Paul’s birthday!

Paul’s birthday means some kind of chocolate and peanut butter concoction.

This year, he asked for Bavarian Cream Pie, and more specifically a with a Peanut Butter Bavarian Cream and a Chocolate crust.

However, any recipe I found did not include peanut butter anywhere, and I looked, hard. I finally decided to use a recipe for plain Bavarian Cream pie, and then add my own spin, so I am considering this recipe an original, because I changed it (fairly) significantly.

The original recipe is from this website, and I included all of my changes in the recipe below. I’m going to keep this post short, and sweet, kind of like this pie!

Happy Birthday to my love, Paul!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9 inch pie

For the crust:

1½ c. chocolate cookie crumbs
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted

For the filling:

1 pkg. unflavoured gelatin
¼ c. cold water
3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. milk, scalded
1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. heavy cream

To make the crust, spray a 9 inch plate with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press evenly into the pie plate, around the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

To make the filling, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, until thick whipped cream. Transfer to a bowl, and place in the refrigerator to stay cold.

In a small bowl, add the cold water and sprinkle the gelatin over the water to soften. Set aside.

In a heat-proof bowl over a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and the milk until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Mix the gelatin mixture and peanut butter into the egg yolk mixture, and whisk until smooth and well-combined. Remove from heat, and let cool until slightly thickened.

In the bowl of a mixer that is completely dry, clean, and grease-free, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks, but not completely dry.

Fold the whipped cream, vanilla and the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture until smooth. Pour into the prepared crust.

Refrigerate until set.

If desired, garnish with peanut butter and chocolate chip ganache. (A 1:1 ratio of heavy cream and peanut butter or chocolate chips, heated together and whisked until smooth)

Tiramisu

Ahh, Tiramisu. The classic Italian dessert. Layers of ladyfinger cookies soaked in a coffee/alcohol mix, with layers of smooth mascarpone cream and a light dusting of cocoa powder on top. Beautiful!

I made this when Paul’s brother Riley came to visit. It had just recently been Riley’s birthday, and well, he said he likes Chocolate, Lemon, and Tiramisu. I figured I already have a recipe on the blog for Chocolate and Lemon cake, but no Tiramisu, so here we were!

I had never made Tiramisu before, and I have to say, having a beautiful layered dessert with minimal effort AND I didn’t have to turn on my oven? Amazing! I got the recipe here, and the only things I didn’t have on hand were espresso, ladyfinger biscuits, and mascarpone cheese. (Be warned: mascarpone cheese is a little on the pricey side, so this is a dessert I would make once in a while, not a regular rotation type dessert.)

Still, easy effort with a high-yield result. Perfect!

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Ingredients
Yield: 1 8×8 inch square pan

3 eggs, yolks and whites separated
½ c. caster or superfine sugar (I used icing sugar and it worked fine)
½ tsp. vanilla
8 oz. or 250 g. mascarpone cheese
1½ c. espresso coffee, brewed and strong
2-4 tbsp. liquor (I used Kahlua and amaretto, and 2 tbsp. of each)
24-30 ladyfinger cookies or savoiardi biscuits
Cocoa, for dusting

Put the yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and set whites aside for later.Add sugar to yolks, and beat on medium high speed until sugar is incorporated, and yolks turn white and thick. (This may take up to 12 minutes.)

Add vanilla and mascarpone, and beat until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to a bowl, and set aside.

Wash your mixer bowl and whisk thoroughly. Make sure there is no grease or yolk left in the bowl or the egg whites will not whip properly.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Add 1/3 of the mascarpone mixture to the egg whites, and fold until incorporated. Gradually fold in the rest of the mascarpone mixture, and mix until combined. Set aside.

Mix together the coffee and liquor. (If you don’t like Kahlua or amaretto, there are tons of different options. Brandy, Kahlua, amaretto, Frangelico, rum, Bailey’s, go with what you like!) Quickly soak the lady finger cookies, one at a time, in the coffee mixture, and line the bottom of an 8×8 inch square pan.

Spread half of the mascarpone cream over the soaked ladyfingers, then repeat the process of soaked ladyfingers over the cream layer, finished with the rest of the cream.

Do not put cocoa on until right before serving, or the cream will soak it all up.

When ready to serve, dust with cocoa powder, cut into slices, and enjoy!