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Sweet Potato Corn Muffins

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There are a thousand ways to make healthy muffins, but I like them best when they are soft and squidgy, low in fat, and a little bit sweet. The great thing about these particular muffins is that the bulk of them is made from vegetables commonly found in desserts. Sweet potato puree, stoneground cornmeal and whole wheat pastry flour compose the bulk of the batter, while nut milk and natural yogurt add plenty of moisture. I also have a soft spot for this recipe because I can make it 100% organic without breaking the bank or sacrificing flavour, and the potato puree results in a pleasantly tender texture similar to that of banana bread. Although totally addictive on their own, the muffins are made even better with fun add-ins, like a cup of toasted chopped pecans or a mixed and matched cup of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. One batch will have you looking forward to breakfast all through the work week.

Sweet Potato Corn Muffins

Inspired by: Minimalist Baker, ‘Sweet Potato Almond Butter Muffins’


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (130g)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (100g)
1/3 cup stoneground cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup natural yogurt
3/4 cup almond milk
1 egg
3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sweet potato puree (from 9 oz cubed sweet potato)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons oil of choice
1/3 cup raw granulated sugar of choice

Optional Add-Ins:

Choose one of the following:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
  • 3/4 cup dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or chopped dried apple
  • 3/4 cup dried coconut flakes
  • 1 cup mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush the muffin moulds with a small amount of oil.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine and aerate the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. If using add-ins, toss them in with the dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the potato puree, yogurt, vanilla extract, oil, and sugar until the ingredients are well combined. If you are using a large granulated raw sweetener, allow the sugar to dissolve for a few minutes while occasionally whisking the mixture.

Whisk in the egg until it is well combined. Gradually add the almond milk while whisking until the mixture is smooth.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the well and use a spatula to fold everything together just until no streaks of flour remain.

Fill the muffin cups almost to the top for large domed muffins (the batter will fill approximately 11 of the muffin moulds). Bake immediately in the preheated oven for 20-23  minutes or until the tops spring back to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

The muffins will keep for 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature.



Lemon Cardamom Madeleines

Lemon & Cardamom Madeleines

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Madeleines are so much fun to make at home, especially because they are best when eaten warm and crispy from the oven. The batter is easily flavoured with spices, zests, lavender, rose water or vanilla and it can be conveniently stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. To achieve that classic madeleine hump, make sure to refrigerate the batter for at least 12 hours before baking.

Lemon & Cardamom Madeleines

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Lemon Glazed Madeleines 


1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (175g)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar (130g)
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (120g), melted and cooled to room temperature
Zest of one lemon
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean


Whisk to combine the flour and ground cardamom.

Add the lemon zest and vanilla seeds to the melted butter and whisk to combine.

Add the sugar, salt, and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed until thickened (hand beaters will work as well).

Sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and fold with a spatula until no streaks of flour remain.

Add the melted butter to the bowl and quickly fold the ingredients together just until the butter is incorporated.

Scrape the batter into a glass bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the batter and chill the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

To bake:

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Brush the madeleine molds with a small amount of melted butter, and once it has cooled dust with flour and tap out the excess.

Use a spoon to place a small scoop of the batter in the center of each mold. The molds should be approximately 3/4 full, but make sure to leave the batter mounded in the center to achieve the classic hump.

Bake the madeleines for 8-9 minutes, or just until they spring back to the touch.

Immediately knock the madeleines out of the tray and onto a wire rack to cool.

They are best when eaten the same day, and even better when hot and crispy from the oven. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Grapefruit Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Grapefruit & Brown Sugar Pound Cake

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Feeling adventurous? Love citrus? Try this aromatic grapefruit pound cake, made with dark brown sugar and plenty of vanilla. The flavours are unique and delicate, making it the perfect loaf to serve alongside a steaming cup of earl grey tea. If you find grapefruit a little bitter for your taste, reduce the zest to 2 teaspoons for a more mellow finish.

Grapefruit Brown Sugar Pound Cake

Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible, “ Perfect Pound Cake”.


3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (150g)
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
13 (6.5oz) tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (65°-68°F)
1 tablespoon loosely packed grapefruit zest


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan, then line the bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper again. Flour the tin.

Use a fork to combine the milk, eggs, and vanilla extract in a large measuring glass.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, salt and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer* to ensure that the brown sugar is fully broken up and well blended with the flour. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 20 seconds on low speed to finish blending.

Add the softened butter and half of the stirred egg mixture to the bowl and mix on the lowest setting until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (speed 4 on a Kitchen Aid) and beat for 60 seconds. Scrape the bowl well. Add half of the remaining egg mixture and beat for 20 seconds on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl. Add the final bit of egg mixture along with the grapefruit zest and beat for a final 20 seconds. It is important to beat the mixture enough to aerate the batter and create structure, but keep in mind that over beating will compromise the final texture. Give the bowl a final good scrape to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.

Scrape the batter into the prepared and smooth the top level with the back of a spoon. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 55-65 minutes, until the middle springs back to the touch or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then lift it out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store for up to one week in an airtight container at room temperature.

* Note: The cake may be prepared using a hand mixer. Increase the beating speed to high and follow the recipe as written.

Sugar Glaze


1 1/4 cups icing sugar
3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a small bowl, whisk together the three ingredients until smooth. Use more sugar or juice to reach desired consistency. Immediately drizzle over cooled pound cake.

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Carrot Cake Pancakes (Vegan)

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     For someone with a serious sweet tooth, pancakes are a quick and convenient way of whipping together a satisfying meal using ingredients that I already have on hand. They are also a low risk way of experimenting with a variety of wheat and non-wheat flours, and are easily made without eggs or dairy. Lately it has become a worthy challenge for me to prepare all the food that I make for myself with ingredients that are organic but also cheap and accessible, and as a result pancakes have become a staple in my diet. If you can’t find organic currants, a 1/4 cup of raisins or chopped dried apples make tasty alternatives. Top these fancy hotcakes with freshly sliced bananas and maple syrup and invite your best vegan friends over for breakfast.

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 Carrot Cake Pancakes (Vegan)


3/4 cup unbleached white pastry flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour), spooned and leveled

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled

1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

1 1/4 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk

3 tablespoons organic raw sugar or sweetener of choice (I often use sucanat)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup shredded carrot, lightly packed

3 tablespoons organic dried currants


In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the currants and toss to combine. Make a well in the center of the flour for the wet ingredients.

In a small bowl, whisk together the almond milk, raw sugar, oil, and vanilla extract. Try to dissolve the sugar as much as possible by giving the mixture the occasional whisk until it is time to combine the liquid with the dry ingredients.

Heat some oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Prepare the shredded carrot while you wait for the pan to become hot.

Add the grated carrot to the wet ingredients and give the mixture a final good stir. Poor the liquid into the centre of the flour and use a wooden spoon or a small stiff spatula to stir the dry ingredients into the wet. Begin in the center and work outwards, slowly drawing the flour into the milk in circular motions until no streaks of flour remain.

Spoon 1/4 cup sized scoops onto the hot pan. Let the pancakes cook until there are open holes on the top of the cakes and the edges are a noticeably darker colour. Flip the pancakes and cook for several minutes more until the bottoms are a dark golden brown. Serve immediately.

Orange Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake

Orange Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake

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This is exactly the kind of one layer cake that is simple enough to make on a Monday night and pack in your lunch bag, yet refined enough to bring to someone on their birthday. The cake itself is pulled straight from the Cake Bible, and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s recipes never disappoint. The batter is rich with butter and thick with sour cream, while the flavourful additions of orange zest and poppy seed make it a bright and refreshing winter treat. A quick icing sugar frosting tempered with sour cream makes a superb topping, but a classic glaze or even a dollop of whipping cream would also make delectable accompaniments.

 Orange Poppy Seed Cake
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum, “Sour Cream Butter Cake”, The Cake Bible


2 cups sifted cake and pastry flour (200g)
1 cup granulated white sugar (200g)
4 large egg yolks
2/3 cup full fat sour cream (5.5 oz)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (6 oz)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 large orange)
1 tablespoon poppy seeds


A few hours before you are ready to bake, remove the sour cream and the eggs from the fridge and allow them to warm to room temperature. Just before you begin, pull the butter from the fridge, cut it into small pieces, and let it sit at room temperature until it has softened and become pliable.

As the butter begins to soften, preheat the oven to 350° F.

Butter a 9 inch spring form pan with a removable bottom. Cut a 9 inch circle of parchment paper, then place it in the bottom of the pan and butter the top of the parchment as well.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and 1/4 of the sour cream.

To the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients, add the softened butter and the remaining sour cream. Stir on the lowest setting until the ingredients are moistened, approximately 30-60 seconds. When there are no streaks of flour remaining, increase the speed to medium (speed 3-4 on a Kitchen Aid mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to create sufficient structure and incorporate air. Be careful not to over beat the batter – this will result in a tough cake with a tight crumb. Stop and scrape the bowl well. Add the egg mixture in three batches, beating on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.  Scrape the bowl at each addition to ensure that all the ingredients are properly combined. Add the orange zest and poppy seeds, and stir on the lowest setting just until the ingredients are well combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top evenly with the back of a spoon. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 32-36 minutes or until the middle of the cake springs back when gently touched, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The cake should only begin to pull away from the sides of the pan upon removal from the oven. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool and after ten minutes, remove the outside ring. Let the cake cool completely to room temperature before inverting, carefully removing the bottom of the pan and peeling away the remaining parchment paper.

Store the cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Quick n’ Creamy Orange Frosting

Note: This recipe will make about twice as much icing as needed for this cake, the remaining half may be refrigerated for up to one week. If you would like to reduce the recipe by half, you can make it using a hand beater and a small bowl, but the final product may not be as smooth.


1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (4oz)
1/2 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
Pinch of salt
4 cups sifted icing sugar (500g)
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest (from 1 large orange)


Beat together the softened butter, sour cream, salt and vanilla extract on medium-high speed for several minutes until well blended. The mixture will smooth out further with the addition of sugar.

Add the icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating for 30-60 seconds on medium-high speed after each addition. When all the sugar has been added, beat the frosting for 1-2 minutes more until it is very smooth and slightly fluffy. The more patience you have incorporating the sugar gradually and beating it well, the smoother your icing will be. Lastly, mix in the orange zest on low speed until it is evenly distributed.

Use the frosting immediately or refrigerate it for up to one week. Bring to room temperature and stir or beat briefly before using from the fridge.

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Cranberry Curd Tartlets

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This fall I was lucky enough to come across a mass haul of fresh, local, and organic cranberries. These bright, tangy berries freeze remarkably well, and not unlike lemons they are capable of producing a punchy curd that can be used in a variety of desserts. When paired with orange juice, a handful of brown sugar, some good vanilla extract and placed in a nutty shortbread shell, cranberries are happy to shine on center stage.

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Cranberry Curd Recipe

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Curd

14.5 oz fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup fresh orange juice (from about 3 oranges)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
Pinch of salt
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed (2.5 oz)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks plus 1 whole egg


Combine the cranberries, water, and orange juice in a medium saucepan. Cover the pan and set it over medium heat. Cook the cranberries for 35-40 minutes, stirring frequently, until they pop and release liquid. Use the stirring tool to burst open any stubborn cranberries. Remove the pan from the heat just before the liquid begins to thicken. Use a fine mesh strainer to separate the juice and the pulp from the solids, making sure to scrape the bottom of the strainer to include all the pulp. You should have 1 3/4 cups of juice with very fine pulp. Discard the remaining seeds and solids.

In a clean pot, cook the cranberry juice with the sugars, salt, and butter until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts, approximately seven minutes.

Whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg until the mixture lightens slightly. Vigorously whisk in the warm cranberry liquid one tablespoon at a time. Return the mixture to the pot, and cook over medium-low heat while whisking constantly. Cook the curd until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 160° F on a candy thermometer. Strain the curd into a glass bowl and cover securely with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let cool completely to room temperature. The curd can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored well covered in the fridge. Loosen the refrigerated curd by stirring it with a spatula before assembling the tarts.

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Spiced Pecan Tart Shell Recipe

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sweet Tart Dough, in Baking: From My Home To Yours

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (188g)
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (4.5oz)
1 large egg yolk
35g toasted pecans


Lightly grease 8 to 10 small individual tart shells with removable bottoms.

Combine the flour, icing sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Place the flour mixture in the bowl of a food processor along with the toasted pecans. Pulse until the pecans are fairly finely ground with some visible bits remaining.

Add the butter to the food processor and pulse just until the largest chunks of butter are the size of small peas. Lightly whisk the egg yolk with a fork. Add the yolk in three batches, pulsing after each addition. Once the egg is added, pulse in long ten-second pulses until the dough begins to clump and curd. Dump the crumbly dough out onto a clean work surface and knead sparingly to fully incorporate the ingredients.

Place a small handful of dough crumbs in the bottom of a tart shell. Press the crumbs gently but firmly along the edges of the shell. Place another tiny handful of crumbs in the shell, then press them down evenly and seal the edges to form the bottom crust.

Place the tart shells on a tray and refrigerate them for ten minutes. Prick the bottom of each tart with a pointed toothpick approximately 8 – 10 times to dock the shells. Place the tarts in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake the tart shells for 12 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the bottoms are completely dry. Let cool completely on a wire rack. The shells can be made up to 1 day in advance. Store the shells in their individual pans in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble.

To Assemble

Carefully spoon or pour the curd into the prepared tart shells. Slide the tarts to one side of the tray so that they remain stationary then cover the tops with a sheet of plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour to set the curd. At this point, the tarts can remain in the fridge overnight and be served the next day.

Just before serving, prepare the whipped cream topping.

Chantilly Cream Recipe

1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar or granulated sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine all three ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Carefully remove the tarts from their individual moulds. Top the curd with a generous scoop of whipped cream and serve immediately.

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100% Kamut Shortbread Cookies

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100% Kamut (Khorasan) Shortbread Cookies

What better way to experience the marvelously rich, buttery aroma of organic Kamut flour than in a classic shortbread cookie. Kamut flour is an ancient ancestor of our modern wheat, containing 20-40% more protein and a heck of a lot more flavour. After experimenting with both spelt and Kamut flour, I found that it is necessary to adjust the classic ratio of butter and flour when using high absorption flours to make shortbread. An additional quarter cup of flour per cup is sufficient to provide structure without yielding a dry cookie. The final result is a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread with an entirely new flavour and texture to savour.


2 1/2 cups sifted Kamut flour (10.5oz)
1 cup unsalted butter, preferably cultured (8oz)
1/2 cup granulated white sugar (100g)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


Remove the butter from the fridge and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Let the cubes warm at room temperature until they are pliable but still cool to the touch.

Butter a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Use a whisk to ‘fluff’ or slightly aerate the flour.

Place the butter in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. Using a handheld mixer, beat the butter for approximately 1 minute on medium speed until it is smooth and slightly fluffy. Scrape down the bowl halfway through. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl to ensure that all the sugar is incorporated.

Dump the flour into the bowl with the butter. Using a large wooden spoon or a stiff spatula, gently stir the ingredients until no streaks of flour or butter remain. The dough will be crumbly, and will gather in clumps rather than form a ball of dough.

Carefully turn out the clumps into the center of the prepared tart pan. Spread the dough so that it is evenly dispersed and press it down with your fingertips, gently but firmly. Use a piece of plastic wrap to prevent the dough from sticking to your finger tips.

Place the pan on a small baking tray, and refrigerate it for 20 minutes. Remove the tray from the fridge and use a small knife to cut the dough into 12 wedges. Return the tray to the fridge for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Remove the tray from the fridge. Sprinkle a thin layer of granulated sugar over top the chilled dough.

Bake the pan on the tray in the preheated oven for 60-65 minutes, or until the top of the dough is golden brown with darker brown edges.

After the tray is removed from the oven, wait at least 15 minutes for the pan to cool slightly then carefully cut along the lines that separate the cookies with a sharp knife. Lift the pan off the tray and let the cookies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

The cookies will be delicate, so handle and store with care. They will keep for one week in an airtight container.