Category Archives: Dessert

Mango Pudding

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I stumbled upon a recipe for mango pudding while reading an old issue of Eating Well. Friends of mine have been raving about mango pudding made by their Chinese relatives. Since I love only sweetened condensed milk more than I love mangoes, I was already sold on the idea.

I then went to the grocery store to find a sale on mangoes, the ataulfo kind, as in, the only real mangoes. Don’t even talk to me about the big red ones! So, it was fate. I bought a whole bunch (5 to be precise), chopped them up and puréed them.

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20130609-001207.jpg Then I added a can of low fat sweetened condensed milk and the juice of 1 lime to the purée. The original recipe called for first putting the purée through a sieve, but I’m a busy cook. Ain’t nobody got time for sifting or straining.

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Then I prepared two packets of gelatine ( enough for 4 cups of liquid ) in the laziest way, by pouring 1/2 cup of water , letting the powder dissolve, microwaving it for 20 seconds and then stirring. I folded it into the mango mixture and poured it into greased containers.

You’re supposed to put them in ramekins, set them in the fridge for about 2 hours, and unmold them. I don’t have ramekins so I used mismatched Tupperware, whichever were about the size I wanted.

20130609-001820.jpg That made the pudding look a bit funky when unmolded. Oops. I’m a busy student living in a city constantly begging me to go out and play. I want my blog to show my real life, weird Tupperware puddings included. I love Instagram, but it almost gives me this complex about my cooking, that if it doesn’t look as good as these people’s, I have failed. Sometimes, like now, I remember that I cook because it’s fun and I love to eat tasty things.

The pudding was delicious and I served it to the friend I made dinner for. Rave reviews all around.

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Red Velvet

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I’m working on some of the usual content (some engineering stuff, some Montreal stuff) but before I get to that, I wanna talk about red velvet cupcakes. Do you know that song by Lana Del Rey called “blue velvet”? I’ve had that song in my head while writing this post. I read red velvet in the tone she sings blue velvet. Sigh.

I think I’m the last one on the cupcake bandwagon, and that is because I don’t like frosting. I have a special hatred for buttercream frosting, and that seems to be on all cupcakes you buy at a bakery. All except red velvet. I feasted on red velvet cupcakes while on a trip to Manhattan, so I decided to make them upon my return.

I hate the amount of food colouring that goes into these cupcakes though. I’ve heard you can make them with beets. Has anyone tried this? Please link me to a recipe if you have. I’m a little scared, but really wanna find a substitute for the artificial food colouring.

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Halloween Mini-Tarts

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Happy Halloween take 2! Tonight is the night of the party I’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait to slip on my costume and have a blast with old friends.

I wanted to make something quick and easy. My go-to is mini tarts, from the eagle brand website.

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I made the tarts as usual, but I wanted them to fit the theme, so I got the idea of decorating them with spider webs. I piped on 2 concentric circles of melted chocolate (using a ziplock bag with a tiny hole cut into the corner, see my mini-cupcake post for details) then extended the spokes using a toothpick.

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Halloween on a Wednesday means twice as much fun, doesn’t it. This week, I took a well needed mental break from school so that I don’t burn out before the start of the next set of midterms. I was on a bit of a dessert theme this week, but only because I had time to make interesting things! The usual lazy student stuff will be back next week, when I go back to being more of an engineer than a Martha Stewart.

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Beijinhos

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Happy Halloween! For the occasion, I made some Brazilian candy. I wanted to make something simple, something that doesn’t require a candy thermometer (which I don’t own). Also, the Brazilian community isn’t very big in Montreal, and it’s difficult to find Brazilian sweets, which i adore. Beijinhos means little kisses, and they’re usually decorated with whole cloves. I didn’t have any, so I left them out.

There are so many recipes on the Internet for beijinhos, all slightly different. The only tricky part is getting the consistency right, I.e. condensing the milk enough but not too much. I went on YouTube and followed a video tutorial instead of a recipe, so that I could have a visual reference. I can understand enough Portuguese to follow along, although the YouTube lady started speaking really fast to her dog at one point in the tutorial and I got really confused! But then she went back to quietly stirring the candy and it all ended up fine.

Stirring stirring and more stirring
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Rolling into balls

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I have a Halloween party coming up this weekend and I can’t wait! I’ve been planning my costume for weeks. Enjoy Halloween night.

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Mini Vanilla Cupcakes

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Last night, my engineering “family” and I had a small dinner party. We had wine, cheese, lots of bread, different pâtés. It was a great way to spend a Sunday night. Usually, Sunday is either reserved for laundry and homework, or dinner with my actual family.

A month ago, I bought mini cupcake pans but I never got around to using them until now. I figured I’d contribute some cupcakes for dessert. They’re labour intensive though, so I don’t think I’ll be making them again anytime soon. I like simple, quick, easy recipes, the kind that don’t give you mounds of dishes. If you have quite a bit of free time and patience, the recipe I used can be found here

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I don’t have pastry bags, so I used a sandwich sized ziplock bag, cut a small hole in the corner, put an inexpensive star tip (bought at the grocery store) through the whole, and duct taped the bag and the tip together, engineering style. Duct tape is the key to happiness, it really is. I forgot to photograph my contraption before I filled it with icing, but here it is!

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Too healthy, needs chocolate

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October is when I overdose on all things pumpkin (latte, oatmeal, bread, beer, yogurt, chili, flan, pie). Pumpkin purée is versatile and I love using it as a substitute for fat. Like apple sauce, it gives baked goods a moist texture without using tons of oil. So I made some low-fat muffins using Anna Olson’s recipe. They were good, but with the week I’ve had, healthy was not going to cut it. I proceeded to smother them in ganache. Problem solved.

I brought some to my friends place as fuel for our evening study session. I may not have perfect mastery of the course material, but I usually provide some home cooking. I think that’s reason enough to have me in your study group haha.

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Coffee Shop Cheats: Scones

Let’s talk about scones to kick off the series. I adore scones, god forbid I walk into a Second Cup on an empty stomach. I’ve tried to save money lately and although I’m not sure it’s working, I have good intentions. I haven’t spent more than 5$ in a coffee shop all month, which is a considerable improvement.

As it turns out, scones are really easy to bake. For me, a recipe that uses only one bowl, 1 utensil + your hands, and that takes less than 10 minutes to throw together, is golden.

Lovely Blackberry Scones

Make plain vanilla scones and add whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have on hand. At my local grocery store, they give you a small gift if your bill is $50+ (hey big spendah!). This week I received some fresh blackberries. Having no idea what to do with them, I froze them. This is pretty much the student reflex to any food you can’t cope with. Extra bread? Freeze it! Pasta? Freeze it! Extra broccoli? Freeze it. I digress.

Also, though usually recipes call for a specific milk fat content, I only stock skim milk in my fridge. It will do just fine.

Recipe Adapted for Student Kitchens. Original from Baking Bites.

Servings: 8 scones

Time: 10-15 min active (depending on how many cups of coffee you had today), about 40 min total.

Ingredients:
2cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 400 deg C. Prepare a pan with something non-stick (grease, parchment paper, etc).
Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Use your fingers to blend the butter into the flour mixture until it feels like sand. Go nuts here, it’s like free therapy.
Combine milk and vanilla, add to flour mixture, stir to form dough. Stir in berries.
Form a disk of dough 3/4 inch thick ( I do this directly on the pan). Cut into 8 wedges.
Bake 20min.

If you oven sucks as much as mine does, rotate the pan after 10min.

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Quebec Food and Culture I

Trip to Quebec City, January 2012.

I am NOT a fan of winter. It is especially dreadful to experience it in the city, where winds howl between sky scrapers, and side walks become ice cross runs (Aren’t familiar with the sport ? Think bobsledding but with skates, through the historic streets of Quebec City. Check out this video, you will not be disappointed!).

As much as I love salads and smoothies, I have no interest in eating these meals during the winter. I crave the warm comfort foods that grand-mamans put on the table when you return after a day of sledding or snowshoeing. Tonight, open a bottle of red wine and rip up a baguette to dip in cheese fondue. Then, bake a poudding chomeur, which literally translates to “unemployed person’s pudding”. It’s a simple light cake floating in syrup and it will warm you right up in case the wine didn’t. I love Ricardo, a Quebecois celebrity chef. Try out his recipe here.

Have a good weekend and remember, only a few more months of winter O_O.

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