Elegant Pear Cake

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

pear cake

This quote seems to perfectly describe this lovely, simple pear cake. It’s the kind of cake that looks so simple, yet it is utterly satisfying. A plush crumb, thanks to a bit of cornstarch, and the subtle sweetness of very ripe pears creates such a pleasurable cake.

pear cake

I have baked this cake a few times. I find myself craving this cake in autumn and winter, when pears are in season. Of course, it’s delicious any time of year. It makes an elegant finish to a lunch or dinner with family or friends. I like to serve it with a dollop of thick, rich cream or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I think it would be wonderful if paired with salted caramel ice cream, as well.

pear cake

Enjoy…

Elegant Pear Cake

A plush crumb, thanks to a bit of cornstarch, and subtle sweetness of very ripe pears creates such a pleasurable cake.

Recipe adapted slightly from Manger.

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe large pears, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 150g/ 1 ¼ cups cup all-purpose flour
  • 150g/ ¾ cup caster sugar
  • 6g/ 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 30g/ ¼ cup/ 4 Tbsp cornstarch/ cornflour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 90g/ 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp or slightly melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • Icing mixture/ powdered sugar, to sprinkle on top (optional)

To serve:

  • Whipped cream, dolloping cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or salted caramel ice cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 360F/ 180C/ 160 C fan-forced. Line a 24 cm/ 9 inch springform cake pan with baking paper/ parchment paper and spray with oil.
  2. Using a mixer, cream the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In a large bowl, sift flour. Add cornstarch/ cornflour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder and whisk together.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar and eggs and mix well.
  5. Add the vanilla and butter and mix until the batter is smooth.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Drop the pear chunks into the batter. Gently push down each piece of pear. It’s ok if the pears stick up a bit.
  8. Bake cake for 25-30 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan on a rack, until it can be carefully removed from pan.
  9. Before serving, lightly sprinkle sifted icing mixture/ powdered sugar on top of cake, if you like.
  10. Serve cake with a little whipped cream, dolloping cream, vanilla bean ice cream, or salted caramel ice cream, if you like (definitely recommended). The cake is really delicious when served warm and fresh from the oven.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2019 for a delicious moment.

 

Advertisements

Feijoa Muffins

Feijoa Muffins

When my son was in kindergarten, last year, he loved to bring home the fruit from the feijoa tree they had there. When the feijoas were ripe, he’d fill his little backpack with them, so proud of his finds. Their lovely, sweet apple-like taste and beautiful fragrance was new to me, and I began to look forward to getting more feijoas each day.

For those of you who haven’t heard of feijoas, here’s a little info on them from Wikipedia: “The feijoa is the fruit of Acca sellowiana, an evergreen shrub or small tree, 1-7 m in height. It comes from the highlands of southern Brazil, parts of Colombia, Uruguay, Paraguay and northern Argentina. They are also grown throughout Azerbaijan, Iran (Ramsar), Georgia, Russia (Sochi), New Zealand, and Tasmania. The fruit is also called the ‘pineapple guava’ or ‘guavasteen’.”

Feijoa trees also grow here in South Australia. The fruit is not available in my local grocery store, unfortunately. I wish the shops would stock feijoas here in South Australia. In this area, unless you or someone you know is lucky enough to have a feijoa tree, it is not that easy to get the fruit. We had a feijoa tree at the first house Glen and I lived in together, when I first moved to Australia from America. Neither one of us knew what the tree was, at first. We weren’t very good at determining when the fruit was ripe, either. Now I know what to look for. The fruit should be soft but not too soft. It is only ripe and edible for about 2-3 days. It will fall to the ground when ripe and ready to eat, but you can pick them just before then, to prevent bruising. The ripe fruit has a wonderful perfume. Just having a bowl of feijoas on the kitchen counter is heavenly, for their wonderful scent.

Feijoas in Bowl

One day, Levi brought home so many feijoas, I knew we couldn’t eat them all while they were still ripe. He told me that his teacher had baked a cake with them, so I started hunting online for feijoa cake recipes. We didn’t have quite enough fruit for a cake, so I decided to try a muffin recipe instead.

The following day, my son and I baked a batch of feijoa muffins together, and they turned out to be delicious. Since feijoas are in season, again, I thought I should share the recipe with you today. I just wish I could buy some feijoas in my local grocery store, or I knew someone with a feijoa tree, so I could bake a batch of these muffins myself this weekend!

 

Feijoa Muffins

It’s a very simple, straightforward recipe. The funny thing was, when I tried the recipe, I accidentally used twice as much baking powder as it called for. The muffins turned out to be so light and fluffy and beautifully domed, I decided to keep the amount I used in the recipe I’m sharing with you. Sometimes we have such happy accidents in the kitchen! My other change to the original recipe was to sprinkle coarse sugar (which is “coffee sugar” here in Australia) on top of the muffins before baking, to add sweetness and crunch, rather than doing the lime glaze on top that the original recipe used. I didn’t have a lime, and I really wanted the feijoa flavour to be the star of the show. It was definitely the right decision.

These feijoa muffins are delightfully fruity, lightly sweet, fluffy, and fragrant. They’re just lovely. They are perfect for morning tea. Mother’s Day is coming up, next weekend, and these muffins would be a wonderful treat for the occasion.

Feijoa Muffins

Enjoy the recipe…

Feijoa Muffins

These feijoa muffins are delightfully fruity, lightly sweet, fluffy, and fragrant. They're just lovely.

This recipe was adapted from Food Forest.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1/2 cup peeled, finely diced feijoas
  • 125 g/ ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • A few spoonfulls of coarse sugar (coffee sugar in Australia)

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour. Whisk in baking powder and caster sugar.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Gently fold the diced feijoas into the egg mixture.
  3. Gently stir the egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Gently stir in the butter.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between 12 cups of a well-greased or lined muffin pan. Sprinkle the tops with a little coarse sugar before baking.
  5. Bake muffins at 220°C/ 425°F for 15-20 minutes, until evenly baked. Use a toothpick to test the centre of a muffin in the middle of the pan, to test for doneness. The toothpick should have no wet batter, only a couple of crumbs on it, when muffins are fully baked.
  6. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and transfer to cooling rack. Allow muffins to cool on rack for about 5 more minutes before serving.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2019 for a delicious moment.

Apple and Onion Puff Pastry Tart

Today, I’ve got a fabulously easy and delicious tart recipe for you. This Apple and Onion Puff Pastry Tart is a great starter or side dish, which you can easily whip up while getting the rest of your meal together. I made it last year for our Easter lunch, and I knew I just had to share it with you this year.

Apple and Onion Puff Pastry Tart

Sweet apples and onions are a classic pairing in this tart. Their flavours are enhanced by Dijon mustard, cranberry sauce, brie (or just about any other cheese you like), and a little oregano. All of this goodness is layered on top of a simple puff pastry base. These delicious elements come together to make a really tasty tart.

Apple and Onion Puff Pastry Tart

As a side note, this might be one of my last blog posts for a little while, since my baby boy is due to make his grand entrance into the world very soon. If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve already heard the baby news. So, I hope you will come back for more delicious recipes and home inspiration, after my little hiatus. I will do my best to get back into the swing of things, post-baby. I do have a few recipes and decor posts waiting in the wings, which I would love to share with you all, so stay tuned!

Apple and Onion Puff Pastry Tart

Happy Easter to you and yours, to those of you who celebrate the holiday. I hope you will enjoy this tasty tart recipe!

Apple and Onion Puff Pastry Tart

Sweet apples and onions are a classic pairing in this tart. Their flavours are enhanced by Dijon mustard, cranberry sauce, brie (or just about any other cheese you like), and a little oregano. All of this goodness is layered on top of a simple puff pastry base. All of these delicious elements come together to make a really tasty tart.

This recipe was slightly adapted from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

  • 2 squares ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry, defrosted at room temperature if frozen (I like Pampas brand)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • 3 large brown onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, plus a splash
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • A few dashes of dry oregano
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet apple(s), such as Pink Lady, cored and thinly sliced
  • 100g cranberry sauce (or chutney)
  • 175g brie, thinly sliced (or other cheese, like sharp cheddar, gouda, swiss, and/or parmesan)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400F/200C/180C fan-forced.
  2. Gently place the pastry sheets onto a large oiled baking tray, overlapping slightly in the centre. If the edges are not straight, trim them with a sharp knife. Score a border, about 1cm in from the edge. Score a criss-cross pattern over the central piece of pastry (this will prevent it from rising too much) and around the border, if you like.
  3. Bake puff pastry base for 15 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden brown.
  4. While the puff pastry base bakes, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large pan. Add the onions and cook for 10-15 minutes, until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the vinegar, simmer for 1 minute more. Add the Dijon mustard and oregano and cook for another minute.
  5. Toss the apple slices in a splash of vinegar to prevent them from browning.
  6. Once the puff pastry base is baked, remove from oven and set aside. Gently press down the centre, then spread over the onion mixture. Dot blobs (about 1 tsp each) of cranberry sauce across onions. Top with the apple slices, arranging them to cover the tart. Layer brie slices over apple slices. Brush the toppings with a little olive oil and add a few dashes of oregano. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden, and the apple slices are soft. Serve warm.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2019 for a delicious moment.

Easy Shawarma Chicken

Easy Shawarma Chicken

Shawarma chicken is a Turkish street food, usually roasted on a spit. My version is an easy recipe for the home cook, perfect for a quick dinner. This chicken is so flavourful, healthy, and simple to make. The marinade is just awesome, with lots of tasty spices to really pack in the flavour.

Easy Shawarma Chicken

I like to serve this shawarma chicken with a dollop of tzatziki and a green salad, which you could also put in a warm pita, if you like. Sometimes, I also like to serve it with some roasted potatoes on the side, for a heartier meal. You could definitely grill the chicken, but I’ve written the recipe the way I make it, at home, which is in a large skillet. (I love my deep Tefal skillet, but pretty much any good-sized pan or skillet will do.) The recipe makes two generous adult serves, which is enough for us and our young son. You can easily double the quantities, to make more.

Easy Shawarma Chicken

Other options would be to use chicken tenderloins or pound out whole chicken breasts, if you’d rather not cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. The main reason I often cut chicken this way is to make it easy for kids to eat. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

Easy Shawarma Chicken

Enjoy the recipe…

Easy Shawarma Chicken

Shawarma chicken is a Turkish street food, usually roasted on a spit. My version is an easy recipe for the home cook, perfect for a quick dinner. This chicken is so flavourful, healthy, and simple to make. The marinade is just awesome, with lots of tasty spices to really pack in the flavour.

This recipe was adapted from skinnytaste

Ingredients

  • 1 lb/ 500g (2) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 Tbsp olive oil for pan
  • Juice from 1 medium lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 dashes chili powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Trim fat from chicken breasts and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Place chicken pieces in a large Pyrex bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl or Pyrex measuring cup, combine 1 Tbsp olive oil and lemon juice.  Whisk until combined.  Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, chili powder, salt, and black pepper and whisk again.
  3. Pour the marinade into the bowl with the chicken, tossing it with a spoon to coat the chicken evenly.  Refrigerate and marinate chicken for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.
  4. When ready to cook the chicken, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 2 Tbsp olive oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add marinated chicken to the pan and cook the chicken for about 3 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and cook for another 2 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate before serving. Do not leave it in the pan, or it will dry out from overcooking.
  5. Serve chicken with a dollop of tzatziki and a green salad of baby spinach, sliced cucumber, onion, and tomatoes. It’s also delicious served in warm pita bread.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2019 for a delicious moment.

 

 

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I love to bake muffins*. I also love to bake with apples. As much as I enjoy baking my favourite apple muffins, sometimes I want to make something healthier. I was looking for a healthy muffin recipe to make for my son to put in his lunch box. I baked a batch of these Chai Spiced Apple Muffins, and he loved them. Anything that is healthy and tastes great is going to be a hit with kids and adults alike. These muffins totally passed the kid test. I really like them, too.

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Full of delicious chai seasonings and sweet diced apple, these muffins are so satisfying. They’re made with oats and whole wheat flour, so they’re pretty healthy. They may not have any sugar, but the muffins get just the right amount of sweetness from the apples, unsweetened applesauce, and a little maple syrup. The maple and cinnamon flavoured glaze drizzled on top of the muffins adds more sweetness. If you would rather not do the glaze, you could add a sweet crunch to the top of the muffins by sprinkling coarse sugar on top before baking. I suppose the muffins would be even healthier without any topping, but I really love the glaze and highly recommend it.

Whether you’re trying to eat healthier for the new year, or you simply enjoy trying new recipes, I hope you’ll bake a batch of these delicious muffins. They’re so good!

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Enjoy the recipe…

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Print

Full of delicious chai seasonings and sweet diced apple, these muffins are so satisfying. They're made with oats and whole wheat flour, so they're pretty healthy. They may not have any sugar, but the muffins get just the right amount of sweetness from the apples, unsweetened applesauce, and a little maple syrup. The maple and cinnamon flavoured glaze drizzled on top of the muffins adds more sweetness.

This recipe was adapted from Ambitious Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned/ rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda/ bi-carb soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1 cup/ 250g unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup/ 4 tablespoons/ 60g unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced (about 1 cup diced apple)
  • For the glaze:
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar/ soft icing mixture
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • A dash of cinnamon and/ or cardamom
  • Alternative to glaze:
  • Sprinkle coarse sugar on top of muffins before baking, for a sweet crunch

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/ 180C. Oil a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with muffin liners/ pattypans. If you line with muffin liners, make sure to spray the inside of the liners with non-stick cooking spray, because these are low fat muffins and they will stick to the pan if the liners are not oiled.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda/ bi-carb soda, salt, and spices. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, add applesauce, maple syrup, egg, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until combined well.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix gently until just combined. Stir in melted and cooled butter. Gently fold in the diced apple.
  5. Divide batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling each cup about 3/4 of the way full. If using coarse sugar topping, sprinkle on top of each muffin cup.
  6. Bake muffins for 23-28 minutes or until tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Once muffins are cooling, make the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar/ soft icing mixture, vanilla, milk, maple syrup, and cinnamon and/ or cardamom. If necessary, add in a little bit more milk. The consistency of the glaze should be thick yet pourable. Drizzle glaze evenly over cooled muffins.

This recipe was created by Kim Sequoia for a delicious moment.

All written content and photos are copyright Kim Sequoia 2019 for a delicious moment.

Chai Spiced Apple Oatmeal Muffins

 

*Here are a few more of my muffin recipes…

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Streusel Topping

Blueberry Lemon Sour Cream Muffins

Banana Coconut Chocolate Chip Muffins

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins