Archive for ‘Desserts’

September 10, 2011

Apple Crumble

Summer is coming to an end – which is sad…BUT the apple farms and pumpkin patches have just opened…and that’s fantastic!

My daughter and I picked a small batch of apples at a local farm and immediately had to find a delicious use for them. If you’re like me and you’re not a huge fan of the texture of baked apples, the warm crumble topping with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is delish! Sometimes I scoop my apples into my husbands bowl…don’t judge, I know some of you do the same thing. 😉

Apple Ingredients:

  • 5 or 6 tart apples, peeled, cored, halved and sliced.
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar

Crumble Topping:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, chilled.
    (If using salted butter, then omit the 1/2 tsp salt listed above)
  • **This topping is actually enough to cover a 9×12 dish but I like to have a thick topping. You don’t have to use all of the topping, but be aware the baking time may change slightly if you use less.


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish. (I used a glass Pyrex so I could see when the butter started bubbling and the apples looked done.)
  3. Pre-measure the dry ingredients for the Crumble Topping and place in a bowl together: both sugars, cinnamon, salt, flour and oats. Cover with plastic wrap so the brown sugar doesn’t harden, then set bowl aside.
  4. Peel your apples, cut them in halves, remove cores and then slice them horizontally so the slices look nicely curved. Place in a bowl and then work quickly on the next steps so the apples don’t brown.
  5. In a small dish beat an egg. Pour the egg over the apples slices and gently toss them until coated evenly.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 2 tsp sugar over the apple slices and gently toss them until coated.
  7. Transfer the apple slices to the prepared dish and layer them overlapping each other slightly (about 2 layers if placed in the dish neatly).
  8. Getting back to the crumble topping….uncover the dish and whisk the ingredients until combined. Add 1/2 cup of diced butter or margarine. Use a pastry blender or a fork to cut the butter into the dry mixture. Keep mixing until butter is incorporated into tiny pieces and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  9. Scoop the Crumble Topping mix over the apples and smooth it out evenly without pressing down and compressing the topping.
  10. Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until light golden brown.
  11. Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack until warm. Serve by itself or with vanilla ice cream.

Serves: approx 9.

Here’s a few photo’s for all the visual learners…

Enjoy! ~ Crystal

March 6, 2011

Black Forest Dessert Cups

These little Black Forest Cakes in Chocolate Dessert Cups, have been lingering around in my mind lately. I couldn’t make them until I came across something to form the chocolate cups with. These silicone cupcake cups worked perfectly. They are SUPER easy and flexible, so when you’re ready to pop the chocolate out, you simply peel them off. Even better – no need to grease them if you’re using then to bake, because they’re non-stick!


**I have a few tips if you plan on making these dessert cups.  1) This is very important…keep these refrigerated at all times, between steps – if your kitchen is warm, the cups will melt quickly.  2) Refrigerate your bowl and beater before mixing the whipped cream. 3)  Pre-bake and cool the chocolate cake hours before beginning this recipe, so you have time to freeze or chill the cake.


  • 1 chocolate cake, 9″, sliced thinly into approx 4 x 1cm thick layers.
  • 1 container of cherry filling, I used less than 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, or use 70% chocolate if you want something less sweet.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup Kirsche, with 1 tbsp sugar or simple syrup mixed in for sweetening
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream, 1/2 cup chocolate chunks – (Half of a Chocolate Ganache recipe)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp chocolate shavings, for topping, optional.
  • 6 maraschino cherries, for topping, optional.


  • 6 silicone cupcake baking cups (or any chocolate mould of your choice that are the same size as a cupcake liner.)
  • 5 1/2 cm cookie cutter
  • 6 1/2 cm cookie cutter
  • Piping Bag and Star Tip


  1. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Add the shortening, mix well.
  2. Using a pastry brush to coat the silicone cups with chocolate. Refrigerate, and when hardened, add a second coat, refrigerate again.
  3. Pre-bake a 9″ chocolate cake. (If you’re using a boxed cake, it usually makes two 8 or 9″ cakes. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack, then refrigerate one and freeze the other.)
  4. Slice the cake into 4 layers, each layer should be no thicker than 1cm thick.
  5. Using a 5 1/2 cm and 6 1/2 cm round biscuit/cookie cutters, cut 6 circles of each size. (Each cup with need one of each size cake round.)
  6. Pour 1/4 cup of Kirsche into a small bowl, add 1 tbsp sugar or simple syrup and stir until dissolved. You don’t have to add the sugar, but I think it tastes better sweetened.
  7. Place the small chocolate cake circles into each chocolate cup and brush the Kirsche mixture onto them. Not too much, or they’ll be soggy.
  8. Use a cookie scoop or a 1 heaping tablespoon to add the next layer, cherry filling.
  9. Place the second layer of cake on top of the cherry layer and brush Kirsche mixture on this cake layer too.
  10. Place the chocolate cups back in the refrigerator or freezer while preparing the chocolate ganache.
  11. In a small saucepan, add the 1/3 cup whipping cream and bring it to a simmer on medium/high heat. Don’t let it come to a complete boil, you just want to steam it.
  12. Remove the cream from the stove and slowly add the chocolate to the cream, stirring well after each addition. Allow the mixture to cool to about room temperature or until slightly warm, and then you can start working with it.
  13. Scoop the ganace onto the dessert cups and use a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread it out evenly.
  14. Place the cups back in the refrigerator while you prepare the last topping, whipped cream!
  15. In a [cold] mixing bowl, add the whipping cream and beat until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks; add 2 tbsp sugar and whip until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure the sugar is incorporated.
  16. Scoop the cream into a piping bag and apply to the tops of the dessert cups, or use a spoon and add dollops.
  17. Sprinkle some chocolate shavings onto the whipped cream and finally top if all off with a maraschino cherry!

Serves: 6 cups.


I had this chocolate cake in my freezer, waiting for an opportunity to use it. My new thing is to have cakes pre-baked, frozen and waiting on hand in case I need them. In this case, it was great that the cake was frozen, it was much easier to slice into layers with less crumbs making a mess on the counter.



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