December 29, 2013

52*52 Baked Eggs with Ham and Cheese

Can you believe that today is the last Sunday in 2013?
2014 will be here in 3 days already...

I won't bore you with a long review of the year but let me say that it's been a fun one when it comes to baking.
But I won't continue in 2014. Other things await that need my full attention in 2014 (please visit if you are curious).
Plus - it's time to lose at least some of the weight that I gained from all those cakes and cookies ;)

I hope you're not too disappointed if I end the year (and this blog, at least for now) with a pretty simple and savory baking recipe. But I think it is fitting for a new direction. And it is a very good recipe to have at hand for breakfast and brunch guests (I made it on Christmas morning last year and this year again), as a hangover cure, or just as a small, quick, and comforting meal.

Baked Eggs with Ham and Cheese
From Two Tarts

For each serving you need:
1-2 slices of raw/dry-cured ham
1 egg
1 teaspoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated cheese

  • Put one or two slices of ham in a ramekin so that the bottom and sides are covered.
  • Crack one egg over the ham. Drizzle with cream, sprinkle with cheese, season with pepper. (No salt is needed because the ham is salty enough).
  • Bake in preheated oven at 190°C (375°F) for 10-12 minutes. Serve immediately.
My modifications:
I used a bit less cream and cheese than in the original recipe because I think 1 teaspoon each is enough.

The taste:
So good, so comforting, so filling. And so quick and easy. 
Definitely something to make more often.

How do you end the year? Any specific recipes you make?

December 22, 2013

51*52 Vanillekipferln / Vanilla Crescents

You guys.
For the first time since I started this blog I'm gonna have to cheat. On my own rules.
Because I only wanted to blog about recipes that I had never made before.
This week's Vanillekipferln are a classic. And a recipe that I've been making for years.

But I have a good excuse. Unfortunately.
You see, sometimes life changes suddenly. And even though my hubby was unbelievably lucky and must have had about a million guardian angels, it was still a huge shock when he was hit by a van last Thursday, on his way to work, while crossing the street. He's scratched, bruised, and in pain but thankfully that's all.

And still - priorities shift when something like this happens. I know y'all understand that my baking mojo is not its old self right now. No matter if Christmas is around the corner or not.

But a classic is still better than nothing, right? So here we go:

Vanillekipferln / Vanilla Crescents
From Bild der Frau Christmas Baking Special 1997

250 g butter, cold
125 g sugar
125 g almond meal
300 g flour
1 egg
2 sachets vanilla sugar (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
pintch of salt

For dusting:
2 tablespoons ground vanilla
150 g powdered sugar
  • Combine all cookie ingredients and knead until well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and let cool in fridge for one hour.
  • Take small bits of dough, roll between your hands then "curve" to form crescents. Put on prepared cookie sheet and bake at 180°C (360°F) for 10-12 minutes. Take out and let cool slightly. Dust with vanilla powdered sugar.
My modifications:

The taste:
Like a true Chrismas classic. I used to find them boring when I was a kid but I got over that a couple of years ago...

What is a Christmas classic that you bake every year?

December 15, 2013

50*52 Haselnuss-Spekulatius (Hazelnut Speculoos)

Thanks to this blog, I finally started the Christmas baking.
So thank you blog, for putting at least a tiny bit of pressure on me.

Haselnuss-Spekulatius (Hazelnut Speculoos)

100 g hazelnuts, slivered
250 g flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
50 g hazelnuts, ground
100 g butter, room temperature
100 g sugar
3 teaspoons Spekulatius/speculoos spice
pinch of salt
1 egg
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
  • Put parchment paper on two cookie sheets and sprinkle slivered hazelnuts on them.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and ground hazelnuts.
  • Beat together butter, sugar, spice, and salt. Add egg and beat until creamy. Add flour mix at once and work into butter mix.
  • Roll dough 3-4 mm (about 0.15 in) thick and cut into rectangles (about 4 x 6 cm/1.6 x 2.4 in). Put each one on the slivered hazelnuts, press lightly.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

My modifications:

The taste:
Very yummy. But not very christmassy. More speculoos spice next time, maybe.

What are your favorite Christmas cookies to bake?

December 8, 2013

49*52 Pumpkin Spice Brownies

I know, I know.
It's the second of advent and I should really be baking christmas cookies.
The thing is: I am so not in the christmas mood yet. But soon!

Until then - let's enjoy the autumnal taste of pumpkin spice again.
Paired with chocolate in the form of brownies.
Sound good? I think so.

Pumpkin Spice Brownies
Adapted from Sweet & Easy: Enie backt via Sixx

125 g (4.4 oz) dark chocolate
125 g (1.1 stick) butter
3 eggs
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 g (3/4 cup) flour
 pinch of salt
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F).
  • Melt chocolate and butter over a bain-marie.
  • In a bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, and vanilla.
  • Add melted chocolate-butter.
  • Fold in flour and salt until just combined. Add 140 g (5 oz) of candy melts.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Let cool.
  • Melt remaining candy melts and frost brownies with it.
My modifications:
I reduced the amount of sugar by 75 g because I knew that the candy melts will bring additional sweetness.
I also added the candy melts to the batter and as frosting.

The taste:
Sweet but very good in a pumpkin spice kind of way. I'm really glad that put off the cookie baking and made this today instead.

Do you have any great baking recipes using candy melts?

December 1, 2013

48*52 Lebkuchen-Kuchen (Gingerbread Cake)

Some things or words cannot really be translated. The German "Lebkuchen" is such a thing. Gingerbread just isn't really the same thing but I guess it's what comes closest.

Since today is not only December 1st but also the 1st of advent, I wanted to bake something christmasy. But not cookies yet - I'm just not ready for them (and all the effort going into them). So this cake sounded quick, easy, and christmasy. What more could I ask for?

Lebkuchen-Kuchen (Gingerbread Cake)

400 g (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) flour
300 g (1 1/2 cups) sugar
1 pack (15 g or 4 teaspoons) Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) spice 
1 pack (17 g or 4 teaspoons) baking powder
5 eggs
250 g (2.2 sticks) butter
250 ml (1 cup) water, lukewarm
  • Combine all ingredients, except for the water, and mix until combined. 
  • Add water slowly and mix until dough is smooth. 
  • Pour into prepared baking tin and bake at 180°C (360°F) for 40-50 minutes.
My modifications:
I used rice flour. Just because I wanted to try it. So my version is gluten-free.
I also cut back on the sugar and only used 200 g (1 cup) instead of 300 g (1 1/2 cups).

The taste:
Okayish. It's probably the rice flour (which I have never baked with before so I don't really know) but I just didn't like the consistency. It was very sandy, if you know what I mean. And the Lebkuchen/gingerbread taste wasn't as strong as I expected and hoped for. And it needs some kind of frosting.
I think I should just ignore all cakes or muffins that have something to do with Lebkuchen, because I was already disappointed last year...

Have you ever been disappointed by the same flavor in a different recipes?