Cape Gooseberry Pavlova

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

If there is one item that is on this blog in many different manifestations; besides a banana bread is definitely pavlova. I totally fess up to being obsessed with this dessert and I just can’t stop. I am always so eager and will always try a new pav recipe to see if I can find a new and better meringue.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 2 hours, or until meringues are dry
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh


• Egg whites from 3 eggs
• 1/8 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cream of tartar
• 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
• 400g gooseberries husked and halved
Toffee Cape Gooseberries
• 8 gooseberries, papery husk intact
• ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp granulated sugar
Yoghurt Cream
• 2/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
• ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp heavy cream
• Scraped seeds of ¼ vanilla pod
• 1 ½ tbsp honey
• 2 ½ tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
• confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. Preheat oven to 275°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Make eight circles about 8 cm wide, so there are sixteen circles in total.
3. Flip paper over so drawn on side is face down; but still visible.
4. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment place egg whites and salt and whisk at medium-high speed until frothy.
5. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peak form.
6. Now add sugar a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is thick and glossy.
7. Place mixture into a piping bag and pipe meringue or spoon onto circles and using a spatula form the circle, ensuring they are not taller than 1 cm thick.
8. Bake for 2 hours or until the meringues are dry.
9. Turn off the oven and let the meringues remain inside until they are completely cool.
10. Once cooled remove from the oven and set aside.
1. Peel back the husk from the gooseberries; but leave them attached and set aside.
2. Place sugar into a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook without stirring until the sugar melts and begins to brown around the edges.
3. Tilt and swirl until all the sugar melts evenly, and the sugar turn an amber colour.
4. Remove from the heat tilt pan and dip gooseberries into the toffee. Be extremely careful not to burn yourself. Let excess toffee drip away and place on a baking sheet or plate and set aside.
Yoghurt Cream
1. Using the electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the yoghurt, heavy cream, vanilla, honey and confectioners’ sugar.
2. Keep in the fridge until needed.

1. Place a small dollop of yoghurt cream onto each serving plate.
2. Place meringue flat side down and add more yoghurt cream to the top of the meringue followed by the halved gooseberries and then top with another meringue flat side down. (making a sandwich)
3. Dust the tops of the meringue with confectioners’’ sugar and place one toffee dipped gooseberry atop the mini pavlova. Ensure you assemble as close to serving time as possible as the meringues will soften.

• Use a piping bag if desired to make meringue circles. (A piping bag isn’t required)
• Meringues can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper.
• Toffee and yoghurt cream can only be made no more than 2 hours in advance.
• To cut some sugar don’t dust the tops of the meringues with confectioners’ sugar or add confectioners’ sugar to the yogurt cream.
• Gooseberries in North America will be found as physalis, ground cherries or golden berries. It’s all the same family of husked small marbles sized orange fruits.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The pavlova was marshmallowy in the centre and crispy on top. I wasn’t fond of the colour; which was a little tan due to the cook time. The cook time was way off for me as I didn’t require anything near the 2 hours, so I pulled mine out at the 1 hourish mark. Usually I get a tan meringue when I add vanilla extract; but this was not the case here and it still had a tint. Now while this isn’t my favourite meringue recipe by any means, the circular meringues and toffee really peaked my interest and made this a restaurant worthy dessert. Not to mention a favourite fruit of mine, the gooseberry or in my neck of the woods the physalis, ground cherries or goldenberry was in play. I also enjoyed the addition of greek yoghut to the whipped cream as it added a nice tang that cut the sweet. This book has three different pavlova recipes so as they say on to the next.

Cape Gooseberry Pavlova – Candy Coated Culinista

Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream

Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream - Candy Coated Culinista

Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream – Candy Coated Culinista

About sixteen months ago I made my most favourite treat macarons for the first time and the result were less than favourable in my eyes, sure they looked like macs, but they had this pebbled texture. I consider myself a macaron connoisseur as I know way too much about macs and have tasted then all around Toronto and compare and take notes at each visit (yes I have a small addiction lol). After all this time my piping skills have improved tremendously and yet I still can’t make a beautiful macaron.

Yield/Serving: 40
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 14 min.
Difficulty level is: Technical

From: Eat Live Travel Write

• 4oz (115g) ground almonds
• 8oz (230g) confectioners’ sugar
• 5oz (144g) egg whites, at room temperature
• 2.5oz (72g) granulated sugar
• 2 tsp food colouring powder
Buttercream Frosting
• ½ cup butter, room temperature
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tbsp milk
• 1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Ensure the egg whites are at room temperature.
2. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Prepare a piping bag using the circular tip and set aside.
4. Combine almond flour and confectioners’ sugar in a food processor and pulse about 10 times for a few seconds, until combined. Using a fine sieve sift ingredients into a large bowl twice.
5. Using an electric mixer beat the egg whites and sugar at a low speed (Kitchen Aid 4) for two minutes, medium speeds (Kitchen Aid 6) for two minutes, and high speed (Kitchen Aid 8) for two minutes.
6. The egg whites will be large mass at this point and now add the coloured powder and mix for one minute at the highest speed (Kitchen Aid 10).
7. Add in the dry ingredients and fold the mixture while pressing the mixture against the sides of the bowl for about forty passes (counting single strokes) **Stop every couple strokes after twenty-five passes to check the consistency. It should be flowing in ribbons off the spatula**
8. Fill the piping bag and pipe you macarons.
9. Ensure to pipe at an angle to the baking sheet about 3cm in diameter as they will spread while baking. (Make sure to quickly remove the tip when piping making a comma shape.)
10. Bang the tray four times on the countertop to remove any air bubbles.
11. Let the macarons rest for thirty minutes.
12. Pre-heat oven to 300°F.
13. Bake for 16-18 minutes and turn tray around halfway through.
14. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes and then remove parchment paper from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
15. Remove from the parchment paper.
16. Pair up the macarons with similar shaped shells.
17. Once completely cooled pipe the buttercream filling.
18. Best enjoyed 24 hours after filling.
Buttercream Frosting
1. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter until smooth
2. Slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar until combined.
3. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract until the frosting consistency is achieved.
4. Pour into a piping bag and decorate once cupcakes have cooled.

• I used Gel food colouring as I only have gel or the regular food colouring on hand.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Looking at my macarons I can tell that even though my cupcake piping skills are getting better, I am still having a hard time piping macarons and the batter kept flowing out of the bag as I tried to pipe. The skin and foot on most of my macs weren’t terrible but they all had tails on the tops as I lack that piping finesse and I believe I almost didn’t properly slam the baking sheets enough to remove all the air bubbles even though I thought I had. I made two batches one using the mastard macaron mat again and one by hand. Once again the mat made more circular macs but I the insides were hollow yet when I piped by hand the macs were cooked through properly but non circular and started to brown a tad more on the edges. I also have tails showing on top as my comma technique is also lacking. This recipe is said to virtually no-fail; but I find making these at home too hard and time-consuming. Even though I find them overpriced I will gladly pay whatever the price until I can achieve a proper homemade macaron.

As for the taste these actually tasted like the store bought they are just sadly misshapen with some hollowness in some. The shells we still hard to the touch yet crumbled when bitten into, which are the characteristics you need to look for in a macaron. I will next time add less filling as the buttercream oozed out a little too much for my liking.

I think I will give this one more try or two until my almond flour runs out and just make smaller batches. If by then I still haven’t succeeded I will take a macaron making class to see where I am going wrong. I will be ditching my mastard macaron mat and using my silpat.

Now I know I am being a little overly critical of myself as this is my second attempt and they tasted great and looked half decent, but the perfectionist in me is just saying not good at all and when I look at my picture of these odd, deficient and ill-formed macs I just want to sigh and shake my head.

Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream - Candy Coated Culinista

Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Dutch Baby

Sweet Dutch Baby - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Dutch Baby – Candy Coated Culinista

This sweet popover eggy pancake also known as a German pancake can be easy turn from a breakfast treat to a savory meal much like a crepe. Just a few simple quality ingredients and you have an absolutely magical treat. This was apart of the Chatelaine Cooking Club see my picture here in the gallery of participants.

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Chatelaine (Altered the cooking time though)

• ¼ cup butter
• 4 eggs
• 2/3 cups 2% milk
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup tsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 tsp sea salt
• Confectioners’ sugar
• Blueberries
• Blackberries
• Raspberries
• kiwi

1. Over medium heat melt butter in a 12” cast iron skillet.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
3. Using a large bowl whisk eggs and milk until uniform in colour.
4. Add in flour, sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk until well combined.
5. Pour batter into the hot skillet.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
7. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and add fruit as desired.
8. Serve immediately.

• Watch closely in the last 5 minutes so it doesn’t burn.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This tasted like an eggy pancake to me and it was just okay. I did like all the fresh fruit and confectioners’ sugar on top, but still it was just okay for me. I turned out well and I had no issues with the recipe, I wanted a little more fluffiness to it. I alerted the cooking time by turning the temperature down a little and extended as baking at 475°F for 9 to 11 minutes it only going to guarantee me fire alarm to go off and I wasn’t in the mood for that in the morning. I did notice the Dutch baby deflated quite fast much like a soufflé.

Half Batch Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

Half Batch Valentine’s Day Cupcakes- Candy Coated Culinista

Half Batch Valentine’s Day Cupcakes- Candy Coated Culinista

An easy, special no fuss treats for Valentine’s Day for your household. You won’t even have to pull out the stand or hand mixer. Now that’s what I call a Happy Valentine’s day for you also.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10-14 min.
Difficulty level is: ¼ cup

• ½ cup all purpose flour
• ¼ cup cocoa powder
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ cup sugar
• ¼ cup canola oil
• 1 egg
• 3 tablespoons cold coffee*
• 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
Nutella Frosting
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
• ¼ cup Nutella
• ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
• ¼ tap vanilla extract
• 1 tsp milk
• Candy lip confections

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar.
3. In a large sized bowl, whisk together canola oil, egg, coffee, milk and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Place six cupcake liners in cupcake pan and pour mixture into the liners.
6. Bake for 10-14 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
Nutella Frosting
7. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together the butter and nutella until smooth.
8. Add in the confectioners’ sugar until combined.
9. Stir in the vanilla and milk until the frosting consistency is achieved.
10. Pour into a piping bag and decorate once cupcakes have cooled.
11. Add valentines’ day themed confections and serve.

• Place the liners in the middle six spaces to allow for a more even bake.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

I am so happy I finally have a half decent recipe that is half batch. Sometimes I really hate making a dozen cupcakes when all I really want is a half-dozen or less. I will never waste them, but sometimes the option for a small batch is appreciated; especially in a family of two. I found these cupcakes to be maybe a tad dry, but I baked them a little too long and have adjusted the recipe accordingly. I will try this again trying to find some more moisture rich ingredients for the recipe. The frosting came together very easily and in less than 30 minutes I had 6 cupcakes baked, decorated and ready for consumption. With them being that easy and not having to pull out the mixer I can make cupcakes whenever I want now and can’t really complain.

Baked Doughnuts

Baked Doughnuts - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Doughnuts – Candy Coated Culinista

Here’s a healthy version of doughnuts I made for the cooking club.

From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 28 doughnuts & 28 holes
Prep Time: 40 min.
Cook Time: 3 hr & 15 min.
Difficulty level is: easy, but with lots of waiting for yeast to rise time

• 1 cup 2% milk
• 8g quick-rise yeast
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla
• 1/3 tsp salt
• 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tsp extract
• 2 tbsp sprinkles

1. Using a microwave safe bowl warm milk for about 1 minute.
2. Pour milk into an electric mixer, with the dough hook attachment and add yeast and stir.
3. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
4. Spray a medium bowl with cooking spray and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and also spray with cooking spray.
5. Add the sugar, butter, egg, vanilla and salt to the yeast.
6. Beat at medium speed until well combined.
7. Slowly add the flour and increase the speed to medium-high, until the dough forms into a bal and pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 7 min.
8. Once to is formed place in the oiled bowl and spray more cooking spray on top and cover with a damp tea towel.
9. Let dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about an hour.
10. On a floured surface roll out the dough to ½” thickness.
11. Using a cookie cutter, cut into 28 shapes and then use a smaller cookie cutter and cut out the centre to make your holes.
12. Transfer doughnuts and holes to the prepared baking sheets and cover one again with a damp tea towel and allow to double its size, about 45 minutes.
13. In a small bowl mix whisk together confectioner’s sugar and water and set aside.
14. Pre heat over to 350°F and bake the first tray in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about 10 min.
15. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 10 min.
16. Place the second tray in the centre of the oven until golden brown, about 10 min.
17. Stir the icing mixture and then dip the tops of the doughnuts into the glaze.
18. Decorate with sprinkle, immediately.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These tasted pretty good; but I would probably lessen the cook time as the bottoms were a little too golden brown for my liking. I also only used 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar versus the 3 in the recipe as that seemed like too much sweetness going on with the sprinkles. I like the fact that they are healthier but sometimes I want my sweets to be fattening and unhealthy. That way it’s a truly a real treat

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