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Coconut brittle

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

I love coconut and came up with the idea to add some shredded coconut instead of almonds and spices when making brittle. The result was delicious and super easy to make.

    Coconut brittle

    200 ml caster sugar
    25 gram butter
    100 ml shredded unsweetened coconut to mix in
    50 ml shredded unsweetened coconut to sprinkle over parchment paper

    Put sugar and butter in a frying pan. Let melt on low-medium heat while stirring (preferably with a silicon ladle). When the mixture has become golden coloured shredded coconut. Combine carefully.
    Pour the mixture over a big baking sheet lined with parchment paper and covered with shredded coconut. Cover with another parchment paper and carfully roll with a rolling pin until spread thinly and evenly. Allow to cool, then break into pieces.

Almond brittle with gingerbread spice

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

Easiest Christmas candy recipe ever and truly delicious! I made a batch while waiting for my two pound cakes (for some Trifle) to bake.

    Almond brittle with gingerbread spice
    (adated from a recipe that I found in a Swedish newspaper)

    200 ml caster sugar
    25 gram butter
    1 tsp gingerbread spice
    0.5 tsp cardamom
    100 gram peeled shaved almonds

    Put sugar and butter in a frying pan. Let melt on low-medium heat while stirring (preferably with a silicon ladle). When the mixture has become golden coloured add spices and almond. Combine carefully, the almonds will most likely cool the sugar so it will become lumpy. Just heat carefully until the mixture is runny again.
    Pour the mixture over a big baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with another parchment paper and carfully roll with a rolling pin until spread thinly and evenly. Allow to cool, then break into pieces.

Plum cake with crumbles

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Finally plum season! Unfortunately my two plum bushes that I planted last autumn didn’t even flower this year but luckily for me there’s plenty of plums in the store. And yes, it’s bushes that I have and not trees. I don’t know what flew into me when buying them since it’s practically like serving a buffet to our local roe deers. It’s the perfect eating height for them and they found the bushes already the day after planting and ate half of the leaves so now the bushes are behind net. Let’s hope that they will flower and give some fruit next year instead. But back to this lovely plum cake that tastes like autumn thanks to the plums and spices. There’s something extravagant with a cake with additional crunchy crumbles on top. It also reminds me of my childhood as my mother often made cakes based on yeast with crumbles on top.

    Plum cake with crumbles

    cake:
    100 gram butter, room temperatured
    200 ml caster sugar (of which half is vanilla infused)
    2 eggs
    100 ml milk
    180 gram flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1.5 tsp ground cardamon
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    8-10 plums, cut into wedges

    crumble:
    50 gram demerara sugar
    100 gram flour
    50 gram butter

    Crumble:
    Place the sugar, butter and flour in a bowl. With the tips of your fingers rub the ingredients together until you have a crumbly mixture.

    Cake:
    In a bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric beater until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time while beating. Add milk. Combine the flour, cardamon and baking powder in a separate bowl and then fold into the egg/butter/sugar/milk bowl. Divide the batter into a buttered spring form (mine was 20 cm but larger is fine, then the cake will be thinner and therefore will be baked quicker). Stick the plum wedges into the cake. Divide the crumble on top and bake in 175 degrees C (convection oven) for 30-40 minutes, until a tooth pick comes out clean.

More plum recipes:
Plum tray bake with cheesecake ripple
Knedle ze śliwkami (dumplings with plums)
Plum Pie with caramelized almond cream
Ilva’s plum muffins
Pille’s clafoutis

Easy homemade marcipan roses for Valentine’s Day

Friday, February 13th, 2009

It’s just one day left to Valentine’s Day and I’m sure many of you are planning a delicious dinner. You don’t need to do anything advanced to make an impressive dessert. Why not make a simple cake or cupcake and decorate it with homemade marcipan roses? They make a plain cake look stunning and it’s really easy. All you need is marcipan, food colouring, cling film and a knife (and plastic gloves if you don’t want to get messy). For instructions you need to watch this YouTube clip that I found and then you’re ready to make your own roses!

I made the roses that you see on the photos for my father’s 75th birthday in January. It was my first time making marcipan roses but definitly not the last! I made the same two cake fillings that I used for the Pacman cake: raspberry and Dumlefluff. Dumlefluff is a filling consisting of soft toffee covered in milk chocolate that has been melted in double cream, then cooled in the fridge overnight and finally whipped to a gorgeous filling (for recipe see the Pacman post). I covered the cake with white marcipan and made pink and yellow marcipan roses. It was a huge success together with the divine chocolate cake that my mother made.

Daring Bakers: Tuiles

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Tuiles with bilberry sorbet.

Today you’ll find over 1000 blog posts about tuiles as it’s Daring Bakers time again! This month’s challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Honestly, I didn’t really think I would make this month’s challenge as the last week has been crazy. But then I realized that I missed the November and December challenges, so tonight in the very last minute I decided to take some time for the tuiles! I was hoping that the baking would decrease my stress levels and improve my mood but it didn’t . I didn’t bother making butterflies, I just made simple cups that I filled with a scoop of bilberry sorbet. I wasn’t very impressed with the tuiles, but F thinks that they are delicious and insists that I should make them in summer and serve them with ice cream.

    Tuiles
    (from “The Chocolate Book” written by Angélique Schmeinck)

    Yields: 20 small butterflies/6 large (butterflies are just an example)
    Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

    65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
    60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
    1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
    2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
    65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
    1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
    Butter/spray to grease baking sheet

    Oven: 180C / 350F

    Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
    Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

    Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from bakingsheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a bakingsheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.

    If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….

Baked apple cider doughnuts with cinnamon and maple syrup

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

I made theese lovely baked doughnuts several times last year and the year before but I never came around to blog about them. The recipe calls for a special doughnut pan (looks like this) instead of frying the doughnuts in oil which results in tasty and quite healthy doughnuts. They were moist with a great taste, but they tasted a bit different compared to the usual oily ones. Despite the fact that I made them a few times I managed to loose my recipe notes somewhere. However my recipe was based on this one and as far as I remember I just played around with the quantities. The next time when I’ll make doughnuts in my pans I’ll probably try with to use banana in the batter.

Crispy chocolate treats with nougat

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

It’s just a few days left to Christmas. Hopefully you’re all done with the Christmas shopping so you can focus on the baking and candy making. This is a very simple recipe for very delicious homemade crispy chocolate treats with nougat.

    Crispy chocolate treats with nougat
    (makes two baking sheets of chocolate)

    200 gram nougat
    200 gram high quality dark chocolate (at least 70 %)
    125 gram Kellogg’s corn flakes (unsweetened)
    chopped blanched almonds

    Melt the nougat and chocolate in a bain-marie or microwave. When the mixture has melted, remove from heat and let cool a bit. Add the corn flakes and carefully combine until all corn flakes are covered. With a dessert spoon, divide the mixture into lumps on a parchement covered baking sheet. Sprinkle chopped almonds on top and let cool in the fridge.

Coffee macarons with Baileys ganache

Friday, December 5th, 2008

On Monday I had a day off and I quickly decided it would be The Macaron Day. I’ve been wanting do bake macarons for a very long time and finally I found the right day when I had time and inclination.

My first batch actually had totally different flavor than the ones I’m blogging about. Flavor wise it wasn’t a bad idea and they came out with the characteristic feet and all, but they were a bit over baked and just a tiny bit too flat. So I decided to do a new batch, using a lower oven temperature. Before I knew it I decided to change approach and go for coffee instead. When the macarons were drying before baking them, I decided to create a Baileys ganache that came out delicious. I could eat it with a spoon!

This second batch was much better, but I’m still a macaron amateur. I think the key is to know your oven.

The finished sandwiched macarons taste best on the second day, when the flavors of the macarons and filling are “married”. Maybe they taste even better on the third day, however I can’t know that as they mystically disappeared by then.

    Coffee macarons
    makes around 25-30 sandwiched macarons
    (adapted from Tartelettes step-by-step instruction).

    100 gram egg whites
    50 gram caster sugar
    200 gram icing sugar
    110 gram blanched almonds, whole or ground
    3 tsp instant espresso coffee powder

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Ground the almonds by mixing them in a food processor until you have a sort of flour. Add icing sugar and mix for about 10-20 seconds. Add the instant coffee powder and mix again for a couple of seconds.

    Whip the egg whites with an electric beater until they start to thicken, then gradually add sugar until the egg whites have become a thick and glossy meringue.

    Combine meringue with icing sugar and almond mixture. Carefully fold the mixture, not using more than 50 strokes.

    Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip and pipe small rounds (about 3-4 cm in diameter) on the parchment covered baking sheets. Let the macarons dry for 1 – 1.5 hours in room temperature so the shells will harden. Bake for about 10 minutes in a 150 degrees C hot convection oven, leaving the door slightly ajar. Turn the baking sheet after 7 minutes. Again this is what works when using my oven. When looking online this really differs, so you need to test what works best for your oven. After a total of 10 minutes remove from oven and let cool. If the macarons stick to the parchment paper, brush water underneath and carefully remove them from the parchment paper.

    My own Baileys ganache
    50 ml double cream
    100 gram white chocolate
    1 tbsp Baileys

    Heat the cream in a sauce pan. Add chopped white chocolate and directly remove from heat. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Add Baileys. Fill a pastry bag and let cool in the fridge until it’s firm enough to pipe.

    Assembly
    Pair macarons of similar size and pipe Baileys ganache on the flat side of one macaron. Top with another macaron matching the flat sides. Even if it’s hard and you would like to eat all macarons directly try to refrigerate for one day so the flavors blend together.