Peoplewhoeat’s Weblog

July 1, 2011

Sweet N’ Sour Cream

Filed under: Dessert, Dips, Fruit — Tags: , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 3:23 pm

A lovely assortment of fresh berries with Sweet N' Sour Cream for dessert

This has always been a summer treat in my house–I personally just like to dip fresh fruit (particularly raspberries) in it, but we’ve also used it as an alternative to whipped cream to top fruity summer baked goods. I believe there is some fancy french name for this, but I don’t know what that may be…

All you do for this is mix some brown sugar into sour cream (this is one place where I really notice a difference between low-fat and full-fat sour cream). For dip for a dessert-sized portion of mixed berries, I usually mix two heaping spoonfuls of sour cream with a spoonful of brown sugar. Mix in the brown sugar and let it set a short while until it’s all dissolved.


December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies

I was under de facto house arrest for a large portion of my winter break, so I took the opportunity to explore some new Christmas cookie recipes. My Mom made her usual assortment: Pinwheels, Nutella Stars, Sandtart Trees, Thumbprints, Russian Tea Cakes and Rugulach (unfortunately I don’t have her recipes, but if I get them, there will be some follow-up here). I made these:

These are probably my new favorite: Coffee-Spice Shortbread

If you don’t have a tart pan, you can also use a cake pan with removable sides. You just want to be able to get to the shortbread without making a mess of it.

These are delicious and gorgeous, but kind of difficult: Chocolate Peppermint Pinwheels

A few tips:
Make sure you crush the living daylights out of the peppermints or candy canes. Any large pieces will make it REALLY difficult to make slices of the roll.
The chocolate dough is hard to work with, but delicious. Just tough it out.
These cookies don’t expand very much, so if any of them look less than perfect when you cut them (as many probably will) squish them back together before you bake them. They’ll look pretty much exactly the same when you take them out as when you put them in.
The peppermint melts, so you’ll want to take measures to still be able to get them off the pan.

I also used red and green M&Ms in my usual chocolate chip cookies:

If I were to do it again, I would put in a little extra flour and use parchment paper or something. They spread a little too much, making the M&Ms bleed and stick. Still delicious, though!

October 9, 2010

Crabapple Bread

Filed under: Baked items, Breakfast, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 7:35 pm

Crabapples are (generally) free, so I went outside and picked a lot of them, and realized that the only thing I knew to do with them was make jelly…except I don’t have the get-up to can things. So after some googling and some experimenting I present to you: crabapple bread! (Be warned, though, coring crabapples is not fun!)

Makes one standard-size loaf.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons buttermilk
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 cups crabapples, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped

For optional streusel topping:
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
Cinnamon, nutmeg (or other sweet spices) to taste

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and buttermilk. Then add dry ingredients. Fold in crabapples. It will be a goopier texture than many sweet bread batters; don’t worry! I think it’s because the crabapples are themselves a bit watery.

Bake at 350* for a little over an hour, until a knife inserted comes out cleanly.

If you want to add the streusel topping (which I recommend!). Chop the almonds finely (use a food processor), then add the butter, sugar and spices, and continue chopping/mixing until it reaches a sandy/crumbly texture. After a half hour of baking, remove the half-baked bread from the oven, add the topping, and then continue baking.


May 30, 2010

Apple Snow

Filed under: Dessert, Fruit, Healthy, Snacks, Vegetarian — Tags: , , , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 11:14 pm

This is another thing that the rest of America probably realized years ago and I’m just now catching on to, but I thought I’d share the amazingness in case I wasn’t the only one in the dark.

Take applesauce. Put it in a bowl. Put the bowl in the freezer. Stir after about a half hour. Take it out when it has the texture of snow. Eat (one can only have so much ice cream, after all)


October 17, 2009

Banana cookies

Filed under: Baked items, Dessert — Tags: , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 4:42 pm

In an attempt to use up two bunches of blackening bananas, I made a recipe I’d found on Simply Recipes, adapted for my starter (read: no spices) kitchen and my preferences. These come out as very soft, cakey cookies – almost spongey, in fact, even after cooling.


120g butter, room temperature (I used salted; if you use unsalted, add a pinch of salt when you add the flour)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup mashed bananas (I used three bananas, which was a heaping cup)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
Scant cup chopped white chocolate chunks

1) Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (or 350F)

2) Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg and keep beating until creamy.

3) Add baking soda to mashed bananas and let stand a minute or two (this apparently helps give the cookies their lightness)

4) Mix banana mixture into butter mixture. I did mix it pretty thoroughly using a mixture to get rid of any latent banana chunks and to beat in air.

5) Sift flour into banana-butter mixture and stir until just combined.

6) Fold in chocolate chunks.

7) Drop onto a greased baking sheet. I used a tablespoon measure. They do spread a fair bit so take that into account. Bake for 11 – 14 minutes until ligtly golden brown. Let sit for a minute or so to firm up, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

October 13, 2008

Proper Brownies

Filed under: Dessert, Snacks — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 3:05 am

In my house cake, muffins, and brownies all had distinctly different textures.  I notice this difference disappearing in most commercial bakeries.  Try a proper brownie, they really are an entirely different food than just small pieces of chocolate cake!

Recipe for a 13×9 (in.) cake pan:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a baking pan lined with foil.

Melt in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate

Let cool.

Beat until light in color and foamy in texture:
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt

Gradually add and continue beating until thick:
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

With a few swift strokes, stir in the cooled chocolate mixture just until comvines.  Even if you are using an electric mixer, switch to a wooden spoon for this.  Stir until just combined:
1 cup all-purpose flour

Gently stir in, if desired:
1 cup chopped nuts (or other goodies)

Scape batter into the prepared pan.  Bake about 25 minutes.  Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

-From “The Joy of Cooking”


September 28, 2008

Profiteroles filled with Creme Patisserie and covered in Chocolate Butter Sauce

Filed under: Dessert — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 10:29 pm

Here’s a fancy and impressive dessert recipe to try!

Profiteroles filled with Creme Patisserie and covered in Chocolate Butter Sauce

For Profiteroles:

65 g / 2.5 oz. flour
50g/ 2 oz. Butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
120 ml/ 4 fl. oz. Water
1 egg beaten with 2 tbsps. milk (for brushing)

Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F.  Grease cupcake tray with 12 depressions at least.

Put butter and water in saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously until butter melts.  Bring to boil then remove from heat.  Add all flour and salt and stir until well mixed.

Return saucepan to medium heat and stir mixture continuously until it comes away from the sides of the pan.

Add two eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth.

Spoon pasty into tray.  Whisk remaining egg with milk and brush the resulting mixture over the pastry.

Bake in oven 25-30 minutes.  Poke each profiterole with a sharp knife or fork to release the steam.  Leave to cool.

For Creme Patisserie

1 Tbsp Flour
7 Fl. Oz. Hot Milk
2.5 Oz. Sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tsp. vanilla

Beat egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl

Add flour and stir in

Heat milk in saucepan.  When hot (but not boiling!) slowly pout into egg, sugar, and flour mixture.  Mix well.

Return mixture to saucepan and cook on low-medium heat, stirring constantly.  The mixture will start to turn lumpy, keep stirring until it recovers a uniform consistency and add vanilla.  The resulting mixture should taste very like thick custard.  Add more sugar if desired.

For Chocolate Butter Sauce:

225 g./ 8 oz. Plain Chocolate, broken into pieces
250 ml/ 8 fl. oz. Water
90 g./ 3.5 oz. butter, but into pieces

Stir chocolate pieces and water together in a saucepan over low heat until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until the mixture is glossy.

Open the profiteroles, fill with custard, and douse in chocolate sauce.


September 10, 2008

Small Batch Baking

Filed under: Dessert, Healthy — Tags: , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 5:57 am

Every time I feel like trying out a dessert recipe, im struck with the same old notion : it’ll probably go to waste! Coming from a family of fairly health conscious eaters (Im sure most of us are these days…..although i have a very very demanding sweet tooth), and one thats not very large, my sweets often get comfortable in a little corner in the fridge, only touched once in a while, when someone gets that intense sugar craving or if friends come to visit. As a result of this, i went in search of a recipe that produced a small quantity of my all time favourite snack : a crispy, granola inspired cookie. I baked them yesterday and I’m proud to say they are hardly any left, probably because there were only about 10 cookies to begin with!

This recipe was originally for chocolate chip cookies but i substitued the chips for oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, cashews and almonds! You can use anything really.. all that matters is that you get the basic dough right.

2 tbsp + 2 tsp butter (room temp)

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp egg (well beaten)

1/4 tbsp vanilla

1/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour

scant 1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1/3 cup chocolate chips or A handful each of oats, sunflower seeds, dessicated coconut, chopped almonds and chopped cashews

1. Cream the butter and sugar.

2. Mix in eggs and vanilla.

3. Stir in the dry ingredients.

4. On a greased cookie sheet, place balls of dough (size according to your prefference) and press them slightly so they flatten. Be sure to leave some space between each ball as the cookies expand as they bake.

5. Bake at 190 degrees celcius for about 8-11 minutes.


August 9, 2008

FroYo (empasis on the Yogurt)

I’ve recently discovered and come to love a new food trend: Frozen Yogurt.  Now, I know you’re thinking of the stuff you’re used to that is basically diet ice cream.  This is different: this is amazing.  It is literally yogurt which has been frozen.  It still has the yogurt tang.  Delicious!  Here are two places where you can try some:

Tangy Sweet ( in Dupont Circle, Washington DC.
Has more flavors and toppings.  The Green Tea flavor is awesome!

SweetGreen ( on M Street, Georgetown, Washington DC.
Has wonderfully tasty salads, as well!

Even Columbus, OH has gotten in on the game, with Red Mango!

Know of any other places to get some?  Share with us!


PS: A great place to get a really good frozen yoghurt in London is at Muffinski’s, which is in 5 King Street, quite near Covent Garden. You can get a whole range of fruity flavours, including raspberry (delicious!), strawberry, blackberry, banana and, as far as I can remember, mango. The muffins are really nice too!
— Chloe

August 4, 2008

dark chocolate and orange…

Filed under: Baked items, Dessert — Tags: , , , , , , — peoplewhoeat @ 1:36 am

Since returning home about a month ago, ive rarely ventured into the kitchen… barring the occasional snack raid. My grandma and aunts are always refusing any kind of assistance while preparing lavish feasts for the family (nearly every weekend)…. and if its not that, i find myself dining out almost every other day as there are always new places to try out and people to catch up with.

Worried that i might lose that baker’s touch (yes, i sometimes like to believe that ive been bestowed with such a gift), i decided try out a recipe that i found in one of the books my aunt had lying around. I found the exact same recipe on BBC Good Food so im going to shamelessly steal the picture from there. My cake looked pretty simillar to this one, except it was a square cake and i decorated it with a dusting of confectioners sugar as opposed to candied orange peel.  

While the cake turned out amazingly moist (thanks to the sunflower oil), the orange flavour is very VERY subtle. This may be due to the fact that i didnt bother looking for a seville orange.. and just used what was lying in my fridge. Also, reducing the sugar by about 50 grams is a good idea, as the dark chocolate ganache more than makes up for it.     

Ingredients :

  • 1 Seville orange
  • a little melted butter , for greasing
  • 100g plain chocolate , broken into pieces
  • 3 eggs
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240ml sunflower oil
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • orange candied peel , to decorate
  • Method :

    1. Pierce the orange with a skewer (right through). Cook in boiling water for 30 minutes until soft. Whizz the whole orange in a food processor until smooth; let cool.
    2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4/fan 160C.Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round cake tin. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water or in the microwave for 2 minutes on High, stirring after 1 minute. Let cool.
    3. In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs, sugar and oil. Gradually beat in the puréed orange, discarding any pips, then stir in the cooled melted chocolate. Sift in the cocoa, flour and baking powder. Mix well and pour into the tin. Bake in the centre of the oven for 55 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the middle. (Check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if it is browning too much.) Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
    4. Make the chocolate ganache: put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to the boil and pour over the chocolate. Leave for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth. Set aside until firm enough to spread over the cake – up to 1½ hours.
    5. Transfer the cake to a serving plate. Using a palette knife, swirl the ganache over the top. Decorate with strips of candied orange peel.
    6. Since my cake tin was slightly smaller in width, my cake turned out to be slightly taller. So, once it cooled down, i sliced the cake into half (horizontally), spread some ganache on one slice, then placed the other slice on top and finally swirled it over the whole cake.


    Eat well… because life’s too short not to!


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