Sunday, February 26, 2012

Coconut Banana French Toast

French toast is one of my favourite breakfast foods! I recently had the most amazing coconut banana french toast while on vacation, so I knew I had to recreate it in my own kitchen once I got home. The combination of coconut and banana is a sweet and tropical addition to the traditional cinnamon and maple syrup french toast flavours. Make this for a leisurely Sunday brunch and pretend you're on vacation!


1 large banana, plus extra sliced banana for garnish
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup milk (use almond or soy milk to make this vegan or dairy-free)
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 thick slices of French bread, Brioche, or Texas toast (use your favourite vegan bread to make this vegan)
Butter or margarine for greasing the griddle (use vegan margarine to make this vegan)
Maple syrup
Shredded coconut, for garnish


Combine the banana, coconut milk, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into a shallow bowl or dish.

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and grease well with butter or margarine. Dip both sides of a slice of bread into the banana mixture, then place onto the heated griddle and cook until lightly golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread.

Transfer cooked french toast to a serving plate, top with sliced bananas, maple syrup, and a sprinkle of shredded coconut and cinnamon. Enjoy!

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Broccoli and Vegan Cheese Sauce

Broccoli and cheese sauce is one of my favourite ways to get in my veggies! This creamy and cheesy-tasting sauce is a great vegan alternative to the traditional dairy cheese sauce! 


3-4 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 cup plain almond or soy milk
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. ground mustard powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

This is nutritional yeast! It is what gives the sauce its cheesy flavour. You can find it in most grocery stores in the natural food section, bulk bins, or in health food stores.


Steam or roast the broccoli florets and set aside. In a small microwave-safe bowl, or in a small saucepan, combine the nutritional yeast, almond/soy milk, paprika, mustard powder, and white pepper, stirring until well combined. Heat in the microwave for 60-90 seconds or over low heat on the stovetop. Pour over the prepared broccoli and serve. For a spicy cheese sauce you could also add in 1/4-1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper for a little kick of heat.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Flourless Chocolate Torte

This torte is so light and fluffy it just melts in your mouth. It's rich and chocolatey without being overly sweet or heavy, and it would be delicious served with fresh berries or fruit preserves, or warm with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.


2 Tbsp. hot water
4 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
1/2 cup pure maple syrup, divided use
1/2 cup cocoa powder
5 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
Topping: Fresh berries, fruit preserves, ice cream, or whipped cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a tart pan or pie pan with nonstick baking spray.

With an electric or stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until thick and pale yellow in colour, about 5 minutes. When you lift your beaters from the yolk there should be a trail in the yolks for a couple seconds before they drizzle back into the bowl. Gradually add in 1/4 of the maple syrup to the yolks and continue to beat for several more minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of the cocoa powder and stir with a spatula to combine. Once the cocoa is incorporated, stir in the remaining cocoa powder and continue to stir, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. When the cocoa has been mostly incorporated, add in the melted butter and vanilla extract. Beat with the electric mixer until smooth.

In a separate bowl, or in the cleaned bowl of your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until almost at the stage where they are soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup and continue to beat until soft peaks form in the egg whites. Add 1/4 cup of the egg white mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir together well with a spatula.

Fold half of the remaining egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then add the remaining egg whiles and continue gently folding until the batter has a consistent colour. Do not over mix or stir vigorously otherwise your torte will not be light and fluffy.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and level off the top of the torte with a spatula until it is flat. Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the centre is set and slightly springy to the touch. Allow the torte to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before gently transferring to a serving plate or cutting pieces from the pan.

Serve with the topping of your choice, warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Store covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

*Recipe from Cheeky Kitchen

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Skor Chocolate Chip Blondies

These blondies are like chocolate chip cookies in bar form, with the added indulgence of Skor toffee bits! The outside of the bar is crispy and buttery, and the chewy inside is packed with gooey toffee and chocolate. I cut these into very small pieces and piped a star of chocolate icing on top to make a delicious bite-sized treat!


1 / 2 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 and 1 / 4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 / 2 tsp. baking soda
1 / 2 tsp. salt
1 cup Skor toffee bits
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8" or 9x9" baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs until creamy, then add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into butter mixture until well combined. Stir in the toffee bits and the chocolate chips.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking pan with the back of a spoon or a spatula. Bake 30-32 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into bars. I topped mine with chocolate icing, piped using a Wilton 1M star tip.

*Recipe adapted from HERSHEY'S

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chocolate Waffles

I made these chocolate waffles for a breakfast-for-dinner potluck I had with my cousins last night! They are the perfect decadent breakfast treat. They are crispy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, with lots of melted chocolate chips studded throughout. It's like having a brownie for breakfast!


2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
6 Tbsp. white sugar
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 egg
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips - It is important to use mini chocolate chips in this recipe because they evenly distribute through the batter better and won't affect the shape of your waffles as much when they melt in the waffle iron.


Preheat a waffle iron.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk, oil, egg, and vanilla extract until the mixture is frothy.

Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, whisking to combine. Stir until the ingredients are just combined, don't over mix. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.

Lightly grease your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the recommended portions of batter for 1 waffle, according to the directions on your waffle iron. I used 1/2 cup of batter per waffle in mine, but each waffle iron is different so use whatever amount is recommended in the owner's manual. Cook the batter according to your iron - mine took about 3-4 minutes per waffle.

Remove cooked waffle from the iron and repeat with the remaining batter until it is gone. This recipe will serve 3-4 people, so double it if you are serving a crowd! Serve the warm waffles with whipped cream and berries. If you want to get really fancy you could also serve these with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, and a drizzle of chocolate or caramel sauce for a dessert waffle!

*Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites