January 27, 2013

4*52 Chocolate-Hazelnut-Biscotti

Sometimes you just need something other than cake.
Something to nibble on. Even when you have guests.

Biscotti sound good. Adding chocolate and hazelnut seals the deal. Right?

Recipe from Cynthia Barcomi found on Chötenechräpfli

280 g flour
50 g hazelnuts, ground
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 g sugar
2 eggs
45 g butter, melted and cooled
150 g semi-sweet chocolate
100 g hazelnuts, whole with skin
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Combine flour, ground nuts, baking soda and powder, salt, vanilla and sugar. Whisk together eggs and butter in a small bowl and add to the flour mix. Mix until combined well. Coarsely chop the chocolate and nuts and work quickly (to not melt the chocolate) into the dough.
  • Form two logs and bake for 25 minutes. Take out and let cool 20 minutes on the cookie sheet. Using a bread knife, cut diagonally into 1.5 cm thick slices (leave them standing, don't 'lay' them down). Bake at 170°C (340°F) for another 10 minutes. Let cool.

My modifications:
I didn't roast the whole hazelnuts. I'm just not a big fan of roasting nuts (not sure why but partly because of lazyness...) but I never missed it.
In between both baking rounds and before cutting, I only let them cool for 5 minutes. That's probably why they don't look perfect because the chocolate melted. The original recipe says to let them cool for 20 minutes which I thought was too long for leaving the oven on without anything in it... If you can live with chocolate streaks like on my pictures, 5 minutes cooling time is enough.

The taste:
So very good! I predict that they won't last long anywhere...

What's your favorite (baked) nibble-food?

January 20, 2013

3*52 Orange & White Chocolate Cake

White Chocolate has totally grown on me in the last couple of years.
Not really sure why (not that it matters...).

And white chocolate and oranges is an excellent combination (at least in my imagination) so I finally had to make this cake which I had pinned on my Pinterest baking board a while ago...

Orange & White Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Bobbie's Baking Blog

235 g (1 1/2 cups) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pintch fo salt
113 g (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
300g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
115 g (1/2 cup) heavy cream
50 g (1/2 cup) sour creme
116 g (1/2 cup) mascarpone
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
200 g (7/8 cup) white chocolate chunks

powdered sugar
orange juice

  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F)
  • Beat butter and sugar until well blended. Add orange zest. Add cream, sour cream, and mascarpone and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract. Alternating, add both mixes to the cream-sugar mix. Fold in the white chocolate chunks.
  • Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool.
  • For the glaze, combine powdered sugar and orange juice. Pour over the cake and allow to set. 

My modifications:
I used packaged orange zest (and just regular orange zest not blood orange zest). Because I was a bit lazy and because I couldn't find organic blood oranges. I also used 2 packages of the zest because I am usually disappointed that something doesn't taste as intense as I imagined it to be so I took precautions...
The also invented my own glaze with orange juice because I thought it would go well with the cake.

The taste:
I really don't know what's wrong with me... Not enough orange flavor - again... But otherwise pretty good. Even though the white chocolate might be a bit too much (maybe I would cut the amount in half next time?).

Any flavor that you never really taste in the goodies you bake or cook?

January 13, 2013

2*52 Chocolate Cheesecake


I think we already agreed that there is always room & time for chocolate.
Also in cheesecake. Like this one:

Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Leila Lindholm's Noch ein Stück (English edition: One more slice)

400 g (14 oz) whole wheat butter cookies (or graham crackers)
150 g (2/3 cup) butter

600 g (1 lb & 5 oz) cream cheese
250 g (8 fl oz) Quark (10%) (curd cheese)
120 g (2/3 cup) sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
4 eggs
100 ml (3.5 fl oz) heavy cream, liquid
150 g (1/3 lb) semisweet chocolate
3 tablespoons espresso
  • Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  • Crush the cookies or crackers until you have (more or less) fine crumbs.
  • Melt the butter, mix with the crumbs, and press onto the bottom of a buttered springform pan. Pre-bake for 10 minutes, let cool.
  • Turn down the oven to 130°C (270°F).
  • Mix together cream cheese and quark. Add sugar and vanilla (sugar). Add one egg at a time, then finish with adding the liquid cream.
  • Melt the chocolate and mix with espresso. Add chocolate to half of the cheese mix. 
  • Pour half of the white cheese mix onto base. Pour half of the chocolate-cheese mix on top. Add the rest of the white mix, and finish with the last half of chocolate mix. Make swirls with a toothpick.
  • Bake for 85 minutes until the cake is completely set. Let cool and serve warm or chilled from the fridge.

My modifications:
None. But I did have a problem with mixing the espresso with the melted chocolate. Maybe you know what happens when you mix a liquid with melted chocolate: the chocolate clumps. I didn't really like that because those clumps were in the finished cake as well but I'm not sure what to do differently next time.

The taste:
Good! But - maybe due to the espresso-chocolate - the texture wasn't like my usual favorite cheesecake texture. I probably won't bake this again. But it wasn't bad, so please do try it yourself. And let me know if you solve the clump problem...

What is your favorite cheesecake? Plain or mixed with different flavors?

January 6, 2013

1*52 Fluffy Eggnog Cake

Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope it started well for everyone!

My 2013 started with my Grandma's 91st birthday. I think I already mentioned that she loooooves eggnog so of course I had to make her an eggnog cake.

Oh yeah, and I changed my mind about this blog. I will just start all over again and continue baking my way through the 52 weeks of 2013. I know. I must be crazy...

Fluffy Eggnogg Cake
Adapted from Hungry Little Girl

200 g (1 cup) sugar
114 g (1 stick) butter, softened
3 tablespoons sour cream
200 ml (3/4 cup) eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
280 g (2 cups) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
75 g (1/2 cup) hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Mix together sugar, butter, sour cream, eggnog, vanilla, and egg until fluffy.
  • Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared 20 cm (8 in) baking pan.
  • Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over batter. Top with hazelnuts.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.
  • Pour some eggnog over each piece just before serving if you wish.

My modifications:
I omitted 1 teaspoon of rum extract, because I'm not the biggest fan of it.

The taste:
So fluffy and moist and yummy and hazelnutty!

How did you start 2013? Any special recipes you made?