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tangy meyer lemon curd…

22 Dec

meyer lemon curd theurbanpocketknife

The colour alone is so sunny!  After stopping at a friend’s house recently, I saw her box of meyer lemons on her counter and asked where she got them from.  Turns out Costco sells 4lb boxes for under $8.  I rarely buy produce at Costco but the next time I went, I made sure to make a beeline for those lemons!

Lemon curd is possibly the most luscious, tangy and sweet spread out there.  And with meyer lemons it adds an extra layer of uniqueness over other citrus.  Made with eggs, butter and sugar, this treat is perfect for tarts, dipping in fruit or really just eating with a spoon!

meyer lemon curd theurbanpocketknife

Use free-range organic eggs for an extra colour boost without having to add food colouring, the orange yolks lend to a deeper yellow in your curd.

Here’s the recipe!

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vanilla pastry cream peach tartlets…

3 Nov

peach tartlets urbanpocketknife

 

I think peaches are the epitome of summer for me, there’s nothing like biting into a tree ripened peach in the sunshine.  It’s only natural that I want to jar this feeling, so every season I can about a dozen jars of peaches with some vanilla pods for good measure.  In the dead of winter, I whip up a few peachy desserts to chase away the dreary weather and remember that summer is just around the corner.

These tartlets are crazy easy with lots of shortcuts should you decide that you need an impromptu dessert.

Here’s the recipe!

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auntie’s famous pineapple carrot cake…

9 Jul
pineapple carrot cake theurbanpocketknife

Clearly I didn’t wait for the cake to cool enough and the icing went a bit oozy, didn’t matter though, it still tasted amazing!

 

This spring I went to New York to visit some cuzzies and family, I had no idea but apparently my auntie makes this amazing cake that everyone scarfs down whenever it’s in sight.  It’s probably the best carrot cake I’ve ever eaten, it’s super moist and the chunks of pineapple makes it extra special.  And of course, because my family loves excess, everyone insists that you have to make double the icing…they are not wrong.

Here’s the recipe!

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homemade nutella…

17 Jun

nutella theurbanpocketknife

A crazy friend of mine gleaned about 65lbs of hazelnuts from a farm after they had finished picking their harvest.  Do you know what 65lbs looks like?  A lot…a lot, a lot.  She was very excited and offered me a bucket of my own, how could I say no?!?!  I stored them for a while wondering what I could do with them and clearly Nutella had to be made…clearly.  So off I went to buy a typical lobster claw looking nut cracker.  Fail.  Hazelnuts are hard man, so it was either blistering my hands or crushing the daylights out of those nuts.

There was no way I was going to crack all those hazelnuts with that nutcracker so I bought another one of a different design, more like a cup that squeezes the whole nut and applies pressure evenly…success!

On to the hazelnut chocolate spread, man is it tasty!  A little bit on the chunky side but I like how it has an after taste of savoury from the salt.

Here’s the recipe!

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chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies…

13 Jun

chocolate peanut butter whoopie pie urbanpocketknife

You say whoopie pies and half the people have no idea what you’re talking about, I prefer to call them dessert burgers because really you can make them that big and they’ll be scarfed down like no tomorrow.  I’m assuming that these desserts are a pretty old timey baked good judging by the name but there’s nothing like sinking your teeth into the cakey buns, getting a burst of sweet from the filling with an aftertaste of salt (because we all know that’s what makes chocolate and peanut butter so good!).

Fairly easy to make, you just need a bit of patience as there is a cooling period…nobody wants runny whoopie pies…nobody.

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coconut red bean dessert…

11 Jun

coconut red bean the urbanpocketknife

In general I don’t think Chinese desserts are all that great, they can make some lovely fresh cream shortcakes but really that’s all about it, everything is pretty mediocre and I would definitely make a beeline to the nearest European bakery over a Chinese one.  There is one thing that has always been dear to my heart though, the infamous red bean dessert.  Who ever thought beans would be delicious sweet, it’s pretty odd but growing up on this stuff made me love it even more.  There are a million variations on this dessert but in essence you cook adzuki beans to death, add sugar and make it into dessert soup or thick paste and add it to pastries and other delights.

coconut red bean the urbanpocketknife

I take about 1 cup of adzuki beans and soak them overnight in water, lots of water because those suckers do expand.  The next day, I rinse them off and put them in a pot covering them with about 2″ of water above the actual beans.  Set the stove on high and let it come to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  It takes about an hour for it to become soft, nudge the beans a bit here and there and keep topping up the water if it evaporates too much.

After you’e achieved the doneless (smush it and see if it breaks apart easily) add about 3/4 cup of sugar and mix well.  Let it continue to cook at a simmer and let the water evaporate this time, the length depends on how mushy or dry you want your paste to be, personally I like it to be a 50/50 of mushed and whole beans.

You can choose to sweeten your coconut milk or not but the whole shabang does taste better cold.  Add just a little bit of coconut water for a spoonable dessert, or add a bunch to make it into a classic red bean coconut drink.

coconut red bean the urbanpocketknife

banoffee pie…aka banana toffee pie…

5 Feb

banoffee pie the urbanpocketknife

Couple of years ago I hosted a pie party contest (not a pie eating contest, although that would also be entertaining) and my friends totally delivered and we got 19 very different pies.  However, only one was savoury so the end of the night was filled with sugar coma friends that I had to shovel out the door.  This year I made it pretty clear that we had to have a good number of savoury pies to help offset our greedy dessert bellies.

Although I love being in my kitchen, I do like the simplicity of not slaving in the kitchen the day of any gathering.  Banoffee is apparently a classic English pie that delivers some pretty strong flavours of banana and dulce de leche and could not be any less fussy as it is a 100% no bake recipe.  Prepare to clog your arteries and have diabetes, there is a lot of butter and sugar in this pie!

Here’s the recipe!

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