Tuesday, May 24

Sweet Honey Cornbread

On Sunday I was having one of those days where I really wanted a little something sweet but had nothing in the cupboards and didn't really feel like baking anything too exciting ...

So what was a girl to do?

Well, I opened my notebook and started flipping through to find the easiest and fastest recipe I could find! I decided on Sweet Honey Cornbread; it was perfectly baked, served warm with a little butter and a drizzle of molasses.

Sweet Honey Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly grease a 9x9inch pan
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, and baking powder. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients; Add cream, oil, honey, and eggs, stir to combine. Pour batter into pan.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes

It's so easy and delicious ... There's no reason why you can't make it!

Sunday, May 22

Torta alle Pere

I've always had a love for Italian food, everything from delicious pastas to decedent desserts, but it wasn't until I started working at a delicious Italian restaurant in downtown Halifax that I started to truly appreciate it.
Learning how to work with beautiful good quality ingredients; You can add a little love, a dash of this, and a pinch of that and the result are flavors that marry together and create mouthwatering plates.

On Monday, I decided to take a break from staring out the window wishing for sun and bake! I might cook all day at work (and love every minute of it) but when I'm at home I turn to the flour and parchment paper before the onions and chicken stock!
To satisfy my baking needs, I pulled out one of my favorite Italian cook books 'Passione' written by Gennaro Contaldo. There were two recipes that caught my eye, the first a Torta al Cioccolato e Vino Rosso (chocolate and red wine cake) and the second being the Torta alle Pere. The chocolate cake seemed like a good choice, however in my house chocolate doesn't last long and wine? Well that goes even faster! And so I starting whipping up the Torta alle Pere.

Torta alle Pere

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into small chunks
1 tbsp runny honey
3 tbsp full-fat milk
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 pears
4 tbsp apricot jam (for glaze)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10 inch round shallow cake tin with butter and line the base with a circle piece of parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, butter, and honey together until light and fluffy. Gradually add the milk, beating well. Then sift the flour, baking powder, and salt over the top and fold in with a metal spoon, adding vanilla extract too. Core and dice 3 of the pears and mix them in.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Core and thinly slice the 2 remaining pears and arrange them on the top. Bake for 45 minutes, until the cake has risen and is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
  • If you want to glaze the cake, make up the apricot glaze by diluting the apricot jam with a little water and then heating it gently, stir until smooth. Sieve the warm glaze and brush it immediately over the top of the cake.

This cake turned out wonderfully, it was so moist and delicious, I highly recommend that you try it!

Tuesday, May 17

Grandma's Apple Pie

Warm, mouth watering apples cooked to perfection in a combination of sugar and nutmeg.

Beautifully browned, flakey crust.

This was grandma's apple pie.

Now, I know everyone's Grandma makes the BEST (insert your favorite food or dessert here), but I swear it's my Grandma that makes the best apple pie!

Her recipe is perfect. It doesn't need an extra dash of this or an extra pinch of that, it's perfect just the way it is. It's near to my heart so I won't be able to give you the recipe (what can I say, it's Grandma's!), but I can give you the recipe to the best and easiest pie crust I've ever made!

I've always had trouble with pie crust and other pastrys, but this crust was so easy to make and it turned out great! It was light, flakey, golden brown, and everything I could ever want my pie crust to be!

Pie Crust

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) chilled, unsalted butter, cup into pieces

  • Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Cut two sticks of butter in pieces. With pastry blender, cut in butter, working until mixture resembles course meal.
  • Add 4 tablespoons ice water, work with hands until dough comes together. If still crumbly, add more water by the tablespoon.
  • Divide dough in half, flatten into disks, and refrigerate wrapped in clingwrap for atleast 1 hour.
  • When ready, roll out dough on lightly floured surface.