The Best Chocolate Brownies

Gooey Chocolate Brownies with Ice Cream, chocolate sauce and pecans

Gooey Chocolate Brownies with Ice Cream, chocolate sauce and pecans

Chocolate Pecan Brownies - great on their own too

Chocolate Pecan Brownies – great on their own too

I think one of the first recipes anyone makes when they’re young is brownies.  There are a million different recipes and variations.  This one I refer to as ‘the best’ because it’s dense, chewy and rich– with intense chocolate flavour.  The technique is a little more complex than a basic brownie, but not difficult and the result is worth it.  Eaten alone these are extremely delicious, but assembled on a large plate with some ice cream and a chocolate drizzle kicks it up a level and can easily be served as an elegant dessert.  The recipe calls for “UNSWEETENED” chocolate – usually in a blue box – so don’t mistake it for bittersweet or semi-sweet.  Try it out – this recipe is a keeper. Continue reading

Grandma’s Christmas Pudding – A Heritage Recipe

Grandma's Traditional Christmas pudding

Grandma’s Traditional Christmas pudding

This recipe comes to me via my Aunt Julia.  I was eager to try it as something I’ve never made before and I was excited to recreate my grandmother’s recipe.  I had to track down a ‘pudding mold’ and luckily, my friend Julie loaned me hers and included an appropriate sized pot to steam it in.  So. This ‘pudding’ is really what  Canadians would consider more of a ‘cake’, however, this pudding is cooked by method of steaming instead of baking.  The result is a moist Christmas pudding rich with nuts and fruit and just the smell alone will bring back memories of  childhood Christmas dinners. Continue reading

Traditional Shortbread

Traditional Shortbread

I am  preparing a few care packages to mail and shortbread is an obvious choice for a few reasons.  Firstly, it’s delicious and evokes wonderful Christmas memories of home…..and secondly,  it keeps for a long time and travels well if packaged properly.  This recipe is super easy and so good — the use of brown sugar gives it a caramel-like flavour that is so great with a cup of tea.  As with all baking, some technique is required to attain great results.  Use room temperature butter and beat it on high with the sugar, scraping the sides often.  Sift your flours before adding. Your dough should be crumbly.  Make this! Everyone should know how and this recipe is a keeper. Continue reading

Strawberry Almond Mini Cakes

fireworks at Sharbot Lake beach

Strawberry Almond Mini Cakes

Happy Canada Day!  Here’s an easy and delicious little cake that takes advantage of fresh strawberries.

These come together quickly and easily.  They are more dense than a traditional muffin, made with ground almonds, egg whites and a bit of flour. The addition of freshly crushed seasonal stawberries makes this a great recipe. Give them a try while the berries are in – you can keep them simple or fancy them up with some whipped cream and extra berries on the side.  The recipe is from Anna Olsen and we all know what a great (Canadian) baker she is. Continue reading

Rhubarb Cake with Cinnamon Crunch Topping

rhubarb cake with cinnamon crunch topping

I was wondering what to make with some fresh rhubarb from the farmer’s market…when I saw this recipe, I gave it a whirl. So good!  It’s a buttermilk batter and it’s just so creamy and delightful…with some rhubarby tartness and cinnamon crunch on top. A keeper. Easy too. Continue reading