Flur De Sel Nutella Brownies

I’ve made a couple brownies in my time … all 20-something years of it. But nothing compares to this recipe.

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  • 2 kinds of chocolate chips
  • Nutella …. Pretty much made out of angel dust
  • Flur de sel …. Pretty much angel dust.

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I was lucky enough to get a personalized bottle of Nutella for Christmas last year – can I just say, how freaking well do my friends know me?!?! and also … Nutella! With my name on it! that screams hands off, doesn’t it?!

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I knew I wanted to do something special with this little gift – I wanted to keep it simple but make sure it was indulgent and blow-your-mind-delicious. Verdict: we have a winner!!

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I also want to defend these brownies beforehand … yes, they’re fudgey – yes, they’re gooey – yes, the flur de sel shines – yes, they’re hella delicious… and no, it’s not quite bikini season yet.

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Aka I got your back, Jack!! (not sure who jack is, but I got his back)

Flur De Sel Nutella brownies

Ingredients

1 cup dark chocolate chips

¾ cups unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup Nutella

3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon coffee powder

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon Flur de sel

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9×11-inch baking pan spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir.

Continue heating until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly. Stir in the Nutella.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and coffee on medium-high speed until thick. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour, cocoa, and flur de sel.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.

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Also, in completely unrelated – but totally indulgent news, follow me around town this weekend as my girls and I put our  stretchy pants to good use and eat our way through Kensington Market.

Honey Roasted Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

Like most holidays eater weekend means …

An extra day off – yay!!

Tons of food – yay!!

Tons of easter/bunny/spring themed snacks – yay!!

And chocolate – yaaaaay! Yaaaaayyy!! Yaaaayy!!

And naps, there are bound to be a couple naps!

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Again, this year we’ll be doing our annual Easter egg hunt for my parents – seriously, this is the best thing ever. Often my parents would forget where they hid the candy, normally turning into a huge mess, so one year – I think my brother and I were probably in our early 20’s- we turned the tables, and decided to hide candy for my mom and dad.

Best.idea.ever.

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I’ve never seen anything as funny, and they totally get into it. ahhh parents, gotta love them!! Speaking of parents, I feel like I haven’t been home in forever – seriously, I live less than an hour away, and the last time I saw them was like a month ago. It.breaks.my.heart.

But also, real life … I guess. So I’m even more excited than ever to be spending the weekend with them!! Also, there’s nothing like mom’s home cooking in exchange for making her Easter bread…. And carrot cake.

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DEAL!!

Take a lookie look at the cake I got for you today – carrots, cinnamon pecans, annnddd ohhh look at that cream cheese frosting! Sooo … a muffin with frosting?! – pretty much, at least that’s how I was able to justify it when I ate it for breakfast – plus carrots, nuts, dairy in the frosting …. I’m pretty much eating kale.

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Honey Roasted Pineapple Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 1/2 cups + 4 Tablespoons vegetable oil ( divided 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp – 2 tbps)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 ½ cup brown sugar

6 eggs

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

2 ½  cups flour

¾  cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp. + 1 Tsp ground cinnamon (divided 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp)

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

¼  tsp. ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp ground ginger

2 large carrots peeled ( 1 finely grated – 2, coarsely chopped)

1 tin pineapple rings

2 Tbsp Honey

Prepared cream cheese frosting  (or you can make your own … )

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine chopped carrots, 2 tbps oil, 2 tbsp honey and 1 tsp cinnamon and pineapple rings. Roast for 30 minutes. Once finished removed from oven.

Lower the oven to 350 oc and allow carrot-pineapple combo to cool.

Grease and flour  one large 12-inch round baking pan or two 9-inch round baking pans.

In the bowl of a large stand mixer, mix together 1 ½ cup + 2 tbsp oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Add in the eggs one at a time, add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining dry ingredients flours, remaining cinnamon, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, cloves, ginger until combined.

Add cooled carrot-pineapple mixture to a blender, and blend to a thick paste ( it should resemble apple sauce) – you may have to add a little bit a water to help the process.

Combine all wet and dry ingredients.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

Remove from oven and allow to cool. In the meantime, prepare cinnamon pecan brittle

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Cinnamon Pecan Brittle

1 egg white

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups pecans

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together egg white, honey, salt and cinnamon.

Toss nuts in the egg white mixture to coat.  Pour nut mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake for 30 minutes, until nuts are browned.

Allow nuts to cool for 5 minutes at room temperature.

 

Assembling the cake

Once cake and brittle has cooled, level off both carrot cakes and break apart brittle.

Divide each cake horizontally (leaving you with 4 or 3 cakes depending on the size of pan used), between each layer, slater on the prepared cream cheese frosting, top with next later of cake. Repeat for all layers. Top the last layer of cake, with your brittle.

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Happy Easter everyone!!

 

Gingerbread Chai Snickerdoodle Pound Cake

I’m obviously on a mission to guarantee your kitchen and home smells like a million-billion-zillion bucks .. aka the holiday season!!

Could there BE anything more Christmas-y that cinnamon and gingerbread smells?!?!

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Our tree goes up this weekend!! I can’t wait, I always loved putting up the tree growing up, but it’s a little bit more special now that it’s just Mr. LTSL and I. It genuinely is OUR tree, and as you look at it, you can definitely see our personality shining through. Our decorations range from places we’ve traveled to together, shiny gold blubs, tons of homemade knickknack’s and guarding it all, just at the tippy top sits batman ready to fight off any prying Grinch … and right next to him, a cupcake of course. Randomness, at its best.

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I’m sure there will be Christmas carols playing, and I’ll be baking up a storm!! And there will be wine … possibly, probably, mulled. Annnnd with all of that hard work of rocking around the Christmas tree… we’ll need cake!!

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Gingerbread Chai Snickerdoodle Pound Cake

Ingredients:

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups sugar + 2 tablespoons ( separated)

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 tablespoon  dark molasses

2 all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cake flour

21/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder + 1 tablespoon ( separated)

1/2 tsp fresh nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground clove

1-1/4 cups milk

4 Chai Spice Tea bags

2/3 cups butter

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Slowly add 2 cups sugar, until mixture is light and fluffy. Add almond and molasses.

Sift together flours, baking powder, ginger powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and ground clove. Slowly add to batter.

In a small saucepan, heat milk and chai tea – you want to begin to see small bubbles forming and the tea extracting. Do not boil.

Once simmering, remove tea bags and add butter. Allow it to melt.

Slowly ( and carefully) add hot mixture to the batter. Stir just until combined

Pour into a greased baking pan. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes.

While the cake is baking, combine remaining 1 table spoon of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl.

Once the cake is finished, remove from oven and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar topping.

Allow to cool completely, and slice.

Cool on a wire rack.

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Pour me a glass , and start blasting the Christmas carols….  it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Pumpkin Pie Bars

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Haaapppy Thanksgiving!!

Woooohooooo …. Heh. While most of us ( moi avec mi familia … yes, that was French and Spanish all in one) celebrated Thanksving over a month ago I have an extra special recipe for all of my American readers.

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Pun’kin pie… bars.

Also, I’m being super sneaky this year and celebrating thanksgiving twice because my sweet baboo ( ala Sally Brown) and I are in ‘Merica this week!! Bring on the turkey, pun’kin pie and extra stretchy pants!!

I’m normally not a pumpkin pie person, growing up my mom made a very traditional Trinidadian version – no crust – lots of spices – with huge chunks of ginger ( even though I think this might have been a mistake).

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What’s a pie without crust?!? … especially, when I made a crust out of OREOS!! Pumpkin Spice OREOS!!  I did however take a note out of her book, and spiced this recipe up – and added the fresh ginger … just a little and minced it as much as I can. And taaa-daaa I’m a pumpkin pie looovvaaaahhh … it could just be the oreos… or the magic powers that are in pumpkin spice.

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Mehh. After today, don’t we all just move onto nutmeg and chestnuts anyway … heh. Kidding. Kind of. Starbucks, I love you.

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Pumpkin Spice Oreo Pumpkin Pie Bars

Ingredients

2 cups pureed pumpkin

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon Garam masala

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

21 Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cookies (crushed to a fine crumb)

5 Tbsp melted butter

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°

Line a large rectangular baking pan with greased foil.

In a large bowl, combine oreo crumbs and butter.

Add to bottom of prepared rectangular pan.

Bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, add pumpkin puree, spices, salt and fresh ginger Microwave for 2 minutes.

Allow mixture to come to rooms temperature, it should be warm to the touch. Whisk in remaining ingredients.

Pour into crust and bake for 15 minutes.

Lower the heat to 350, and bake for an additional 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Slice and enjoy.

IMG_9037Just a note ( and if you’re not super hungry right away) – if you refrigerate the bars for at least 45 minutes, they slice extremely clean.

Smoked Sea Salt Dulce De Leche Skor Cheesecake

Wwwoooord to big bird

… smoked sea salt

…. Dulce De Leche

… Skor

… chhhhhheeeeessseeecake

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Aka salty, sweet, creamy, flava -flava-flava.

Do cool people still say word to big bird .. can we see about making that popular again? It probably was never popular😦

Doll faces, this cheesecake is soooooo good ( totally worthy of all of those extra ooo’s) and its easy peasy, you just have to be a little patient. Unless you like goopy cheesecake, in that case – heh dig right in … for everyone else, the hardest part is allowing the cake to relaxie-taxi for a couple hours.

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By the way, can i call you doll faces … as well, for any of you that noticed that friends reference can we be BFF’s and I’ll call you doll face for eva eva eva.

In complete random news, I heard a rumour that Spice girls and backstreet boys are doing a tour … you realize, if this actually happens, my life would be completed. I would want nothing more… for eva eva eva …. this is just a rumour isn’t it😦 … I need to remember that we’re no longer in the 90s and in fact the spice girls and BSB were popular 20 years ago, don’t I?

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I also now need to drown the fact that I feel old!!😦

Smoked Sea Salt Dulce De Leche Skor Cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

Crust Ingredients:

2 ½ Cups Graham cracker crumbs

1 cup Skor Chips

1 Tsp Smoked Sea Salt

2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

1 Tsp Cinnamon powder

2/3 cups unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake filling

8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature

1 can dulce de leche condensed milk

1 ½ Tsp Smoked Sea Salt

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup Skor Toffee bits

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DIRECTIONS

Combine crumb ingredients, press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze while you prepare cheesecake mixture.

In a large bowl, beat the cream, condensed milk, sea salt, lemon juice smooth. Beat in the condensed milk a little at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract

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Pour the filling into the crust; smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle remaining skor chips.

Refrigerate until firm ( approximately 3 hours) or overnight.

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Peach Blackberry Croissant Custard Cake

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As if anything says sum-sum-summmaaa time like fresh berries, peaches, sunshine and cake.

It’s very possible I just added the cake part, but look how peeerrrrdy this cake is.

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It’s a stunner!! It’s all bright and fruity and custardy and pretty deerrn easy to make.

Your weekend needs a little cake.

Life needs cake.

I need cake.

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Heh. So fun fact – every week when I do the grocery shopping there are a couple items you will always find in my trolly

  • Milk
  • 5 oranges, 2 apples, 2 pears, strawberries ( if they’re in season)
  • Kale
  • Snacks for Mr. LTSL … which means any one of the following, Apple Danishes, butter croissants or Belgian waffles and Jello.

… every week I pick up a container of either Apple Danishes, butter croissants or Belgian waffles for Mr. LTSL and normally it finishes once Friday rolls around.

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Except when there are leftovers and I have to find something delicious and snazzy to do with it. So I make cake.

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Peach Blackberry Croissant Custard Cake  

2 Large Peaches

1/4 cup water

1 cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar ( separated 1 cup x 1tbsp)

4 stale croissants, torn into 8 pieces each

1 ½ cup blackberries (separated ¾ cup x ¾ cup)

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

3/4 cup whole milk

1 cup cream

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ cup brown sugar

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 tbsp turbino sugar

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Directions : 

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Preheat oven to 325. Liberally spray an 8-inch cake pan.

Heat water and  1 tbsp of sugar in a large pan over a medium heat, add peaches and cook until the water is absorbed by the peaches . Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs, yolks, remaining 1 cup sugar, brown sugar, milk, cream, almond extract and vanilla extract until well combined.

In a separate bowl mix ground almonds with cinnamon and ground ginger.

Add 1/3 of torn croissants to your prepared cake pan.

Add ½ of peach mixture and toss in ¾ cup of blackberries. Over your fruits , add ½ of your spiced almond mixture.

Make a second layer, using the exact same process.

Last, add remaining 1/3 of torn croissants, pressing down gently to secure all of your flavour. Pour your liquid mixture over your cake and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Next, top with sliced almonds and turbino sugar.

Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool completely -this also helps the liquid mixture settle – should take approximately 45 min.

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Slice & Enjoy!!

Victorian Sponge tea Cake

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Woooooooooooo it’s May 2-4 weekend … except it’s not May 24th heh. But we’re full on celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Vicky-darling, you look marvelous in your blingout crown and swanky dresses!!

What that means for us regular folks iss…..

Fireworks

Strawberry Short cake

Suuuunnnshhhiiinnne

And the cottage …

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YEEESSSS – for most Canadian’s this weekend is the official – unofficial first weekend of summer!! And I can’t wait to get it started:) … ironically I also always start celebrating my birthday this weekend … even though it’s still a couple days away. It’s part of our family tradition… while I refuse to blow out my candles earlier than the actual day ( apparently it’s bad luck) I WILL be indulging in cake, ice cream, and wearing pretty things that make me want to shoot sparkles out of my fingertips.

I’m puuuuuuuuuuuuuumped!!

Mr. LTSL and I actually have a crazy packed weekend ahead of us … spending the weekend at my parent’s place … engagement … wedding … Food Truck Eats at peller estates ( HELLO … pretty much my idea of a mini Disneyland … and there will be wine) .. picnics at the lake… brunching… laughing … loving… did I mention there will be cake?!

Speaking of cake, look at this beauty.

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Victorian sponge… it’s a thing. And its crazy delicious … and wicked *that word that rhymes with joist  … but starts with an “M” and makes my blood crawl when anyone says it*aaaannnd it’s so pretty and dainty.

Whether with a cup of afternoon tea, or downed with ice cold lemonade … I feel like you should get jiggy with this cake ( I welcome anyone that wants to pull me out of the 90’s … except don’t because I secretly want to forever be Kelly Kapowski)

This would also be an amazing base for a strawberry short cake … ooorrr double/triple the recipe for a layered naked cake …. WINNING!

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Victorian Sponge tea Cake

 Ingredients:

4 eggs, room temperature

2 cups sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cake flour

2-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/4 cups 2% milk

2/3 cups butter

Raspberry jam

Icing sugar ( for decoration)

Berries ( optional, for decoration)

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Directions:

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1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large doughnut pan or an 8 inch cake pan . Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, beat eggs thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add sugar and vanilla.

3) Sift flours and baking powder. Gradually add to batter, beating at low speed just until smooth.

4) In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter just until butter is melted. Gradually add to batter and beat just until combined.

5) Pour baking pan. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

6) Once cooled –  on one half spread with a thick layer of raspberry jam, on the second half spread with cool whip. Sandwich the two halves together

7) heavily dust with icing sugar & top with berries if desired

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Happy days my lovely interweb friends