Red Currant Mini Loaf

Red Currant Mini Loaf - Candy Coated Culinista

Well I am just loving the farmer’s market this year and I really just can’t get enough. My last trip I picked up red currants, purple gooseberries, scones, shortbreads and cookies, So it ended up being a heavy carb day and I was okay with that. Everything just looked so tasty it was truly hard to resist.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 35 – 40 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• ½ cup plain vanilla yoghurt
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 3 large eggs
• ½ canola oil
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 2 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• Zest from one whole lemon
• 1 cup fresh red currants

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pan with cooking spray.
3. Using a large bowl whisk yoghurt, sugar, eggs and oil until smooth.
4. Add in flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest and combine until is smooth.
5. Pour batter into pan and add currants to the top.
6. Bake for 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes and the turn out and let cool before serving.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Red currants is another fruit I have never used before. I was so close to getting the elderberries; but a older gentlemen said it wasn’t worth the work and looking at how tiny those berries were I believed him. A one bowl recipe was exactly what was needed and this recipe came together is a flash. The slightly tart berries balance out the cake perfectly.

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Naked Chocolate Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

I made this cake for my first God-son’s birthday as usual I make him a cake. This time I’m trying to make a more fanciful grown up cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 9 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• ¾ cup unsweetened natural (not Dutch-process) cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur (such as Baileys)
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• 2 ½ cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
• 1 cup fresh blackberries
• 1 cup fresh blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and Irish Cream.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans evenly and cover with aluminum foil. (The will make the cake moist and light)
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 35 to 40 minutes or more.
Buttercream
10. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
11. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
12. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
13. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
14. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
15. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
16. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
17. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
18. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
19. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
20. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is hands down the best cake I have ever made and I didn’t even have to cover up my work with frosting because it turned out so well. This is an attention grabbing cake and is worth all the time and effort for a special birthday cake. This had a wow factor and was loved by all. The cake was light and moist and the ganache was shiny and with the addition of the fresh fruits it cut the sweetness of the buttercream. I was very proud of myself and this has given me the confidence to tackle a proper layered cake. I had very high hopes and this turned out smashingly.

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Naked Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries & Cherries – Candy Coated

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup

Mango Cheeks in Lime & Ginger Syrup – Candy Coated Culinista

A light dessert for those who prefer fruit for dessert instead of the usual chocolate.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 5 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From How to eat a peach

Ingredients
• 6 limes
• 1 ½ cup water
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 1 ¼ pieces of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely sliced
• 3 medium, perfectly ripe mangoes, peeled

Assembly
1. Zest 2 limes and put in a small prep bowl.
2. Finely grate another 2 limes and put into a small saucepan along with juice from the 6 limes and 1 ½ cups of water, sugar and ginger.
3. Heat on low at first stirring to let the sugar dissolve; then increase heat and let mixture boil.
4. Reduce mixture back to a simmer for 7 to 10 minutes or until its syrupy and let cool and chill.
5. Cut cheeks off the mangoes and eat the remainder of save for something else.
6. Slice cheeks and place in a shallow bowl or a high lipped plate and pour syrup over top.

Tips
• Make lime & ginger syrup a day ahead and save one lime skin to zest when ready.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Such a simple and yet refreshing recipe. It’s like the fruit cocktails we all had as kids; but with a grown up flavour. I want to try this with other fruits now.

Prickly Pear Sorbet

Prickly Pear Sorbet – Candy Coated Culinista

Friday I found what is probably the last of the prickly pear and I knew immediately that it was time to dig out my ice cream maker.

Yield/Serving: 6-8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 55 min.
Freeze Time: 6 hours min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup water
• 10-12 prickly pear
• ¼ cup lime juice
• 1/8 tsp salt

Assembly
1. Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and place over low heat.
2. Swirl the pan every once and awhile until sugar has dissolved and then increase temperature to medium-high heat.
3. Let simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from heat, and let cool.
4. Store mixture in fridge until ready for use.
5. Peel prickly pear and rough chop and place in a food processor and process until a fine puree.
6. Transfer into a fine mesh sieve set over medium bowl and using a spatula press liquid into bowl and discard seeds.
7. Add in sugar syrup, lime juice and salt and plunge mixture into a ice bath and place in the fried until very cold.
8. Transfer mixture to ice cream machine and churn for 35 minutes or until soft waves form.
9. Transfer to a container and cover until solid, about 6 hours.
10. Before serving take out 10 minutes prior and then serve.

Tips
• Syrup can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in the fridge until needed
• Sorbet will keep in freezer for up to a month.
• If you like the seeds keep seeds in the mixture.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I can’t believe summer is almost over and I haven’t made any ice cream or sorbet yet. The cactus fruit has such a vibrancy that draws you in on first appearance; but then the distinct flavour that I have come to love just jumps out in this recipe.

Prickly Pear Sorbet – Candy Coated Culinista

Tropical Fruit Cake

Tropical Fruit Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A delightful summer cake recipe to wow guests and friends alike.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 50 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Sweet by Ottolenghi & Goh

Ingredients
Cake

• 1 Pineapple peeled, cored and cut into chunks along with some for garnish
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ½ packed cup plus 1 tsp light brown sugar
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• 2/3 cup sunflower oil
• 1 ½ ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp ground cardamom
• ½ tsp salt
Frosting
• ¼ large ripe mango, peeled and roughly chopped
• 4 ½ tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 100g cream cheese, at room temperature
• 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Topping
• ½ banana, cut into slices
• ½ large ripe mango, cut into long thin strips
• 55g pineapple flesh
• Scooped out seeds of 1 passionfruit
• 3 tbsp flaked coconut

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease springform pan with non-stick spray and line the pan with parchment paper.
3. Place pineapple in a food processor and pulse until fruit is crushed.
4. If starting with fresh pineapple place in a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 4-5 minute; ensuring it doesn’t boil or too much liquid evaporates. Then transfer to large mixing bowl. (If using canned pineapple skip this step)
5. Using an electric mixing with the whisk attachment place eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix.
6. Beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes until creamy; then on medium speed pour in oil in a slow steady stream until combined.
7. Add to the bowl of cooled pineapple along with mashed bananas and finely coconut and combine.
8. Sift flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt together into the wet mix and using a spatula fold until combined.
9. Pour cake into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Remove from oven and let cool in pan on wire rack for about one hour then turn onto a serving platter, carefully remove the parchment paper and set aside to cool completely.
Frosting
11. Place mango into food processor and process until it becomes a puree. Pour into bowl and set aside.
12. Add butter and cream cheese to the food processor (no need to wash the bowl) and process until smooth.
13. Add confectioners’ sugar, pulse to combine, then add mango puree.
14. Pulse again until evenly mixed and scrape into a bowl.
15. Keep in the fridge covered for 2 hours as it need time to thicken before frosting the cake.
16. Spread thick layer of mango frosting over the top and sides.
17. Place fruit in a small bowl, mix gently and spoon onto top of cake in the center.
18. Pressing flaked coconut into the sides of cake and serve.

Tips
• Cream cheese frosting can be made a day ahead.
• Unfrosted cake will keep for about 3 days in an airtight container. One frosted best eaten the same day. Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for two day max and just bring cake back to room temperature before serving.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is another amazing recipe from this book. I am not the biggest fan of Ottolenghi savoury cookbooks primarily because of how hard it is to source those weird ingredients and I have two on my shelf. I am so so happy I took the gamble and gave Sweet a shot. My only let down was the mango frosting; which split even though I followed the directions exactly. The frosting split the moment the mango puree hit it and it really bothered me. I decorated my cake with coconut chips to add a little more texture and effect and lessened the amount of sugar by half. (I only used ½ cup of granulated sugar and omitted the ½ cup light brown sugar). This cake was divine and reminded me of a spin on a Christmas fruitcake; but white instead of the usual brown and laden in liquor. The reviews were great everyone loved it and I was told this was one of the best cakes I’ve made (Thanks Sweet). I really enjoy these fruit based desserts rather than the cakes with all the thick frosting atop. Once I figure out the frosting situation or just omit the mango puree portion this will be in my top five recipes.

Holiday Pannacotta

Holiday Pannacotta – Candy Coated Culinista

Here is another one of those recipes on my must make list from time that I am all of a sudden feeling the need to tackle. With it still being the holiday season; I say having a few pannacotta’s in the fridge ready to serve any visitors would be a splendid treat.

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

From Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook

Ingredients
Pannacotta

• 2 cups whole milk
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 2/3 cups granulated sugar
• 2 vanilla beans
• 5 sheets of gelatin
Sweet poached rhubarb
• 14oz sliced rhubarb, poached with one ball of stem ginger, ¾ cup + 5 tsp of Proseco, 1 tbsp of superfine sugar, and a fine grating of orange zest, serve with baby mint leaves and crushed nuts or almond biscotti.
C.C.’s South American Sauce (my sauce idea)
• 1 passionfruit, 1 tamarillo and granadilla to the South American inspired sauce, boiled in a little water and sugar to thicken.

Assembly
1. In a saucepan over low heat pour milk, cream and sugar.
2. Halve the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out and place in saucepan followed by the vanilla bean halves.
3. Heat over low heat for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for a few minutes.
5. Remove saucepan from the heat, drain the gelatin and squeeze out any excess water.
6. Stir in the cream until gelatin is dissolved.
7. Whisk again to evenly distribute the vanilla seeds and then divide amongst pudding molds or ramekins.
8. Place on a pan, cover and let set in the fridge for at least 3 hours. (They can stay in the fridge for up to 2 days)
9. When ready to serve, dip half of each mold into a bowl of hot water for 5 seconds and give the mold a little shake to ease the pannacotta out.
10. Place on a plate and serve.

Tips
• Use gelatin powder and follow instructions accordingly.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I saw this strange fruit the other day at the grocery store and it was tamarillo and since the label said it was from South America I went and picked up some passionfruit and granadilla to go along with it as they all seems to be seedy fruits. My pannacotta came out splendidly and since I was afraid it wouldn’t set I left them in overnight just to be extra sure. It was creamy with the specks of vanilla beans and the rich sauce. I quite enjoyed it and the rhubarb was tart and a touch sweet a great combination and the South American sauce was divine.

Holiday Pannacotta – Candy Coated Culinista

R is for … Rainier Cherry Puree Pops

R is for … Rainer Cherry Ice Pops – Candy Coated Culinista

Ranier cherries are the best period. I love them even though they are so expensive and I really should just stay away. I was grocery shopping and saw these peculiar looking cherries and to me they just looked a little anaemic; but low and behold these were Ranier cherries and I decided to purchase a 2lbs container up and give them a try. These were so sweet and succulent that I could eat a whole container myself in one sitting. I still find these are still too pricy, but they are only around for maybe a month in the summer, so I will splurge to taste these wonderful fruit gems.

Yield/Serving: approx. 10 popsicles (depending on your mold size)
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 8 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 2 cups ranier cherries, pitted
• ¼ cup sugar
• 2 cups water

Assembly
1. Combine cherries, water and sugar in a small saucepan.
2. Over medium-high heat let simmer for 8 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved.
3. Let the mixture cool.
4. Pour mixture into a blender and pulse slightly.
5. Fill the ice pop molds and freeze overnight.
6. Unmold and serve.

Tips
• Run over luke warm water to unmold.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Yum immediately came to mind and this is a great way to have rainier cherries. I added strawberries to a few popsicles to give a variety to the puree pops and they still tasted wonderful.

Plantains Assados con Queso

Plantains Assados con Queso – Candy Coated Culnista

One of the few Caribbean foods I have always loved was plantain whether fried or boiled and put in a soup. Probably it was the sweetness of the plantain as is ripened that caught my attention as a child; but even today when I find plantain in the store I think back to my mom frying it when it was over ripped and ooey gooey to serve alongside my breakfast. I went to a food market at lunch, and I saw this wonderfully fried whole plantain just staring back at me and I just knew I had to try it and it didn’t disappoint.

Yield/Serving: 1
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp canola oil
• 1 plantain, peeled and sliced in the centre, but not all the way through
• 3 tbsp cream cheese
• Fresh rosemary, removed from sprig
• Pinch of sea salt

Assembly
1. Over medium-high, using a frying pan heat up canola oil.
2. Place plantain in and fry all sides until golden brown and the colour has changed.
3. Drain on a paper towel if necessary.
4. Using a small bowl mix cream cheese & rosemary and stuff into the plantain.
5. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Tips
• If you have time bake this bake at 400° for 30 minutes; instead of frying.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I did my own spin on this Ecuadorian dish as the way it was prepared had ricotta stuffed inside. I used cream cheese and added some fresh thyme because it just felt right to me. This is a new preparation for me that I never knew even existed. I am very happy to have stumbled upon this in the market. Plantains Assados con Queso means baked plantains with cheese; but I took a quicker approach and fried it. Try baking it as it would turn out just as well. I made this while preparing breakfast before work yesterday morning, so I had less time. The plantain was soft on the outside and firmer as you got further in. The filling was creamy with the punch of thyme. I’m not really a fan of cream cheese unless it’s on my bagel; but it works so well and I gave a piece to my testers and they loved the cream cheese and thyme combo.

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.

Fruity & Nutty Milk Chocolate Bark

Paleo Fruity Nutty Chocolate Bark - Candy Coated Culinista

Paleo Fruity Nutty Chocolate Bark – Candy Coated Culinista

Prep Time: 15 min.
Set Time: 30 min
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 ½ cups milk chocolate
• ¼ cup shredded coconut
• ¼ cup mini white chocolate chips
• ¼ cup almonds
• ¼ cup dark chocolate bits
• ¼ cup walnuts
• ¼ cup cranberries
• ¼ cup goji berries

Assembly
1. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or non-stick silicone sheet.
2. Rough chop all the chocolate and put into a microwave safe bowl.
3. Heat in thirty second intervals until all the chocolate has melted.
4. Pour chocolate onto the silpat and spread evenly with a spatula.
5. Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
6. Sprinkle the nuts, dried fruits onto the chocolate and tap the pan once again on the counter.
7. Let the chocolate set in the fridge for thirty minutes.
8. Break the chocolate bark into pieces.
9. Serve

Tips
• Set the chocolate in the fridge or freezer. I left the chocolate out to set in the kitchen and it just wouldn’t set for me until I chilled it.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Even though I am not a fan of chocolate and then incorporating fruits and nuts into said chocolate seems like a horrible idea to me. This was quite tasty and no two bites were the same which added a nice dimension to the bark. It also feels healthier than having a regular chocolate bar.

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