‘Tis the season for cozy sweaters, tall boots, and of course, pumpkin spice lattes!
This year, why not skip the Starbucks line, save a few (or a lot of) dollars, and make a healthier choice by whipping up your own batch of natural pumpkin spice syrup?
I like to mix about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of this syrup with one espresso shot in a standard sized mug, and top that off with steamed milk. Delicious!
I make this syrup regularly for work, therefore I need it in fairly large quantities. As a result, the recipe yields approximately 3 cups of syrup! I did not scale down the ingredient amounts for this post, as it would have made for some annoying measurements. With that said, feel free to do the math yourself, or just share the love and give some #psl syrup away to your friends!
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice*
- Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat. Stir constantly, until the sugar is dissolved.
- Reduce heat to low, add pumpkin and spices, and whisk until combined. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until mixture is thickened and coats the spatula.
- Allow mixture to cool completely, pour into a resealable container, and store in the refrigerator.
*to make my own pumpkin pie spice, I combine 4 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp cloves and 1/2 tsp allspice.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to make crème brûlée for quite a while now. One reason is due to it being a delicious dessert. The other is the fact that it requires the act of torching–something I have discovered is quite a lot of fun!
A few days ago, the opportunity presented itself as I had some pumpkin puree to use up, and not a clue what to do with it. After conducting a little bit of research on Pinterest, the decision to make pumpkin crème brûlée was born!
I really thought this dessert would be way more complicated to make than it actually was, probably because the sugar shell on the top always seems so impressive. I am happy to announce the while there is a little bit of a time commitment when preparing crème brûlée, there are thankfully no daunting techniques (unless egg separation is your achilles heel!).
The best part is, there are so many flavour combinations and seasonal variations that could be used for the custard! With that said, this may be my first crème brûlée post but I am quite sure it will not be my last! (Consider yourself warned 🙂 )
Pumpkin Crème Brûlée
Source: adapted from williams-sonoma.com
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp all spice
- 1/2 tsp fresh grated or dried ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Boil a kettle full of water.
- In a small saucepan, whisk cream, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg over medium-low heat, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges and steam (approximately 3 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt, pumpkin, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar.
- Slowly pour cream mixture into egg mixture, gently whisking until blended.
- Pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve, over a large measuring cup. Divide custard evenly among four ramekins and place them all into an 8×8 baking pan.
- Pour boiling water into the baking pan, and fill until it is halfway up the outside of the ramekins. Cover the pan loosely with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes (custards should be set around the edges of the ramekins).
- Cool ramekins on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before eating.
- Prior to serving, sprinkle 1-2 tsp granulated sugar on top of the custard, and torch in small circular motions until the sugar melts and browns.
Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving weekend was filled with friends, family and good food!
My sister and I were on our own this year, so we had a simplified Thanksgiving dinner. CB tackled the entree, which was a delicious curried coconut turkey stew, and I was in charge of dessert. One of my favourite things about turkey dinners is YAMS! Seriously, it feels like you are eating dessert for dinner, which is exactly why I thought it would be a good idea to combine my two favourite things: cake and yams! Alas, the yam spice cake was born!
This cake is the perfect dessert: egg whites provide a light and delicate texture, and the spices enhance the natural deliciousness of the yam! All in all, it is the perfect combination, and a must-try for the fall!
The acorn shape was carved out of two 6 inch round cakes, and its “hat” was decorated using chopped pecans.
Yam Spice Cake
Source: Cake for Thought
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened (85 g)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup roasted and pureed yam (approx. 1 medium yam)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare 2 6-inch round cake pans.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar high speed until blended and lightened in colour, about 2 minutes.
- In a small bowl, add the
- dry ingredients and whisk until fully combined.
- Measure the milk and add the yam. Set aside
- Add both egg whites to butter mixture and beat on medium just until combined (about 15-20 seconds)
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on medium speed just until combined (about 15 seconds)
- Add the milk mixture and beat on medium speed just until combined (about 15 seconds)
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remainder of the dry ingredients. Beat until fully combined (about 30-60 seconds), scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. The batter will be thick.
- Divide cake batter evenly between the two pans. Level off the top using a spatula.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes, or until cake tester comes out dry and cake springs back when touched. Cool completely before decorating.
Source: Cake for Thought
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups of icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
- 2 Tbsp milk
- Food colouring (optional)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth
- Gradually add the sifted icing sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the milk, and food colouring if desired
It’s that time of year again; the time that we Canadians reflect on all of the things that we have to be thankful for! Among many things, I am thankful for my family, friends, health, education, and the privilege to live in this wonderful place that I call home. Oh and cake. I am thankful for cake; and cupcakes too.
This year my family spent our Thanksgiving in Kelowna. It was a weekend of beautiful weather and most importantly it was great to reconnect with our Kelowna family for Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday! I happily volunteered to tackle the dessert portion of the evening, and spent most of Saturday night and Sunday afternoon baking my very first pumpkin pie and some turkey cupcakes. Okay, that sounds kind of gross…as much as these look like miniature turkeys, they are not at all. I repeat: no turkeys were harmed in the making of these cupcakes!
The cupcakes are pumpkin spice with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. To make these tiny turkeys you will need:
- Soft caramel candies
- Pretzel sticks
- White chocolate
- Green icing
- any small leaf tip
First, I piped a medium-sized swirl on top of the cupcake, and covered it with a thin sheet of caramel, flattened with a rolling pin. The next step was to use the leaf tip to pipe some “lettuce” around the turkey and cover up the messy edges. To make the drumsticks, I dipped one end of the pretzel sticks in white chocolate, and covered the other end with a ball of caramel, and simply stuck them onto the body (note: the caramel will stick to the caramel without any other form of “glue”). Voila, turkey cupcakes!
Not exclusively into the turkey idea? Why not try some mashed potatoes with your drumsticks.
Here’s hoping my Canadian friends had a Happy Thanksgiving this past weekend! And to my American friends, you’ve still got over a month to perfect your very own tiny turkey cupcakes. Happy baking!