Tastybitsandbites’s Weblog

Oldies but goodies part 3
June 23, 2008, 6:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I received a creme brulee set last year and this was my first attempt at using the torch. I found this recipe in my Canadian Living Magazine. I made this back in March when we had our good friends come up for a visit.

Milk Chocolate Tart Brûlée with Hazelnut Crust

 1/3 cup (75 mL) hazelnuts
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
Pinch salt
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) milk
8 oz (250 g) milk chocolate, chopped
2 oz (60 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
Edible gold flakes


Spread hazelnuts in single layer on rimmed baking sheet; toast in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant and skins crack, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly. Transfer to towel; rub briskly to remove as much of the skins as possible. In food processor, finely grind hazelnuts with 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the flour; set aside.

In bowl, beat butter until light, about 2 minutes. Beat in sugar until fluffy; beat in egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. In separate bowl, whisk together hazelnut mixture, remaining flour and sa< using wooden spoon, stir into butter mixture until dough holds together, adding up to 2 tbsp (25 mL) water if dough doesn’t hold together.

Transfer to work surface; knead 2 or 3 times until dough forms ball. Press into disc; wrap in plastic wrap and fefrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.)

Press dough into bottom and up side of greased 11-inch (28 cm) tart pan with removable bottom. Freeze until firm, about 10 minutes.

Line with foil; fill evenly with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in bottom third of 400°F (200°C) oven for 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil; bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack.

Filling: Meanwhile, in saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around edge. Remove from heat. Whisk in milk chocolate and bittersweet chocolate until smooth. In bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Gradually whisk in chocolate mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Pour through fine sieve into pastry shell.

Bake in centre of 325°F (160°C) oven just until bubbles rise to surface and knife inserted in centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours. (Make-ahead: Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

Topping: Just before serving, sprinkle sugar evenly over top. Shield crust with strips of foil; with propane torch or under broiler, melt and caramelize sugar. Let stand at room temperature until sugar is hardened, about 10 minutes. Whip cream. Pipe rosettes or spoon along edge. Garnish with gold flakes.


Oldies but Goodies Part 2
June 23, 2008, 6:19 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I made this delicious cake back in March for a joint birthday celebration and man oh man was it tasty. This cake was a labour of love and definetly worth the time. It is from the cookbook Eat Shrink and be Merry by the talented Greta & Janet Podleski. All of these ladies cookbooks are amazing!

Died-and-Gone-to-Heaven Chocolate Layer Cake

  • 3 cups (750 mL) granulated sugar
  • 21/2 cups (625 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250 mL)?unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking soda
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 11/2 cups (375 mL)?buttermilk
  • 1 cup (250 mL)?strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL)?vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
  • 4 oz (115 g) unsweetened chocolate squares, melted and cooled slightly

    For the frosting

  • 11/4 cups (300 mL)?granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (250 mL) 35 per cent whipping cream
  • 6 oz (165 g) semisweet chocolate squares
  • 2 tsp (10 mL)?vanilla
  • 8 oz (225 g) light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) butter, softened


Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease bottom and sides of three 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans. Cut circles of wax paper or parchment paper to fit bottom of pans and place in pans. Lightly grease paper. Set pans aside.

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

In another large bowl, beat eggs on high speed of electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until they have thickened slightly and are lemon coloured. Add buttermilk, coffee, oil, vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix on low speed until well blended.

Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix on medium speed until batter is smooth. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in centre of cakes comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, peel off paper and cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting: Whisk sugar, cocoa, and whipping cream in a medium saucepan. Cook slowly over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a gentle boil. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in vanilla. Let cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter on high speed of electric mixer until smooth. Add cooled chocolate mixture and beat on medium speed until well blended. Refrigerate frosting until desired spreading consistency is reached, about 1 hour. It’s important not to let it get too firm, or you won’t be able to spread it.

To frost cake: Place one cake layer on a pretty plate. Spread 1 cup (250 mL)? frosting over top. Repeat with second layer. Place final layer on top. Ice top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Decorate cake with chocolate curls and/or chocolate-covered strawberries, if desired. Cover and refrigerate. Let cake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Oldies but goodies Part 1
June 23, 2008, 6:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Caramel Walnut Upside Down Banana Cake

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
3/4 cup walnut halves or pieces

For topping:
Spray 8-inch round cake pan with 2-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Bring butter, sugar, and corn syrup to boil in medium saucepan, stirring constantly until butter melts. Boil syrup 1 minute. Stir in nuts. Spread topping in prepared pan. Let topping cool completely.

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift first 4 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars in large bowl until blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then mashed bananas, sour cream, rum, and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients in 2 additions just until combined. Spoon batter into pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Cut around cake. Place platter over pan. Holding pan and platter together, turn over. Let stand 5 minutes, then gently lift off pan. Cool at least 15 minutes for topping to set. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Thai by Hubby
June 23, 2008, 6:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 A few weeks ago after struggling to find something to make for dinner I exlaimed that I was on strike and Hubby was in charge of making dinner. You see we used to cook together all the time and over the years I have become the head chef 95% of the time. Normally this is A-OK with me but some nights I just can’t think of anything to make.  On this occasion I was banished to the other room and called to the kitchen when dinner was ready – and boy was I impressed. It was this yummy thai stew/soup that was so bursting with flavour!! I mean look at the presentation and the table setting!! Way to go Hubby and while I’m thinking of it I really don’t know what to make tonight so why don’t you whip this up again 🙂


Parmesan chicken
June 23, 2008, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For my second dish with the Barefoot Bloggers I made Parmesan Chicken. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this dish……….eeeeek! I decided to make the chicken and drizzle the lemon vinaigrette over the chicken without the salad greens. I served it with smashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. The chicken was light and I loved the lemon vinaigrette drizzled over top.

For a link to this yummy dish click below.



Now I am a Barefoot blogger!
June 12, 2008, 11:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


So I have joined another blogging group – I am officially an online food nerd 🙂 I found a blog that just started up that is dedicated to creating recipes from the talented Ina Garten. I LOVE Ina’s recipe and as she says “a stick of butter how can you go wrong”……ah Ina.

I made the Pasta, pesto & peas for dinner for Hubby & I the other night and halved the recipe which yielded enough for our dinner and left over lunches the next day. This was really yummy and would be a great alternative to a basic pasta salad to bring to a summer BBQ. I will definetly make this again 🙂

Pesto, pasta & peas

Source: Barefoot Contessa

3/4 pound fusilli pasta (I used whole wheat)
3/4 pound bow tie pasta (I used whole wheat)
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor (I used my blender) fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

 Yield: 4 cups

Easy peasy lemony squeezy make ahead sleepin’ in omelette
June 10, 2008, 12:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Continue reading