Christmas Yule Log

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This is my attempt at a Christmas Yule Log. I saw some being made on a cooking competition last Christmas and was anxious to try an eggless version! My first couple of tries last year flopped. This past year I discovered the vegan world was using aquafaba, aka bean juice, for egg replacement and since then I have made meringues with it. https://myegglessworld.com/2016/11/21/meringue-cookies/.  To make a traditional sponge for a yule log, it requires beaten egg whites so I was hoping the aquafaba would work. My theory was correct and this recipe turned out great!

Sponge

Sift together dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder

In a large mixing bowl, beat together until frothy and opaque but not glossy:

  • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup aquafaba (juice from unsalted canned white beans or chick peas) whipped with the sugar until frothy and slightly thickened

It will look like this:

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Then fold in the dry ingredients into the aquafaba mixture until incorporated.

Then, mix in:

  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt

 

When the yogurt is mixed in thoroughly, the sponge mixture will still be thick. Scoop out onto a parchment-lined 12 by 17 inch jelly roll pan. Dip a large spreader in a class of hot water and patiently spread the cake, dipping the spreader in the hot water as needed until the batter is evenly spread.

It will look like this when spread:

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Bake 13-15 minutes at 350 F degrees. Let cool in pan for 2 minutes. Sprinkle the top lightly with sugar and flip onto another pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with a clean towel and let cool for another 2 minutes. Trim the edges  and roll up into the parchment paper while still very warm. Let cool while rolled up.

Filling

Whip together:

  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar

You want the cream to be fairly beaten but not butter. Too runny and it will not hold up inside the roll. Carefully unroll the cooled sponge and fill with the cream and gently roll back up. Refrigerate for half an hour.

Whipped ganache

In a small saucepan heat until simmering:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream

Remove form heat and whisk in:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chill in the fridge until cold. Then whip until a frosting-like consistency.

To assemble: Cut a section of the filled yule log on an angle and position on the side of the main log. Frost with the whipped ganache. Run a fork through the ganache and sprinkle with icing sugar.

 

 

Biscotti

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Biscotti seems more of a holiday type cookie to make and not a summer treat, but I wanted to make these because I was watching my favourite British baking reality cooking show and they were making biscotti. I made these with pecans and chocolate chips with a hint of cinnamon but really the possibilities are endless. If you want to make these nut free, omit the pecans and replace them with coconut or dried fruit or simply leave them out. You can change these up by keeping the base the same and changing the flavour combinations.

Chocolate Pecan Biscotti

In a large mixing bowl, cream together:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Then mix in:

  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (or egg replacer equal to 2 eggs)

In a separate bowl, sift together:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture and combine until it looks like cookie dough. Then add in until just mixed:

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (dried fruit or coconut can be used instead to make nut free)
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Form into a long oval, partly flattened log, approximately 14 inches long and 3 inches wide. Bake at 350 degrees F on a parchment lined cookie sheet for approximately 35-40 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Cool for 30 minutes. Using a cutting board and sharp serated knife, cut the log into diagonal 1/2  to 3/4 inch pieces. Place on the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake again for approximately 15 minutes at 350 degrees F until lightly golden brown and crisp. Cool. Makes approximately 15.

 

 

 

 

Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

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A last minute request from school for cupcakes when you have an egg allergic child means you can’t run out to the bakery and buy a dozen. Luckily I had some bananas on the counter which inspired me to write a new cupcake recipe!! Banana Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting! These would also be yummy with a chocolate frosting or a maple frosting.

Banana Cupcakes

In a large mixing bowl, cream together:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups brown sugar

Then add in and mix well:

  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (equal to 3 eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients

  • 2 and 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Alternate the dry ingredients into the batter with:

  • 1 cup milk plus 1 tsp vinegar

Mix together well. Scoop into paper-lined cupcake tins approximately 2/3 full. Bake at 350 F for approximately 18-20 minutes.

Caramel Frosting

Melt butter in a small saucepan and then add in the brown sugar, cream and salt:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (35%)
  • pinch of salt

Make sure the sugar and the salt is dissolved and bring to a boil on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add in:

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Allow to cool to room temperature and then gradually beat in the icing sugar until the consistency you want:

  • 3 cups icing sugar

Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Coconut Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

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I have a new bundt cake pan so I have been anxious to try it out. I have been thinking about a coconut cake and decided cream cheese and lime would make a tasty combination with the coconut. I really love how this cake bakes up nice and sturdy, yet moist and delicious!

Coconut Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

In a large bowl cream together:

  • 1 pkg cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar

Then add in and mix well:

  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (equivalent to 2 eggs)
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp vanilla

In a separate bowl, sift together:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup coconut
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Then alternate adding in the dry ingredients into the batter with:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups coconut milk

Mix well. Bake 350 degrees F for approximately 45-50 minutes.

Glaze:

  • 1 and 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix together until smooth. Pour over cooled cake and top with toasted coconut.

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Black Forest Cake

 

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When I was growing up, there was a bakery in our nearest town that made delicious baked goods. One of our family favourites was Black Forest Cake. This is an easy version of a Black Forest Cake that I made with a new Chocolate Cake Recipe!

Black Forest Cake

In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (or 1 cup if you want it a darker chocolate)
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking salt

Mix together wet ingredients and then add into dry:

  • 3/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 and 1/4 cups milk mixed with 1 and 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 25-30 minutes in two 9 inch round baking pans which you have greased or lined with parchment paper. Cool.

Cherry filling:

  • 1 bag frozen pitted cherries (600g)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Combine in a saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring frequently for approximately 5-10 minutes until thickened, being careful not to burn the cherries. Cool.

Frosting:

  • 2 cups Whipping cream (35 %)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

Beat together the cream and icing sugar until stiff peaks form.

Assembling the Cake: For easy assembly, make the cake 2 layers (you can do 4 but you may need more cherry filling and then you are faced with cutting the cakes into two). Take one cake layer and top with 3/4 of the cherry mixture for the filling. Then place the second cake layer on top. Frost the entire cake with the whipped cream.  Top the cake with the remaining cherries. Add shaved chocolate around the top edges of the cake.

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Molasses Cookies

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My Mother often made Molasses Cookies while we were growing up. They are one of my Dad’s favourites and he enjoyed them slathered in butter. While I wasn’t a huge fan when I was younger, every once in a while I get a craving for them. This is a good cookie to make eggless as it has enough flour in the dough to prevent them from crumbling. My Mother’s recipe calls for shortening but this recipe has all butter in the dough as I try to bake with butter when I can. These are a soft cookie.

Molasses Cookies

Cream together:

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Then add in and mix well:

  • 1 cup molasses

When incorporated, add in and mix well:

  • 1/4 cup plain unsweetened yogurt (or egg replacer equal to 1 egg)

In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ginger

Alternate, adding the dry ingredients into the butter and molasses mixture with:

  • 1/2 cup milk

Mix until the dough is thoroughly incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Scoop and roll into balls. I use a large cookie scoop for this. Flatten with a fork and Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 12-15 minutes on parchment lined cookie pans. Makes 3 dozen large cookies.

 

 

Crunchy Top Brownies

 

IMG_3720Valentine’s Day calls for a new brownie recipe!! I had a request from a reader to make brownies that have a crunchy top. After some research, I was able to make a pretty great batch.  These brownies are chewy with a crunchy top and a rich fudge-y, chocolate-y taste! The secret to making the top crunchy is the chocolate chips which get melted and added to the batter.

Crunchy Top Brownies

In a small saucepan, melt:

  • 1/3 cup butter

Add the butter into a mixing bowl with:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix well. Then add:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (equal to 2 eggs)

Mix well, then add in:

  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Mix well and then add the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Bake at 325 degrees F in a parchment lined 8 by 8 pan for 30-35 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Recipe Note: If you want to have these with a different twist, replace 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips with mint chocolate chips to make mint brownies!

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