Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Orange Bread Pudding

Let me start by saying, I by no means like orange marmalade, which is why every time my mom makes this dish I am so pleasantly surprised as to how much I absolutely LOVE it. It is the top comfort food, so perfect for the winter holidays and my favourite treat for cold winter nights. Everything about it simply screams comfort, especially that warm crème anglaise drizzled on top...or swimming in it ;)

Something I love about this recipe is the variations, you can use different breads, around the holidays we often use pantone (another thing I don't love) but is also quite nice in this recipe, you could even use, say, cinnamon bread! Though this time and most often we used just regular white toast bread, untoasted of course! I suppose you could even use other jams you like though I strongly suggest the orange marmalade, it adds bursts of tangy zest in comparison to the creamy sauce..mmmm, I want some just thinking about it!

It's a super easy dish to make as long as you have the patience to wait for it to bake, which I have none, but it's worth it!  Trust me!


  • 15 slices white bread
  • Butter for the bread
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups 10% cream or 1 cup cream, 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbs vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 jar orange marmalade
For the crème anglaise I just used a custard mix and added a little bit extra milk to make it more like a sauce than custard
  1. Butter a 9x13 glass baking dish and preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. In a bowl combine the eggs, cream, vanilla and salt and mix until sugar is dissolved
  3. Cut off the crusts of the bread slices and lightly butter one side of each lice of bread
  4. Cut the bread in half diagonally and lay to fill the bottom of the pan, spooning marmalade over each layer, there should be three layers (I find it best if you cut for slices diagonally for one layer but then the fifth slice just in half horizontally to fill the end space in the dish, begin each layer on the opposite side to the last so the layers overlap rather than stack)
  5. Pour the egg mixture over the bread being careful to cover all the bread
  6. Just before putting in the oven sprinkle another spoonful of sugar over the top to create a crisp crust
  7. Bake on the middle rack for about 55 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is puffed
Serve warm with the crème anglaise!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Corn Cakes

My mom recently told me that she's never had any sort of fried cake she enjoyed. Me and my friend Peyton took that as a challenge, to us, corn makes everything better. It adds a sweet pop to every bite, accompanied with a little spice is just perfect. So we made corn cakes! These corn cakes happened to be the first fried cakes she's ever liked!

Our own addition was a handful of chopped cilantro and some extra corn ;) After making it the first time I made another three batches within the next three days. My first thought was that frying things is just too much mess and too much work, I won't deny the oil left a little mess but it was a super easy recipe!

My mom suggested we add a little sauce, very simple, just mayonnaise and sriracha (an Asian hot sauce.) I know it looks like a pretty little drizzle in the photo but as soon as we were done, we added a whole lot more sauce because they just complimented each other so perfectly you simply couldn't go light! Of course if you don't like spicy you can just add a little more mayo than sriracha.

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (could even use a little more if you like spicy!)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed (I briefly microwave it)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (it originally asked for scallions though I think the cilantro gave it amazing flavour)
  • Canola or vegetable oil

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and cayenne. 
  2. In a second medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and butter. 
  3. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until they are just blended. Fold in the corn and cilantro.
  4. Pour oil in large nonstick skillet (until it come up 1/4 inch on the sides) and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. (Watch that the oil isn't too hot or they will brown quickly on the sides and not cook through the middle)
  5. For each crisp, drop a slightly rounded tablespoon of batter into the oil. Fry them in batches over medium-high heat until they are golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. 
  6. Transfer the crisps to a paper towel-lined sheet pan or plate,
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Plum Cake

This is my oma's recipe and a huge family wide favourite. There's not a branch in my family that doesn't look forward to this cake at our family get togethers in the summer. She uses the plums off the tree in their beautiful backyard and shares the rest of the plumbs with the family. We all attempt replicating her cake but it seems no one can make it as good as her, though she told me a came quite close the last time so I decided to share the recipe!

For this recipe you dont use youyr typical plumbs, you use damson plumbs. A smaller dark oval like plum that are only in season late summer/fall.

This cake is served best with a whole lot of whipped cream on top to balance out the slight tanginess of the plumbs, it is such a light and fruity cake, you could almost eat half the pan before even realizing it, then continuing because it's just that good!


for the Cake
  • Damson plumbs (about one basket) 
  • 150g quark (quark is the german, slightly dryer version of ricotta cheese, quark is not so easy to find though you can get it at costco but I've made the recipe with ricotta and it worked perfectly.)
  • 80g sugar
  • 7 tbs milk
  • 7 tbs oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 300g flour
  • 1pkg baking powder (or just over 1 tbs)
For the Crumble

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar (optional)

for the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. stir together wet ingredients and sugar
  3. In a seperate bowl stir together baking powder and flour
  4. mix 2 thirds of the flour mixture into wet ingredients
  5. Pour remaining third of the flour mixture onto a clean countertop and pour the dough onto the flour, knead the flour into the dough
  6. roll the dough out onto a large butter and floured cookie sheet until it reaches all the edges
  7. slice the plumbs in half, remove the pit (which doesn't always come out with ease so it's easiest just to use your fingers) then cut each half lengthwise in half again so the the plum is cut into four wedges...Tip: I leave the four slices joined by the skin to make laying them on the cake easier
  8. line up the plums on the cake in rows slightly overlapping so there's plenty of fruit on the cake, leave a little room around the edges or the plum juice will run under the dough while baking
  9. sprinkle the fruit with sugar once it's all layed on the cake
For the Crumble

  1. Mix cold butter, sugar, almonds, vanilla sugar and flour
  2. mush together with your hands until little dry lumps form, crumble over your cake
Bake the cake for 45 minutes.

Shrimp Mousse

When I first told my younger sister I was making shrimp mousse the name threw her off, but she being someone who will eat a whole tray of shrimp on her own if you put one out and don’t watch her, she wanted to know what this recipe was all about. This is a recipe I remember my mom making whenever we had company over and I LOVED it. She’d always have to hold me and my younger sister back from eating it all before she can even offer to the guests. Obviously my younger sister did not remember this and was surprised by how much she loves it all over again.

For this recipes I have a plastic mold in a dome shape, if you dont have one you can use a bowl lined with plastic wrap (you only need plastic wrap in the case that you're using a bowl, my mold is made for this so it has a lid that you remove at the end to relieve suction so that the mold will come out with ease.) My mold measures 8 inches across and is 4 inches deep.
After being refrigerated for at least 2 hours to firm up, you flip it over onto a plate and serve with any crackers you would like, I suggest a cracker that does not have too much flavour so that you don’t overpower the taste of the shrimp mold (I use stoneground crackers). Though it does turn gelatinous there also remains a nice creamy texture that easily spreads on crackers. Has to be one of my favourite snacks.
  • 1 can campbells tomato soup
  • 8oz philedelphia cream cheese
  • 1pkg knox gelatin
  • approx. 1/8 cup water (to soften gelatin)
  • 1 can cocktail shrimp, mashed
  • 3/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  1. In a sauce pan stir cream cheese until melted
  2. Mix in tomato soup
  3. Soften gelatin by pouring water onto a plate and sprinkling the gelatin over top, let sit for a few minutes to soak up the water
  4. Add gelatin to cheese mixture and let stand to cool down while you prepare your vegetables
  5. Mash shrimp and add to mixture along with onion and celery, stir in mayonaise
  6. Pour into mold and let sit for at least 2 hours