Funnel Cakes near Harrison Hot Spring

Over the weekend we decided to make a trip to the Harrison Hot Spring to visit the Tournament of Champions Sand Sculpture Competition. The Harrison Hot Spring is about 1.5 hrs away. We invited along Sunny who has just landed in Vancouver just a couple of weeks ago. It’s always great to show new friends what Vancouver has to offer.

Oh the way there, about 10 minutes before we got to Harrison Hot Spring, we saw an eye-catching sign in bold yellow and red advertising Funnel Cakes.

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So, we stopped by on the way back to check it out (even though we were so full from the picnic). The small stand was manned by an old man who explained to us what Funnel Cakes are.

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Apparently, Funnel Cakes are a popular food of the Amish, you know, the religious people Swiss-German ancestry in Pennsylvania. They are better known as the people who shun the use of cars, electricity and other modern stuff.

The Funnel Cake are made by pouring batter through a funnel into hot oil in a circular pattern and deep frying it until golden-brown. They are often served with icing sugar, jam or other toppings. This store serves it with so much icing sugar that we got powder all over our clothes and pants! It was really nice. We bought two for $5.

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Oh yes, I just can’t resist showing off the pictures I took from the sand castle tournament. The sculptures were amazing. Only previous champions were invited to this three day competition. The sculptors were given three days to design and then sculpt from a packed/compressed block of sand.

Have you ever wondered why you can almost never make such sand castles on a beach on a sea side? Let me know if you want to know why … it’s something I learnt from the people at the competition.

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Click on the link below for the rest of the sand castle picture. Enjoy!

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Decadent Cheesecake Brownies

The second recipe which Minoo shared with the cooking club is a decadent cheesecake brownies. These rich and creamy brownies have less than half the fat of regular cheesecake brownies.

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Ingredients

For the cheesecake topping:

  • 1 8oz pkg light cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon flour

For the brownie base:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder, dissolved in 1 teaspoon water

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Coffee Cake with Chocolate Frosting

You know, I have never tried making cakes with icing on it. I enjoyed looking at nice birthday cakes at bakeries and am always amazed on how creative people are in making them. So, I think I better start simple and especially so when I have a birthday boy at home recently who has always clamored for a “birthday cake with icing”. I made a Coffee Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

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Some months back, I bought a book called “1000 Chocolate Baking and Dessert Recipes — from Around the World” for just $24.99. I like recipe books that has lots of pictures and have been flipping through them and bookmarking some of the pages. This is my first attempt, sort of my first of 1000 chocolate cakes/dessert! 🙂

This Coffee Cake is intensely flavoured and is complemented with delicious chocolate frosting, sans decoration. Since I did not have an icing spatula and other stuff for decorating, I made it real simple. I think I will get myself these stuff one of these days and start making nicer looking ones.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • Scant 1 cup golden superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups self-rising flour, sifted
  • Scant 1/2 cup strong black coffee
  • 1 can of creamy chocolate frosting

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Frosted Cupcakes

Words are sweet but they can never replace food.
~ Nigerian Proverb

Arkensen’s birthday coincidentally fell on spring break. He invited a few friends over to celebrate his birthday with him. So, instead of buying a cake from the bakery as we normally do in the past, I baked him some cupcakes instead. Cupcakes go very well with kids celebration like birthday parties or classroom celebrations. Because they are baked in a paper cup container, they do not require plates or utensils for serving — no dishes to wash!

BTW, do you know that cupcake is also known as fairy cake?

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Ingredients
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola or corn oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

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Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Mutual gifts cement friendship. ~ Ivorian Proverb I made a Sour Cream Coffee Cake before I went over to Allie's for her Bulgogi lunch. It has been a while since…

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Cinnamon Coffee Cake

He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes.
~ Maltese Proverb

I made Cinnamon Coffee Cake today. I normally make cakes at least once a week for breakfast and snacks for the boys. Ben likes cakes with coffee in the mornings too. It goes very well with coffee.

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Cinnamon is a small evergreen tree 10-15 m tall native to Sri Lanka and Southern India. The bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material, being largely used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts, chocolate and spicy candies and liqueurs. In the Middle East, it is often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb. In North America, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavor cereals and fruits, especially apples.

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To prepare the cinnamon coffee cake, I use the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour (if using self-rising, eliminate next 2 ingredients)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans if you prefer)
  • 1 stick margarine or butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

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Chinese Sponge Cake

To the Chinese, cakes are normally steamed rather than baked. Today, I steamed a very simple Chinese sponge cake made primarily from eggs. Total time taken to prepare this cake is less than an hour with 25 minutes for steaming.

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Here are the ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (can substitute vanilla if desired)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (can substitute regular milk if desired)
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

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I made a Green Tea Sponge Cake with the addition of one tablespoon of green tea powder (which was shifted with the dry ingredients). The colour turned out to be brown rather than green. I wonder why. Nevertheless, I like the green tea flavour. (more…)

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