Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lavender Panna Cotta with Blueberry Riesling Sauce

Lavender Panna Cotta with Blueberry Riesling Sauce

On a recent trip through Okanagan wine country in central British Columbia, I was sitting in the pretty flower garden at Peachcliff B&B, enjoying the scents of lavender and roses. As I sipped the crisp local white wine, I was inspired by the aromas and the countryside to create this unique dessert. Lavender had been in the forefront of my mind anyway, and I was lucky to be in the area just as it started to bloom.

At first I thought, "Will this taste like hand lotion?" The answer? It doesn't! Lavender adds a slightly herbaceous, almost fruity flavour, with a very faint, flowery note. I also made Lavender Syrup from the flowers (recipe coming soon!).

Botrytis-Affected Riesling from Wild Goose Vineyards, Okanagan Falls, BCThis decadent dessert is not overly sweet, so it pairs wonderfully with a slightly sweet white wine that has great acidity, like this botrytis-affected Riesling from Wild Goose Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, BC.  

I hope you try this decadent, creamy treat, and that it evokes images of wine country for you as well.

Click through for recipe and instructions...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Vodka Sauce for Father’s Day

I once again volunteered to bring dessert to the family get-together. This time, it was a potluck BBQ for Father’s Day. My Father-in-law’s favourite dessert is cheesecake (psst it’s mine, too), so I knew I would be making one. Since we have been having unseasonable hot weather here, I thought I would whip up a no-bake cheesecake to bring. “I love having the oven on for hours during hot weather,” said no one ever.

This cheesecake is simple and quick to throw together. The sauce is to die for, with intense raspberry flavour. It’s worth the extra elbow grease to strain out the seeds, pressing the mixture through a sieve to get the tasty pulp along with the juice. Why add vodka? You can certainly leave it out, but the alcohol is cooked away. The vodka adds a rich body to the sauce, giving it a buttery mouth feel without adding butter. I wouldn’t use flavoured vodka, as the bright acidity of the raspberries would be lost.

Click through for recipe and instructions...

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Angel Food French Toast with Mascarpone Cream and Raspberries

Yup, it's french toast. Made with cake.

I made french toast with angel food cake.

Yes, my dears, you read that correctly! We have been on a little french toast kick lately. We have tried different breads, thicknesses, egg-to-milk ratios, toppings and the like. I got this idea – the angel food cake idea – from an older issue of Bon Appetit magazine. What a great resource! Their suggestion: substitute sliced angel food cake for bread in your favourite french toast recipe. My eyes glazed over and after I finally retrieved my chin from the floor, I had made a decision. Challenge accepted!

I find angel food cake to be very sweet. While I was sure the egg dip would tone that down a little, I wanted to offset that sugar-hit with the tartness of fresh raspberries, and the tang of creamed mascarpone cheese. I also made raspberry sauce (my sis-in-law calls me the Saucy Saucier, because sauce is awesome, and should be consumed in mass quantities).

The night before my experiment, I baked up an angel food cake. I left it to cool overnight on the kitchen counter, and to dry it out a little as well. OK, OK, you caught me. I forgot about it and went to bed. In spite of my neglect, the resulting cake was just a teensy bit dried out – perfect for soaking up some lightly-beaten eggs mixed with a bit of milk.

The result? Angel food french toast, served with a dollop of mascarpone cream, fresh raspberries and drizzled with raspberry sauce was a little bit of heaven. Dessert for brunch, if you will. I think this would also make a great dessert after a fancy brunch. The toast is very delicate and sweet, and soaks up the raspberries and cream like a dream. 

Mmmm deliciously messy

I ended up with some leftover cake, and you probably will as well. Store it in an airtight container in your fridge, and get creative with some layered desserts!

Golden brown goodness!
Click through for recipe and instructions

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Raspberry Greek Yogurt Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

Raspberry Greek Yogurt Layer Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream

One fun benefit of belonging to a large family is plenty of birthdays. Each birthday means another birthday cake, of course! We recently attended a party for my Mom-in-law's birthday, and for her celebration, I wanted to try something special. This Raspberry Greek Yogurt Cake fit the bill perfectly.

It has fruit in it so it's healthy, right? Right? Hello?
This cake is very moist, and the fresh raspberries add bright flavour. The recipe below makes four layers, but I only used three for the cake. Yup, that left one layer leftover for me! 

Happy birthday to a special lady! Photo by Marlee O.
Because this was a birthday cake for a special lady, I made lots of frosting so I could make the cake look extra special. To make a regular, two-layer cake, simply halve the recipe below and use only the Lemon Cream Cheese Buttercream.

The yogurt makes this cake moist and rich.
Click through for the recipe and instructions.