Fig Clafoutis

Such a simple and tasty dessert – those french are so smart!

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 2 c halved fresh figs
  • 1 c whole milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  • 1Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter a 10-inch glass pie plate. Arrange the figs cut side up in an even layer in the plate.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the milk with the melted butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla until the sugar has dissolved. Whisk in the flour until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter evenly over the figs and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden and puffed. Let the clafoutis rest for 5 minutes before serving

Boston Cream Pie

This is from David Leibovitz – it is perfect. You need time to make this as everything needs to chill between steps. I did it over 2 days. So worth all the work!

Custard filling

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, (split vertically) or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Sponge Cake

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c whole milk
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c sugar

Chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp light corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 4 ozs bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

For the custard filling

  • Add the milk to a medium saucepan and use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the half vanilla bean into the milk. Add the vanilla pod to the milk and warm over medium-high heat with a pinch of salt. Turn off heat.
  • In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until smooth, then whisk in the flour. Gradually pour about 1 cup (250ml) of the warmed milk into the yolks while whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan. 
  • Turn the heat back on to medium-high heat and cook the custard, stirring the mixture with a whisk constantly (don’t vigorously whip it, which will make it harder to see what’s happening, and tire you out – just stir it) for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to the next-to-lowest temperature and continue to cook, stirring constantly with a whisk for 8 minutes. The mixture will continue to bubble gently as you cook it, but will not break due to the flour. Place a mesh strainer over a medium bowl and keep it nearby.
  • When the custard is thick, scrape the mixture into the strainer and press it through with a flexible spatula. Stir in the cold butter and vanilla extract (if using extract instead of the vanilla bean), until smooth. (Even if using vanilla bean, I often add around 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract to round out the vanilla flavor, so you can use both bean and extract.) Butter a piece of parchment paper and place it butter-side-down on top of the cream. Chill thoroughly, for several hours or overnight. (The vanilla bean can be rinsed thoroughly and dried, and used for something else.)

For the cake

  • Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC.) Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch (23cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. 
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, warm the milk and the butter until the butter is melted. Remove from heat, add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and set aside. Cover to keep warm.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or with a hand mixer, or by hand in a bowl with a whisk…and a lot of moxie) whip the eggs and sugar at high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer on low speed, gradually dribble in the warm milk and butter until combined, then the flour mixture.
  • Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and give it a few stirs by hand with a flexible spatula to make sure everything is incorporated, then quickly divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans. Smooth the tops and bake until the top of the cakes are golden brown and the center springs back when you touch it and the cake feels done, about 20 to 22 minutes. Don’t overbake. Let the cakes cool completely. 

To finish the cake 

  • Run a knife around the cakes to remove them from the cake pans and peel off the parchment paper. Put one round of cake on a serving plate. Remove the custard filling from the refrigerator, which likely has stiffened up, so give it a few good stirs with a whisk or spatula to loosen it up and remove any lumps. Spread it over the top of the cake on the plate. Top with the second round of cake. Chill the two-layer cake while you prepare the glaze.
  • To make the glaze, gently warm the cream, corn syrup and chocolate is a small saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and let stand about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is thick yet spreadable. Pour it over the center of the cake and use a spatula or butter knife to coax it toward the edges, letting it drip down the side.
  • Refrigerate the cake until firm enough to slice, which will take at least 2-3 hours. If you try to slice it before the filling is well-chilled it’ll be messy to slice so patience pays off.

Strawberry Spoon Cake

I doubled the fruit in this recipe and not mix the sugar with the berries as they were already sweet. This a super simple, tasty cake! This cake serves 8.

  • ½ cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted, plus more for greasing
  • 5 ounces/145 grams frozen and thawed or fresh, hulled strawberries (about 1 cup)
  • ⅔ cup/150 grams packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters whole milk, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup/130 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch (square or round) baking dish with butter. Set aside.
  • Using your hands or the back of a fork, mash the berries to release all their juices, and stir in 1/3 cup of the brown sugar.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, milk and salt, then add the flour and baking powder and continue whisking just until the batter is smooth. Transfer the batter (it’s not much) to the greased baking dish, and spread evenly into corners.
  • Spoon the strawberries and all their juices over the top of the cake batter. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or just when a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before spooning into bowls. Serve warm with ice cream.

Texas Sheet Cake

Thus cake comes together in minutes and is so moist! You don’t even have to wait for the cake to cool to frost.

  • 1 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Toasted pecans for garnish

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring the butter, water and cocoa to a boil. Remove from the heat. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt; add to cocoa mixture. Stir in the sour cream until smooth.
  • Pour into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • In a small saucepan, melt butter; add milk and cocoa. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour over warm cake. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Ricotta Cheesecake with Blackberries

This makes a decadent cheesecake – you can use whatever berries are in season, just make sure they are the peak of ripeness!

FOR THE CRUST

  • 1 c toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE FILLING

  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 32-ounce whole milk ricotta
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp amaretto (rum or Grand Marnier may be substituted)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 8 ozs (about 2-1/2 c) fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 325°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the crust: place the almonds, flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the nuts are finely chopped and the mixture looks sandy. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, cooled melted butter and vanilla. Add the liquid mixture to the nut mixture and pulse several times until the ingredients are well combined, moistened and crumbly. Dump the mixture into the prepared pan and, using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup, press into an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill; then bake for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Let cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until soft and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the ricotta and process until the mixture is smooth and light, another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, processing for 5-10 seconds between each addition. Add the vanilla, amaretto, cornstarch and orange zest and process until mixture is just combined (do not overmix).

Pour the filling into the crust, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake the cheesecake for about 50 – 60 minutes, until the top is lightly golden, the edges are set and the center is quite jiggly but not totally liquid (it will continue to cook as it cools). Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides then cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to cool for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the topping: After the cake has chilled, place the berries evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For serving: Remove the sides of the springform pan and slice.

Serves 8 – 10.

Applesauce Cake with Oatmeal Streusel

Hubby wanted a coffee cake for his birthday cake – here’s what I came up with, it’s so moist.

Streusel:

  • 1 c firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp butter

Cake:

  • 2 1/2 c flour
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cardamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c u sweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs, lightly beatne
  • 1/2 c butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c vegetable or nut oi

Preheat oven to 350. Geese a 12 c Bundt pan.

In a mixer combine the streusel ingredients, best until crumbly. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.

Place dry ingredients in the mixing bowl, mix to combine. Add eggs and applesauce, stir to combine, add remaining ingredients and mix till smooth.

Scrape 1/3 of the batter into the pan, too with 1/2 the batter, spread the remaining batter, and finished with the remains batter.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is browned.

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then flip out onto a plate.

Serves 10 – 12.

Low Fat Lemon Lime Bars

These are so good and low fat! I used coconut palm sugar so they a little brown.

  • 1 c flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1/4 c chopped pecans
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 2/3 c sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp fliur
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Zest of one lime
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powdee

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, 1/4 c sugar, pecans, and butter and beat with an electric mixer until crumbly. Press into pan and backs 15 minutes.

In the same bowl, beat remaining ingredients for 2 minutes. Mixture will be thin. Pour over hot crust.

Bake for 20 minutes until topping is set. Let cool for 30 minutes and cut into squares.

16 servings.

3 ww PO

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Skinny Brownies

1cup granulated sugar1container

6 oz Greek yogurt

2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 tsp vanilla

2 egg whites

3/4 c flour

1/2 c unsweetened baking cocoa

1/2 tsp salt

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 8- or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.

In medium bowl, mix granulated sugar, yogurt, oil, vanilla and egg whites. Stir in all remaining ingredients except powdered sugar. Spread in pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 4 rows by 4 rows. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

16 servings. 3 WW PP.

Apple Walnut Cake

Use a cast iron skillet for this one. I used coconut palm sugar which made it nice and brown. This is from Epicurious.

  • 1 cup raw walnuts or pecans
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 small or 3 large baking apples (such as Pink Lady), peeled, halved, cored
  • ½ c (packed) light brown sugar, divided
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ c Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • Lightly sweetened, softly whipped cream (for serving)
  1. Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spread out walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing once, until golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a 10″ ovenproof skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium. Add 2 Tbsp. butter and swirl to coat; arrange apple halves cut sides down in a single layer in skillet. Cook apples, undisturbed, rotating skillet on burner as needed for even browning, until cut sides are golden brown, 5–10 minutes (the timing depends on the juiciness of the apples; juicier apples will take longer). Turn apples over and cook on rounded sides just until they start to release their juices and the tip of a knife slides through with slight resistance, about 5 minutes. Transfer apples to a plate, arrange cut sides up, and let cool.
  3. Add ¼ cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp. water to skillet and set over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula until sugar is dissolved, then cook, swirling skillet occasionally (do not stir at this point), until thick and bubbling in a thin layer, about 1 minute. Let caramel cool in skillet.
  4. Meanwhile, pulse toasted walnuts, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and 1½ tsp. cinnamon in a food processor until combined and nuts are finely ground. Transfer walnut mixture to a medium bowl.
  5. Combine granulated sugar, remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, and remaining 8 Tbsp. butter in food processor (no need to wash it) and process in long pulses until mixture is light and smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and process in long pulses, scraping down sides of processor once, until mixture is smooth. Add half of walnut mixture and pulse to combine, then add yogurt and pulse just until incorporated. Add remaining walnut mixture and pulse just to combine.
  6. Arrange apple halves cut sides down over cooled caramel in skillet, spacing evenly. Fold batter a few times with spatula, scraping sides to make sure everything is well mixed. Scrape batter over apples and work into spaces around apples. Smooth surface (it’s okay if there’s only a thin layer of batter in places; it will rise in the oven).
  7. Bake cake until it is browned across the entire surface and the center springs back when gently pressed, 30–40 minutes. Let cake cool in skillet 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula or a small knife around the sides of the pan to loosen. Set a wire rack upside down on skillet and flip over to release cake; carefully remove skillet. If any apples or cake stick to skillet, scrape them off and press back onto the top of the cake.
  8. Serve cake warm or room temperature. Slice into wedges and top with dollops of whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon.
  9. Do Ahead: Cake can be baked 2 days ahead. Let cool completely. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Chocolate Malted Cake

This is a quick and easy cake!

Cake:

1/2 c sugar

1/2 c malted milk powder

1 c flour

6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

3/4 c milk

6 tbsp butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla

Glaze:

8 oz semisweet chocolate chips

2 tbsp butter

3/4 c heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 inch baking pan.

Beat butter and sugar together until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time and beat until incorporated.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Mixx 1/2 the flour and milk in the bowl and beat until combined. Add remaining and beat until smooth.

Pour into pan and bake for 25 – 35 minutes. Let cool and flip out of the pan.

Make the glaze:

Heat the cream over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add butter and chips. Let stand 5 minutes and whisk until smooth.

Pour over cake.

Serves 10.