Category Archives: Sweets

Cakes, Cookies, Squares, Dessert and Sweets

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding

 

 

Ingredients

  • 8               oz chopped pitted dried dates
  • 1 1/2         cups water
  • 1/3            cup butter
  • 1               cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2               tsp vanilla essence
  • 2               extra large eggs
  • 3               tbsp molasses
  • 2               tbsp golden syrup dark corn syrup
  • 1               2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2         tsp baking powder
  • 1               tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Put the dates and water in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.  When it starts to boil turn the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes.  Let it stand for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the batter.
  2. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and vanilla, till it is light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Puree the date mixture in a food processor.
  5. Add the molasses and golden syrup and beat well.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in three equal portions mixing until smooth after each addition.
  7. Add the hot mixture immediately to the batter and mix until smooth.
  8. Pour batter into a well greased and floured muffin tins and bake for about 18-20 min in a preheated 350 degree oven until the centre is just firm.

Toffee Sauce

  • 1/2         cup whipping cream
  • 1/4         cup butter
  • 1/4         cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1            tbsp molasses
  • 2            tbsp golden syrup
  • 2            tsp vanilla essence 

Instructions

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.  Boil for 2 minutes before serving over the baked pudding.

Note:

You can bake this cake in a bundt pan.  Grease and flour it well.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 55-60 min.

Serve it warm with Toffee sauce.

To grease the pan well:

Freeze the pan, then brush it with melted butter and dust it with flour or spray pam on it.

 

Naryal Wara Gonja(Plantain Banana)

Plaintain, commonly referred to as gonja, are a popular delicacy in Uganda. Plaintain is a member of the banana family.  It is starchy, low in sugar and can be cooked or roasted over fire. Plaintain is a street food in Uganda.  It is cooked over open fire with the skin.  It is then spilt in the middle, sprinkled with salt, red chilli and lemon. The skin is your plate. It can be boiled with the skin, you peel it and eat it. My Mum often fried and served it.  She also made gonja fritters or Naryal Vara Gonja(Gonja cooked in coconut milk) and served as a dessert. Gonja is very popular in the Caribbean, it is fried and served as a side. Fried gonja and fritters were a popular afternoon snack with a cup of tea. You have to store the gonja in a dark warm place to ripen them.    They have to be soft before you use them. Naryal-Wara-Gonja.jpg

Instructions

  • 2             ripe plaintain bananas
  • 1             cup coconut milk
  • 1             cup homo milk
  • 1/4         cup sugar(or to taste)
  • 1/4         tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4         tsp crushed cardamon seeds
  • 20           strands saffron
  • 1             tbsp slivered almonds
  • 1             tbsp slivered pistachios

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan boil some water.
  2. Peel and slice the bananas and boil for about 5 minutes.  The bananas will become soft.
  3. In another large saucepan boil coconut milk, milk, sugar and spices.  When it starts to boil turn the heat to medium and let it simmer.  When the banana is cooked, take it out of the water with a slotted spoon and drop it in the coconut mixture.
  4. Cook for about five minutes on medium heat.
  5. Let it cool down, transfer it into a serving bowl and refrigerate it till ready to serve.
  6. Decorate with slivered almonds and pistachios before serving.

Plantain BananaPlantain Banana

Ma’amoul

IMG_1421
Maamoul

Ma’amoul are small shortbread pastries filled with pistachios, walnuts or dates. They are served all over the Arab world for Eid and Easter.

A special wooden mould is used to shape a ma’amoul, the round shallow molds are for dates, oval molds are for pistachios and deeper molds for walnuts. If you do not have the molds you can shape the ma’moul in your hand or use a small tart pan.
Makes 36

Pastry Ingredients

  • 2 1/2          cups all purpose flour
    1/2              lb unsalted butter
    1                  tbsp rosewater
    4                  tbsp milk
    icing sugar for dusting the pastries

Pistachio filling

  • 1                  cup chopped pistachios
    1/2              cup sugar(granulated or icing)
    1                  tbsp rosewater

Walnuts Filling

  • 1                  cup chopped nuts
    1/2              cup sugar(granulated or icing)
    1/2              tsp cinnamon
    1                  tbsp rosewater

Instructions

  1. Make the fillings. Chop the nuts and mix in the sugar. If you don’t like a grainy texture, you can use icing sugar. The tblsp of rosewater will make the nut mixture moist and easy to shape. Add cinnamon to the walnuts.
  2. In a large bowl add the flour.
    Cut the butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour(using the tip of your fingers)
  3. Add the rose water, followed by milk and make a soft dough.
  4. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each quarter into about 9 balls to make approximately 36 balls of dough-depending on the size of the mold.
  5. Fill the dough balls with a spoonful of nuts. First, flatten a ball of dough with your thumb and make a hollow. Place the nuts into the hollow. Be generous with the filling. Pinch the dough back over the nut filling, making a ball shape. Do this with the rest of the balls.
    Press the filled dough balls one by one into the ma’moul mold.
  6. To snap the dough out of the mold, tap the tip of the mold against the edge of the counter with a firm quick movement. With the other hand, catch the ma’moul and place it on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dust some flour inside the mold if it’s sticking.

Cherry Winks

IMG_2609

Makes 5 doz

Ingredients

  • 2                 jars(8 oz each) maraschino cherries
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 1                 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2             tsp baking soda
  • 1/2             tsp salt
  • 3/4             cup butter, room tempreture
  • 1                 sugar
  • 2                 large eggs
  • 1                 tbsp milk
  • 1                 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1                 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4                 cups cornflakes, coarsely crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 2 large cookie sheets.  Finely chop 1/2 cup cherries and set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in a a large mixer bowl at medium high speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, then milk and vanilla, until smooth.
  5. With mixture at low speed, beat dry ingredients just until blended.
  6. Stir in chopped cherries and nuts.
  7. Divide dough into quarters and shape into disks.  Wrap and refregerate overnight.
  8. Spread cornflakes on large plate.  Working with one disk at a time, divide dough and roll into 1-inch balls, then roll in cornflakes to coat.(Keep remaining rough refregerated.)
  9. Place 2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheets.
  10. Cut 30 cherries in half.  Gently press a cheery half onto centre of each cookie.
  11. Bake 12 – 14 minutes, until browned.
  12. Transfer cookies to wire rach to cool.
  13. Repeat process with remaing douch, cornflakes and cherry halves.

Coconut Pecan Bars

IMG_2674

Makes 36

Ingredients

  • 1/3           cup butter
  • 3/4           cup all purpose flour
  • 1               tbsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 1               cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1               cup pecans
  • 2               egg
  • 1/2            cup packed brown sugar
  • 4               tsp all-purpose flour
  •                  pinch salt
  •                  tsp vanilla
  • 1/2            chopped dried sour cherries
  • 1/4            cup chopped bittersweet chocolate ot chocolate chips

Icing

  • 1-1/2         icing sugar
  • 3                tbsp butter softened
  • 2                tbsp milk
  • 1                tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or bowl, cut butter into flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  2. Drizzle with lemon juice, process just until mixture holds together when pressed.
  3. With floured hands press into parchment-paper-lined 8 inch Square metal pan.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until ligh golden, about 15 min.

Filling

  1. Meanwhile, spread coconut and pecans on baking sheet; bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until fragrant and lightly coloured, about 8 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla; stir in coconut mixture, dried cherries and chocolate.
  3. Spreed evenly over base, pressing lightly to smooth.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven until firm and golden, 25 minutes.
  5. Let it cool.

Icing

  1. In a bowl, beat sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla; spread over filling.
  2. Refrigerate until icing is firm.  About an hour.
  3. Cut into squares.

 

 

Spumoni Slices

IMG_2610 (1)

Makes 7 doz.

Ingredients

  • 3          cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2       tsp baking powder
  • 1/4       tsp salt
  • 1          cup butter or margarine softened
  • 1          cup sugar
  • 1          large egg
  • 2          tbsp milk
  • 1          tsp vanilla extract
  • 1          square unsweetened chocolate melted
  • 1/3       cup candied red cherries, finely chopped
  • 5          drops red food colouring
  • 1/2       cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped
  • 1          tsp dark rum or 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 5          drops green food colouring.

Instructions

  1. Combine flour. baking soda and salt to a bowl.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix.
  4. With mixer at low speed, gradually add dry ingredients just until blende.
  5. Divide dough into thirds, placing each in a separate bowl.
  6. Combine one third dough with melted chocolate.
  7. Combine cherries and red colouring with the second one third of the dough.Stir nuts, rum and green food colouring into remaining dough.
  8. Line an 8 x 4 inch bread pan with plastic wrap.  Press green dough evenly into bottom of the pan.  Repeat layering with chocolate and cherry doughs.
  9. Cover and refregerate overnight.
  10. preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  11. Invert pan onto a cutting board.  Remove pan and peel of the plastic wrap.
  12. Cut dough crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices, then cut each slice crosswise into thirds or quarters.
  13. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  14. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned.
  15. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Sticky Toffee and Dark Chocolate Pudding Cake

IMG_6545

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

  • 1                lb dried Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 -1/2        cups water
  • 2-1/2         cups all-purpose flour
  • 2                tsp baking powder
  • 1/4             tsp baking soda
  • 1                tsp salt
  • 3/4            cup unsalted butter
  • 1                cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3             cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2                tsp vanilla essence
  • 3                eggs
  • 1                cup chopped Lindt Excellence 85% Dark chocolate

Vanilla Meringue butter cream

  • 4              eggs white
  • 1 1/4        cup granulated sugar
  • 1              tsp vanilla extract
  •                 Pinch salt
  • 3/4          cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Chocolate caramel drizzle

  • 1 1/4        cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4           cup water
  • 3/4           cup 35% whipping cream
  • 80            g  Lindth Excellence 85% Dark Chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/8           tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Lightly grease 3-7″ springform pans or 2-9″ springform pans.  Set aside.
  2. Combine dates and water in a small saucepan over medium-high-heat, bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat to a low and simmer for 10 minutes or until dates are tender and about 1/3 cup liquid remains.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth; set aside.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
  6. Using electric mixer, cream butter with sugars until light and fluffy.
  7. Beat in vanilla; stir in egges, one at a time, scraping down sides after each addition.
  8. Stir in one-third of flour mixture; stir in half of date puree, mixing after each addition just until incorporated.  Repeat additions of flour and date puree; stir in remaining flour mixture.
  9. Stir in chopped chocolate.  Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes or until tester inserted in centre of cakes comes out with a few crumbs clinging to it.
  11. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto racks to cool completely.

Buttercream

  1. In a double boiler over medium-low heat, whisk egg whites with sugar until sugar has fully dissolved and instant-read thermometer reads 160 degree F(70degress F). Remove from heat.
  2. Add vanilla and salt to egg white mixture, using electric mixer, whip until meringue holds stiff peaks and mixture is at room tempreture.  Add butter, one cube at a time, beating well after each addition.  (If mixture looks like it is separating, keep beating until it looks smooth again.)  When butter has incorporated, reduce to medium-high speed; beat for 2 minutes or until silky smooth.  (Use immediately, or refrigerate briefly if buttercream is too soft.)
  3. Spoon buttercream into piping bag fitted with large tip.

Drizzle

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and water over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has disolved.
  2. Turn heat to medium-high; bring to a boil, and boil without stirring for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sugar mixture is deep gold.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Working quickly and being careful not to splash, stir in cream.  Let cool slightly; add chocolate and salt, stirring until smooth.
  5. Let sauce cool to room tempreture.

Assembly

  1. Trim domed tops from cake layers.  Transfer one layer to cake board, plate or serving platter; drizzle with one third of the chocolate sauce.
  2. Pipe a circle of buttercream around cake, about 1/2 inch(1cm) from edge;  fill with more butter cream.
  3. Top with second cake layer, drizzle with sauce and pipe buttercream over top.
  4. Add final cake layer; pipe remaining buttercream over top and side of cake, using a spatula to spread evenly.
  5. Drizzle remaining chocolate sauce over top and side of cake.
  6. Top with lindt truffles and chocolate sauce.

Chocolatier Tip

The best way to add chocolate to an already sweet dessert is to use chocolate that has a higher percentage of cacoa.  This gives you all the bittersweet flavour without the extra sugar.

 

Pistachio Stuffed Coconut Ladoo

Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio
Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio
Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio
Coconut Ladoo with Pistachio centre

Makes 4 doz

Ingredients 

  • 8                  oz butter
  • 3/4              cup half and half cream
  • 2                  cups sugar
  • 1/2              cup powder milk
  •                      few drops of pink food colour
  • 1/2              tsp elechi seeds crushed(cardamon seeds)
  • 1/4              tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1                  lb unsweetened coconut

For Stuffing

  • 1/2              cup pistachio

For Rolling

  • 1/4               cup coconut

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan heat butter, half and half cream and sugar, bring it to a boil and let it boil for 5 minutes, stiring a few times.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till the mixture is thick and starts forming a ball.
  3. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Take small amount of the mixture and roll into a 1″ ball, then roll the ball in the extra coconut.
  5. Flatten this ball on a piece of plastic, put 1/2 a teasp pistachio in the centre, pick up the plastic with the four corners and make a tight bundle, making a ball again.
  6. Roll the ball in coconut.

IMG_5364.jpg

Gulab Jambu

IMG_5745
Gulab Jambu

Ingredients

Jambu 

  • 1              lb pacific powder milk
  • 6              oz all purpose flour
  • 1              heaped tsp baking powder
  • 5              cup whipping cream
  • 4              cups oil for frying

Syrup

  • 4               cups sugar
  • 1/4            tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1/4            tsp freshly ground cardomom seeds
  • 1/4            tsp saffron

Instructions

  1. Put the milk powder in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add the all purpose flour and baking powder.
  3. Make a stiff dough with the whipping cream.
  4. Make small balls about inch round.
  5. Heat the oil in a wok at 350 degrees.
  6. Deep fry the balls a few at a time (The balls will double in size) turning every few minutes to get an even colour.  Fry till they are light brown in colour and doubled in size.

Syrup:

  1. Make a light syrup with sugar and 3 cups water.
  2. Add the spices and the colour.
  3. Add the warm balls in the warm syrup.  Let it soak for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Sprinkle it with almonds and Pistachio before serving.

IMG_5741.jpgIMG_5743.jpgIMG_5742.jpg

 

 

Pear-Cranberry Hand Pies

These flaky little pies may be the ultimate grab-and-go dessert. Pear-Cranberry Hand Pie Makes 8 pies

Ingredients

  • 2                     Bosc pears (1 lb), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/3                 cup plus 1-1/2 tblsp sugar
  • 1                     tbsp all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4                 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • pinch            ground cloves
  • pinch            ground cinnamon
  • pinch            salt
  • 1                     14 oz package frozen puff pastry (thawed)
  • 1                     egg beaten
  •                        Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss the diced pears with 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tbsp flour and the cranberries, ground cloves, cinnamon and salt.
  2. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 14-1/2 inch square, about 1/8” thick.
  3. Using a sharp knife, cut the pastry into 8 squares.
  4. Spoon the pear filling onto a corner of each squares, leaving a 1/2 inch border.
  5. Fold the pastry over the filling to make a triangle and firmly press the edges to seal.
  6. Crimp the edges with a folk to allow steam to escape during baking.
  7. Transfer the pies to a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until chilled.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Brush the chilled pies with the beaten egg and sprinkle them with the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoon sugar.
  10. Bake the pies for about 30 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  11. Let the pies cool for at least 5 minutes.
  12. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pear-Cranberry Hand Pie