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

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

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

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:
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

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

2 eggs
200 ml (0.85 cup) milk
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
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?