Baking Cake Dessert Recipes

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches

This year’s summer has been a bit hectic for me, nonetheless enjoyable. I am sending off my summer with a cake, with seasonal local peaches. I love peaches when they are so juicy and sweet, I even froze some for later use, for smoothies and baking. This is the first recipe that I’ve tried making from a book called World Class Cakes by Roger Pizey, the book caught my eye at the bookstore because of its beautiful photography, design, and it contains so many recipes of different pastries from different countries, not just cakes. The cake definitely didn’t disappoint. It is not a complicated cake at all, in fact, I love cakes that are simple like this that I can make on the weekend and enjoy with a cup of tea.


Glazing the Cake with Apricot Jam

Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Peaches

Serving Size: 6


  • 3 gggs
  • 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
  • 1½ cups superfine sugar (granulated)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 cup self-rising flour, sifted (you can make the blend at home, see note)
  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • ¼ cup apricot jam, warmed and strained


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F, and grease a deep 7 in round springform cake pan.
  2. Beat together well the eggs, zest, and sugar.
  3. Add in the oil and the milk, alternating these wet ingredients with the sifted flours until well combined.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven, for 10 minutes.
  5. Carefully remove the cake from the oven and if a crust has formed make several cuts and even intervals on the surface of the cake and place the sliced peaches in the cuts.
  6. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a wire rack.
  8. While the cake's still warm, brush liberally with the warmed jam for a glossy finish.
  9. Serve a generous slice with a small glass of grapps or vin santo.


Recipe adapted from World Class Cakes, 2013 by Roger Pizey, Race Point Publishing.

Notes from the my kitchen:

  1. To make self-rising flour, blend 1 cup of all-purpose flour with 1¼ tsp of baking powder, and ¼ tsp of salt. Considering this is a British recipe, I used cake flour when making my self-rising flour, all-purpose flour will work too but the texture will be a bit denser.
  2. I think my peaches were quite large, not even one whole peach went into the cake, so adjust according to the size of your fruit.
  3. I baked my cake in a 7 in round pan, however it took much longer than 40 minutes to cook through. I baked it for about 1.5 hours, near the last 30 minutes, I placed a piece of foil on the cake to avoid the top from burning.  Cooking time will depend on your oven, if you have a convection oven, it will cook faster, use a cake tester to make sure it comes out clean before removing it from the oven. I think baking in an 8 in pan will work very well as it will cook faster and you can decorate the top with more peach slices.
  4. I used a homemade apricot jam to glaze it and the result was very good, the cake tasted even better the next day as it was more moist. I had a slice with more apricot jam, it added a nice tart and fruity flavour to the cake.

Fresh Peach Cake

As much as I don’t like sending the warm summer off, I do love the brisk autumn air of Vancouver. I am ready to get out to enjoy the rest of the summer and to welcome the season of pumpkins and falling leaves.

Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn – that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness – that season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.” 

- Jane Austen, Persuasion

Canning Cookbook Review Jams Recipes

Raspberry and Plum Jam



The summer is a season of harvest and preserving. It feels especially rewarding when I get to open a little jar of summer in the cold winter months. Nothing beats the flavour and taste of homemade jams. I was very excited when I received a review copy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables because I love making fruit jams at home using seasonal and local ingredients, for just enjoying at home and for gift giving. I usually make single-fruit jams, this was my first time trying a mixed-fruit jam, and this recipe is a winner. I made raspberry jam last year, and really loved the flavour of it. This one combines the little tartness and fruitiness in the plums and the bold flavour of raspberries. It is also great because it only has half of the seeds of a regular raspberry jam. Making jams is really not difficult and the equipment is inexpensive and can be  easily found in supermarkets. The book is very user-friendly, especially if you are new to preserving it will have all the information to get you started. As for me, I’ve only made fruit jams, I might venture into the chutney, pickle, and marmalade recipes in this book. If you’ve never made jams before and would like to try this recipe, you can do some research online and you should be able to make this without too much difficulty.

Home Preserving

Raspberry and Plum Jam

Yield: Makes about six 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.

Plums add delicious yumminess to this jam, which has half the seeds of regular raspberry jam. It can also be made with red or black plums, or with plumcots (a cross of plums and apricots).


  • 2 cups/500 mL raspberries
  • 2 cups500 mL finely chopped yellow or red plums
  • 1?4 cup/60 mL lemon juice
  • 5 cups/1.25 L granulated sugar
  • 1 pouch (3 oz/85 mL) liquid pectin


  1. In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine raspberries, plums and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Immediately stir in pectin; return to a full boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating fruit.
  2. Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1?4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © Reprinted with publisher permission.

NOTE: Actually…I changed the recipe a little…I added the zest of half a lemon for the refreshing taste and half of a vanilla bean. I just love the vanilla flavour in this jam, it adds a sweet and dessert-like character to it. I also like my jams with a chunky texture, so I usually don’t chop or crush the fruit too much, but it is totally up to you!

My favourite way to have any kind of jam is slathering it on a buttered piece of fresh bread or toast (*drooling a little*). Though the recipe says it will yield six 250 mL jars, I was able to get five, it depends on the fruit itself such as the moisture, pectin, and the pot you use etc. but to me, all it matters is the delicious jam!


Baking Dessert Pastry Photography Recipes

Mini Blueberry Galettes with Hazelnut Crumble

Blueberry GalettesI feel very lucky to live in a place where I can enjoy beautiful locally grown blueberries every summer. I especially like baking with them since they are very versatile and freeze well, not to mention they are packed with great nutrients. Blueberries is one of those ingredients that you don’t have to be fuzzy with, just wash them and they are already to use. This recipe is very easy and simple, it is a rustic free-formed fruit pie, don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect!  Since the fruit pairs very well with hazelnuts, I’ve added an extra element of hazelnut crumble on top for flavour and a little crunch. The crumble is optional, the pie is just as good without it! Alternatively you can also make a large galette, the instructions are also below under “TIP”.


Mini Blueberry Galettes with Hazelnut Crumble

Serving Size: Makes 6 imini galettes, or 1 large 9 inch galette.

Pâte Brisée recipe adapted from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe, by Joanne Chang with Christie Matheson. Published by Chronicle Books 2010.


    Pâte Brisée
  • 1 3/4 cups (245 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks / 228 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cold milk
  • Filling
  • 3 1/2 cup Fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup Sugar or more
  • 2 tbsp Corn Starch
  • Juice and zest of half of a large lemon
  • Hazelnut Crumble
  • 3 tbsp (45 grams) Butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup All purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Ground hazelnuts (hazelnut flour)
  • 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • Assembly
  • Egg wash or milk for brushing
  • Coarse sugar or granulated sugar
  • To serve
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream


    Pâte Brisée
  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer), mix together the flour, sugar, and salt for 10 to 15 seconds, or until combined. Scatter the butter over the top. Mix on low speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or just until the flour is no longer bright white and holds together when you clump it and lumps of butter the size of pecans are visible throughout.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and milk until blended. Add to the flour mixture all at once. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the dough just barely comes together. It will look really shaggy and more like a mess than a dough.
  3. Dump the dough out onto an unfloured work surface, then gather it together into a tight mound. Using your palm and starting on one side of the mound, smear the dough bit by bit, starting at the top of the mound and then sliding your palm down the side and along the work surface (at Flour we call this “going down the mountain”), until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the dough comes together. Do this once or twice on each part of the dough, moving through the mound until the whole mess has been smeared into a cohesive dough with streaks of butter.
  4. Gather up the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and shape it into a log. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using. The dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
  5. Filling
  6. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, combine all ingredients, and cook mixture until it bubbles, about 10-15 minutes. *Stir often to prevent bottom from burning! Transfer to a bowl, cool and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Hazelnut Crumble
  8. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with your hands. Wrap in plastic and chill until ready to use.
  9. Assembly
  10. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Preheat oven to 375F.
  11. It is easier to de-chill the pastry dough for about 10-15 minutes before rolling. When ready, cut the dough into roughly 6 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll on the larger side to the size of about 20cm in diameter. It will be about 4-5mm thick. Don't worry if it is not circular, it will add to the rustic look of the galettes.
  12. Fill centre of the rolled pastry with filling, leaving about 4cm around the edges. Carefully fold up the edges to enclose the filling, the next fold you make should overlap the previous one. Transfer to a baking sheet, one pan should fit 3 galettes. Break up the crumble into pea size pieces and scatter all over the filling. Brush the crust with egg wash or milk, sprinkle with sugar.
  13. Bake one tray at a time (keeping the other tray of shaped galettes in the fridge), for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, until the crust and crumble has turned golden brown.
  14. *TIP: Make the components ahead for up to 3 days, store them in the fridge until you are ready to bake and serve them. The crust and crumble can be wrapped tightly in plastic and can be frozen up to 1 month. You can also make a large galette with this recipe, roll out the pastry dough into a 13 inch round, fill with filling, leaving a 2 inch border, and follow the same folding and garnishing method as above. This will yield a 9 inch round galette. Baking time will be longer, bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the sides and crumble have turned golden brown and the centre is bubbling.
  15. To serve
  16. Serve in room temperature, they are the best eaten the day they are baked. The galettes are delicious on their own, but serving them with a dallop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream make them the best summer dessert!

I love the rustic look of these free-formed pies, not to mention that not having to stress over making that perfect lattice of making a pie is a added bonus! These are great for dinner parties or just chilling out on the patio on a lazy summer night. Blueberry Galette

Nothing shouts summer more than a fruit pie/galette with ice-cream! Cheers!

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