Carrot Apple Easter Cake

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a carrot cake for Easter dinner and this recipe is one I come back to over and over again even with a few tweaks here and there.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” round cakes plus 6 cakelets
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: approx. 35 – 40 min.
Difficulty level: Time-consuming

Ingredients
Carrot Apple Cake

• 2 ½ cups un-sifted all-purpose flour
• 2 ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ¾ tsp ground nutmeg
• 1 ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 cup oatmeal crisp maple nut cereal, crushed
• 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 ½ cup vegetable oil
• 3 eggs
• 2 cups carrots, peeled and shredded
• 2 granny smith apples, peeled and shredded
• 1/3 cup fruit mix, chopped
• 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
• 1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Cream Cheese Buttercream
• 1 ½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 (250g) package cream cheese, softened
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Zest from 1 tangelo

Assembly
Carrot Apple Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the shape of the pan on pieces of parchment paper.
3. Spray the pans with vegetable oil spray and place parchment paper inside the baking pan.
4. Using a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt and cereal and mix and set aside.
5. In a large bowl beat sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil and eggs.
6. Shred carrots and apples using a food processor.
7. Add the carrots, apples and fruit mix until just combined.
8. Incorporate the dry ingredients, using a whisk until just combined.
9. Mix in the nuts.
10. Pour the batter into the three pans and cakelet pans and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
11. Let cook in pans to cool and then let cool on a wire rack.
Whipped Cream Cheese Buttercream
1. Using and electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment, combine butter and cream cheese.
2. Add in confectioners’ sugar followed by vanilla extract and continue to mix.
3. Lastly add tangelo zest.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first layer on the bottom layer and spread some cream cheese buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place the next layer over and spread more cream cheese buttercream frosting over top.
5. Place final layer over and cream cheese spread buttercream frosting over top and along the sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using an offset spatula frost the cake entirely.
8. Decorate as desired. I made a swirl pattern on top; added some sprinkles and added some Easter coloured M&M’s.
9. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• If you are making cream cheese buttercream omit 1/3 granulated sugar from the carrot apple cake, as there is enjoy confectioners’ sugar in the frosting to compensate. Otherwise, keep the full amount of sugar in.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Okay so I so love a carrot cake and adding in the apples was just perfect. This cake had a little bit of a Christmas cake feel with the nuts and fruit mix. I loved the amount of cream cheese in this frosting as it didn’t tasty too tangy and the tangelo flecks added a little extra something. I tried a new piping technique on top and it turned out wonderfully with a little bit of sprinkles scattered about. This recipe is really a process of love as it’s time-consuming; but so worth it.

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Carrot Apple Easter Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

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Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese & Honey Frosting

Applesauce Cake with Cream Cheese – Candy Coated Culinista

A one-bowl recipe so simple it will fast become a Thanksgiving staple.

Yield/Serving: 8-10
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Now & Again

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tbsp ground ginger
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• 2 tsp baking soda
• 2 eggs, beaten
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup buttermilk or plain yoghurt
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened applesauce
• 1/3 cup canola oil or neutral oil
Frosting
• 170 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp sour cream
• ¼ cup honey
• Pinch of kosher salt

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray 9” pan with non-stick spray, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and set pan aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking soda.
4. Add eggs, sugar, buttermilk or yoghurt, applesauce and oil and whisk gently until combined.
5. Using a rubber spatula scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface so it is even.
6. Bake until it is barely firm and a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 55 minutes.
7. Set cake aside on a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
8. Remove from pan and parchment paper.
9. Place on cake plate and set aside.
10. To make frosting: in a large bowl combine cream cheese, sour cream, honey and salt and whisk aggressively until cream cheese is slightly aerated. Use a handheld mixer or stand mixer if desired.
11. Spread frosting over top of cake and serve.

Tips
• Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised with this simple recipe. It smells and tastes like autumn and is the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. The mix of the seasonal flavours and the addition of the applesauce kept ths cake moist. The icing didn’t turn out as I expected even though I followed the recipe, or this is a looser icing. I added some buttercream frosting to the mix to firm it up. This cake will not travel will with the icing as is. I recommend if you are bring the cake somewhere, make the frosting, put it in a container, and dress when you arrive at your location. Otherwise, I will be making this again and just altering the frosting for myself personally.

Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce

Apple Tarte Tartin with Creamy Caramel Sauce – Candy Coated Culinista

A tarte tartin is a French dessert named after the hotel that served this as their signature dish. To me I entered making this dish with memories of my poorly maple-honey upside down cake. I am hoping for a decent caramel and a palatable dessert.

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Donna Hay: Basics to Brilliance

Ingredients
Creamy Caramel

• ¾ cups heavy cream
• 1/3 cups unsalted butter
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Apple Tarte Tatin
• 1 sheet store-bought all butter puff pastry, thawed
• ½ cup creamy caramel, plus extra to serve
• 3 granny smooth apples, peeled, quartered, cored and cut into 1 cm
• a few blueberries (optional)
• Vanilla ice-cream, to serve (optional)

Assembly
Creamy Caramel

1. Place cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan over high heat and cook, stirring with a metal spoon until combined.
4. Bring mixture to a boil and cook without stirring until temperature reaches 350°F using a candy thermometer and the mixture is a deep golden colour.
5. Remove from heat and working fast, add butter mixture in a thin steady stream, stirring to combine.
6. Return the pan to low heat and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until caramel has thickened slightly.
7. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature.
Apple Tarte Tatin
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Using a small sharp knife, trim the pastry into a 30cm round and make a small cross incision in the centre.
3. Refrigerate until ready to use.
4. Place the caramel in a 26cm round ovenproof non-stick frying pan over medium heat and bring to a boil.
5. Add apples and cook for 5-6 minutes or until apples are just softened.
6. Remove from heat and top with pastry round.
7. Place the pan on an oven tray.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed.
9. Let cool slightly.
10. Turn out onto a lightly greased baking tray with parchment paper.
11. Bake for 5 more minutes or until apples are golden and caramelized.
12. Serve warm with ice cream and extra caramel if desired.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I was very happy that my caramel actually turned out; but man was it sweet. It had me wishing I had made a salted caramel to cut some of that sweet. However; this tasted much better then it looked and for a person who eats 90% with her eyes first this was a hard one for me. Once I got past the copious amount of caramel; which would be a draw for most but for me a person who never liked caramel overall it just tasted okay. I batched down the caramel recipe as I knew I didn’t need three and a half cups of caramel and I am still left with way too much for my liking. The puff pastry was crispy and flakey and the apples were cooked well. This dish isn’t a looker even with the pictures I saw online as my aid and next time I think I’ll double the puff pastry layers and add much less caramel.

Cider-Braised Chicken with Apples

Cider Braised Chicken - Dutch Oven Version - Candy Coated Culinista

Cider Braised Chicken – Dutch Oven Version – Candy Coated Culinista

I really love apple cider!. So much so that I could consume a 3 litre bottle of Fresh-Pressed Mulled Sweet Apple Cider in one day if I’m not careful and therein lies the problem. I’m not usually one for sweet things; but I can’t resist apple cider and when I came across a recipe including cider I’m all in. Apple juice has always been my preferred juice of choice and almost any combination of apples and I’m sold. So when I came across this I had no qualms about trying it alcoholic or not.

Slightly altered from Epicurious

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 8 chicken thighs
• 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• ¼ cup Dijon mustard
• 3 tbsp canola oil
• 2 red delicious apple, cut into wedges
• ½ red onion, sliced
• 2 cups apple juice
• ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Assembly
1. Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and rub mustard underneath the skin.
3. Using a heatproof skillet heat 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat and sear chicken skin side down, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes.
4. Turn the chicken and then add apples and red onions around chicken.
5. Add liquid and transfer to oven to roast for about 20 minutes.

Tips
• If you want to make this with alcohol use 2 cup dry white win instead of apple juice. Also if apple cider is in season feel free to use fresh apple cider.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I made this recipe about one week to early. I thought two weeks into December would be late enough in the season to find apple cider; but it seemed this year apple cider only made an appearance purely for the Christmas dinner shopping schedule. So I had to improvise; which is what I seem to do best in a bind as this turned out great. The original recipe called for putting the chicken in a heatproof skillet and roasting the chicken; but I couldn’t really understand that part as I envision braising on a stovetop in a close container. This is when I split the recipe in half and did half in the oven per the directions and then I put the remaining in my Dutch oven. Personally I like the look of the Dutch oven version more as the sauce didn’t separate and it was creamier. Not to mention the chicken wasn’t as blackened. I’m glad I followed my instincts and split the batch.

Cider Braised Chicken - Skillet Version - Candy Coated Culinista

Cider Braised Chicken – Skillet Version – Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts & Rose Bud Tarts

Apple Rose Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been eyeing this recipe for about a year now and have wanted to make apple rose tarts so badly. I just didn’t trust my skill level; as I found this to be one of those what I like to call more “cheffy” desserts; which requires a certain amount of skill and finesse that this home cook probably doesn’t have yet. Well when my male co-worker came to work after promising to make these with 24 apple rose tarts in hand believe me it was on. I thought if he can do it I can surely, not because he was a male but because he isn’t a baker by any means. So if that’s the case then what am I afraid of and that weekend I spent a couple of hours squashing my fear.

Yield/Serving: 14-18
Prep Time:
1 hour
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Ingredients
• 450g box of butter puff pastry , contains 2 rolls/packages
• 6 royal gala apples, thinly sliced
• Lemon juice
• 1 cup raspberry jam
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp cardamon
• Raspberries, for centre of tart
• Confectioners’ sugar, to decorate

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 360°F.
2. Spray muffin tray with cooking spray.
3. Prepare butter puff pastry as instructed on the box.
4. Work on a marble surface if possible like a pastry board, or otherwise flour your surface.
5. Roll out the puff pastry until thinned and slices sheet into 6 stripes of pastries.
6. In a small bowl mix raspberry jam and cinnamon until combined.
7. Cut apples in half and core.
8. Using a mandoline thinly slice apples and place in a bowl with lemon juice and toss. (so apples don’t brown)
9. Using a microwave safe bowl cook apples for 40 seconds until apple are pliable.
10. Brush entire puff pastry with raspberry jam.
11. Make a dome shape with the apples on the top edge of the puff pastry; letting the apple peak overtop.
12. Overlap the apples until you reach the end of the puff pastry.
13. Turn up the bottom half of the puff pastry to seal the apples in.
14. Roll the pastry tight and place in the muffin tray.
15. Place raspberry in the centre.
16. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until puff pastry is a golden brown.

Tips
• Use one full stripe for a full sized tart and cut pastry strip in half for a mini sized tart.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have no idea what I was afraid of as these turned out so well and I even did a little recipe variations as I never like to copy a recipe exactly. The dough was flaky with the sweet and tart quality to the apple and raspberry. These went very fast for father’s day and the compliments came in just as fast. This took a lot of time and lots of love was put into this recipe for sure; but it was worth it in the end. People couldn’t believe I made this and frankly I couldn’t either.

Apple Rose Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

Spiced Apple and Blackberry Compote

Spiced Apple and Blackberry Compote - Candy Coated Culinista

Spiced Apple and Blackberry Compote – Candy Coated Culinista

Nothing beats a multi-purpose recipe. I made this recipe thinking it would help me to enjoy plain Greek yoghurt and I ended up finding many other uses for this recipe.

Slightly altered from: Simply Nigella

Yield/Serving: approx 235ml
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
• 1/3 cup blackberries, chopped
• 1 stick cinnamon
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Assembly
1. Peel and chop apples into small pieces and place in a medium sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid on top.
2. Add blackberries, cinnamon and water and place the lid on over medium-low heat.
3. Check mixture at the 2-3 minute mark and see if the water has come to a boil.
4. Replace lid and let cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes with a wooden spoon. (to ensure nothing stick to the bottom of the pot)
5. When the fruit has broken down into a puree, remove pot and cinnamon stick from the heat and add maple syrup and stir.
6. If the mixture hasn’t broken down, give it a quick pulse in a blender until smooth.

Tips
• Compote will keep in the fridge for up to five days
• Can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The smell of this compote was delicious and reminds me of those colder winter months. Serve on top of Greek yoghurt if you like; but I still couldn’t tolerate the yoghurt even with this delicious compote. I fell back to my usual go to of adding this to my smoothies and to accompany my pork loin.

BBQ Chicken, Apple, Bacon & Mushroom Quesadillas

BBQ Chicken Apple & Bacon Quesdaillas - Candy Coated Culinista

BBQ Chicken Apple & Bacon Quesdaillas – Candy Coated Culinista

I knew I wanted to make quesadillas for dinner this past weekend having a huge craving for it. I knew that even though this recipe was going to be familiar I planned on throwing a wrench into the classic quesadillas with some granny smith apples.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 5 chicken thighs, cut into pieces
• Vegetable oil
• Sea salt, to taste
• Ground cumin, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• Red pepper flakes, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• 4 slices of bacon, cut into pieces
• 8 button mushroom, sliced
• ½ granny smith apple, cut into matchsticks skin on
• 2 tbsp red onion, finely chopped
• 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
• 2 tbsp garlic BBQ sauce
• 4 tortillas
• Guacamole, optional using fresh avocado’s
• Sour cream, optional

Assembly
1. Using a frying pan over medium heat fry and season chicken thighs with a little vegetable oil until cooked thoroughly.
2. In another frying pan over medium heat fry bacon until crispy.
3. In another frying pan over medium high heat sauté the mushrooms in a little vegetable oil.
4. Cut the granny smith apple and red onion and set aside in a bowl.
5. Shred cheddar cheese and set aside.
6. Once chicken and bacon are finished cooking, cut into pieces and add BBQ sauce to the chicken pieces and coat.
7. Using a clean frying pan the size of the tortilla, start toasting tortillas.
8. Add in a mixture of chicken, bacon, mushrooms, cheese, red onion and apple and let melt.
9. Place the second tortilla on top and flip at least once until tortilla is crispy and cheese is melted.
10. Cut into quarters and serve with guacamole and sour cream on the side.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This dish was an absolute hit! I even had a request to make another portion as it was so well received and of course I had to oblige. I even stole a bite for myself even though I was beyond full at this point I just couldn’t resist. The granny smiths added a tartness and crunch that was enjoyable and balanced well with the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

Chunky Apple Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Apple Chutney - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Apple Chutney – Candy Coated Culinista

Sometimes I wonder how vegetarians get through the holidays like, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter where the main focus is a big piece of protein. This is also the time where there probably is the most side dish options thank can build up a full meal, but still center stage is well let’s face it that protein. I saw this recipe in a Longos in-store magazine and altered it from being non-vegetarian to vegetarian. To me there is no reason why the sides can’t at least be all meat and animal by products free right.

Yield/Serving: 6- 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Slightly altered from Longos Experience

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp vegetable margarine
• 1 large apple, peeled and chopped
• ¼ cup red onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
• 1/2 cup vegetable broth
• 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Zest from one orange, fresh

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat melt butter in a saucepan.
2. Add in apples and onions and sauté for 8 to 10 minutes until golden.
3. Add in the cranberries, garlic, broth, maple syrup, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
4. Bring mixture to a simmer until slightly thickened, 7 to 8 minutes.
5. Grate in orange zest
6. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is was a very delicious cranberry sauce. I found it to taste more savoury than the other cranberry sauces I have had around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Banana Carrot Apple Bread

Banana Carrot Apple Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Banana Carrot Apple Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been craving my super moist carrot cake; but as per my usual I hate repeating recipes over. This means I’m putting a spin on it with bananas.

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 55 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp ground cloves
• ½ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp ginger
• 1 cup mashed bananas ( 3 ripe bananas)
• ¼ cup fresh applesauce (1 red delicious & 1/3 cup water – blended)
• ½ cup golden brown sugar
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2 eggs
• ¾ tsp vanilla bean paste
• 2 cups grated carrots (4 carrots)

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray a pan with vegetable oil spray.
3. In an electric mixer bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
4. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the bananas, applesauce, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla paste.
5. Add wet ingredients into the electric mixer at medium-low speed alternating with the carrots until just combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from baking pan and let cool on a cooling rack.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I finally got to grate some carrots using a proper grater; it made my life easy for sure. My arm still hurt but it was much easier which I was thankful for. I love making breads; but I always forget that the prep time is so much longer than cake for me. An hour into prepping and I was even saying to myself how long have been prepping. This cake was so moist I had to double check the doneness of it. It indeed was fully baked it was just that moist and dense. I could taste the different spices and it wasn’t sweet at all. My taste testers loved it and were very happy I thought of them and brought and saved them some bread. Even one taster that isn’t keen on fruits and veg in their baked goods even eagerly asked my to save a slice and it was enjoyed.

B is for … Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup

Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup - Candy Coated Culinista

Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

Alphabet Soup: B is for … Buttercup Squash & Green Apple Soup

A beautiful and vibrant combination of squash & apples.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 35 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 2 ribs of celery, chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 2 tbsp butter
• 2 buttercup squash, seeded and sliced with skin on
• 4 tart green apples, peeled, cored and chopped
• 900ml vegetable broth
• Pinch of nutmeg
• Pinch of cinnamon
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• Salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced, to garnish

Assembly
1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add butter along with onions, celery and carrots and let brown for about 6 minutes.
2. In another large saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the buttercup squash until tender.
3. Drain the squash and let cool for 10 minutes and then peel off the skin.
4. Add squash pieces to the onion, celery and carrot mixture.
5. Add in the apples and vegetable broth and bring to a boil and cover.
6. Once broth has boiled turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
7. At the 15 minutes mark add in the nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper and continue to stir occasionally.
8. Using an immersion blender, blend until all the vegetables & fruit have been pureed and the soup is smooth.
9. Garnish with apple slices and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is my most delicious soup by far and the vibrancy of the soup just made me want to eat it even more. The kick of cayenne pepper adds an extra note to this tasty soup.

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