June 24, 2012

25/52 Cinnamon Biscotti

I have to admit that I was a little lazy this week - at least when it comes to baking.
When I was thinking about what to bake, I just wanted something quick, easy, small.
Something sweet for nibbling on.

So I was thinking COOKIES! Started searching for new cookie recipes on allrecipes.com which brought me to biscotti recipes. So I thought BISCOTTI! And biscotti it is now.

Cinnamon Biscotti
Adapted from allrecipes.com

250 g (2 cups) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
135 g (2/3 cup) sugar
85 g (6 tablespoons) butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

40 g (3 tablespoons) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Mix flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat together butter and 135 g (2/3 cup) sugar until creamy. Add both eggs and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients.
  • Divide dough into two parts and roll each part on floured surface into strings of about 23 cm (9 in) length and 4 cm (1 1/2 in) width. Brush with beaten egg.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 165°C (325°F) for 25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes.
  • Cut into diagonal slices of about 1 cm (1/2 in). Lay slices with cut surface down, sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon mix and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack and store in cookie jar or tin.

My modifications:
Having read the comments below the recipe I decided to use 2 whole eggs instead of 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk to make the biscotti less crumbly.
If you want your biscotti to be a little soft, use the times indicated above. If you prefer them to be rock-hard, extend both baking times by 5 minutes each.

The taste:
Very, very good! I might have to make them every week now... (or twice a week?)
Perfect with espresso or any other coffee, or just by itself.

What is your favorite cookie (or the like)?

June 17, 2012

24/52 Focaccia with Tomatoes and Rosemary

Time for some savory baking again. And summer baking.
Savory summer baking, so to say.

Sounds like Focaccia to me.
Serve with a salad and you have an excellent summer lunch or dinner. 
Or just eat it as a snack whenever you feel like it.

Focaccia with Tomatoes and Rosemary
Adapted from here

450 g (3.6 cups) flour
450 g (1.9 cup) water, lukewarm
2 teaspoons salt
pinch of sugar
42 g (1.5 oz) yeast, compressed
8-10 green olives, pitted and in slices

10 cherry tomatoes
coarse sea salt

  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Mix all dough ingredients until smooth. Cover and let rise in fridge for 4-5 hours. Put dough into deep pan, cover again and let rise at room temperature for another 40-50 minutes.
  • Cut tomatoes in halves and spread evenly onto dough. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.
  • Bake in preheated oven at 200°C (390°F) for 25 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before cutting.
My modifications:
The original recipe used dry yeast, but I prefer the compressed yeast.
I also added olives because I like them in a Focaccia.
In the original recipe, 4 tablespoons of olive oil are drizzled over the dough before adding the tomatoes. For the sake of saving some calories, I omitted the oil completely. Traditionally, olive oil should be used though...

The taste:
5-10 more minutes in the oven and it would have been perfect! But except for being a bit underbaked, I loved it!

What's your favorite food for a light summer lunch or dinner?

June 10, 2012

23/52 Rhubarb-Crumble-Cake

You are absolutely right, I should be ashamed.
Ashamed for talking about strawberries and asparagus but totally neglecting rhubarb.

I guess I can only make it up to you (and rhubarb) by putting the spotlight on this very special plant today. And since crumbles are always good (and don't let anybody ever tell you otherwise), let's make Rhubarb-Crumble-Cake.

But watch out - those crumbles have some unexpected ingredients...

Adapted from essen & trinken 5/2012

400 g (3.2 cup) flour
200 ml (0.8 cup) milk
25 g (0.9 oz) yeast, compressed
80 g (0.4 cup) sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
80 g (3/4 stick or 2.8 oz) butter, room temperature

2 twigs rosmary
50 g (2 tablespoons) candied ginger
150 g (1.2 cup) flour
50 g (0.4 cup) starch
100 g (1 cup) almonds, chopped
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
pinch of salt
150 g (1.3 stick or 5.3 oz) butter, cold

1,2 kg (2.6 lb) rhubarb
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar

  • For the yeast dough, put flour into a bowl. Warm up milk until lukewarm and dissolve yeast and sugar in it. Add milk-yeast-sugar, egg and a pinch of salt to flour and knead with your mixer until smooth. Add butter in pieces and knead for another 3 minutes. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  • For the crumbles, chop rosmary needles and ginger. Mix both with flour, starch, almonds, sugar and a pinch of salt. Add cold butter in pieces and knead with your hands until crumbly. Put in the fridge until later.

  • Wash and peel rhubarb. Cut into 8 cm (3 in) long pieces.
  • Knead yeast dough with your hands, put into greased deep pan (30 x 40 cm/12 x 16 in) and spread evenly with your hands. Arrange rhubarb pieces close-packed on top and sprinkle with sugar. Crumble crumbles evenly on top. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

  • Bake on second lowest rack in preheated oven at 190°C (375°F) for 35 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for a bit. Serve with powdered sugar on top and/or whipped cream.

My modifications:
I couldn't find any candied ginger, so I used 3 Gingerbons (see picture above) and a bit of ground ginger. 

The taste:
Like summer! And the crumbles are really special (in a good way)!

What is your favorite summer cake recipe?

June 3, 2012

22/52 Asparagus-Quiche

As mentioned in week 20, asparagus and strawberries are (some of my culinary) highlights of the season. So before asparagus season comes to an end, let's bake something with it.

How does Asparagus-Quiche sound? Not too bad, right?

Adapted from essen & trinken 5/2012

250 g (2 cups) flour
125 g (1.1 stick) butter
6 eggs
500 g (1.1 lb) white asparagus
500 g (1.1 lb) green asparagus
250 g (1.1 cup) sour cream
100 g (1 cup) parmesan, finely grated
fresh chervil for garnishing

  • Knead together flour, butter, a pinch of salt and one egg until you have a smooth dough. (I find using my hands best for kneading this kind of dough but of course you can use your mixer.)
  • Place dough into pie/quiche baking form and distribute evenly (I find using your fingers the easiest option). Poke holes into it with a fork, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for an hour.
  • Peel asparagus, cut off the ends and cut into halves. Place the white asparagus into boiling water (with a bit of salt and sugar), cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the green asparagus and cook for another 2 minutes. Take all asparagus out with a spoon, place into ice-cold water and drain. Then place it on a kitchen towel and let dry.
  • Put parchment paper on the pie crust, cover with dry beans/peas/lentils and blind-bake at 200°C (390°F) on the lowest oven rack for 15 minutes.
  • Divide one egg, put egg yolk aside and whisk egg white a bit. Take pie crust out of the oven, remove parchment paper and brush on whisked egg white immediately. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Mix sour cream with egg yolk, remaining 4 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and parmesan. Distribute asparagus evenly on pie crust and pour sour cream mix on top. 
  • Bake on lowest oven rack at 200°C (390°F) for 35-45 minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh chervil leaves.
My modifications:
Except for the method of placing the dough into the form = using my fingers right after kneading when it is nice and smooth, not rolling it out with a roll pin after 1 hour in the fridge. But I always do it like that. It's just so much easier!

The taste:
Well, as I said, I do really like asparagus. But not necessarily in this recipe. I mean, of course I like the asparagus, just not so much in this "setting". First of all, I felt that the whole quiche was in need of more salt (and I am usually not a salt person...). Overall, it just lacked flavor. And even though it was a bit bland, the asparagus still kind of went under. A pity!
So for me: 
Quiche = yes, please! Asparagus = every day while in season! 
But (this) Asparagus-Quiche = not necessarily.

What are your favorite seasonal fruit or veggies?