Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Category: Desserts (page 1 of 10)

Strawberry Mango Mini Galettes

Sweetly fruity, colorful and fun, these rustic strawberry mango mini galettes will brighten up your table and your taste buds.  Fresh strawberries and mango slices are stirred with honey, layered over a delicious almond paste and baked in a lightly sweet pastry.

When I want to bake with fruit and find myself at a loss, I turn to the galette.  Making a galette (or four mini galettes) is easier than making a pie, but gives a very similar result:  warm, juicy fruit against the backdrop of a flaky, tender pastry.  And in this case, a homemade almond paste adds flavor and texture.  The beauty of making galettes is that they are not supposed to look perfect, and in fact, the more imperfect they look, the more authentically rustic and pretty they look.  If you suffer from perfectionism (like I do), making galettes is a good way to let it go.  And the flavor of the fruit and almond paste with the pastry is lovely!

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Mango Pound Cake

Moist and delicious with the added flavor and deep golden color of pureed fresh mango, this cheerful mango pound cake will brighten up any table!

I like to cook and bake with foods that are in season as much as I can.  But in the middle of February in Michigan, sometimes I need to just let that go and bake something with tropical fruit!  Sometimes we just need that burst of flavor and color, and thank goodness tropical fruits are available to us in February if we want them.  (My local grocery store even has mangoes on sale right now!) The sweet bright flavor of mango adds a burst of joy to this beautiful mango pound cake.

mango pound cakeCooking shows are some of my favorite things to watch on TV.  We don’t watch a lot of TV in my household, but when we are home and want to relax in the evenings, my husband and I sometimes turn on PBS and look for cooking shows and travel shows.  That is how I found the inspiration for this delicious mango pound cake.  We were watching Pati’s Mexican Table recently, and Pati made this beautiful, yet quite easy, mango pound cake while her main dish was cooking.

I love her show.  Her enthusiasm for food is inspiring, and I love the way she embraces food as a way to bring family and friends together.  And this mango pound cake is right up my alley because it can be made fairly quickly, yet the mango makes it special and fun.  I found the recipe on her website and tried it.  The cake turned out great–moist and flavorful, and I will definitely make it again.

The weather here is supposed to be quite warm (for winter time, anyway) and sunny this weekend.  After a pretty gray few weeks, I am looking forward to getting out into the sun! It has been a strange winter here, with lots of rain and not much snow.  We have not been able to do our usual winter outdoor activities.  I think a lot of us are a bit deprived of the benefits of sunlight.  But this morning, this sunrise was just beautiful.

february sunrise 2And it looks like we will have at least a couple days more of sunshine! I hope you all have a great weekend, and hope you get a chance to get out in the sun.  I think that is why I was drawn to this mango pound cake–mangoes taste like sunshine to me.  I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Zeba @ Food For The Soul and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cookmango pound cake

Mango Pound Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: about 20 minutes of prep time and about 30 minutes of baking time
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus a little more for greasing the pan
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting the pan
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of course sea salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of diced fresh mango (about 2 mangoes) or thawed from frozen
  • 1/4 cup of buttermilk
  •  1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • confectioners’ sugar for dusting the top (optional)
  • fresh berries for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan and lightly dust it with flour.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until soft, for about 2 minutes.  Add the sugar and continue to beat for about 5 more minutes, until the mixture is soft and creamy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and creamy, about 2 more minutes.

In another large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Place the diced mango, buttermilk, vanilla extract and almond extract in a blender.  Puree until very smooth.

In four additions, add the flour mixture and the mango mixture, little by little, to the bowl with the butter mixture, beating after each addition, and alternating adding the wet and dry ingredients. Mix just until everything is completely combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan.  Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden brown on top, springs back when touched, and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Allow the cake to cool.  When it is cool, flip it upside down on a board and then turn it right side up onto a platter.  Dust the top generously with confectioners’ sugar. Or, just leave it in the pan and cut slices from the pan, if desired. Enjoy!

 

This recipe is adapted from Pati Jinich @ patijinich.com.

 

Chocolate Honey Cake

Deep, rich, and moist, this chocolate honey cake is naturally sweetened with honey and topped with a strawberry jam glaze. Supremely decadent, yet at the same time full of whole food ingredients, this cake is a beautiful treat.

chocolate honey cakeWith Valentine’s Day around the corner, I have had chocolate and strawberries on my mind.  Also, my husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary tomorrow!  So I wanted to make something special for us. Plus, I always like to bake something sweet for the kids for Valentine’s Day. This cake is the solution for all those things!

The recipe, like many recipes, is a combination of different sources.  I adapted the cake recipe from an old favorite cookbook of mine, Mollie Katzen’s The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. (My husband and I went to her restaurant, the Moosewood Restaurant, when we lived in Ithaca, New York! Very delicious!).  When I made the cake this time, I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder instead of classic cocoa powder, and it turned out great. For the glaze, I got inspiration from the blog dessert for two The glaze is super-easy to make (just whisk strawberry jam, powdered sugar and milk together), and it adds so much flavor and is such a pretty pink color!  We have some of my mom’s delicious homemade strawberry freezer jam in the refrigerator, so the glaze is packed with intense strawberry flavor that goes with the deep flavor of the chocolate beautifully. To be honest, it was hard to finish photographing this cake because I wanted to take a bite so badly!

chocolate honey cakeIn addition to our anniversary and Valentine’s Day coming up, it has been an intense week. We have all been working really hard. We all need chocolate from time to time (some of us need it more often than others 🙂 ), and we have earned this treat. Maybe chocolate cannot save the world, but it can definitely do a lot of good for the heart and soul!  I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm! I will be joining the virtual potluck Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Ai @ Ai Make It For You and Petra @ Food Eat Love.chocolate honey cake

Chocolate Honey Cake

  • Servings: 6 to 8 servings
  • Time: about 15 minutes of prep time and about 30 minutes of baking time
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for the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (plus a little more for greasing the pan), at room tempterature
  • 1 ounce (1 square) of bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder)
  • 1 cup of unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder

for the glaze:

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of strawberry jam
  • 4-6 tablespoons of milk (adjust depending on the consistency you want)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8 x 8 inch square baking dish.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat until just melted.

Pour the honey into a medium-sized mixing bowl. With an electric mixer or a hand mixer, beat the honey for about two minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Then stir in the vanilla extract.

In another medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.  Stir well with a fork.

Beat the melted butter/chocolate mixture into the honey/egg mixture. Then fold in the dry ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine well.  When everything is incorporated, spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

While the cake is baking, you can prepare the glaze.  In a large bowl, combine the powdered sugar, strawberry jam, and milk. Whisk the ingredients together vigorously until a glaze forms. Adjust the consistency if you wish by adding more milk or powdered sugar. When you are ready to serve the cake, spoon or pour the desired amount of glaze over each piece of cake. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Simply Wonderful Pear Crisp

Sometimes the most basic recipes are the best. They allow natural flavor to shine.  That is the case with this simply wonderful pear crisp.  Juicy ripe pears give us such a burst of bright flavor, accompanied by a lightly sweet crisp topping and a spoonful of fluffy whipped cream.

pear crispJanuary is a time when good fruit can be hard to come by.  But pears are perfect for this time of year.  They are bountiful at the grocery store right now, and when baked, they deliver such a fresh, sweetness, especially when baked with cinnamon and brown sugar.

I have made countless apple crisps in my time, but pear crisp is somewhat new to me.  And really, I don’t know why I have not made it sooner.  It is my new favorite way to eat pears.  I adapted this recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, called Savor, by Ilona Oppeheim.  I omitted the walnuts for my recipe, mainly so my sweet son would enjoy this crisp, though I think they would be great in it myself.  But it is great without the nuts too, especially with a dollop of homemade whipped cream!

pear crispSunny days are hard to come by in a Michigan January as well, and it looks like the sun has just come out here for awhile. We will take what we can get, and I will be getting outside here as soon as I can!  We had a sunny day last Sunday, and were able to get out on the lake near our house before the weather warmed up just enough to thaw the ice.  My husband and his friend ice fished while my daughter and I had a few minutes before sunset to walk down to the lake and say hello.  It was so peaceful to be out on the ice at sunset.

pear crispFood can be a great comfort at all times of the year.  In the middle of the winter, when it is often cold and gray outside, and dark in the mornings and evenings, warm food can definitely lift the spirits.  This pear crisp puts a smile on my face, and my family loves it as well.  And it is so very easy to make, which is an added bonus! Be well and stay warm! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s weekly link party, Fiesta Friday!pear crisppears

Simply Wonderful Pear Crisp

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: about 15 minutes of prep time and 45 minutes of baking time
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Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of all purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup  or one half stick) of unsalted butter, plus a bit more for greasing the baking pan
  • 4 ripe pears (or 6 pears if they are small), peeled, cored, and diced
  • whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish.  (You can also use four 4-inch ramekins if you wish.)

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.  With a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture forms large crumbs.

Place the diced pears in the baking pan in a single layer.  Sprinkle the flour mixture evenly over the pears.

Bake in your 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and fruit is soft.  Serve warm with a spoonful of whipped cream on top, if desired.  Enjoy!

 

Cozy Oatmeal Baked Apples

Fill your kitchen with the iconic smell of baking apples and cinnamon with these cozy oatmeal baked apples.  Cored apples are filled with an oat-brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and then baked until the apples are soft and the oatmeal mixture has a cake-like consistency.  The moistness of the baked apples surrounds the oatmeal mixture to make a heart-warming dessert or breakfast that is full of nutrients and delicious comfort.

oatmeal baked applesI love all types of baked apple-cinnamon recipes, and this one is a bit different to me because the apple is stuffed with a filling inside of it instead of sliced and used as a filling.  Because it’s a bit different, it makes a festive dessert or breakfast, especially served with some vanilla ice cream or drizzled with some maple syrup, or even caramel sauce.  We had them for breakfast this morning straight up without any added toppings, and they were so good!

oatmeal baked appleI added two new cookbooks to my collection over the holidays, and I adapted this recipe from one of them–Savor by Ilona Oppenheim.  I love the photos in this cookbook, and the recipes are natural, beautiful, and seasonal.  I made a few changes from the recipe in the book to fit the tastes of my family–but I am so grateful for the idea and the basic framework.  This is a dessert/breakfast that is easy to make and comes together quite quickly, plus you can feel good about the wholesome ingredients.

oatmeal baked applesThe holiday season is over now, and it is time to get back to work, time for the kids to go back to school and indoor soccer, and hopefully time for me to put some positive new intentions and habits into practice in my little corner of the world.  We spent a few days up in northern Michigan over the New Year, and it was so refreshing and invigorating to be up in that cold, clean air!

Getting away from the routine allowed us to have some good family time when we weren’t rushed or pulled in a bunch of different directions.  We played some long games of Pokémon Monopoly (thanks to my son 🙂 ), went sledding, and walked along the snowy beach.  I loved all the lights in town on the dark evenings–lights in the trees, lights on the shops and restaurants, lights reflected in the water along the beach, and especially the fireworks over the lake on New Year’s Eve.

This is such a good time of year for introspectionand for making home a warm and cozy place.  Walking in the cold air clears the head.  It is also definitely the time of year to make warm, nourishing things in the kitchen.  These oatmeal baked apples hit the spot this morning.  Happy New Year!  I hope you all have a great weekend, and stay warm! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s virtual potluck, Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Quinn @ Dad What’s 4 Dinner and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipesoatmeal baked apples

Cozy Oatmeal Baked Apples

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: about 20 minutes of prep time, about 45 minutes of baking time
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Ingredients:

  • 6 medium to large apples (I like Honeycrisp or Jonagold for this)
  • 1 cup of old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1 and 1/3 cups of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, walnuts, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.  Mix well with a fork.  Make sure your butter is melted.

In another bowl, combine the milk, vanilla extract, egg, and melted butter.  Stir well. Add the milk mixture to the bowl with the oat mixture, and stir well with a wooden spoon.

With a paring knife, cut off the tops of the apples.  Set the tops aside.  With the same knife, carefully cut around the core and cut out the core (you can also use an apple corer).  Scoop out the seeds and rest of the core with a spoon, if necessary.  Leave 1/2 inch at the bottom of the apples intact, with the holes in the core about an inch wide.

Place the cored apples on the prepared baking dish.  Spoon the oatmeal mixture into the cavities of the apples, filling them as full as you can.  Place the tops back on the apples for baking.  If you have oat mixture left over, you can bake it in a small baking pan and bake it alongside the apples.  (I put mine in a min-loaf pan and it made a cute little cake-like loaf).

Bake the stuffed apples in your 350 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until the apples are soft and the oat mixture is set.  These taste best warm, but can also be served at room temperature.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

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