The Most Delicious Cherry Cake You’ve Ever Had

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When cherries are around, the best way to serve them is tossed with a little bit of sugar, along side some whipped cream and a simple vanilla cake. Their flavour is delicate, so there’s no need to complicate them. This recipe works amazing well with the tried and true Mirage Vanilla cake, as it has the perfect texture for absorbing flavour, while still showcasing this amazing fruit.

Makes: 1 double layered cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking and Cooling Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Mirage Margarine Vanilla Cake
  • 375ml / 1 ½ cup 35% cream
  • 30g / ¼ cup icing sugar
  • 200g 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 125ml / ½ cup water
  • 10ml / 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 350g / 2 cups fresh cherries
  • 30g / ¼ icing sugar

Directions

  1. Prepare one recipe of Mirage Margarine Vanilla Cake, making two 8 inch round cakes.
  2. Let the cakes cool completely.
  3. While the cakes are cooling prepare a vanilla simple syrup, by combining 1 cup of granulated white sugar, with ½ cup of water and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a pot and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside, covered until you’re ready to build your cake.
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  5. While the syrup is resting, pit the cherries and lightly toss with ¼ icing sugar. After about 5 minutes give them another toss. This helps get the juices flowing and will give the cherries a nice glazed look.
  6. Once the cakes are completely cooled, use a serrated bread knife to cut off the dome shaped tops, so that your cakes are nice and level.
  7. Brush the cut tops of both cakes with the vanilla simple syrup. Do this a few times until all the syrup has been absorbed into the cakes.
  8. Prepare the whipped cream with an electric hand mixer. In a medium bowl add the 35% cream and ¼ cup icing sugar. Beat on medium speed until stiff peaks are reached.
  9. Place your first cake on to your serving plate or cake stand, cut side down. Place half of the sweetened whipped cream on top of the first cake, and spread it around in an even, thick layer.
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  11. Take half of the cherries, and sprinkle them on top of the whipped cream layer.
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  13. Gently place the second cake, cut side up, on top of the cherries, and press down until the cake is level.
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  15. On top of the second cake, evenly spread the remaining whipping cream across the top of the cake. Pile the remaining cherries on top of the whipped cream.
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  17. Place the cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours, to allow the whipped cream and vanilla syrup to settle into the cake, and to allow the flavours to come together before serving at your next family event.

Chef Notes

  • To save time during the day of serving, bake the cakes the night before, and wrap them tightly with plastic wrap to allow you to hit the ground running the next day.
  • If you have troubles finding cherries, preserved bing cherries are readily available in grocery stores. Simply drain off the syrup and reserve. The cherry syrup is perfect for soaking into the cake.

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The Most Delicious Blueberry Lemon Curd!

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You couldn’t make a better pairing than lemon and blueberry. The tart flavour of lemon, balances the sweetness of a fresh summer berry. Here to the two meet in a twist on a classic lemon curd recipe, making a deep, dark purple curd that you’ll just want to eat with a spoon.

Makes: approximately 2 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 450g / 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 100g / 1/2 cup sugar
  • 60ml / 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 15g / 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30g / 2 tablespoons Mirage Margarine

Directions

  1. Combine the blueberries, sugar and juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for 6 minutes.
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  3. Place the mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Then pass the blueberry lemon juice through a strainer to remove any skins.
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  5. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and egg yolks, until smooth.
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  7. Stir the yolk mixture into berry mixture, return to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
  8. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
  9. Remove from the heat and transfer to a clean bowl, to start the cooling process.
  10. After about 5 minutes, add the Mirage Margarine and whisk until dissolved completely into the berry mixture.
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  12. Transfer the mixture to a glass jar, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before enjoying on scones, muffins or tarts. Keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Chef Notes

  • Using glass jars to store food items that have a higher acidity like lemon, means they won’t take on flavours of the container, or anything else that used to live in the container.
  • If you can’t get your hands on fresh blueberries, just go ahead and use frozen ones. Since they’re picked and frozen at the peak of their season, the quality is generally quite nice.
  • On the other hand if you’ve got a lot of blueberries on hand, go ahead and double the recipe up and make a large batch. Curd is a traditional preserving technique, so in a clean glass jar a batch can last for at least a month, when stored in the fridge.

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Raspberry Chiffon Cake

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When the afternoon comes around and you need a little snack, this raspberry orange chiffon, or sponge cake, is the perfect not-too-sweet and not-too-heavy treat, to get you through the day.

Makes: one 9” by 9” cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 280g / 2 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 300g / 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 6g / 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • vinegar for whipping
  • 8g / 2 tbsp orange zest
  • 175ml / ¾ cup strained orange juice
  • 112g / ½ cup Mirage Margarine, melted
  • 245g / 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • icing sugar for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In large bowl, sift together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar and baking powder.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the 6 egg yolks, orange zest, juice, and melted Mirage margarine.
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  5. Pour the dry ingredients over the yolk mixture and mix just until smooth. Set aside.
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  7. Splash approximately a tablespoon of vinegar into a large bowl, and wipe it around the bowl with a paper towel. Be sure to clean up any remaining vinegar from the bowl.
  8. Now add the egg whites to the vinegar primed bowl and whisk until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until stiff, shiny peaks form.
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  10. Add half of the stiff egg whites to the bowl of batter, and fold until you only see small amounts of egg white.
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  12. Add the remaining egg whites to the batter and fold just until combined.
  13. Add in half of the raspberries to the batter and fold them in.
  14. Pour the batter into a 9″ by 9″ pan, and top off with the remaining raspberries.
  15. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched or a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. This should take about 35 minutes.
  16. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to rest until completely cool.
  17. Before serving, dust the top of the cake lightly or liberally with icing sugar and you’re ready for an afternoon of tea and coffee with friends and family.
  18. Keep this cake for up to 4 days, wrapped in plastic or in an airtight container.

Chef Notes

  • Coating the inside of the bowl you’re going to use for whipping the egg whites, will allow you to get a fluffier, firmer stiff peak in less time than normal. The acidity helps to allow the protein in the egg stretch and take on air. It’s the same effect you get from adding in cream of tartar.
  • When making a chiffon or any other sponge cake, you don’t want to grease the sides of your pan. The sponge, as it rises, clings to the sides to help gain height and maintain it once it’s removed from the oven. If you grease the pan, you’ll most likely end up with a cake that shrinks once removed from the oven.

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The Peanut Butter Cookies You Loved As A Kid

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Growing up, cookies were the kind of the snack world. Nothing was better than coming home from school and biting into a fresh baked cookie. One cookie that everyone needs to have on hand is the Peanut Butter Cookie! With just 4 main ingredients it’s the perfect one bowl, one spoon cookie. In less than 10 minutes you could be sitting in front of the oven waiting for these perfectly crunchy cookies, to make their way into your mouth.

Yield: 24 Cookies
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes

Ingredients

    1 Egg
    226g / 1 cup Peanut butter, crunchy or smooth
    113g / ½ cup Mirage margarine
    400g / 2 cups Granulated sugar
    60g / ½ cup Candy Coated Peanuts, crushed (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
  2. In a large bowl combine the peanut butter, Mirage margarine, and sugar. Using an electric mixer or wooden spoon, begin creaming the ingredients together, for about 2 minutes.
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  4. Next add in the egg, and the crushed nuts, if you’re using them. Begin mixing just until the mixture is even and smooth. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl in between mixing to ensure you’re getting everything mixed together.
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  6. On a baking sheet, lined with parchment, begin dropping spoonfuls of cookie dough, about the size of a ping pong ball. Gently press down with a fork and pop the tray into the oven.
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  8. Allow the cookies to bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the surface no longer looks wet and the edges are nice and golden.
  9. Remove them from the oven and allow them to rest for at least 20 minutes. As these cookies contain a fair amount of sugar, a hot cookie could really hurt.
  10. To store the cookies, wait until they’re cool and transfer them to an airtight container, and keep them for up to a week. The cookies will start to go softer as they are stored, so if you like them crispy just pop them back in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes.

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Chef Tips

  • Use a good quality peanut butter for these perfect little morsels. It makes a difference in terms of texture and flavour. Look for a peanut butter that has peanuts as the first ingredient.

Nice and Cheesy Zucchini and Chive Loaf

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With summer months comes summer vegetables. And the most versatile of all would be the zucchini. Green or yellow, it doesn’t matter, they both lend themselves well to both sweet and savoury dishes. Here we go the savoury route, combing chive, paprika, and cheddar with the king of summer veg, to make a dish you can serve along side a great bbq spread.

Ingredients

    320g / 2 cups Green zucchini, grated
    4g / 1 tsp Salt
    190g / 1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
    12g / 1 tbsp Brown sugar
    2g / 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
    2g / 1 tsp Paprika
    2 eggs
    8g / ¼ cup Chives, thinly sliced
    75g / ⅓ cup Mirage margarine, melted
    120g / 1 cup Cheddar, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Lightly grease a small round baking dish with some extra Mirage margarine.
  3. In a large mixing bowl mix the grated zucchini with the egg, salt sugar and melted margarine until even.
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  5. Fold the cheddar and chives into the wet mixture. Be sure to save a small amount of grated cheddar to sprinkle on top later.
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  7. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and paprika.
  8. Add the dry into the wet and gently mix, just until you can no longer see the flour.
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  10. Once mixed, pour the batter into the prepared pan, top with the reserved grated cheese, and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until completely golden brown and firm to the touch.
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  12. Remove the loaf from the oven and allow it to rest within the pan until it’s cooled slightly, 25-30 minutes.
  13. Go ahead and remove the loaf from the pan, and keep it covered once it has been cut into. It should hold at room temperature for about 3 days.

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Chefs Note

  • If you’ve got some yellow zucchini, feel free to use that in place of the green. Or if you’re not a fan of the zucchini, try adding in some grated carrot or sweet potato.
  • Love your cheeses? Try adding in your family favourites to replace the cheddar. Let us know about any of your substitutions in the comments below!

Crispy & Delicious Rosemary Parmesan Crackers

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Tomato season is upon us and with tomatoes, comes tomato soup. Warm or cold it’s perfect for the summer months. Whichever way you serve it, you’ll need crackers to go along with it. These little bites of delicious herb and cheese are perfect on their own or crushed up in soup and salad. Fresh rosemary really does make the whole kitchen smell great when you pull them from the oven, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the same results with the dried versions.

Ingredients

    6g / 2 tbsp Onion flakes
    2g / 1 tsp Garlic powder
    2g / 1 tsp Salt
    255g / 2 cups All-purpose flour
    4g / 1 tsp Brown sugar
    100g / 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
    4g / 2 tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped
    2g / 1 tsp Black pepper
    1g / ½ tsp baking soda
    60g / ¼ cup Sour cream, full fat
    60g / ¼ cup Mirage margarine, melted
    90ml / 6 tbsp Warm water

Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F (175C).
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, parmesan, black pepper, rosemary, onion flakes, garlic powder, salt and baking soda.
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  • In a second bowl, whisk together the sour cream, warm water, brown sugar and melted Mirage margarine, until smooth and combined.
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  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix together with a wooden spoon, until the dough starts coming together.
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  • Turn the loose dough out onto the counter and begin kneading it together with your hands until all of the flour is hydrated and the dough begins to stick together.
  • Separate the dough into 2 pieces, wrap each one with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough with a rolling pin, until it is at least ⅛ of an inch thick. Cut the dough with your favourite cookie cutter, then pierce each cracker a few times with a fork. You shouldn’t need too much flour on the counter for rolling as the dough is quite firm on its own.
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  • Place the crackers on a baking sheet lined with parchment, then pop them into the oven to bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are golden brown and crisp.
  • Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to 5 days. If the crackers are warm when stored, they will start to go soggy.
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    Chef tips

    • When rolling the dough, a pasta roller works wonders, so if you have one, definitely use it!
    • If you don’t have any fresh rosemary around, feel free to use some dried rosemary, as the flavour keeps quite well.
    • Be sure to use full fat sour cream, as the lighter varieties can make the dough tough and chewy.

    Gluten Free Patriotic Beaver Cupcakes

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    What better to way is there to celebrate Canada’s birthday, than by getting together with the family and putting together some of these, super adorable, beaver cupcakes. The recipe we’ve used is a gluten free pecan recipe, but feel try to use any of our other cake recipes too. You’ll need some good chocolate to melt down and decorate, as well as some Smarties, another Canadian favourite.

    For the Cupcakes

    Ingredients

      112 g / 1/2 cup Mirage Margarine
      200 g / 1 cup Golden brown sugar, plus extra for topping
      2 eggs
      g / 1 cup Ground Pecans
      g / 1 cup Corn Flour (Masa, found in the flour aisle)
      60 g / ½ cup Quinoa Flour
      1/2 cup Cornstarch
      4 g / 1/2 tsp Baking soda
      4 g / 1/2 tsp Salt
      160 g / 2/3 cup Sour cream
      250 ml / 1 cup Milk

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F(175°C).
    2. In a large bowl, cream the Mirage margarine and sugar until light and fluffy with a handheld electric mixer, which takes approximately 4 minutes.
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    4. Beat in the eggs, milk and sour cream and continue creaming for another 1 minute.
    5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ground pecans, corn flour, quinoa flour, baking soda, salt and cornstarch. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined.
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    7. Line a muffin tray with liners and begin filling the liners ⅔ of the way full with the batter, place in the oven and bake for about 20 to 25, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
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    9. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool completely to room temperature.

    To Decorate

    Ingredients

      24 Brown Smarties
      12 Red Smarties
      24 Whole pecan pieces
      4oz White chocolate
      4oz Dark chocolate
      1 batch of Your Grandmother’s Classic Chocolate Frosting
      12 chocolate dipped shortbreads (found in the cookie aisle)
      1 piping bag with a round tip fitted

    Directions

    1. Begin by filling your piping bag with chocolate icing. Using the round tip completely ice the top of your cupcake, trying to keep the surface flat. Starting from the center of the cupcake pipe two half circle shapes to create the cheeks. Place in two pecans above the cheeks, as ears. Place a red Smartie in as a nose.
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    3. Melt the white chocolate and place it in a paper or disposable piping bag. Use the piping bag to carefully draw on two teeth coming out from under the cheeks. Place on two brown Smarties as the eyes, and use the white chocolate to draw the whites of the eyes.
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    5. Take one of the shortbread cookies, and place it chocolate side up, into the “back side” of the beaver to make a tail. Melt the dark chocolate and use a toothpick to draw on the irises of the beaver.
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    7. Serve these guys up to your friends and family this Canada day, but start prepping them the day before. These gluten free cakes store well in the fridge, for up to 2 days.

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    Chef Notes

    • Ground pecans are readily available at any bulk food store. But if for some reason they don’t carry them near you, you can always put whole pecans in the blender and grind them until they are fine, but not paste consistency.
    • If you’re not a fan of pecans, try replacing them with ground and whole almonds.

    Dreamy and Perfectly Crispy Pistachio Baklava

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    Baklava is a dish that varies by region. Sometimes it’s just almond, other times there are walnuts and spices. For this version we’ve include the rich and tasty Pistachio nut, paired with the flavours of honey, cinnamon and clove.

    Ingredients

    Syrup

      400g / 2 cups Granulated sugar
      340g / 1 cup Honey
      355ml / 1 ½ cups Water
      2 sticks Cinnamon
      6 Cloves

    Filling

      215g / 2 cups Almond slivers
      215g / 2 cups Pistachios, shelled
      50g / 1/4 cup Granulated sugar
      5g / 2 tsp ground Cinnamon
      1 package Phyllo dough (24 sheets)
      225g / 1 cup Mirage Margarine, melted

    Directions

    For the Syrup

    1. In a deep pot, stir the sugar, water, honey, cinnamon sticks, and cloves over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
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    3. Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium, and simmer until the mixture is slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Strain out the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves, and set aside.
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    For the filling

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C).
    2. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until fine, about the size of a lentil. Add in the sugar and cinnamon, then give it a quick pulse to combine everything together.
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    4. Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan lightly with melted Mirage margarine.
    5. Place a sheet of phyllo in the pan and lightly brush the entire sheet with margarine. Repeat this with 7 more sheets.
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    7. Spread half of the nut filling, evenly over the phyllo. Top with 8 more sheets, brushing each layer with margarine. Use any torn sheets in this middle layer. Spread with the remaining nut mixture and end with a top layer of 8 phyllo sheets, continuing to brush each layer with margarine. Trim any overhanging edges.
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    9. Using a sharp knife, cut 3 equal lengthwise strips (about 1 3/4 inches wide) through the top layer of pastry. Make 1 1/2-inch-wide diagonal cuts across the strips to form diamond shapes.
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    11. Just before baking, sprinkle the top of the pastry with cold water. This keeps the pastry from curling.
    12. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300F (150C) and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
    13. Remove from the oven, then cut through the scored lines, through to the bottom.
    14. Pour the syrup slowly over the hot baklava and let cool for at least 4 hours, but preferably, overnight.
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    16. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. If the baklava dries out while being stored, drizzle with a little additional hot syrup.

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    Chefs Notes

    • If you’re not a fan of pistachios, go ahead and just use 4 cups of almonds.
    • When using phyllo, if you’re finding some sheets that are cracked, try layering them between more whole sheets.
    • Between building the layers, be sure to cover the phyllo with a dry towel to keep it from drying out too quickly.

    Picnic-Ready Blueberry Handpies

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    When blueberries start to show up at the local market, you know you must be in that sweet spot, in the middle of summer. The warm nights, and weekends spent enjoying the outdoors, could only be made better by having these delicious blueberry hand pies traveling with you. Make them ahead of time as they’ll keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if you can keep your hands off of them.

    Ingredients

      1 recipe Mirage Puff Pastry
      15g / 2 tbsp All-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
      75g / ⅓ cup Mirage margarine, melted
      300 g / 1 ½ cups Blueberries
      15ml / 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
      50g / ¼ cup sugar
      1 large egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water
      Turbinado sugar for dusting

    Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
    2. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a 15×12″ rectangle.
    3. Cut the puff into 6 rounds.
    4. In a large bowl, toss the blueberries with the flour, and sugar until they are fully coated.
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    6. Pour the melted margarine and lemon juice, over the berries and toss again.
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    8. Brush the edges of the pastry rounds with water, and mound some blueberries in center of each.
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    10. Fold the dough over, and pinch the edges together to seal with a fork or your fingers.
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    12. Brush the pies generously with egg wash, and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
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    14. Cut 2 or 3 slits in the tops of each pie to allow steam to vent out, then transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
    15. Bake the hand pies, rotating the sheet halfway through, until juices are bubbling and the pastry is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes (the juices will run onto parchment).
    16. Transfer them to a wire rack, for only a few minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.
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      Chef Notes

      • If you can get your hands on wild blueberries, by all means, use them. They have an amazing, mouth watering, floral scent, that finishes off with a sweet and tart kick in the mouth, that lets you know summer is here.

    Summer Day Matcha Green Tea Shortbreads

    Matcha Green Tea Shortbreads Hero-3

    Shortbread cookies make a great accompaniment to tea. They’re even better when made with green tea in them! Matcha, is a ground green tea, full of antioxidants and a sweet, almost fruity flavour. Try this matcha shortbread cookie paired with a variation of our lemon curd, a nice tart grapefruit curd. Can’t find matcha at your grocery store? Try checking out your local tea shop and see what they have in stock, they’re sure to set you on the right track.

    Ingredients

      226 g / 1 cup Mirage Margarine, room temperature
      60 g / ½ cup Icing sugar, sifted
      260 g / 2 cups All-purpose flour, sifted
      5 ml / 1 tsp Vanilla extract
      2 g / 1 tsp Salt
      7g / 1 tbsp Matcha green tea powder

    Directions

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F(160°C).
    2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the Mirage Margarine, the icing sugar, the matcha powder, vanilla and salt on high speed for 3 minutes, until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides several times with a rubber spatula.
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    4. Scrape down the margarine mixture once more and add in the flour.
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    6. Mix on low speed just until the dough is combined and even. Over-mixing will make a tough cookie, so stop once the flour is no longer visible.
    7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap in the shape of a long tube, and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. This will allow the dough to properly hydrate the flour and make it easier to roll.
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    9. Remove from the fridge and cut out rounds about 2cm thick.
    10. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet with approximately 2cm of space between the cookies
    11. Bake the cookies in the oven for 8-12 minutes, or until the edges just start to turn golden. Be sure to rotate the tray after 6 minutes of baking.
    12. Transfer the cookies to a resting rack and allow them to cool before serving with grapefruit curd.

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    Notes

    • These cookies store well in an airtight container.
    • Make the grapefruit curd and cookie dough ahead of time. Then when you plan on serving them, bake the cookies and serve them as a great after dinner dessert.