Ginger Pear Sorbet

Ginger Pear Sorbet

Ginger Pear Sorbet is cool, refreshing and the most perfect dessert for those hot summer days. To make it even better, there’s no ice cream maker required and only a few ingredients. 

For those who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of Bon Appétit magazine.  Not only for the great recipes, but because it’s a little bit of quiet time that happens when I sit and thumb through a copy.  You might find it odd that I keep every copy when all the recipes can be found on the Epicurious website and/or App. It’s because I definitely prefer to sit quietly with the magazine and a glass of wine.  As a blogger there’s more than enough time already spent on the computer.

The website however, provides reviews on the recipes which I find helpful when making alterations and adaptions.  For this lovely Pear Sorbet many of the reviewers made note that it was on the sweet side and a little flat in flavour even though some found the ginger to be too much.   As luck would have it, I was only able to find pears in light syrup instead of heavy, which in turn helped out with the sweetness problem.  The advice on flavouring was also heeded and I opted for lime juice instead of lemon and added fresh mint.

I definitely found the reviews helpful and rather liked reading the views from people who have actually made the dish. I was very pleased with the results from my modifications and find that it’s quite lovely with the changes. Easy to prepare, which is nice for those hot summer days when nobody wants to be working in a hot kitchen. It’s not too sweet and has a hint of ginger and mint for a refreshing finish to your meal. Enjoy!

Recipe for Ginger Pear Sorbet adapted from: Epicurious Ginger Pear Sorbet

Ginger Pear Sorbet
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
7+ hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
7+ hours
Ginger Pear Sorbet
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
7+ hours
Servings Prep Time
4 people 20-25 minutes
Passive Time
7+ hours
Instructions
  1. Line a shallow dish or pie plate with plastic wrap. Strain the juice off the pears and to the juice add sugar, ginger, lime zest and lime juice. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Spread pear pieces in a single layer in pie plate. Pour juice over pears and freeze for at least 6 hours.
  2. Flip over pie plate onto a cutting board to remove pears and remove plastic wrap. Cut into large chunks and place in a food processor. Puree until smooth. Add chopped mint and pulse until combined. Spread pureed pears into a clean container and freeze for at least an hour. Scoop into dishes and garnish with additional mint leaves if desired. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Puree can be made and frozen covered for up to two days in advance.

Raspberry Swirl Cake

Raspberry Swirl Cake

Where does the time go?  It seems like yesterday that I ventured into the world of food blogging, yet April 24, 2018 marks two years of being “Compelled To Cook”.  To celebrate, I’ve whipped up a super easy and rather delicious Raspberry Swirl Cake.  It’s topped with mascarpone whipped cream and so lovely served with fresh raspberries and a drizzle of the extra raspberry sauce.  

Only after two years do I feel like I’m just starting to get the hang of this hobby of food blogging.   By that I’m referring to the basics of food photography, writing and posting. I’ve yet to delve into video, monetizing, pod casts etc.  There’s still so much to learn and do, but I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s been a great journey so far and I’m excited for what the next couple of years will bring when I can hone my current skills and learn new ones.  In the meantime, I hope you join me in enjoying this beautiful Raspberry Swirl Cake in celebration of my blog’s 2nd birthday.  Happy Birthday to me!!

Recipe source for Raspberry Swirl Cake:  Inspired from Live Love and Sugar, Berry Mascarpone Layer Cake

Raspberry Swirl Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-16 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50-60 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
12-16 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50-60 minutes 3 hours
Raspberry Swirl Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-16 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50-60 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
12-16 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
50-60 minutes 3 hours
Ingredients
Raspberry Sauce
Cake
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
Servings: people
Instructions
Raspberry Sauce
  1. Combine raspberries and sugar in a small sauce pan and heat on medium until berries have cooked down and mixture is bubbling, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Whisk together water and cornstarch. Add to berries, stirring until combined and mixture returns to a boil. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on solids to extract as much sauce as possible. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Yields approximately 3/4 cup.
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and position rack in centre of oven. Prepare a 9" x 2" or 9" x 3" cake pan by spraying with non stick spray and lining bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat sugar and oil together using a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment or an electric hand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each. Beat until light, about 1 minute. Add milk, vanilla and flour mixture. Whisk on medium/high until smooth, scraping bowl once, about 1 minute. With mixer running on low, slowly add water. Increase speed and mix until water is incorporated, scraping the bowl once.
  3. Pour half the batter into prepared pan and drizzle with 3 tbsp of raspberry sauce. Pour on remaining batter and repeat with another 3 tbsp of raspberry sauce. Using a small knife pushed to the bottom of the pan, make several figure 8's in the batter to swirl the raspberry sauce. Do not swirl or stir in excess as it will muddle the batter. You will have some raspberry sauce remaining on the top of the cake.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool completely prior to removing from pan. When cool, invert cake and remove parchment paper, turn back upright and top with mascarpone whipped cream. Serve with extra raspberry sauce and fresh raspberries.
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whip or electric hand held mixer, whip cream and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Add mascarpone and vanilla and continue to whip on high until combined and stiff peaks form.
Recipe Notes

Be sure to use a 9" x 2" or 9" x 3" pan.

Lavender White Chocolate Meringues

Lavender White Chocolate Meringues

Crunchy, yet melt in your mouth, Lavender White Chocolate Meringues are a sweet treat to be shared. Conveniently just the right size to pop in your mouth like no one will notice, but with a hint of lavender and creamy white chocolate, you won’t be the only one standing near the cookie plate. These pretty meringues with their gorgeous violet colour and hint of lavender tease us with the thought of spring and Easter and they’re fun for everyone.

Meringue is so versatile, can take on many flavours and most any colour. Once whipped up to a stiff peak they hold up well and are easily piped into desired shapes. Quick and easy to whip up, it’s the baking and decorating that take the time in this recipe. But one can still do many things while they’re baking so time essentially is not lost here.

The goal for meringue is to have a smooth outer shell with no browning and dry interior with a nice crunch. To achieve this, a low and slow baking period is required. I suggest an oven no hotter than 200℉ or the meringue has the tendency to crack. Some recipes will have you place in a hot oven, turn the oven off and allow to sit overnight. I find this is not necessary but they do need enough time to bake to achieve a crunchy lightness. It’s perfectly alright to open the oven and give one a taste to see how they’re coming along when you’re not sure. They won’t fall or flatten just because you opened the door. If need be, bake a little longer till they’re light and hollow sounding, then have fun decorating as desired.

Lavender White Chocolate Meringues inspired by: Bethcakes Lavender Meringues

Lavender White Chocolate Meringues
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-7 dozen 60 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-7 dozen 60 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 24 hours
Lavender White Chocolate Meringues
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6-7 dozen 60 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-7 dozen 60 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
3 hours 24 hours
Ingredients
Servings: dozen
Instructions
  1. Combine sugar and lavender in a small bowl. Rub lavender buds and sugar together with your fingers to help infuse the lavender flavour into the sugar. Cover tightly and allow to sit at room temperature, preferably overnight. Sift sugar to remove lavender before using.
  2. Preheat oven to 200℉. Arrange 2 oven racks with one in the middle and the second above it. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy and starting to thicken. Gradually add sugar with mixer running. Once all sugar has been added, continue to beat until stiff peak stage and meringue is glossy, about 8-10 minutes. Add desired food colouring and flavouring and whip just to combine.
  3. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment. Fill a large piping bag fitted with a 446P (10 cm round) tip with meringue and pipe into 1"-1 1/2" kisses, spacing 1" apart on baking tray. To pipe kisses, hold tip vertically 1/2"- 3/4" above tray and squeeze until filling has created a 1"-1 1/2" circle. Stop squeezing and lift up, creating the tail.
  4. Once all meringue has been piped, place trays in oven and bake for 2 1/2-3 hours, checking meringue for doneness at the 2 1/2 hour mark. Once meringues are dry and light with a hollow sound and feeling, turn off oven and allow meringues to remain in oven until completely cooled.
  5. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler or microwave on 30 second intervals until smooth. Dip or decorate meringues in chocolate then decorate with sprinkles if desired.
Recipe Notes

Alternatively, you can use lavender flavouring instead of the infused sugar which will eliminate that step.

Meringues can be piped into any desired shape using other tips if desired.

I found it difficult to dip the bottom of the meringues into the chocolate without breaking off their tips. I therefore spread an arc of white chocolate onto the side of the meringue and dipped in sprinkles.

Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato

Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato

Think of Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato as an adult ice cream float.  Instead of fizzy pop poured over ice cream, you have hot bold espresso laced with Frangelico liqueur.  Gently melting and swirling with chocolate ice cream, whipped cream and toasted hazelnuts. Incredibly easy and oh so good.

The term Affogato is Italian for “drowned” whereby one drowns their ice cream with hot espresso. There are many variations out there and it’s fun to be creative by using flavoured espressos, other flavours of gelato or ice cream and of course different liqueurs. I personally love the combination of chocolate and coffee, so this Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato was exactly what I was craving.

This recipe also gave me cause to dust off my espresso machine which probably hadn’t been used for 6 years!! I know, it’s a shame. Call it life, laziness, or forgetfulness there’s little excuse not to have it out and ready for amazing coffee. My husband and I used to spend quality time together, making and enjoying frothy milk topped coffee swirled with flavoured syrup and sometimes caramel. I miss those days a lot! So now that my espresso maker is polished, primed and supplies purchased my excitement is renewed and serious coffee drinking can begin.

Recipe adapted slightly from Dessert for Two, Hazelnut Moch Affogato

Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Chocolate Hazelnut Affogato
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. On a small baking sheet or pie plate, spread hazelnuts in a single layer and toast for 10-13 minutes until starting to turn golden. Allow to cool to room temperature and coarsely chop.
  2. Combine heavy cream and icing sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Keep chilled until ready to use.
  3. Brew 4 shots of espresso or use espresso powder as per product instructions. Combine with Frangelico liqueur.
  4. Place a scoop of ice cream in individual serving dishes or glasses. Pour 1/4 of espresso/liqueur into each dish. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with chopped hazelnuts. Serve immediately.

Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake

Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake

Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake is a one bowl beauty with lovely orange flavour, spiced with cardamom and moistened with yogurt. The orange glaze on top is an extra splash of flavour and moisture to an already delicious flavourful cake.

The cake on its own is splendid but I do admit to loving it even more with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. It mellows and marries the vibrant orange taste, kinda like the ice cream in a creamsicle. So feel free to glam it up a little with either the whipped cream or even vanilla ice cream.  While I love this Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake for its one bowl simplicity, I can’t help but love the combination of orange and cardamom.  It’s an addictive citrus flavour that’s just a bit exotic.  I used this combination originally in a sugar cookie with tasty results but felt the cookie just didn’t take great pictures due to the inherent pale colour of the sugar cookie.  So I turned the flavour profile into a cake with great results.  It’s simple and delicious and I do hope you give a try. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake:  Compelled To Cook

Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-14 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-14 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Cardamom Orange Yogurt Cake
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12-14 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12-14 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease and line with parchment a 9" x 3" round cake pan.
  2. Over a sheet of parchment paper, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat together sugar, eggs and orange zest until light, creamy and triple in volume, approximately 3-4 minutes. Lower speed and slowly add butter to incorporate. Continue adding yogurt, Grand Marnier and cardamom. Add half the sifted flour mixture and half the orange juice, beating until combined. Add remaining flour and orange juice beating until smooth, approximately 30 seconds. Pour into prepared pan and smooth out top. Bake for 37-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  4. While cake is hot brush with orange syrup allowing syrup to be absorbed before brushing on more. Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack. When cool loosen edges and remove from pan and cut into wedges. Serve with sweetened whipped cream or ice cream.
Orange Glaze
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking often. Once at a boil, allow to boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and brush onto cake.
Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats

Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats

After school treat or with Sunday tea, you’ll love every bit of the almond flavour and crunch in these chewy Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats. They’re the stuff that’s made as a family, easy, nostalgic and made often. Every bit as easy as your typical marshmallow krispie square but amped up with toasted almonds, almond butter and chocolate. It’s a great twist on an old favourite.

 

Without a doubt,  almonds would have to be my favourite nut in every dimension. I enjoy snacking on them whole, raw, or toasted & seasoned. I love them in baked goods, especially toasted. They are great slivered in salads, toasted in granola and they are the first thing that I will pick out of trail mix. Almonds are also a good source of fiber, magnesium, and calcium to name a few. There’s so much to love about the almond and that’s why I chose to incorporate them in these delicious Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats:

Compelled To Cook

 

Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Chocolate Almond Crunch Krispie Treats
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
20 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20 squares 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: squares
Instructions
  1. Prepare a 9"x9" pan by spraying with non stick spray and lining with parchment, allowing the parchment to overhang on two sides only. Giving you something to grab and lift entire unit from pan when set.
  2. Using a large pot, melt marshmallows and butter over medium heat until almost melted. Add 1/2 cup almond butter and almond extract. Stir until smooth, removing from heat when the last of the marshmallows have melted.
  3. Stir in rice krispies and 1 cup toasted almonds. Spread evenly into prepared pan using lightly oiled hands to press out uniformly.
  4. Melt chocolate chips and 1/4 cup almond butter together, stirring until smooth and chocolate is melted. I used the microwave at medium power and 30 second intervals, however a double boiler works well too.
  5. Pour over krispie squares and spread out evenly. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup toasted almonds. Allow to cool to room temperature prior to cutting. Cut along the edge of the pan to release the two sides that do not have the parchment overhang. Grab the parchment ends and lift entire unit out of the pan onto cutting board. Cut 4x5 into 20 bars.
Recipe Notes

Toast almonds by spreading in a single layer on a sheet pan and baking in a preheated 350℉ oven for 8-10 minutes, turning once.