Easy Madeleines

Very light, fluffy and tasty French cookies. Classic small sponge cakes shaped like seashell, usually made with lemon zest. I love lemon, but I decided not to add any to my madeleines. I just like them plain.

You can find molds for mini-madeleines. That’s really nice and you can savor them for a cafe gourmand.

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Madeleines
To make an authentic madeleine, you will need a madeleine pan. But you can use a muffin pan or any cake pan.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
pieces
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl combine eggs and sugar. Whip until light. Add milk and mix well.
  2. Carefully fold in the flour, baking powder and pinch of salt.
  3. Add melted butter and mix throughly until smooth. Let the batter rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter madeleine pan. My pan makes 12 cookies at a time. From this receipe you'll make 24 cookies.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the tops spring back. Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes.
  6. With a knife or fork carefully loosen the madeleines from the pan and then tip the whole pan out to a prepared plate.
  7. If you want to make it in a loaf pan, it will take much longer, about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake come out clean.

Berry Charlotte Cake

This is a famous French dessert made of ladyfinger biscuits, light mousse and topped with fresh fruits. My Berry Charlotte Cake is very easy to make, although it seems like not. The only downside to a charlotte is that it is not always easy to assemble the ladyfinger in the spring form.

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Berry Charlotte Cake
Even though the berry season is only a few months out of the year, frozen berries allow us enjoying the sweet taste of summer year round. If it is winter time or you happen to not finding any good berries at the store, use frozen ones, for the mousse and fresh ones for the decor.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For decoration
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
For decoration
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain berries, add sugar and puree until smooth.
  2. Pass the puree through a fine sieve, to remove all tiny seeds.
  3. You will need about 1/2 cup of puree for dipping the ladyfingers. The rest pour into the saucepan.
  4. Add 4-5 Tbsp of cold water to gelatin, and set it aside.
  5. Place the saucepan with berry mixture over medium heat on the stove (don't boil), remove from the stove and add gelatin. Whisk well until the gelatin is dissolved. Let it cool to room temperature. ...
  6. Pour the very cold heavy whipping cream into a large bowl and whisk, until the cream reaches the soft peaks stage. Do not over beat!
  7. Once the berry puree is completely at room temperature, gently fold it into the whipped cream and set it aside.
  8. Line the inside and walls of a springform pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap. ...
  9. Measure the length you need.
  10. You can trim off one end of each ladyfinger.
  11. Dip one side of the ladyfinger in the puree mixture. Let the excess syrup drip off, then line the ladyfingers (dipped side needs to be inside) in a tight ring, cut side down, around the spring form pan.
  12. If you having trouble fitting the last ladyfinger in, you can cut it in half.
  13. Pour the berry mousse into the springform. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  14. Carefully remove springform walls and plastic wrap. Transfer cake to the plate.
  15. Dust with cocoa powder.
  16. Garnish with some fresh berries, fresh mint, whipped cream and shredded chocolate.
  17. You can decorate with ribbon, but don't forget to remove the ribbon before cutting the cake. 🙂

Vanilla Creme Brulee

Absolutely amazing what a little cream, a little sugar and couple of eggs can turn into….  Perfect restaurant quality dessert. A rich custard topped with a hard layer of caramel.  This Vanilla creme brulee is very easy to make if you follow all the steps correctly.

It will perfectly complete your  cafe gourmand if the crème brûlée is served in small ramekins.

Look at this short video on a creme brulee “drama”! 🙂

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Vanilla Crème brûlée
Use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, if you don't have vanilla bean. You could add 2 Tbsp. of rum into the cream if desired. If you don't own a blow torch, you can always use your broiler as well. You will need to move the top rack in your oven up as high as it will go.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the cream. In a medium bowl, combine together sugar, eggs yolks, vanilla and whisk.
  2. Add the cream a little at a time and stir. Remove the scum with a tea spoon.
  3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins. Divide cream mixture among ramekins (about 6 ramekins).
  4. Arrange the ramekins in a baking pan with deep sides. And carefully pour water around ramekins so that the water level must reach about 2/3 of the ramekins.
  5. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will know its ready when the custard is wobbly and jiggle from side to side when nudged (it looks like jello).
  6. Remove the custard from the water bath and let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours (overnight).
  7. Before serving, cover each cold creme brulee evenly with sugar (1 tsp). Caramelize using a propane torch. If you don't have one propane torch, use the broiler: put the oven rack about 6 inches away from the broiler. Place the custards on the baking sheet and broil for about 3-5 minutes, or until sugar bubbles and turns golden brown. (Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quickly)
Recipe Notes

With remaining eggs white, you could make some Coconut cookies.

Pâte brisée Pie shell

Shortbread dough is very popular when making quiche, pie, tart and tartelettes. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to make this unsweetened pie shell. It turns out light, crumbly, crunchy and deliciously buttery. After trying making this recipe you will never go back to store-bought crust again.

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Pâte brisée Pie shell
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, then freeze. It can last up to 3 months.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl or on the clean table surface combine salt and flour together. Add chunks of softened butter.
  2. Use finger to combine until crumbly.
  3. Add egg yolks and start to knead the dough, only add as much water as dough needs. Do not over-knead.
  4. Shape into a ball.
  5. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 380°F. Unwrap dough and roll into a thin circle between two pieces of parchment paper.
  7. Fit dough into a tart pan, press firmly on bottom and sides. Trim any extra dough. Pick all over with a fork.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until pie shell is lightly golden.

Heart-shaped Ice Cream

To please your significant other without having to spend the whole day cooking. Ice cream in the shape of a heart served with a cloud of whipping cream dusted with grated chocolate… this icy dessert will melt hearts!


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Heart-shaped Ice Cream
Choose your favorite sorbet or ice cream flavor (or your significant other's) and serve this dessert with whipping cream, chocolate and fruit.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Take the ice cream out of the freezer and leave it out for 5 minutes to make it softer. Put the ice cream in a heart shaped mold. Cover with plastic wrap and put it back in the freezer for around 45 minutes.
  2. Submerge the mold under hot water for a couple seconds (wipe the water off of the mold with a towel so that the serving plate does not get wet).
  3. Remove the ice cream from the mold onto a plate. Put the plate into the freezer.
  4. Whip the heavy cream with the sugar until fluffy. Don't over beat.
  5. When serving, put the whipping cream on the heart. Decorate with nuts, grated chocolate, and red berries. Serve right away.

Mini Pavlova

Pavlova is a dessert, named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926. It is a meringue dessert with crisp crust and soft light inside, topped with cream and fresh berries.

You can make meringue shells ahead of time and freeze them. I usually make the cream the same day I want to serve my Mini Pavlova. And as always this dessert is a perfect mini dessert for my  Cafe Gourmand.


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Mini Pavlova

I rarely use food coloring when baking. I like my desserts to have their original color. But if you are cooking for Valentine's Day or for a Princess party, you may add some food coloring to your dessert. This time I used one tiny drop of red coloring to make the cream pink.

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients
Meringue

Cream

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients
Meringue

Cream


Instructions
Meringue
  1. Using mixer, begin beating your egg whites and salt on a low speed, steadily increasing up to medium high.

  2. While beating on a medium speed, slowly add the confectioner's sugar, about 1-2 Tbsp at a time. Once all the sugar is added, keep beating until the egg whites hold stiff peaks.

  3. Preheat oven to 230 degrees F. Draw circles of approximately 4-8 cm diameter (you can use a pint glass as a guide) on each of the parchment lined sheets.

  4. Spoon meringue into piping bag, fitted with 3/4 inch tip. Pipe meringue to cover circles on prepared baking sheet. Pipe two more rings of meringues on top of outer edge to form walls of Pavlovas.

  5. Bake in center of oven until dry and crisp, about 1 1/2 hours.

  6. Turn off the oven and let the meringues completely cool in the oven. Once cooled, you can top them with whipped cream and berries.

Filling
  1. With mixer, beat together very cold heavy cream and mascarpone cheese, until whipped gradually adding sugar. Add food coloring. Don't overbeat the cream, or you will end up with butter.

  2. Spoon cream into piping bag.

  3. Right before serving, pipe frosting on the pavlovas and top with fresh berries.

  4. If you have some leftovers cream, you can pipe it into a small glass and garnish with some fresh berries.


Recipe Notes

Pease don't waste your egg yolks, you can always make Creme brûlée.

 

King Cake (Galette de Rois)

This is a very popular French pie that celebrates the holiday of Epiphany, the day when 3 wise men came bearing gifts for newborn Jesus. The traditional way to bake this king cake is to place a porcelain figurine or “fève” into the center of the galette.  The person who receives the slice with the figurine is “King of the Day” and gets to wear a (paper) crown for the rest of the day.

Print Recipe
King Cake (Galette de Rois)
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Passive Time 1 hour
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Beat the softened butter and sugar together, then beat in the eggs. Stir in the almond powder. Add vanilla, rum and set it aside.
  2. Roll out one sheet of puff pastry. Poke holes with fork.
  3. Spread the almond filling over the center of the dough, leaving a 1 inch (1.2 cm) exposed border. If you wish, place a little porcelain figurine "fève" somewhere in the almond filling.
  4. Brush the edges of the pastry with water and cover with another circle of dough on top and press down to seal the edges.
  5. Use a paring knife to create a design on top of your galette, then brush with beaten yolk. Poke 3-5 holes in the top, to allow steam to escape while baking.
  6. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. (Bake on the bottom rack of the oven).

Lemon Cake

I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Whether it be a plain piece of dark chocolate or a decadent caramel cheesecake, I can’t remember the last time I turned down dessert. My mouth  waters every time I see or think of this Lemon Cake. Each time I’m at Starbucks, I know what I will be ordering. I can’t guarantee  this Lemon loaf tastes exactly like Starbucks, I personally think it’s better. You tell me. 🙂


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Lemon Cake

Course Dessert

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Icing

Course Dessert

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Passive Time 30 minutes

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Icing


Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

  2. Combine eggs and sugar.

  3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract.

  4. Add vegetable oil and mix.

  5. Gradually add greek yogurt and mix until combined.

  6. Stir in baking powder.

  7. Slowly add flour. Blend until smooth.

  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly cover the pan with aluminum foil, and return to the oven, for the last 10 minutes, to prevent excess browning.

  9. Cool the loaf in a pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to wire racks to cool completely.

  10. Whisk confectioners' sugar with lemon juice until smooth. Spoon evenly over the loaf and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Cranberry Cake

This homemade cranberry cake is perfect for the winter season. Its bright red color brings holiday spirit to your family dinner or friends party. Easy to make and delicious!

Print Recipe
Cranberry Cake
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 380ºF. Grease and flour a cake pan.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar with mixer until slightly thickened.
  3. Add melted butter and mix well.
  4. Stir in the flour and baking powder.
  5. Add the cranberries and stir gently.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool. If desired, dust with confectioners sugar.

Easy Apple Cake

Delicate and full of apples easy to make cake. Recipe is very similar to famous Russian Apple Sharlotka but with a little of olive oil and baking powder.  Must try!

 

Print Recipe
Easy Apple Cake
Take sour apples for this recipe.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. Grease and flour a round cake pan or line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar. Add flour and baking powder. Mix well, then add oil and mix last time.
  3. Peel and dice apples into small pieces. Lay out the apples on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour the batter over the apples.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes or until а knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool then transfer to plate.
  7. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.
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