I am back with Apple, Pear and Chocolate Cake

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.

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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. 😉

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Apple, Pear and Chocolate Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1h30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:
175g soft butter
200g sugar
1tsp. vanilla sugar
a pinch of salt
4 eggs
200g apples, seeded and roughly grated
200g pears, seeded and roughly grated
300g flour
1tsp. baking powder
150g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Directions:

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°.

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Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Icing

There is a cupcake shop in the town I live in. And I always pass it drooling and craving for one of these. They just look so pretty and their icing… mmmhmm. But… they are super expensive. I mean, I can get a small meal for that price. So I don’t buy them very often.

But last Saturday my girls (I actually mean friends, not children 😉 ) stopped by for a girls night in. So I had the perfect opportunity to try and make some cupcakes myself.

I don’t actually know why, but making cupcakes myself always scared me. I guess it maybe is because I have virtually no experience with piping and a big appeal of cupcakes are their looks, and still they taste lovely. I think that is also why I don’t really like cupcakes decorated with fondant. I honestly don’t know any person who eats that stuff, it is just wonderful for decorating. But for me, it has to taste as well.

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I found this recipe on Pinterest. Do you know Pinterest? If not, off you go check it out now. The sheer abundance of recipes and ideas there is absolutely amazing and these cupcakes just really looked their part. Absolutely amazing. So I had the perfect recipe to share with my friends.

The creator of the original recipe is Juicy and it can be found on completerecipes.com.

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So the piping didn’t quite go to plan. But I am almost proud that it looks piped and not just slapped. I need lots of practice still, but it is definitely a start.

I would really like to try Jennie’s Chocolate and Baileys Cupcakes next. They just looks so scrumptious, and I am sure mine won’t look that pretty, but I can’t get better if I don’t try. Right? 🙂 So go check them out at Jennie’s blog. Yum, yum.

Blackberry Chocolate Cupcakes wit Vanilla Icing

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 45mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients Cake
60g Cocoa powder
175g Caster sugar
175g Butter
120g Self-raising flour
3 Eggs
3 tbsp Boiling water
100g Blackberries
1 tsp Baking powder

Ingredients icing
250g Icing sugar
250g Butter, soft
1 tsp Vanilla extract
2 tbsp Milk

Directions for the cake:
1. Mix the cocoa powder and water in a bowl until smooth.
2. Add the butter and sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add the eggs one at a time.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture.
5. Combine and add the blackberries as carefully as possible.

Directions for the icing:
1. Combine the soft butter with the butter.
2. Once well mixed add the other ingredients and put aside until the cakes are ready.

Prepare 12 muffin cases with one blackberry each in the middle and spoon the batter on top of them. Bake in the preheated oven at 190° for about 13 minutes. Once cooled pipe the icing onto them and place a spare blackberry on the top.

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They were really good and actually because of the icing I left them in the fridge overnight and they were even much better the next day. I must admit, the very first bite felt quite sweet. I suppose the icing is just made with sweet ingredients. But leaving them to rest for a day, they really came together. The original recipe was with raspberries but since I didn’t have any at hand and the lovely blackberries just started to be in season, I opted for the dark option. It was quite a good idea. Since the icing was very sweet, the sourness of the blackberries counterparted the sweetness and it worked very well.

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Right, although this was just a piping experiment, they were tasty and I will bring them over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Oh it is so inspiring and amazing to see other bloggers offerings every week and I do so enjoy this party. So many absolutely scrumptious dishes and bakes. I can’t describe it, you just have to go and see for yourselves. Happy Friday and feliz Viernes.

Peach and Honey Mini Bundt Cakes

It’s been raining here for over a week non-stop. It doesn’t bother me, OH NO, but it does set me into a autumn/winter mood. I had to be careful not to bake any Christmas treats in the last couple of days. So I forced myself for something summer calls for. And I’ve found these lovely Peach and Honey Bundt Cakes on FrĂ€ulein Cupcake‘s Blog. I have altered them ever so slightly and I think they taste delicious.

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Peach and Honey Mini Bundt Cakes

  • Servings: 15
  • Time: 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
35g melted butter
15g caster sugar
18g honey
1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
1 tbsp rum
1 egg
30g all-purpose four
10g grounded almonds
60g peaches

1. Mix the first five ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Add the egg and mix well.
3. Purée 25g of the peach and cut the other 25g into tiny pieces.
4. Add the flour and almonds, mix well.
6. Now add the purée and the the small pieces of peach and mix again.
7. Fill the tin with the mixture.

Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven at 210°.

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The original recipe was a bit too nutty for my taste, so I replace some nuts with flour and added more Peach. It really is wonderfully satisfying coming home from a long day at word and mushing up a Peach. 🙂 I can only recommend it!

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I shall bring these little treats to Fiesta Friday which Angie is hosting. Thanks again Angie. You are such a wonderful host.

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Semolina Pudding

Actually I wanted to conclude my British Weeks today with some Banoffee Pie. Good idea, you say? Well yes, but I had forgotten that I’ve never made this before and yes – it was catastrophic. I just wasn’t able to produce any caramel. And since it is very warm today, I gave up after the second attempt. There you go. So I shall forfeit the British Weeks for now. But I will come back and share the Banoffee Pie recipe once I am able to do it. 🙂

Instead I made some semolina Pudding. Do you know what semolina pudding is? Whilst cooking it up, I was wondering how known this pudding is in the big wide world. Here in Switzerland it’s a rather old-fashioned treat. You know, one that our grand-mothers used to make. But I still love it. It is somewhat similar to porridge, but instead of being eaten hot, it’s cooled down in the fridge first (at least my version), which allows it to set into fantastic shapes. And since it’s summer and really hot outside a cool treat is just what we need.

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Semolina Pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 1hmins
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the pudding:
0.75dl milk
1/2 vanilla pod
75g semolina
30g sultana
a pinch of salt

For the raspberry sauce:
75g raspberries
a pinch of sugar
a bit of water

1. Bring the milk and the vanilla pod to the boil.
2. Add the salt.
3. Add the semolina and keep stirring on a low heat for about 20 minutes.
4. Add the sultanas.
5. Pour the mixture into cold dishes and place in the fridge. I always use our coffee mugs.
6. Once the mixture has set you can tip the pudding onto a plate. You might have to shake it a bit.
7. In the meantime place the raspberries, sugar and water in a pan and heat up. Make sure the sugar is dissolved.

Pour the raspberry sauce over the pudding and enjoy!


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Traditionally this pudding is served with anything from cordial maple leaf syrup being poured over it or simply accompanied by some fruit. But since it’s summer and there is an abundance of raspberries in my parents garden (yes, I always steal their fruit), I shall use raspberries. To make it sauce like, I heat the raspberries in a saucepan, adding a sip of water and let it simmer for a few minutes. If you like it sweet, you can add some sugar, but I like it just as it is. I’m telling you, hot berries and a cold semolina pudding – delish!

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I would even go as far as to call this dessert healthy. I mean there is hardly any sugar in it. If you’re not gluten or lactose intolerant, there is nothing wrong with this treat. Specially the fruits give it such a sweet flavour without overloading the dish with artificial sweeteners. Thumbs up from me anyway.

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I shall bring these dessert treats to Angies Fiesta Friday #23 (thanks Angie for being such a great host). I know, Friday is way past. But as usual I am late. C’est la vie, right?

Apple and Blueberry Crumble

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And the British Weeks roar on. Since summer is here now and with it all the lovely flavours of freshly picked fruit, I thought I move on to a British dessert. The crumble!

After the two weeks we were away on holiday, the supermarkets have suddenly been filled with every kind of summer fruit and we couldn’t resist but grab a big box of blueberries. Oh how I cherish them. The sweet, little balls of divine! Of course the majority was gobbled away instantly, I nevertheless managed to hide some 50g for my Apple and Blueberry Crumble. Now, I didn’t know if this was going to work at all, but since I love both apples and blueberry and I had both in stock, I thought “why not!”.

So the crumble it is. At first I wasn’t sure if this is a British dessert after all. Since I’ve started the British Weeks I have been proven wrong so many times. I thought fudge was British (it’s American), or that cheesecake was American (it’s originally Greek, but yes, I guess the modern version is still very much American) and worst of all I thought cinnamon rolls were Swiss (I guess I am so used to them), but nooo they’re Swedish in origin. Yes, I have been quite wrong indeed. But then again I think I associate food with the country I ate it in first and automatically assume that this is were it comes from. It’s been an eye opener.

So let’s get back to my crumble. Now apparently all British (it must be true, Wikipedia says so.. 🙂 ).

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Apple and Blueberry Crumble

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 1h 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
150g all-purpose flour
80g brown sugar
100g butter
50g blueberries
175g apples
1 pinch of cinnamon

1. Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl.

2. Rub butter cubes (one at a time) into the mixture until it resembles bread crumbs.

3. Cut the apple into dices and mix with the blueberries.

4. Sprinkle with a mix of a pinch of flour, cinnamon and sugar.

5. Add the fruit mixture into a ovenproof dish and sprinkle the crumble mix on top.

Bake at 180° for 45 minutes until the fruit starts to bubble and the crumbs are nicely browned. I served it with a good dollop of cream.

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I just love the hot melted fruit with the crumbly sugar, flour and butter mix on top. And I think the colour came out very nice as well. Since I added some blueberries, they turned the whole dish into a dark purple, which I think looks great (and tastes great too).

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I know this is meant as a dessert. But we had a bit of a stressful day today and instead of making lunch, we just had some crumble. I believe everybody deserves a treat once in a while and we might have just used ours up for a while. Scrumdideliumptious! 🙂

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