Holiday Entertaining Favourites

Bosc Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

pear-upside-down-cake

Topping

  • 4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3-4 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into eighths

Batter

  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or non dairy milk plus 1tsp lemon juice)
  • 2 1/4 cups flour (or all-purpose gluten free flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease a 10-inch cake or springform pan.

Make the topping

Melt 4T butter in a small saucepan. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, four minutes, then swirl in salt. Remove from heat and pour into the bottom of your cake pan.
Make circles of overlapping pear slices on top of the caramel.

Chop any remaining slices and stir into batter with chopped ginger.

Make the batter

Using a mixer, blend 1/2 cup butter and the sugar on medium-low speed. Increase the speed to high and cream until light and fluffy.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, molasses, honey and butter-milk. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and cinnamon.

Combine all three by alternatley mixing the flour and molasses mixtures into the butter mixture, adding the next once the last has been incorporated. Stir in crystallized ginger. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a platter.

Serve with whipped cream, or ice cream, if desired. Serve warm or cool with very softly whipped cream.

Healthy Holiday Truffles

trufflesOnce you have a basic truffle recipe or two made, there are dozens of variations for flavours and coatings.

Almond Butter Truffles 

  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup coconut flour or shredded coconut
  • 1 T – 1 /4 cup honey or agave, to taste
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or Earth Balance, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Almond Date Truffles 

  • 20 medjool dates, pitted & chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 T creamy almond butter
  • 2 T coconut butter
  • 4 T unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 T dark cocoa powder
  • 1 /4 teaspoon salt

Cashew Date Coconut Truffles 

  • 1 cup cashew butter
  • 10 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 /2 cup coconut butter
  • 1 /2 tsp ground cardamom or 1 T lemon zest

Chocolate coating for one batch of truffles 

  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or Earth Balance, melted

Optional flavorings (amounts are for a full batch) 

  • 1 T orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Options for rolling truffles

  • Chopped nuts
  • Shredded coconut
  • Cocoa powder
  • Mini chips
  • Sip or drizzle with melted dark chocolate

Directions

Combine all truffle ingredients in a food processor until everything is well incorporated.

Add optional flavours. If making different flavors- separate out into bowls, add flavour, knead to combine.

Scoop out a spoonful, roll into bite sized balls and set on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Next, roll each truffle in your choice of toppings like coconut or cocoa powder. Allow to harden in freezer for about 30 minutes.

Prepare your chocolate coating 5 minutes before removing truffles from the freezer, by melting chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Once melted, take chocolate off heat and use a toothpick to dip the truffles, covering them completely or partially. You could also just use a spoon to drizzle a little chocolate over each one.

Place truffles back on the wax paper and allow chocolate to harden in the fridge/freezer. Transfer into a container, with wax paper between each layer, store in fridge until ready to serve.