Archive | Desserts

Frosted Yum-Yums

From the story Renewal Mill, where okara food waste becomes a nutritious baking flour
by Colleen Riordan

This Schlemme family recipe offers a tasty way to try baking with okara flour.

1 tablespoon ground flax
1 cup vegan butter (like Earth Balance)
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
½ cup okara flour
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup of chopped walnuts (or other nut of choice)

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix the ground flax with 3 tablespoons water and set aside.

Beat together the butter and brown sugar for 3 minutes. Scrape sides of the bowl and beat for another minute. Add the flax mixture and beat to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together okara flour and all-purpose flour. Add to the sugar/butter mixture and beat until dough forms.
Turn dough onto a baking sheet, press out to ¼-inch thick, and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden on top.

Immediately after removing from oven, spread chocolate chips on top of the cookie and let melt for a minute. Spread melted chocolate over cookie with spatula, then sprinkle nuts on top and let cool. Cut into 2-inch squares or other shape of choice.… Read More

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Kiwi Tart

Recipe by Barbara Kobsar | Illustration by Caroline Gould

A sweet shortbread crust, citrus curd cream cheese filling, and sliced kiwifruit make this a winter delight! Try it with strawberries when they are back in season.  
Serves 8–10

For shortbread crust
1 cup butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth. With a wooden spoon (or paddle of a stand mixer), stir in flour a little at a time until mixture is too stiff to work with the spoon. Turn onto a floured board and knead lightly. Draw in flour while kneading until dough just begins to crack.

Press dough into the bottom and sides of one 10-inch or three 4-inch tart pans (about ¼-inch thickness). Place tart pans on cookie sheet and bake until lightly browned, 15–18 minutes for 10-inch tart or 8–10 minutes for 4-inch. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

For filling and topping:
4–6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup lemon or lime curd
3–5 kiwifruit, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons apricot, pear, or peach jam or pomegranate jelly (optional)

Whip together cream cheese and citrus curd until fluffy.… Read More

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Chef Phillip’s Chocolate Pecan Pie

From the story A Vegan Holiday Feast, Illustration by Julia Cost

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

11⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1⁄3 cup coconut oil, solid, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons tahini
¼ cup cold water

21⁄3 cups raw pecans (some whole and some in pieces)
1¾ cups maple syrup
¾ cup raw cashews
½ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup chocolate chips

For the crust: Combine flour and salt in a bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with a pastry blender or two knives until it looks like little beads.

Combine tahini and water in a separate bowl, and gently mix into the flour mixture. Gather dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.

For the filling: Preheat oven to 325°. Spread pecans on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, taking care not to let them burn. Set aside to cool. Leave oven on.

Place maple syrup in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.

Purée cashews with ½ cup water, vanilla, and a dash of salt in a high-speed blender until very smooth. Blend in the hot maple syrup and cornstarch.

Roll out piecrust and fit into bottom and sides of a 9-inch pan.… Read More

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Lorraine Battle’s Apple Cake

From They Always Wore Aprons.  Story and photos By Helen Krayenhoff


This “cake” is a pure celebration of the apple. Use different varieties—some sweet, some tart.
12–17 apples 
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
1 tablespoon organic sugar
2 5-inch ramekins, lightly buttered

Preheat oven to 300°.

Peel and core apples and slice very thinly by hand, on a mandolin, or in the food processor (use 3mm disk).
Finely grate the zest of one orange and mix zest with sugar.

Build the cakes in the ramekins by carefully piling the slices in differing directions to make as solid a structure as possible. Every third or fourth layer sprinkle a pinch of the orange sugar mixture. When you reach the top, tie a collar of parchment paper around the dish and secure with cotton string. Collar should reach 3-4 inches above the top of the ramekin. Continue building up the apples until you have reached the top of the collar.

Cut a small circle of parchment paper to fit on top of the apples and weigh down apples with a smaller ramekin or another kind of flat-bottomed ovenproof dish that fits inside the paper ring. Place ramekins in a baking dish to catch overflow liquid and place in oven.… Read More

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Chocolate Shortbread

From: A Day in a Life Full of Chocolate by Anita Chu

Recipe provided by Caroline Romanski

Makes about 60 cookies

1 ⅔ cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons Valrhona cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 ¼ soft unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
About 2 egg yolks for egg wash
Turbinado sugar for coating

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract just until combined—do not overbeat.

Gradually and on low speed, add the sifted flour mixture. Mix to form a smooth dough. Divide dough into two pieces and roll into logs about 15” long. Wrap the logs in plastic or parchment paper and refrigerate until firm. The dough can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Preheat oven to 300°. Remove a log of dough from refrigerator and let sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature to soften slightly. If you only intend to bake part of the log, cut off the appropriate portion and return the rest to the refrigerator.

Make an egg wash by combining 2 egg yolks with a little bit of water.… Read More

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What’s in Season?

Story and recipe by Barbara Kobsar |  Illustration by Caroline Gould

Choosing produce harvested at its peak is your sure bet for flavor and freshness.


If you’re quick enough to the farmers’ markets, you might catch some of the tender greens cut from the bushy fava plant to sauté for a side dish or pasta topping. Young fava pods are now forming on the plant, so farmers are selling them as well. Fava beans look like overgrown green peas. Their velvety pods hold the large beans tightly inside. The delicate flavor and buttery texture of those beans is worth the effort of getting them out of their shells. When you take the mature beans out of the pods, you’ll find them encased in a second tough, waxy covering. Remove this by simmering the beans in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Then drain and cool until you can pick them up and slip the beans from the skins by pinching one end until the bean pops out. Reheat by sautéing in a little olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, or chill and toss with vinaigrette.

Cherries are just plain fabulous now, and you’ll want to try all your favorites during the short California season.… Read More

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Strawberry Shortcake

Adapted from a recipe by Brett LaMott, chef/owner of Café Maddalena in Dunsmuir, California, a quaint town and beloved fishing spot on the Sacramento River just south of Mt. Shasta. If you are driving up I-5 to Oregon, you might speed right past Dunsmuir without noticing. However, we can tell you that it’s more than worthwhile to stop in and enjoy Chef Brett’s inspired Mediterranean cuisine at his charming bistro and wine bar.

Chef Brett says, “The shortcake in this recipe is very short, more of a biscuit than a cake.”

strawberryshortcakeYields 4 large servings

For shortcake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
3/8 cup cold milk

For topping:
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
2 pints of strawberries, rinsed,
hulled, and quartered
1 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a bowl or food processor, mix the dry ingredients and zest. Cut in the butter (or pulse if you are using a food processor) until the texture is like coarse cornmeal. Whisk together the egg and the milk, then add about half to the dry ingredients, mixing with a fork or pulsing and adding more of the egg mixture as needed until the dough forms a ball.… Read More

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Candied Zucchini Slices and Crystallized Squash Blossoms

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

Candied Zucchini Slices
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Zucchini slices (thinly sliced)

Bring above ingredients to a boil for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and drop thinly sliced zucchini slices into simmering simple syrup. Simmer for 2-3 mintues until zucchini becomes translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon, placing slices onto parchment paper to air dry.

Crystallized Squash Blossoms
With a very small paint brush, brush all surfaces of flowers with egg white. Toss flowers in superfine sugar and air dry until crispy.

Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
434 25th St., Oakland
(510) 832-1967

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Dark Chocolate Frosting

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

4 cups heavy cream
4 cups sugar
1 split vanilla bean
1 pound unsweetened dark chocolate
1 pound butter

Boil cream, sugar, vanilla for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and add chocolate, butter. Whisk smoothly and strain out vanilla bean.

Barbara Llewellyn Catering & Event Planning
434 25th St., Oakland
(510) 832-1967

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Spiced Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

By Barbara Llewellyn Catering and Event Planning

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

Photo by Cheryl Koehler

12 tablespoons (1½ stick or ¾ cup) butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 cups grated raw zucchini
2¾ cups all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup milk
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan for 20 cupcakes.

Cream the butter or shortening and slowly add the sugar, beating until smooth. Beat in the eggs and mix thoroughly. Stir in the vanilla, orange zest, and grated zucchini and blend well. (Batter may look curdled at this point. It will smooth out later.)

Stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda salt and cinnamon, and sift onto a piece of waxed paper. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the zucchini mixture along with the milk, and beat until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of a cupcake comes out clean.… Read More

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