Cran-raspberry Crumble

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I did it! I made the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. Yup, that’s right! Look no more. It’s the most incredible crumble EVER!!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a firm believer that cheesecake, pumpkin and apple pies should still be on the dessert table, but this will be a delicious new addition…YUMMM!

I don’t think cranberries get the respect they deserve. They are perfect when they are paired with apples, raspberries and oranges (and a little lemon zest too!).  I am a lover of anything raspberry too, so putting these two together with some sugar, citrus zests and extracts, makes for a bowl of goodness!  I made some homemade vanilla ice cream to have with mine, but whipped cream would work too🤗.

Cran-raspberry Filling

  • 3½ cups (350 grams) cranberries
  • 2½ cups (375 grams) raspberries
  • ¼ cup (45 ml) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1¼ cup (250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour (30 grams) 

Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup plus 5 tablespoons (about 158 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375º degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish. Put the cranberries and raspberries in the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl whisk the orange juice and extracts together and drizzle over berries. In a small mixing bowl, add the sugar and zests and mix until well combined. Work the zest into the sugar to release the essential oils for maximum flavor. Add the spices and tapioca flour; whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the fruit.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into flour mixture until it resembles small pea-sized pieces. Whisk the extracts and egg together. With a fork, gently toss the beaten egg and extracts into the flour mixture until moist and the dough starts to hold together. Continue to gently blend your with fingertips until combined.

Be careful not to overwork the dough. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the fruit filling. Sprinkle topping with sugar.

Bake until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 50 to 55 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 25 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or fresh whipped cream.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

 

Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

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In honor of National Chocolate Day (yes, it’s a real day), I made a chocolate Pavlova,  topped with a thin layer of delicious chocolate, whipped cream and fresh raspberries. This pavlova is so light and airy with all “feels” of a decadent dessert. There are a few easy components, that when put together, have an out of this world taste!

As a food blogger, I love all the “special” days that are food related. There are certain things that I am particularly fond of and chocolate is at the very top of that list!  I wanted to make something a little different for you today.  Pavlova always sounded so intimidating to me, but I can assure you it is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made.  Most of the time making a pavlova is in the baking and cooling.  It needs to be baked on a low temperature for an hour, left in the oven for another 30 minutes with the oven off, and then cooled for 45 minutes after it’s removed from the oven.

I can guarantee you are going to love this yummy dessert. You can top it with any fruit and then drizzle a sauce of your choice (chocolate, caramel, salted caramel, etc.).

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (25 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
  • 4 0z. good semisweet chopped chocolate (113 grams)
  • 1 cup very cold heavy whipping cream (237 ml)
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar (25 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Fresh raspberries (for topping)
  • Salted caramel sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line cookie sheet with nonstick parchment paper.  Using an edible marker, make a 9” circle.  I traced a 9” pan.  If your parchment paper isn’t nonstick, grease your paper with butter or shortening and dust with confectioners’ sugar.  Sift cocoa and cornstarch and set aside. Wipe the mixing bowl and whisk beater with lemon juice or vinegar to make sure it is free of any oils.  This helps the egg whites to form stiff peaks.  Mix egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed for 1 minute.  Continue whipping the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar.  Gradually add the sifted cocoa and corn starch.  Once cocoa mixture is incorporated, turn mixer on high and continue to mix until stiff peaks form.

Spread the meringue mixture on the parchment paper in the circle. Make an indent in the middle (leaving about a 2” border).  Bake for about an hour until the meringue feels dry to the touch.  Turn the oven off and leave the meringue inside for about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow cooling on the baking sheet (about 45 minutes).

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly and then spread in the center of the meringue.  Whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla bean paste.  Spoon in the center of the meringue on top of cooled chocolate.  Top with the fruit of your choice.  I like to sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top.   Serve right away or refrigerate for a few hours.  This is such a treat!  I’m sure this will be a hit at any event!!

 

 

Super Moist Avocado Cupcakes

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I never used to eat avocados. After my son married a girl from Southern California (17 years ago),   she made tacos for dinner one night.   She made guacamole.  I never had it before and I thought it was one of the tastiest things I had ever eaten!!

Over the years I have looked forward to the nights we have tacos, mostly because I know my daughter-in-love is going to make the guacamole…YUMMMM!! She has taught me everything I need to know about picking the right avocado and how to ripen them fast!  Feeling and squeezing the avocado is not an easy task!!! When that thing is ready, you need to make that quac PRONTO!

I have wanted to make avocado cupcakes for a while now, so when I had an avocado that was ripe, I knew that now was the time. Fun fact #1- Avocado can be used in place of butter and adds moistness to cupcakes, cakes and other baked goods.  I used ½ cup mashed avocado and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in my cupcake recipe.  Those things were so moist!

Fun fact #2- Avocado is a fruit. They are by no means sweet!   They grow on a tree that is part of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The avocado (also known as the alligator pear or avocado pear) is a large berry containing a large seed).

Fun fact #3-Hass avocados are perfect for mashing, so I recommend using these for your cupcakes.

I frosted these gems with some cream cheese frosting. This frosting goes perfectly with these cupcakes (let’s face it, cream cheese frosting goes well on just about anything!!).

Last Fun fact- Dogs and cats can eat the cream center of an avocado, but the pit and the skin are highly TOXIC!!! The remains of the avocado can be used in your compost or just discard it in the trash.

I hope you make these cupcakes. If you do, tag me on Instagram and show me your finished product.  Enjoy!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake tins with paper liners (this recipe makes approximately 18 cupcakes).

Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside. Mix the eggs and granulated sugar on high for 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour in the oil and mix until combined.  Mix in the mashed avocado just until incorporated.  Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.  Pour in the milk and other half of the dry ingredients and mix for 1 minute.  Scrape down bowl and beater. Let mixture sit for two minutes.  Stir mix and pour (or scoop) into cupcake tins.  Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full and bake for 16-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely on cooling rack.  Frost and eat.  If there are any left over…cover and refrigerate.

Ingredients for Cupcakes:

  • 1 ½ cups of flour (180 grams)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 2 large eggs – room temperature
  • 1 medium avocado, mashed (115 grams)
  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (108 grams)
  • 2/3 Cup of whole milk – room temperature (163 grams)
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice (I like to use Nellie & Joe’s Famous Key West Lime Juice)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese – room temperature (227 grams)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter – room temperature (113 grams)
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar (220 grams)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Mix cream cheese and butter on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Slowly add sugar and mix until combined.  Add salt and vanilla bean paste.  Mix on high for one minute, scraping sides and bottom of bowl when needed.  Add to bag with tip or use offset spatula. Decorate cupcakes as desired.

 

 

Delicious Alfredo Sauce

  • This Alfredo sauce is quick, easy and delicious😋! It’s just five ingredients and you can have dinner on the table in half an hour!!
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • In a large saucepan, heat butter and heavy cream on medium heat until it melts and starts to simmer.
  • Add remaining ingredients and turn heat to medium/low and whisk together until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite pasta😋. Enjoy!!
  • Plum Frangipane Muffins

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    Last weekend my husband and I traveled over to Lewes, Delaware. We like to go to this quaint little town every so often.

    While we were there last week we went to the local farm market. I don’t know about you but I love meandering around farm markets. There’s something about a town coming together.   All the venders bringing their best!  The thought of having your pick of fresh fruits, vegetables, homemade cookies, cakes, breads….ohhhh the breads! Yummy!!  This brings me to these plum muffins. As we were walking over to the table with a huge sign that said “Old World Breads” I found myself being really excited to see the different breads.  My love for good crusty bread is real people!  Taking my bread knife and slicing through a delicious loaf of yumminess….oh my!

    Well, when we approached the table my eyes zoomed in on the most beautiful plum frangipane tarts I’ve ever seen! They also had mini tarts,  so of course we had to buy one. My husband and I spoke to the people attending the table.  They were so nice and took the time to tell us a little about the bakery.  We were happy to hear that it is adjacent to the new bike path. Yay!!

    After we made our purchase it was useless to think I could focus on anything but eating the baked delight that was inside the little brown bag they had placed it in! We walked over and sat on a bench overlooking Blockhouse Pond.  It was a beautiful day and it was about to get even better!  As I sat there enjoying my mini plum frangipane I was taking my time.  I was savoring every bite and wondering if I could remake it so I could have one anytime I wanted.

    Fast forward to this weekend. I went to our local farm market and purchased 6 small and very ripe plums.  They were so juicy and delicious.

    I decided to make plum frangipane muffins. After a few attempts I was able to make something that came very close to tasting like the goodness I had last week.  I didn’t top mine with almonds though.  I didn’t have any on hand (I thought I had some in the freezer but didn’t).  I’ll definitely use them next time because they really add to the taste and texture (but they’re really good without them tooJ).

    I hope you make these muffins, and if you do tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your pictures and hear about how you like them too!!

    If you’re ever in Lewes, Delaware, make sure you stop in @oldworldbreads. You will be so glad you did!

    Ingredients

    • 4 plums pitted and sliced
    • 3 Tablespoons Turbinado Sugar – Divided
    • 1 ¼ Cups All Purpose Flour (165 grams)
    • ¼ Cup Almond Flour (30 grams)
    • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar (200 grams)
    • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
    • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
    • 2 Large Eggs – Room Temperature
    • Zest of One Lemon
    • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice (add to milk to make buttermilk)
    • ½ Cup Milk (120 ml) – Room Temperature
    • ½ Cup Canola Oil (120 ml)
    • 1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
    • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups.  Spray lightly with baking spray.  Slice plums and place in a bowl.  Toss with one tablespoon turbinado sugar and set aside.
    2. In a medium bowl whisk together the all purpose flour, almond flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
    3. In a large bowl blend the eggs, lemon zest, buttermilk, canola oil and extracts until completely mixed
    4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Do not over mix or your muffins will come out tough (Nobody wants a tough muffin!!).
    5. Fill muffin cup ¼ full. Place some of the plums on mix and top with enough mixture to fill the cups ¾ full.  Top with more plums and bake for 25-28 minutes.  Check with cake tester.  Muffins are finished when golden brown on top and tester comes out clean.
    6. Allow muffins to cool on cooling rack. Dust with confectioner sugar (optional).  Enjoy!!!

    Blueberry Crumble Muffins

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    I love blueberry muffins! I would even go as far as to say they are my favorite.  When you make that crumble to put on the top…mmmm!!   When they’re baking in the oven, the smell is going to be ridiculously amazing!!   With your senses being tormented, you can’t wait for them to come out of the oven.

    I’m not anti butter by any means, in fact, I am very much pro butter, but I like to eat my muffins plain.

    When they come out of the oven, and they’re sitting all pretty on the cooling rack, I’ll wait until one is just cool enough to eat. I’ll have my cup of coffee in hand all ready to go!  Breaking it open to see all those beautiful blueberries….Oh My Goodness!!!

    You have got to make these! I promise you will not be disappointed!!

    So go on, use up those blueberries that are hanging out in your “fruit and veggie” drawer!   Let’s face it, it’s September and we all want to get started with baking everything “cinnamon and spice”!!

    Crumb topping ingredients:

    • 1 cup all purpose flour (120 grams)
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar (70 grams)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25 grams)
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 6 Tablespoons butter melted (85 grams)

    Combine flour, sugars, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Stir in the melted butter then work the mixture with your fingers until it resembles pea sized clumps.  Put aside

    Muffin ingredients:

    • 2 cups all purpose flour (240 grams)
    • ½ cup brown sugar (107 grams)
    • ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup canola oil (237 ml)
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • Zest of one lemon
    • ¾ cup milk (177 ml)
    • 2 eggs
    • ½ tablespoon vanilla bean paste
    • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries (255 grams)

    In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. With a stand or hand held mixer, blend the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, milk, eggs and vanilla bean paste until just combined.  Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients (do not overmix!). Stir the blueberries into the mixture.  Be gentle as to not break them.

    Scoop the mix into prepared baking tins and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool on racks and enjoy!  Muffins can be frozen or kept in an airtight container.

     

    Jewish Peach Cake

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    This week we have been having Fall-like weather here in Cape May, New Jersey. I had some peaches that needed to be eaten rather quickly, so I searched some older recipes in my archives and decided the make this little gem.

    This cake is inspired by my sister-in-love Sherri’s Jewish apple cake. She is an amazing baker and this recipe speaks for itself! This is the one dessert that goes really quick when she brings it to family gatherings. This recipe was published in a cookbook “Feeding the Flock”, put out 20 years ago by the woman in her Church family.

    I have made this cake so many times over the years and it turns out delicious every single time! I always follow the recipe exactly as it is written, but when I decided to put a spin on it by switching out the apples for peaches; I added a ½ teaspoon of cardamom. This is a personal preference and can be omitted, but might I suggest giving it try! I lightly dust the top with confectioners’ sugar before serving, but you have to make this brown butter glaze. It takes this already incredible cake to a whole different level! You’re welcome☺️!!

    Peach Mixture

    • 6 medium peaches (peeled and cut into chunks)
    • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar (63 grams)
    • ½ teaspoon cardamom (optional, but I like how it pares with the peaches)
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

    Cake Batter

    • 3 cups all purpose flour (375 grams)
    • 2 cups granulated sugar (400 grams)
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 cup canola oil (215 gram)
    • 4 eggs (room temperature)
    • ¼ cup orange juice (60 ml)
    • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan.

    Peel and cut the peaches into chunks. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar, cardamom and cinnamon. Set aside while preparing cake batter. This will cause the juices in the peaches to release and that is just what you want…trust me!

    In a mixing bowl whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix together with a stand or hand mixer until completely combined. The batter will be thick.

    Add a thin layer of the cake batter to the bottom of the pan, then add half of the peach mixture (be sure to add all of the delicious juice) on top of the batter. Ribbon half of the remaining cake batter over top of the peaches; the batter will not completely cover the peaches. Top with the remaining peaches and cake batter, ending with the cake batter, again, it will not completely cover the apples and that’s fine because the batter will rise around the peaches.

    Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. This is important! I have had cakes collapse if removed sooner. Allow cake to cool completely. You can eat this cake plain or dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar. I topped mine with* brown butter glaze and it takes the cake to a whole new level!! This cake actually gets better the longer it sits. Covered properly this cake keeps well on the counter (or in the refrigerator. Just make sure you bring it back to room temperature before serving). This cake is going to go FAST!!

    Brown Butter Glaze (ingredients and directions)

    ½ cup unsalted butter (86 grams)

    2 cups confectioners’ sugar (360 grams)

    Pinch of salt

    2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract (pure vanilla can be used in place of the vanilla bean extract)

    4 Tablespoons milk (60 ml)

    *To make brown butter glaze, place the butter in a small saucepan and melt over medium heat until butter is completely melted. Continue to cook and stir the butter until golden brown and tiny specks have formed on the bottom of the pan. Please do not leave this unattended because it will go from a beautiful golden brown to burnt in a matter of seconds (unfortunately if this happens there is nothing you can do to salvage it, and you will have to start again). Next, pour the butter into a medium sized bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour the glaze over your peach cake. I should probably warn you…the smell of the brown butter is heavenly!! And now pared with the rest of the ingredients, well the smell and the taste are AMAZING!!

    Let me know if you make this cake and tag my Instagram page @goodeatsbymimi. I would love to hear from you and see pictures too!