24 October 2016


Meringues are one of those desserts you can whip up in a hurry, and have a sweet treat for days. They can be very soft, almost like a marshmallow, or they can be very crumbly and crunchy on the outside. These are a special variation on the plain old meringues, with coffee, and those lovely warm pumpkin spices.
You can choose to leave them uncoloured, or you can add some orange and brown colour, to mimic cute little pumpkins. I should mention that these are a tad softer than regular meringues, because that's how we like them, but if you wish, you can leave them in the oven for a little longer, to make them crunchy. And be sure to know, if you bake meringues on a humid day, they will become really sticky, really quickly.

Pumpkin spice latte meringue cookies for two tinascookings.blogspot.com

1 medium egg white
¾ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cornflour (corn starch)
½ teaspoon instant coffee granules
¼ teaspoon pumpkin spice
gel food colouring (optional)

Take a large bowl (glass or metal works best), pour in the egg white, add the vinegar, and mix with an electric mixer on high, until frothy. At this point, start adding the granulated sugar, a tablespoon at a time, mixing constantly on high. Mix for about 20 seconds between each tablespoon of sugar, to ensure the sugar melts nicely and blends into the egg whites. Once all of the sugar has been incorporated, add in the food colouring (if using), cornflour, coffee, and spices, and continue mixing on high for another minute or so. The mixture should hold stiff peaks, and be glossy, and not dry.
Spoon the meringue into a medium piping bag fitted with a large piping nozzle (or a plain round one), and pipe twelve meringues on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper, about 3 centimetres in diameter. They do not need to be spaced too far apart, as they do not expand during baking. Bake the meringues in a 100°C (200°F) oven for about 40 minutes, then turn it off, and let them dry for another 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven (they should come off the paper really easily once they are properly baked) and serve. Yields 12 medium meringues.

21 October 2016


Sometimes, the simple desserts are the best. This lovely autumn treat is so very delicious, yet simple to prepare. You need one bowl, a whisk, and a few ingredients. The caramel topping stays lovely and soft, but firm enough to stay on top of the cake slices. Feel free to add more whipped cream on top, if you wish, it can only make it more delicious, if that is even possible. And as always, you can add some food colouring if you wish for it to have a vibrant colour, but it isn't necessary.

Caramel pumpkin snack cake recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

120 grams plain flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
200 grams pumpkin puree
150 grams Demerara sugar
120 ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
200 grams soft caramels
200 ml heavy whipping cream, divided

Sift together the flour with the baking powder and spices. Take a large bowl and crack in the eggs, when add sugar and whisk it vigorously until lighter in colour, about a minute. Add in the pumpkin puree and oil, and whisk again. Add in the dry ingredients and fold them through until combined. Do not overmix the batter at this point.
Grease a 23x33 cm (9x13”) baking pan and lay a sheet of baking paper on the bottom of it, then pour in the cake batter, and bake it immediately, in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 20 minutes. Check the cake with a toothpick for doneness.
While the cake is cooling, melt together the soft caramels with 100 ml heavy whipping cream until smooth and combined. Remove the pan from the heat, and let the caramel topping cool until thickened. The consistency should resemble very thick honey. Pour it evenly over the top of the cake, and somewhat down the sides. Let the cake cool completely, then decorate it with the rest of the freshly whipped heavy cream on top. Yields 12 servings.

17 October 2016


If you love the taste of pumpkin purée, and you love pastries, you will love these. They are fragrant, crispy on the edges, and amazingly soft in the centre. Topped with crème pâtissière, and some chocolate sauce, for good measure, they are so delicious, and perfect for the afternoon tea, or even breakfast. Make sure you serve them as warm as possible, as that is when they taste the best.

Sweet pumpkin vanilla pastries recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

For the pumpkin pastries
450 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
120 grams pumpkin purée
120 grams unsalted butter
100 grams granulated sugar
1 small egg
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
small pinch of salt
For the crème pâtissière
250 ml whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
50 grams granulated sugar
3 medium egg yolks
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour (corn starch)
5 tablespoon chocolate sauce, optional

Sweet pumpkin vanilla pastries recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the yeast, and whisk it very well. Set it aside. Take another large bowl, add in the butter and sugar, and beat with an electric mixer on high, for about 3 minutes, or until lighter in colour and creamy. Add in the egg, and blend it thoroughly. Finally, add in the pumpkin purée, and the spices, and blend for another minute on high. The batter should be smooth and creamy. Add about a third of the flour mixture in the batter, and mix it in on low. Switch to a wooden spoon, add in the salt and the rest of the flour mix, and mix until a dough starts to form. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, and knead it for about 5 minutes, then place it in an oiled bowl, cover it with a tea towel, then let it rise for about an hour and a half, in a warm spot.
While the dough is rising, make the crème pâtissière. Mix together the sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, plain flour and cornflour in a medium bowl, and set it aside. Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and bring it to the boil over medium high heat, then remove it from the heat. Pour about a third of the warm milk over the egg mixture, and whisk vigorously. This will temper the eggs and prevent the scorching. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the milk, and continue to whisk vigorously, still over medium high heat. Keep cook and whisking until the mixture starts to boil, and starts to thicken. Keep the heat steady, and whisk constantly, to prevent the custard from burning on the bottom. Remove it from the heat, then quickly cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Let it cool to at least room temperature, then place it in the refrigerator so it can cool completely.
Once the dough has risen, knead it briefly, then roll it out to about a centimetre in thickness. Cut out 8 neat rectangles, re-rolling the dough scraps as you work. Take a wooden spoon and make an indent in the centre of every rectangle. Place them on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper, and let them rise for another 30 minutes in a warm spot. Just before baking, make another indentation with the wooden spoon, if they lost their shape while resting. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200°C (400°F), for about 20 minutes. Make sure you do not overbake them. Let them cool down slightly, then top with the crème pâtissière, and the chocolate sauce (if using), and serve immediately. Yields 8 servings.

14 October 2016


A lovely and moist quick chocolate pumpkin loaf cake you can bake up and serve in under an hour, hour and a half at most. It has a very tender crumb, with a rich chocolate and pumpkin flavour. You can glaze it with a simple sugar glaze, which is what I did, or you can glaze it with chocolate ganache, melted dark chocolate, or even some pumpkin spice latte whipped cream. Serve it with coffee and enjoy!

150 grams butter, softened
150 grams granulated sugar
2 medium eggs
200 grams pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
120 grams plain flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

Place the softened butter in a large bowl, add in the sugar, and beat with an electric mixer on high, until lighter in colour and creamy. It should take about 3-4 minutes, depending on the speed of your mixer. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the pumpkin puree, and the vanilla bean paste, then blend everything well. Sift together the dry ingredients, add them to the batter, then fold them through using a spatula, until the batter is uniformed.
Grease a small loaf pan (9x5"), then sprinkle in about 2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa, and shake the pan as you would do if you were flouring it, then pour in the batter, level it, and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 35-40 minutes. The toothpick should come out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove it to a wire rack, and let it cool completely. Yields 6 servings.

10 October 2016


Cookies are everyone’s favourite treat, so you just know these are going to be a great hit at any autumn party or gathering. Delicious, melt in your mouth cookies, with a sweet glaze on top; simply perfect with a cup of coffee (or a certain latte) for a late breakfast.

Pumpkin cookies recipe tinascookings.blogspot.com

150 grams plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoons ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
60 grams butter, softened
100 grams Demerara sugar
1 medium egg
120 grams pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons honey
food colouring (optional)

Start by sifting together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices (and unsweetened cocoa powder, if using), and set it aside. Take a large bowl, place in the butter and Demerara sugar, and beat with an electric mixer on high, until light and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the egg and blend well, then add in the pumpkin purée and honey (and food colouring, if using), and blend again, on high, for about a minute. Finally, add the dry ingredients and fold them through by hand. This will ensure the cookies do not end up on the dry side.
Take a small cookie scoop and place dollops of cookie batter on two large cookie sheets lined with baking paper. Space them apart, though, because they do spread considerably during baking. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 180°C (350°F), for about 10-12 minutes. They will be very soft and delicate when they are baked, so let them cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes, just to firm up, then remove them to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Decorate as desired, and serve. Yields 20 cookies.