All posts tagged: dessert

dairy free fudgy brownies

fudgy rye walnut brownies

I’ve had this idea of the perfect brownie floating around in my head for a while. I think it was prompted by my visits to The Elm Cafe where they have these incredible brownies right next to the cash, and every time I have this internal debate as to whether I need something to nibble on while I sip my London fog. This nudged me to get my butt in gear and make some brownies that would satisfy my need for chocolate. Real talk: the urgency was high when I was testing these because I was PMSing hard and knew I would want need some chocolate over the following days. In my opinion the perfect brownie is fudgy, chocolate-y, and with no icing in sight. A brownie should be rich enough to stand alone without gobs of super sweet icing taking it over the top. And please, none of those cake-y imposters. If you want cake by all means make a cake, but my brownie will be dense and chocolate-y. My ideal brownie would also be dairy free so …

five spice pumpkin pie with spelt crust

Thanksgiving, like many holidays, involves a grand feast that centres mostly around animal-based products. Even though I do eat eggs and a bit of dairy, I think it’s nice to lighten up this traditionally heavy meal with some plant-based additions. While I definitely prefer working with butter when making pastry my poor stomach prefers a non-dairy option, so I decided to go for a coconut oil pie crust. I follow the same method as my regular pie dough, which you can find full instructions for here. Removing dairy and eggs doesn’t mean you’re destined for boring, bland Thanksgiving desserts. I swear. One of my goals for this winter (is it too early for me to say that??) is to work on my pastry game. I want to improve both my coconut oil and butter pie doughs, and just practice making pies and such more often so the whole process becomes second nature. I often second guess myself and just want to know ratios and cook times without looking at a recipe (basically I just want …

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

appeltaart (dutch apple pie)

Around this time last year, I was frantically planning a last minute trip to Europe. I was WOOFing at a farm in the south of France for about a week, met up with Luke for a couple nights in Belgium, after which we made our way on the high speed rail to the Netherlands. Let me just say that I love it there, and if I wasn’t such a family-oriented homebody I would move there in a HEARTBEAT. I’m not exaggerating, I looked up apartments in Haarlem the other day and it is so incredibly charming. Also: everyone was so tall in Amsterdam, I felt right at home 😉 I love how there is such a culture of cycling there (though we didn’t actually rent any bikes, Luke thought we’d get run over). They dominate the streets more than the cars do. Instead of parking garages for cars, there are parking garages for bikes. The streets are lined with locked up bikes; they really are a fixture of Dutch living. Despite not renting bikes, we …

berry peach galette

berry peach galette with rye crust

I’m having some conflicting feelings right now about blog content. My initial hope was that the blog would be a source for seasonal, accessible, vegetable-heavy recipes that leave you feeling happy and satisfied. I also wanted to emphasize cooking because I want to be a better cook and develop the skills to make meals without recipes. I’m finding it somewhat difficult because I definitely have more recipe ideas with regards to breads and pastries, and tend to have more success with these earlier on than I do with savoury recipes. I would also like to put more of my fermenting adventures on here (think: sourdough, kombucha, lacto-fermented veg, etc), and also maybe my foray into natural homemaking things? Tell me your thoughts! Speaking of baking… let me introduce you to this easy galette! I love mid-late summer when the berries and stone fruit collide. My attention is usually drawn to strawberries and raspberries, but we’ve been seriously favouring bloobs this summer, if the stack of blue-ish cardboard pint containers on our kitchen counter is any …

vegan raspberry rhubarb buckle cake

raspberry rhubarb buckle

Normally this is the time of year when I’m so ready to bust out of my winter cocoon and flip on the extroverted switch. Usually I’m feeling so prepared to go out and socialize after months of hibernating, to host a BBQ, and plan some fun summery adventures. But I haven’t hit that mode yet. For the past while I’ve been more focused on looking inward rather than outward, trying to figure out how to feel healthier and happier.

vegan chocolate raspberry parfait

bailey’s chocolate mousse + raspberry parfait

I’ve never really been into Valentine’s Day (maybe it’s my aversion to neon pink EVERYTHING), but I definitely have a sweet tooth and eat a little bit of chocolate pretty much every day. If you want to make a decadent treat for your partner, or if you’re simply a chocolate fiend like me, this parfait is for you. All you have to do is blend, layer, then slide these into the fridge and try not to think about them for a couple hours until they are set (a real test of patience, if I do say so myself). I remember seeing the Bailey’s Almande on Twitter sometime last year. I was super excited that it existed, but I figured it would only be sold in the States and promptly forgot about it. That is, until I went into the LCBO last fall and saw that gorgeous white bottle out of the corner of my eye. I swear I must have looked absolutely goofy with the huge grin on my face. While it’s not quite as …

no bake goat cheese cheesecake

no bake goat cheesecake

I am real excited about this cheesecake. I can’t remember the last time I had ‘real’ cheesecake, though I DO remember eating a lot of the frozen cheesecake bites at Dairy Queen in the time that I worked there. I had a terrible stomachache pretty much every night that I worked, but I never really put it together that I might be lactose intolerant.. Until I stopped eating dairy a few years after I stopped working there, and the daily excruciating stomach aches finally went away. I associated eating dairy with a whole world of pain, so I really didn’t miss it when I cut it out of my diet. But within the past year or so I missed the extra dimensions that cheese can add to a meal, and the vegan cheese replacements weren’t always cutting it. I did a little research and discovered some anecdotal stories of people with lactose intolerance having an easier time digesting sheep and goat’s milk products. After some digging, I found out that this is because the fat and …

vegan sourdough crumb cake

sourdough rhubarb crumb cake

My interest in bread baking continues to grow, which means I always have a hungry starter sitting on our kitchen counter. Most often I throw out the excess, but lately I’ve been daydreaming of other ways to use it: cinnamon buns, pancakes, muffins, banana bread, etc. A quickbread/cake seemed like an easy place to start, so when I saw this simple recipe for coffee cake it seemed like the perfect opportunity to expand my sourdough baking horizons beyond bread! I initially had a REAL hard time playing around with this recipe. Even though the original is a great starting off point, I kept making changes because I am slowly trying to gravitate towards baking in a more wholesome way. Don’t get me wrong, I could never give up doughnuts or pies or the amazing focaccia at Pasta G; but since I like to have treats fairly often, I want them to be slightly better for me so I can have them more often. What that means for me is less sugar, trying to use more natural sweeteners, …

honey buttermilk pie

honey buttermilk pie

I have been on a pie rampage lately when it comes to library books. In fact, I have 5 pie/baking related books out right now, and they are all open and scattered throughout the house. I have been looking for inspiration for new flavours, especially in this time of year when there isn’t a whole lot available for pies besides citrus. A custard pie seems appropriate considering there are no fresh berries available for a while still, and the light floral notes of honey seem spring-y to me! I got the idea from the Four and Twenty Blackbirds salty honey pie, which seems to be super popular with their customers. I opted for buttermilk since I thought the acidity would cut through some of the sweetness, and followed their suggestion to sprinkle some Maldon on top once it came out of the oven for the same reason. The women behind this pie shop have some amazing skills, and I definitely recommend their book for technique, flavours and great pictures. I think we are quite lucky around Kingston …

vegan gluten free nanaimo bars

vegan + gluten free nanaimo bars

As someone who has tried and failed (a lot) at creating baked goods that cater to all of my friends’ dietary needs, it is my humble baking opinion that there are many things that just cannot be both gluten free and vegan. Often times, a gluten free recipe really needs an egg for the fat, moisture and rise that it provides, and a vegan substitute just won’t do. This is why bakeries aren’t often lined with pastries/breads that are both gluten free AND vegan. I’m happy to report that this problem does not apply to these nanaimo bars. These are a no bake bar, so they are pretty easily transformed into a delicious gluten free and vegan dessert to please all of your gluten/dairy intolerant or vegan friends (insert joke about vegans not having friends because they are no fun…). This recipe also has some wiggle room: if you’re looking for a more granular texture to the base, akin to what graham cracker crumbs would provide, you can sub in some ground almonds for the sorghum …