Browsing: Desserts

That’s A Lot of Zucchini!


Fall is not officially here but is certainly in the air.  I know this from a number of events: we stayed in the city this weekend instead of venturing out to our beloved Beach House, J1 and J2 arrived right after church for the first Sunday of NFL, Daughter #2 and the Frenchman unboxed the Settlers game for post supper entertainment, I had a yearning for Gourmet Mac and Cheese for dinner instead of our summer barbeque fare AND I have more zucchini in my house than you can shake a stick at (I wonder where this silly saying comes from).

Recently I have tossed zucchini with onion, garlic, tomatoes, fresh herbs and feta and mixed with pasta, served it grilled with most meals, made pencil sticks out of it and fresh carrots to present to a gang of toddlers, whipped up zucchini brownies and dreamed up zucchini and pesto omelets for yesterday’s brunch.

This recipe seems to be the winner (and good thing because my supply is not yet depleted):

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This recipe is very accommodating for more than the required shredded zucchini.
  • 1½ c flour
  • ¾ c sugar (I used Truvia baking blend)
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ c canola oil
  • ¼ c milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c shredded zucchini
  • ½-1 c chocolate chips
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix with a sturdy whisk. Combine wet ingredients with the zucchini being added last to a medium bowl.
  2. Pour the wet ingredients into the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix just until completely moistened.
  3. Add chocolate chips and lightly mix again.

I had some left over beer/cream cheese icing in the fridge, so I used I smeared them with this last evening and served them for dessert.  If you eliminated the chocolate chips and added some grated cheese, they could accompany a soup or stew.

Kath’s quote: “The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe.”-John Gould

Love-that is all.

Mexican Flan


I could be getting up to date on the Winnipeg restaurant reports that I have piling up but I can’t stop dreaming of our upcoming time on Isla Mujeres. 


One of the most wonderful aspects about our precious Isla Mujeres is that islanders are known by their food specialties: there is Tony the Rib man, D’s favourite Juice man, Maria the Pepita lady and The Flan Lady.  We pass the latter on our walk to and from the zocalo.  She has a cart which she parks outside of her house and it is illuminated by a single light bulb.  I am more inclined to go for a coconut ice cream or lime Popsicle but for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about the flan lady.

Juice Man

I am quite certain that this is not the recipe that she follows.  This one comes from Cocina Islena, Recipes from the Kitchens of Isla Mujeres-a fund-raiser by PEACE Isla Mujeres:

“Flan is a recipe that dates back to ancient Rome.  It was during Roman times that domesticated chickens were first kept for laying eggs.  The Romans, with eggs in surplus, along with the Greek’s knowledge of the art of cooking, developed new recipes-one of which turned out to be this custardy misture known as flan.  It was originally a savoury dish (not sweet but similar to quiche fillings and frittatas).  Flan survived the fall of the Roman Empire, medieval times, and eventually was taken to the new world by the Spanish.  The Spanish version is sweet instead of savory, and is now especially associated with Mexico.

1 c sugar

12 oz. evaporated milk

14 oz. sweetened condensed milk

3/4 c milk

3 large eggs

3 egg yolks

2 t vanilla

1 c Media Crema (substitute: equal parts sour cream & heavy cream)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Make the caramel:  Have ready a deep 9 inch glass pie plate and a pair of oven mitts.  Pour the sugar into a small heavy saucepan.  Set it over medium-low heat until the sugar starts to liquefy and form clumps.  Stir slowly and constantly; the sugar will eventually liquefy completely and then begin to colour.  Pay careful attention to the caramel at this point; once it starts to colour, it will darken quickly.  Remove the pan from the heat when the caramel is the colour of a bright, shiny penny.  Scrape all the caramel into the pan, put on the mitts, and grab the pie plate firmly.  Carefully but quickly rotate the pan so the bottom and halfway up the sides of the plate are coated with caramel.  Set the prepared pan in a shallow roasting pan.

 Fill a kettle with water and bring to a boil.  Meanwhile, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, milk, eggs, yolks and vanilla in a blender jar.  Blend on a very low speed a few seconds, just until the eggs are blended,  Add the Media Crema and blend a few seconds, until smooth.  Let stand for 1 minute, and then skim off any foam that rises to the surface.

Slide the oven rack out halfway and set the roasting pan with the caramel-lined pie plate on the rack.  Pour the custard mix into the pie plate.  Pour enough water from the kettle to the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the plate.  Bake about 1 hour until the centre of the flan is set.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature in the water bath.  Refigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

 To serve, centre a large plate over the flan and with one quick flip, invert the pan over the plate.  Give it a few seconds; the flan will slip right out of the mold and onto the plate.  Scrape any caramel left in the mold over the flan.  Serve chilled.  Serves 8.”

Kath’s quote: “Custard:  A detestable substance produced by a malevolent conspiracy of the hen, the cow, and the cook.”-Ambrose Bierce

Amazing Flourless Black Bean Brownies


Last week on twitter, when a follower thanked me for the black bean burger recipe, I mentioned that I had tasted these amazing brownies the night before.  This created a bit of a twitter flurry and I sought out this recipe to create a link for them.  Since then I have a hard time forgetting the taste or my amazement that they contained black beans.  Here is the the recipe with some of the hard to find ingredients already adapted.

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 cup unsalted butter

2 cups soft-cooked black beans, drained well (canned is fine)

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

¼ cup instant coffee

¼ teaspoon sea salt

4 large eggs

1½ cups liquid honey

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line an 11- by 18-inch (rimmed) baking pan with parchment paper and lightly oil with canola oil spray.  Melt the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl in the microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high.  Stir with a spoon to melt the chocolate completely.  Place the beans, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the vanilla extract, and a couple of spoonfuls of the melted chocolate mixture into the bowl of a food processor.  Blend about 2 minutes, or until smooth.  The batter should be thick and the beans smooth.  Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, remaining melted chocolate mixture, coffee substitute, and salt.  Mix well and set aside.  In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs until light and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the honey and beat well. Set aside. Add the bean/chocolate mixture to the coffee/chocolate mixture.  Stir until blended well. Add the egg mixture, reserving about 1/2 cup.  Mix well.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1/2 cup egg mixture until light and fluffy.  Drizzle over the brownie batter.  Use a wooden toothpick to pull the egg mixture through the batter, creating a marbled effect. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the brownies are set.  Let cool in the pan completely before cutting into squares.  (They will be soft until refrigerated.  Makes 45 (2-inch) brownies. 

Kath’s quote: “Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!”-Heinz slogan when it introduced the commercial version of ketchup in 1876

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Filled Cookies


This morning brings preparations for another fund-raising bake sale.  Lucky for Daughter #2, she has a baking beau.  The Frenchman made these tasty morsels for her to sell this morning.


 ¼ cup peanut butter

1 1/2 cups flour

½ cup cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup margarine, softened

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon nondairy creamer or soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup powdered sugar

½ cup peanut butter

2 tablespoons sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour, cocoa and baking soda. Cream together the margarine, sugar, brown sugar and ½ cup peanut butter until fluffy. Beat in egg, soy milk and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture. Batter will be thick. Form the dough into 32 balls and set aside.

For filling, stir together powdered sugar and ½ cup peanut butter. Shape this mixture into 32 balls also.

Slightly flatten each chocolate ball and top with peanut butter ball. Pull chocolate dough over peanut butter to cover completely and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake for 8 minutes or until just set. Cool on pan 2 minutes before removing to wire rack to finish cooling.

Kath’s quote: “Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love.”-Charles M. Schulz

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Blitz Torte


We were off to the NHL hockey game this past Saturday in Toronto and thought that there would likely food served, as we were guests of the CBC.  But just in case, our family who were hosting us for the night made us a “snack” to have before we left for the Air Canada Centre.  We tucked in to a delicious salad with huge, grilled shrimp and garlic toast.  But the piece de resistance was this gorgeous torte for dessert. 

Because of the layers, I imagined this recipe to be wildly complicated but it is simply two cakes held together by custard.  The magic takes place in the oven when the meringue and cake batter are baked simultaneously.


1 c flour

1 t baking powder

1/8 t salt

1/2 c butter

1 1/4 c sugar

4 eggs, separated

1 t vanilla

3 T milk

1/2 c blanched almonds

1 T sugar

1/2 t cinamon

Sift dry ingredients together.  Cream butter with 1/2 c sugar.  Add egg yolks, vanilla and then the dry ingredients.  Spread into two greased round pans.  Beat egg whites and add sugar.  Layer whites on batter.  Sprinkle almonds on top.  Combine cinamon, sugar and sprinkle on top.  Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 


3 T flour

1/3 c sugar

1/8 t salt

1 c milk

1 egg beaten

1/2 t vanilla

1 t butter

Mix dry ingredients in a double boiler.  Add egg and milk and stir constantly until slightly thick.  When cooked, add vanilla and butter with whisk.  Place custard over bottom cake layer and then place the second layer on top.

 Originally from the Culinary Institute of America

 Kath’s quote:  “Cooks are in some ways very much like actors; they must be fit and strong, since acting and cooking are two of the most exacting professions. They must be blessed – or cursed, whichever way you care to look at it – with what is called the artistic temperament, which means that if they are to act or cook at all well, it cannot be for duds or dummies.”-Andre Simon


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