Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fudge Brownies Tweaked to Perfection

Warning!! This recipe is not for you if you are on a diet :D

The following recipe is soooo decadent & delicious, you will never use any other recipe ever again. I have tweaked this recipe to perfection. No, nothing about it is healthy-other than the fact that you will enjoy this and experience happiness & content like nothing else. Try it! You will love it!

Delicious....gooey....fudgie....melt in your mouth goodness!

Fudge Brownies
  • 1/2 cup very soft margarine (I microwaved it for 20 sec)
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 big tbsp Nutella (or any chocolate hazelnut spread)
  • 1/4 bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch salt  
  1. Cream together the margarine, sugar & vanilla in a large bowl using a whisk.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F
  3. Mix in two eggs. 
  4. Add all the chocolatey goodness. Mix until all cocoa & chocolate is well incorporated-but do not over mix!
  5. Add flour & salt & mix until all flour is incorporated, again, do not over mix! 
  6. Put into a 8 x 8 square pan that is lightly greases and bake in preheated oven at 350F.
  7. Bake for approx 20 minutes, until edges are cake like & centre is a little gooey.
  8. Secret to this recipe--> do not over bake!
  9. Enjoy warm out of the oven or cooled! They are so good, no frosting is needed!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Upside Down Pear Tart

I am starting to love close-ups!

I was meaning to post this much sooner, but I ended up being much busier than I thought. I had to go skate shopping, and the nearest figure skating shop is about 75 minutes away. It turns out that the skates I had (size 7width C) were way too big. I have size 4 1/2 feet and really wide (quadruple E in skating size) So I had my feet measured for custom skates because there are no skates out there in that size!! I was ready to hear $1200 but she said I would probably end up paying around $700 **sigh of relief!**
Now about this delicious creation!
It is an upside down pear tart, although it tastes like cake to me. It has no pie crust.
I had a can of pear halves in the fridge for the longest time & it was desperately asking me to use it. I googled some pear recipes & finally came across this one.
I haven't visited this blog before and I hope they do not mind that I am linking theirs. I based my recipe on theirs.

The recipe called for fresh pear, that isn't too soft, but these soft canned pears worked very well! One can is perfect.

Slice each pear into decent size slices. Arrange them nicely on the bottom of a spring form pan (I didn't grease it)

Cream the margarine, sugar then add eggs, vanilla and mix until just combined. No need to over mix.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt & ginger
Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until just combined.
Add the milk
 Beat the dough (it will seem runny (i decreased amount of milk) but will stiffen by the time you pour it into the pan)
Pour batter on top of the pear slices & carefully use spatula to flatten & distribute batter to edges.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 20-25 minutes, cover with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350  until ready (poke with toothpick, if toothpick comes out clean, it is read)
Take a knife and loose around edges take of the side panel, then place a plate on top of cake and turn it over. Carefully loosen metal plate and carefully lift off.

 Upside Down Pear Tart
  • 1 cup all purpose flour ( feel free to try cake flower)
  • 2 tbsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

    • 1 large can of pear halves or 4-5 ripe pears peeled & cored

    • 3 tbsp. Margarine ( can sub butter) 
    • 3/4 cup Sugar
    • 1 Whole Egg & 1 Egg yolk (yolk will hold together the cake nicely! & add creaminess!)
    • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
    • 3/4 cup 2% Milk (I do not recommend using low fat or skim milk, due to small amount of butter)
    Follow instructions in post to make this perfect :)
    ** pretty low cal as it only uses 3 tbsp margarine!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Never-Ending Oatmeal!!! (Voluminous Oatmeal Trick)

Happy Friday!!

Today I had the best breakfast I have had in a long time!! (and this week I have had omelets, french toast, pancakes, cheerios this has to be good!)
This is not a trick I came up with but my all time favourite food blogger (who is vegan).
I'm sure some of you have been on her blog & if you haven't I would check it out right now, even if you are not vegan like me.
I was going to take pictures of my breakfast but It was sooo yummy & I was so amazed that I ate it all before I could snap a pic.
I love oatmeal, and if you do too, please try this trick, it really works!

Taken from

As you can see, she can take really good pictures & spends a great deal of time on her pictures for her blog.

To see full instructions head on over to her blog Voluminous Oat trick @ CCK

First, measure 40 grams of oats (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
Add 1/4 tsp salt
Then add 1 1/2 cups or a little more liquid (milk=creamier or water or like me use 1/2 milk 1/2 water)
This seems like way too much liquid-but don't worry!!

Next, Microwave for about 4-4 1/2 minutes, stop before all liquid is absorbed.
Stop the microwave and  let it sit in the microwave for 5 minutes

The hard part-let sit in fridge uncovered for 2 hours or overnight. The watery mix will turn into about 2 cups of soft oatmeal & all the liquid will be absorbed.

 Just reheat if you like it warm, and add your sugar/sweetener, flavourings & toppings!

If you don't believe it-then try it for yourself! Thanks Katie!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple Beignets!!

Yummy Dutch Apple Beignets!
Today's yummy recipe is one that you want to treat yourself to only once in a while, or once a year like the Dutch do. In Holland, we like to eat them the night of Dec 31 to celebrate New Years!
The reason why you might only eat them once a year is that they are fried.
I don't know about you, but I tend to stay away from deep fried foods and keep them as a treat.
So when I do fry-I like to do it right!

This recipe is a recipe that is made with apple slices covered in cinnamon & sugar then dunked into the batter and fried, flipped over, fried & then enjoyed either warm or cold with powdered sugar (if desired).
Many recipes I have found include yeast but my mother never used yeast so there had to be a way to make these without yeast. Without yeast means it is faster to make & less finicky.

Recommended apples-I used a large Granny Smith, but any large baking apple should do, especially the sour ones with a hint of sweetness. It is also recommended to use an apple that hold together when sliced, so the beignet  doesn't fall apart.

Let's see how its done!

Measure the flour, add baking powder & cinnamon then stir in one egg along with the beer

 Dip each apple into sugar & cinnamon to coat lightly

Heat about a gallon of oil in a large heavy bottomed pan. Drop piece of bread into oil to test if its hot, it should sizzle. Also have a slotted spoon ready

Drop each slice into the batter and cover with lots of batter & carefully drop into hot oil

Flip when the one side is lightly browned then remove and put in a bowl with paper towel to soak up extra grease

Apple Beignets
  • 2 1/2-3 Cups all purpose flour or about 350 grams
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 can of beer, you might need a little more depending on how thick your dough is **
  • sugar & cinnamon to dip apple slices in
  • 2-3 large apples *see note at start of post*
  • approx 1 gallon oil (I used vegetable oil its neutral in flavour)

Mix flour, baking powder, & cinnamon. Add one egg and stir in beer.
Stir until all flour is mixed in and its a smooth batter, it shouldn't be too thick, but not runny either. It's about the same as pancake batter. The batter should be able to stick to the apple slices.
Heat a pan with oil.
Peel and core the apples & slice. The slices should be about 1 cm thick.
Coat each slice with a little bit of cinnamon & sugar.
Dip into batter and cover completely with batter then carefully drop into oil (I used a spoon so the batter stays on the slice while I move it to the oil)
Turn when bottom is browned, remove when both sides are browned.
I used a slotted spoon so the oil can drip off.
Place them in a bowl with paper towels.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar & Enjoy!!
**the beer I used was a de-alcoholized beer that is light in taste.
The beer activated the baking powder & makes the batter light & airy.
The amount of alcohol should not matter & it evaporates anyways.

The cool thing about the recipe is that it contains no milk or water, which is usually used to make fritters, donuts or other fried goods.

In Holland we also use pineapple slices instead of apple.
It would also work with banana or pears.

I used the recipe from this site that I mom had printed years ago. I altered it a little.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Blog Resolutions :)

french toast for one :)
Happy 2012!!!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas & the best wishes for the new year.
As most people do, I have come up with a few resulutions.
I am hoping to stick to them :)
  • Post at least 2 to 3 times a week, mostly all recipes!
  • Finish at least 10  things on my baking bucket list this year
  • Become a better food photographer (I am saving up for a Nikon camera which cost $$$, money's tight)
  • Make healthy food (not just low calorie! But nutritionally!)
What are some of your baking/cooking resolutions for 2012??

meanwhile check out my egg white french toast at my old blog:
Egg White French Toast