November 1, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

I was supposed to have this posted yesterday, but it was a tad too dark out to take photographs. Although it was quite fitting for the occasion (Halloween), I digress.

I think you will find that this is the first ever dessert on my blog that features fondant. Crazy, right? I have used it before but for commissions, so I never bothered to blog about it.
I have had very little experience with fondant overall, I tend to steer away from fondant desserts because I don't have those fancy expensive tools for it. Using random objects around the house to make certain designs doesn't quite cut it for me, but it will just have to do for now. Otherwise I thought that these little pumpkins turned out very well!

Pumpkin Spice Layer Cake

Makes one, 3-layer 9"x 4" cake


2 cups                    a.p flour
1 tsp                      baking soda
1 tsp                      baking soda
1 tsp                      salt
1 tsp                      cinnamon
1 tsp                       ginger
1 tsp                       allspice
1/4 tsp                    nutmeg
1 cup                      brown sugar
3/4 cup                   sugar
1 cup                      melted butter
4 eggs
13 oz.                      pumpkin purée

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9"x 13" baking pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. In a medium sized bowl whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices together. In a large bowl whisk sugars and melted butter and eggs. Add the dry ingredients and pumpkin purée. With an electric beater, beat for 2 minutes on low, or until fully combined. Pour into the grease pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until when a cake tester is inserted it comes out clean.
Once the cake has cooled, trim off the four sides to make them straight edged. Carefully slice off the domed top of the cake to make them level. Divide the cake into three, 4" wide pieces. Cover and set aside. Now make the frosting.


2 cups                      unsalted butter, softened
4 cups                      icing sugar
1 tbsp                       vanilla
pinch                         salt
8 oz.                          semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup                      whipping cream

In a large bowl, combine the icing sugar and butter and beat with an electric mixer on low until light and fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla, and beat until combined. Add the cooled melted chocolate combine. Add the whipping cream and beat on high for another minute.

To assemble the layer cake, place your bottom piece of cake on the plate of your desire. Spread an even layer of icing on top. Place the next layer of cake and press down slightly. Next, add another layer of icing, and place the final layer of cake on top. Continue by icing the cake with a very thin layer of frosting; this is called the crumb coat. Place the cake in the fridge to chill for about 15 minutes. Once chilled, finish icing the cake, making all sides even and flat. Now continue on to make the chocolate ganache.


4oz.                       semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup                  whipping cream

Chop the chocolate and place in a large heatproof measuring cup with a pouring spout. In a small saucepan bring the whipping cream to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth and thin. (If it is not thin enough heat up more cream to combine.)

Pour the slightly cooled chocolate ganache over your iced cake and let it drip over the sides. Do not spread the ganache, instead wiggle the cake slightly to get it to even out. To finish the cake, place your favorite sprinkle on top as well as any fondant decorations you desire. Enjoy!!

I actually ended up using my cake tester to make the creases and indents in the pumpkins! I guess I can be kind of resourceful. If you want to do your own fondant pumpkins, have a look at this tutorial!
I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!

Elanne Boake

October 25, 2015

Oreo Bundt Cake

This cake is a real eye-catcher if I do say so myself! The contrast between the dark cake and the bright white icing makes it look so impressive while being so simple. Plus the taste! Who could resist an oreo chocolate cake, I mean come on. That would be some serious will power that even I do not posses.
Although I must say, I don't quite have a knack for bundt cakes yet. It seems like they always don't come out of the pan well enough. There is always a good chunk or two missing. At least you can cover this one up with icing? Always worth a shot.

Oreo Bundt Cake


2 1/2 cups                         a.p flour
3/4 cup                             cocoa powder             
1 tsp                                 baking soda
1 tsp                                  salt
1/2 cup                             milk
1 cup                                unsalted butter
1 cup                                sour cream
1 1/2 cups                        sugar
1 eggs
1 tsp                                 vanilla
2 cups                               Oreo® cookie crumbs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 10 cup bundt pan, dust with cocoa powder. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk, and sour cream. Set aside. Place butter and sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on high until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating withe sour cream mixture. Beat until just combined. Fold in the cookie chunks. Spread the batter evenly into the pan. bake for 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let it cool slightly before inverting and turning out the cake. Place onto a cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath. Let it cool completely.

Marshmallow Glaze

2 cups                               marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup                              icing sugar
2-3 tbsp                             cream

Place the marshmallow fluff and icing sugar into a large measuring cup, stir well to combine. Add the cream and mix until smooth and glossy. Add more cream until desired consistency is reached. Pour the glaze onto the cooled cake and top with oreo cookie chunks. Enjoy!

I had actually made this quite a while ago, but never got around to posting the pictures and recipe. I thought that I might not bother, but how could I deprive you guys of a great and easy recipe.
Also, Halloween is coming up very soon! I think this black and white cake would make a great subtle Halloween dessert for any party. (Are you getting that ghostly vibe too?)

Elanne Boake

October 12, 2015

Pumpkin Praline Meringue Tart

Do I have a story of woes for you today.
I find that it's never a true holiday if something doesn't go wrong. Does anybody else find that? Like, Christmas can't be complete if the tree doesn't fall over, or Thanksgiving can't be right if you don't burn the turkey! Today's victim was not the turkey.

Here I am, as usual, about to snap some photographs; the light reflector placed strategically , and the backdrop leaning against the chair. When I go to adjust the light reflector, it starts to tip. Luckily I caught it, but out of the corner of my eye- SQUASH! The backdrop landed straight on top of my tart.
I'm not going to lie. There were a few tears. The worst thing was, before that happened, I had only taken one measly photo.

Pumpkin Praline Meringue Tart

Makes enough for two 9" tarts

1 cup                vegetable shortening
1/4 cup             butter
1/2 tsp              salt
3 cups              cake & pastry flour
1/4 cup            cold water

In a medium bowl combine the shortening and butter. Beat until smooth. Add the salt and flour. With a pastry cutter, combine until clumped together. Add the cold water and combine. 
Divide the dough into two balls. Wrap one with plastic wrap and save for another time. Place plastic wrap on the counter and place one of the balls of dough on top. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top of that. Now, roll it out to be 1/4 " thick (with this method you can easily pick the dough up and not have to use flour). Transfer the dough into your tart shell(s). Trim excess dough. Now prepare the praline.


1/3 cup               chopped pecans
1/3 cup               brown sugar
2 tbsp                 butter, softened

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Sprinkle into the bottom of the unbaked tart shell(s). Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove partially baked crust from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Set aside.


2 eggs
1 cup                   pumpkin puree
2/3 cup                brown sugar
1 tbsp                  a.p flour
1/4 tsp                 ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp                 ground mace
1/2 tsp                 cinnamon
1/2 tsp                 ground ginger
1/2 tsp                 salt
1 cup                   heavy cream

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk to combine until smooth and creamy. Pour into partially baked shells. Place into the oven that has been reduced to 350 degrees. Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and let cool.


3 egg whites
3/4 cup                 sugar
3/4 tsp                  salt

In a medium saucepan add 1" of water. Place on low heat and allow it to simmer. In a medium heatproof bowl, add the egg whites, sugar and salt. With an electric mixer, beat until slightly foamy. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan with simmering water. Over the heat, beat the egg white mixture until it forms stiff peaks.  Take off the heat and beat it until cool. Transfer the cooled meringue into a pastry bag with a star piping tip.
Pipe the meringue in any pattern onto your cooled tart. Enjoy!

Let's just say, this event of horrors was not in my Thanksgiving schedule for today.
This tart is super easy, and is such a tasty treat. A perfect tart to share with others!
I hope you fellow Canadians had a fabulous long weekend, and to all you non-canadians, i hope you had a great normal length weekend!

August 30, 2015

Nutella Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies

Another Hazelnut-y recipe! I guess hazelnuts are always on my mind nowadays, wonder why.
But, I figured you guys would not mind and we could bond over our love for hazelnut and chocolate while eating these cookies! Yes, you read correctly. A stuffed cookie, what could be better than this? Hardly anything, I can assure you. This recipe is adapted from Bake to the Roots.

Nutella Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/2 cups                a.p flour
1/2 tsp                     baking soda
1/4 tsp                     salt
1/2 cup                    butter
1/2 cup                    sugar
1/2 cup                    brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp                        vanilla
6 oz.                        bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup                    Nutella

To make the Nutella filling, fit a piping bag with a round tip and fill with the Nutella. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Pipe 1" blobs of Nutella onto the parchment paper, about 20. Place tray in the freezer and let it chill for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Chop the chocolate and set aside. In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt, and set aside. In a large bowl add the butter and sugars. Beat until pale and fluffy. Next, add the egg and vanilla, beat again until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Lastly, stir in the chopped chocolate.
Take the chilled Nutella out of the freezer. Take a bit of dough and press it out slightly flat. Place one round of Nutella in the middle and fold the dough around it. Place more dough on top, once the Nutella is fully covered, roll it into a ball and place on your baking sheet, flattening it out slightly. Repeat with the rest of the dough. If your Nutella gets too soft , just place it back in the freezer for 5 minutes to set it up again. Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool. Enjoy!

Sadly, I will be headed back to school fairly soon to begin grade eleven. So I won't be able to update as often. Although, I have a special recipe prepared for you guys. I should get around to posting it in the upcoming week, so you can look forward to that.
I sincerely hope that anyone going back to school this fall has lots of fun and works super hard at their school work!

Elanne Boake

July 27, 2015

Chocolate & Hazelnut No-Bake Cheesecake

I'm back with yet another chocolate and hazelnut combo. I can't seem to get enough of it. And I know that there are quite a few people out there that can't get enough of it either. I'm always here to please.
I decided to go on the easy side today and do a no-baking-involved dessert, which is always a nice for a change. But, to make it more classy, this cheesecake has a layer of hazelnut mousse! And you thought it couldn't get any better. You were mistaken.

Chocolate & Hazelnut Cheesecake

Makes one, 9"cheesecake


20 Oreo® cookies
1/4 cup                              butter, softened
1/4 cup                              hazelnuts
2-3 tbsp                             Nutella®

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor. Blend until it resembles coarse crumbs. If it is too dry add one more tablespoon of nutella. Press into the bottom of the 9" spring-form cheesecake pan. Set aside.


3 oz.                                  bittersweet chocolate chopped
1 cup                                Nutella®, divided into 2 portions
500g                                 cream cheese, softened

In a heatproof bowl place the chopped chocolate and one portion of the nutella. Place the bowl over a saucepan filled with 2" of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Once cooled slightly add the second portion of nutella. Next, add the cream cheese and whisk together until fully incorporated and smooth. pour onto the crust and spread out evenly. Put in the frdge and let it chill for 1 hour.


1/2 cup                             hazelnuts
5 tbsp                               sugar
4 oz.                                 bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
5 tbsp                              water
1 tbsp                              vanilla
pinch                               salt
1/2 cup                            whipping cream

Grind hazelnuts and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a food processor until it resembles a paste. Set aside. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan filled with simmering water, stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
Separate the eggs and place the yolks in a heatproof bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, vanilla and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk over top of a pan full of simmering water until it becomes thick and pale yellow, about 6 minutes. Take off the heat and stir un the hazelnut paste as well as the melted chocolate.
With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt until soft peaks form. Meanwhite, in a small saucepan combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and 3 tablespoons of water. Let it boil until it reaches 220 degrees. Gradually add the hot syrup to the egg whites while beating. Beat until hard peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture in 2-3 parts.
Beat the whipping cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, carefully fold it into the mousse. carefully pour into the chilled spring-form pan over top of the cheesecake mixture and place it back into the fridge for another hour. Before serving, top with freshly hipped cream and chocolate curls. Enjoy!

I sure do hope this million calorie dessert hits your sweet spot, I know it did for me. (It is very rich.) If you have a craving for all things hazelnut may I recommend the following posts: Chocolate Caramel Hazelnut Tart with Toasted Meringue, and Chocolate & Caramel Hazelnut Mousse Tart.

Elanne Boake

June 30, 2015

Lemon & Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Well it may not look like much, this little tart packs a lot of flavour. It combines two slightly sweet and sour flavours to make a masterpiece of a dessert. And to top it off, a heaping mound of creamy meringue to balance out the flavour.
This tart is no walk in the ark, there are quite a lot of steps, although not as many steps as this one, still quite time consuming. But if rhubarb and lemon are your kind of thing, these tartlets are right up your ally.

Lemon & Rhubarb Meringue Tartlets

Makes four, 4" round tartlets


1 cup                       a.p flour
1/3 cup                    icing sugar
1/8 tsp                     salt
1/2 cup                    butter

In a food processor, combine together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold, cubed butter and pulse just until the butter is incorporated and the mixture is in large clumps.
Spray the tart pan with cooking spray. Transfer the dough into the tart pan, press it up the sides and along to bottom to form an even layer. Prick all over the bottom of the crust. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Set aside.

Rhubarb Purée

3/4 lb                   rhubarb, chopped
1/6 cup                sugar
1/8 cup                water
1/2 tbsp               lemon juice

Chop the rhubarb into 1" chunks, being careful not to add the leaves. In a saucepan over medium heat combine all the ingredients. Let the mixture cook until the rhubarb is broken down into soft pieces, about 15-20 minutes. Bring it off the heat and with a handheld blender or a food processor, blend until smooth. At this point feel free to add a drop of red food coloring to give the purée a more vibrant colour. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Lemon Curd

3 eggs
3/4 cup                 sugar
1+1/2 tbsp            lemon zest
7 tbsp                   lemon juice
6 tbsp                   butter, softened

Whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice together in a heat proof bowl. Fill a medium sized saucepan with a 1/2" of water place over high heat until it starts to simmer. Place the bowl with your egg & lemon mixture over top, making sure it doesn't touch the water, and whisk constantly until it becomes warm. Careful not to let your mixture boil, add the butter one tablespoon at a time and whisk until it becomes much thicker. Take off heat and transfer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap making sure it touches the lemon curd and place in the fridge for about 3 hours, or until it is cold. 
Once both the rhubarb mixture and the lemon curd are cooled, line the bottoms of your cooled tart shells with about 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb purée. Next, add 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd ontop, spread it out evenly and jiggle the tarts to smooth it out. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. In the meantime make the meringue.


2 egg whites
1/2 cup              sugar
1/4 tsp               salt

Fill a large saucepan with an inch of water put on medium heat. Combine the egg whites, sugar and salt in a heatproof bowl, beat lightly until soft peaks form. Once the water has come to a simmer, put the bowl with the meringue over the saucepan with simmering water. Beat the meringue with a hand mixer until it forms hard peaks. Take out of simmering water and beat again until cool. Transfer into piping bag and pipe meringue all over your tart, or just spoon it onto your tart and spread it out. Before serving make sure the tarts are cold, as well use a blowtorch to slightly toast the meringue. Finally you're done! Enjoy!

I actually planned to post these closer to Father's Day but alas, I never got around to it. Goes to show how unorganized I am normally. Oh well.
Hope you guys plan to try these, they are quite splendid. I'm glad I experimented with combining both these flavours, surprisingly tasty!