Category Archives: Desserts and Cakes

Wheat-free Ginger Almond Cake with Apples (great Passover recipe)

I found this Lucy Waverman recipe on the Globe & Mail site. I haven’t had time to make it yet but it looks and sounds great.

“This cake is almost like marzipan (YUM) in texture – soft and very moist. It may be used as a Passover dessert too – just substitute margarine for butter.”

1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 Pink Lady or Gala apples
1/3 cup sugar

3 cups ground almonds
2 teaspoons ground ginger
6 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp. demerara sugar
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Gluten Free Chocolate Truffles

This is a recipe I discovered last year after I decided I had to forgo the best rum balls in the world due to gluten free living. I don’t usually eat dairy but Christmas makes it hard to resist a truffle so here goes. These are  so simple that even I was a able to make them which says something because I’m close to one of the worst bakers in the world. Ask my mother-in-law about the 20 pound hard lump of a pumpkin cake I made for her birthday a few years ago.

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Kamut pastry recipe

It turns out I’m one of those people who can eat kamut but not spelt or wheat. It’s sad for me because I happen to love pie and everyone knows you can’t beat a wheat based pastry.  But I’ve played around with Bob Redmill’s gluten free flour mix and tonight I made a fabulous quiche following this recipe for gluten free pastry and replaced 1 cup of flour with kamut flour. It’s fabulous. I imagine you could also replace it with spelt. My next experiment will be to make a 100% kamut based pastry. I’ll let you know how it goes. Continue reading


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The World’s Best Most Dangerous Rum Balls Ever

I don’t want to be too crazy with the superlatives but these really are the best and most dangerous rum balls ever. Why? Because if you double the batch then you use close to 26 ounces of rum for the recipe and that’s just crazy. But they’re worth the expense and the effort. In the old days I used to make people beg and plead for the recipe but the new kinder gentler me is open to sharing. Now is the time to start making these – they get better with age. Keep them in the freezer once you’re done rolling.

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (don’t cheap out on the chocolate. Get the good stuff)
1/2 cup almond paste
1 cup sour cream
A pinch of salt
8 cups (or three boxes) Nilla Crackers or vanilla wafers (finely crushed)
1 1/2 cups melted butter
2/3 cup cocoa (again no cheaping out on this)
1 1/2 cups rum (any old kind but I use amber rum)
2 cups pecans crushed


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Gluten Free Flour Mix and Pastry Recipe

Tessa: After years and years of suffering horrible stomach pain, bloating, the runs, chronic fatigue and massive stomach aches, I finally figured out that I can’t eat gluten. It was a long rocky road getting there and truthfully I wish that I had figured this out at the beginning of my life rather than the middle of it. The good thing about it is that I was so desperately unhealthy by the time I figured it out that when I was finally able to put two and two together, ie. the impact that this would have on my life as an avid cook and eater, I was too sick to care and extremely grateful to be out of pain. Continue reading


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Wheatless Apple Spice Cake

Tessa: My sister Mia brought this light, tasty, wheat-free, apple spice cake for dessert recently. The great thing about this cake is that it’s sooooo delicious even wheat-eating civilians can’t tell that it’s been made from spelt flour. But for those who want to prepare it with wheat, simply substitute the spelt with equal qty wheat. I also thought that the cake was brought over specifically for ME ME ME but I found I had to beat people away from the spelt cake and re-direct them to the wheaty pie which she also generously brought over.

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Delicious chocolate wheatless cake!

Tessa: For those of you planning the last big indulgence before the “get fit”  New Year’s Resolution kicks in January 1st, be sure to  squeeze this Nigella recipe in under the wire. When Dave heard me offer to make Christmas Eve dessert he looked horrified. I don’t blame him really because I have something of a haphazard baking style that usually results in disaster. Somehow this doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm and I’m happy to report that this yummy Chocolate Cloud Cake turned out quite nicely. Also, for all of you who can’t eat wheat this is a perfect dessert that tastes surprisingly like chocolate brownies.

Here goes:

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

6 eggs; 2 whole, 4 separated

3/4 cup superfine sugar

2 tbsp Cointreau (optional) but I say use the booze

grated zest of 1 orange (optional)

9 inch springform pan

Cream Topping:

2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp Cointreau (optional but as above)
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa for sprinkling

How to make this luscious beast:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line baking pan with parchment or grease.
Melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave and then let the butter melt in the warm chocolate. Beat the 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks with 1/3 of the sugar, then gently add the chocolate mixture, the Cointreau and orange zest.

In another bowl, whisk the 4 egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the remaining sugar and whisk until the whites are holding their shape but are not to stiff. Lighten the chocolate mixture with a dollop of egg whites, and then fold in the rest of the whites. Pour into the the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool the cake in its pan and don’t be surprised when the cake sinks into the middle. Whip the cream with the Cointreau. I cheated and added a little bit of sugar because well, I like my whipping cream to be sweet. Pile the whipped the cream on top, sprinkle with cocoa and enjoy.
Thanks Nigella!

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The World’s Most Dangerous Rumballs!

Tessa: Every November my friend Diane and I make our highly prized, secret rumball recipe together. We double the recipe which means that we put exactly one 26 ounce bottle of rum into our rumballs. One year at a tree decorating party someone asked what the recipe was. I very nicely said that the recipe was top secret and couldn’t be given out. The next year the same question came up and I once again declined to give out the recipe explaining that it was top secret. People seemed genuinely perturbed by this and suddenly the mood turned ugly as people tried to squeeze the secret out of me. I held firm for the next four years not only refusing to give out the recipe but also refusing to give away my rumballs. Now I’ve decided to do a bit of a scrooge reversal and not only have I started to share the dangerous rumballs again but also share the recipe. So here is the recipe with a small warning that these rumballs could cause some trouble! Continue reading


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