Thursday, 23 April 2015

Almond Carrot Cake
Lemon & Strawberry Cloud Filling
As my hubby's Birthday approached, I decided not to buy a cake but, to take my pans out and give them a dusting.
You see when my kids were young I always
designed Birthday cakes for them.
I remember making Big Bird cakes, The Grouch, Barbie with an actual doll stuck in the top of the cake!....
that one I did many times for my daughter.
They are still popular 20years later!
But, I hadn't made a fancy cake in year.
I didn't think my skills at decorating were still there, truthfully.
But, a lot has changed in 20 years.
We, my hubby and I really don't want to eat too fattening and I don't want gluten as I am very sensitive to it and would prefer not to be bloated!
Basically I want my cake and to eat it too!
So I checked my cookbooks and realized
Europeans have been making gluten free nut cakes for centuries!
This cake is not only nutritious but it truly is delish!
Everyone who saw it and had some loved it!
They didn't even know it was homemade until I told them.
Let's face it with this dwindling art form everyone appreciates homemade goods.
Because nut cakes really don't rise high like gluten does, this is only a double layer.
I just thickened the top layer of cream to heighten the cake.
I used my processor to grated and mix but this can be easily made by hand.
Here's what you'll need:

3 cup Almond meal
3 cup grated carrots
5 lg eggs
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
2 tsp baking powder
lemon pie filling
500 ml Nutrifill tetra
2 tbsp. cocoa
1/2 lb strawberries
1/4 cup dark chocolate
Mix the almond, spices and baking powder into the carrots, tossing to coat.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and oil together.
Fold all of the ingredients together.

Scrape and spread into a sprayed 8" or 9" spring form pan.
Place on a baking sheet or wrap the bottom of the pan with foil to prevent any spills.

Bake in a preheated 325F bake for 40-50min. or until an inserted scewer comes out clean.
Cool for 10 min.
Run the back of a knife around the inside rim.
Unlock and cool completely.
Slice horizontally in half making 2 layers.

Make the lemon filling or pudding according to the directions.  This can be made up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated.

Whip the container of dairy free whipping cream with the cocoa.
No extra sugar is needed as this is sweetened.
Wash, hull and chop strawberries, reserving 4-6 for the top.

Dry the remaining strawberries with paper towel.
Melt the chocolate for 30 sec intervals, stirring until all chocolate is melted.
Dip the strawberries into the mixture and place on a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap to harden.

Spread all of the filling onto the bottom layer of the cake to within 1" from the edge.
Top with the 2nd layer of cake.
Apple a thin layer of the frosting.
Refrigerate to firm approx. 1-2 hrs or
1 day ahead.

Add a thicker layer of frosting to the cake using a cake spatula to smooth the top and edges.
Run the spatula through hot water to clean the spatula. This allows the knife to slide and colours the cocoa.

Place the rest of the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
Pipe a design below and on top of the cake.

Make large swirls on top of the cake and place
Chocolate covered strawberries on top.

Enjoy with Love~

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Tasty Delights French Apple Torte

Tasty Delights

As far back as I can remember a
was made for any Italian celebration in my home and most homes that, as a family we visited.
Crostata, a flaky crust that is crisper than pie dough but softer than a cookie,
in my opinion is the only dessert that
closely resembles the North American
fave, a pie!
Having travelled to Europe I never did quite see my favourite; an apple pie.
But in a pinch this is an elegant and sophisticated addition to any dessert table.
I have many recipes for the dough of crostata and this one takes the cake!
Sorry for the pun ;)
It's delicateness comes from the larger than usual amount of fat in the dough.
If you can put that aside this is really a delicate dessert that will get a lot of ooohs and aaahs
when you are serving it.
I have to thank Angela a wonderful lady in my
Older Adults Fitness class
for this recipe which I have reduced some of the fat for you, as I found it leaking out of the false bottom pan when baking.
For the pics I sliced it like pie but, truthfully
crostata is sliced like you would slice cookie bars.
My Crostata has homemade jam but you can use pie filling or any flavor of jam you'd like

Here's what you'll need:
3/4 lb butter, margarine or shortening, room temp
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk or dairy free beverage
3 cups sifted flour
1 cup of ground almonds
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla
icing sugar

Beat in a mixer; butter, yolks and sugar until fluffy.
Add the milk, vanilla and zest, continue to mix.
Turn the mixer to low speed add
1/2 of the flour and all of the baking powder.
Stir to mix.
Continue to add the remaining ingredients.
Do not mix completely!
Drop the contents onto a cleaned, floured surface.
 Knead to form a ball.
 I did not get directions to refrigerate the dough but, you certainly can as this dough remains sticky at room temp.
So sticky that I added another cup of flour! and the recipe was still wonderful!!! Fool proof!!!
Refrigerated rolls with a rolling pin.
Do you like my Turquoise Crackle Nail polish?
Using your hands press 3/4 of the dough onto the bottom of a false bottom 12" pan.
*A smaller one will do but, you will have leftovers*

Push and form the dough up the sides of the pan.

 Take your time to make a nice edge at the top of the pan as this is your crusts edge.
Spread a jar of jam on the bottom of the dough to the edges.

Break a piece of remaining dough off and begin to roll the dough to form a log the width of the pan.
Begin to place strips across the crostata and press to the edges to break off.
*Refrigeration firms the dough, then you can actually roll with a rolling pin and cut with decorative cutting wheels*

Criss cross the strips attractively.
Place a finishing edge of dough around the dish.
Don't worry if it's not perfect.
It bakes beautifully and no one will notice.
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 50 min or until the dough is golden.
Cool completely and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Enjoy with love!