Star Bread: oozing with flavour

Sweet Strawberry jam oozing out of soft pull apart bread. Sounds good to me! Star bread is a lovely bread to display on your counter and it truly invites you to go on and pull off a twist! Whether it’s jam or Nutella, or even cinnamon sugar the possibilities are endless. Happy Baking!

The Method

A quick overview of the steps: More detailed in the Recipe itself

  1. The dough: This dough recipe is a very simple one that anyone can master. However, it does take patience. With yeast, sugar, milk ,butter, egg and flour, it can be whipped up pretty quick! however, the importance is the rising. This dough will need 90-120 mins to rise.
  2. Rolling out layers: In order to achieve layers of filling (jam, Nutella, cinnamon etc) we have to roll out 4 discs of dough like mini pizza being spread with pizza sauce. Except we will be using filling not sauce πŸ™‚ After, we will stack all four discs.
  3. The cut and twist: This part gets a little messier as the filling oozes, but fear not! it’s super fun . In the centre of the stacked and filing spread dough, we will place a cup to make a circle ring in the centre as a reference for equal length strips. We will then cut 16 strips and twist them to make 8 peaks of the star shape.
  4. The egg wash: brush with egg wash and bake! Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Tips to consider:

Jam filled !
  • Filling with jam, Nutella, or a spread that is slightly sticky, try to make sure not to overfill. A good way to ensure you do not spread too much on each dough layer is to leave a ring of untouched dough around each disc.
  • When filling try not to leave excess filling on the bottom, otherwise it may burn or stick to the pan/parchment. I suggest wiping up any that fell before putting in he oven πŸ™‚
  • Be sure to use an egg-wash or buttermilk for those crisp edges. If you choose not to. it will turn out nice as well. It will just be a sightly softer bread.
prep timebake time total time
~2 30 mins *includes rising~30 mins~3 hours
Serves 8

The Recipe

Star Bread : Jam filled

Ingredients:

The dough:

  • 2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling later
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

ideas: jam, jelly, Nutella, cinnamon, savoury cheese scallion, etc.

  • Remember the EGG WASH!

Procedure

Step 1) Make the dough.

In a large bowl place the yeast and sugar and warm the milk in a saucepan until just before it simmers/boils or in the microwave for about 40-45 seconds. pour the warm milk onto the yeat and sugar and cover with a towl for 5-7 mins. it should look frothy once done.

Step 2)

Add the butter, flour, egg, and salt to the yeast mixture. You can use your hands or a mixer with a dough hook attachment to mix all the ingredients together until well combined. If it seems quite sticky an additional couple Tablespoons of flour can be added. Not too much!

Step 3)

Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for 90-120 minutes until it has doubled in size. A nice place for the dough is in the oven on a very low temperature such as “keep warm” or 150 degrees F. After preheated turn the temperature off and the warmth will still linger inside ! perfect temperature for dough! On the kitchen counter works as well.

Step 4)

The filling and assembling:

Take the dough and split it into 4 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface roll the balls out into equal size discs as best you can. Spread your filling on each as if spreading pizza sauce on mini pizzas! now, stack each disc on-top of each-other into a pile. place a glass in the center and make a subtle indent so you can see where the center is to ensure the strips being cut are roughly the same length. First, cut four equal sections around the center. next, cut those all in half, making 8 strips. finally, cut each of those in half, ending with 16 strips. Now, take two strips at a time and twist them opposite. One cockwise, the other counterclockwise, meeting at the end and pinch them together. Repeat until there are 8 peaks to your star bread! πŸ™‚

Step 5)

Brush with egg wash and finish with course sugar.

Step 6)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F (170 C) and bake for 25-30 mins

Powder sugar. Serve. Enjoy!

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo crust

Sweet Strawberry compote on creamy cheesecake with a crunchy Oreo cookie base! you’ll love these dessert bars just as much as you’ll love designing them with those swirls!

About this recipe:

do you ever just want to make cheesecake but dont want to buy roughly 30 oz of creamcheese? or do you crave cheesecake but know you do not need an entire ceesecake? Well, this recipe give you the best of both worlds! Cheesecake sraving solved (check) and a managable serving size that you’ll actually be able to finsh (check)

Cheesecake bars are for that cheesecake craving without having to make an entire cake size! portion control handled

What you will need:

cream cheese and only one package! 8 0z (~226 g)

yogurt: plain, strawberry, or greek all work well and about 1/2 is all that is needed. This ingredient allows us to use less cream cheese and make a creamier/smooth consistency

-granulated sugar: sugar is needed because cream cheese is quite tart and this addition will contour that taste! also it compliments the strawberry compote

flour: with all this talk of creaminess we need a binding agent, thats where about 1/4 -1/2 cup flour comes in

strawberries (fresh or frozen): for that delicious swirl!

cornstarch/sugar : used to thicken that strawberries in the compote for the swirl

vanilla extract: to sweeten the compote!

Oreo cookies (in crumbs) / melted butter: to make that chocolatey cookie base for our cheesecake bars

To bake or not to bake? This recipe can be baked cheesecake or no bake. Your choice!

There are different flavours in baked cheesecake vs. no-bake. The cream cheese taste more sweet when it is a no bake recipe and that is why a lot of recipes are often “no- bake”. However, some like a subtle “New York style” cheesecake and that is where a baked option come in. This recipe can be either baked or none baked; your choice!

How Do I Get That Swirl?

Quite simply it just requires the compote to be placed in parallel lines which get swirled with a knife by dragging it in the opposite (perpendicular ) direction.

Tips for Success

-Use parchment paper to easily remove the bars. Otherwise the bars may burn and it may be challenging to cut them.

-Cream the cream cheese until fluffy and air incorporated do not skip this step!

-When baking the base it is okay if it seem under-baked, it will harder as it cools.

-Strain the compote to make sure the swirls are smooth not chunky with pulp

The Recipe:

Prep timebake or chill timeTotal time
15 mins2 hours2 hrs 15 mins
yields one 8×8 inch pan

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake bars with Oreo Base

Ingredients:

the base:

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbs of crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

the cake

  • 8 0z cream cheese (~226 g)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (vanilla) *greek works too*
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

the compote

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Procedure:

preheat oven to 350 Degrees f and line a 8×8 inch pan with parchment. set aside.

if you have whole Oreo cookies place in a plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin or with a sauce pan until into crumbs. you will need 1 1/3 cups worth.

in a saucepan or in the microwave melt the butter. in a medium bowl combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and sugar then add the melted butter and mix well.

press the cookie mix into the parchment pan and try your best to make sure it is even. Bake for 8-10 mins. Let cool completely.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer. beat until fluffy and smooth~ 5 mins.

Add the yogurt, sugar, vanilla and mix well until all are incorporated equally. add the flour and mix in completely. The batter is now complete!

Pour the batter onto of the cookie base once it is completely cooled. spread it around equally.

For the compote start by simmering the strawberries with about 1/4 cup of water (just enough to cover them) in a saucepan and shimmer on medium until soft. Using a fork or a masher, mash the strawberries until all their juice is extracted. Add the sugar and cornstarch and simmer for 5 minutes on low. Strain into a bowl and only use the strained (smooth) compote. the filling is now complete.

Now for the Swirl! firstly make rivets in parallel lines in the spots where you think the compote will go. Next pour the compote in to fill those small rivets. Perpendicular to those lines swirl with a knife. The patter is complete.

For No-Bake: place in freezer for 25 mins and the cheescake is complete!

For baked: place in the 350 Degrees F oven for 35-40 minutes or until the centre is only slightly soft to touch.

slice. eat. enjoy.

Happy Baking

Mixed Berry mini Galettes

Buttery crunchy crust with soft sweet Berries

About the Galettes:

A galette is a french dessert that traditionally involves some form of a flat pastry topped with fruit. Often galettes are one large pastry which gets cut like a pie in slices. However, this recipe makes mini rounds instead of one large one!

The galette dough/crust is similar to that of a pie; flaky, buttery, and perfect with an egg wash and sugar coated:)

The fruit is as simple as it gets. It tastes just like a compote. The fruit is left simple to keep its natural flavour the star. All it requires is a bit of sugar and cornstarch added with some acidity from a lemon or orange and then it’s done!

Topped with ice cream or whipping cream eaten with a fork/knife or by hand (easier with these mini ones) and the galette is a fresh french dessert!

The Method:

The dough: 5 ingredients for this dough! consisting of flour, salt, sugar, cold unsalted butter, and sour cream. Well mixed until it forms a ball and that’s all it takes.

Freezing: The dough then gets separated into 8 mini balls and wrapped in plastic wrap to be refrigerated for about 1 hour or 30 mins in the freezer. This will help the gluten relax, make it easier to roll out, and ultimately make sure the galettes come out of the oven roughly the same size/shape as they go in.

Rolling discs: Once out of the fridge/freezer the balls get rolled into mini discs about 1/4 inch thick.

The fruit: the mixed berries fresh or frozen get lightly tossed in a bowl with a small amount of sugar, cornstarch, and acidity. Either lemon or orange juice works. The fruit gets placed in the middle of the discs and the edges get rolled up and pinched so the fruit has a border and will not slide away.

The egg-wash: to make these galettes crunchy an egg is brushed on the outsides and course sugar is topped.

Bake and top: the galettes are then baked at 375 degrees F for ~ 30-40 minutes and topped with powdered sugar and ice cream!

Crucial ingredients:

Sour cream: this adds ample fat to the dough as sour cream is one of the fattiest diary ingredients among milk, cream, buttermilk etc. This fat allows the gluten strands from the flour in the dough to stay short. Essentially making the dough tender and flaky!

Unsalted butter cold: refrigerating or freezing should not be skipped! it is so important for the butter to be cold. This helps retain shape making the outcome look similar to the pre-baked shape.

Cornstarch/acidity: In order to make sure the fruit does not become a soupy liquid mess the cornstarch absorbs that liquid. The acidity of lemon or orange also adds great flavour.

The Recipe:

Mini Mixed Berry Galettes

Prep timeBake timeTotal time
1 hour~30-40 mins~1 40 mins
yields: 8 mini galettes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg *for egg wash*
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh mixed berries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice

Procedure:

Prepare the dough: in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar. Once well combined add in the unsalted butter in cubes and the sour cream. Use two knives, a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers to mix in the butter until small pea clumps are left and it appears incorporated. use the sour cream to help the butter mix in easier. Once done the dough should be a large ball.

Separate the dough into 8 equal balls the best you can. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1 hour in the fridge or 30 mins in the freezer.

Once it is getting closer to the end time of the chilling process for the dough, start making the filling and preheat the oven to 375 Degrees F.

For the filling: in a medium bowl add the frozen or fresh berries and add the cornstarch and acidity. gently mix with a fork and set aside.

On a lightly floured flat surface roll out each ball of dough into 8 separate discs about 1/4 inch thick. Place these discs on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the fruit in the centre of the dough disc. fold the edges up and pinch them as you would for pie crust. Brush with egg wash and top with course sugar!

Bake the galettes at 375 Degrees F for 30-40 mins until golden!

Enjoy!

Happy Baking

Neapolitan Cake : Chocolate, Strawberry & Vanilla

You’ll love this Three layer, Three flavour cake with that sweet tooth of yours!

The sweetest buttercream you’ve ever had sandwiched between rich chocolatey flavours, refreshing strawberry hints, and classic vanilla cake!

About This Cake:

Neapolitan Cake combines Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla in an equally sweet and rich bite! It is truly the cake for those who cannot decide upon just one single flavour πŸ™‚

Not too moist and not too dense. This recipe makes for a texture of cake perfectly in between the two. This cake is all about the flavour!

Buttercream frosting in between each layer that compliments all three. Rich chocolate and vanilla buttercream, delicious. Fresh strawberry and vanilla buttercream, delicious. Finally, double vanilla cake and buttercream, delicious.

The Process: 5 steps

  1. Make the batter:

In order to achieve three separate flavours we start by making one large batch of vanilla cake batter and then separate it into three bowls. Two of the bowls change flavour and one stays vanilla. The chocolate batter is then achieved by adding a couple tablespoons of cocoa powder and oil – to account for the added dryness. The strawberry is a combination of a quick strawberry syrup and pink food colouring for extra effect! we take a few strawberries and boil them with sugar, strain, and pour the syrup (not the pulp) into the batter. After which the three batters are complete!

2. Bake & Assemble:

We bake the cakes for ~25 mins and let cool for about an hour. In the meantime, the buttercream gets whipped up! Similarly to the cake it starts as one big batch of vanilla buttercream, then gets changed into three: Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla. The vanilla portion is greater than the other two because it is used in between layers. Once the cakes are cooled and the buttercream is ready it is simply just stacking the layers with a generous amount of buttercream in-between and setting in the freezer to firm up for ~15 mins.

3. Ice the perimeter:

After the cake has firmed up from the freezer we want to ice a thin layer around the exterior of the cake, and then a slightly thicker layer with the two other flavours, chocolate and strawberry.

4. Smoothing the frosting:

In order to achieve an ombre type look between the colours a nice trick is to dip the flat spatula in warm water before smoothing the sides. The warm water will help the fluidity of the frosting glide along the edge of the blade.

5. Decorate/Pipe and Enjoy!

Lastly, you can get creative in decorating by piping other details or adding a border around the bottom as i have done πŸ™‚ it’s a creative adventure in this step!

Neapolitan Cake: Chocolate, Strawberry & Vanilla

The recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour *cake or all purpose
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter *room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Additions for different layers

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2-3 strawberries
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
Prep timeBake + cool timeTotal time
25 mins1 3o mins2 hours
Yields: three 8×10 in cakes

Procedure:

Step 1)

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F (177 C) and line three 8×10 baking sheets with parchment or oil with nonstick spray.

Step 2)

In a large mixing bowl sift together the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. whisk so they are all combined.set aside.

Step 3)

In another bowl, medium sized, creamed the unsalted butter for a couple minutes until softened. Add the granulated sugar and cream for 3 minutes until fluffy and whipped look appears. add the vanilla and eggs one at a time. keep mixing until all the eggs look well incorporated.

Step 4)

Combine the wet mixture into the flour mixture and add the milk/buttermilk in doing so, so that the flour clumps mix more smoothly. finally add the oil and mix until smooth batter appears.

pour the batters into their cake pans and bake for ~25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean! Let cool for about an hour.

Step 8)

spread a think layer of buttercream around the perimeter. Then spread anther exterior layer but this time with the other two colours. (pictured right) * a trick to smooth icing can be to dip the flat cake spatula in warm water every so often*

Step 5)

Separate the batter into three bowls. Decide which will be; Strawberry, Chocolate, and Vanilla.

To make the strawberry: place 2-3 strawberries in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons sugar. simmer on medium until syrup appears (3-4 mins). Let cool and pour into the other bowl of batter. mix well and add pink food colouring as desired!

To make the chocolate add 2 Tablespoons of cocoa and 1 Tbsp milk into that bowl. Mix completely until no cocoa lumps appear.

Step 7)

Place the first layer of cake on a plate, stand, or tray and spread about 3/4 cup worth of buttercream evenly around. Place the Second layer on top, then the third. Set in the freezer to firm up for ~15 minutes.

Happy Baking!

Buttercream

In a large bowl cream together the unsalted butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add the buttermilk slowly and watch for desired consistency. More liquid or powdered sugar may be needed to achieve a consistency you like.

Star Bread: oozing with flavour

Sweet Strawberry jam oozing out of soft pull apart bread. Sounds good to me! Star bread is a lovely bread to display on your counter and it truly invites you to go on and pull off a twist! Whether it’s jam or Nutella, or even cinnamon sugar the possibilities are endless. Happy Baking!

The Method

A quick overview of the steps: More detailed in the Recipe itself

  1. The dough: This dough recipe is a very simple one that anyone can master. However, it does take patience. With yeast, sugar, milk ,butter, egg and flour, it can be whipped up pretty quick! however, the importance is the rising. This dough will need 90-120 mins to rise.
  2. Rolling out layers: In order to achieve layers of filling (jam, Nutella, cinnamon etc) we have to roll out 4 discs of dough like mini pizza being spread with pizza sauce. Except we will be using filling not sauce πŸ™‚ After, we will stack all four discs.
  3. The cut and twist: This part gets a little messier as the filling oozes, but fear not! it’s super fun . In the centre of the stacked and filing spread dough, we will place a cup to make a circle ring in the centre as a reference for equal length strips. We will then cut 16 strips and twist them to make 8 peaks of the star shape.
  4. The egg wash: brush with egg wash and bake! Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Tips to consider:

Jam filled !
  • Filling with jam, Nutella, or a spread that is slightly sticky, try to make sure not to overfill. A good way to ensure you do not spread too much on each dough layer is to leave a ring of untouched dough around each disc.
  • When filling try not to leave excess filling on the bottom, otherwise it may burn or stick to the pan/parchment. I suggest wiping up any that fell before putting in he oven πŸ™‚
  • Be sure to use an egg-wash or buttermilk for those crisp edges. If you choose not to. it will turn out nice as well. It will just be a sightly softer bread.
prep timebake time total time
~2 30 mins *includes rising~30 mins~3 hours
Serves 8

The Recipe

Star Bread : Jam filled

Ingredients:

The dough:

  • 2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour + more for rolling later
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

ideas: jam, jelly, Nutella, cinnamon, savoury cheese scallion, etc.

  • Remember the EGG WASH!

Procedure

Step 1) Make the dough.

In a large bowl place the yeast and sugar and warm the milk in a saucepan until just before it simmers/boils or in the microwave for about 40-45 seconds. pour the warm milk onto the yeat and sugar and cover with a towl for 5-7 mins. it should look frothy once done.

Step 2)

Add the butter, flour, egg, and salt to the yeast mixture. You can use your hands or a mixer with a dough hook attachment to mix all the ingredients together until well combined. If it seems quite sticky an additional couple Tablespoons of flour can be added. Not too much!

Step 3)

Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for 90-120 minutes until it has doubled in size. A nice place for the dough is in the oven on a very low temperature such as “keep warm” or 150 degrees F. After preheated turn the temperature off and the warmth will still linger inside ! perfect temperature for dough! On the kitchen counter works as well.

Step 4)

The filling and assembling:

Take the dough and split it into 4 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface roll the balls out into equal size discs as best you can. Spread your filling on each as if spreading pizza sauce on mini pizzas! now, stack each disc on-top of each-other into a pile. place a glass in the center and make a subtle indent so you can see where the center is to ensure the strips being cut are roughly the same length. First, cut four equal sections around the center. next, cut those all in half, making 8 strips. finally, cut each of those in half, ending with 16 strips. Now, take two strips at a time and twist them opposite. One cockwise, the other counterclockwise, meeting at the end and pinch them together. Repeat until there are 8 peaks to your star bread! πŸ™‚

Step 5)

Brush with egg wash and finish with course sugar.

Step 6)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F (170 C) and bake for 25-30 mins

Powder sugar. Serve. Enjoy!