Thursday, May 28, 2015

Treacle Tart- from Harry Potter

Fun Fact: Harry Potter is our favorite book series. We can't tell you how many times we have read and re-read it. Our favorite characters are Fred and George (The part where Fred died, almost nearly killed us too!). Growing up with the books and movies was the greatest! No matter how old we grow, Harry Potter will always have a special part in our hearts (It's our goal in life to visit the Harry Potter Wizarding World in Florida & Harry Potter Museum in London). P.S. we know we're nerds :)

So, if you've read Harry Potter, than you know that Treacle Tart is Harry's favorite dessert. If you haven't read it (you should!), than you might not have ever heard of Treacle Tart before. Either way, it is a classical English dessert.

The ingredients, when you first read them, do sound odd and a little unorthodox for a dessert, but don't knock it till you try it, right?

The tart crust for this is absolutely delicious! When we were making it, we couldn't stay out of it. After we made the tart, we had some left over, so we made mini tarts in creme brulee dishes. We made strawberry jam, grape jelly, and chocolate ones. When we made this recipe, we failed to remember to buy lemon juice, so the first time we made it, we didn't put it in there at all (not a good choice). Then, we had some lime juice, so we used that. It definitely wasn't as good as it would have been if we had used lemon juice, but it was still definitely far from horrible. Lesson learned: use lemon juice! 

The recipe we used was from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook, which we got from the library, or you can buy it here if you would like.


  • Tart Crust

    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 sticks cold butter, cut into chunks
    • 2 cold large egg yolks
    • 1/3 cup cold heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Filling
    • 1 cup golden syrup or light molasses or corn syrup
    • 2 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs
    • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water, for brushing the crust
    1. For the crust, place the flour, confectioners' sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Scatter the pieces of butter over the mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse yellow meal without any white powdery bits remaining, about 20 pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Beat the egg yolks with cream and vanilla and pour them into the flour-butter mixture. Toss with a spatula until the dough clumps together. If the dough is too dry, add 1 more tablespoon of heavy cream (better too wet than too dry). Divide the dough in half, form into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
    2. Just before you are ready to roll out the dough, prepare the filling. Warm the golden syrup in a saucepan until it is runny, or microwave it for 1 minute. Combine the golden syrup, breadcrumbs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and mix well.
    3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out the larger disk into an 11-inch circle. Fold it into quarters, brush off excess flour with a pastry brush after each fold, then unfold it into a 9-inch tart pan, easing the sides gently into the pan and pressing the dough down into the fluted edges. Trim the dough even with the rim. Roll out the second disk 1/8-inch thick. Cut the dough into long strips for the lattice topping.
    4. Scrape the filling into the prepared crust and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Lay half the strips of dough over the filling in one direction and the other half in the opposite direction to form a lattice. Trim the overhang. Gently brush the beaten egg over the lattice.
    5. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for another 25 minutes until the crust is browned and the filling puffs up in the center. Serve warm with custard or whipped cream.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

    I (Georgia) love cheesecake, but I can no longer eat dairy. So disappointing! It used to be one of my favorite desserts. Ashley on the other hand never really cared for cheesecake. We are happy to say that we finally found a cheesecake she likes! It just happens to be vegan and gluten-free!
     Here are the ingredients you will need: maple syrup, lemon juice, olive oil, cocoa powder, coconut milk, chocolate chips, dates, raw cashews, and oats. There aren't too many ingredients and it is super easy and quick. Just make sure you remember to soak your cashews so that they blend easily. 
     We also soaked our dates for a few minutes if they aren't super soft to make them easier to blend when you make the crust. If you are worried about making this dessert entirely gluten-free, make sure you buy certified gluten-free oats. A lot of oats are processed in the same facilities as wheat which causes cross-contamination.
     What we like about this vegan cheesecake is that it doesn't have to be kept in the freezer like most of the other recipes we have been able to find. It can be kept in the refrigerator and is able to sit at room temperature without starting to melt.
     You can find the recipe at Minimalist Baker.
    We hope you try and love this recipe as much as we do!

    Monday, May 11, 2015

    Flourless Brownies

    We have a family member who cannot eat gluten so we are always looking for flourless or gluten-free baked goods. These brownies were absolutely delicious! They are definitely for chocolate lovers!
     The edges of these brownies are chewy while the insides are fudgy and delicious. We think that these are the closest to boxed brownies that we have tried yet, and they are super easy to make.
     The only thing we thought would make these brownies better is if the recipe made more, but this can be fixed by doubling the recipe!
     The recipe calls for semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you could easily substitute milk chocolate chips if you are not a fan of darker chocolate, or, if you love dark chocolate, you could use dark chocolate chips.  

    We change the original recipe a little by using butter in place of the coconut oil and cornstarch in place of the arrowroot powder. 
    The recipe comes from Running with Spoons

    We hope you love these brownies as much as we did! How often do you bake gluten-free or flourless? We do it every now and then, but we hope we can start doing more of it! Let us know if you try these brownies!