Pear Cake with Cardamom Glaze from Zoë Bakes Show

Host Zoe Francois with her pear cardamom cake, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

When I heard about the Scandinavian concept of Fika, I knew this pear cake would be on the menu and I was going to really dive into the theme by adding lots of cardamom and almond paste, which are flavors I associate most with baking from Scandinavia.

Read More

8 Delicious Apple Desserts

Host Zoe Francois picks apples at Sweetland Orchard, as seen on Zoe Bakes.

Apple desserts are a staple of fall and winter baking. And if you have the opportunity, go pick your own apples! I happen to be very lucky because I live in Minnesota where the state fruit is the Honeycrisp apple, a delicious variety developed by the University of Minnesota, and where 29 other varieties have been released by the U of M since 1888 when the apple breeding program began.

It’s a wonderful feeling to learn about different types of apples, pick your own and then head home to make some apple desserts with your bounty.

Read More

Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

Apple Cake with Honey Cider Glaze

I grew up in New England and the apples from my childhood were MacIntosh. They are deliciously tart and have a soft flesh that practically turns to applesauce on a hot day. It wasn’t until I moved to Minneapolis that my apple horizons were broadened and now I am spoiled by the riches of so many local varieties of apples.

Read More

Vegan Mango Mousse

Vegan Mango Mousse | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

I made the delicious Mango Pudding and Passion Fruit Caramel recipes from Hetty McKinnon’s newest book, To Asia, With Love! I layered them together and wanted a little something light and airy on top, like meringue or whipped cream, but her recipes are vegan, so I needed it to be plant-based. I have always read about whipping aquafaba into a frothy topping for desserts, but had never tried it myself, until now. What’s aquafaba, you ask? Well, I know this is going to sound odd to anyone who isn’t familiar with vegan baking, but it is made with the water from a can of garbanzo beans. Yep, you drain off the water from chickpeas and it whips into a frothy topping that looks just like whipped egg whites. I promise you, sweetened and folded into pureed mango, you will never know its origins are so humble. I fooled my husband and his reaction was “this is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted! That’s a high bar too!” Then I told him what it was and he couldn’t take back what he’d said! Hahahahaha Read More

Blueberry Galette

Blueberry Galette Recipe | Zoe Bakes by Zoë François

Blueberry Galette! This is really a rustic blueberry pie, made without a tin and given a more romantic name. It’s simple, delicious, easy and contains little more than plump, sweet-tart blueberries.

A galette need not be complicated, you can use fresh and/or frozen blueberries (which I always have in my freezer) with just a touch of sweetener (you decide how sweet you like it). The galette goes together fast with my perfect pie dough that holds in the berries. The blueberries have a deep purple color when they are baked, which is just the natural drama I like in a dessert.

This blueberry galette is beautiful enough to serve at a party with a scoop of ice cream. But, don’t forget, blueberries have vitamin C, fiber and are heart-healthy, so this is also the best breakfast pastry ever! The pie dough makes two disks, so you can freeze one for later or make two galettes and double the filling. My boys were home when I made this and they ate the first one in a sitting, so I quickly made a second. 

You can watch me make the galette in my instagram highlight video. This recipe is also posted on the Blueberries website, along with many other blueberry recipes for you to gather inspiration from. Read More

Mini Apple Tarte Tatin (French Apple Tarts)

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin is a modern take on a French classic dessert. This twist on the classic French tarte tatin is elegant and delicious. Using apples, puff pastry, and caramel, these mini apple tarts are sure to impress.

Apples baked in buttery caramel, until the apple absorbs the caramel and turn amber. The original dessert is rustic and beautifully humble, just apples cut, placed in a pan with caramel, then baked with the curst on top and inverted. Not much to look at, but one of the most revered desserts for the rich caramelized apples and flaky pastry. On instagram I saw a version that was so elegant, but still looked equally as delicious. Perfect spirals of apples, baked in caramel and turned out onto puff pastry. HOW did they get those even continuous slices of apples. I have most pastry equipment available to home bakers, but nothing in my pantry could create this shape. A little sleuthing and I found it, my new favorite kitchen tool. 

You can see me create this tart in my Instagram video and watch the apple slicer create the delicate ribbons. 

Swirled Apple Tarte Tatin | ZoëBakes photo by Zoë François
Read More