December 29, 2013

52*52 Baked Eggs with Ham and Cheese

Can you believe that today is the last Sunday in 2013?
2014 will be here in 3 days already...

I won't bore you with a long review of the year but let me say that it's been a fun one when it comes to baking.
But I won't continue in 2014. Other things await that need my full attention in 2014 (please visit www.sarahbucher.ch if you are curious).
Plus - it's time to lose at least some of the weight that I gained from all those cakes and cookies ;)

I hope you're not too disappointed if I end the year (and this blog, at least for now) with a pretty simple and savory baking recipe. But I think it is fitting for a new direction. And it is a very good recipe to have at hand for breakfast and brunch guests (I made it on Christmas morning last year and this year again), as a hangover cure, or just as a small, quick, and comforting meal.

Baked Eggs with Ham and Cheese
From Two Tarts

For each serving you need:
1-2 slices of raw/dry-cured ham
1 egg
1 teaspoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated cheese
pepper

  • Put one or two slices of ham in a ramekin so that the bottom and sides are covered.
  • Crack one egg over the ham. Drizzle with cream, sprinkle with cheese, season with pepper. (No salt is needed because the ham is salty enough).
  • Bake in preheated oven at 190°C (375°F) for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.
My modifications:
I used a bit less cream and cheese than in the original recipe because I think 1 teaspoon each is enough.

The taste:
So good, so comforting, so filling. And so quick and easy. 
Definitely something to make more often.

How do you end the year? Any specific recipes you make?

December 22, 2013

51*52 Vanillekipferln / Vanilla Crescents

You guys.
For the first time since I started this blog I'm gonna have to cheat. On my own rules.
Because I only wanted to blog about recipes that I had never made before.
This week's Vanillekipferln are a classic. And a recipe that I've been making for years.

But I have a good excuse. Unfortunately.
You see, sometimes life changes suddenly. And even though my hubby was unbelievably lucky and must have had about a million guardian angels, it was still a huge shock when he was hit by a van last Thursday, on his way to work, while crossing the street. He's scratched, bruised, and in pain but thankfully that's all.

And still - priorities shift when something like this happens. I know y'all understand that my baking mojo is not its old self right now. No matter if Christmas is around the corner or not.

But a classic is still better than nothing, right? So here we go:

Vanillekipferln / Vanilla Crescents
From Bild der Frau Christmas Baking Special 1997

Cookies:
250 g butter, cold
125 g sugar
125 g almond meal
300 g flour
1 egg
2 sachets vanilla sugar (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
pintch of salt

For dusting:
2 tablespoons ground vanilla
150 g powdered sugar
  • Combine all cookie ingredients and knead until well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and let cool in fridge for one hour.
  • Take small bits of dough, roll between your hands then "curve" to form crescents. Put on prepared cookie sheet and bake at 180°C (360°F) for 10-12 minutes. Take out and let cool slightly. Dust with vanilla powdered sugar.
My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Like a true Chrismas classic. I used to find them boring when I was a kid but I got over that a couple of years ago...

What is a Christmas classic that you bake every year?

December 15, 2013

50*52 Haselnuss-Spekulatius (Hazelnut Speculoos)

Thanks to this blog, I finally started the Christmas baking.
So thank you blog, for putting at least a tiny bit of pressure on me.


Haselnuss-Spekulatius (Hazelnut Speculoos)

100 g hazelnuts, slivered
250 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
50 g hazelnuts, ground
100 g butter, room temperature
100 g sugar
3 teaspoons Spekulatius/speculoos spice
pinch of salt
1 egg
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
  • Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets and sprinkle slivered hazelnuts on them.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and ground hazelnuts.
  • Beat together butter, sugar, spice, and salt. Add egg and beat until creamy. Add flour mix at once and work into butter mix.
  • Roll dough 3-4 mm (about 0.15 in) thick and cut into rectangles (about 4 x 6 cm/1.6 x 2.4 in). Put each one on the slivered hazelnuts, press lightly.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Very yummy. But not very christmassy. More speculoos spice next time, maybe.

What are your favorite Christmas cookies to bake?

December 8, 2013

49*52 Pumpkin Spice Brownies

I know, I know.
It's the second of advent and I should really be baking christmas cookies.
The thing is: I am so not in the christmas mood yet. But soon!

Until then - let's enjoy the autumnal taste of pumpkin spice again.
Paired with chocolate in the form of brownies.
Sound good? I think so.

Pumpkin Spice Brownies
Adapted from Sweet & Easy: Enie backt via Sixx

125 g (4.4 oz) dark chocolate
125 g (1.1 stick) butter
3 eggs
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 g (3/4 cup) flour
 pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F).
  • Melt chocolate and butter over a bain-marie.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Add melted chocolate-butter.
  • Fold in flour and salt until just combined. Add 140 g (5 oz) of candy melts.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
  • Melt remaining candy melts and frost brownies with it.
My modifications:
I reduced the amount of sugar by 75 g because I knew that the candy melts will bring additional sweetness.
I also added the candy melts to the batter and as frosting.

The taste:
Sweet but very good in a pumpkin spice kind of way. I'm really glad that put off the cookie baking and made this today instead.

Do you have any great baking recipes using candy melts?

December 1, 2013

48*52 Lebkuchen-Kuchen (Gingerbread Cake)

Some things or words cannot really be translated. The German "Lebkuchen" is such a thing. Gingerbread just isn't really the same thing but I guess it's what comes closest.

Since today is not only December 1st but also the 1st of advent, I wanted to bake something christmasy. But not cookies yet - I'm just not ready for them (and all the effort going into them). So this cake sounded quick, easy, and christmasy. What more could I ask for?

Lebkuchen-Kuchen (Gingerbread Cake)

400 g (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) flour
300 g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
1 pack (15 g or 4 teaspoons) Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) spice 
1 pack (17 g or 4 teaspoons) baking powder
5 eggs
250 g (2.2 sticks) butter
250 ml (1 cup) water, lukewarm
  • Combine all ingredients, except for the water, and mix until combined. 
  • Add water slowly and mix until dough is smooth. 
  • Pour into prepared baking tin and bake at 180°C (360°F) for 40-50 minutes.
My modifications:
I used rice flour. Just because I wanted to try it. So my version is gluten-free.
I also cut back on the sugar and only used 200 g (1 cup) instead of 300 g (1 1/2 cups).

The taste:
Okayish. It's probably the rice flour (which I have never baked with before so I don't really know) but I just didn't like the consistency. It was very sandy, if you know what I mean. And the Lebkuchen/gingerbread taste wasn't as strong as I expected and hoped for. And it needs some kind of frosting.
I think I should just ignore all cakes or muffins that have something to do with Lebkuchen, because I was already disappointed last year...

Have you ever been disappointed by the same flavor in a different recipes?


November 24, 2013

47*52 Pecan-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake

I saw a very yummy-looking shot of a Pecan-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake on Flickr last week. And since I haven't made anything with pecans for this blog yet I thought this would be a great recipe for this week's bake.
Plus - Thanksgiving is around the corner (even though we don't celebrate it here).
But pecans and Thanksgiving go well together, right?

The picture on Flickr did not come with a link for a recipe so I googled and decided to make the one below. It is completely different from the one I saw but it sounds delish.
Let's find out if it really is.

Pecan-Brown Sugar Coffee Cake
From food.com

330 g (2 cups) flour
440 g (2 cups) packed brown sugar
170 g (3/4 cup) butter, cold & cubed
250 g (1 cup) sour cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
150 g (1 cup) pecans, chopped
  • Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl.
  • Add butter cubes and mix until crumbly. Press 2 3/4 cups of crumb mix evenly on the bottom of a 20 x 30 cm (13 x 9 in) pan.
  • Stir together sour cream, egg, and baking soda. Add the remaining crumb mix just until moistened, pour over crust bottom.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly on top, together with the pecans.
  • Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes.
My modifications:
I didn't have enough packed brown sugar at hand but I wanted to maintain that intense flavor so I used maple syrup. I found a good article on how to substitute it in terms of quantity here. (I reduced the overall amount of sugar by using 1/2 cup packed brown sugar and 2/3 cup maple syrup.)
I also used pumpkin pie spice instead of just cinnamon because I thought it would be nice.

The taste:
I really like it. It could have been a bit higher (so maybe I'd use a smaller pan next time) but other than that - very good! The reduced sugar amount was totally enough but a bit more pumpkin spice would not have hurt.

What's your favorite baking recipe for Thanksgiving?

November 17, 2013

46*52 Chocolate Almond Cake

Coming back from holidays and getting back into the rhythm can be tough sometimes.
Especially when you are coming home to cold november weather.

But - to make the best of this situation - why don't we bake a Julia Child cake?
Because that's what I did. And it helped.

P.S. I really can't believe that this is the first Julia Child recipe I am making.
Shame on me.

Chocolate Almond Cake

Cake:
113 g (4 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons coffee (or rum)
113 g (1 stick) butter, room temperature
130 g (2/3 cup) sugar
3 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
35 g (1/3 cup) almond meal
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
70 g (1/2 cup) flour, sifted

Icing:
60 g (2 oz) dark chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons coffee (or rum)
85 g (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
slivered almonds, for garnish
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and flour a 20 cm (8 in) round cake pan.
  • Melt chocolate with the coffee (or rum) over a bain-marie. Let cool.
  • Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg yolks and beat until thick. Add the melted chocolate. Stir in almond extract and almond meal until just combined.
  • Beat the egg whites and salt in a separate bowl, adding the tablespoon of sugar slowly, until stiff.
  • Fold 1/4 of the egg whites into the batter. Add the remaining egg whites, alternating with the flour. Don't overmix but fold in gently.
  • Pour batter into pan and bake about 25 minutes. The center should still be jiggly.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, take out of the pan and let cool completely.
  • For the icing, combine chocolate and coffee (or rum) and melt over a bain-marie. 
  • Add the butter a tablespoon at a time and beat it into the chocolate with a whisk.
  • Let the icing cool a bit, spoon on top of the cake and spread evenly. Garnish with slivered almonds.
My modifications:
None.
Only the icing: I didn't read the recipe properly (oops) and melted the butter with the chocolate and coffee so my icing turned out much more liquid, of course. It's still okay but next time I would definitely make it as described in the recipe...
The taste:
Very good! A soft, almost liquid center and a nice almond and chocolate taste.
Only the taste of the almond extract was a bit too strong so I will definitely use less next time. But other than that - very good!

Have you ever tried a Julia Child recipe? Which one(s) and how did it turn out?

November 10, 2013

45*52 Red Cabbage-Pear Quiche

This quiche is packed with autumn goodness: 
red cabbage, leek, pears, potatoes.

Pure comfort food, if you ask me. And just perfect for the season.

Red Cabbage-Pear Quiche
From Le Menu 10/13

1 quiche crust or 1 round puff pastry

Topping
3 potatoes, cooked, peeled, in slices
1 leek, in rings
100 g (3.5 oz) red cabbage, shredded
150 g (5.3. oz) Gruyère cheese, shredded
1-2 pears, peeled, cored, in slices

Glaze
2 eggs
200 ml (0.85 cup) milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
pepper
chives or parsley
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
  • Put quiche crust or puff pastry into round pie pan.
  • Distribute potatoes evenly. Combine leek, cabbage, and cheese and put on top of the potatoes. Add the pears.
  • Mix all ingredients for the glaze and pour over vegetables.
  • Bake on lower oven rack for 30-35 minutes. Best served hot or warm.
My modifications:
The recipe called for quiche/pie crust but I used puff pastry.
It also called for chives but I replaced it with parsley.

The taste:
Autumnal. Healthy. Comforting. Very yummy (if you hadn't guessed that already).

What's your favorite comfort food for fall/autumn?

November 3, 2013

44*52 Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

Chocolate and peanut butter. I mean, seriously. 

Brownies with peanut butter chips. Hell yeah.

No need to say more this week, right?

Peanut Butter Chip Brownies
Adapted from somewhere but I honestly don't know where anymore. It's a brownie recipe that I wrote down on a piece of paper a long time ago but never made until now, I just added the peanut butter chips.

114 g (1 stick) butter
227 g (8oz) dark chocolate
200 g (1 cup) sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
110 g (3/4 cup) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
180 g (1 cup) peanut butter chips
  • Melt butter and chocolate in a bain-marie.
  • In a bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs. Add vanilla. Add melted butter-chocolate.
  • Fold in flour and salt until just combined. Then fold in the peanut butter chips.
  • Pour into prepared brownie pan. Bake at 180°C (350°F) for 30-35 minutes.

My modifications:
Just added the peanut butter chips.
Next time I would probably reduce the sugar by half because it is pretty sweet.

The taste:
Heavenly. Addictive. Need I say more?

What is your favorite sweet combination?


October 27, 2013

43*52 Pumpkin Lasagna

It's pumpkin time ;)

I'm always happy when I see the first pumpkins of the season around. 
And every year I'm looking for new recipes for what to make with all these pumpkins.
I browsed through tons of pumpkin lasagna recipes for this week's bake but in the end mixed them all up into one basic, easy vegetarian version.

Enjoy this week with another non-cake-bake!

Vegetarian Pumpkin Lasagna
Inspired by many different recipes

1 medium butternut pumpkin (or hokkaido)
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
500 g (17.5 oz) mashed/sieved tomatoes (passata)
basil or oregano, dried
salt and pepper
lasagna sheets
mozzarella, shredded
  • Peel pumpkin and remove seeds. Cut into smaller cubes.
  • Heat up olive oil in a pan, cook onion and garlic for about a minute. Add pumpkin and sautée for about 5 minutes, stir frequently. Add passata, season to taste and let cook until pumpkin is almost tender.
  • Using a spoon or ladle, put a bit of the tomato sauce (without pumpkin) on the bottom of a casserole dish/pan. Lay out lasagna sheets on top. Top with some pumpkin-tomato-sauce, lasagna sheets, pumpkin-tomato-sauce again, lasagna sheets and end with a bit of tomato sauce. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over top and bake at 200°C (390°F) for about 25-30 minutes.
(sorry, just a bad iphone shot this week...)
My modifications:
None. This is my interpretation of an easy and quick pumpkin lasagna.
You can of course also add minced meat and/or a bechamel sauce but I didn't miss either.

The taste:
Great. Another pumpkin recipe that I will definitely make again.

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?

October 20, 2013

42*52 Sweet Potato Banana Bread

I know. Bananas again. Sorry.

But sweet potatoes! Not much with sweet potatoes on this blog up to now.

So let's get straight to the recipe, shall we?

Sweet Potato Banana Bread
From Just A Pinch 

2 over-ripe bananas, mashed
2 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
150 g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
125 g (1 cup) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Combine bananas, sweet potatoes, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and eggs.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir into the banana mixture until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes.

My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Good. But something went wrong when I made it. I think the egg wasn't distributed well enough so that the bottom part of each piece tasted like (and had the texture of) an omelet. Which wasn't so nice, as you might be able to imagine. But otherwise it tasted like fall. And I like fall.

What cake reminds you of fall the most?

October 13, 2013

41*52 Banana-Cranberry-Cake

I had just bough dried cranberries. For nothing in particular.

Then I had to think about what kind of cake the hubby could take to work for his birthday.
And the cranberries came to mind again.
Good that there were some very ripe bananas laying around as well.

Banana-Cranberry-Cake
Adapted slightly from Baking By Flavor via Technicolor Kitchen

280 g (2 cups) flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teapsoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
80 g (3/4 cup) dried cranberries, chopped if too large
140 g (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
200 g (1 cup) sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed
70 g (1/4 cup) sour cream or yogurt
  • Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). 
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, toss cranberries with 1 teaspoon of the flour mix. Mix mashed bananas with sour cream.
  • Cream butter with the sugar for about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla.
  • Alternately add flour mix and banana mix. Add cranberries.
  • Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes.
  • Let cool. Dust with powdered sugar if you want.
My modifications:
The original recipe calls for 1 stick butter and 2 tablespoons shortening. Since I never have shortening in the house, I only used butter.

The taste:
Good. But somehow not very special. I don't know - I just felt like something is missing or even that the banana-cranberry combo is not my favorite one. So I probably won't make it again. But it's not bad or anything - so please do try it! Maybe you'll love it.

What is your favorite baking recipe using dried cranberries?

October 6, 2013

40*52 (One of the best) Chocolate Cake(s)

It was my last week at job no1. And my birthday was coming up.

So I decided to make small cakes as a farewell gift and as a birthday cake advance.

Little did I know that I would pick a recipe that will now be my absolute goto chocolate cake recipe. Seriously - it is so easy, so quick, and so absolutely delish. Try it.

(One of the best) Chocolate Cake(s)

250 g (9 oz) dark chocolate
210 g (7.5 oz) butter
250 g (9 oz) powdered sugar
5 eggs
75 g (2.5 oz) ground almonds

Glaze
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate
50 ml (2 fl oz) milk
75 g (2.5 oz) butter
Whisky (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  • Melt chocolate, butter, and sugar in a bain-marie. Stir until melted, cool slightly. Beat in the eggs, then fold in ground almonds.
  • Pour into prepared cake or springform pan and bake for about 45 minutes, until the center is just set. Let cool in pan.
  • For the glaze, melt chocolate, milk, and butter in a bain-marie. Stir in whisky, if desired.
  • Let cool until it thickened a bit, remove cake from pan, and pour glaze over top of cake.

My modifications:
I used only half of the ingredients (because I didn't have that much chocolate at hand and because I thought it would be enough for our small team) but I used 3 eggs.
I also used small paper cake pans because I think they are cute and perfect if you want to hand out cake as small presents. From half the amount of batter I got 6 small cakes which was the perfect amount for the occassion.
Oh, and I did bake these small cakes for 40 minutes because I just thought they didn't look done before.
Next time I would only leave it in the oven a bit longer (with the door open) when it's done because it did fall together a bit (like a soufflé).

The taste:
Oh. My. So so so good! Especially with the very moist center.
As I said - this will be my number 1 chocolate cake recipe from now on.

Have you found a recipe lately that will be your number 1 from now on?

September 29, 2013

39*52 Banana Chocolate Layer Cake

It was the hubby's birthday this week! Yay!

His usual birthday baking wish is Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake) but this time he said that he had a yummy Banana Layer Cake once and that that would be an option as well.

So for the sake of variety, I started searching for a Banana Layer Cake recipe and decided to make this one:


Banana Chocolate Layer Cake 
Adapted from Chefkoch.de

100 g dark chocolate
600 g heavy cream
5 eggs
150 g sugar
5 tablespoon water, hot
100 g flour
50 g cocoa powder
5 bananas
200 g heavy sour cream
500 g vanilla yoghurt
3 sheets gelatine
  • Melt chocolate in a bain-marie. Let cool a bit and add 200 g of the heavy cream. Stir well but carefully and not too much. Let cool in fridge.
  • Separate the eggs. Beat egg whites with 50 g sugar until stiff. Beat egg yolks with remaining 100 g sugar and the hot water until foamy (about 5 minutes). Sieve flour and cocoa powder into egg yolk mix, combine carefully. Add beaten egg whites and fold in carefully. Pour into prepared springform pan and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200°C (390°F). Take out and let cool completely before cutting once horizontally.
  • Combine heavy sour cream and yoghurt. Whip 200 g of the heavy cream and combine with yoghurt mix. Soak gelatine in cold water. Squeeze out excess water and warm over low heat until liquid. Add cream-yoghurt mix carefully and stir well.
  • Whip the chocolate cream. Whip the last 200 g of heavy cream and combine with chocolate cream. Put in fridge again.
  • Put one half of the cake into a cake ring. Peel bananas, cut in half lengthwise and arrange on cake bottom. Pour cream-yoghurt mix on top of bananas. Put second cake on top and press slightly. Distribute 2/3 of chocolate cream on top. Let cool.
  • When taking away the cake ring, use remaining 1/3 of chocolate cream to cover the sides.

My modifications:
None. 

The taste:
Definitely better after 2 days than on the same day as preparing it. It just wasn't sweet enough and therefore a bit bland first. But it definitely aged well.
We might still go back to Black Forest Cherry Cake next year...

What is your typical birthday cake?

September 22, 2013

38*52 Brezel-Muffins

Oktoberfest in Munich has started!

I actually don't find this exciting news at all, but why not bake something that fits into the Oktoberfest theme?

Plus - and this was actually the main reason for the recipe below - I forgot about 2 pretzels I had bought so I wanted to make something using these stale pretzels.


Brezel-Muffins
Original recipe with inspiration help by kochbar.de and ichkoche.at

2 Brezeln/pretzels, stale
1 onion
250 ml milk
2 eggs
8 olives, green
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons flour
75 g cheese, grated
  • Cut the pretzels into slices and/or pieces. Mix milk and eggs and pour over pretzel pieces, let soak for about 15 minutes.
  • Cut onion into small pieces and fry in a pan until translucent. Add to the pretzel-milk-egg mix. 
  • Cut olives into small slices and add as well. Dust baking powder and flour over pretzel-mix and combine. Add grated cheese and mix.
  • Pour into prepared muffin pan and bake at 180°C (350°F) for 20-30 minutes. 
My modifications:
None, since it is my recipe. I just used the two recipes mentioned above for inspiration.

The taste:
Good! Like a bread/pretzel dumpling in muffin shape. And a bit like an omelette. It's great with pumpkin soup!

What's your favorite recipe for using stale bread or other food that has to be used up?


September 15, 2013

37*52 Sesame Cranberry Cookies

What to do with lots of sesame?
Bake cookies?
Bake cookies.

Sesame Cranberry Cookies
Adapted from Chefkoch.de 

300 g flour 
100 g sugar 
100 g sesame seeds 
125 g butter 
1 sachet vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract) 
2-4 tablespoons yoghurt 
50 g dried cranberries, roughly chopped 
  • Combine all ingredients until you get a smooth, slightly sticky dough. (If you feel like it: it works very well just using your hands.)
  • Cool dough in fridge for about 30 minutes.
  • Roll small balls using your hands, flatten, and put on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake at 180°C (350°F) for about 15 minutes.

My modifications:
I reduced the sugar by 50 g. I added the cranberries and had to double the amount of yoghurt to 4 tablespoons or the dough would have been too dry. I also added a splash of milk but only because it was necessary. Leave out if your dough is moist enough.
I also accidentally baked them at 180°C and not 200°C which left them a bit soft (which I love!).

The taste:
I really like it! Not too sweet and very sesameny (or sesamy?). Definitely don't omit the cranberries! 

Where do you search for recipes when you have lots of one ingredient that you want to use? 


September 8, 2013

36*52 Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake

This is one of those recipes.
I don't even remember how I stumbled upon it. Or when.
But I had it open on my ipad for a long time.
And now seemed to be the right time to finally make it.

Yay!

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake
Adapted from The Baker Chick

Streusel:
(2/3 cups) sugar
pinch of salt
(3/4 cups) flour
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
(1 cup) brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Cake:
(3/4 cup) butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
(1 1/2 cups) sugar
(1/3 cup) brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
(3/4 cup) plain yoghurt
(1 1/4 cups) milk
(3 3/4 cups) flour
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • For the Streusel, whisk together dry ingredients, then add melted butter and stir until combined. Set aside.
  • For the filling, mix together all ingredients and set aside.
  • For the cake, beat together butter, salt, sugars, baking powder, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the yoghurt and milk. Add to the butter-egg mix alternating with the flour.
  • Pour half the batter into prepared 9x13 pan. Sprinkle filling evenly on top. Pour the other half of the batter on top. Gently swirl the filling into the batter, as if making marble cake.
  • Sprinkle Streusel over the batter.
  • Bake for about 55-60 minutes until it's golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.
My modifications:
I prepared the filling according to the recipe but only used about half of it. It just seemed like a loooooot of sugar. And it was totally enough. Next time I might just use half the sugar but the full amount of cinnamon.

The taste:
I really love it. The Streusel were a bit too crunchy (I would probably add a bit more butter next time) but otherwise it was perfect. It is a basic, comfort-food-kind-of cake but still great with the filling and Streusel topping. Make it for breakfast instead of cinnamon rolls - perfect! Will definitely make this one again.

What's your favorite cinnamon recipe?

September 1, 2013

35*52 Plum Crumble Cake

Can you believe it is September already? I can't. And I don't want to. 
Even though I love fall. Doesn't make sense, does it?

One great thing about fall are plums. I know, I know, it is still summer.
But we can already enjoy a bit of plum-crumble-cake action, can't we?
Especially when it's fast and easy as the one below.


 Plum Crumble Cake
Adapted from Lecker.de

225 g butter
750 g plums
350 g flour
150 g ground almonds
150 g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1 egg
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). 
  • Melt the butter and let cool. Cut plums in half or quarters, take out pits.
  • Combine flour, almonds, sugar, vanilla (sugar), cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  • Add egg and melted butter and mix with a fork, then using your hands.
  • Take 2/3 of the crumble dough and press to the bottom of a greased springform pan.
  • Distribute plums evenly and crumble remaining 1/3 of the crumble dough over plums.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

My modifications:
Okay. I wanted to bake this spontaneously. Not having to go to the store before. And then I realized that I didn't have enough of most of the ingredients at home. But it still worked:
- 190 g butter plus 35 g oil,
- flour and ground almonds instead of 500 g flour,
- 150 g sugar instead of 175 g,
- half a mashed banana instead of the egg.

The taste:
Very yummy! A little too wintery or even christmassy with the cinnamon - I would definitely omit this next time. But the addition of the ground almonds is so good! Please do it if you can. As you can imagine, the bottom is not fluffy at all. But especially on the second day after baking, when the plum juices soaked through the bottom - heavenly!

Have you ever changed a recipe because you didn't have enough of each of the ingredients at home?

August 25, 2013

34*52 Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Sometimes life really doesn't have to be complicated.
No wait - sometimes it really shouldn't be complicated. You know what I mean?

So right now is the time for uncomplicated. And this recipe sounded like it would fit.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Adapted from Southern Cakes by Nancie McDermott via Orangette

420 g (3 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
226 g (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
226 g (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
420 g (2 1/2 cups) sugar
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat butter and cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla.
  • On low speed, add the flour mix in three batches, beating only until flour is just blended.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
My modifications:
None, except for the amount of sugar. The original recipe calls for 600 g (3 cups) of sugar. Wow! To me that just sounds like waaaaay too much. So I reduced it to 2 1/2 cups which should be 500 g according to conversion charts but actually only was 420 g on my kitchen scale. 

The taste:
Like the recipe reads - uncomplicated (in a good way). Very moist and spongy but still way too sweet. And I am a sweet person (and I'm talking about taste here...). So if I make this again, I will probably reduce the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.

What's your most uncomplicated cake recipe? 

August 18, 2013

33*52 Zucchini, Quinoa & Goat Cheese Tart

I really needed some savory baking again and this delicious-sounding recipe had been waiting on Pinterest for a while now...

And have I talked about quinoa here before? I don't think so.
Well, there's actually not much to say except: I absolutely love it (and it is really good for you).

So after a very long intro last week, let's make this short & sweet (this time not literally though):

Zucchini, Quinoa & Goat Cheese Tart

Crust:
200 g (1 1/4 cup + tablespoon) flour
50 g (1/4 cup) quinoa, rinsed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
60 ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water

Filling:
50 g (1/4 cup) quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium zucchini, grated
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 spring onions or 1 small onion, finely chopped
a handful of dried tomatoes, cut into small stripes
3 eggs
60 g (2 oz) creme fraiche or heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
60 g (2 oz) goat cheese, crumbled or diced

  • Cook all quinoa (for the crust and for the filling). Make the crust with half of the cooked quinoa: combine all ingredients using your food processor or your hands until you have a smooth dough. Transfer the dough to your tart pan (round or square, about 23 cm/9 in) and distribute evenly using your hands. (If you insist on using a rolling pin, refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes before rolling it out.) Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Blind bake crust for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper and bake for another 10 minutes. Let cool while still keeping the oven on but reduce the heat to 180°C (360°F).
  • For the filling, place the grated zucchini in a bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Transfer to a colander and let strain for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the zucchini and onion, and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the other half of the cooked quinoa. Remove from heat, add dried tomatoes, and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, creme fraiche, 1 teaspoon salt, lemon zest, and pepper. Spread zucchini over crust, pour egg-mix over it, top with goat cheese.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

My modifications:
The original crust recipe uses a mix of different gluten-free flours. I just used regular flour because I didn't have those other flours at home, plus I don't need it to be gluten-free. I just thought I would give the cooked quinoa a try in the crust as well.
I didn't have any spring onions at hand so I used a regular onion.
I added the dried tomatoes to give it a bit more flavor.
I had the goat cheese at home that you can't crumble (the one that's a bit more solid and comes in a roll), so I just diced it. It does have a different flavor to the one that you can crumble (which is a bit more like cream cheese) but I still like it a lot.

The taste:
Very good! I just love the nutty taste of the quinoa and it is a perfect combination with the other ingredients. A great lunch or dinner option for summer and fall. You can serve it as it is or with a bit of (tomato) salad and grilled sausage for the carnivores.

Do you have a favorite savory baked summer dish?

August 11, 2013

32*52 Frosted White Chocolate-Blackcurrent-Lemon Blondies

My friend Simone was coming to visit us this weekend and - not only because it was just her birthday but also because I'm nice like that - I asked her what I should bake for her. She couldn't think of anything specific so I let her choose from type of baked good (cake, muffins, cookies, cupcakes, layer cake...) and flavor (chocolate, fruit, cheese...).
She chose "cake" and "fruit".

Hm.
Nothing came to my mind right away either so I turned to my Pinterest board with baking recipes.

For some reason, all lemony cakes caught my eye.
But especially this recipe for Blueberry Lemon Brownies.

Now. I have never made blondies before, always just brownies. But for some reason, the total lack of chocolate in the dough, plus the general amount of ingredients just didn't scream "brownie" nor "blondie". Maybe I'm wrong (and I apologize if I am) but I wanted more.

So with the idea of blueberries and lemon combined in a blondie, I searched for a basic recipe that sounded like a white brownie (which is exactly what blondie means to me): moist and chocolatey. And then I found this recipe.

Blueberries turned into blackcurrant, because that was all I could get at the store.
Let's see how my combination works out.

Oh, so you think it is tricky to experiment if you bake for a visitor?
Well, thanks for reminding me. I don't feel the pressure at all...

Frosted White Chocolate-Blackcurrent-Lemon Blondies
Adapted from Katy's Lazy Blondies

100 g white chocolate
100 g butter
200 g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
110 g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
300 g blackcurrant

Frosting
Adapted from this recipe
 
60 g (2 oz) white chocolate
1 tablespoon heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
100 g (3/4 cup) powdered sugar
120 g (4 oz) cream cheese
zest of 1 lemon
  • Melt white chocolate and butter. 
  • Beat together sugar and eggs. Add lemon zest and juice.
  • Add chocolate-butter mix and combine. 
  • Add flour and baking powder and stir until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared square brownie baking tin. Spread blackcurrant evenly on top.
  • Bake at 180°C (360°F) for 20-30 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
  • For the frosting, melt white chocolate with heavy cream and butter.
  • Mix powdered sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest. Add chocolate-butter mix and stir until well combined. Frost blondies and cool.
My modifications:
Almost everything, as explained above.
The best part though was that I couldn't get those blueberries - it was so yummy with the blackcurrants! Definitely give it a try if you can.


The taste:
Very good. Not very lemony but that doesn't matter because all the other flavors are so wonderful. Very compact and moist, not very high, more like a blondie bar. But good.

Have you ever tried a completely new combination of something for guests? 
How did it turn out?

August 4, 2013

31*52 Snickerdoodles

These weren't planned.

I had a recipe for this week in mind for quite a while now but then I bought this book (on sale) and saw these quick and easy cookies. And I needed quick and easy today.

Snickerdoodles
From Backen. I love baking. by Cynthia Barcomi

385 g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

250 g butter, room temperature
300 g sugar
2 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Preheat oven to 185°C (365°F).
  • Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and continue to beat until well combined.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to the butter mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon or spatula until just combined to a dough.
  • Combine sugar and cinnamon.
  • Using a teaspoon, roll balls of dough between your palms and roll in sugar-cinnamon until they are covered evenly. Place on a prepared cookie sheet, leave 6 cm (2.5 in) between them and don't flatten. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Yummy. Basic but very addictive.

What are your favorite recipes from the category "quick & easy"?

July 28, 2013

30*52 Bacon Gugelhopf

For some people, bacon is the answer to everything.
I'm not one of them. Please don't be mad.

But when my hubby (very randomly) mentioned wanting a typical Alsatian bacon gugelhopf, I thought I would make it for him.

Bacon Gugelhopf
Adapted from kochbar.de

500 g flour
1 cube (42 g) fresh yeast
250 ml milk, room temperature
160 g butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
150 g walnuts
250 g bacon, in cubes
  • Dissolve yeast in 100 ml milk. Put flour into a mixing bowl, make a small dent in the middle and fill with yeast-milk. Cover for about 15 minutes until yeast-milk starts to bubble.
  • Add remaining milk, butter, egg, sugar, and salt and knead to a smooth dough. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Chop walnuts roughly. Fry bacon in a pan, strain and drain off fat (but keep it!), let cool.
  • Add nuts and bacon, plus a bit of the bacon fat to the dough and knead once more. Put dough into prepared gugelhopf pan and bake at 200°C (390°F) in the bottom half of the oven for 40-50 minutes.

My modifications:
I just now realized that I only used half of the yeast - oh my... And you know what? It is totally fine. In fact, I think I would only use half a cube next time as well.
I didn't pan-fry the walnuts because I just couldn't be bothered (and I don't think it usually makes such a difference anyway).
I don't own a gugelhopf pan anymore. I used to have a silicone one but nothing turned out well when I used it so I threw it away. Using the wreath part of a round springform pan is totally fine as well, it's just technically not a gugelhopf anymore but I guess a 'regular' cake.

The taste:
As I said, I'm not the biggest bacon person. But this is so good!
It is very moist, which I love, and the walnuts are so yummy! I can imagine that this would be great with walnuts and dried tomatoes (no bacon then). Or hazelnuts and dried apricots! Oh yes, I will definitely try both of those ideas!

Have you ever accidentally used the wrong amount of ingredients and it turned out really bad because of it?

July 21, 2013

29*52 Gooseberry Sheet Cake

Gooseberries. I really like them.
But I don't think I ever baked anything with them.
Let's change that, alright?


Gooseberry Sheet Cake
Adapted from lecker.de

Dough:
250 g flour
2 tablespoons sugar
pintch of salt
125 ml milk
1/2 cube (20 g) fresh yeast
1 egg

Filling:
500 g fresh gooseberries
150 g butter, room temperature
75 g sugar
4 eggs
50 g flour
125 g heavy cream
  • Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl and make a dent in the middle. Warm up milk, crumble yeast into it and dissolve. Pour yeast-milk into flour dent, cover and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. Add the egg and mix, using your dough hook. Let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
  • Put dough onto prepared baking sheet (30x40 cm/12x16in), let rise for another 10 minutes.
  • Distribute gooseberries evenly on dough.
  • Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, then add flour and cream. Pour over gooseberries and bake for 30-35 minutes.

My modifications:
I used half flour, half ground almonds for the dough because I ran out of flour. (Yes, these things happen...). The dough was very fluffy (definitely not for rolling out) but I think that would have been the case if I had used only flour as well.
I used fresh gooseberries instead of canned ones.

The taste:
Good. But a bit too eggy - it does have an omelett taste and I just don't like that in a cake.
Also, the filling was way too fluid so it flowed underneath the yeast dough so that that cake looks more like: omelett - gooseberries - yeast dough. Very bizarre!
So all in all I would say it is edible but did not at all turn out as I thought.

Did anything you baked ever come out upside down?

July 14, 2013

28*52 Potato Bread & Potato Flat Bread Pizza

When flipping through the pages of the magazine of a supermarket, I noticed this recipe for potato bread. I thought it might be nice not only as bread but as smaller potato "flat bread pizzas".
With a salad. For dinner.

So that's what I made.

Potato Bread & Potato Flat Bread Pizza
Adapted from Tegut

For 2 breads or 1 bread and 2 bigger flat bread pizzas or 4 bigger flat bread pizzas or - you get the idea...

800 g potatoes
salt
1/2 cube (21 g) fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
700 g flour

Toppings
(I used for the flat bread pizzas, but possibilities are endless, of course)
parmesan, shredded
cooked potatoes, sliced
onions, in rings
raw ham/bacon, diced
  • Peel potatoes, cut them into small pieces and cook in salt water. Drain, let cool a bit, and mash.
  • Crumble yeast into 125 ml warm water, dissolve. Add honey and let sit for 5 minutes until starting to bubble. Mix potato mash, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and yeast water. Add flour and knead until you have a smooth dough. It might seem a bit dry in the beginning but the longer you knead it, the smoother it gets, so don't add any more water. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  • For the bread: use half of the dough to form a bread. For the flat bread pizzas: use 1/4 of the total amount of dough to shape a pizza/flat bread. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 °C (390°F). 
  • Put toppings on flat bread pizzas. Bake for 30 minutes (pizzas) or 45 minutes (bread).
My modifications:
Except for turning the bread into the flat bread pizzas - none. And I know they're not really pizzas (if only for the lack of tomato sauce) but I couldn't think of a better name. Suggestions are welcome though - just leave a comment below.


The taste:
Yummy! The dough is very fluffy on the inside but nice and crisp on the outside. Perfect!
And the flat bread pizzas with a nice salat make a great summer lunch or dinner.
Definitely a keeper!

Have you baked your own bread? Which kind?