December 30, 2015

52 | 52 Knäckebröd (Swedish Crisp Bread)

I can't believe that 2015 is almost over already.

It's been kind of a strange year but the baking was like the years before - from ridiculously yummy to not so good at all.

Wishing you just the best for 2016 and all your baking (and other) projects.
I will take a break from blogging (not baking) but I might be back in 2017.
So stay tuned ;)

And like last time, I will end the year with something savory.
You'll love it, I'm sure.

 

Knäckebröd (Swedish Crisp Bread)
From Chefkoch

300 g (2 1/3 cups) spelt or whole wheat flour
30 g (2 generous tablespoons) butter
250 ml (1 cup) milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 knife point baking powder
2 tablespoons seeds of your choice (sesame, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower, chia...)
and/or 1 tablespoon dried herbs (dill works very well, rosemary, oregano...
  • Knead all ingredients together (yes, it's sticky but don't worry). Let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Roll dough very thinly (about 5 mm/0.2 in) between 2 sheets of parchment paper (but be prepared for a lot of it to stick to the top paper) or just use your fingers to spread the dough thinly on a piece of parchment paper (this worked better for me). Cut into stripes or squares and poke some holes with a fork.
  • Bake at 220°C (425°F). for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it and adjust the time (don't let it burn but leave it in a bit longer if it's not crispy enough after 20 minutes).
  • Do not store in an airtight container or plastic bag or it will go soft. I just wrapped it in parchment paper.
 

My modifications:
I used half spelt and half whole wheat flour and I would do it like this again. And I made one half with pumpkin seeds, the other half with dill.

The taste:
Delicious! I don't think I will buy it again. It's so quick and easy.

What's your favorite bread recipe?


December 23, 2015

51 | 52 Hazelnut Cinnamon Macaroons

Merry Christmas!

I hope you're enjoying this special season among family and friends, with lots of laughter and good food.

In case you're looking for a last-minute baking project - these Hazelnut Cinnamon Macaroons might be it:

 

Hazelnut Cinnamon Macaroons

3 eggs
50 g (3 1/2 tablespoons) butter, melted
60 g (1/3 cup) sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
200 g (2 cups) hazelnuts, ground
1 tablespoon flour
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Divide eggs.
  • Mix together egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, ground hazelnuts, flour, and melted butter.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into the egg yolk mix.
  • Make heaps using two teaspoons and put onto prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool.
 
My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Like Christmas. Nuts and cinnamon. You can't go wrong with this combination.

What are your favorite Christmas macaroons?

December 16, 2015

50 | 52 Cardamom Biscotti

Christmas is just around the corner. 
(I know, I know, #takeadeepbreath...)

I have to admit that with sunny days, blue skies, and around 14°C (57°F) outside temperature, I find it very hard to get into the Christmas spirit.
(Not that I'm complaining about this awesome weather! No, I'm really not. But it's not very christmassy for this part of the world.)

So anyway - I mostly blame it on the great weather that I haven't baked any Christmas cookies yet.
So let's start with some Biscotti that are not entirely christmassy. Alright?

 

Cardamom Biscotti

160 g (1 1/4 cups) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
(1 cup) almonds, blanched and ground
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, ground
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
2 eggs, plus 1 egg white for brushing
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in a bowl. Add almonds, cardamom, and the sugar (minus 2 tablespoons). Whisk eggs and vanilla together and add to dry ingredients. Knead together with your hands until well combined.
  • Transfer dough onto baking sheet with parchment paper, roll into a log of about 22cm / 9in length. Flatten top a bit and bake for about 30 minutes.
  • Whisk egg white a bit, then brush log with it. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake for another 15 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes. Cut into 0.5cm/0.25in thick slices and lay them out flat on the baking sheet. Bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
 

My modifications:
None. (Except for using ground cardamom and not grinding it myself.)

The taste:
Good, like biscotti. Very subtle cardamom flavor (but maybe it will come through more after a couple of days.)

What is your favorite cookie that's not so christmassy?


December 9, 2015

49 | 52 Earl Grey Cake with Chocolate and Hazelnuts

Earl Grey tea. Such a classic, right? And so good!

So when I saw this recipe for Earl Grey cake, I had to try it (obviously).

It just sounded like the perfect cake for a cold fall day.
Tea, chocolate, and hazelnuts.


Earl Grey Cake with Chocolate and Hazelnuts
From Brigitte 24/2015

For the cake:

3 bags Earl Grey tea
250 g (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter, softened
200 g  (1 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 eggs
200 g (1 1/2 cups) flour
1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
50 g (1.7 oz) hazelnuts, ground
50 g (1.7 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
50 g (1.7 oz) dried figs or dates, finely chopped
50 g (1.7 oz) whole hazelnuts, finely chopped

For the glaze:

70 g (1/3 cup) sugar
4 bags Earl Grey tea
50 g (1.7 oz) dark chocolate
1 tablespoon dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Earl Grey tea leaves (from the bag)
  • For the cake, bring 180 ml (3/4 cup) water to a boil and add the 3 bags of tea. Let sit for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Beat together butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
  • Sift in flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Add ground hazelnuts and 125 ml of the prepared tea.
  • Add finely chopped chocolate, figs or dates, and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan, and let cool completely.
  • For the glaze, bring to a boil 100 ml (1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons) water with the sugar and 4 tea bags. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing them well. 
  • Stirring well, let the 50 g chocolate melt in the sirup. Let cool a bit and pour over cake, distributing it well. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate, hazelnuts, and tea leaves.
 

My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Like a chocolate cake. And a very dry one at that. With a teeny tiny hint of Earl Grey tea. If even. So all in all a big disappointment, I'm afraid.

Have you baked anything with tea yet? What and how was it?

December 2, 2015

48 | 52 Pecan Chocolate Whiskey Pie

I hope all of you who celebrate it had a lovely Thanksgiving!

According to what people posted on Instagram, it was the year of Pecan Pie.
Which is nothing new, I know.
But this year, I only saw Pecan Chocolate Whiskey Pies. Seriously though.
How can you people do this to me?
I mean, pecans PLUS chocolate PLUS whiskey? Yes, please!

So I had to make one, too. Without Thanksgiving. But that's alright.



Pecan Chocolate Whiskey Pie

For the crust:

113 g (1/2 cup) cold butter, in small cubes
210 g (1 1/2 cup) flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
80 ml (1/3 cup) cold buttermilk

For the filling:

200 g (1 cup) sugar
250 ml (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whiskey
75 g (1/3 cup) butter, melted
100 g (1 cup) pecans, chopped
85 g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • For the crust, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Add cold butter cubes and work the butter into the flour mix with your fingers. Add the buttermilk and knead together.
  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough into a disk.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1 hour. 
  • Roll out the pie crust on a well floured surface - about 3mm / 1/8 in thick and about 30 cm / 12 in in diameter.  Transfer to a pie pan and trim the edge. Cover with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for another 30 minutes (minimum; 3 hours max).
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F)
  • For the filling, whisk together sugar, molasses, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, whiskey, and melted butter until well combined.
  • Sprinkle pecans and chocolate around the bottom of the pie. Pour filling over the chocolate and nuts.
  • Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes (until it jiggles uniformly, not just in waves).  
  • Let cool completely before refrigerating. 
 

My modifications:
None. (Using Irish whiskey instead of bourbon doesn't count, right?)

The taste:
Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you.
Thank you everybody for showing me all your delicious pictures and thereby making me want to try this pie. Thank you.
(I'm just trying to figure out how to turn this into candy. Because let's be honest here. Who needs a pie crust?)

What is your favorite Thanksgiving pie?

November 25, 2015

47 | 52 Prinzenrolle

Do you ever buy cookies at the grocery store? 
Even if you love to bake, I am sure you do. At least every once in a while.

One of my husband's favorite store-bought cookie is 'Prinzenrolle' (which translates literally to 'Prince's roll').  It was apparently invented by Belgian baker de Beukelaer in 1870 and was originally called 'Le petit prince fourrée' (the small filled prince). It is now called 'Prinzenrolle' in German because it comes stacked in a roll. 35 millionen rolls go on sale in Germany every year.

So one night when the hubby was craving them but we didn't have any, I tried to make them.
(Yes, I know, I'm a good wife. I'm patting myself on the back as I'm writing this.)


Prinzenrolle
From woman.at

For the cookies
500 g (4 cups) flour
250 g (2 cups) powdered sugar
1 package vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
pinch of salt
250 g (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter
2 eggs

For the filling

250 g (1/2 lb) dark chocolate
150 g (1/2 cup) Nutella
  • For the cookies, knead together flour, sugar, salt, butter, and eggs until you have a smooth dough. Wrap up and let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 160°C (320°F). 
  • Roll out dough on a floured surface (about 0.5 cm/0.2 in) and cut out rounds. Place on cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool completely. 
  • For the filling, melt the chocolate over a bain marie. Add Nutella and stir to combine.
  • Put a bit of filling on one cookie and press second cookie on top.

My modifications:
The original recipe adds 4 tablespoons of Amaretto to the filling. I don't like it so I just left it out.

The taste:
Not like Prinzenrolle. But like a good, homemade chocolate-filled cookie.

What's your favorite cookie? Store-bought or homemade? Filled or not?

November 18, 2015

46 | 52 Coconut Buttermilk Cake

Coconut and buttermilk. Sounds like the perfect pair for a cake, right?

I thought so.

There was some buttermilk in the fridge that needed to be used up and I hadn't baked anything with coconut in such a long time, so this seemed to be the perfect recipe:


Coconut Buttermilk Cake

For the cake:

170 g (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature
260 g (2 cups) flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
200 g (1 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
240 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
120 g (1 1/4 cups) shredded coconut 

For the glaze:
 
2 tablespoons buttermilk
25 g (1/4 cup) shredded coconut
130 g (1 cup) powdered sugar
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
  • Beat together butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
  • Add buttermilk and flour mix alternatingly. Fold in coconut.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan (loaf or bundt cake) and bake for about 60 minutes. Let cool.
  • Bake remaining shredded coconut for about 5-10 minutes in the oven until golden brown (be careful not to burn it). Let cool. 
  • For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and buttermilk. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Good! Very moist and 'milky'. And coconutty, of course.

What's your favorite coconut recipe?


November 11, 2015

45 | 52 Apple Cardamom Cake

My mom gave me some apples from her garden.
I thought it was only fair to bake them into something delicious. 

And so I did - thanks to this recipe and its very perfect combination of apples, cardamom, and cake.
So snuggle up with a cup of tea and a slice of this goodness and enjoy autumn!


Apple Cardamom Cake

For the filling:
2 apples, peeled, cored & diced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

For the cake:
450 g (3 1/3 cups) flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cardamom
250 g (1 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
380 g (1 3/4 cups) sugar 
4 eggs
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • In a small bowl, combine apple pieces with cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
  • Beat butter for about 3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Whisk until light and fluffy.
  • Add one egg at a time, mix well after each addition. 
  • Add flour mix and milk alternatingly.
  • Fill half of a prepared bundt cake mold with batter. Sprinkle with apples. Repeat and top with remaining batter.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool and dust with powdered sugar, if you wish.
My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Warm, simple, autumnal, flavorful, comforting, honest, moist, delicious.

Do you like cardamom? Any cardamom recipes you would like to share?

November 4, 2015

44 | 52 Nutella Banana Bread

Thanks, cousin! 
Without you or Facebook I might not have stumbled upon this recipe. 

Don't bake this if you are afraid of sugar. Or if you don't like it sweet. 
Or worse - if you don't like Nutella.
But of course you wouldn't be here if that was the case. Right?


Nutella Banana Bread

4 bananas, ripe & mashed
227 g (1 cup) butter, room temperature
2 eggs
400 g (2 cups) sugar
510 g (4 cups) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
120 ml (1/2 cup) water
2 teaspoons baking soda
280 g (1 cup) nutella
180 g (1 cup) chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs.
  • Add flour and salt. Mix until crumbly.
  • Dissolve baking soda in warm water and add to the crumbly mix.
  • Fold in mashed bananas and chocolate chips.
  • Pour half of the dough into two bread pans. Spread 1/4 cup of Nutella length down the middle of the dough in each pan. Fill up with the remaining dough and repeat the Nutella step, swirling it together with the dough using a knife.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes. 

My modifications:
I only made half of the recipe because I only had 2 bananas... And I reduced the sugar to 150 g (3/4 cup) for half the recipe (=  300 g (1 1/2 cups) for the full recipe).

The taste:
It's yummy but very sweet (and I already reduced the sugar...). I was only able to eat it in very small portions (which is actually not such a bad thing, right?). I'm not sure yet if I would make it again though. But that shouldn't keep you - it's good!

Have you baked anything with Nutella? What was it and how did you like it? 

October 31, 2015

43 | 52 Pumpkin Crumb Cake

I love fall. Don't you?

All those colored leaves on the trees and on the streets, sunshine during the day, cuddling up with a blanket and burning some candles in the evening. Yes, I love it.

I'm also totally into fall vegetables. Like pumpkin.
(And yes, also: Happy Halloween!)


Pumpkin Crumb Cake

For the crumbles

100 g (3/4 cup) flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pintch of salt
85 g (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
40 g (1/3 cup) pecans, chopped

For the cake

225 g (1 3/4 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
55 g (1/4 cup) butter, softened
60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
2 eggs
250 g (1 cup) pumpkin puree (see note below*)
50 g (3 tablespoons) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the glaze (optional)

85 g (2/3 cup) powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the crumbs, whisk together flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt. Pour in melted butter and combine until evenly moistened. Add pecans and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • For the cake, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.
  • Blend together sugars, butter, and oil until combined. Add eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla. Slowly add in dry ingredients at slow speed and mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into your prepared baking pan and sprinkle crumbs evenly over batter. Bake for about 40 - 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
  • For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add more milk or powdered sugar to thin or thicken if needed. Drizzle over cake. Allow glaze to set before cutting.
 
My modifications:
None. But I omitted the glaze. I actually did mean to make it but then totally forgot about it when were ready to dig in... 

The taste:
I think this might just be the perfect Pumpking Crumb Cake. Honestly. It's delicious (even without the glaze) and it is very moist and fluffy. I highly recommend you go to your kitchen after all the Halloween shenanigans are over and use up those pumpkins. Because yes, you can of course also *make your own pumpkin puree.

What's your favorite pumpkin baking recipe? 
Do you prefer Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cake?

October 21, 2015

42 | 52 Old-Fashioned Sugar Cake

Sometimes you just need comfort.
And yes, sometimes that comfort comes in the shape of butter and sugar.

Like in this Old-Fashioned Sugar Cake.
It's sweet and buttery and just makes you feel good.
But only if you can shut off those voices in your head telling you how bad it might be for you.
Hey - it's not like you're eating the whole thing. 
Plus, you can eat veggies for the rest of the day.

So - just enjoy it. And be old-fashioned. 
Which in this case means that there's nothing wrong with a little (or a lot of) butter and sugar.


Old-Fashioned Sugar Cake
Adapted from Dr. Oetker's Backen macht Freude (but my Grandma's edition from 1952)

For the cake

200 g (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
200 g (1 cup) sugar
2 eggs
pintch of salt
500 g (3 3/4 cups) flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
250 ml (1 cup) milk

For the topping

50 g (1/4 cup) butter
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
50 g (1.75 oz) almonds or hazelnuts, slivered or chopped
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • For the cake, combine flour and baking powder. 
  • Cream butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add sugar, eggs, and salt. Add flour mix, alternating with milk. The batter should be heavy/ripping when falling off a spoon so you might not need all the milk.
  • Pour into prepared (springform) pan.
  • For the topping, put butter in small flakes on the dough. Combine sugar, vanilla, and nuts and combine evenly on top of the cake.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

My modifications:
I used a round springform pan instead of a baking sheet and I would do it like this again because it had the perfect height. I also used slivered almonds, not chopped ones like stated in the original recipe and I really liked it like that.

The taste:
Like its name: old-fashioned, sugary, buttery. It might remind you of your granny's baking. In the best way possible.

What old-fashioned recipes are your favorite? 
 

October 14, 2015

41 | 52 Dr. Pepper Cake

Do you like Dr. Pepper?
My hubby does. He LOVES it.

So of course I had to make him a Dr. Pepper Cake for his birthday.

And you know what? I was only able to take pictures from the outside.
So sorry, guys!


Dr. Pepper Cake with Dr. Pepper Frosting

For the cake:

260 g (2 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
30 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder, unsweetened
227 g (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
200 g (1 cup) sugar
110 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
240 ml (1 cup) Dr. Pepper
120 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk

For the frosting:

260 g (2 cups) powdered sugar
57 g (1/4 cup) butter, at room temperature
85 g (3 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoon Dr. Pepper
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). 
  • Combine flour, baking sodar, and cocoa powder.
  • Beat together butter, sugars, eggs, and vanilla extract until fluffy.
  • Add half the flour mix and combine. Add Dr. Pepper. Add other half of flour mix and buttermilk. Don't overmix.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for about 35 minutes. Let cool.
  • For the frosting, beat together butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. Add the Dr. Pepper one spoon at a time to make sure that the frosting won't get too liquid.
  • Decorate cake as you wish.

My modifications:
I made a cake (not muffins). And I only made half the frosting because I didn't need that much. The amounts above (for the frosting) are already cut in half.

The taste:
Like a very dense chocolate cake with a hint of Dr. Pepper. Even with the frosting - just a hint. So next time, I would make a nice, moist chocolate cake and serve it with a glass of Dr. Pepper. Sorry.

Have you tried baking with sodas? Coke, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Root Beer? 
How was the result?

October 10, 2015

40 | 52 Matcha Macadamia Blondies

38. 
That's how old I turned last week. And I'm okay with it.
Really. :)

My girls and I celebrated with a very lovely Sushi lunch and I wanted to bake something for dessert that would somehow fit. I remembered that I pinned a Matcha Brownie recipe a while ago and started searching. Then I stumbled upon the recipe below and decided to go with that one.

 this is all that was left when I had time to take pictures...
Matcha Macadamia Blondies

240 g (9 oz) white chocolate
113 g (1 stick) butter
200 g (1 cup) sugar
3 eggs
80 g (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) flour
3-4 teaspoons matcha powder
30 g (1/3 cup) macadamia nuts, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). 
  • Melt butter and white chocolate over a bain marie. Whisk in sugar, add eggs one at a time, then fold in flour, matcha powder, and chopped macadamias. 
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 5 minutes, then cover with foil and bake for another 25 minutes. The center should still wiggle when you move it.
  • Let cool.

My modifications:
I omitted white chocolate chips to be added to the dough. I felt that there was enough white chocolate in it and I would do it like this again. Next time I would also omit the macadamias because you don't really taste them. (And they're too expensive to just add a little tasteless crunch, don't you think?)

The taste:
Hm. First bite on the first day: not very convincing. Second bite on the day after baking: interesting. Good. Green. Interesting. It's good but also very different.
Especially in the middle it's more like candy than cake. If you are after a 'real' cake texture, this one won't be for you.
And please keep my experience in mind: this is a cake for girls. Not boys (not even when they are grown up).
Have you baked anything with any kind of tea? What and how was it?

September 30, 2015

39 | 52 Spiced Pear Crumb Cake

I love fall. I really do.
That crisp cool air outside and cozy evenings at home involving blankets and candles.

And cake. Of course. Always.

This specific one is absolutely perfect for fall. You can taste the season in every bite.


Spiced Pear Crumb Cake

For the filling:
4 ripe pears, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
juice of 1/2 lemon 

For the dough:
227g (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
145g (2/3 cup) dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon allspice
260 g (2 cups) flour
55g (1/2 cup) pecans, chopped

For the glaze:
65g (1/2 cup) powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 
milk or cream to thin
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). 
  • Combine pears, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Set aside. 
  • Cream butter the sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt and all spices and mix well. 
  • Add flour and mix until just combined (don't worry if the dough is crumbly - it's supposed to be like that). 
  • Press 2/3 of the dough mix into a prepared springform pan (23-25 cm / 9-10 in). 
  • Spread the pears out evenly on top of the dough. 
  • Add the pecans to the remaining dough and crumble it evenly over the pears. 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes. Let cool completely before glazing. 
  • For the glaze mix the sugar, nutmeg and as much milk or cream as you need to get a nice glaze consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cake. 
 
My modifications:
None. 

The taste:
Autumnally delicious. Soul food. It will definitely warm you from the inside.

What's your favorite fall cake?

September 23, 2015

38 | 52 Plum Muffins

Don't think that I can't see it.
You. Rolling your eyes.
At yet another plum recipe.

I'm sorry but I can't help it!
Not sure where exactly it comes from but I keep wanting to try new plum (baking) recipes.
And when should I actually make them if not now?!

So I beg you. Please. Stay with me.
And just enjoy the plummy ride.


Plum Muffins

260 g (2 cups) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
2 eggs
100 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
250 ml (1 cup) yogurt
300 g (10.5 oz) plums, chopped
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). 
  • Combine flour, baking powder and soda, and sugar in a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and yogurt. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until just combined (works best with a wooden spoon).
  • Add plums and fold in carefully. Fill muffin cups/pan and bake for about 15-20 minutes.

My modifications:
I used coconut oil instead of olive oil.

The taste:
Good, moist, comforting.
It actually tastes as if there are oats in the batter. Strange because, as you know, there are none.
Definitely to be enjoyed on the day of baking when the top is still a bit 'crusty'.
All in all: nothing exciting or extravagant about these but you probably wouldn't pick this recipe if that's what you're after...

Do you even like plums? If so, how do you like them best?

September 16, 2015

37 | 52 Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I might have told you before: I LOVE peanut butter.
I don't think I even have to mention chocolate....

And yes, overripe banana time it was again!
And I had a feeling I needed some kind of banana bread that was a bit different to the usual one. And then I stumbled upon this.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Adapted from Broma Bakery

80 g (1/3 cup) peanut butter
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
2-3 ripe bananas, mashed
120 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
2 eggs
65 g (1/2 cup) cocoa, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
130 g (1 cup) flour
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Mix together peanut butter, sugar, mashed bananas, olive oil, and eggs. 
  • Stir in cocoa, baking powder & soda, salt, and vanilla. Add flour last and mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
 
My modifications:
Since I only had crunchy peanut butter at home, that's what I used and it was very good.
I didn't put banana slices on top before baking. And I omitted the 'frosting'.
Otherwise - no changes to the original recipe.

The taste:
Good. But a bit on the dry side and a bit too dark chocolatey, for my taste.
So definitely a diffferent banana bread but not my favorite one.

What's your favorite banana bread? Would be cool if you shared the recipe!

September 9, 2015

36 | 52 Poppyseed Quark Cake with Prunes and Cinnamon Crumbles

Another week, another plum recipe. (#sorrynotsorry)
'Tis the season. Of yummy purple, oval plums. Or prunes?

Yes, let's take a moment and talk about those plums/prunes.
Here in Switzerland (and Germanya and Austria), we love our Zwetschgen. And our Pflaumen, too.

According to the Wikipedia, Zwetschgen are a a subspecies of the plum (Pflaume).
Zwetschge = prune, or common plum = Prunus domestica subsp. domestica
Pflaume = (round) plum = Prunus domestica

The easiest way to keep them apart is actually their shape and color.
Zwetschgen are oval and very dark blue/purple, Pflaumen are bigger and round and of a lighter purple (or even yellow or red).

YAY! You might have even learned something new today!
If not - sorry to have bored you with all these German, English, and Latin terms...

Oh, but I forgot. This recipe also calls for Quark
If you don't know what I'm talking about, follow this link... 


Poppyseed Quark Cake with Prunes and Cinnamon Crumbles

For the bottom and crumbles
100 g (1 stick minus 1 tablespoon) butter, cold
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
180 g (1 1/3 cups plus 1 tablespoon) flour
 
For the filling
250 g (8.8 oz) quark
1 egg
1 tablespoon cornstarch
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
100 g (3.5 oz) poppyseeds, ground

Plus
1 teaspoon cinnamon
300 g (10.5) prunes/plums, halved and pitted
  • For the bottom and crumbles, cut cold butter into pieces. Add remaining bottom/crumble ingredients and knead (with your hands) until you get a smooth dough. Let cool for 30 minutes.  
  • For the filling, mix together all filling ingredients. 
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (355°F). 
  • Put 2/3 of the bottom/crumbles dough evenly onto the bottoms of 2 small, round springform pans (20 cm/8 in). Spoon poppyseed filling over dough and distribute prune halves on top of it. 
  • Combine the remaining dough for the crumbles with cinnamon and crumble over prunes. 
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely before serving (and ideally serve the next day).

My modifications:
None. Except for using two (instead of one) 20 cm springform pans which was perfect for the amounts given.

The taste:
Good on the first day, definitely a lot better on the second day so try to be patient ;) 
I'm not the biggest fan of poppyseeds but I still liked it. It does taste more like fall than summer (at least to me) so save this for the end of plum season...

What's more commonly available where you live: Zwetschgen or Pflaumen?
Do you have a preference if you can buy both?

September 2, 2015

35 | 52 Whole Wheat Banana Streusel Muffins

You know the drill...
New banana recipe up on the blog = I needed to use up my overripe bananas ;)

But it's all good! 
Because that way we can all try many yummy banana baking recipes together. 

So: long live the overripe banana. 
Without it, the baking world would not be the same.


Whole Wheat Banana Streusel Muffins
Adapted from Baked by Rachel

For the muffins
60 g (1/4 cup) butter, softened
100 g (1/2 cup) light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
190 g (1 1/2 cup) whole wheat flour

For the streusel
65 g (1/2 cup) whole wheat flour
4 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
60 g (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF). 
  • For the streusel, whisk together dry ingredients. Add melted butter and stir until crumbly. Let cool in the fridge while you prepare the muffins.
  • For the muffins, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and banana and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
  • Fill your muffin tin with batter, then top with cold streusel - just crumble over the muffin batter.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool.

My modifications:
I halved the amount of sugar for the muffins (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup granulated and 1/2 cup light brown sugar. With half the amount the muffins were still sweet enough. There was an additional glaze over the streusel in the original recipe which I omitted completely. I'm sure it would have been very yummy but I didn't miss it (and I have the feeling that I was eating something remotely healthy...).

The taste:
Healthy. But in a good way! Perfect for breakfast.

What is your favorite 'healthy' muffin recipe?

August 26, 2015

34 | 52 The Original New York Times Plum Torte

Somebody I follow on Instagram recently posted a picture mentioning (not showing!) some famous 'Plum Torte'.

I was instantly hooked. 
Having just bought plums and being really curious about the combination of 'Plum' and 'Torte' I immediately pinterested it. (Yes, I didn't google it, I pinterested it...)
All these pins of the New York Times' Original Plum Torte came up so I assumed that this must be it. The famous Plum Torte.

Now, let's get something straight here.
'Torte' in German means some kind of layer cake. 2 and more layers of some sponge cake, filled and topped with some sort of cream.
One of the most famous German Tortes is probably the 'Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte' (Black Forest Cake) which my husband is a big fan of but me not so much.

The Times' Plum Torte actually has zero to do with a Torte. At least not in the German sense.
But it's so much better than a (German) Torte.
It's quick, easy, with few ingredients, light, and just an everyday treat that everybody will love. It sure isn't fancy but so very comforting.
And that's more important anyway. Right?

 
The Original New York Times Plum Torte

150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
113 g (1/2 cup) butter
130 g (1 cup) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
12 purple plums, in halves and pitted
Sugar and cinnamon for topping
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF) degrees.
  • Cream together sugar and butter. 
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  • Spoon batter into a round spring form pan of 25 cm / 10 in (or smaller, if you don't have this size). 
  • Distribute plum halves on the batter, skin side up. 
  • Sprinkle lightly with sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or less, if you're not into cinnamon that much).
  • Bake about one hour. Remove and cool (or serve lukewarm).

My modifications: 
None. 

The taste: 
Perfect. Comforting. Real. A true keeper. 

What's your favorite plum recipe? 

August 19, 2015

33 | 52 Nectarine Upside Down Cake

During our last trip to the grocery store, I picked up a 1 kilogram basket of nectarines.
They're so good when they're in season, all sweet and juicy, right?

At the cash register, I noticed that 2 nectarine baskets landed back in our cart.
It turned out that the hubby had the same idea as me :)

While we really like to eat the nectarines, 2 kilograms at once seemed a bit of a stack...
So what does a person who likes to bake do? 
Turn the fruit in question into something baked.

And since I have never made an Upside Down Cake before, I thought it was time.
Let's see if it was worth it!


Nectarine Upside Down Cake

113 g (1 stick) butter, melted
100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
5 nectarines, peeled and sliced
240 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
2 eggs
200 g (1 cup) sugar
280 g (2 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF).
  • Pour half of the melted butter into a round springform pan. Move pan around until bottom and sides are coated with butter.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.
  • Put nectarine slices on top of the brown sugar.
  • In a bowl, combine buttermilk, the other half of the melted butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until combined. Pour evenly over the nectarines.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to stand for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a plate or cake stand.
  • Remove the outer ring of your springform pan, then place your plate or cake stand on top of the cake, carefully flip so that the nectarine bottom is on top.

My modifications:
I made three small cakes, instead of one big one. Don't ask me why - just felt like it ;)
Also, I didn't have any buttermilk at home so I made my own (for the first time): 4 1/2 teaspoons vinegar (or lemon juice) plus 1 cup of milk. Stir together and let sit for about 10 minutes et voilà: you made your own buttermilk!

The taste:
Somewhere between okay and good. The nectarines didn't turn out very caramelized from the sugar (like it usually looks in the pictures of recipes) - maybe my pan was too non-sticky so I should have omitted the butter? And the cake part was too dense for my taste (which you can see on the right picture above). All in all, it didn't turn out very pretty, not at all special from the taste but of course still edible and not bad. I wouldn't make it again though.

Have you ever baked an upside down cake? What fruit did you use and how was it?

August 12, 2015

32 | 52 Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

I know, I know...
This name is way too long.

Maybe we should call this week's recipe LBCSB?
Or something like: The Perfect Summer Treat?
No, not very convincing...

But no matter its name - it's just pure yumminess.
It combines everything you love (or at least everything I love):
Lemon. Blueberries. Cheesecake. Streusel.
Summer. Freshness. Yum.

So give these a try. And do let me know if you come up with a good, short name.


Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

For the crust
9 graham cracker rectangles
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
57 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling
454 g (16 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon zest, grated
60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
150 g (1 1/2 cups) fresh blueberries

For the topping
1 cup light brown sugar
100 g (3/4 cup) flour
85 g (3/4 stick) butter, cold
  • Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). 
  • For the crust, place graham crackers, sugar, and lemon zest into your food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse again until crumbs are moistened. If you don't have a food processor, make crumbs the old-fashioned way: place crackers in a plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin (or the like) until you get crumbs. Place crumbs in a bowl together with the remaining crust ingredients and stir until crumbs are moistened. 
  • Press crumb mix into your prepared square pan (23 cm / 9 in) and bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes. 
  • For the filling, mix together cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Pour the filling over the crust and top with blueberries. 
  • For the streusel topping, combine all ingredients with your hands until you have a (more or less) crumbly dough. Crumble over the filling. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool 1 hour at room temperature, then at least 1 hour in the fridge before serving.

My modifications:
None.

The taste:
Delicious! It really combines so many good things that you can't go wrong with it. And it tastes like pure summer. Not light but still refreshing.

What's your favorite baked summer treat?

August 5, 2015

31 | 52 Chocolate Chocolate Cake

I know it's still summer. And hot.
But come on. Chocolate cake is always a good idea.

And in this case it's not just chocolate.
But chocolate plus chocolate. Cake plus frosting.
Nothing less, nothing more. And oh so chocolatey good!

I feel like there's not even much more I could say to introduce this double chocolate yumminess.
So please just read on, go to your kitchen, and get to work! (No matter the temperature...)

 Please excuse the horrible iphone pictures...
Chocolate Chocolate Cake
From Smitten Kitchen (who calls it the 'i want chocolate cake' cake)

For the cake
85 g (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
145 g (3/4 cup) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
175 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40 g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder, unsweetened
125 g (1 cup) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting
55 g (2 oz) dark chocolate, melted
180 g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
115 g (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cream or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF)
  • Beat together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the buttermilk and beat again until combined. 
  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the butter mix and stir together until just combined.
  • Pour batter into 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 in pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-35 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • For the frosting, beat together buter, powdered sugar, and salt until fluffy. Add chocolate, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined plus one more minute to whip it more.
  • Scoop frosting onto cooled cake and swirl around, if you wish. 
  • Add sprinkles to increase joy even further.
 Proudly decorated by 7-year old Luisa.
My modifications:
I made double of the cake recipe because I made a bigger one. It was rectangular and I cut out a heart (for a friend's birthday).
Side note: I will never use a heart-shaped baking pan again but always cut it out of a rectangular - it works sooooo much better! Trust me on this one and give it a try - you won't be disappointed.
Other than that - no modifications.

The taste:
Oh my. Definitely one of the chocolate cake recipes to keep. And make over and over again. Especially with that frosting. You will feel guilty after the first bite - but who gives a damn...
YOLO, right?

What is your favorite chocolate cake recipe?