Cranberry Coconut & Apricot Cardamon Banana Bread

Cranberry Coconut Banana Bread - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Coconut Banana Bread – Candy Coated Culinista

As much as I try as sometimes my bananas spoil and I just hate wasting, so here we go again a couple more banana bread recipes for the New Year. This is what happens when it’s the Christmas season and you’re going out and enjoying time with friends and family. At the rate I’m going I will have enough banana bread recipes for a whole month.

Cranberry Coconut Banana Bread

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 2 ripe bananas, mashed
• 1/3 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• Dried cranberries
• Coconut slices

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Grease pans.
3. Over low heat melt butter.
4. In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract.
5. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas and add the cranberries and shredded coconut and set aside.
6. Using a large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, sugar and add the bananas, cranberries and coconut.
7. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and gently stir; but don’t overmix.
8. Spoon batter into pan.
9. Top with dried cranberries and coconut slices.
10. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Mini Apricot Cardamon Banana Loaves

Mini Apricot Cardamon Banana Loaves - Candy Coated Culinista

Mini Apricot Cardamon Banana Loaves – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of butter, melted
• 1 egg
• 1 cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp coconut extract
• 2 ripe bananas, mashed
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp cardamon
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• Whole dried apricot

Assembly
11. Preheat oven to 375°F.
12. Grease pan.
13. Over low heat melt butter.
14. In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs, milk and coconut extract.
15. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas and add the shredded coconut and set aside.
16. Using a large bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cardamom, sugar and add the bananas and coconut.
17. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and gently stir; but don’t overmix.
18. Spoon batter into pan.
19. Top with dried apricots.
20. Bake for 1 hour or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I just can’t get enough of banana bread no matter the combination and it’s such a great way to use those over ripe bananas. Both these recipes were lovely and I’m now becoming a fan of decorating the tops of my banana breads with dried fruits as it adds a nice classy touch.

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Christmas Pavlova Wreath

Christmas Pavlova Wreath - Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Pavlova Wreath – Candy Coated Culinista

A festive spin on my favourite dessert; with the flavours of Christmas in a perfectly light and airy dessert that will put anyone in the Christmas spirit.

Yield/Serving: 4 – 6
Prep Time: 20 min.
Bake Time: 1 hour 30 min
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Inspired by Epicurious

Ingredients
For Pavlova
• 3 egg whites
• 9 tsp granulated sugar
• 1 tsp raspberry balsamic vinegar
• 1 tsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Sugared Cranberries
• ½ cup cranberries
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
Cranberry Pomegranate Maple Syrup
• ½ cup cranberries
• ½ cup pomegranate seeds
• 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Remaining sugar syrup
Whipped Cream
• 1 cup whipping cream
Garnish
• Sugared cranberries
• Pomegranate seeds
• Kiwi, cut into thin pieces

Assembly
For Pavlova
1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Using a piece of parchment paper trace one large plate and one small plate inside the large plate into a ring shape and place on a baking sheet.
3. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Gradually add sugar 1 tsp at a time until the meringue forms into stiff shiny peaks. (bowl can be held upside down and nothing falls out)
5. Add balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract and lemon juice until incorporated.
6. Spread meringue within the ring shape and then bake for one and a half hours. When it is ready it will be crisp around the sides and dry on top. Let cool with the oven door slightly open and let remain in the oven overnight.
Sugared Cranberries
7. While the meringue is cooking; using a small saucepan boil water and sugar together until sugar is dissolved.
8. Let the sugar mixture cool down until lukewarm.
9. Put cranberries in a jar and pour the sugar mixture over top and cover.
10. Let the cranberries soak for 2 hours and drain and reserve the syrup for later for the cranberry pomegranate syrup.
11. Using a small bowl pour the cranberries in and mix the sugar until covered and let dry for 30 minutes and set aside.
Cranberry Pomegranate Maple Syrup
12. Combine cranberries, pomegranate seeds, maple syrup, vanilla extract and the remaining sugar syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce temperature down to low and continue to stir until mixture thickens up a bit and then turn off once most of the cranberries have burst.
13. Using a sieve pour the syrup into a bowl and press out any remaining juices from the cranberries and pomegranates through the sieve.
14. Let cool down completely.
Whipped Cream
15. Using an electric mixer, whisk the whipping cream until cream thickens.
Garnish
16. Place meringue on a cake pedestal.
17. Top with whipped cream and then start placing sugared cranberries, pomegranate seeds and kiwi.
18. Drizzle with syrup and serve.

Tips
• You can prepare the meringue the night before, like I did.
• If you need to get the syrup mixture to cool faster, place in the freezer for a few minutes.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Pavlova is probably my most favourite dessert to make, even though I don’t make it much because it is time-consuming. The meringue was light and crisp on the outside and chewy and soft on the inside. The sugared cranberries added a tartness and sweetness along with the pomegranate seeds and fresh kiwi all topped on the light and creamy whipped cream. This is a festive and beautiful dessert to look at. I was elated at how this turned out exactly how I envisioned it and once again my dessert was a pre-dessert as my taste testers couldn’t wait to try it including myself. I even had a piece for lunch yesterday.

Christmas Pavlova Wreath - Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Pavlova Wreath – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Pavlova Wreath - Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Pavlova Wreath – Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins

Cranberry Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Banana Carrot Breakfast Muffins – Candy Coated Culinista

I’m always the person friends and family ask “do you have this” to which I reply yes give me a second. I was never a Girl Guide but I’m always prepared for any eventuality. This includes a day trip out of town I brought healthy snacks and well of course I brought too many and my bananas started to look a little too ripe for me by the end of our day. With over ripe bananas on hand I had no choice but to bake something and a new recipe at that.

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 to 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1/3 cup of margarine, melted
• 1 egg
• 250g yoghurt
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• 3 ripe bananas, mashed
• 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
• 1/3 cup frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
• 1 cup self-rising flour
• ¼ cups golden brown sugar
• Extra sugar to sprinkle

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Place muffin cups in muffin trays and set aside.
3. Over low heat melt butter.
4. In a small bowl whisk together butter, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla extract.
5. In a medium sized bowl mash the bananas and add the shredded carrots and cranberries and set aside.
6. Using a large bowl whisk flour, sugar and add the bananas, carrots and cranberries.
7. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients and gently stir; but don’t overmix.
8. Spoon batter into muffin cups two-thirds full and sprinkle with extra sugar.
9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was a delicious combination, I just found it too sweet for my liking and I have reduced the sugar amount in my recipe above. I combined two types of muffins I enjoy into one and it turned out well. The burst of cranberries with each bite was a great surprise splash of tart.

Classic Christmas Cranberry Clementine Cheesecake

Classic Christmas Cranberry Clementine Cheesecake - Candy Coated Culinista

Classic Christmas Cranberry Clementine Cheesecake

 

Nothing beats a little alliteration and nothing beats this recipe. Why do you ask? Because if this recipe can change a cheesecake hater like myself into a maybe sorta casual cheesecake lover then you have a winner. I have never ever liked cheesecake even though my dad and everyone around me absolutely loves it I never found the appeal. Cheese and desserts are just weird to me; but maybe it’s the Christmas twist that has me loving this recipe so much. Either way I’m moving one step in the right direction.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 1 hr 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly altered from Chatelaine

Ingredients
Base
• 1 cup graham crackers crumbs
• 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
• 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
Filling
• 3 – 250g cream cheese, room temperature
• ½ cup sour cream
• 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp vanilla paste
• 4 eggs
Cranberry Clementine Sauce
• 2 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries, thawed
• ¼ cup clementine juice
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp clementine zest

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Lightly spray a 9” springform pan with cooking oil and line with parchment paper; ensuring parchment comes up the sides.
3. Wrap with foil (to keep water from leaking through during baking).
4. Stir gram and chocolate cracker together with butter and pressed over bottom of springform pan.
5. Set in fridge until ready for use.
6. Boil a kettle of water.
7. In an electric mixer using the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and sour cream on medium speed until smooth.
8. Add in sugar, flour, vanilla and the eggs one at a time until just incorporated.
9. Place springform pan in the middle of a roasting pan and pour cream cheese mixture over the crust.
10. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it reaches halfway up the pan.
11. Bake for about 1 hour and 5 minutes or until almost set and the springform pan jiggles.
12. Remove pan and run a knife around the edges to prevents cracking and let cool for 30 min.
13. Remove springform from roasting pan along with foil and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours or overnight.
14. Using a small saucepan, stir cranberries, clementine juice, sugar and water until cranberries burst and sugar has dissolved, about 8 to 10 minutes.
15. Let sauce cool to room temperature and then pour over cheesecake.
16. Zest clementine’s overtop, slice and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I can honestly say this is the only cheesecake I have been able to tolerate. Maybe because I made it or maybe because it’s the perfect Christmas combination; either way I’m happy with how it turned out. I decided to add chocolate crumbs to add another layer. I took this up to my dad’s early Saturday morning and by noon cheesecake was being enjoyed prior to brunch and I already had a request to make this for Christmas by another family member. I couldn’t believe how well received it was and that it was eaten before brunch. When I was baking it I found that it seemed a little too jiggly and I keep cooking it for about an hour longer. Now I’m not sure if I should have continued as the top had a distinct colour differentiation from the rest of the cheesecake; but I was afraid of undercooking this and making people sick.

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.

Lemon Meringue Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones with Lemon Glaze

Lemon Meringue Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones with Lemon Glaze - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Meringue Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones with Lemon Glaze – Candy Coated Culinista

Pinkies up. I think I may have a loose leaf tea addiction! I have one whole shelf dedicated to teas and I really think I need to start finding a way to incorporate teas into my baking and cooking even. My absolute favourite loose leaf teas come from Tealish Fine Teas on Queen St West in Toronto. I saw them at the One of a Kind show a few years back, and ever since a huge portion of my teas come from them. They have such tasty, interesting and inventive flavours – particularly the dessert line of teas, that whenever I am in the area I always make sure I stop in and try a flavour I don’t have a home. As I’m always up to trying something new and fun I tried to add tea into my scones.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 20 – 25 min
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Scones
• ¾ cups 2% milk
• 2 tbsp lemon meringue rooibos tea, to steep in the milk
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp lemon meringue rooibos tea, finely ground
• ½ tsp sea salt
• Lemon zest from one large lemon
• ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup frozen cranberries
• 1/3 cup mini white chocolate chips
• 2% milk for brushing
Glaze
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp tbsp lemon meringue rooibos tea, finely ground
• 4 tbsp lemon juice

Assembly
Scones
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a small saucepan boil milk and let the lemon meringue tea steep in milk until needed for the recipe.
4. In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, lemon meringue rooibos tea and salt.
5. Whisk in lemon zest.
6. Add in cubed butter and mix by hand, or use a pastry blender or food processor if you have them.
7. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together tea infused milk, egg and vanilla extract together.
8. Add in the milk mixture into the flour slowly and bring the dough together.
9. Flour countertop and lightly and knead dough until a ball is formed.
10. By hand flatten the dough out and push in the cranberries and white chocolate chips.
11. Fold dough over again a few times and let all the ingredients incorporate.
12. Shape dough into a 9” circle and cut into 8 wedges and place on cookie sheet leaving a space between each piece.
13. Brush with milk and bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
14. Let cool completely before adding the glaze.
Glaze
15. In a bowl whisk confectioners’ sugar, tea and lemon juice together and drizzle over cooled scones with a fork.
16. Let glaze set and serve.

Tips
• Use a food processor to mix the dough or a pastry blender. I bought a pastry blender for this recipe and it is the best ten dollars I ever spent. Now when I have to mix by hand I will be using a pastry blender and save my hands.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have never tasted or made a scone before, but if they taste like mine tasted I think I will have more. It was flavourful and complex with the sweet & tartness in the scone. This was a perfect treat with my afternoon tea.

Lemon Meringue Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones with Lemon Glaze - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon Meringue Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Scones with Lemon Glaze – Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Molasses Cake

Cranberry Molasses Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Cranberry Molasses Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Yesterday was Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws. As usual it was delicious and I filled up on appetizers and had little room left for the actual meal. I had planned to make three desserts for the day but after the wedding of two friends I grew up with on Friday (the DIY Towel Cake was for them); then a full day of work on Saturday I deemed three desserts to be a little too much. I did however manage to make another Thanksgiving themed dessert.

From Taste of Home

Yield/Serving: 12-15
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup molasses
• 3/4 cup water
• 2-1/4 cups fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries, thawed
Butter Sauce
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
• 3/4 cup butter, cubed

Assembly
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, molasses and water; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in cranberries.
2. Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
3. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cut warm cake into squares; serve with butter sauce.

Tips
• Cranberries are in season right now and fresh is always better then frozen when available.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
My dad had two slices and asked for “more butter sauce please”.

My thoughts
There is sweetness and tartness to this cake which I loved; I am a huge fan of cranberries. When the butter sauce is added it gives an extra warmth and richness. The cake has a breadiness to it, like a Panettone sweet bread loaf that is served throughout the holidays. I will be making another version of molasses cake for sure around the holidays with my twist on it..

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