vegan

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

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Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

1 zucchini, shredded
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup plain 2% yogurt

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or extract)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of fleur de sel (sea salt)

1/2 cup Guittard super cookie chips or any other dark chocolate,  chopped

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F, prepare 12 baking cups or cupcake liners

1. In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk well.

2. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients and mix slowly, careful to not create any air bubbles.

3. Add the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and gently fold into the batter.

4. Measure 1/4 cup of batter into each baking cup for 12.

5. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and let completely cool.

6. Dust with powdered sugar or top with your favourite buttercream.
Enjoy!

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Aquafaba Meringue:

1/2 cup of strained chickpea water (from a can)
3/4 cup powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp ground vanilla bean

1. In a stand mixer, whisk the aquafaba, salt and cream of tartar on medium until frothy.

2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue mixing on high speed until you reach a meringue consistency, approximately 15 minutes.

3.Add the vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Pipe or spoon the meringue over the tops of the cooled cupcakes.
Enjoy!

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Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats

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Roasted Rhubarb with Nuts + Oats

Ingredients::

7 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/8 tsp fleur de del
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
1/4 cup water

Topping :

1 granny smith apple, sliced or chopped
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup Hazelnuts
1/4 cup Pistachios
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup unsalted cold butter, chopped

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Recipe:

Preheat oven to 400°F

Place the rhubarb in an even layer in a baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, salt, cinnamon and vanilla.

Sprinkle over the rhubarb and add the chopped apple or arrange along the perimeter as I have done in the photo.

Pour the water around the base.

For the top layer, sprinkle the oats evenly and repeat with the nuts.

Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and dot with the chopped butter.

Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Also great for breakfast with Greek yogurt or as a topping over your favourite ice cream. Enjoy! 🙂

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Sweet Honeycrisp Apple Cake

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Sweet Honeycrisp Apple Cake Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 honeycrisp apple, shredded
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3/4 cup full fat sour cream

1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fleur de sel

1 honeycrisp apple, thinly sliced with a mandolin
Raw sugar for the top

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F

1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded apple, sugar, olive oil and the eggs. Mix vigorously with a metal wire whisk.

2. Add the vanilla and sour cream until incorporated.

3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture into the batter and mix gently until combined and no lumps remain.

5. Pour the batter into a 9″ square cake pan and top with the sliced apples and the raw sugar.

6. Bake for 35 minutes and let it cool completely.

7. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with a dallop of cream. Enjoy!

Apple & Castello® Blue Cheese Fritters

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Friends! My recipe for these delicious Apple and Castello Blue Cheese Fritters is apart of the Melt Recipe Blogger Challenge!  Please help me WIN by clicking the link below and please share this link with your friends and family! Thank You!!!

http://meltrecipechallenge.com/vote.php?rcp=1

http://meltrecipechallenge.com/recipe.php?rcp=1#.VcNYU8tZTqA

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Apple & Castello® Blue Cheese Fritters

1/3 cup 75 mL all-purpose flour
1 tsp 5 mL baking powder
1 large russet potato, peeled and shredded
1 granny smith apple, shredded
1 shallot, finely diced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp 15 mL fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp 15 mL fresh dill, chopped
2 egg whites, lightly whipped
1/3 cup 75 g Castello® Blue Cheese, crumbled
1 tsp 5 mL sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp 5 mL fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

Recipe:

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and gently fold in the Castello® Blue Cheese.

Add 2 inches of vegetable oil to a large skillet. Heat until just smoking, and then reduce to medium low.

Using a tablespoon, scoop the mixture into the hot oil and slightly flatten with the back of a spoon.  Cook until golden and flip the fritters to cook the other side. Work in small batches and do not overcrowd the pan.

Drain on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Pairs well with a cool dip of Greek yogurt and fresh dill.

Makes approximately 20 fritters.

Please Vote! 🙂

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Tips for Hosting a Successful Dinner Party

I recently held a backyard bbq dinner party to celebrate the changing of the seasons in partnership with Cascade Platinum #sparklingclean.

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I had the opportunity to put the product to the test and I must say, I’m impressed! Not only did it remove the hard, cooked on food residue, it left all of my dishes sparking clean!

In order to host a successful dinner party, there are a few rules that are important to follow in my repertoire.  I’ve hosted numerous parties, whether they’re fancy affairs or simple gatherings, it all boils down to a few essential steps and making sure you’re always prepared.  I share my views with fellow Chef, Michael Smith who offers a few essential entertaining tips below:

1. Spend Time To Save Time:
Prep as much as you can in advance, from setting the table to prepping food. This allows you      to spend more time with your guests entertaining, instead of being in the kitchen.

2. Make Your Guests Feel Special:
It’s important to go the extra mile in making your guests feel special.  I love to decorate the house with fresh flowers, music, lovely table setting and sparkling dishes.

3. Clean As You Go:
While cooking, load the dishwasher so that you don’t have to do all the clean up after. This saves time and with Cascade Platinum, you don’t need to worry about pre-rinsing.

4. Share The Work:
Lighten the load and enlist the help of your guests if possible, this will help ensure the party runs smoothly between courses.

5. Grand Finale:
End the evening with a bang! Perhaps with a spectacular dessert, sparkling Champagne or a little gift for your guests, making the night memorable.

Here are a few highlights from our delicious backyard bbq dinner party. I’m so happy that my cleanup was made easy with the help of Cascade!

Rhubarb Lemonade:
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Marinated Garlic and Rosemary Lamb:
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Roasted Potatoes:
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Papaya Chicken with Roasted Cashews:
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Roasted Vegetables:
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Mexican Corn:
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Fire Grilled Jumbo Shrimps with Cilantro and Chipotle:
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Fresh Feta Salad:
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Mint and Cilantro Gremolata:
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*This post was sponsored by Cascade. All opinions are my own.

Almond Butter

Have you always wanted to make your own Almond Butter? Well now you can with a few simple steps + ingredients. It’s so delicious your first batch won’t last long! Enjoy! 🙂

Almond Butter Recipe:

1 cup of raw almonds (preferably organic)
1/2 tsp fleur de sel or Cyprian sea salt
1 tblsp almond oil (or coconut oil)
1 tblsp honey
1/4 tsp ground vanilla beans

*high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Nutribullet.

1 cup measure glass jar/bottle (such as a mason jar) sterilized, dry

Blend the almonds to a smooth paste, add the salt, almond oil, honey, and vanilla beans and blitz again until incorporated and completely smooth.
Transfer it to a sterilized jar and refrigerate.

Tastes great with toast, in your favourite smoothie or as a substitute for peanut butter. Healthy and delicious. Enjoy!

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Gougères with Gruyère Cheese

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Gougères Recipe

Choux:

125 ml milk
125 ml water
100g room temp butter, diced
5g salt
15g sugar
150g flour
4 eggs
2 tsp fresh thyme or very finely minced fresh rosemary

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp red chili powder (you may omit)

Good sea salt (to sprinkle on top)

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese (or any other hard cheese you like – but, it should have a pronounced flavour)

Preheat oven 425°F and line 2 sheets with parchment or silpats

1. In a saucepan, combine milk, water and cubed butter. Combine and stir in salt and sugar – bring to a rolling boil.

2. Sift flour into a separate bowl

3. Crack eggs into a small bowl

4. Once mixture has boiled, add flour and stir vigorously to form a paste. (Do this in intervals on/off the heat). When the paste dries out (no longer sticks to spatula), it’s ready. Do not brown

5. Add paste to stand mixer bowl and add eggs one by one, on med speed – approx 3 min (when it’s all combined)
6. Add in black and red pepper, thyme or rosemary and cheese.

7. Add to piping bag and pipe 1″mounds, 1/2″ high onto sheets
Brush with eggwash and slightly flatten tops with a fork – sprinkle tops with rosemary and sea salt.

8. Bake for approx 25 – 30 min ~ until they have doubled and are golden brown.
Makes approx 30 Gougéres.

*can be filled or served warm as is. They also freeze well.

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Apple Pie

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For some, Autumn is a sad reminder that summer is over, but for me it is the pleasant and sweet smell of caramelized apples oozing out of the pie crust. Just as the leaves are starting to turn colour and start to fall to the ground; the orchards are filled with ripe apples to be picked and the air becomes cool and crisp.

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Autumn also reminds me of when I arrived in Paris at the beginning of a new adventure as I was about to start the fall semester at the Le Cordon Bleu. One of the first things I learnt to make at Le CordonBleu was an apple tart baked in a bottomless ring.

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Some of the simple techniques I learned  included how to properly peel and slice an apple; the perfect thickness of the slice and the most presentable size. So many miniscule details to make the perfect dessert.

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All of these things stay with you and sometimes when you bake familiar things, it evokes these wonderful memories and take your dessert to a whole new level.

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Last week I baked an apple pie with my 4 year old son,  Xander.  He loves to help in the kitchen and he has a soft spot for pies, especially in his tummy.  I’m so impressed that he’s almost mastered crimping the pie shell.  I hope he will remember and cherish these memories that we are creating together and I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. :)🍏🍎

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Apple Pie Recipe:

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Pie Crust:

Makes 2 single crusts or 1 double crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tblsp sugar
1 cup butter
1/4 cup or less cold water

Pulse the flour, salt, sugar and butter. Slowly add just enough water until the dough is combined.

Flatten and chill until ready to use.

Blind bake at 400F for 20 min or until brown 
*Do not pre-bake for Apple tart or Apple Pie

Apple Pie Filling:

4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (any variety but I generally use a mix of red + green)
1/2 cup sugar
3 tblsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
2 tblsp flour
1 tblsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup butter, chopped

For the top:

1/4 cup cream (or egg wash)
Raw sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 425°F

In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon,  salt, vanilla and flour.  Toss to evenly combine and layer into the pie dish.  Dot with the chopped butter.

Roll out your second pie shell and crimp the edges with the base layer overhang to create a sealed crust.  If you have any pastry leftover, you can make cutouts and decorate the top.

If you want to keep your pie eggless,  brush cream all over the pie crust (and edges) with a pastry brush and generously sprinkle the raw sugar over top.

With a sharp knife, make slits in a decorative pattern and bake in your preheated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Let cool before slicing.  Enjoy! 

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Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart

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Roasted Mushroom and Chèvre Tart Recipe:

1 sheet of Puff pastry (you can use store bought, thawed)
1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
1 cup cremini mushrooms, rinsed and bottoms trimmed, (thinly sliced)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
350g goats cheese (Chèvre)
2 tblsp Olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Maldon sea salt or fleur de sel
Sprigs of fresh thyme
Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper

1. Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle and place on parchment lined sheet.

2. In a small bowl combine half of the goats cheese and the crushed garlic and then spread a thin layer on top of the puff pastry.

3. Arrange the sliced mushrooms lengthwise (in approx 5 columns, as shown in the picture) on top of the goat cheese and sprinkle with salt, pepper, 1 tblsp olive oil and thyme.

4. Spirnkle the remaining goat’s cheese on top (in small dallops) and lightly drizzle the entire tart with olive oil.

5. Top with a few sprigs of fresh thyme.

Bake approx 30 min until puff pastry has risen and the tart is golden brown.

Just before serving, top with fresh, chopped parsley. Enjoy!

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Caramelized Coconut + Walnut Pandan French Toast

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Caramelized Coconut Walnut Pandan French Toast Recipe

1 extra large egg + 3 tblsp eggwhites
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4-6 slices coconut pandan bread

2 tblsp melted butter
Maple syrup

Whisk the egg + eggwhites, add the sugar, coconut milk,  ground cinnamon,  and vanilla. Set aside.

In a frying pan, melt 1 tsp butter .
When the pan is hot, quickly dip a bread slice into the egg mixture, covering both sides and add to your hot pan. Cook for a few minutes until golden and then flip to cook the other side.
Once browned,  spoon over 1 tsp of maple syrup and ensure the top of the slice is coated. Quickly flip (on high heat) and sear for 1 minute to create a caramelized crust.   Repeat with the other side.
Put it onto a plate and top with fresh berries and more maple syrup, if desired. 
Repeat with remaining slices of bread until the egg mixture is used up.

*Take note that creating a maple crust will make it sweeter, so you may not want the additional sweetness. Enjoy! 🙂

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