Sweet citrus and decadent chocolate are sure to delight the senses

Choose lemons that give to the touch, this means they have more lemon juice.

There’s no getting away from it – sweets are my downfall! But not just any sweet thing. Keep your nondescript candy, ice-cream and sugary fluffy desserts to yourself. But, a sensational sweet — that’s another matter. I like my sweets rich, bursting with intense flavour, preferably lemon, and if it should be chocolate – it must be quality dark chocolate, none of that milk chocolate nonsense. Treats have to be worth every calorie.

Sweetie Pie, here are two desserts, suitable for sampling by the most discerning sweet tooth!


Lily’s Simply Luscious Lemon Loaf

Lemon is one of my all-time weaknesses. I have sampled many a lemon dessert, but when Lily Levitt sent this to me, one bite was enough to say, “More, please!” Lily kindly shared this recipe with me to give to you. Make and enjoy every last lemony crumb. Divine.

Tip: Choose lemons that give to the touch, this means they have more lemon juice. One juicy lemon produces 1/4 cup (50 mL) juice. It is easier to grate the lemon rind first then squeeze the juice.

Cake:

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-purpose flour

2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt

1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt

1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

3 large or extra-large eggs

2 tsp (10 mL) grated lemon rind

1/2 tsp (2 mL) pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (125 mL) vegetable oil

Lemon Drizzle:

1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

Lemon Glaze:

1 cup (250 mL) sifted icing sugar

2 tbsp (25 mL)  fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Line an 8 1/2×4 1/2 x 2 1/2 loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into one bowl.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon rind and vanilla.

Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter making sure it’s well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake in pre-heated oven for about 50 – 60 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack.

Drizzle: Meanwhile in small stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat, cook stirring the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Set aside.

Glaze: In small bowl, whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice until well blended. It will be thick.

While still warm, poke the lemon loaf with toothpick or piece of spaghetti all over surface of loaf at 1 inch (2.5 cm) intervals. Pour over the prepared drizzle and allow to sink in. Let loaf cool completely.

Once loaf has cooled, remove loaf from pan, spread glaze on top surface of loaf.

Wrap in plastic wrap and overwrap in foil and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze up to 2 months. Makes 12 delectable slices.


Daphne’s Decadent Delight (or Hazelnut Mocha Torte)

Originally my Mother’s recipe, this is one of my husband’s favourites, so much so, that it became his birthday cake. Quite addictive and very rich, cut in small squares and hide! Although you can freeze this, it never seems to last long. Alas!

For special occasions, make in a 9 inch (23 cm ) round cake pan, cut into thin wedges and serve with a cup of hot, strong coffee.

Base Layer:

1/2 cup (125 ml) butter melted

21/2 cups (625 mL) graham wafer crumbs

1 cup (250 mL) toasted hazelnuts (filberts), chopped

1/4 cup (40 mL) sifted cocoa

1/4 cup (50 mL) granulated sugar

1 egg, beaten

Coffee Filling:

1/4 cup (50 mL) soft butter

2 – 2 1/2 cups (500 mL) sifted icing sugar

1 tbsp (15 mL)     hot strong coffee

1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla

Chocolate Topping:

1 cup (6 oz) quality semi or bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted

Line a 9 inch (23 cm) square pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Toast hazelnuts on parchment lined baking sheet for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Sprinkle hazelnuts on clean tea towel and rub to remove outer skin. Coarsely chop nuts and set aside. In mixing bowl, stir together butter, crumbs, chopped hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar and beaten egg until smooth. Press evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool on cooling rack. Meanwhile in mixing bowl, using electric mixer beat butter until fluffy and gradually beat in sifted icing sugar, coffee and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Once base layer is cool, spread coffee filling evenly on top. Refrigerate or freeze.

Melt chocolate in mixing bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Pour chocolate over cool coffee layer and spread evenly out to edges. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm.

To cut, use sharp knife dipped into hot water and cut into 30 pieces. May be wrapped and frozen.

My apologies to my readers, but the eggs were left out of the Make Ahead Brunch Casserole in my April 4 column. The recipe calls for 6 eggs.

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