Monday, March 23, 2015

Simplify Your Life: Easy Dessert Recipes for Spring Time Entertaining

I am so happy to bring you a guest post by the lovely Sydney Burkhardt. She has for us, not one, but THREE beautiful gluten-free springtime desserts!!! Sydney is a wife and mother of two beautiful children. She is also the owner and creator of Love’illy, a specialty food company, where she has created a line of gourmet pie mixes that make baking fruit filled desserts effortless. Her products are sold in specialty retail stores and online. Her free time is spent practicing yoga, hiking with her chocolate lab, developing new recipes, and cooking for friends and family.

For more deliciousness visit Love'lly or find Sydney on Instagram

Simplify Your Life: Easy Dessert Recipes for Spring Time Entertaining

by: Sydney Burkhardt
As spring draws near and the days are filled with longer hours of sunshine, we’re drawn outside into the freshly scented air of citrus blossoms and wild flowers springing up all around.  It’s my favorite season as you can feel the heaviness of winter lift and the fresh energy of spring present itself with new life everywhere. It’s also a time where most of us have moved from heavy eating into lighter and healthier foods in preparation for the warm months ahead.  With the holidays behind us, we’re able to look forward to a more simplistic and fresh way of eating and entertaining. 
I love hosting events at my home this time of year. Whether it’s for Easter or a birthday party or a simple spring soiree, there’s nothing better than getting together with loved ones on a beautiful sunny day or evening to share a meal.
In preparation for entertaining I really like to keep things simple (after all, it is the theme of spring!). A main dish, a couple sides of various seasonal vegetables prepared differently and of course…dessert. Hands down this is my favorite to make. With a bounty of beautiful seasonal berries to use, it’s the perfect component to a simple and satisfying dessert. 
A meal just isn’t complete without something a little sweet at the end.  It’s an ode to celebration and merriment among friends and family. A dessert is an offering at the end of a lovely meal that says ‘this gift is for you, please savor and enjoy, and leave satisfied and nourished-’ a food finale, if you will, that completes the dining experience and satisfies the taste of sweet and tart rounding out the meal contently. 
So with some fresh seasonal fruit and a few other pantry items, dessert can be as easy to make as it is to eat! Fresh, simple and made with love is the recipe for perfect entertaining (and a perfect dessert!).
*All recipes were created with simplicity in mind. Each one is easy to make and takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare. They are all gluten-free and made with coconut sugar or maple syrup. Any recipe that calls for dairy products can be substituted with vegan ingredients. Fruit can also be substituted for any that you’d prefer or what’s locally grown in your area. I hope you enjoy!

Cherry Almond Cake
Serves 8
Difficulty: easy
Equipment Needed: round cake pan or pie pan
10 oz. cherries, fresh or thawed
½ cup coconut flour
1 cup brown rice flour
¼ tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs 
1/3 cup grapeseed oil 
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
½ cup sour cream or coconut yogurt 
2 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to serve alongside, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. and coat round cake pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray
  2. In an electric mixer, cream oil and sugar. Add agave, eggs, sour cream, almond and vanilla extract and whisk
  3. In a separate bowl, combine coconut flour, brown rice flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon
  4. With the electric mixer on low speed, gradually add the dry mix until completely combined
  5. With a spatula, gently fold in cherries and pour into prepared cake pan. Evenly distribute batter into the cake pan using the spatula
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes 
  7. Cool completely before serving
  8. Cut into triangles and serve alongside freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Blueberry Lemon Crisp 
Serves 8-10
Difficulty: easy
Equipment Needed: 9x13 inch baking dish 
Ingredients for Fruit Filling:
2 lbs. blueberries, fresh or thawed
3 tbs. coconut flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. lemon zest, or zest from one lemon
1/8 tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla 
Ingredients for Crisp Topping:
¾ cup oats, gluten free or any other preferred
¼ cup almond meal
¼ cup coconut flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup raw sliced almonds
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes
Vanilla ice cream, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. and coat baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray
  2. In a large bowl, combine blueberries and remaining ingredients for filling.  Once combined pour inside prepared dish
  3. In a separate bowl, combine all crisp topping ingredients with exception to the butter and mix
  4. Add butter to topping mixture and crumble with fingers or fork until it’s roughly mixed and clumpy
  5. Evenly distribute topping over blueberry filling and bake for 40-45 minuets
  6. Allow 15 minutes to cool before serving
  7. Serve with  vanilla ice cream

Lemon Vanilla Mousse with Fresh Raspberries 
Serves 8
Difficulty: easy
Equipment: 8 individual glasses cups or ramekins for serving
1 pint or 16 oz. fresh raspberries
1 tsp. lemon zest, or zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp. lemon juice
8 oz.  crème fraiche
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
1 ½ cups heavy cream
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
  1. In an electric mixer on high speed, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside
  2. In the electric mixer, cream together crème fraiche, vanilla seeds, coconut sugar, maple syrup, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt 
  3. With a spatula, gently fold in the whipped cream with the crème fraiche mixture. Don’t overmix, just fold until incorporated. The mousse will firm up once chilled
  4. Using a spoon, distribute mousse evenly among individual dishes
  5. Chill in refrigerator at least one hour before serving
  6. Top with small handful of  fresh raspberries 

Yum Yum Yum!!! Happy Spring. Thank you Sydney for making ours brighter. :)

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