Boston Cream Cake

I’m back nine months later with a cake that almost rivals Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie but lets not get into specifics.

My sister asked me last month if I could make her a cake version of Boston cream pie donut ( or doughnuts?? honestly I’m confused). This recipe is so fantastic – the custard is spot on of what you would get in a boston cream. The cake itself is very light and the custard make it incredibly moist, and naturally the ganache just brings it all together.

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A few things about this cake with the custard it is so different than any other custard i’ve made because you for one thing use milk , and you use flour as a thickening agent, meaning you REALLY have to keep your eye on it. As for the Ganache I just threw it in the fridge which I wasn’t suppose to do because ganache easily thickens, so I ended up thinning it out with some cream.

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#justauntiethings  #babyapproved

Hope you enjoy this cake as much as my family did.

Boston Cream Cake

Ingredients

Creamy Custard

  • 2  Cups Milk
  • 1/3 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  •  2 tablespoons  Unsalted Butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Cake

  • 1 2/3 cups  All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  •  1/3 cup Unsalted Butter (softened)
  •  3/4 cup Milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  •  1 Large Egg

Ganache (Chocolate Glaze)

  •  3 ounces ( about a 1/2 cup)  Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons  Water
  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter ( softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Putting it all together

1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the milk and 2 tablespoons sugar over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around the edges. (The sugar helps to prevent the milk from scorching.) Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt. Gradually stir in the warm milk.

2. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly ( I mean seriously watch this thing because I burnt mine so bad it taste like a black marshmallow) , over medium heat until the mixture bubbles, then boil for an additional 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and gradually beat half of the milk mixture into the eggs. Scrape the egg mixture back into the saucepan, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens , approx 2 minutes.  You will most definitely sweat for this step, it’s because this custard wants you to prove yourself to it.

3. Continue to whisk for about 20 seconds, then pour into a bowl. Add in your vanilla extract. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and let stand at room temperature until cool, about 1 hour. The custard can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not beat the cooled custard or it will break down.

4. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F Grease two two 9-inch springform pans, line the bottom with parchment paper, grease again, and dust with flour.

5. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, 1/4 cup milk, and vanilla. On low speed, blend together, about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating for 2 minutes. Beat the egg with the remaining ½ cup milk. In 3 parts, beat the egg mixture into the flour mixture, about 20 seconds after each addition, until smooth.

6. Divide the batter equally between the prepared pans. Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly touched, about  30 to 40 minutes.

7. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely, at least 1½ hours. The cake can be wrapped and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

8. Place a cake layer on a serving plate, spread with the filling, and top with the second cake layer. Refrigerate while preparing the glaze.

9. To make the glaze: In the top of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, sugar, and water and place over barely simmering water until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 15 to 30 minutes.

10. Pour the glaze over the cake, allowing a little to drip over the sides. Refrigerate until chilled. Boston cream pie is best the day it is made, but can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Remove the cake from the refrigerator about 20 minutes before serving.

The Original recipe for this cake gives an amazing background on Boston cream pie donuts check it out if you can, it’s seriously very cool!

All photos by the talented Nick Pegg  (who also happens to be my boyfriend)

Thanks for reading & enjoy

-Sarah

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie

I feel exhausted just typing that title out. The good thing about this blog is that I finally learned how to spell meringue (kind of)

Yes you heard me right

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Lemon

Meringue

Cheesecake

Pie

!!!

I showed my brother this video 3 months before his birthday ( which falls in November) and just as he discovered his love for lemon meringue. So naturally he asked me to make him this monster.

If you are offended by swearing I cannot be held accountable, however I can be accountable for how delicious this pie is.

Matty Matheson is a chef from Toronto and has a couple of restaurants under his belt. He’s pretty unconventional when it comes to cooking tutorials but that’s why he’s awesome.

There was no written recipe for this pie, so it was basically just a matter of pausing the video every twenty seconds😉 and now I can share it with the world/ the 6 people that read this blog.

Okay first things first the crust ( you know how I feel about crust) it’s crucial to your existence blah blah blah. Okay so you can make the crust Matty uses in the video but I just used a crust that I had a in the freezer from thanksgiving so naturally it was my   Vodka Crust  which literally never fails. If you wanna keep it casual just buy a crust, but seriously if you’re gonna make this just go all in. Just remember since you’re cooking the pie crust alone line with foil and add some pie weights ( aka dried lentils or beans) so it doesn’t puff up and cook for 15-18 minutes.

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You could make the dough a couple days in advance or freeze if it’s going to be longer.

Cook the crust, and allow it to cool to room temp.

While it’s cooling you can make the cream cheese filling. First thing you’re going to do is whip heavy cream until it forms peaks. Make sure you do this first since whipping cream will NOT form if you added it after the other ingredients.Remove the whipped cream from the bowl into a smaller bowl. Then using the same bowl add the mascarpone cheese, as well as the cream cheese and a quarter cup of sugar. Whip until it forms stiff peaks. Then add half of the whipped cream and FOLD it in gently.

Leave it at room temp.

Next up we are making the lemon filling. So you’re going to add gelatin sheets to water and wait for it to get nice and “goopy” as Mattty says. I didn’t have gelatin sheets so I just used gelatin powder. Follow the instructions on the packet. Both work fine.

In a bowl add six eggs and whisk in a cup and half of sugar. Juice enough lemons to make 2 cups of lemons juice ( about 12 lemons). Cook eggs and sugar over a double boiler (aka a metal bowl over a pot with a  couple inches of simmering water under it) Essentially stand over and whisk until it thickens. Add your gelatin and then slowly add your lemon juice to it until it can easily coat your soup.

Then add the cheesecake filling to the pie crust, and put in the fridge for 10 minutes.

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Next and final layer step the meringue. You’re going to take the egg whites and add a teaspoon of white vinegar. Start whipping it and eventually and slowly add in the sugar. Until there are stiff peaks.

Then you can add the lemon filling to the pie and set in the fridge fo 10/15  minutes.

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After the filling has set, add the meringue gently and form peaks. Like tiny little meringue mountains.

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My pie crust looks pretty toasty because my oven is pretty wonky and never cooks anything evenly ( or at least that’s my excuse)

Then the really fun part. Using a kitchen torch toast the meringue. If you don’t have a torch just use the broiler in your oven but keep an eye on it.

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This look just says it all, doesn’t it????

 

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie

Serves:10-12

Ingredients

Pie Crust

Vodka Crust

Cheesecake Filling

3/4 cup Whipping Cream (Heavy Cream)

250 ml Mascarpone Cheese

500 ml Cream Cheese

1/4 cup  Sugar

Lemon Filling

6 Gelatin Sheets or 2 Knox Gelatin Powder Packs  ( follow packet instructions)

Water

6 Eggs

1 1/2 Sugar

2 cups Lemon Juice ( 12 lemons approx)

Meringue

6 Egg WHITES

1 tsp  White Vinegar

1 1/2 White Sugar

Extra materials needed : Double boiler (or medium sized metal bowl), small torch

Directions

  1. Make Vodka Pie Crust . Since you will just be cooking it without filling in it. After you prepare the crust in the pie plate line it with tin foil and use some dried lentil or beans as pie weights. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Let cool to room temp.
  2. While the pie is cooling make the cheesecake filling. First beat whipping cream until it forms peaks. Remove from the bowl. Next add mascarpone, cream cheese and sugar. Beat until it forms soft peaks. Then slowly fold in the whipped cream and leave out at room temp
  3. Then make gelatin mixture using either sheets or powder, follow the directions on the pack.
  4. Juice lemons, or just pour two cups of lemon juice into a bowl.
  5. In a separate bowl add eggs and sugar and beat together. Put on a double boiler. You can use a metal bowl over some simmering water, it’s all the same. Whisk constantly until it starts to thicken, don’t stop stirring or you will have scrambled eggs. Add gelatin and mix until combined. Slowly add lemon juice until it coats the back of a spoon. Let sit in the fridge.
  6. Then you can add your cream cheese layer to your pie and let sit in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  7. To make the meringue add egg whites and white vinegar and start to beat. Slowly add the sugar spoonfuls at a time. Until it forms stiff peaks.
  8. Take the pie out of the fridge and add lemon layer and let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  9. Softly add the meringue to the top and create peaks with a spoon.
  10. Use a torch to cook meringue or watch carefully in the oven on broiler.
  11. Eat and cry one single tear

Recipe by : Matty Matheson (Munchies) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvj5ChGJf0U

Enjoy and Thanks for reading,

Sarah

 

 

Chicago

So this weekend I was able to go on a trip to Chicago. I live in Ontario Canada, so it’s about a 6/7 hour drive.. not including traffic that makes even Toronto rush hour look good.. Anyways me my boyfriend, his sister and his dad all traveled there is two weekends ago. Nick’s good family friend was getting married, so I was lucky enough to tag along.

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I was happy to just spend time with nick but I was also very excited to see Chicago and taste all the foods that are so essential to the city. To be honest whenever I go anywhere food is the thing I’m most excited about.. clearly I’ve got my priorities straight. I’ve never been to Chicago before so it was a really exciting for me.

Smoque Barbeque

As soon as we got into town on Friday we went to a place I found on diners, drive-in’s and dives. Say what you may about Guy Fieri and his bleach blonde highlights, but his food picks are never wrong

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#blessyouguy

Our first stop was at a place called Smoque Barbeque. I guess as a Canadian I get really excited when I get to eat barbeque because generally in Canada it isn’t something we have. I know it may seem odd to have barbeque in Chicago, but let me tell you it was fantastic seriously. I was level 400 + on the hangray scale, so it was that much more satisfying.

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LET ME TELL YOU IT WAS GREAT. All caps because it was that good. I got brisket – sliced not chopped, for my side I got mac n’ cheese and it came with two very different sauce and coleslaw.

Where do I even begin ( as my mouth waters as I type this…), well lets start with the sandwich- the brisket was so incredibly tender it had a rich smokey flavor with hints of something like liquorish (honestly I don’t know what it was but that’s my closest comparison).The meat could truly stand by it’s self. It was served on a warm, fresh bun that was light but strong enough to hold the meat.

It came with two sauce one being a thinner vinegar based sauce that was intended specifically for brisket. I was a huge fan of this sauce I love vinegar based hot sauces so this was a no brainer – vinegar with smokey and sweet hints to it. The next sauce was a thicker BBQ sauce intended more for ribs or chicken. It was also very good.

The mac n’ cheese was great creamy with a crispy top! No complaints here. But really it was nothing out of this world.

The coleslaw was vinegar/sweet sauce. I really enjoyed it and it complimented the meat very well!

MMM thank you smoque bbq! I will be back again😉

Somewhere in between we went to the wedding met a bunch of American’s and called it a day.

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The day after the wedding we decided to take the train in from where we were staying which was about an hour trip. By the time we got into the city it was about 11 and I was needing a coffee – so I went to Dunkin ( cause America runs on it) and had a weak coffee and we were off for a day of adventures.

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#datbeardtho

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Nick is so great with directions – I am not at all. So naturally he plans route’s out our trips (he’s great). He had the transit all figured out so it was just a matter of where we wanted to go first.

Billy Goat Tavern

We ended up going to the the billy goat tavern http://www.billygoattavern.com/. This is definitely an iconic spot it had a SNL skit inspired by it.

This place is what you without a doubt would call a dive bar/tavern. Dimly lit, plastic hard seats, the only thing that is illuminated is the wall full of alcohol. A restaurant started by a greek immigrant who wanted to have his very own bar. The name came from an actual goat showing up at his door and later used the goat as a marketing strategy and literally brought the goat everywhere he went. Long story short many famed actors and writers end up coming to this place as a haven, such as bill murray, roger ebert, past presidents, and politicians.

Also it is located in an “underground”, which such movies as Batman and Blues Brothers were filmed.

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As I said it’s a tavern so nick and I got a cheeseburger (as you should). They grind the beef in house, there buns are fresh and warm, topped with American cheese. Two of them came to 7 dollars which was great!

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You have the option of toppings: fresh pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard.

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This was the best burger I’ve ever had. No lie it was the best, it was simple, fresh and just really good. It’s quite the place, with some incredible history.

Then we took a break from eating and did some walking. We went to the legendary “bean”.

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Then we headed to the navy pier and took a nice stroll.

Nick’s dad and sister came into the city later than us so they wanted to meet up with us. We were walking towards where they were – which happened to be a deep dish pizza place. Side note: After talking to quite a few locals they told me people from Chicago don’t actually love deep dish as much tourist do. Nick and I didn’t end up getting any pizza but we tried some of his dad’s and sisters.

Al’s Beef

Since we were hungry (once again) we went to legendary  Al’s Beef. I’m obsessed with Anthony Bourdain so naturally we watched the parts unknown episode of Chicago and this was one of the places he recommended for some Chicago classics.

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So I felt it was only right to get a Chicago dog. Which consists of: a poppy seed bun, all beef hot dog, florescent relish, mustard, two green hot peppers,onions, tomato slice and a pickle spear with pepper on top.

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It was really great! Considering I don’t like mustard or relish. The flavors are awesome, and the fries were super crispy and delish. They weren’t some culinary masterpiece or anything but food like this is what make a city proud of something unique to them.

Shake Shack

We walked around for a bit, then I remembered I saw the shake shack. Who I have been instagram stalking for about a year simply because of their cold custard. Which you may think is just like ice cream but it is like ice cream that got married and had really successful child that made their parents proud, just to give you a general idea of what it’s like.

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I’m sorry I didn’t mean to make you cry from this beautiful picture.

This was vanilla custard, with bananas, pieces of salted caramel pie and salted caramel sauce.

Very good, the only thing by the time I got near the end it got way too sweet. But they have frozen custards that you can get without any “add in’s” next time.

After that we found a target which excited me immensely ( see photo below for full level of excitement) , since we no longer have them in Canada.

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Went to a Le Creuset Store, which is full of things I can’t afford but love to look at!

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Then we took the train around town to different places. Walked around for a bit. Took a train to one of the top restaurants in the North America ( and perhaps the world) Alinea – dinner costs about 245 per person so I thought I would opt out this time. One day I will be back to eat there so I just started at the restaurant like a grade 9 in love with a senior. Hopeless romantics, am I right?? https://website.alinearestaurant.com/

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So it was about 7ish by then and we realized we either could take a train at 830 or 1130, so we opted for the 1130 because how often are you downtown Chicago??

The Little Goat Diner

We were looking up places to eat then I found this place called the little goat diner. The menu looked amazing and it wasn’t that expensive. So we took the train and headed over. After doing some research I found out the street we were on is crediting with having one of the best downtown restaurant districts in all of the states. Which made sense because the little goat was awesome! The atmosphere is of a relaxed diner with food that is above and beyond you would ever find in a diner.

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The staff were incredibly helpful, because everything on the menu looked exceptional and they have twists dishes with a Korean spin such as their kimichi ruben and a pork belly pancake with hosin sauce. After a long deliberation I went with their tuna melt ( highly recommended by the server). Funny thing I have never actually had tuna except once from a tuna but yolo baby!!

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This was the king of tuna melts. Ain’t no wonder bread and canned tuna here!

The sandwhich was sourdough bread topped with fresh tuna, house made mac n cheese sauce, nicoise salad * which is green beans, hard boiled eggs, olives* and spicy and sweet pickled onions.

I don’t think I stopped smiling the entire I ate this. No lie. First thing they have a bakery attached to the restaurant. So the sourdough bread was unreal, the tuna was super fresh and tasty, and the nicoise salad was really balanced and complimented the tuna very well. AND THE CHEESE SAUCE .. so good and not over powering.

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The proof is in the plate. I cannot say enough great things about this place! If you are in chicago you must go. If you are feeling something a bit more quite and upscale the owner Stephanie Ieizard ( winner of top chef) owns 2 other places on the street.

After that we were walking out of the restaurant and there was a festival going on at the time so we stopped to listen to the band. They were a really cool jazz funk band, and everyone was having a blast. It was a great end to a fantastic day.

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That wrapped it up for Chicago, so much fun I definitely want to go back again.

On the way home the next day we made a small detour to a hole in the wall Mexican joint in Windsor.

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Chicago, you rock.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

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Salted Dark Chocolate Ganache & Dulce De Leche Tart

Guess who’s back? Back again? Sarah’s back tell a friend.

*regrets intro immediately after typing it*

*has Eminem stuck in her head forever*

Anyways hello readers, the last post I wrote was at the end of November, after I did my every day blogging for a month.Ahh I have so much to write about and share. I have naturally accumulated more cookbooks than necessary( or that frankly fit on my book shelf/ kitchen), I won’t call it hording till I get into the thousands!

I want to share this recipe that I made a couple weeks ago – yes it does taste as good as it sounds/looks.

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It was awesome! I actually made this for a fundraiser for church, they are raising money for the youth to go to a conference called overflow! Basically it was good another reason to bake😉

I will explain the two components of the tart that people were asking what they actually were. Both are actually two very simple yet amazing components. First being the ducle de leche, that is basically created by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk to create a substance that changes flavor and color while cooking and creates a milk and intensified version caramel ( don’t let the name scare you). You can buy it in the stores, but I wanted to try to make it myself. The second thing is ganche which is simply heated cream and is combined with chocolate and depending on the kind of chocolate and the amount of cream can determine the texture and the use for the ganche. Phew ok that’s done. Now let’s get this party started.

Okay so there’s many ways of making dulce de leche but I found this method and I wanted to try it because you didn’t have to stir it more than once. ( Warning this step takes 2 hrs and 45 mins so definitely do this first). Like I said this step can be skipped, by just being a can of it at the store but it may taste different.

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Empty the can of milk into a glass pie plate and cover tightly with tin foil.

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Then put in a large baking pan ( I used the one we roast turkeys in) and fill with warm water until it reaches half way up the pie plate.

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Cook for an hour at 425.

In the mean time you can make the dough for the tart!

Mix together egg yolks, cream, vanilla in one bowl

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In a mixer add flour, powdered sugar, salt and blend, then add butter; mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

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Next add yolk mixture in step 1 and process until mixture forms a ball. Shape into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

Now it should be about time to talk your dulce de leche out of the oven. Simply take it out and take off the foil and whisk it until smooth.

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It should look something like this.Place pie plate back into the baking pan and reseal with tin foil. You will need to add more water since some it will have evaporated. Make sure it has enough water that it fills the baking pan at least half. Continue to cook at 425 for an hour and a half.

Now you can press your dough into the pan. This dough will be different than a pie dough it will be much greasier, so don’t freak out. Then simply press and stretch the dough into a tart pan, until it has evenly covered the bottom and sides.

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Cover the pan in tin foil and sit cans of beans on top ( this helps the crust to not shift or shrink). BAKE for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until pastry is set and the edges are golden. Remove the foil and weights. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

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At this point your dulce de leche should be done cooking. It should have a dark caramel/peanut butter colour to it.Take it out of the pan whisk until smooth. Then add to cooled pie shell.

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( sorry about the blurriness, I was my own photographer)

Now time to make the ganache just like I said earlier is simply heated cream combined with cold chocolate. Place the chocolate in medium bowl and set aside. Heat 1/2 cup cream in a small saucepan until bubbles appear around the edge. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate to start melting it. Let stand for 5 minutes or until melted. Whisk until smooth. Once slightly cooled pour on top of the tart.

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Then top with sea salt flakes. I waited until it cooled to put on the salt but it’s better when it’s wet because it will stick better. Let it cool in the fridge for an hour at least, so the ganache can set. I did mine overnight.

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Serve this and expect new friendships/marriage proposals/job offers etc😉

Salted Dark Chocolate Ganache & Dulce De Leche Tart

Ingredients

2 large egg yolks

1 Tablespoon heavy cream

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 can (13.4 ounces) Sweet and Condensed milk OR dulce de leche sauce ( found near the condensed milk)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup (6 ounces) Semi-Sweet Chocolate or Dark Chocolate Morsels

Flaky sea salt for sprinkling

Directions

Dulce De Leche Sauce

1.Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.

2.Pour milk into a pie plate and sprinkle with salt. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and add enough hot tap water to reach halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Bake for 1 hour.

3.Remove the roasting pan from the oven and remove the pie plate. Carefully uncover the plate and whisk the mixture until smooth, about 1 minute. Replace the foil and return the pie plate to the water in the roasting pan. Place back in the oven, adding more hot water so that it remains halfway up the sides of the pie plate. Continue to bake until the dulce de leche is dark golden brown (about the color of peanut butter), about 1 1/2 hours more.

4.Remove from the oven and transfer the pie plate to a wire rack. Remove the foil and whisk the dulce de leche until smooth, about 3 minutes.

**** As stated earlier you can skip this stuff and buy dulce de leche sauce the taste will not be quite the same****

Pie Crust & Ganache

  1. Whisk together egg yolks, 1 tablespoon cream and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract in small bowl.
  2. In a mixer add flour, powdered sugar, salt and blend, then add butter; mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Next add yolk mixture in step 1 and process until mixture forms a ball. Shape into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Unwrap the dough and spread it out to a disk and transfer to a 9 inch tart pan, press into the bottom and to the sides pulling the dough up the sides.
  5. Line the shell with a piece of aluminum foil; fill with pie weights, dried beans or rice.
  6. BAKE for 30 minutes or until pastry is set and the edges are golden. Remove the foil and weights. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely..
  7. Spoon dulce de leche into tart shell, spreading evenly.
  8. Now place the chocolate in medium bowl and set aside. Heat 1/2 cup cream in a small saucepan until bubbles appear around the edge.
  9. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate to start melting it. Let stand for 5 minutes or until melted. Whisk until smooth.
  10. Take the melted chocolate and pour over dulce de leche; spread with a spatula.
  11. Dust with a little flaky sea salt.
  12. To serve the same day refrigerate for at least 1 hour for it to set. Remove side of tart pan and transfer the tart to a serving plate. Cut into wedges.

Loosely inspired by: http://forthefeast.com/2013/06/salted-caramel-chocolate-tart/

Enjoy & Thanks for reading ,

Sarah

Day 30: { Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce}

The final day of blogging month, and I thought I would go out with a bang. It’s been an awesome month and it has challenged me as a blogger as well as a cook. Thanks for anyone who has read my blog everyday this month or shared it, I really appreciate the encouragement.

This bread pudding was amazing. Seriously it was so good. It was creamy, with the perfect amount of sweetness and who doesn’t like whipped cream??

I love using vanilla beans when I can and the cinamon caramel sauce was so good. Not to mention the cinamon whipped cream on top. Yes it is definitely a once and a while dessert, but man it was great.

Once again Nick has dangerously taken some photo’s in return for some bread pudding, fair deal i’d say😉

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mmmmmmmmm… so good

Vanilla Bean Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Caramel Sauce

Ingredients 

For the bread pudding
4 cups cubed French or Sourdough bread, 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 loaf)
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
5 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

For the cinnamon caramel sauce
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup cream
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the whipped cream
1 pint heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Ground cinnamon

Directions

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a 9-inch baking dish with 2 tbsp of the butter. Add bread cubes to pan, set aside.

2.For the bread pudding, in a large bowl beat eggs and sugar, set aside. In a medium saucepan heat milk, cream, salt and vanilla bean pod and seeds over low heat; steep 10 minutes.

3.Pour a small amount of the milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking to temper. Continue to incorporate the milk mixture into the egg mixture until well combined; pour over bread cubes, pressing bread gently until saturated (mixture can be refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point or baked).

4.Place pan in oven; bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and slightly dry on top.

5.Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat butter, cream, half and half, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt over medium heat. Bring to boiling; reduce to a simmer.

6.Cook, stirring occasionally until thick and light brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, keep warm. Stir with a whisk until smooth before serving.

7.For the whipped cream, in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer with whip attachment, whip heavy cream on medium speed until slightly thick. Add sugar and continue to whip until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes.

8.Spoonfuls of the bread pudding on small serving plates. Drizzle with cinnamon caramel sauce and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon or cardamom if desired, and serve warm.

Inspired by :http://dawnviola.com/vanilla-bean-bread-pudding-with-cardamom-caramel-sauce/

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

Day 29 : { Strawberry Sunshine Smoothie}

I’ve wanted to start making breakfast an everyday ritual, opposed to just coffee and whatever I grab. This week I went to the Hamilton’s market. I really love this place, most stuff is local and so much cheaper than your grocery store. You get to meet some cool people and hear their stories , if you’re willing to listen. The market has a really cool community vibe.

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my purchases at the market

This week I tried some chia seeds at my sister’s apartment, her husband let me try them. They really intrigued me so I bought some at the market.They have great things in them such as fibre, omega 3’s, calcium, phosphorous and can help keep a healthy cholesterol. Go Chia Go!

I decided to incorporate them on top. The smoothie itself is great and pretty good for you. I’ve had one everyday for the past few days and I like this combo the best so far.

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Strawberry Sunshine Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/2 cup of plain yogurt

1/2 cup of frozen strawberries

1 banana

1/4 cup of spinach

1 teaspoon of chia seeds

Directions

1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth. Top with chia seeds.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

Day 28 : { Homemade Pasta}

There is nothing like homemade pasta. It’s so soft and makes whatever sauce you have on it taste ten times more luxrious. A couple years ago I invested in a pasta maker for about 60 bucks. It honestly was worth every dollar. I have made countless pasta dishes and more recently lasagna.

I will tell you it is a process to make it, but it is so worth it. If you want ( or you make double batches) you can dry the pasta out and save it for another time.

The misconception people have is that pasta involves a lot of ingredients. It is simply eggs, flour, salt. That’s it. Do not be discouraged if your first couple of batches bomb, it takes some time and patience.

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Homemade Pasta 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed, and more for surface and dusting
  • 4 large eggs

Directions

  1. Mound flour on a large wooden cutting board or in a large mixing bowl. Make a WELL in the center, and add eggs. Beat flour and eggs with a fork, starting with the inner rim of the well, to incorporate. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (don’t worry if it looks messy). Dough will come together once half the flour is incorporated.
  2. Knead dough using both hands, primarily using your palms. Add more flour if dough is very sticky. Once dough is formed, lift it from the board and scrape up any leftover dry bits. Lightly flour board, and continue kneading dough for 3 minutes more. (Dough should be elastic and slightly sticky.)
  3. Continue kneading dough for 3 minutes more, dusting board with flour if needed. (Dough should be smooth and elastic.) Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  4. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Flatten each using your palm or a rolling pin, and flour both sides of each piece; cover dough with a kitchen towel. Pass 1 piece of dough through the rollers of a pasta machine set on the widest setting, using one hand to guide it and prevent it from folding or rippling. Fold sheet of dough neatly into thirds, then pass it through the rollers again.
  5. Continue passing dough through widest setting, sprinkling flour on both sides of dough each time to prevent it from sticking to itself, until it is silky and smooth. Pass dough through next widest setting twice, flouring both sides of dough each time. Repeat, reducing each setting, and running dough through twice on each until you reach the thinnest setting, and then either using the cutting attachment on your pasta maker or a knife cut pasta into narrow strips.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 2 or 3 minutes. Drain, and top with your favourite pasta sauce.

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

Day 27: { One Pot Paprika Chicken Stew}

Feeling a bit off tonight. So this will be a short post.

I made this last night, I didn’t actually get to eat it because I was volunteering. My family said it tasted great.. so i’ll go with that haha.

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One Pot Paprika Chicken Stew 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Smokey paprika
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Pressed garlic
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb. red and white small potatoes, in 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 Tbs. flour
  • 1 1/3 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a Ziploc bag, combine about 2 T. smokey paprika, 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Mix together and add 4-5 pieces of chicken at a time lightly shaking. Pull the chicken pieces out and put on a large plate. Repeat the process, adding more spices if needed, until all the chicken has been coated.
  2. In a large heavy frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat the process until all the chicken has been lightly cooked.
  3. Add the garlic and onion to the frying pan, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir another 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes.
  4. Gently whisk the flour into the wine. Gradually pour into the vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the chicken stock; stir. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover the pan, and reduce the heat to medium-low, simmering until the chicken and vegetables are cooked. Cook for about 30 minutes. Right before serving, stir the chicken and vegetables; add in the thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper. Serve on rice, or quinoa.

Inspired by :http://reluctantentertainer.com/2014/09/one-pot-paprika-chicken-thighs/

Thanks for reading,

Sarah

Day 26 : { Apple Pie Oatmeal}

Want something to warm you up on a cold morning with a cup of coffee? Look no further.

I made this today and it was great. The only substitutions I made were, I didn’t have chia seeds so I just added less milk also I didn’t have almond milk so I just used skim milk.

I’ve been meaning to find a good oatmeal recipe, I want to get into the habit of making breakfast every morning instead of just on weekends.

My fear was that it was going to be too sweet, but it was perfect.

This oatmeal is flawless behold it’s beauty…

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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup regular oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger + pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 + 1/4 cups Almond Milk
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1-1.5 tablespoon pure maple syrup + more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts, for sprinkling on top

 Directions:

1. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, whisk together the 1/3 cup oats, peeled and chopped apple, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, 1.25 cups Almond milk, 1 tbsp pure maple syrup, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ginger, pinch of kosher salt. Whisk well.

2. Heat over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring often. When the mixture thickens and the liquid is absorbed, it is ready. Stir in the pure vanilla extract.

3. Pour into a dish and sprinkle with chopped walnuts, a pinch of cinnamon, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. Add a tiny bit of almond milk on top
Inspired by : http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/24/apple-pie-oatmeal/#ixzz3KEl1vfHp

Day 25: {Peanut Butter and Jam Brownies}

Yes you read that right, peanut butter and jam brownies.

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That peanut butter custard should be a dessert on it’s own… I may have sampled a bit ( or a lot). #noshame

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If you are wondering why ( for once) my pictures look good it’s because my talented boyfriend/photographer/person extraordinare took them. Check out his blog PLS, he’s so talented it hurts.

These were really good my one large error was cooking it in a glass baking pan instead of a traditional metal baking pan. I should have adjusted the time and temperature accordingly. Even though it wasn’t my greatest success, I know that these brownies are amazing. The ingredients speak for them self!

Please try them before you die and eat them all.

Peanut Butter and Jam Brownies 

Ingredients 

custard
250ml 2 % milk
1 vanilla pod
2 large free-range egg yolks
50g golden caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
2 heaped tablespoons smooth peanut butter

Brownies 
230g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
250g quality dark chocolate (70%)
230g golden caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs
150g plain flour
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
75g fresh raspberries

Directions:

1.To make the custard put the milk into a pan, halve the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, then add both pod and seeds to the pan and lightly simmer on the hob, stirring occasionally.

2.Meanwhile, in a bowl, use a balloon whisk to combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and soft butter. Whisking constantly, gradually pour the hot milk into the bowl, until combined. Return the custard mixture to the pan, place over a low heat and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in the peanut butter, then leave the custard to cool completely.

3.Preheat the oven to 350°F

4.For the brownies, grease and line a deep baking tray (20cm x 30cm). Melt the butter in a non-stick pan on a very low heat, then snap up and add the chocolate. Stir regularly with a spatula until melted and combined, then remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Leave to cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until silky. Sift in the flour and mix well.

5. Pour the chocolatey brownie mix into the prepared tray, then swirl through the chilled nutty custard (discarding the vanilla pod). Erratically distribute little spoonfuls of jam over the surface, then poke in the fresh raspberries (or any other fresh seasonal berries that correspond with the jam you’re using).

6.Bake for around 25 minutes, or until cooked on the outside but still a bit gooey in the middle. Leave to cool for 1 hour if you can bear it, then cut into portions and serve.

Inspired by :http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780718159535/jamie-s-comfort-food/19290195/peanut-butter-and-jelly-brownies

Thanks for reading,

Sarah