So, I have something a little different for you with this post; I’ve been busy gathering an amazing collection of maple syrup-sweetened treats that I thought you all might want to check out and try some time. Of course, if you’ve been following Dreaming Dessert for a while, you’ll have noticed that I use maple sugar or maple syrup almost exclusively to sweetened the desserts and treats I bring to you. In my wanderings on the net and Pinterest, I discovered such a selection of incredible maple sweetened treats that I had a heck of a time choosing from all of the awesome-looking options; the photography is so amazing, I want to eat them off the screen!
In keeping with the healthful dessert eating trend I began at the first of the year, (I’m not sure that once really creates a “trend”, but bear with me…), I thought you all might want to try these Maple Baked Pears with Toasted Pecans. They’re soooo easy! There’s all of five ingredients in this baked-until-tender, maple syrup-sweetened, toasty pecan, pear dessert. They’re perfect for a weeknight dessert craving without carrying all of that guilt baggage into the next day. Top these pears with a dollop of vanilla yogurt, lightly-sweetened whipped cream or creme fraiche, (yeah, it’s a bit of a splurge…) and you have a perfect dinner party dessert. I’ve reduced the amount of maple syrup and vanilla from the original recipe, which you can find over at the delightful blog, Sally’s Baking Addiction.
- 4 Anjou pears
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped, lightly toasted*
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.
- Cut pears in half, then trim a small, thin slice off the other side so the pears won’t tip over when placed on the baking sheet. Use a melon baller or teaspoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Place pears, facing up, on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Mix the maple syrup and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Drizzle all but 2 tablespoons over the pears, reserving remaining syrup for after the pears are baked.
- Bake pears for 30 minutes or until soft (test with a fork). Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with the remaining maple-vanilla syrup mixture. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve warm.
If you have any leftovers, they’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! How did that even happen?! Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like once we get past September, the year picks up some serious momentum! If you’ve been feeling a sense of urgency about what to prepare for the dessert end of things on the Turkey Day table, I think I have a solution for you with this Pumpkin Creme Brulee.
Like all creme brulees, this one is creamy-smooth with that to-die-for crackly sugar topping that creme brulee fans love, but it’s the maple pumpkin deliciousness that brings this one to a new level of yum! What’s so great about this dessert is that it really is pretty simple to prepare and you can make it ahead of time so it’s one less thing to deal with and take up precious oven time on the big day. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/3 vanilla bean, split
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup maple sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- In a large bowl, mix egg yolks with a hand mixer until frothy.
- Heat about 6 cups of water to boiling. (This will be poured into the pan that will hold the creme-filled ramekins).
- Add cream to a medium pan and scrape vanilla bean seeds into the cream. Stir in maple syrup and 1/4 c. maple sugar, and turn on heat to med-high. Stir constantly, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Very slowly whisk some (a few tablespoons at a time) of the hot cream into the egg (until the mixture is lukewarm), then whisk in the remainder of the cream.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the 2 tablespoons maple sugar) and whisk until combined. Place ramekins into a large pan (a 13 x 19 cake pan should be fine) and pour mixture into your ramekins. Carefully fill the pan half full with hot water. This will maintain a good moisture level inside the oven while the custard is baking.
- Bake until the custards set, 55-60 min. Test the custards for doneness by shaking them lightly; if they don’t jiggle in the middle, they’re done. Place them in the fridge for a couple of hours to chill.
- To brûler your custards, sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon maple sugar on the tops of each chilled custard and using a cooking torch, carefully and slowly heat the sugar until it hardens. You can also put them under a broiler but watch them very carefully so they don’t burn, turning often.
- Pop them back into the fridge to chill for an hour or so longer.
NOTE: The maple sugar that you sprinkle on top of the custards will burn more easily than regular granulated sugar, so if you’d rather not take the extra time it requires to more slowly brulee the maple sugar, then go ahead and use superfine white sugar in the same quantity.
The sweet season of summer is so short that I’m doing my level best to get every last drop out of it; and that includes eating as many old and new favorite summertime treats as I can jam into these few brief months. And I just had to fit this Peach Shortcake recipe in before all of the wonderful, juicy peaches are past their peak and can no longer be found in the grocery stores. The original recipe comes from a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, but I changed up the shortcakes quite a bit; they’re more of a “sturdy” scone than the usual shortcake – just a personal preference that I hope you like too. Here’s to enjoying all of summer’s delights!
- 2 lbs. firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced ¼-inch thick, divided
- 6 tbsp. maple sugar, divided
- 2 tbsp. peach schnapps
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ cup maple sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small cubes
- 2/3 cup sour cream or buttermilk
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- ⅛ tsp. almond extract
- To prepare the fruit, combine about three quarters of the peach slices in a large bowl with the maple sugar. Toss to combine and let stand 30 minutes. Combine the remaining peaches, remaining sugar, and peach schnapps in a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high until the peaches are bubbly, about 90 seconds, stirring a couple of times during cooking. Crush the peaches with a potato masher. Let stand 30 minutes.
- Combine dry ingredients (through salt) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times until blended. Add in cubes of butter and pulse until butter looks like small pebbles in the flour mixture, about 30 seconds.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk sour cream, egg and vanilla together until thoroughly combined; pour this mixture in a steady stream into the flour-butter mix in the processor; stop when the dough begins to come away from the sides of the processor and forms a loose ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a generously floured counter or large board, turning and kneading the dough 20-25 times.
- Scoop dough with a greased, 1/3 cup measuring cup and place 1 1/2” apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 13-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
- Add the heavy cream and sugar to a chilled bowl of an electric mixer; mix on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Blend in the almond extract.
- Split each biscuit and place the bottom half on a serving plate. Spoon a few tablespoons of the crushed peach mixture over the biscuit, then top with some of the peach slices and a dollop or two of whipped cream. Place remaining half of biscuit on top.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, August 2008
Ah, the holiday of love! Hearts and flowers and above all….chocolate! Smooth, delicious, and richly decadent don’t even come close to describing this Chocolate Flourless Torte! I’m just going to say it right now: “This is my all time favorite dessert that I’ve posted so far on Dreaming Dessert!” And that is no small thing either, ‘cuz I like a whole lot of what I’ve shared on this site. But this…this, I L.O.V.E. Those of us bakers who are also confirmed chocoholics have a certain kitchen cred when it comes to recommending a chocolate dessert and this one couldn’t come more highly touted. I don’t want you to be intimidated by this dessert either; despite it’s appearance, it’s really a breeze to make. I hope you fall in love with this divine chocolate torte, as I did! Happy Valentines!
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup maple sugar or ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 2 ¼ cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (Guittard or other premium brand)
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter parchment thoroughly.
- Wrap 2 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, crimping it close to the sides of the pan, bring foil to top of rim.
- Combine 1 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until completely smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
- Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in a large, 3” deep oven-safe skillet or roasting pan. Carefully add hot water to the skillet or pan so it comes halfway up sides of the foil-wrapped cake pan.
- On the center oven rack, bake cake until the middle no longer moves when pan is gently shaken, about 40 minutes. Check at 35 minutes.
- Remove cake from water bath; transfer to a cooling rack. Cool in pan to room temperature.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring whipping cream to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Add chocolate and whisk until smooth and creamy. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to distribute ganache evenly over top of cake.
- Refrigerate cake in pan until ganache is firm.
- 1/2 of a Sarah Lee pound cake, cut in 1-inch slices (4 slices)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 cup lemon curd
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- Sweetened whipped cream, optional (but recommended)
- Spread butter on both sides of each slice of pound cake.
- Using indirect heat, grill the slices for 4-5 minutes per side or until there are medium-brown grill marks on the cake. Be careful that they don’t burn.
- Place each piece of pound cake on a small plate; spread ¼ cup of lemon curd on each, then sprinkle with blueberries and raspberries. Spoon or pipe whipped cream on top.
Who says yummy desserts have to take hours to prepare? Not me, of course, because I promised you delicious and easy, and with Grilled Pound Cake with Berries, that is what you get. The sugars in the pound cake are brought out by the heat of grilling which helps to balance the tart lemon curd and tangy berries, but I don’t think this dessert is really complete until you top it with sweetened whipped cream. Of course, it’s up to you… Just sayin’… If you want to modify this recipe, try a different fruit curd (raspberry is nice) – or change out the fruit to strawberries and blackberries. Summer’s heat is still going strong so this no-bake treat is a nice one to have in the “box”. If you try this, let me know what you think. Enjoy!
In the world of desserts the combination of rhubarb and strawberries go way back; small wonder it’s had such staying power because besides being delicious by the spoonful, this mix of tart and sweet fruits is a classic that pairs well with so many “base” options. I poured this Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce over vanilla ice cream and it was sooo good, but you could also use plain or grilled pound cake (to make it super easy, just use slices of Sara Lee pound cake). I’m thinking pancakes or crepes, lightly toasted challah or brioche would be amazing too! I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with even more imaginative ways to use this deliciously bright sauce. Enjoy!
- 6 cups sliced (½” thick) fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3″ long)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon orange liqueur
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
- Vanilla ice cream
- Place the rhubarb, sugar, juice, cinnamon sticks, orange peel and ginger in a 3-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until rhubarb is tender.
- Stir in liqueur and strawberries; cover and cook 20 minutes longer or until heated through. Remove cinnamon sticks. Serve with ice cream or sliced pound cake.
Slightly adapted from: Taste of Home
Ice cream has to be my favorite summer time dessert (you’ll be surprised to hear that chocolate is my go-to flavour…), but every now and then a body needs to put down the ice cream bowl and pickup some other creamy delight, and so I bring you…No Bake Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake.
There’s no heating up the kitchen or yourself with this lightly sweet treat. Now, I should tell you that the flavor emphasis is more on the lemon than the raspberry, so if you prefer it to lean a little more toward raspberry, reduce the lemon juice and zest by a teaspoon each and add in another half cup of raspberries. Either way it’s delicious, and so easy – just like a summer dessert should be!
- 3/4 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (10 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 cup fresh raspberries, mashed slightly
- Stir together the chocolate wafer crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar and melted butter. Divide the crumbs between your serving dishes; press crumbs into the bottoms of the dishes to form the crust.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and lemon zest. Add cream cheese and beat with a stand or hand mixer until creamy. Add vanilla and lemon juice mixing to combine. Fold in the whipped topping with a rubber spatula until thoroughly incorporated, then fold in the raspberries.
- Spoon or pipe the filling into the prepared serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
Barely adapted from: My Baking Addiction
Let me tell you, these Chocolate Raspberry Mousse cups are just pure fun to make and the most fun to eat! The cute little chocolate cups used in this dessert had called my name many times as I passed them in the baking aisle, and for some odd reason, I resisted. Once again though, the sweet tooth wins out… I chose to fill the Belgian dark chocolate shells with a sweet-tart raspberry mousse that’s a nice counterpoint to the bittersweet chocolate, but you could also fill them with a dollop of premium ice cream, peanut butter, creamy pudding or berries. I’m sure you can think of even more yummy options! I think they’d make a great dessert for a wedding shower or baby shower (if you know its a girl…), or for a Valentine’s day treat, or really anytime you want a pretty, simple-to-make indulgence!
- 5 tablespoons honey, plus 2 teaspoons
- 2 packages (16 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 2 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh or frozen, thawed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur, or substitute 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 packages chocolate shells (I used ChocoMaker brand)
- Place the softened cream cheese in a large mixing bowl; using a hand or stand mixer beat on medium speed until creamy.
- Add raspberries into the cream cheese and mix until completely combined.
- Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla, orange liqueur or lemon juice, and 5 tablespoons of honey; blend until combined. Refrigerate.
- Whip heavy whipping cream on medium speed of a hand or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 teaspoons honey. Increase mixer speed, whipping for a couple more minutes (cream should form stiff peaks when you remove beaters).
- Gently fold 1/2 cup of the whipped cream into the raspberry mousse until its completely incorporated.
- Spoon or pipe the mousse into the chocolate shells.
- Pipe a dime-sized dot of whipped cream on top of mousse and garnish with a raspberry or small chocolate curls.
I don’t recall when I first made this recipe or where I got it (it’s scribbled on an old index card with way too many splatters and spots…), but I’ve made this Lemon Layer Dessert many times for potlucks and family gatherings over the years. With Easter on the way, and especially for the kids out there, I decided to decorate the whipped cream top with pastel coconut “nests” and jelly bean eggs. Yes, it’s a wee bit on the sweet side, but any other time you can substitute some lemon zest or a light sprinkling of toasted coconut on top for a more “adult” version. This is my first post to include preparation pictures; I hope they make the process just that much easier for you. Happy Easter everyone!
[fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-coffee” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Ingredients”]
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 1⁄2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 (3 3/4 ounce) packages instant lemon pudding
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
- 3 cups milk
- 1 (8 ounce) carton Cool Whip or Tru Whip, for a more natural alternative
[fruitful_ibox_row] [fruitful_ibox icon=”fa-spoon” styleicon=”background-color:#7bd4c2; color:#fff; border-radius: 50%;” styletext = “font-size:14px” title=”Directions”]
Preheat oven to 375°
- Process flour, butter, and pecans or walnuts for a minute or two in a food processor.
- Press into a 13×9 inch baking dish.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown; cool completely.
- Beat powdered sugar, and cream cheese until fluffy.
- Spread evenly over nut crust.
- Stir together pudding mix and milk (and lemon juice, if using); when thickened, spread over the cream cheese layer.
- Spread container of Cool Whip or Truwhip evenly over top.
- Refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Decorate as desired.
If you want to decorate with the coconut nests and jelly bean eggs, divide 2 cups of shredded coconut into four ramekins or small cups, put 1 drop of food coloring onto each 1/2 cup of coconut and stir until the color is well distributed. Spoon small mounded circles, 2″ – 3″ wide onto the whipped cream layer. Place jelly beans on top of the nests. Festive and fun!
Any flavor instant pudding can be substituted in this recipe. I’ve tried chocolate and butterscotch and they’re both delicious!