Friday, October 7, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Pie with Oats Crust

Pumpkin Spice Pie with Oats Crust

When you live in Europe, it's hard to get the fuss about "pumpkin spice lattes"... Or Halloween... Or anything with pumpkin. Well I haven't had a lot of pumpkin pies in my life so it's hard to judge for me what makes a good pumpkin pie, but I thought I would give it a try! I'm determined to bake at least 1 pumpkin pie every week untill the end of October, so I can perfect my recipe/and try different recipes (vegan pumpkin pie anyone?).

So I had my first go today with a pumpkin pie. I made my own blend of pumpkin spices, which I store in a small jar. Unfortunately you can not get your hands on a can of pumpkin puree, so that means making it the old-fashioned way: by hand. Cutting, cooking, & blending. I've read reviews online that pumpkin pies made with fresh pumpkins, taste better. This recipe definitely needs some tweeking, and I already know what I'm going to do different at my next try. My hands are already itching to bake another pie. But here's my review from this recipe:

Taste: 4.5 out of 5
Consistency: 3 out of 5
Overall appeal: 3 out of 5

Pumpkin Pie: recipe from, but instead made a oatmeal-cookie crust.

Any good tips on baking a pumpkin pie?

Pumpkin Spice Pie with Oats Crust

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Vegan Banana Muffins

Vegan Banana Muffins

How embarrassing is it that I waited so long before blogging about these vegan banana muffins that I almost forget which recipe I used?! Between work and going on vacation, it wasn't until I openend up my camera's photoroll, that I saw the last saved pictures of these amazing muffins! While baking my favorite vegan oatmeal raisin cookies, I am writing/blogging/editing about my latest vegan recipe; banana muffins. I can't bring myself to throw away bananas that are too ripe to eat, so I mostly make use of them in other recipes. Bananas are used often in vegan recipes as a replacement for eggs, but they are the central ingredient in this recipe.

Taste: 5- out of 5
Consistency: 4 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4 out of 5

Vegan Banana Muffins:

Ingredients: (I made half this recipe)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups mashed ripe bananas
- 1 cup canola oil (I used sunflower oil)
- 1 cup coconut milk (I used almond milk)
- 1/4 cup organic maple syrup

- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.
- Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl. Stir bananas, canola oil, maple syrup, and coconut milk together in a separate bowl; mix banana mixture into flour mixture until just combined. Fill muffin cups with batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven until a tooth pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Vegan Banana Muffins

Any tips for a good Fall/Halloween recipe?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Lemon Pound Cake

A French recipe.

Lemon Pound Cake

Years ago I bought a French dessert book in Walt Disneyworld's Epcot. In the France pavilion. It was a book by Dorie Greenspan, on which I had an eye on for a while. I would have never thought I'd buy this French-inspired book in the heat of Florida. Dorie Greenspan bundles a collection of recipes from the best pâtisseries of Paris in this witty, well-explained book. I love the simplicity of the illustrations in the book. Paired together with sensational recipes, is sure to make it one of my favorite cookbooks!

I was browsing through the recipes I made last year, and I noticed my brown sugar pound cake was the most popular online. Not surprising. Who doesn't love the simplicity of a pound cake? A true classic. I immediately thought of a recipe in Dorie's 'Paris Sweets' book. Lemon Cake or Cake Citron. A recipe adapted from pâtisserie Arnaud Larher. I have made the orange cake version before, which was a stunner of a cake! So today, with not-so-summery weather, I baked a summer lemon pound cake.

The texture of this pound cake, is what makes it one of the best pound cakes I have ever tasted/baked. It has such a smooth and sturdy texture. You can even see the patrons of your cake knife when you cut it. It is very dense and scented.

Like a lemon dream!

Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5+ out of 5
Overall appeal: 5 out of 5

Lemon Cake: Dorie Greenspan - 'Paris Sweets' - adapted from pâtisserie Arnaud Larher

- 2 ¼ cups cake flour (250 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅔ cups sugar (335 grams)
- Grated zest of 3 lemons or 2 oranges
- 5 large eggs
- ⅔ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream (165 grams)
- 2 tablespoons dark rum (for the lemon cake) or Grand Marnier (for the orange cake) (30 grams)
- 7½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (3¾ ounces; 110 grams)

- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9 x 5 x 3-inch (22.5 x 12.5 x 7.5-cm) loaf pan, dust the interior with flour, and tap out the excess. Put the pan on an insulated baking sheet or on two stacked regular baking sheets and set aside.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together and keep close at hand. Toss the sugar and zest together in a large bowl and rub them together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs, beating until the mixture is pale and foamy, then whisk in the crème fraîche and rum. Switch to a large rubber spatula and gently stir the sifted flour mixture into the batter in three or four additions—the batter should be thick and smooth. Finally, fold in the cooled melted butter in two or three additions.
- Immediately spoon the batter into the pan and slide the baking sheet(s) into the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out dry and free of crumbs. (Check the cake at the 40-minute mark. If it is browning quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent for the remainder of the baking period.) Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes on a cooling rack before turning it out of the pan; invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

- Keeping: Wrapped airtight, the cake will keep for 1 week at room temperature or up to 1 month in the freezer. Stale cake is delicious lightly toasted and spread with marmalade.
- An American in Paris: I’ve used this recipe to make a wonderful vanilla cake. I substitute the pulp of 2 plump, fragrant vanilla beans for the zest and rub the pulp into the sugar just as the zest is rubbed in. Keep the rum in the recipe—it’s lovely with the vanilla.

Lemon Pound Cake

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Norwegian Cinnamon Buns, Happy Easter!

Cinnamon Rolls

Happy Easter everyone! For me Easter means baking a lot of my favorite comfort foods. Such as walnut carrot cake, cute Easter-themed cupcakes, and cinnamon buns. This is one of my favorite cinnamon bun recipes because it is almost like a bread with cinnamon. It rises incredibly and the texture is very soft. I actually already blogged this recipe before, but I always make so many alterations to the recipe, it's hardly Nigella's recipe anymore. I usually cover them with a white glaze made from confectionars' sugar, vanilla extract, and almond or rice milk. I glazed them after I took the photo.

Taste: 4.5 out of 5
Consistency: 5 out of 5
Overall appeal: 4.5 out of 5

Cinnamon Rolls

Norwegian Cinnamon Buns: recipe click here.

The first time I made this recipe, I baked them just before I travelled to Norway. This recipe is indeed a very Norwegian recipe! It's a lot less sugary, and more bread-like than traditional American cinnamon rolls. They're perfect for breakfast or with coffee. To see my photo from my trip to Norway, click here.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Cutest Easter Cakes & Cupcakes!

Easter Cupcakes

Easter Carrot Cake
(my personal favorite!)

Ladybug Cupcakes

Easter Nest Cupcakes

Layer Carrot Cake

Rose Buttercream Cake

Rose Buttercream Cake

Easter Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Tart

Lemon Meringue Tart

Easter Cupcakes

Lemon Macarons

Lemon Macarons with Lemon Curd

Rose & Lemon Bundt Cake

Rose & Lemon Bundt Cake

Hydrangea Cake

Hydrangea Cake

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Blueberry Cupcakes

Easter Blueberry Cupcakes - Little Chicks

Carrot Walnut Cake

For even more Easter recipes, click on the scroll down menu
on the top right of the blog!

Happy Easter baking!

Much love,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

Another vegan recipe! I want to start an entire vegan section on this blog and bake vegan recipes more often, so here's another recipe after my vegan oatmeal raisin cookies. BTW, Alicia Silverstone, actress and author of the vegan cookbook 'The Kind Diet', favorited my tweet about her recipe. Pretty cool! Anywho, I made these vegan muffins because I was in the mood for a hearty muffin in the morning with oatmeal. I stumbled upon the recipe online, and the peanut butter seemed a good idea because it has a lot of protein. The chocolate seemed a bit much, but I was willing to give it a try!

It's quite a mouthful to even pronounce this recipe 'vegan - peanut butter - chocolate - oatmeal - muffins'. And quite frankly, that was the problem with them. They had too many ingredients, making them very heavy to eat and I felt sated after only eating 1 muffin (that's not normal for me, usually downing 3 in a go). So I'm still on the look out for a good vegan oatmeal muffin recipe. I think one with mashed bananas would be nice. Better luck next time!

Taste: 4 out of 5
Consistency: 2 out of 5
Overall appeal: 2 out of 5

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Muffins:

- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 2/3 cup Quick Cooking Oats)
- 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (I used creamy)
- 1 cup Rice Milk

- Preheat the oven at 400F/200C for 15 minutes. Grease with little cooking spray or line the muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large bowl combine together the flour, oatmeal, cocoa powder, sugar and baking powder.
- In a small sauce pan, over low heat, melt peanut butter in milk, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Once the peanut butter mixture is cool, incorporate it into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan filling it to the top of each cup. The above batter was enough for 9 muffins. So I filled the remaining 3 cups with water to ensure even baking of the muffins. I took out mine from the oven after 16 minutes, but I think 13-15 minutes should be perfect. I felt that in this recipe the smell of the muffins is an indicator of the doneness in addition to the toothpick test. I started smelling a burnt cocoa smell and that's when I removed the muffins. So the tops were a bit crusty and it had turned slightly back. Either have a close watch or reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake it accordingly.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Best Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Years ago I featured this adaptation of Alicia Silverstone's recipe in her vegan book 'The Kind Diet' (the recipe is originally called 'Oatmeal, Walnut, and Dried Plum Cookies' and can be found here). I saw Alicia Silverstone on the Oprah Winfrey show talk about her vegan lifestyle and why she became vegan. Though the concept didn't interest me at the time because I was way too comfortable in my ways to change anything to eat more animal-friendly, I did end up baking the cookies she and Oprah raved about. Turns out: they were one of the best cookie-recipes I had ever tried, vegan or non-vegan, and so much traffic came to that blog post! To see/read my previous post about these vegan oatmeal raisin cookies, click here.

A while later, Oprah did yet another show about Kathy Freston (yes, I was a severe Oprah-addict and have endured withdrawal symptoms ever since her show ended here in Europe) and her vegan lifestyle, and Oprah decided she would try being vegan for a month. I followed Oprah's journal she wrote that month about her month-long vegan diet. Oprah didn't end up becoming a vegan, but it inspired me to try another vegan recipe, since the vegan oatmeal cookies were such a succes, and had to re-bake them for my family many times. So I tried making vegan chocolate chip cookies. Another succes and lots of interest for the blogpost online.

Well, I'm writing and baking this favorite recipe of my mine in a whole new light as I became a vegetarian last year and can honestly say it was the best decision I've ever made in my life! Main reasons are health-, environmental-, and ethical-related, but I won't go into much detail as of why I chose not to eat meat, fish, and gelatin. For now, I can't imagine leaving cheese, eggs, dairy, and honey of my plate as well, but then again, if you would have told me 2 years ago that I would become a vegetarian, I would have thought you were nuts!

So, long story short: TRY MAKING THESE VEGAN OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES - THEY ARE INCREDIBLY ADDICTIVE! A whole batch lasted only 2 days in my house.

Taste: 5 out of 5
Consistency: 5 out of 5
Overall appeal: 5 out of 5

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: 'The Kind Diet' - Alicia Silverstone'
Recipe below is my adaptation from the original recipe.

- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup maple sugar (I sometimes uses coconut sugar, or pear sugar)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup organic maple syrup
- ½ cup safflower oil (I mostly use sunflower oil)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped dried fruit, like raisins or plums

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the syrup, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Fold in the dried fruit.
- Using your hands, roll tablespoon-size scoops of dough into balls. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly on the balls to flatten the tops. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.
- For variety, replace the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour, barley flour, spelt flour, or a gluten-free baking mix (choose one that does not include baking soda and baking powder). You can also substitute chocolate chips for the dried fruit/raisins and add any kind of nuts.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Friday, February 12, 2016

Valentine's Day Recipes!

Valentine's Day Cake Pops

Cream Puff Cake

Rose Bundt Cake

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Champagne Macarons

Rosebud Madeleines

Valentine's Day Recipe

Chocolate Raspberry Éclairs - 7th Blogoversary!

Red Rose Tartlets

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Rose Macarons

Passionately Chocolate Tartlet

Rose Cupcakes

Chocolate Truffle Cakes

Luscious Chocolate Raspberry Cake


Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Valentine's Day Recipe

Moelleux au Chocolat avec Caramel Salé

Valentine's Day Recipe

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Glaze

Valentine's Day Recipe

Chocolate Heart Scones with Strawberry Glaze

Here's a look back on romance-inspired recipes from previous years!
Paris Pastry