Tag Archives: lemon

where-the-hell-is-summer very berry crumble bars

11 Jun
You know, I love myself a good sale. I’ll spend money that I don’t have if I see an amazing sale, and will go out of my way to stock up on whatever is on sale. Sadly, while others may look to clothes, shoes and purses, I have averted my eyes from such material things (and to save my poor over-stuffed closet!) and turned my hawk eyes towards the best prices for butter, chocolate and flour. Needless to say, when I went to the market and saw that blueberries, strawberries AND raspberries were on sale for only $1.88, I nearly fainted. I. Could. Not. Help. Myself. And proceeded to buy 3 pints of each. Since berries spoil quite easily, I couldn’t find a better excuse to make these delicious (and pretty healthy!) fruit crumble bars.
They are an adaptation of my blueberry bar recipe, and served as an excuse to finally take decent pictures of them since last time, I had a crappy camera and people ate them too quickly. I bought whole wheat flour last week, and have been trying out different recipes to see whether it makes a significant difference in taste & texture. I found that the whole wheat flour worked really well in these bars, as did the brown sugar I was given as a present. The taste is very buttery, even though there isn’t a whole lot of butter in here, considering the amount of bars the recipe yields. The berries really shine through, and are given an added kick with the lemon juice and lemon zest that’s incorporated throughout. Serve this from the fridge, or warmed up with some vanilla ice cream! Yummm!
a sea of berry goodness

a sea of berry goodness

have a crumble bar with a cup of tea....

have a crumble bar with a cup of tea....

....or with custard and strawberry sauce.

....or with custard and strawberry sauce.

or pack it for a picnic or for friends.

or pack it for a picnic or for friends.

just remember: the more bars you eat, the more of your daily servings you'll get ;)

just remember: the more bars you eat, the more of your daily servings of fruit you'll get 😉

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest and juice of two lemon
  • 2 cups fresh/frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen raspberries
  • 2 cup fresh/frozen sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch

How-to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for an hour, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
  5. Nom nom nom.

xo dessertchick

Advertisements

lemon almond toffee biscotti – homemade is best

21 May

I work at Starbucks, and even though the pastries are pretty mundane, I found myself buying the biscotti like there was no tomorrow. Between the sugar overdose and the plastic-taste, the biscotti really had nothing to boast about. I figured I’d give making biscotti a try, since I do love to curl up with a cup of coffee or tea, a cookie and a book. And biscotti are the cookie’s healthy cousin. Sort of.

Anyhow, it turns out that biscotti is uber easy, and took no time at all to prep – the baking time is longer than making cookies, but the pay off is huge. The basic recipe stays the same for all biscotti, and you can just mix and match what kind of flavours you want. I chose to go with lemon, almonds and toffee because those were the ones I had on hand =)

Oh, and I did dip them in chocolate and then drizzled them in more chocolate. Just because I could.

more pretty martini glasses courtesy of my parents

more pretty martini glasses courtesy of my parents

plain and yummy: almond, toffee and lemon

plain and yummy: almond, toffee and lemon

less plain and even yummier: chocolate dipped and chocolate drizzled!

less plain and even yummier: chocolate dipped and chocolate drizzled!

up close and personal with my favourite sin: chocolate

up close and personal with my favourite sin: chocolate

coffee & biscotti - what a match

coffee & biscotti - what a match

a sneak peek to what's awaiting you!

a sneak peek to what's awaiting you!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest of two lemons
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds with skin
  • 1/4 cup toffee pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

How-to:

  1. Toast almonds in a 475 degrees F oven for about 8 minutes. Coarsely chop the almonds, set aside and allow to cool.
  2. Combine sugar, butter, lemon zest, and vanilla extract in a large bowl, then add in almonds and eggs. Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until just combined.
  3. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Using moistened hands, halve dough and form 2 loaves on an ungreased large baking sheet.
  5. Bake until pale golden, about 30 minutes. Carefully transfer loaves to a rack and allow to cool 15 minutes.
  6. Cut loaves into 3/4-inch slices with a serrated knife. Arrange biscotti, with a cut side down, on a clean baking sheet and bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. About 10 minutes in, flip biscotti over.  Transfer to rack to cool completely.
  7. Dip in chocolate and/or start eating them.

xo dessertchick

velvety smooth strawberry lemon curd tart

2 May

Since these past couple of weeks have been taunting and teasing us with wonderful spring/summer weather, only to literally rain on our happiness, I’ve decided that enough is enough. Let’s try to beckon and plead for summer to come – there is no need for pride anymore, because it’s May and there should be May weather! School’s out for me (only to have summer school start again in two days) and I’m itching to go buy summer dresses, a new bathing suit and start planning picnics by the lake.

Nothing spells summer to me more than the smell and taste of fresh strawberries while drinking a nice cold glass of lemonade. This strawberry coulis lemon curd tart is the perfect combination of sweet strawberries and tart lemons, all enveloped by a nice buttery tart shell. This dessert is really easy to put together, but it does require some assembly time because you need to wait for the coulis, the curd and the chocolate to cool down. I adapted a couple of recipes, but my most prominent influence was Donna Hay’s shortcrust recipe for the tart shells, and SophistiMom’s lemon curd recipe (which she adapted from Ina Garten). The coulis sauce (and the chocolate additions, of course) I winged myself, because I didn’t want it to be overwhelmingly sweet.

In the end, even if summer doesn’t come just yet,  I think I’m going to sit in front of my window, with a pot of flowers, a glass of lemonade and one of these tarts – in my bathing suit.

since strawberries are in season, why not take advantage and invite summer to come already?

since strawberries are in season, why not take advantage and invite summer to come already?

so pretty and simple, strawberries are one of my favourite fruits.

so pretty and simple, strawberries are one of my favourite fruits.

img_3295

cooking down the fresh berries to turn them into yummy strawberry coulis

shortcrust tart shells - home to the extreme yumminess

shortcrust tart shells - home to the extreme yumminess

shortcrust shells & strawberry coulis are a match made in heaven.

shortcrust shells & strawberry coulis are a match made in heaven.

...but don't forget about the lemon custard!

...but don't forget about the lemon curd!

nothing says love better than a strawberry heart on a tart.

nothing says love better than a strawberry heart on a tart.

what would a dessert be without at least a little chocolate?

what would a dessert be without at least a little chocolate?

did you know you can pretend to be artistic with coulis sauce? =P

did you know you can pretend to be artistic with coulis sauce? =P

strawberries, lemons, and chocolate. this is what life should be like!

strawberries, lemons, and chocolate. this is what life should be like!

this makes me smile =)

this makes me smile =)

getting ready for the first bite...

getting ready for the first bite...

....look at all that yummy goodness contained in that small tart!

....look at all that yummy goodness contained in that small tart!

....ready?

Ready?

Just make sure to wear a bib, because this could get messy!

Just make sure to wear a bib, because this could get messy!

Recipe

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2) – makes about 12 mini tarts or one 9inch tart

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp superfine caster sugar
  • 5 oz cold butter, chopped
  • 2 -3  tbsp iced water
  1. Whizz together the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor until mixture looks like fine bread crumbs.
  2. While motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough, and process until just combined.
  3. Knead dough lightly, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles to fit the tart tin(s) and press down, making sure to make them look pretty =)
  6. Place parchment paper over the crust, and fill with baking weights/uncooked rice/dried beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the weights, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until pastry is golden.

Strawberry Coulis

  • 1 cup strawberries, cut up in small pieces ( make sure to reserve some slices for decorations!)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cornstarch for thickening
  1. Melt butter and sugar in a pot until syrupy, but not browned.
  2. Add in strawberries and continue simmering for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Using an immersion blender, give the berries a good whirl until smooth.
  4. Dissolve cornstarch in some cold water, and mix it in with the strawberry sauce. Return to heat and cook until it starts to thicken.
  5. Pour into bowl and refrigerate until you’re ready for assembly.

Lemon Curd (adapted from Sophistimom)

  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together zest, butter, and sugar.
  2. Incorporate eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.
  3. Add in lemon juice and salt.  Mixture will be curdled.
  4. Pour mixture into a large saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.  Lemon curd will come together and thicken.
  5. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, remove from heat.  Strain into a glass bowl and allow to cool.  Refrigerate or freeze until you need it.

Final Assembly

  1. If you want to add chocolate, melt chocolate and just drizzle it in an abstract pattern on parchment paper or your silpad. Let cool, remove carefully and set aside.
  2. Spoon  a teaspoon-full of strawberry coulis into bottom of each tart shell. Top with a tablespoon of lemon curd.
  3. Top each tart with a slice of the reserved strawberries and your chocolate decorations. Let refrigerate for another hour so that curd will set.
  4. Mangia!

xo dessertchick

coconut butter thin yumminess

30 Apr

I still had almond meal left over from the almond logs I made, so I figured I might as well make these delicious coconut butter thins from Tuesdays with Dorie. I came upon this adaptation of the original recipe on The Brown Eyed Baker, and since adaptation (and running out of ingredients) is the mother of invention, I thought I’d give these a go with a few tweaks.

Since my blog is called Chocolate Fool, it is hard to make something that doesn’t involve chocolate – and why would I want to? =) I didn’t have enough macadamia nuts and couldn’t run to the store at 1am, so I used half chopped macadamia nuts and half chopped almonds. I also only had a really sad looking, shrivelled lime, so I used the zest of two lemons. And since I still had some almond meal, I substituted 1/2 of flour for almond meal. These beauties came out wonderfully – they had the lacy edges that Dorie spoke of, and the combination of coconut/almonds/macadamia nuts and lemon was amazing.

The dipping in chocolate was really not necessary, but it does give these cookies an extra push – and the sprinkle of coconut flakes on top is just oh so pretty!

what rows of beauties!

what rows of beauties!

for those who don't like too much chocolate...

for those who don't like too much chocolate...

....but for me, a cookie without chocolate, is a sad cookie.

....but for me, a cookie without chocolate, is a sad cookie.

lemony & nutty - what a perfect combination.

lemony & nutty - what a perfect combination.

and yet, the chocolate, lemon and almonds combination certainly kicks ass

and yet, the chocolate, lemon and almonds combination certainly kicks ass

Recipe

(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, who adapted it from Tuesdays with Dorie)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground coriander
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut + extra for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup semit sweet chocolate

How-to:

  1. Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt and coriander.
  2. If you want to get a little more flavor out of the lemon zest, put the sugar and zest in the
    mixer bowl and, using your fingertips or spoon, work the zest into the sugar until the sugar is
    moist and the mixture fragrant.
  3. Working with a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar and zest on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until smooth.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear.
  5. Add the coconut and nuts and pulse to incorporate them.
  6. There will probably be some dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl – don’t work them in with the mixer, just reach into the bowl and knead them in.
  7. Transfer the soft, sticky dough to a gallon-size zipper-lock bag. Put the bag on a flat surface, leaving the top open, and roll the dough into a 9×10 1/2-inch rectangle that’s ¼inch thick. As you roll, turn the bag occasionally and lift the plastic from the dough so it doesn’t cause creases. When you get the right size and thickness, seal the bag,
    pressing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days.
  8. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
  10. Put the plastic bag on a cutting board and slit it open. Turn the dough out onto the board
    (discard the bag), and, using a ruler as a guide and a sharp knife, cut it into 32 squares,
    each roughly 1 ½ inches on a side.
  11. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between them.
  12. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at
    the midway point.
  13. The shortbreads will be very pale – they shouldn’t take on much color. Transfer the cookies to a rack and cool to room temperature.
  14. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth. Dip half of the cookies in the chocolate, and lay on wax paper to cool. Sprinkle with coconut flakes before the chocolate sets.
  15. Wow your friend and family – but make sure to keep some for yourself!

xo dessertchick

roll up your sleeves for some almond logs!

30 Apr

I love almonds. I mean, I absolutely adore almonds, and will pretty much snack on them whenever I can. In an attempt to find something that will top the deliciousness of my chocolate almond florentine cookies, I thought I’d give baking with almond meal a shot. After seeing how yummy these cookies turned out on Baking For The Cure, I whipped a batch up at 12am and had to wait until the next day to actually bake them, because these babies do require lots of refrigeration.

The dough is quite easy, as is the dipping and rolling in almond slices. The only time consuming part is the waiting for the dough to harden up enough to roll into logs, and then harden up once more after the rolling in almonds and before they go into the oven. In the end, this light and lemony butter cookie complements the toasted almond favour to a tee. I will definitely make these again, and my mom approved – and mom knows best!

almond logs right out of the oven

almond logs right out of the oven

I've decided to invest in wax paper, to save my sanity from the messes I make

I've decided to invest in wax paper, to save my sanity from the messes I make

a bowl full of goodness

a bowl full of goodness

meet the regular almond log...

meet the regular almond log...

...and now meet its cooler cousins, the chocolate almond logs

...and now meet its cooler cousins, the chocolate almond logs

look! the buttery, crumbly, citrusy, delicious inside!

look! the buttery, crumbly, citrusy, delicious inside!

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • zest from 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup finely ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups almond slices
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate

How-to:

  1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla extract until combined.
  2. Add the flour and the almonds and mix just until getting a dough. Cover, and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight.
  3. When dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 330F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or your trusty silpad.
  4. I like to use a pan, and dry roast the almond slices until golden brown to give them an extra nutty flavour. I found that the baking time in the oven didn’t brown the almond slices enough to make them nice and crunchy. Once toasted, put the almond slices into a bowl and set aside to cool down.
  5. Form the dough into 1 1/2inch long and 1/4 inch diameter rolls from the chilled dough. I found that the dough was very buttery, so the warmth from my hands would melt start melting them after I made 2 rolls. I had to keep washing my hands in cold water to keep the dough from melting and sticking.
  6. After all the logs have been formed, dip each roll in the egg whites, and then in the toasted sliced almonds. Gently press the almonds to the cookie rolls. Place cookies on the baking tray, and chill for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the cookies are golden.
  8. Melt the chocolate and drizzle over cooled cookies.
  9. Munch away!

xo dessertchick

cupcakes with bite pt 2

30 Mar

So after all the prep and the waiting (the how-to for these cupcake bites can be found here), the dipping and decorating was the most time consuming but also the most fun! I found that letting the chocolate drip down a little bit made these cuties look more like authentic cupcakes. I also came across cute mini easter cupcake liners, so I used them for these cupcake bites.  Here is what mine ended up looking like =)

my workstation

my workstation

colourful spoons!

colourful spoons!

my army of cupcake bites! Let's meet them:

my army of cupcake bites! Let's meet them:

Simple Bites: topped with m&ms

Simple Bites: topped with m&ms

Hippie Bites: flower power

Hippie Bites: flower power

Glamour Bites: crystallized sugar and m&m jewels

Glamour Bites: crystallized sugar and m&m jewels

Clown Bites: confetti lovin'

Clown Bites: confetti lovin'

Pretty Bites: butterflies

Girly Bites: butterflies

Kooky Bites: round sprinkles galore!

Kooky Bites: round sprinkles galore!

Dream Bites: pastel star sprinkles

Dream Bites: pastel star sprinkles

the entire cast!

the entire cast!

up close and personal with lemon chiffon

up close and personal with lemon chiffon

up close with oreo truffles

up close with oreo truffles

let's find out what's up with strawberry shortcake

let's find out what's up with strawberry shortcake

and this is where all of these babies are going!

and this is where all of these babies are going!

Once more, the recipe is here =)

xo dessertchick

cupcakes with bite pt 1

30 Mar

I’m not gonna lie: I went a bit crazy with taking pictures for this latest project, so this post will be a two-fer. This first part will be the prep work and such. I’ll include the recipes for another one of Bakerella’s amazing concoctions with a little bit of my own added twist.  The second part will pretty much just show how my cupcake bites ended up looking! I still don’t think they are as cute as Bakerella’s but practice makes perfect, right?

I had to travel to the other end of the city once more to grab baking supplies, and wasn’t able to find the candy molds that Bakerella uses. Hers have ridges and are shallower than mine, but because I was adamant about making these cupcake bites, I decided to improvise. I bought candy molds that are a lot deeper but decided that if I filled them up more and made the cupcake balls bigger, it should work out.

The chocolate candy melts came in a variety of colours but since I made three different flavours for the bites, I thought I should colour coordinate. So, lemon chiffon bites are yellow, strawberry shortcake bites are pink, and the Oreo truffles are blue. As you can see by my earlier post, I also went sprinkle crazy =)

I loved the way the oreo truffles turned out, so I wanted to try out a different variation. I searched a couple of grocery stores, and finally bought a box of strawberry cream sandwich cookies. I used the same technique/idea for the oreo truffles with just one small addition to make the strawberry shortcake truffles.

Bakerella’s famous red velvet cake balls look delish, but I wanted a lighter and more refreshing bite. So I went ahead and baked a lemon chiffon cake, which I then crumbled and mixed with cream cheese frosting.  Tada! Easy peasy! The hardest part was the decorating – and trying not to eat all of these goodies! Recipes are right after the jump!

naked lemon chiffon cupcake balls

naked lemon chiffon cupcake balls

nekkid strawberry shortcake cupcake balls

nekkid strawberry shortcake truffles

and more nakedness: oreo truffles

and more nakedness: oreo truffles

chocolate candy melts: the best invention ever

chocolate candy melts: the best invention ever

filling the candy molds with melted chocolate

filling the candy molds with melted chocolate

popping the tops on

popping the tops on

out of the molds, but with nothing to wear... yet!

out of the molds, but with nothing to wear... yet!

Recipe

Oreo Truffles:

This post has the recipe AND the instructions, and will make 20 medium sized truffles.

Strawberry Shortcake Bites:

The recipe should make 20 to 25 medium sized bites.

  • 1 box of strawberry cream sandwich cookies
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp strawberry jam
  1. Break cookies in half and put them into your food processor. Pulse on high until you’ve ground them pretty fine, roughly like bread crumbs.
  2. In a bowl, mix the cream cheese using your hand mixer or KitchenAid stand mixer, and add the crumbs until combined. Add the strawberry jam and continue mixing.
  3. Roll your mix into 1inch balls and refrigerate for as long as possible.

Lemon Chiffon Bites:

This should also make between 20 to 25 medium sized bites.

  • The recipe can be found here for the lemon chiffon cake – just omit the raspberries for this recipe.
  • 1/2 jar of cream cheese frosting. I was going to make my own, but decided Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker frosting will do for now. Don’t judge me =)
  1. When the cake has cooled completely, you want to crumble the cake as fine as possible.
  2. In a bowl, put half of the cake in and tear it apart with two forks until fine. Then add in the last half, and repeat the process.
  3. Finally, add in cream cheese frosting and combine until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
  4. Roll into 1 inch balls and refrigerate again.

Cupcake Bites Assembly:

  • Oreo truffles
  • Strawberry Shortcake bites
  • Lemon Chiffon bites
  • 2 cups dark/semi sweet/milk chocolate candy melts
  • 1 cup of each: blue/pink/yellow chocolate candy melts
  • sprinkles
  • mini m&ms
  • candy molds
  1. Melt the dark/semi sweet/milk chocolate either in the microwave or using a double boiler. For the microwave, heat on high in 30 second intervals, making sure to mix thoroughly between each round.
  2. Spoon each candy mold 1/3 full. Don’t fill all of them at the same time, or else the chocolate will start to harden before you can finish. I usually did 4 molds at a time.
  3. Take your Oreo truffles/strawberry bites/lemon bites, and put one into each mold, making sure to push down slightly so that the chocolate will get squished and rise up. That way, your bites will attach securely to their chocolate bases.
  4. Once all the molds are filled, refrigerate for 10 minutes. When hardened properly, the cupcake bites will pop out quite easily. I just gave them a little push from the bottom to pop them out.
  5. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the truffles and bites.
  6. Once all your tops have chocolate bottoms, the fun can begin! Melt the chocolate melts in the microwave. It’s best to work through one colour first before moving on, or else the chocolate will just harden up again. I colour co-ordinated, but don’t feel like you have to!
  7. Dip the cupcake bite tops into the chocolate. I found that using a spoon can help the melted chocolate cover the entire top. You want to make sure that it overlaps or at least meets the chocolate base so that you don’t see the truffle or the bites. Swirl it around a bit to get rid of the excess chocolate. Top each bite with an m&m and sprinkle accordingly to your wishes.
  8. Once they are hardened, you can nosh away!

xo dessertchick