Oh it feels good, very good indeed.
I am back amongst my blogging buddies. It is wonderful.
Things were rather overwhelming in the past 5 months, so I had to take a time-out and concentrate on other things. But spring has sprung and I am leaving everything bad behind me. Making a fresh start to a new blogging year. Good stuff indeed.
And how better to start all over with two of my favourite ingredients, chocolate and pear. I always felt that these two flavours are the perfect combination. The sweet, juicy pear really does compliment the almost bitter dark chocolate. Sweet on a whole new level.
I found the recipe on www.swissmilk.ch for all the German speakers amongst you this is a very good database. It has lots of traditional Swiss recipes but not just those. Often when I just find some ingredients in my cupboard wondering how to turn them into a dessert and I type the ingredients into google, the search engine usually comes up with a suggestion from that website. But don’t worry, the name of the website is a little misleading, there aren’t just recipes with milk in it. 😉
Apple, Pear and Chocolate Cake
175g soft butter
1tsp. vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt
200g apples, seeded and roughly grated
200g pears, seeded and roughly grated
1tsp. baking powder
150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1. Whip the butter until soft, then add the sugar, vanilla sugar, salt and eggs.
2. Mix well until the mixture is pale.
3. Stir in the grated apple and pear.
4. Finally add the flour, baking powder and chocolate and mix well.
Fill the batter into a 30cm long cake dish and bake in the lower part of the preheated oven for 60 – 65 minutes at 180°.
It’s European Week at the Great British Bake Off and what did I bake 2 hours before I even knew about that? A Student Cake? Do you even know what that is? Well it’s a Swiss bake as far as I know (or could be German), usually made with leftovers (hence the name student) and cut into thick slices. It is one of my favourite cakes and I always buy it as an after-dinner snack. So I just had to try and make it myself for a change.
It’s actually not the easiest cake to make and I just realise how simple my cakes usually are. The Great British Bake Off really is an inspiration to me to go beyond my comfort zone and try something new. But Mary and Paul would probably tell me that it looks a mess. Which to be fair, is true. But it’s a first time bake so I let it slide (I am usually quite forgiving to myself).
But let’s talk about the Bake Off. I have never been that excited and worried at the same time. Two of my favourites up for elimination and phew, none of them had to go. Although at this stage and in this series I just like everybody. They all bring such character to the show. I just love it. Oo and the Swedish Princess Torte. Here in continental Europe this is a very popular dessert. I couldn’t believe the British bakers didn’t know it. What a delicious dessert. Do try it if you get a chance.
Ingredients short crust:
1 pinch of salt
60g butter, cold and in cubes
1 tbsp. water
Ingredients for the sponge mixture:
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp. hot water
4 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
250g shortbread or butter biscuit, finely grounded
100g grounded hazelnut
4 tbsp. chocolate powder
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. apricot jam
125g melted chocolate frosting
Short crust pastry:
1. Combine flour, sugar and salt for the short crust pastry in a bowl.
2. Add the butter and crumble the mixture into an even mixture.
3. Add the water and combine into a soft dough without kneading.
4. Place the dough into the with baking paper lined baking tin and push it down onto the bottom.
5. Place in a cool area for 30 minutes.
6. Stab the dough densely with a fork.
Bake for 15 minutes in the lower part of the oven at 200°. Cool a bit and brush with the apricot jam.
1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and water in a bowl with an electric mixture for about 5 minutes until the mixture is frothy.
2. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until stiff.
3. Mix the biscuits, hazelnuts, chocolate and cocoa powder and the cinnamon in another bowl.
4. Alternate mixing the egg whites and the biscuit mixture with the egg yolks and carefully mix together.
5. Distribute onto the baked short crusty pastry.
Bake for about 35 minutes and let it cool a little bit. Then pour the melted chocolate frosting on top and let it cool. Then remove from the tin.
I was a bit horrified when I saw my pictures. It was quite late at night, as I needed to let the chocolate set and then the next day, the cake was gone. I should take the quick dissappearance as a compliment really, but I am a bit dissapointet when I look at the visual result (in the cake and the pictures). But it tasted nice. I think I would even suggest to put another layer of jam on top of the cake, underneath the chocolate glazing as the middle bit is a little bit dry.
So I am bringing this tasty but messy cake to Angies Fiesta Friday. As usual I am a day late (apologies) but nevertheless that means you’ll have digested yesterdays food and some room for my little leftover cake! 🙂 I hope you like it.
I found this recipe in the most popular Swiss cooking magazine. Betty Bossi. It’s the kind of magazine (and books) my grandmother had already used and which has established itself as THE cooking and baking magazine in Switzerland. Founded in 1956, the idea is based on the American Betty Crocker, a free product magazine. And the funny thing is, when I lived in England some Swiss people I knew even imported it. It is that popular.
So the reason for baking this cake is, that two girls I had worked with are now leaving for another post. I volunteered to bake something for their aperitif (that’s what we do here when someones is leaving, drinking and snacking) but they had already plenty in stock. So I just brought this to work yesterday – as a “last goodbye cake”. As sad as it is to see those two cheerful girls leaving, as happy I am to participate in yet another Fiesta Friday. It’s already number 25. Can you believe it? Time really flies and I’d like to thank Angie for being such a wonderful host. Every week I look forward to the tasty dishes my fellow bloggers showcase. It’s a feast! If you don’t know what I am talking about, you ought to pop over to the Novice Gardener’s blog and have a look yourself. You won’t regret it. I promise!
Red Berry Cake
200g soft butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
100g grounded almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1. Combine butter, sugar and salt.
2. Mix one egg after another into the mixture.
3. Add the lemon juice.
4. Add flour, almonds and baking powder and mix well.
5. Add the berries and mix carefully.
6. Add the batter into the baking tin.
Place in the preheated oven at 180° for about an hour.
I must say, they cake was fantastic. It’s moist and refreshing and it makes the most of all the fantastic summer goodness that is available right now. When it is sweltering hot outside, the last thing I want to eat is a filling, dense cake or even worse, something hot! I just can’t bear it. To be honest, I believe I was mixed up as a baby. I am definitely a child of the north (Winter is coming)! Autumn and Spring? Yes, please!
Das Wetter ist wiedermal auf einer Achterbahnfahrt. Mal schön, mal windig, mal eisig und dann ein bisschen Regen. Aber letzten Mittwoch war es nicht zu heiss und nicht zu kalt, perfekt für ein Grillfest mit Freunden. Diese sind nämlich zur Zeit für Ferien von England angreist und geniessen die trotzdem etwas wärmere Luft hier. Da dachte ich mir, was gibt es denn besseres als ein schöner Gugelhopf zum Nachtisch? Nicht viel.
Diesmal habe ich mich an eine Kreation mit Hefe gewagt. Eigentlich mag ich Hefe nur in Brot oder Salzgebäck. Bei Kuchen finde ich dann immer, dass es zu fest nach Hefe riecht und das mag ich eigentlich überhaupt nicht. Bei desem Rezept war ich jedoch erstaunt wie die in Orangensaft eingelegten Rosinen und die Apfelwürfel den Hefegeschmack gedämpft haben. War definitiv einen Versuch wert.
Gugelhopf mit Apfel und Rosinen
3 EL Orangensaft
3/4 TL Salz
100g Butter, flüssig und abgekühlt
30g Hefe, zerbröckelt
2 Eier verquirlt
2 Äpfel (ca. 300g geschält und gerüstet)
3-4 EL Zitronensaft
1. Rosinen mit Orangensaft bedecken und ein paar Stunden oder über Nacht ziehen lassen.
2. Mehl, Salz und Zucker mischen.
3. Eine Mulde bilden und erst die Butter dann die Milch und darin aufgelöste Hefe und Eiern dazugeben.
4. Zu einem Teig mischen.
5. Zugedeckt mit einem feuchten Tuch aufs Doppelte aufgehen lassen.
6. Rosinen und Äpfel unter den Teig mischen.
7. In die Form geben und nochmals aufgehen lassen.
In der unteren Hälfte des auf 180° vorgeheizten Backhofens ca. 40 – 45 Minuten backen.
Kurz auskühlen lassen und die Glasur (Puderzucker mit Zitronensaft vermischt) über den Gugelhopf verteilen.
Dank der Hefe ist der Kuchen auch superschön aufgegangen und hat die Unterseite schön braun werden lassen. Da ich immer nur ganz kleine Portionen Nachtisch zubereite, weil wir halt nur zu zweit sind zu Hause, ist ein grosser Kuche immer etwas ganz besonderes für mich. Man muss dann halt nicht das ganze Rezpet durch 5 rechnen um nicht zwei Wochen lang vom selben Kuchen essen zu müssen. Und überhaupt, wenn sich andere über meine Kuchen freuen, ist das immer eine Riesenfreude für mich.
Finally, Summer is here! The weather is turning warm (apparently up to 27° this Wednesday), the people are more relaxed, social gatherings move to the outside and most important of all… It’s time for berries!!!
But most important of all, it’s also time for Fiesta Friday #17. And I am taking part on this virtual party for the first time. Let’s bake all night and taste deep into the mornings… I am very excited!
Just a few days ago the first local strawberries were in the shops and on the farmers market. I know, I know… in these times we can buy anything at anytime, but I am old fashioned and I like to stick to seasonal ingredients and local produce. If I buy it out of season I am either oblivious to it or just really, really craving it. So strawberries. We had some lovely whipped cream and we tend to always leave a few aside for the next day. But in fact they are often forgotten in the fridge. Perfect to dust my wee bundt cake forms and whip up tiny cakes for tonight’s longing.
Strawberry Mint Bundt Cakes
Ingredients for 8 small cakes:
about 5 tiny leaves of mint (see pictures)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
50g grounded almonds (or any nuts, but don’t use too much hazelnuts as they overpower the strawberry and mint)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
a small bit of baking powder
a small bit of salt
a small bit of caster sugar
1. Whip the butter until soft, then add the egg and the sugar.
2. Mix until the mixture has a golden colour.
3. Add the finely chopped strawberry and mint leaves as well as the lemon juice.
4. Mix the batter, then add almonds, salt, flower and baking powder.
5. Mix the batter again and fill your little forms.
Bake the cakes in the middle of the 200° preheated oven for just over 20 minutes. Let them cool down before removing the form and sprinkle caster sugar on top.
I love these little cakes, but they are quite unusual in taste, as you get the earthy nut, the sweet strawberry and the refreshing mint in one go.