Posts Tagged 'winter'

Ice. Tomorrow.



Chip away at the last of the winter ice on your sidewalk. Or at least stock up ya freezer. New #lhoriginal drink recipe coming up tomorrow, and trust me, you don’t want to miss it. Goodbye winter doldrums forever.


Pipe Dream #179: To Forget Your Order and Gleek All Over – Chocolate Clementine Marquise

marquise 3

If you have ever wanted to eat five truffles, but didn’t because you were embarrassed because clearly everyone else at the table was only going to order one and then nibble on half, this cake is for you.

This situation, which of course has never happened to me, is easily remedied by a cake so chocolately and dense, you might as well just skip your breakfast Nutella in anticipation. I made a similar torte ages and years ago, but it was a flourless version. This cake, while nearly flourless, will not make your GF friends happy, so keep that in mind. It made my dinner party friends happy, in lieu of these chocolate creme pot fails.

marquise 1

GUYS IT’S CITRUS SEASON TAKE ADVANTAGE. The flavor is delicate and perfect.

marquise 6

marquise 5

And correct me if I’m wrong, but there is never a season when it is not chocolate season. In my life, at least. And if it’s true in my life, it must be true in yours. Truth is truth, yeah? Yes.

marquise 4

For decoration, I just cut up some strips of parchment and layered them in a criss-cross pattern to create the diamond effect with powdered sugar you see below. If you wanted to be really cool, you could do this part not on the serving plate, so that your powdered sugar looks clean. Whatever. Rustic elegance?

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Classically bad cutting skills. But who says a cake slice needs to look super sharp to make you gleek? I certainly didn’t. P.S. My mouth waters.

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This one looks a bit better.

My mouth still waters,


Chocolate Clementine Marquise

Adapted from Greatest-Ever Chocolate Cookbook by Christines McFadden & France

Scant 1 cup (200 grams, 7 ounces) white sugar or caster sugar

4 tablespoons (60 mL) fresh clementine (or orange) juice

12 ounces (350 grams) dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 225 grams) unsalted butter, cubed

5 eggs

finely grated rind of two clementines (or oranges)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour

icing sugar and pared strips of clementine (or orange) rind , to decorate

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch x 2 1/2 inch (23 centimeter) round cake  tin with non-stick spray, and line the base with parchment.

Place 1/2 cup (115 grams, 4 ounces) sugar in a large saucepan. Add the clementine juice, and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Remove from the the heat, and stir in the chocolate until melted. Add the butter, cube, by cube, until melted.

Whisk the eggs with the remaining sugar in a large bowl until pale and very thick. I was kind of weak, so it might be better to do this with an electric mixer. Add the grated clementine rind. Using a metal spoon, fold the chocolate mixture lightly and evenly into the egg mixture. Sift the flour over the top, and fold in evenly.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan, and place the pan into a roasting tin. Transfer the tin to the oven, then pour hot water into the roasting pan sot that it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan.

Bake for about 1 hour or until the cake is firm to the touch. Remove the cake pan from the roasting pan, and let cool for 15-20 minutes. Carefully run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake, then turn out onto a serving plate and let cool completely. Chill. Before serving, dust with icing sugar, and garnish with strips of clementine rind.

The cookbook says this serves 8, but I would say it serves closer to 12. Real rich.

Favorite Shots: Civilization


One of the best parts of living in civilization is the fact that I can get non-civilization items in plastic packages in THA DEAD of winter so I can feel like I’m living in non-civilization.

Love herbage, miss English,


Pipe Dream #175: To Interpret Ambiguous Phrasing – Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

orange buns 3

You probably know by now about my love of yeast cinnamon rolls. Check out the archives. You won’t be disappointed. My mother has an equal love for rolls of the orange variety. They are nostalgia-inducing. Plus delicious. My grandma, the best baker in the world, used to make them for every holiday.

My mum tried to carry on the tradition, and I remember having them every Easter as a kid. But something happened between yeast and my mum, and the recipe “stopped working for her.” I found it difficult to believe that the yeast would be at fault here, so I endeavored to recreate the rolls for her sake as much as mine. Like a present.

This task was a bigger challenge than I expected, mostly because the recipe is peppered with phrases like “Add enough of the remaining flour to make a ‘moderately stiff dough,'” and “Let rise for 1-2 hours.” There is a big difference between one and two hours! And I don’t know what satin feels like (I’m a millenial)–how am I supposed to tell what a “satiny” dough feels like?

But despite my fears, I think things turned out all right. I’ve tweaked the recipe below with my notes.

orange buns 5

This picture looks like a Sunday morning. Easter morning. Except it is not, but it could be your Easter morning this year.

orange buns 2

The zest in this is precious. The thinner you roll out the dough, the more dramatic your swirls will be. I think my grandma doesn’t roll them out so thin. Next time.

Also, I doubled the recipe and made four different variations of the rolls. We’ll be set for a while. #saturdays

caramel nut bun 1

Caramel and pecan and hazelnut stuffed buns, anyone?

gmas cinn rolls 2

gmas cinn rolls

Or you can go with the regular cinnamon variety. Classic.

orange buns 1

The stamp of approval. The rolls were successful, and tasted just like I remembered.

Glad to make you happy, Mum. Thanks for putting up with me especially when I ask you to pose your hands just so,


Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

Adapted from Mom’s Favorite Recipe (a family cookbook)

1 cup milk

9 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 ounces (1 package) active dry yeast

3 eggs

4 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon (or more) orange zest (from one orange)

2 cups powdered sugar

2-4 tablespoons orange juice

Scald milk in a small saucepan (Heat it til it is almost boiling). Remove to a the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and cool until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Add 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast to the milk. Let stand for three minutes, then add egg and 1 cup of four. Beat well.

Add enough of the remaining flour to make a “moderately stiff dough.” This part is tricky and relies on feel. I used about that much, maybe 3 cups. Beat on medium speed with the dough hook for five minutes, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for an additional 5 minutes until the dough is “smooth and satiny.”

Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the surface of the dough, Cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in half, and roll each into a 12″ by 8″ rectangle.

Stir together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, the second 1/2 cup of sugar and the orange zest. Spread this over the dough. Roll up each rectangle, starting on the long side and rolling toward yourself. Pinch the seam closed. Slice each roll into 18 buns. From here, you can place them into 3 greased 9-inch baking pans, or into individual muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, checking them to make sure the middle is getting done. If you find that the rolls are getting too brown before the center is baked, cover the pans with aluminum foil.

While the rolls are baking, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice to make a thinnish glaze. Drizzle over the warm rolls. Makes about 3 dozen.


Try filling the rolls, with butter, cinnamon and chocolate chips and topping with a cream cheese glazeOr caramel bits and nuts with a caramel glaze! The best.

Pipe Dream #175: To Have a Whole Room Full of Cake Stands, I Guess – Lemon Ricotta Cookies

lemon ricotta 1

This post is mostly about this new cake stand. I got it on clearance at Target. It was an impulse buy.

But on the other hand, it was not an impulse buy, because I would say a pipe dream of mine is to have a whole room full of cake stands, so. Anyway, I’m ridiculously happy with it. Someday I’ll style it better.

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And speaking of clearance, these cookies came about because I had some ricotta cheese to use up. Double frugal. I could have made blintzes or a pastry something savory (meh), but I decided to go cookies because they travel well. And I brought them to church for a potluck that was disguised as a meeting. This close to Valentine’s Day? I’ve practically checked that pipe dream off my list. Hello.

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Other neat ingredients in this recipe:

Organic cane sugar

Organic lemon juice called ‘Italian Volcano,’ which I presume comes from lemons that are grown on an Italian volcano. You just don’t see that every day.

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Nor do you see a random eggplant. I did not realize that was in the picture until just now. Welp. Welcome to real life.

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Because I made an error and added too much butter as I was trying to halve the recipe, I decided to bump up the flour and sugar just a tad. I didn’t add more lemon, so it was good that these had a kickin’ glaze. The glaze is essential. Do not skimp. The cookies are soft and fluffy and not entirely flavorless on their own though. Ricotta will do that for you.

lemon ricotta 5

Cheers to cheery lemon and impulse buys,


Lemon Ricotta Cookies

Adapted from The Church Cook

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons)  butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1 whole egg
7.5 ounces ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (I used organic)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes in an electric mixer. Add the egg, beating on medium speed until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat on medium to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for around 12 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cooled cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread the glaze. Let the glaze harden for about an hour before storing the cookies.

I Got It Right: Mint Mont Blanc

mint mousse 7

This dessert is for the arctic. It is for the epic. And like most of the recipes on this blog, it is made for me. I’m glad you get to share with me though. It’s good for my character.

I made this for a family gathering of the holiday variety. We wrote words. We sang songs. We ate food. And for some reason, we talked a lot about real life marriage and decision-making. It was a balanced kind of day.

mint mousse 1

I was hoping that because I was bringing this creative brainchild mountain of a dessert to an “event,” I wouldn’t eat all of it, but that was a vain hope. Just listen to the ingredients.

MINT. The end.



MARSHMALLOW CREME. Can I just take a minute?

This is like, a lethal combination. I am highly addicted to all of the above items, and I know it. And they were all together at once. It would be impossible for this recipe to fail. And like I said, it was made for me.

mint mousse 2

The idea for this recipe had been kicking around in my noggin for a few weeks prior to Christmas. I discovered a truly amazing food blog called Sprinkle Bakes, and I tweaked several of her recipes to come up with this. She is such an artist. I realized after I made it, that this is an awful lot like this grasshopper pie I once made. It’s like the adult fancy version.

I don’t think I need to go on and on about how the chocolaty Oreos in the crust provided a perfectly textured backdrop for the silky white chocolate mint mousse. Mint + chocolate = match made.

mint mousse 3

And I probably don’t need to wax indeterminately about the many ways in which marshmallow creme makes my life complete, but heavens, it was the best. The meringue was whipped egg whites, to which I added marshmallow creme and some mini marshmallows for kicks. If I had been on the top of my game, I would have toasted the meringue, but I couldn’t find my kitchen torch, and I didn’t want to stick it in the oven. Unlike with this tart, the filling would have melted.

mint mousse 5

And speaking of fillings melting, the next time I make this, I would definitely increase the gelatin I used. Or I would serve it from the freezer. I couldn’t really freeze it, because we were driving 45 minutes with it, and there was no room, but I should have. Not quite as runny as this guy, but it was too soft for my taste, and it didn’t slice perfectly. Not that I usually have enough patience to slice things perfectly.

mint mousse 4

For the garnish, I melted the leftover white chocolate and spread it out super thin on a piece of wax paper. After it cooled, I just broke it up in to shards and arranged it. They stuck so perfectly in the meringue. It looks like an iceberg or a winter flower, or something. And actually, this very moment, these pictures are reminding me of the that Bond movie with Halle Berry, the one that has that ice hotel in Iceland. I don’t even know why.

mint mousse 6

Can’t go wrong,


White Chocolate Mint Mousse with Oreo Crust and Marshmallow Meringue (Mint Mont Blanc)

Inspired by Sprinkle Bakes

For the crust:

20 mint Oreos

2 tablespoons butter

For the mousse:

1/8 ounce (1 teaspoon) powdered gelatin

1 tablespoon cold water

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup hot milk

8 ounces white chocolate, chopped (Ghiradelli chips or better, not Nestle, please)

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 teaspoon creme de menthe

green food coloring, if desired

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

For the marshmallow meringue:

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1/4 cup sugar

7 ounces marshmallow creme

2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
To make the crust, line a 9-inch sprinform pan with aluminum foil, letting the edges of the foil stick out past the sides, not inside the pan. Pulse Oreos in a food processor until finely ground. Melt the butter in a small microwave-safe dish, then pulse together with the cookie crumbs until blended. Pat the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan. Stick the pan in the freezer until the mousse is ready, at least 20 minutes.

To make the mousse, place 1 tablespoon of water in a medium saucepan and sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the water.  Let stand for 1 minute.  Whisk in egg yolks and sugar. Heat your milk in the microwave for about a minute. Stir the hot milk into the egg mixture in the saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened considerably, around 12 minutes. Watch this part; I could have let mine thicken longer. When done, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until just melted. Be careful not to burn it. That would be awful. Whisk in the melted chocolate to the egg mixture and blend until the chocolate has melted and no streaks remain. Let cool.

When the mixture has cooled somewhat, stir in the peppermint extract, creme de menthe and green food coloring, to taste and see.

Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form, then gently fold the cream into the egg mixture until just blended. Pour this over the Oreo crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Stick this in the freezer again.

To make the marshmallow meringue, whip the egg whites, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until foamy. Add the sugar graduallly, about 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form. After each sugar addition, whip for about a minute. Beat in 1/4 of the marshmallow creme, then beat in the rest, whipping until well-mixed and fluffy. Fold in the mini marshmallows.

Spoon the meringue over the semi- frozen mousse, mounding in the middle. Swirl the meringue with the back of a spoon and let set. Garnish with white chocolate shards. (Melt any remaining chips, spread them thin on some wax paper, let cool, then break up to garnish.)

This can be stored in the fridge. For clean cutting, it would probably be best to serve this from frozen, which I did not do. Give it a shot!

Pipe Dream #164: To Cozy Up – Grapefruit Loaf

backyard whiteout

Sometimes, I don’t plan on snow days. Actually, I never plan on snow days, which is ironic, because I live in Minnesota, and that means we get at least three snow days per winter.


cran scones 8

A “snow day” is not just a day on which snow falls. Oh, no. Not every swirly, sparkly day can be called a snow day. A snow day is a complete whiteout, an excuse to cozy up. Heavy snowfall all day and all night, making for a morning of crystalline trees, unopenable doors and all the right conditions for a steaming mug of cocoa by a wood-burning fire.

And in my case, a three-hour morning commute for two days in a row. And two hours at night. I know. I was stupid to think I could make it. Whatever, it’s done.

grapefruit loaf 1

But the day before Monday! The day before Monday was Sunday. And it was the start of the snow day. And I was at home with no obligations to anyone, ever, and I made this cake. Which almost made up for the hellish drive on Monday.

grapefruit loaf 3

grapefruit loaf 2

I had been meaning to make it for ages, actually. I love grapefruit, especially Costco grapefruit in season. Those massive sacks of gold get me every time. But even if you don’t love grapefruit, you could try it with lemon. That’s how Ina does it, but with a sugary, lemony glaze on top. Which would be delicious, obv. I didn’t add one this time because I was afraid it would saccharine all the grapefruit flavor away.

I also substituted the yogurt for buttermilk and sour cream because I had those on hand. I felt so experimental. :]

grapefruit loaf 4

All in all, this cake is comforting and light and perfect. Your sister will probably text you something to that effect from the next room if you make it on a snow day.

She drives,


Grapefruit Yogurt Cake
Adapted from smittenkitchen

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk

½ cup sour cream

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

3 extra-large eggs

1 tablespoon grated grapefruit zest (approximately one large grapefruit)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup canola oil

1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan, line with parchment, then grease the parchment.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, 1 cup sugar, eggs, grapefruit zest, canola oil and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for around 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Make sure to check the loaf around 30 minutes, in case your oven runs hot.

Dissolve the remaining tablespoon of sugar into the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack placed over a sheet pan, removing the parchment. While the cake is still warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Let cool.

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