Nostalgic Nutella Brown Butter Crispies

3 Feb

Happy Chinese New Year!!!! I manage to stay away from blogging for 4 months. Good and bad I suppose hmmmmm… is snowing!!!!! What a wonderful Christmas I had last year. I had participated in Christmas Craft Fairs at local community centres selling chocolates and cookies and was very encouraging. It is means something when your friends tell you that your goodies are good but when the public tells you that your creations are good and comes back for more, your confidence goes up a notch. I was ecstatic!!! I came out more aware what the public wants and what sells and will participate again this year.

It is snowing finally!!!! Vancouver had a green and rainy Christmas in 2018 bahhhhhh humbug as Scrooge would say. Did you ever had a snow flake land on you and looked at its crystalline structure? It is so beautiful and everyone is unique in it’s own way. Moreover, it is so peaceful looking at the white flakes gently floating down and covering the streets and plants with white. I take snow over rain anyday as after all Vancouver is known as Raincouver.

After a lull in baking well not true because of Christmas, I decided to try different recipes again. The nutella brown butter crispies caught my eye. There is something nostalgic about rice crispies as it brings back childhood memories of my mom making it. Eager we well watching her mix the marshmallow with the rice crispies. Mmmmmmmmm….sweet and gooey and crispy, what child can resist it? Well, nutella rice crispies is a much mature version of the popular treat except the recipes incorporates browned butter and nutella. I was drawn to it immediately and made some. Delicious!!!!!


Nutella Brown Butter Crispies

3/4 cup unsalted butter
2-10.5 ounce bags marshmallows
1 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups Nutella (I used Thomas Haas-Hazelnut Spread)
12 cups rice crispies
1-1.2 ounce bag freeze dried strawberries (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)

Regulsts: Fabulous!!!! Rich, gooey, sweet and crunchy. The hazelnut paste really shone through with the marshmallows and together with the crispiness of the rice crispies hit the spot!!! It was an instant hit with my co-workers and fellow church friends. Definite keeper!!!!


Apple Tart with Hazelnut Frangipane

28 Oct

Apples are in season. I decided to make another apple treat and this time with hazelnuts. I have always been a fan of nuts and in order to satisfy my craving I decided to make a hazelnut frangipane to compliment the apples.


Ingredients (adapted from Jacques Pepin)

1 cup shelled hazelnuts (toasted and grounded finely)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp unsalted butter divided.
Dash Vanilla
4 large apples
1 cup apricot preserves (optional)
1 tablespoon water


Maple Apple Pecan Crumble

8 Oct

Happy Thanksgiving!!!! Wow it is Thanksgiving already! Summer vanished in a blink. All the sunny days and warm weather have left and lingering are the dreary rainy cold days of Fall. There is certainly a crispy clean air feeling in the mornings as I walk briskly to work. Vancouver has turned into a landscape of bright oranges and reds.

With the roast in the oven, I am catching up on my blog. Unlike the traditional turkey dinner, we are having prime rib. Yummm!!!! Savour the aromas!!!! On top of that I made Apple Pecan Crumble. Apples to me represent the fall and with that in mind I went searching for a good recipe with apples incorporated in it. Apple Crumble popped up!!!Nothing is more satisfying than the scent of warm apples and cinnamon and sugar baking. MMMMMMM…..Apple crisp has always been a staple of my family;however this time I am adding in maple syrup into the mix. Ahhhh…the flavours. Off I went to make it!!!


Maple Apple Crisp adapted from here


1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
7 cups sliced peeled Rome apple (about 3 pounds) (I used honey crisp)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Results: Amazing, apple crisps never fail the tastebuds.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Exotic Passion-Ksenia Penkina

8 Aug

Feeling the scorching heat of summer. Vancouver has been experiencing a heat wave with temperatures hitting the mid 20’s in the lower mainland. Good for people who like to tan, bike and swim in the beach but bad for individuals whose homes do not have fans. It feels like a furnace inside except you can’t sweat it out. With those heave waves and summery temperatures comes an abundance of fresh fruit. I love my fruit. I have been making tarts and cakes in the last few weeks and it does not look like it is stopping any time soon.

My birthday just past and with that came celebration with friends although this year I felt a bit sad during that celebration. A little less than a week ago, I witness the guy I liked flirt with another girl. To make things worst I was sitting diagonally across from him. It was tough to swallow and felt like a someone had stabbed me with a knife. The pain was excruciating but I had to bear it. Otherwise make a scene in front of friends. As we left the restaurant I just stayed mum about it but it was obvious I was affected. I sometimes thought I would be strong enough and it would not bother me but obviously this was not the case. Once outside I cried. I was upset for a week or so. It really hurt. I guess everyone has experienced that gut renching feeling once in their life time and can relate. In many ways, I am still healing but learning to cope with it. After all the sun will keep on raising and setting no matter what and you choose to either hold onto the pain or let go.

On a side note, previous to this incident, I had enrolled an a pastry making class. I had always been a fan of european pastries noted for their intricate work so it is no surprise that I would eventually purchase a So Good Magazine. The one I had purchased was #19. Once received I flipped through the pages with eyes aglowing. I stopped an a few pages and marked them as my projects to do next. To my surprise, one of the chefs in the magazine beknownst to me teaches Master’s Pastry Class in Cakes in Vancouver. You can see the excitement in me. No surprise, I registered. It was a two day intensive course in which we made 6 cakes, worked with chocolate and glazes. It was an amazing experience and I could see my skill level rising a notch. The cakes were not only stunning to look at but delicious as well.

One of my favorites is the Exotic Passion. It is stunning and delicious.

Exotic Passion

Coconut Dacquoise
180 g egg whites
100 g fine sugar
1 g albumen
60 g almond flour
40 g pastry flour
135 g icing sugar
100 g dry coconut shreds (toasted)
1 lime zest

Coconut Crunch
10 g grape seed oil
35 g white chocolate
30 g crumbled feuilletine
9 g toasted coconut
1 lime zest

Passion Fruit and Mango Coulis
6 g pectin NH
60 g fine sugar
95 g mangp puree
40 g mango pieces
105 g passion fruit puree
50 g whole passion fruit (yellow passion fruit) seeds

Strawberry Insert
370 g strawberry puree
95 g fine sugar
8 g pectin NH


Result: Sublime!!!! The flavours compliment each other very well. It was very light and delicate.


Blueberry Liege Waffles w/ Blueberry Sauce and Whipped Cream

3 Aug

Liege Waffles


1/2 cup whole milk luke warm ( I used 2% milk)
1/3 cup water ( I used 2% milk)
3 teaspoons fresh yeast
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoon light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 2/3 cup bread flour ( I used 1/2 bread flour with 1/2 all purpose)
2 sticks or 8 ounces butter cubed and at room temperature
1 1/2 cups pearl sugar
2 cups blueberries

Blue Berry Sauce


3 cups blueberries (I used fresh blueberries)
1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved into 3 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Results: The sauce compliments the waffles beautifully.

Liege Waffles-Take Two!!!

7 Jul

Liege Waffles adapted from here

1/2 cup whole milk ( I used 2%)
1/3 cup water ( I used milk instead)
3 teaspoons instant yeast (I used fresh yeast)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla (Can opt for vanilla beans)
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
3 2/3 cups bread flour (I combined the ratios to 1/2 cup bread flour and 1/2 cup all purpose)
2 sticks butter
1 1/2 cups pearl sugar

Key: The key is the proofing and punching down of dough as well as amount of time for proofing.

Results: Delicious recipe. It can be coated with chocolate to have amazing results. For those who list matcha. Combine the matcha with the milk. As an alternative one can add orange zest.

Happy Waffle Making!!!

White Chocolate Pistachio Mousse Cake w/ Pistachio Crunchy Insert-Bachour Inspired (Green)

25 May

Finally I have time to write in my blog again. As I am typing away I remember how at peace I am. The past few weeks have been quite busy and with work in full steam, well I got stressed out. A walk with a friend today solved the problem as it helped me unwind. There is nothing more peaceful than walking at the beach and around the neighbourhood on a warm spring day. Walking around beautiful surroundings definitely let me vent out and voice my frustrations allowing me to relax.

In the wake of the last few weeks, I also had a friends birthday to make a cake for. I wanted to surprise her thus made the cake extra special. In the last few months I went on a splurge buying baking books to try new recipes. Of them I bought Bachour’s recipe books. Apparently he is America’s 10 top pastry chefs and his works and recipes are to die for having mastered his art. As I was flipping through his recipe book, my eyes fell on GREEN. The reciped combined different elements of texture which was creamy and crunchy. Bonus it had my favorite ingredient pistachios. So off I went to make it and in the process challenged myself.

To make the cake, I first made a chiffon cake. I choose this cake as it is a favourite to my family.

Pistachio Crunchy Insert-I then made the crunchy insert. To do this, I toasted some sicilian pistachio and grounded into a fine powder. Next, the white chocolate was melted. Once the chocolate was melted, the ground pistachio, wafers, and chocolate were combined and mixed into a smooth paste like consistency. I then used a 6″inch ring and serran wrapped the edges and spooned the mixture into the cake ring to create a crunch disk.

Pistachio Cremeux-While the disk was setting, I then made the cremeux. To make the cremeux, the gelatin needed to be bloomed in cold water. I then boiled the cream and milk, added the bloomed gelatin and poured the liquid onto the white chocolate and pistachio paste and mixed until homogenous. Once the mixture had cooled, I spooned the cremeux into a silicone mold and froze the cremeux.

Pistachio White Chocolate Mousse-As with most mousses, gelatin needs to be bloomed. While the gelatin was blooming I boiled the milk and added the bloomed gelatin onto the chocolate and pistachio paste. As the mixture was cooling, cream was whipped until soft peaks. I then folded the whipped cream into the white chocolate/pistachio mixture.

Assembly-To assemble the cake, I placed the chiffon cake on the bottom and laddled the mousse onto the cake. Next I inserted the crunchy insert onto the mousse and laddled some more mousse. The cremeux came next and finally more mousse was laddled on top to finish the cake. When the cake setted, I made some white chocolate disks to surround the cake with, pipped whipped cream on top and decorated with strawberries.


Pistachio Cremeux (Note these recipes make 3 6″ cakes)
12 g gelatin sheets
375 g cream
100 g milk full fat (I used 2%)
250 g white chocolate
200 g pistachio paste

Pistachio Crunchy Insert

150 g wafer crumbs
50 g toasted pistachio
200 g white chocolate
100 g unsalted butter (I did not add the butter)

Pistachio White Chocolate Mousse
26 g gelatin sheet
500 g full fat milk (I used 2%)
150 g pistachio paste
810 g white chocolate
750 g cream

Result: Fabulous. You got the creamy and nuttiness of the pistachio cremeux and mousse which is offset by the crunchy texture of the insert. This recipe is a keeper!!!!

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