I walk to the garden past hedges heavy with fragrant with wild roses and awash with cow parsley. Blackbirds, wrens, robins and song thrushes fill the air with glorious song. The early morning sun catches glittering drops of dew suspended in fragile spiderwebs turning grass into a field of diamonds. A walk of happiness to the garden to gather rhubarb.
This Rhubarb cake is one you make with pleasurable ease. The tactile pleasure of combining the crumble by hand. The lemony perfume of adding the sumac. The sharp tang of grating the lemon into brown sugar then rubbing the zest through the sugar with your finger tips. A whip of eggs. An easy pour of melted butter. A gently folding of flour and a delicate hand with the rhubarb. All is happiness in this hour.
This is a cake that sits often under a glass dome in my kitchen. As the season changes the cake takes on a different persona. Sometimes chopped pears with a dash of almond flavouring. The stone fruit comes into season I add peaches, apricots or deep purple plums and serve the cake with whipped cream. Apples and cinnamon cake generously presented with a wedge of crumbly wedge of old cheddar cheese; the flavour of autumn.
“Happiness . . . not in another place, but this place, not for another hour, but this hour.” (Walt Whitman)
This rich,dense, spectacularly chocolate cake is my absolute favourite of all cakes. It has a delicate moist crumb and the dream-like chocolate buttercream frosting stays light and fluffy to the very last slice . This is the cake I make for any and every occasion.
For every day snacking I make it as a one layer cake or loaf cake. You can double the recipe for a two layer cake or a sheet cake. I have made a magnificent three layer birthday cake using this recipe. Baking is a science and one can not always double a recipe successfully. This sweetheart of a cake does allow you to double the ingredients ( but no further). For a three layer cake I bake a double cake and then the single cake. All this belies that fact that it is incredibly easy to make.
This most chocolate of cakes uses unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder in the cake and the frosting. It has a smoother, more mellow flavour than cocoa but you can use either. Buttermilk adds a suggestion of tangy flavour and a small amount of coffee brings a deeper note of richness to the cake. If you don’t have a mixer you a generous sized whip will do the trick. The icing does require a mixer so the chocolate glaze would be the answer.
The recipe for my favourite chocolate cake, fluffy icing and chocolate glaze can be found in the kitchen of
In Italy the basic crostata is made with a thick layer of good jam, preferably homemade, sandwiched between the bottom crust and a lattice top. Summer is a delicious season for crostatas. One can use fresh fruit cooked down a bit with sugar to make a quick jam. Almost any fruit, fresh or frozen, from strawberries, peaches and blueberries to figs can be used for the fillings. The jam for the filling can be stored in an airtight container for up to two 2 weeks. I like to make the pastry the day before and refrigerate it overnight night. This is a very accommodating recipe. A joy to make. The perfect dessert.
A wind like wolves prowling across the fields. Growling at windows and doors. Snarling down the fireplace chimney. The kind of rainy, dark, dismal day that cried out for a kitchen perfumed with the fragrance of exotic spices. A cake! A cake to be consumed still warm from the oven. A cake with a bold presence. A cake to keep the wolf from the door.
When I lived in Amsterdam I shopped daily at the Albert Cupt Street Market. And every day I would stop at a near by cafe to enjoy coffee with a slice of Apple Cinnamon Cardamon Cake, and watch boats travelling the canals. I’ve adapted this recipe from Luthra Vedika’s cookbook “52 Weeks, 52 Sweets”. It’s a delightfully easy cake to make. The streusel topping is crunchy, rich and flavoured with cinnamon and cardamon. You hand -mix the cake batter in one bowl. Fold in a generous amount of chopped apples and top it with the streusel
This cake is divine warm from the oven. It’s tricky. It can be done if you let the cake cool for a few minutes then run a knife around the edges to loosen it, unmold it from the pan and slide it on to a plate. Or let your cake come to room temperature for serving. Be brave – it’s your call. You’ll serve a cake that will keep the wolves from the door.
This gloriously simple cake can be made with the usual pantry items, a good sized bowl and a whisk – if that is your desire. Or you can whip it up with hand held electric beaters or a stand mixer. The results are a tender, butter-rich, nutty cake. Top it with a generous swipe of frosting and you’ve just swanned your way to creating a delectable, delicious, no stress cake.
I volunteer at our hospital thrift shop in the village of Ladner, British Columbia. It’s a busy operation and our morning tea break is appreciated. I call it The Fellowship of cookies , cake bakers and avid readers of books. The table is always graced with volunteers home baked goodies. The discussions are frequently about food in general and baking in great detail. Recipes are shared and stored in a three ring binder. This very personal cook book is kept in the tea room for anyone looking for baking inspiration.
The women I work with are mostly retired. They donate a great deal of time and energy to their volunteer work. They love to bake but appreciate recipes that that don’t require a lot of prep time. Some prefer recipes that are not too complicated or require too many ingredients. And, they don’t want to spend a lot of time shopping for ingredients that are difficult to find.
An easy one bowl cake recipe means less time is spent mixing the ingredients and less time in clean up. Make this recipe once and it will be yours forever. The chopped walnuts are toasted in the butter then added to the eggs, sugar and sour cream and vanilla and whisked until well combined. You add the flour, baking powder and soda and whisk to combine and pour into your cake pan. You can add optional flavours such as instant espresso powder or cardamon. I also bakes beautifully in a loaf pan or double the recipe and bake in a Bundt pan.
MRS.BUTTERFINGERS has the printable recipes for these cakes. Bon Appetit dear friends.
This is a cake recipe that is compatibility with the baker. I have two sisters. My older sister is 91 years old. She is a fabulous baker but she find the time it requires very tiring. My younger sister’s health is not the best and she also finds it difficult to indulge in her love of baking. They both enjoy a slice of cake or a cookie with their afternoon cup of tea. Store bought cookies or cake simply do not make the cut. I have made it my mandate to adept some recipes that will allow them continue to enjoy baking. Recipes that are considerate and compatible for my sisters.
This cake recipe has a delicious chocolate flavour and a whisper of coffee in the Mocha glaze. One can assemble and measure out the ingredients the day before. This takes about ten minutes or so. Then next day, in the morning when you are not tired you mix the cake and pour it into the pan. Another ten minutes. When the cake is cool mix the glaze and give it a quick stir and pour it over the cake. That’s it. You’re done You are not standing for long periods of time and one can rest in between each process.
As for clean up. Before one starts the mixing process a sink full of hot soapy water allows you to clean as you go. It is all about doing a bit at a time.
The ingredients of this cake are ones normally found in ones pantry or refrigerator. My sisters order their groceries on line so I have considered accessibility to ingredients in this cake. They don’t enjoy cake mixes or store bought baking. This is a recipe is quick and easy to make and has a rich, soul satisfying chocolate flavour. A treat with tea or anytime a treat is called for.
Recipes such as this one would also be helpful for those who have little time to spend in the kitchen, but would love to have a home made cake. It would be an excellent cake for children to bake with a little adult help. Pop into MRS.BUTTERFINGERS kitchen for the printable recipe. Bon Appetit dear friends.
This is a sublime riff on a fruit crumble. An almond flavoured rich cookie base. Juicy, dark cherries. Then a streusel topping whispering the same cookie taste. A cake that is not a cake but a crumble. A decadent dessert that sings of summer.
Once you’ve pitted the cherries the cake goes together in just ten minutes. If you don’t have a cherry pitter it is easy to remove pits with a chop-stick or the pointed end of a decorating pastry tip. Hold the cherry between two fingers and position it on a cutting board. Push the chop stick or pastry tip through the centre of the stem.
The crumble is a combination of ground almonds, flour and butter. A quick whirl in your food processor. Press half the mixture into a cake base with a removable base. Sprinkle with cherries. Then top with the remaining streusel and pop in the oven. This is the perfect summer cake for a picnic. Just transport the cake in its tin.
Dust this sweetheart of a cherry crumble with a little icing sugar. Or indulge with a spoon of clotted cream or a generous drift of whipped cream. The cherry season is a brief so do indulge in this delicious fresh cherry dessert.
When someone lists their favourite cookies this cookie is almost always on their list. It is a classic and I collect classics. I call it a polite peanut butter cookie. It is at once crisp and chewy. There’s a whisper of a crunch and then a murmuring of sweet, closely followed by an exclamation of salt. This polite cookie does not have an aggressive peanut butter flavour. Your know the kind of cookie. The peanut butter cookie that clings to and overpowers your taste buds. This peanut butter cookie can be kept simple. Or, you can adorn it with chocolate. A little cocoa powder and a sprinkle of finely chopped of your-very-best chocolate and you have a winner. Then you sign your cookie creations with the traditional classic crisscrosses.
When you’re whipping up this cookie creation refrain from using all-natural peanut butter. As with most peanut butter recipes you won’t get the texture you want with this type of peanut butter.
This is a generous recipe. If you allow a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie the recipe will give you four to five dozen cookies. Wrapped well or in a cookie jar(graciously separating the layers with parchment paper) they will keep for about five days at room temperature. You can freeze these cookies. They’re good for about two months.
This recipe is from the fabulous book BAKING FROM MY HOME TO YOURS by Dorie Greenspan. The recipe awaits you in the kitchen of MRS.BUTTERFINGERS.
My love affair with blueberries began with wild blueberries. They are a tiny berry with an intense, deep flavour. They grow wild in Northern Saskatchewan where I grew up. Wild blueberries are a low bush and one uses a large tooth comb designed to harvest them. It is a slow process and I am sure I ate more than I picked. But the rewards were shelves of glistening jewel like preserving jars of blueberries.
Across our road there is a blueberry farm. Acres and acres of blueberries growing in precise, military style rows. Harvest time and an enormous “science fiction style” machine marches up and down tenderly harvesting the fruit. The eagerly anticipated first berries of the season we traditionally eat with a little creme fraiche.
I am quite taken with this particular BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE. It has a fine crumb. It is a jumble of berries and has a struesel type crumb that is divine. Don’t be tempted to add more walnuts in the topping – scarcity makes them even more delightful. You can replace this recipe with almost any kind of berry (except strawberry). Slices or cubes of soft fruits such as peeled peaches or nectarines, apricots or plums can also be used in place of blueberries.
When you harvest fresh fruit from a Meyer lemon tree in the dark of winter you hold summer in your hand. The fragrance of the blossoms. The glossy leaves shining in the gray light. Your fingers caressing the finely textured skin. Then the heavenly taste of the juice – at once sweet and sour.
You can do many wonderful things with these delicate lemons, but I was yearning for something classic, simple, old fashioned.
I have a cookbook that is a particular favorite. I have been baking out of it for more than forty years. A World Of Baking by Dolores Casella has provided me with dozens of quick and yeast bread recipes. The ingredients are readily available. The instructions are always brief. It is expected you already know the basics of baking.
Meyer Lemon Nut Bread has a fine crumb. It’s rich tasting, studded with walnuts and finished with lemon syrup. When Meyer lemons are not available regular lemons are more than acceptable.. Be lavish with your lemon rind. This old fashion recipe calls for just a teaspoon but I scrape every bit of rind from the lemons into the batter.