Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Milkshake

Spring has been officially announced, the signs are everywhere, you just can’t miss it. The clear streets, the numbers of people with kids and dogs on the streets, music coming out cars, bars with terraces ..  you name it.

Just like everybody else, I celebrate the arrival of spring my own way: I have set my bicycle free from the confinement of the attic, I keep the door to my apartment open in the morning while I have breakfast, I go out for longer walks, I smile more often, and I make frozen yogurt milkshakes!

This spring’s inaugural milkshake is a strawberry one, very refreshing, not too thick, not too sweet, just the perfect mix of flavors.

strawberry-frozen-yogurt-milkshake

To make 3 glasses of milkshake, you need 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of vanilla frozen yogurt, 1 cup of strawberries (I used frozen), and 1 Tbsp of sugar. And a blender of course. It’s easy to remember: 1 of each ingredient.

 

Freak`s Cookies

Freak is not a freak. He`s a a magic chef who can put together a dinner and a dozen cookies in less than 30 minutes.

And these are  his magic cinnamon cookies that one day everybody will be queuing up for!

cookies01

Ingredients (for 10 cookies)

- 60 g butter, melted
- 60 g sugar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 45 g of rolled oats
- 50 g flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 150 g of dark chocolate, chopped

cookies02

 

cookies00

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Mix everything in a bowl.

Spoon the cookies onto a baking tray.

Bake for 12 minutes.

Mousse au Chocolat

Today I discovered that the most delicate and divine things indeed come in the smallest of sizes!

mousse au chocolat

When I was over at my friend Marie’s house for a cup of tea, she also offered me a little cup of her mousse au chocolat with fresh orange zest on top. Wow! The velvety feel and taste of the chocolate is indescribable!  And the orange zest just adds to the perfection. Just wow. Hats off Marie.

Continue for the recipe.

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Confetti’s Blueberry Cheesecake on Yummly!

I am ashamed to say this, but I only found out last week that, in the summer, Confetti’s Blueberry Cheesecake recipe was shared on Yummly.com! Is this an exciting discovery or what?!

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the rather popular recipe that I tried around a year and a half ago, which goes like this:

BAKED BLUEBERRYCHEESECAKE

Ingredients:

For the crust:

- 2 and 1/2 cups digestive biscuits, finely crushed
- 1/4 cup butter, melted

For the filling:

- 900 grams cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 and 1/2 cup caster sugar (or just give the granulated sugar a quick buzz in a food processor)
- 1 Tbsp cornflour
- 1 and 1/3 cup double cream or whipping cream or creme fraiche
- 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of white chocolate, melted
- 1 cup blueberries, dusted with a little flour

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Mix the crushed biscuits with the butter and press gently onto the base of a spring-form pan.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling together except the blueberries. You might have to beat the mixture with an electric beater for a minute.

To prepare, pour half the cheese mixture over the biscuits then throw in the blueberries scattered on top. Then, pour in the other half of the cheese mixture. Smooth the surface. Place in the oven for one hour and 15 minutes. Then, let it cool on your kitchen surface, and then refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

Fresh Berries Fruit Salad With Rose Water

I don’t know what I like more about this salad, the colors or the taste!

Rose water (and rose oil) has been used since the times of the Greeks, Romans and Phoenicians. It is now used in cooking and in preparing desserts. I adore rose water, especially in the famous Lebanese dessert Layali Loubnan. It has such a light yet apparent flavor, perfect for fresh desserts and milk-based puddings.

In this recipe, I joined the volatile strawberries with the delicate rose water to create a fresh and thirst-quenching dessert.

Fresh Berries Fruit Salad With Rose Water

- 2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 Tbsp rose water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp orange  blossom

Wash the berries and put them in a bowl.

In another small bowl, dissolve the sugar in the liquid ingredients.

Pour the sweet water over the fresh berries. Refrigerate for an hour. Best served cold.

Try it and let me know what you think!

 

Not Just Any Lemon Cake!

I love lemon cakes and lemon tarts and although I’ve made lemon cupcakes before,  I haven’t made a cake that ends with a sweet lemon syrup being poured over it! The perfect balance between sweet and citric. I found this recipe in Elle magazine November issue, it was provided by Daniele Gerkens for whom I couldn’t find a website, blog or link. But here’s the recipe (I changed a little in the original recipe) for this SUPER JUICY lemon cake.

Ingredients:

- 15og butter, melted
- 175g sugar
- 4 eggs
- 250g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- Zest of 3 lemons

- Juice of 3 lemons
- 150g of icing sugar or caster sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 375F/180C.

1. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar well. Add the butter. Whisk again.

2. Add the 3 dry ingredients gradually and mix the batter until it is silky smooth.

3. Add the zest of the lemons.

4. Pour the batter in your cake mold (I used a loaf pan) and pop in the oven for 45 minutes.

5. While the cake is baking, make the syrup by mixing the icing sugar with the lemon juice.

6. When the cake has properly baked, take it out of the oven, poke it with a skewer several times in several spots and while it is still hot pour the lemon syrup all over.

7. Let the cake cool before you take it out of the baking pan and serving.

Super Moist Chocolate Cake with Banana and Hazelnut

My dear friend Maria is an avid baker and she enjoys a juicy homemade cake more than anything. I saw the recipe for chocolate muffins on her blog and decided to try it in a cake form. No kidding, a super moist cake with a hint of  banana and a great consistency.

Ingredients:

- 115g flour
- 4 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
-  1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt

- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 100g of butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla

- 2 ripe bananas mashed

- 30g hazelnut powder (I ran a handful of hazelnuts in the food processor and took 30g of the result)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a bowl, mix the first five dry ingredients.

3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the sugar and whisk well. Add the butter, whisk some more.

4. Gradually, add the dry ingredients from the first bowl onto the egg mixture in the second bowl. With a spatula mix everything well.

5. The mixture will be dry, so add the mashed bananas and mix well. Then, add the hazelnut powder.

6. Pour the batter into a loaf pan or a cake tin and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer before taking out.

ENJOY! Thanks Maria :)

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Brownies

Aren’t brownies a sweet and simple celebration for Confetti’s return after a long summer break?! Especially that they’re not just any brownies; they are moist, sweet and they have chocolate chips and cinnamon in them!

Cinnamon browniesCinnamon Brownies

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup butter

- 1 cup sugar

- 2 eggs

- 1/2 cup flour

- 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

- 1/4 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp vanilla

- 1/4 tsp salt

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 2 Tbsp chocolate chips (optional – for a very sweet result)

Method:

- Preheat the oven to 350F.

- Butter a 20 cm square baking tray.

- Melt the butter in a saucepan and then pour them over the sugar in a mixing bowl.

- Whisk well. Add the eggs. Whisk some more.

- Start adding the dry ingredients and whisking well and if you’re using chocolate chips, add them last.

- Pour the batter in the baking tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

- Cool well before cutting into squares.

Blueberry Apple Crumble

What I love about blueberries is that I can get them frozen and still use them as fresh. I’ve used them in smoothies, in cheesecakes, and in muffins.

Today’s recipe isn’t one of mine; I found it in Sophie Dahl’s cookbook Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous  Delights. It is the first recipe I try from her book. I got this book around Christmas time as a gift for myself and I finally got round to trying one of her recipes.

blueberry apple crumble

Ingredients (for a 15-cm baking ramequin):

- 1 cup blueberries

- 1 cup chopped apples

- 1/2 cup flour

- 1/4 cup rolled oats

- 50g butter, room temperature

- 3 Tbsp light brown sugar

Method:

- Preheat the oven to 400F.

- In a food processor, blend the butter, oats and flour. Add the sugar, mix with a spoon and set aside.

- Place the blueberries and chopped apples at the bottom of the dish. Spoon the crumble mix over the fruits and place in the oven for 30 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling.

- Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

Orange Bundt Cake

This is the best orange cake you can ever have! It is made with whole oranges which give it a tangy and somehow bitter taste. You should come smell the house now! Beautiful warm orange aroma!

Orange Cake

To make this beautiful cake you need:

- 3 eggs

- 2 cups sugar

- 1/2 cup oil

- A sprinkle of salt

- 3 cups flour

- 3 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp vanilla

- 2 whole oranges, cut into 8 pieces

Orange Cake

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 360F.

2. Whisk the eggs with the sugar and oil.

3. Add the flour, salt, baking powder and vanilla and mix well.

4. In a food processor, puree the whole oranges.

5. Add the orange puree to the batter and mix well.

6. Pour the batter in a greased bundt cake mold and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

7. Before taking out the cake, test with a toothpick.

A very aromatic and beautifully tangy cake. You probably won’t ever taste a better orange cake!

 

Sfouf

Confetti is back in action! It has been a long time and I have seriously missed cooking, baking and blogging! It is good to be back, and for this occasion I baked one of the most famous Lebanese cakes: sfouf.

I don’t know what sfouf means, but it is a delicious and special dessert. My aunt bakes it very often and when I was last visiting Beirut, I took the recipe from her and have wanted to try it since. It’s an easy recipe and it worked out perfectly fine. Sfouf has a sweet and earthy taste, very nice for breakfast with a cup of cafe au lait.

SfoufIngredients:

- 4 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup oil
- 2 cups milk
- 1 Tbsp turmeric
- 3 tsp baking powder

- Almonds

Sfouf

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 325F.

2. Mix all ingredients together except the almonds.

3. Pour the batter in a 20x30cm baking pan. Grease the pan beforehand if necessary. Place half almonds on top in rows.

4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.

5. Cool before cutting it in cubes.

Homemade Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread (aka NUTELLA!)

No, your eyes are not deceiving, we have just concocted a Nutella-like chocolate spread from scratch!

When you are living with a Nutella fanatic who forces you into an unfair competition with the legendary Nutella spread, you can’t but try your best at making your own way to his heart. I am not one to be defeated easily, so I took the express highway to his heart and made my own Nutella-like chocolate and hazelnut spread!

But before I get too excited and forget mentioning where I got the recipe from (because I am not yet a professional magician!), I found this recipe on David Lebovitz‘s website that I find very informative and a great reference. I am taking no credit for creating the recipe, but I can assure you that it is a successful one that will leave you dazed and unconfused!

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread – copied from David Lebovitz’s post Homemade Nutella
Two jars (about 1 cup each)

Adapted from the Encyclopédie du Chocolat under the direction of Frédéric Bau

1/3 cup (40g) whole almonds
1 1/3 cup (160g) hazelnuts

1 3/4 cup (400g) whole milk
7/8 cup (60g) powdered whole milk
3 tablespoons (40g) mild-flavored honey
pinch of salt
170g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
140g milk chocolate, chopped

1. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, keeping the almond separate, and toast the nuts in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven, stirring a few times, for 10 to 15 minutes, until the hazelnuts are browned.

2. While they are roasting, warm the whole milk and powdered milk in a small saucepan with the honey and salt just until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.

3. In a clean, dry bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, or in a microwave oven, melt the chocolates together until smooth.

4. Once the nuts are well-toasted, remove them from oven and use a spatula to place the warm hazelnuts in a clean tea towel, then fold them inside the towel and rub them vigorously to remove any loose skins. They don’t need to be pristine; just try to get as much off as possible.

5. In a food processor, grind the warm hazelnuts and almonds until they’re as fine as possible.

6. Add the melted chocolate and continue to process the mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl, as necessary.

7. Once the mixture is smooth, add the warm milk mixture and process until everything is well-combined.

8. Transfer the mixture into two jars and refrigerate until ready to use.

Storage: The Chocolate-Hazelnut Paste will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Raspberry Swirls

Cute, no?! I started these cupcakes with the intention of mixing raspberries in the batter, but the frozen raspberries I was using didn’t thaw properly, so my rescue plan was to make a raspberry syrup and create swirls with it!

Ingredients for 10 cute cupcakes:

- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Vanilla

- 1 egg
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup milk

Raspberry syrup: I used 200g of raspberries and 2 Tbsp of sugar. Over low heat, I let the raspberries and sugar melt into each other and then with a hand processor, I blended them into a liquid.

Method

Preheat the oven to 350F.

1. In a bowl, whisk the egg, add the sugar and whisk well into a cream. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the milk.

2. Fold the flour, baking powder and vanilla  into the liquid mixture and stir with a spatula until you get a silky batter.

3. Pour the batter in paper cups.

4. Place a drop of raspberry syrup (make it as small as your pupil) on top of the batter in the paper cups, and with a toothpick gently form swirls.

5. Pop your cupcake tray in the oven for 20 minutes.

4.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bars

These bars are ideal to take to work to share with colleagues or to have in a picnic basket. They don’t take a lot of work and they cool down fast, so the whole process won’t take longer than 30 minutes.

Ingredients for a baking tray with 8.5 inch x 8.5 inch dimensions

- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar

- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp butter, room temperature

- 1 and 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt

- 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add the sugar and the brown sugar and whisk again.

3. Add the peanut butter and butter and whisk again.

4. Gradually add the flour and baking powder and salt and mix well.

5. Spread in your baking tray and then sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

6. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before cutting them into 5cmx5cm sqaures.

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

If only you could smell the house right now! It smells of warm honey and toasted almonds, a smell that can cure a cold!

It has only been lately that I could have something sweet for breakfast. I grew up eating a salty breakfast, whether it was a cheese sandwich, an omelet, or a labneh dip with toasted pita and olives, one thing for sure, it had to be salty. But after travelling quite frequently to Europe in the past eight years, I started developing a liking for sweet things with my cup of coffee for breakfast. Now I occasionally have a fruit muffin or a pain au chocolat, and for this new acquisition of taste, I decided to bake breakfast-appropriate muffins.

I got this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s book Nigella Kitchen, which is a cookbook full of convenient recipes that you could make for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients (make 12)

- 2 apples, peeled and diced

- 1 and 3/4 cups flour

- 2 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1/4 cup vegetable oil

- 1/2 cup honey

- 1/2 cup brown sugar

- 1/4 cup yogurt

- 2 eggs

- 1/4 cup raw unblanched almonds, roughly crushed

The topping:

- 4 tsp brown sugar

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly crushed

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 400F and prepare a muffin tray with muffin paper cups.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, sugar, oil and honey. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, sift the flour and then add the cinnamon, baking powder and crushed almonds.

4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk everything together.

5. Add the apples to the batter and give it one last whisk.

6. To make the topping: mix the three ingredients in a small bowl.

7. Scoop the batter (I use an ice cream scooper) into the paper cups and sprinkle the topping over the muffins.

8. Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.