July 29, 2012

30/52 Redcurrant-Mascarpone-Cake

Can you believe it is already week 30 of 2012? I for sure can't...
It seems like the year is just flying by and we'll be searching for Christmas baking recipes soon...

But now it is still summer! So what could be better than more berries?

Adapted from Living at Home 7/2008

200 ml (6.8 fl oz) heavy cream
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
zest of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs
190 g (1 1/2 cups) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

250 g (9 oz) redcurrants
2 tablespoons starch

Almond Topping
20 g (1 1/2 tablespoons) butter
3 tablespoons almond slivers
2 tablespoons sugar

Mascarpone Topping
1 egg
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons starch
125 g (4.5 oz) mascarpone

Powdered sugar for dusting

  • Pour cream into a bowl. Add sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), and lemon zest. Beat until cream is half stiff. Combine flour and baking powder and add to cream mixture. Beat until smooth.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Pour batter into prepared spring or pie form (diameter 26 cm/10 in). Mix 4/5 of the currants with starch and scatter on the batter. Bake on second lowest rack for 35 minutes.

  • For almond topping, melt butter. Mix with almond slivers and sugar. Set aside.
  • For the mascarpone topping, mix together eggyolk, sugar, starch, and mascarpone. Beat eggwhite until stiff and fold in.
  • Spread mascarpone topping onto baked cake and sprinkle with remaining redcurrants and almond topping. Bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool in pan and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

My modifications:
The original recipe calls for cardamom to be added to the batter. I just didn't like the idea too much and left it out.

The taste:
Very curranty and yummy!
Just don't expect too much from the mascarpone topping - you can't really see or taste it... But I'm sure something would be missing from the overall taste if you left it out.

What kind of berries do you like best in a cake, muffin, cupcake, or pie?

July 22, 2012

29/52 Saffron (Birthday) Cake

Birthdays need birthday cakes. With candles. Don't you think?

Well, it was my friend Katarina's birthday last weekend and I wanted to bring her a small birthday cake with a candle on it. Maybe you remember that she is the one who gave me the Swedish Cakes and Cookies book so I decided to make her a cake from that book.

Saffron Cake

200g (3/4 cup) butter
1/2 gram (large pinch) saffron
1 sugar cube
2 eggs
300 ml (1 1/4 cups) sugar
150 ml (2/3 cup) milk
400 ml (1 2/3 cups) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Melt butter and let cool. Crush saffron with sugar cube in a mortar.

  • Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow and thick. Add saffron, butter and milk. 
  • Combine dry ingredients and add, beating well. 
  • Pour into prepared springform pan (24 cm/10 in).

  • Bake on low oven rack in preheated oven at 175°C (350°F) for around 45 minutes. 
  • Sift powdered sugar over cooled cake if desired.
My modifications:
None. But it was supposed to look more yellow - for some reason the saffron that I used did not dissolve correctly but was visible as tiny red dots in the cake...
And I baked 6 small cakes (for 25 minutes) instead of 1 big one.
The taste:
Basic but very good.

What is your favorite birthday cake?

July 15, 2012

28/52 Strawberry Tarte with Mascarpone Cream

Do you know Sweet Paul? I'm sure you do. I hope you do.

I love his blog and magazine which I stumbled upon some time early last year. The layout of the magazine and the pictures are lovely, the recipes sound yummy, and the rest (like DIY tips and tutorials) is great, too. And the amazing thing is that it is completely free to read online.

So I when I found out that Sweet Paul is coming out in print in Germany (in German, of course), I was very excited and bought the first issue. For some reason, I just assumed that it would be in addition to the free English version, with different/more recipes. I was very disappointed to find out that while it is a bit modified to fit the German audience, all the recipes seem to be 1:1 from the original magazine, some from last year, like "Best Summer Cakes" where the cake I made this week is from.

Sorry, I did not want this post to be a magazine review or rant about the German Sweet Paul...
It still is a wonderful magazine and I do hope that a lot of Germans will buy it. I just think that if you understand English well enough, you can stick to the free English online version.

Strawberry Tarte with Mascarpone Cream
Adapted from Sweet Paul Magazine Summer 2011

160 g (1 1⁄3 cups) flour
2 tablespoons sugar
160 g (1 stick) butter, in pieces
1 egg
1 tablespoon cold water

250 g (2 cups) mascarpone
80 g (1⁄2 cup) light brown sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
500 g (2 cups) strawberries

  • Mix together flour, sugar and butter until crumbly. Add egg and cold water and mix until smooth. Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Put crust in pie form (about 22 cm/9 in or 6 small forms) and prick several times with a fork.
  • Bake until golden and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  • Mix together mascarpone, sugar and vanilla. Fill on crust and top with strawberry halves. Dust with powdered sugar if you wish.

My modifications:
This recipe is originally called "Raspberry Tarte", so obviously I changed the raspberries to strawberries.

The taste:
Strawberries are always good!
But I am not 100% convinced of the crust; the flavor and texture were not what I had imagined. And I would reduce the sugar in the mascarpone cream next time (to about half, so 40 g or 1/4 cup).

What is your favorite Summer Cake?

July 8, 2012

27/52 Apple-Crumble-Cake

Oh yes, I do. I totally know what you are thinking.

Crumble cake? Again???

Yes, it's crumble cake again. But there's a very good reason for that.

It is my mom's birthday today (Happy Birthday, Mom!) and she asked if I would bake her a cake. Of course I would! (And she knew that, of course... It really was a rhetorical question...)

Since it is her birthday, I really wanted her to choose what she would like me to bake.
I narrowed it down to either chocolatey, fruity, or yeasty.
And she chose yeasty. And fruity.

So there you have it. My mom's wish. You can't complain about repetition anymore now, can you?

I used the basis of the Rhubarb-Crumble-Cake from 4 weeks ago, but left out all the fancy igredients in the crumbles. Topped with apples instead of rhubarb, and a little cinnamon on top.

(Due to the birthday-travel-preparation-hustle-and-bustle, there are very little pictures of the cake and none of its preparation. Apologies for that. I hope you understand.)

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

6 apples, peeled & core removed
lemon juice

150 g (1.2 cup) flour
50 g (0.4 cup) starch
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
150 g (1.3 stick or 5.3 oz) butter, cold

  • 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, mix flour, starch, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Add cold butter in pieces and knead with your hands until crumbly. Put in the fridge until later.
  • Cut apples into wedges and sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
  • 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 apple pieces close-packed on top and crumble crumbles evenly over them.
  • 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.

My modifications:
Like I mentioned earlier, apples instead of rhubarb, only basic crumbles without the fancy ingredients.

The taste:
Good. Solid. Apples-cinnamon-crumbles - no further questions, right?

What would your mom wish for you to bake for her birthday? Or your dad for his?

July 1, 2012

26/52 Lemon Bars

I feel bad for sounding lazy again, but hey - it's summer (yay!). And it's hot.
And I really do want to bake. Just nothing complicated. And not for hours.

But Lemon Bars sounded summery, quick and easy enough so I thought I would give them a try.

The good thing about only baking new recipes for this blog is that I get to choose and try so many new cakes, cookies, and the like. But on the other hand, I just never know if I will end up with something yummy or not. This week it was more of the latter... But read more about that at the end of the post...

Lemon Bars
Adapted from allrecipes.com

225 g (1 cup) butter, softened
100 g (1/2 cup) white sugar
250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour

4 eggs
300 g (1 1/2 cups) white sugar
30 g (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
(2/3 cup) lemon juice
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). 
  • For the crust, mix together softened butter, sugar, and flour. Press into an ungreased pan of about 20 x 30 cm (9 x 13 in).
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. 
  • Whisk together the ingredients for the topping and pour over the baked crust.
  • Bake for another 20 minutes.
  •  Let cool and cut into small squares.

My modifications:
According to some comments on the recipe, I used 2/3 cup of lemon juice (the original recipe called for the juice of 2 lemons which is less).

The taste:
As already mentioned above, this was not one of those recipes that deserve 5 stars. When I tasted the first small piece I was completely disappointed. It tasted like a lemon-omelette. I honestly could only taste the egg. A day later I had a friend visiting and she felt the same. Another day later, I wanted to give it a try again, and it actually tasted more like lemon, very good indeed and like I originally expected. 
Now, I am not sure why that is. Maybe it gets better (= more lemony, less eggy) the longer it sits in the fridge, or the egg didn't distribute evenly in the pan and the one side that I tried first got more egg. I'm not sure. So I leave it up to you if you want to take the chance or not. Just don't say I haven't warned you :)

Did anything you ever baked turn out different than you expected?