Tag Archives: cake

Full Fat February was Fabulous!

Full Fat February TableSometimes it takes a near miss to strike the perfect cord. Sometimes the full moon will light a new path. Sometimes you just have to keep working the icing until you find the right consistency.

There was a moment at the start of last week’s Full Fat February event when I thought our evening was about to be ruined. But what began as a disappointment quickly turned into one of our most hilarious and fun meetups to date.

After realizing I had our wires crossed with our original host at Crush Pad, the lovely Chantelle saved the day and we all headed to her office, which had a fancy coffee machine and -wouldn’t you know it – the perfect number of chairs.

Summerland Bakers Cake Meetup

Just when we settled in with our numerous delectables, which ranged from nutella brownies (also known as Chewy Richness Squares of Awesome) to mini strawberry cheesecakes and several very rich layer cakes, there came a knock at the door. And behold it was Mike from Okanagan Crush Pad, bearing both wine and glasses.

Not only did Mike bring us three varieties of Haywire Wine to try, the man knows a thing or two about baking. Anyone who makes more than a half a dozen attempts at the infamously difficult macarons and who carries photographic proof on his phone of his eventual macaron success, is essentially bound by law to join our baking club. I’m also pleased to announce that a future baking event will be held at Crush Pad after their patio opens for the new season.

Summerland Cakes and Wine

It was an excellent night. We welcomed two new members – Laura and Wendy – and we laughed a lot.

Thank you to all the bakers who fearlessly plunged the depths of decadence. Thank you to Chantelle for saving the day and to Mike for so thoroughly endearing yourself and Haywire Wine to our wee clan of bakers.

I shall post the recipes next time. There was some discussion about the March meetup having a St. Patrick’s theme. If that is the case, I would like to lay claim to making a chocolate Guinness Cake.



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November meetup: The recipes

Oh dear, it feels like it has taken me forever to post the November recipes!

Before we begin the goodness, the following cookies have already been claimed for the Great Summerland Cookie Swap on December 7th, which will be at Lisa L’s place:

  • Ginger Snaps
  • Macarons
  • Chocolate crinkle
  • Oatmeal raisin chocolate chip

Fancy baking six dozen cookies and coming along for the ultimate cookie swap? Let me know what you’ll be bringing, so we avoid doubles. Nomnom!

Now, for November’s amazing recipes!

Lisa L’s peanut butter cookies


These cookies can be filled under ultimate comfort foods. They would be great with a nice cup of good quality hot chocolate.

I used organic chunky salt-free peanut butter but I think they might taste a bit better with some salt added. Also, I baked them in their rounded form, and I squished them down with a fork as soon as they came out of the oven.


Erin’s Coconut Sticky Rice with Pineapple

Sticky rice with pineapple

Well done Erin for showing your mom that while she may be in Thailand, we can eat just as well here in Summerland. This recipe was so fresh and delicious, it may have convinced me to have the paticence to soak rice for six hours. http://www.christinamarsigliese.com/2012/05/mango-with-coconut-sticky-rice.html

Jennifer’s gluten free shake n’ bake alternative

I thought I took a photo of these little nuggets of goodness but it seems I did not. Doh! I could see myself using this and making lovely savoury pitas. Certainly worth trying!

2 cup dehydrated onion
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Black pepper
½ tsp Ground sage
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1 ¼ cups parmesan
Blend onions for 1 min then add rest of ingredients except cheese and blend 30 seconds
Add cheese and pulse to just blend. Coat chicken and bake in oven until chicken is cooked through. Enjoy!

Can be stored for two weeks

Chantelle’s Biscotti
(from Wheat-Free Recipes & Menus by Carol Fenster)


Sorghum Corn Flour Blend
Makes 4 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch or cornstarch
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup corn flour

**Use what you need then store the rest for another wheat-free recipe**

Biscotti (makes 30 cookies)

1 1/2 cups slivered almonds (or 3/4 cup of almond flour)
2 cups flour blend (as mentioned above)
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Grease a non-stick baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2. Process the almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour blend, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt and pulse on and off until mixed. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse the food processor on and off about 20 times or until the ingredients are moist. Then process continuously until the mixture forms a ball, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

3. Form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a 2-inch-wide, 1/2-inch-thick, 12-inch-long log. Place the logs on the prepared baking sheet.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the logs are browned at the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Leave the oven on. With a serrated knife or electric knife, cut each log on the diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the slices, cut sides down, on the baking sheet.

5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the biscotti start to brown, turning the slices over halfway during baking to brown both sides. Transfer to a wire rack to cool

**If you wish, you can melt some baking chocolate over the stove top and dip the tip of each biscotti into the chocolate. You can leave the chocolate tip as is, or dip in a topping of your choice (I have used almond pieces, broken up candy cane, etc)**

Janice’s Meringues with Orange Cream


The orange cream made these taste so fresh and light.

3 large egg whites at room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup icing sugar

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl till soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually while you continue beating till stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold icing sugar in and spoon into piping bag fitted with star tip.
Pipe into circles and create sides by adding more to edges.
Bake at 100 degrees for about 1 hour or until dry. Turn oven off and let stand in oven with door ajar until cool.

Orange Cream
3 egg yolks
¼ cup orange juice
3 tbsp frozen orange concentrate
3 tbsp sugar
Grated orange peel

Beat eggs yolks over low heat until warm. Add orange juice, concentrate and sugar and heat over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add orange peel. Chill until completely cooled. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into orange mixture. Spoon into meringues. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with more orange peel or orange segments before serving.

Kims Banana BreadKim L’s reduced fat Banana Bread

Proof that even when a recipe doesn’t go exactly as you would like, it can still be darn tasty.

½ cup oil (I replace all of this or ½ of it with an equivalent amount of applesauce)
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1.5 cups flour (I replaced white flour with whole wheat flour, but I don’t think it worked, so next time I will use white flour again)
1 tsp baking soda
3 mashed bananas
½ cup roasted pumpkin
½ bag chipits

Put bananas into mixing bowl first and mix with mixers
Add other ingredients
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour

Kim G’s Gluten Free Rice Flour Flat Bread
Valentine Farm – November 2013

Gluten Free bread

(makes 2 six inch flat breads)

Okay. I know this flat bread is not going to look like your idea of flat bread, however, it is good tasting unlike a lot of GF breads which are, in my opinion, quite awful. Think of these flat breads more like two small old fashioned soda breads. They can cut into quarters like scones and split for toasting or sandwiches. Or, slice them across for biscotti shaped pieces.

¾ cup brown rice flour or white rice flour **
(plus more for shaping loaves)
½ cup almond meal/flour***
¾ tapioca starch
2 tablespoons flax meal
¼ teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon wheat free baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ cup plain whole milk yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
½ cup water
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 400º. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (this is important).

  • Combine rice flour, almond meal, tapioca starch, flax meal, anise seeds, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and xantham gum in a bowl.
  • Combine yogurt, oil, egg and water in a bowl.
  • Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix.
  • With a spatula, scoop out the batter and form two equal mounds on the baking sheet about 5 inches apart.
  • Sprinkle dough mounds lightly with rice flour and pat into 6 inch rounds. With floured hands nudge the edge of the dough to form a nice rounded edge.
  • Cut a diagonal grid pattern on the top of each flab bread, by making three ¼ inch deeps cuts each way.

Do not cut right to the edge.

Bake for 25 minutes until brown.

Transfer to wire racks to cool.

**Do not confuse ground rice flour with Asian rice flour – it is not the same product. Asian rice flour
is a starch like corn starch. Asian rice flour makes terrible bread on its own.
***If you grind your own whole almonds, add a little rice flour subtracted from the total amount. This
helps to prevent the nuts from turning into a paste.

Belindas Banana BreadBelinda’s Gluten Free Banana Bread
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup of almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 eggs
2 ripe (soft) bananas
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C
Using a whisk or fork, blend all the dry ingredients together. Add the walnuts to the dry ingredients.
Blend the wet ingredients together. (I use a hand blender to ensure the mixture is well blended).
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
Place mixture in a well oiled loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.

Bonnie’s Carrot Cake
Bonnies Carrot Cake
3 tsp lemon juice 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups milk 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2/3 cup oil 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. orange zest 1/2 tsp.cloves
3/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. vanilla 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups white flour 1/2 cup walnuts

Combine milk and lemon juice. Cream oil, sugar and orange zest in a bowl.
Add the lemon, milk and mix. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Add wet ingredients and mix. Add carrots and nuts and mix to combine.
Pour batter into a greased baking dish and bake at 355F for on hour, or
until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool and ice.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
Blend 250g pkg. cream cheese, softened with 2 cups of icing sugar and 2 tsp.
lemon juice until smooth.

Gluten Free nut barWendy’s sugar free nut bars

Egg White
Smuckers no-sugar added apricot jam

I don’t have the instructions, but it’s certainly worth experimenting with these ingredients because the bars were perfect for long journeys or hiking. The jam on top was perfect.

Jeans Carrot Cake

Jean’s gluten free carrot cake with coconut whipped cream

Although Jean admits it was a bit of an arduous hassle to make the cream, it was so good I think it was worth it!

11/4 c. Quinoa flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t.salt
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. cloves
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 T. molasses
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla
11/2 c. shredded carrot
1/2 c. raisins(apricots, craisins, or dried cherries)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Preheat oven  350′ Grease muffin pans(these work a lot better than the 8″ square cake pan that the recipe used) In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder,soda salt cinnamon nutmeg and cloves. Whisk well. In another bowl, beat sugar and eggs until pale in colour. Beat in molasses, then the vanilla and puree. Add oil and beat until fluffy. Stir in flour mixture. Fold in raisins, carrots and walnuts. Pour into pans. Bake in the middle of the oven 25-30 minutes( I did 25 ) Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack, then turn out of pan.
Whipped Topping: Chill coconut milk overnight. Carefully spoon out the cream that has settled on the top of the milk into a small bowl. Beat the cream with a little icing sugar and top each cupcake with it.

Other treats of the evening included Christine’s “Nothing is free” Double chocolateDouble Chocolate Cookies chip cookies, created after her first recipe went wrong.

Then there was a lovely carrot and ginger cake, and while I have no name written down as the creator of said lovely cake, I shall remember it fondly.

Carrot Cake with Ginger

GOQub GoodnessFinally, there was the Good Omens Quinoa Brownie, henceforth known as the GOQuB. Despite loving cakes, I am not the best baker, and this was the first baking meetup in which I didn’t have any of my own bake to take home with me afterwards! Since I have promised not to share the secret recipe, I will leave you with a photo that shows the expression of joy that overtakes one when one consumes a GOQuB.

Until the cookie swap, I wish you peace, love and coconut whipped cream (no matter how infuriating it is to make!)

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October meetup -the recipes!

Whew, this took me too long to post. Too many long days last week and not enough pouring over recipes. Before we start, next month we’ll be gathering at Cherry Tree Quilts.

This time it will be on a Wednesday night, November 13. The “Free from” theme will give us all a chance to try out some healthy alternatives. Whether it’s wheat free (try baking with spelt or kamut, available at True Grain), gluten free, or sugar free, get creative! Hope to see you there!

And now, the recipes and more good memories from our evening at Grape Escape Guest House.

Dorthea’s Spider Web Florentines
These were so rich and delicate and absolutely lovely. Click here for the recipe from Martha Stewart.
Spider Web Florentines

Sophia’s Mahoosive Pumpkin Cake

First of all, glance at how it was supposed to look. Instead, mine resembled an upright orange brick with a brown lump on top. Cake designer I am not. Perhaps I made a mistake using the recipe for a chocolate orange marble cake, instead of a sponge cake. And perhaps something a little less sickly sweet that the over-the-top cream cheese icing.

Needless to say there were a lot of leftovers. However, I have learned that the crew at Big O Tire is more than happy to see a plate of cake on a Friday morning.

Pumpkin Cake

blue cheese crackersBlue Cheese Crackers
While my cake was somewhat of a disaster, the Halloween blue cheese crackers were scrummy. They are so rich but because they were tiny it made them easier to nibble. The recipe is also from Martha Stewart. Go, Martha!



Gerri’s Smoked Butternut Squash Soup

I never thought I would want a smoker, but after tasting this soup it is on my wish list of cookery gadgets. This soup was perfect with Gerri’s herbed scones (see below)

smokey butternut squash soup4 lbs. butternut squash (Pulp and seeds from squash)
3 strips bacon
1 onion, diced
2 firm apples, diced
1/2 c. apple juice
1/8 c. white wine vinegar – good quality (see Kim)
6 cups water stock with veggie stock flavouring Or 6 cups chicken or veggie stock
1 c. heavy cream
8 springs fresh thyme
1 cinnamon stick

Take pulp out of squash and reserve for rest of recipe and cut in half – smoke butternut squash in smoker until soft. Or if you don’t want too intense a smoked flavour, smoke and then finish cooking in an oven until soft.

Dice and sauté bacon, add apples and onions. Sauté until translucent. Add apple juice and white vinegar and reduce until almost dry. Add chicken stock, squash pulp, and cinnamon.

Simmer for 40 minutes. Add heavy cream and strain through a fine sieve. Add thyme and steep for 30 minutes. Strain again and serve.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Gerri’s Herbed Corn Scones
Recipe from “Brunch” by Marc Meyer and Peter Meehan
Makes twelve – three inch square scones – a sweet/savory scone
herbed sconeFinely chop 1.5 cups cold butter and pit in the freezer for up to ½ hour while you measure out the rest of the ingredients.
Preheat oven to 400 deg.
Combine in a large bowl and mix well together – chill for 15 minutes after mixing

  • 3 cups all – purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cake flour
  • 1 ¾ cups cornmeal
  • 1 tables.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup fresh finely chopped FRESH herbs such as rosemary or sage or thyme (or all if you like)
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar

Combine in a small bowl:

  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablesp. Honey
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ to ½ cup buttermilk

NOW: cut frozen butter pieces into flour mixture until it looks like pebbles in the flour
Add the egg, honey and milk mixture as quickly as possible – don’t overwork dough.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and very gently bring it together and roll our 1 inch thick with a lightly floured rolling pin or pat gently with hands.

Cut scones out with a cutter or into 3” inch squares with a knife and put on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Brush tops of scones with a bit of melted butter, dust with turbinado sugar and gently press some fresh chopped herbs (whatever you used) onto top of each one. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes – watch so they don’t get overdone.

Jan’s Candy Corn with Fennel

Okay so it wasn’t baked. I think we’re all finding that having some savoury treats is the only thing balancing out all the rest of the extravagance.
pumpkin popcorn1. Popcorn – ½ cup. Pop it!

2. Pumpkin seeds* – 1 cup (green, hull-less) Roasted

3. Salt – 1 ½ teaspoon
Baking soda – ½ teaspoon
Fennel seed** – 2 teaspoons

Grind together slightly with mortar and pestle.

4. Butter – ½ cup
White sugar – 1 cup
Golden sugar – ½ cup
Light corn syrup – ½ cup

Boil together, stirring gently, in large sauce pan til 300 degrees F ***

Add pumpkin seeds and spice mix to sugar solution in saucepan.
Using greased silicone spatula, add 1/3 of the popcorn. Mix well.
Add remaining popcorn. Avoid unpopped kernels. Stir. Coat.
Place on parchment to cool. Store in an airtight container.

*Kakai pumpkin produces hull-less, green seeds; try pistachios if you don’t have pumpkin seeds
**Fennel seed is similar to anise; try anise if you don’t have fennel

Lisa’s Wacky Cake
Let’s all take a moment to recognize the awesomeness that Lisa showed by spending all that time cutting liquorice individual legs for all those tiny spiders.

Makes 48 spiders (or halve the recipe for 24)
chocolate spidersUse a mini-muffin pan. Spray with non-stick coating. Preheat oven to 350

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water

Preparation: 5 minutes!

In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened. Pour into muffin tins. Bake at 350°F. oven for 15 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.

Ice with your favourite icing! I used a chocolate and a vanilla icing, but you can use anything you like.
For the eyes, I used smarties. For the legs I used licorice (RJ’s Soft Raspberry licorice, which I bought at Summerland IGA) I cut the licorice into thin strips, and then pinched each “leg” in the middle to bend it. Please refer to the photo for finishing. Remember, each spider has 8 legs! But I couldn’t fit 8 eyes on the body 😉

Kim’s Pumpkin Pumpkin Bread (Valentine Farm October 2013)
This was so tasty and pretty, not to mention a great way to use up a glut of autumn squash.

Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 ½ cups cooked pumpkin or squash
  • 2 teaspoons dried active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour (more or less)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small egg beaten with
  • 2 teaspoons water

Preheat oven to 425°and grease a cookie sheet.
Place yeast and sugar in bowl of mixer, add warm water and stir. Leave to stand for 10 minutes or until froth has formed on top.

Stir in pumpkin.
Add two cups whole wheat flour and mix.
Add salt and start adding white flour half a cup at a time. Mix to a dough. If too sticky, add more flour. Depending on the type of flour you may not need all of it.

Knead by hand (or if using using dough hook) for 10 minutes. Place completed dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel until doubled in size (about one hour – depends on how cold your kitchen is –
mine is freezing.)

Uncover bowl and turn over leaving the dough resting underneath for a further 10 minutes.

Remove bowl and twist off a large walnut sized piece of dough to form the stem of the pumpkin, leaves and tendril. Form the remainder into a round ball pinching the seam together well on the under side.

Place dough ball on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten dough ball slightly and cut eight or nine slashes around the sides. This is tricky as you don’t want to cut too deeply as the dough will open too much; slash too shallow and the pumpkin effect is lost.

Take half of the small piece of dough to form the stem.

***This next step is not necessary but looks charming. Roll out the other half and free hand the shape of a leaf or leaves. Cut out. Take the remaining scraps and roll together then twist several times to make tendril. With your thumb make an indentation in the centre of the pumpkin and place the leaves, stem and tendril.***

Cover and let rise for about an hour until doubled.

Glaze pumpkin with egg and water mixture being careful not to glaze the exposed slashes.

Bake for 25 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped.

chocolate tomb tiffinI’m missing some of recipes, including the peanut butter “dead man’s treats,” Janice’s rich orange cheesecake (which was delightfully decorated with mice for our Halloween theme), Cheryl’s ghoulish chocolate cake with meringue bones, Vanora’s chocolate tomb Tiffin, and Belinda’s beautiful brownies and also her gorgeous spider web sugar cookies which were so wonderfully decorated.

Thanks so much to everyone who attended and I hope you’ll be able to come along next month!

I leave you with this poem, “I like to bake,” sent to me by Gerri. When are those calories going to start dissolving?

chocolate graveyard cake

Orange cheesecake

spider web cookies

Dead mans treats


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