August 26, 2015

34 | 52 The Original New York Times Plum Torte

Somebody I follow on Instagram recently posted a picture mentioning (not showing!) some famous 'Plum Torte'.

I was instantly hooked. 
Having just bought plums and being really curious about the combination of 'Plum' and 'Torte' I immediately pinterested it. (Yes, I didn't google it, I pinterested it...)
All these pins of the New York Times' Original Plum Torte came up so I assumed that this must be it. The famous Plum Torte.

Now, let's get something straight here.
'Torte' in German means some kind of layer cake. 2 and more layers of some sponge cake, filled and topped with some sort of cream.
One of the most famous German Tortes is probably the 'Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte' (Black Forest Cake) which my husband is a big fan of but me not so much.

The Times' Plum Torte actually has zero to do with a Torte. At least not in the German sense.
But it's so much better than a (German) Torte.
It's quick, easy, with few ingredients, light, and just an everyday treat that everybody will love. It sure isn't fancy but so very comforting.
And that's more important anyway. Right?

The Original New York Times Plum Torte

150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
113 g (1/2 cup) butter
130 g (1 cup) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
12 purple plums, in halves and pitted
Sugar and cinnamon for topping
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF) degrees.
  • Cream together sugar and butter. 
  • Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.
  • Spoon batter into a round spring form pan of 25 cm / 10 in (or smaller, if you don't have this size). 
  • Distribute plum halves on the batter, skin side up. 
  • Sprinkle lightly with sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or less, if you're not into cinnamon that much).
  • Bake about one hour. Remove and cool (or serve lukewarm).

My modifications: 

The taste: 
Perfect. Comforting. Real. A true keeper. 

What's your favorite plum recipe? 

August 19, 2015

33 | 52 Nectarine Upside Down Cake

During our last trip to the grocery store, I picked up a 1 kilogram basket of nectarines.
They're so good when they're in season, all sweet and juicy, right?

At the cash register, I noticed that 2 nectarine baskets landed back in our cart.
It turned out that the hubby had the same idea as me :)

While we really like to eat the nectarines, 2 kilograms at once seemed a bit of a stack...
So what does a person who likes to bake do? 
Turn the fruit in question into something baked.

And since I have never made an Upside Down Cake before, I thought it was time.
Let's see if it was worth it!

Nectarine Upside Down Cake

113 g (1 stick) butter, melted
100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
5 nectarines, peeled and sliced
240 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
2 eggs
200 g (1 cup) sugar
280 g (2 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF).
  • Pour half of the melted butter into a round springform pan. Move pan around until bottom and sides are coated with butter.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.
  • Put nectarine slices on top of the brown sugar.
  • In a bowl, combine buttermilk, the other half of the melted butter, eggs, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together until combined. Pour evenly over the nectarines.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Allow to stand for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a plate or cake stand.
  • Remove the outer ring of your springform pan, then place your plate or cake stand on top of the cake, carefully flip so that the nectarine bottom is on top.

My modifications:
I made three small cakes, instead of one big one. Don't ask me why - just felt like it ;)
Also, I didn't have any buttermilk at home so I made my own (for the first time): 4 1/2 teaspoons vinegar (or lemon juice) plus 1 cup of milk. Stir together and let sit for about 10 minutes et voilà: you made your own buttermilk!

The taste:
Somewhere between okay and good. The nectarines didn't turn out very caramelized from the sugar (like it usually looks in the pictures of recipes) - maybe my pan was too non-sticky so I should have omitted the butter? And the cake part was too dense for my taste (which you can see on the right picture above). All in all, it didn't turn out very pretty, not at all special from the taste but of course still edible and not bad. I wouldn't make it again though.

Have you ever baked an upside down cake? What fruit did you use and how was it?

August 12, 2015

32 | 52 Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

I know, I know...
This name is way too long.

Maybe we should call this week's recipe LBCSB?
Or something like: The Perfect Summer Treat?
No, not very convincing...

But no matter its name - it's just pure yumminess.
It combines everything you love (or at least everything I love):
Lemon. Blueberries. Cheesecake. Streusel.
Summer. Freshness. Yum.

So give these a try. And do let me know if you come up with a good, short name.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Streusel Bars

For the crust
9 graham cracker rectangles
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
57 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling
454 g (16 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 tablespoons lemon zest, grated
60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
150 g (1 1/2 cups) fresh blueberries

For the topping
1 cup light brown sugar
100 g (3/4 cup) flour
85 g (3/4 stick) butter, cold
  • Preheat oven to 160ºC (325ºF). 
  • For the crust, place graham crackers, sugar, and lemon zest into your food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse again until crumbs are moistened. If you don't have a food processor, make crumbs the old-fashioned way: place crackers in a plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin (or the like) until you get crumbs. Place crumbs in a bowl together with the remaining crust ingredients and stir until crumbs are moistened. 
  • Press crumb mix into your prepared square pan (23 cm / 9 in) and bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes. 
  • For the filling, mix together cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Pour the filling over the crust and top with blueberries. 
  • For the streusel topping, combine all ingredients with your hands until you have a (more or less) crumbly dough. Crumble over the filling. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool 1 hour at room temperature, then at least 1 hour in the fridge before serving.

My modifications:

The taste:
Delicious! It really combines so many good things that you can't go wrong with it. And it tastes like pure summer. Not light but still refreshing.

What's your favorite baked summer treat?

August 5, 2015

31 | 52 Chocolate Chocolate Cake

I know it's still summer. And hot.
But come on. Chocolate cake is always a good idea.

And in this case it's not just chocolate.
But chocolate plus chocolate. Cake plus frosting.
Nothing less, nothing more. And oh so chocolatey good!

I feel like there's not even much more I could say to introduce this double chocolate yumminess.
So please just read on, go to your kitchen, and get to work! (No matter the temperature...)

 Please excuse the horrible iphone pictures...
Chocolate Chocolate Cake
From Smitten Kitchen (who calls it the 'i want chocolate cake' cake)

For the cake
85 g (6 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
145 g (3/4 cup) packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
175 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40 g (1/2 cup) cocoa powder, unsweetened
125 g (1 cup) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the frosting
55 g (2 oz) dark chocolate, melted
180 g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
115 g (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon cream or whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 175ºC (350ºF)
  • Beat together butter and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the buttermilk and beat again until combined. 
  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the butter mix and stir together until just combined.
  • Pour batter into 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 in pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-35 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • For the frosting, beat together buter, powdered sugar, and salt until fluffy. Add chocolate, milk, and vanilla and beat until combined plus one more minute to whip it more.
  • Scoop frosting onto cooled cake and swirl around, if you wish. 
  • Add sprinkles to increase joy even further.
 Proudly decorated by 7-year old Luisa.
My modifications:
I made double of the cake recipe because I made a bigger one. It was rectangular and I cut out a heart (for a friend's birthday).
Side note: I will never use a heart-shaped baking pan again but always cut it out of a rectangular - it works sooooo much better! Trust me on this one and give it a try - you won't be disappointed.
Other than that - no modifications.

The taste:
Oh my. Definitely one of the chocolate cake recipes to keep. And make over and over again. Especially with that frosting. You will feel guilty after the first bite - but who gives a damn...
YOLO, right?

What is your favorite chocolate cake recipe?