Citrus Cake

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A bright and fresh citrus cake with a tangy, zesty cream cheese frosting, decorated with candied citrus.

Yield/Serving: 6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 – 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From: Bake from Scratch

Ingredients
Cake

• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ½ tsp lime zest
• ½ tsp orange zest
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ½ cake flour
• ½ tbsp. baking powder
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ½ cup 2% milk
• ½ tsp vanilla extract
• ¼ almond extract
Candied Oranges and Limes
• ½ navel orange
• 1 lime
• ½ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup water
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• Bay leaf (optional)
Citrus Frosting
• 1 package of cream cheese
• 1 tsp lime zest
• 1 tsp orange zest
• 455 grams of confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
• ½ tsp vanilla extract

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray pans with non-stick spray.
3. Using a stand mixture using the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Scraping the sides at needed.
4. Beat in the zest and add in the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
5. Using a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, ginger.
6. Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture alternating flour, milk flour ensuring to end with flour.
7. Add in the extracts and divide batter in-between prepared pans. (smooth tops if necessary)
8. Bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean, about 20 to 30 minutes.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and let cool on a cooling rack.
10. Once cooled, using a serrated knife and cut each layer in half horizontally.
11. Spread frosting between layers and on top of the cake.
12. Garnish with candied limes and oranges and serve.
Candied Oranges & Lemons
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.
2. Cut oranges and limes into ¼” slices and remove seeds if necessary.
3. In a medium sized saucepan, heat sugar, water and lemon juice until dissolved.
4. Add slices and let simmer ensuring to keep slices in a single layer.
5. Cook for 14 to 16 minutes turning occasionally until slightly translucent.
6. Remove from pan and place on wax paper and let cool for a least an hour and hardened.
7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
8. Sprinkle with extra sugar before decorating.
9. Reserve sugar mixture for another use is desired.
Citrus Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and zest at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar and beat in cream until frosting is spreadable consistency.
3. Beat in vanilla.

Tips
• I halved the recipe and it turned out great. This recipe can be batched down with ease.
• Use whatever citrus zest you want. I used lime instead of lemon.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I batched down this recipe and it also called for lemons; but I used limes instead. It was a heavy rainy day last week when I made it and my candied limes and oranges would just not firm up. I even tried putting it in the oven hoping to crystalize the citrus; but it didn’t work. I thought for a moment to bring out the hair dryer; but that’s just ridiculous; it was just a bad day to do sugar work and possibly make a whipped cream cheese frosting also. With this recipe and the lack of whipping cream I have no idea how this recipe would achieve fluffy whipped frosting with 4 tablespoons of whipping cream and a [package of cream cheese. I even added more whipping cream after to see and it still wouldn’t happen. The picture shows a whipped frosting and yet the instruction says spreadable which is quite perplexing to me. After I finished the cake I looked up some whipped cream cheese frosting recipes and it called for 1 cup plus of whipping cream; so I’m unsure how a whipped frosting can be made with the recipe given. The cake still looked great and I decided to make a rectangle shaped cake. The layers were perfect and I fell confident in my naked cake skills for the most part now, except for that “whipped” frosting. I actually took a third of the cake for once and I found the frosting sweet even for my palette. This was still a wonderful cake and I am loving the unconventional shaped cake. The other reviews were it was great and also a touch to sweet. Next time I will cut back the sugar even more as this is a good batch down recipe.

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Citrus Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

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Roast Chicken with Plums

Roast Chicken with Plums – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour plus
Difficulty level is: Easy

From: Diner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark

Ingredients
Chicken

• 1 large lemon, grated
• 1 tbsp ground sumac
• 2 tsp kosher salt
• 1/2 tbsp black pepper
• ½ tsp cinnamon
• ½ tsp allspice
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
• 1 whole chicken, 4 pounds
• 1 bunch of thyme, for garnish
Plums
• 4 plums, halved & quartered
• 4 shallots, sliced into rounds
• 1 tbsp honey
• ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ tsp kosher salt
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 1/8 tsp allspice
• 1 bay leaf, torn in half

Assembly
1. Grate the zest from the lemon and place in a small bowl.
2. Add and stir in the sumac, salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice along with the olive oil and garlic.
3. Rub chicken and throughout the cavity of the chicken.
4. Split the thyme bindle into half and place into the cavity of the chicken.
5. Place in a roasting pan on a wire rack and let marinate for 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
6. Let chicken come to room temperature before cooking for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 450°F.
8. In a medium sized bowl mix together plums, shallots, honey, oil, salt, cinnamon, allspice, bay leaf and 2 tsp of water.
9. Spread mixture on the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top and roast for 30 minutes.
10. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and mix with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
11. Drizzle over chicken and continue to cook for 30 to 45 minutes longer.
12. Let the chickens rest covered in foil for 10 minutes and then carve.
13. Serve with plums and add more fresh time for garnish.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I choose this recipe as I have been looking for interesting and new ways to serve my proteins. I have never cooked with sumac before and I had to research what the flavour and taste of sumac was. Once I learned it had a lemony taste I was delighted. I have never thought to incorporate plums into a dinner dish and this was a lovely addition. I found this to be a touch too savoury for myself though as I had leftover that hung around for more than two days. I batched down this recipe as the original called for 2 whole chicken, which I was not planning to invest in with new flavour combinations. Overall I think this could be a hit depending on the audience. I enjoyed this; but it wouldn’t go into my weekly menu; more like every two months to change things up and during plum season.

Valentine’s Day Dinner à la Chuck

Chuck's Chicken Dinner - Candy Coated Culinista

Chuck’s Chicken Dinner – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s no mystery by me having this blog that I absolutely love to cook and some days I can be in the kitchen for hours on end on my feet. To past the time I bring in my IPad to watch some TV shows and while watching a few shows the commercial breaks were filled with ads for LG presents Chuck Hughes with little snippets of recipes. Well since Chuck’s in my top two favourite chefs of all time it was obvious I was going to try some dishes from these mini ads and since the timing was right Valentine’s Day would be a great day to make this simple and succulent dinner.

From Chuck Hughes

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour & 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Roasted Chicken
Ingredients

• 1 whole organic chicken
• Handful of oregano, thyme, rosemary and parsley, finely chopped
• ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 lemon, zested and sliced
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• ½ head of garlic
• 1 small white onion
• 1 medium white onion, sliced
• 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ chicken broth
• ¼ cup white wine (I skipped this)

Assembly
1. Pre heat oven to 425°F.
2. Rinse chicken on cool water and pat dry inside and out.
3. Finely chop the herbs and mix into softened butter and add lemon zest in a small bowl.
4. Rub herbed butter under the skin and on top of the chicken and inside.
5. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
6. Fill chicken cavity with lemon, garlic and onion.
7. Tie the legs with kitchen twine.
8. Place sliced onion in the centre of a cast iron skillet.
9. Rest chicken on top of onions breast side on top of the onions.
10. Roast for 30 minutes at 425°F and then reduce heat to 350°F and continue to cook for 1 hour.
11. Baste chicken every 15 minutes to brown the skin.

Gravy
Assembly

1. Soften the onions from the cast iron skillet skimming off any fat.
2. Place skillet on the stove over medium-high heat and using a wooden spoon scrape the flavour from the bottom on the skillet.
3. Stir in the flour to make a roux.
4. Slowly add in the chicken broth letting the flour dissolve.
5. Add wine if desired.
6. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes and season with salt & pepper if desired.

Potato Smash with Olive Oil

Yield/Serving: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 yukon potatoes
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 4 sprigs of thyme, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finley chopped
• Chopped dill, to taste
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Boil potatoes in a large pot until tender and drain.
2. Crush potatoes with a wooden spoon just enough. Leave some potato pieces chunky.
3. Stir in the olive oil and the remaining ingredients.

Zucchini Wedges

Yield/Serving: 2-4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
• ½ cup parmesan cheese
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• ½ tsp dried oregano
• ¼ tsp garlic powder
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Assembly
1. Pre heat oven to 400°F.
2. Coat baking sheet with non-stick spray.
3. On a plate combine all of the herbs, spices and cheese.
4. Coat zucchini with olive oil and then coat in mixture.
5. Bake for about 10 minutes and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This couldn’t have turned out any better; well if I had finely chopped my herbs. My idea of finely chop versus the recipe was different and I recognized that upon its completion but it didn’t deter from the recipe in any way. It was just a visual thing for me. The chicken was moist and scrumptious and perfectly coloured and for the first time I had a gravy from scratch that actually tasted and turned out excellent; even with my omission of the white wine. The review was great as I tested this out in advance and at work when I was eating it for lunch I got many compliments on the smell and a co-worker was trying to track down where that smell was coming from; which made me chuckle. The addition of dill to the mashed potatoes and the zucchini was a delicious. I decided to not serve the zucchini with the Spicy Aioli recommended though and I was already in the kitchen for a long time at this point. I can’t wait to make this again. This recipe is so simple you could make it the first time on a special day and not worry about something going awry.

Caribbean Christmas Sorrel

Caribbean Christmas Sorrel - Candy Coated Culinista

Caribbean Christmas Sorrel – Candy Coated Culinista

This is my absolute favourite Christmas drink. Once the Christmas season is upon us I know I’m getting Sorrel and I’m elated. Sorrel is made from sorrel leaves; which are from the hibiscus family and with its deep, rich red colour it just screams Christmas to me. Not to mention all of those other Christmas spices.

Yield/Serving: 9 cups
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 to 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup sorrel leaves
• 9 cups water
• 1 hand of peeled ginger, cut into pieces
• 1 cinnamon stick
• A few cloves
• 2 star anise
• 1 cup cane sugar, to taste
• Lemon to taste

Assembly
1. Place all the ingredients except the sugar and lemon into a large pot and bring to a boil covered.
2. Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Remove from heat to allow to steep for a few hours.
4. Strain away the solids and add sugar and lemon to taste.
5. Chill and serve with ice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have tasted two types of Sorrel: the Bajan (Barbados) way; which I am accustomed to and more recently the Jamaican way which a lot of the time has Rum added to it; but I have only enjoyed the rum-free version to date. Both islands ways taste great in their own right; the Bajan having more of that Christmas smell and so dark and dense when the drink is put up to the light, no light is getting through. On the other hand the Jamaican way has a lot more ginger and the addition of orange peel and the drink is not as dense. So when I made my first attempt at this I did a combination of both recipes. This tasted alright to me I was really hoping for it to taste like the originals; but it tasted like a Caribbean Canadian version if you will. I think I watered it down too much. I did get my Bajan & Jamaican recipe originators to taste it and they said it tasted good. I will say it tasted better over the next few days as the ingredients blended more and I will definitely add less water next time.

Lemony Kale

Lemony Kale - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemony Kale – Candy Coated Culinista

So good it doesn’t even need to be a side. This dish stands alone.

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

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
• 1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 ½ garlic cloves, sliced
• 3 cups torn and stemmed kale
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• ½ pinch of kosher salt
• ½ pinch of ground black pepper

Assembly
1. Over medium-high heat using a cast iron skillet cook garlic for about one minute.
2. Add in the kale and cook until wilted and dark green, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the lemon juice, salt & pepper and serve.

Tips

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have made this recipe twice already and even had the intention of sharing this; but I just couldn’t bring myself to save any. The citrusy-garlicky dressing was a beautiful accompaniment to the kale. I ate it just by itself and loved every bite.

Mediterranean Baked Peppers

Mediterranean Baked Peppers - Candy Coated Culinista

Mediterranean Baked Peppers – Candy Coated Culinista

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

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
• 2 yellow bell peppers
• 1 red bell pepper
• 1 orange bell pepper
• 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
• ¼ tsp dried oregano
• pinch sea salt
• pinch black pepper
• 1/8 tsp grated lemon zest
• 1/3 cup feta cheese, cut into small cubes
• 1 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
• ½ tsp lemon juice

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Cut bell peppers in thick slices.
3. In a bowl mix together extra virgin olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, sea salt, black pepper and lemon zest.
4. Pour onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Place cooked peppers into a bowl with feta, parsley and lemon juice and plate.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is an amazingly tasty dish that is making me a lover of protein free meals. With vegetarian dishes like this it makes it easy to have more meatless meals in a week.

Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast

Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast - Candy Coated Culinista

Pan Roasted Lemon & Thyme Chicken Breast – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 4
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: approx 14 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• Sea salt
• Black Pepepr
• 4 chicken breast
• 5 cloves garlic
• 4 sticks, bunched thyme
• 1 ½ lemon juice, freshly squeezed from lemon
• 1 tbsp fresh thyme leave
• 4 lemon slices, for garnish

Assembly
1. Using a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat pour in the olive oil.
2. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
3. Once the oil is heated up place in the chicken breasts into the skillet and add in the garlic and thyme sticks.
4. Squeeze the lemon juice over chicken and cook for 7 to 10 minutes.
5. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook for 7 to 10 more minutes on the other side.
6. Sprinkle thyme leaves over the cooked chicken and add lemon slices for garnish.

Tips
• Don’t add in the garlic to early or it will burn.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The aroma coming from this dish was divine. I have never had lemon & thyme chicken before and this will be a new addition to my repertoire.

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries - Candy Coated Culinista

Crispy Tilapia with Lemon-Herb Mayo and Oven Fries – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been wanting to try the Fish & Chips from Len Duckworth’s Fish & Chips; as this has been recommended to be numerous times is a Toronto Foodie institution if you will. I’ve had a bad experience with fish & chips from Pickle Barrel and ever since I just haven’t had the desire to have anythimg resembling deep-fried fish. I found it to be extremely greasy and the batter didn’t stick to the fish so I just never wanted to try it again. Then I found saw this recipe and with fresh fish in hand I thought I’d give it another go and make sure I visit Duckworth in the near future.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

From Canadian Living

Ingredients
Oven Fries
• 2 small yellow potatoes, cut into wedges with skin on
• 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
• Pinch of sea salt
• Pinch of ground black pepper
Crispy Tilapia
• 2 tbsp cornmeal
• ¾ tsp chili powder
• ¾ tsp dried parsley
• 2 tilapia fillets
• 1/8 tsp kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Lemon-Herb Mayo
• 2 ¾ tsp mayonnaise
• 1 ½ tsp chopped fresh parsley
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• ½ garlic clove, finely grated

Assembly
Oven fries
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Toss potatoes, salt & pepper in a small bowl with extra virgin olive oil.
3. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, turning once and bake for 25 minutes until golden and tender.
Crispy Tilapia
1. In a plate mix the cornmeal, chili powder and parsley.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto fish and dredge in the cornmeal mixture.
3. Using a frying pan, heat half the oil over medium heat.
4. Cook tilapia turning once until fish is cooked, about 8 minutes.

Lemon-Herb Mayo
1. In a small prep bowl mix the mayo, parsley, lemon juice and garlic.
2. Serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This is a light and slightly healthier fried fish option and the fish didn’t taste fishy and was still flakey. The lemon-herb mayo was such a great addition and this will be my new tartar sauce.

Lemony Letdown: Thyme Lemon Shortbread

Lemony Letdown: Thyme Lemon Shortbread- Candy Coated Culinista

Lemony Letdown: Thyme Lemon Shortbread- Candy Coated Culinista

I gave this recipe too many chances already and then I called it a day when it just looked like a cookie and not a shortbread.

Ingredients
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• ¼ tsp fleur de sel
• Freshly grated lemon zest, from one lemon
• 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
• ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
• 1 extra large egg, lightly beaten
• 2 extra large egg yolks
• 1 tbsp coarse sea salt (that special salt I have) Maldon

Assembly
1. In a medium size bowl, stir flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and thyme.
2. Using your fingertips, massage the butter into the dry ingredients until a coarse crumbly mixture forms.
3. In a separate bowl, gently whisk in the egg and egg yolks and reserve 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture for brushing.
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add in the egg mixture and blend with your hands until the dough comes together. Don’t knead. The dough will look crumbly.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and now knead just until everything sticks together.
6. Please dough into a square and wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
8. Spray the pan with non-stick spray.
9. Place dough in the pan and gently press down.
10. Bake in centre of oven for 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
11. Serve.

Tips
• Making shortbread by hand results in a much better shortbread than using a mixer.
• If you don’t have a shortbread pan – Form dough into a log and chill in fridge for one to two hours and slice into ¼” rounds.
• Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts

I still couldn’t get the shortbread to look right. I have made shortbread before and it turned out fine. I’m not sure if it’s the pan throwing off the recipe as it needs a longer time to crisp up or it this recipe. Also I have never seen eggs in a shortbread recipe before and maybe that’s what it was. I was expecting that crispy cookie while this was not.

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon - Candy Coated Culinista

Baked Ricotta with Thyme and Lemon – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 30 min.
Difficulty level is:
Easy

Ingredients
• 500g fresh soft Ricotta cheese, water squeezed from it
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tbsp fresh thyme minced
• Zest from 1 lemon
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
• ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
• ½ jalapeño, finely diced
• Handful of cilantro, finely diced
• Green onion, sprig of
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Mix all of the ingredients into a large bowl and well combined.
3. Spoon into a fancy baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until bubbling and slightly golden.
4. Let cool for 5 minutes and then serve.

Tips
• Make sure you squeeze the water from the ricotta cheese.
• Serve with black and green olives, polish sausage, fancy crackers and bread.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This would be a great appetizer to serve at a party or a fancier snack. I didn’t take into account the water content of the ricotta and once we started eating it I could see some water at the bottom of the dish.

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