Sharing the love of food and trying new recipes...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rhubarb-almond cake

It's April and rhubarb season again! One of my favorite fruits in desserts. Technically rhubarb is classified as vegetable but most people eat it as fruit in desserts :-) Rhubarb is one of the only seasonal fruits in Switzerland in April-May so I thought I would bake a cake with my freshly-bought rhubarb.

Last year I made rhubarb-walnut muffins and a rhubarb crumble tart so I wanted to make an easy cake for coffee. I read a few recipes of rhubarb and almond cakes so I combined them to my taste and found that the recipe below is easy and very good! If you like rhubarb, almond and a pinch of cinnamon, this cake is for you!

Recipe for a rhubarb-almond cake

150 g butter, room T
150 g brown sugar
2 eggs
100 g flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dl milk
200 g ground almonds
400-500 g rhubarb chunks
some sliced almonds

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one. Add flour and baking powder, mix. Add cinnamon, almonds, milk and mix roughly. Spread 1/2 of the dough in a prepared springform. Place 1/2 of the rhubarb chunks (2cm pieces) on it. Cover with other 1/2 of dough and press second 1/2 of rhubarb on top. Sprinkle some brown sugar and sliced almonds on top of the cake. Bake 55-60 min at 180 C.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Oatmeal-banana-chocolate chip muffins


After baking rhubarb-walnut, blueberry, and chocolate chip muffins, I thought it was about time I try to make some "healthier" muffins. By healthier, I mean muffins that have some nutritious benefits and that I would feel less ashamed to eat before doing sports :-D

I found a nice recipe which I adapted a bit to include bananas, oats, chocolate chips and cinnamon... and not much sugar nor butter (and no cream). Mix dry and wet ingredients separately before combining with chocolate chips and bake approx. 18 min. In almost 30 min you can have your muffin and eat it warm! Try them, they're great anytime of the day!

Recipe for 12 oatmeal-banana-chocolate chip muffins

3-4 ripe bananas
1.2 dl brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
80 g butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
2.4 dl flour
1.25 dl rolled oats + some more for coating
1.25 dl chopped chocolate

Mash bananas in a bowl, add sugar and the egg, whip up a bit. Add butter and mix. In a separate bowl mix flour, oats and dry ingredients. Add them to the wet mix and make a dough. Incorporate chocolate chips last. Divide the dough into 12 muffin forms / cups and sprinkle some oats on top. Bake 18-20 min at 180 C.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Orange blossom-flavored ricotta cheesecake

Not so long ago I spent a few days biking in Gran Canaria surrounded by orange trees in blossom. I thought it smelled so good that I wanted to bake a cake flavored with it. I found a few orange cheesecake recipes so I went on to try and optimize one to my taste.

I already posted a cheesecake recipe here last year which I like very very much. Here I am making it with ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese giving the cake a more granulous texture. I am also leaving out the biscuit layer underneath to focus more on the ricotta and orange blossom flavors. And finally I am including quite a dose of orange blossom water from Lebanon which smells so so good :-) So if you are looking for an easy recipe for the holidays, try this one! Happy Easter!

Recipe for the ricotta cheesecake

900 g ricotta
2.4 dl sugar
0.8 dl flour
2 tbsp orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 tbsp orange flower water
5 eggs
1 orange (quarters + some zest slices)

Beat up ricotta, sugar and flour. Add orange zest, water, and vanilla while beating. Add eggs 1 by 1 while beating. Pour the batter in a prepared (buttered + floured) springform and bake approx. 55 min at 180 C. Cool the cake at room T prior to refrigerating it for at least 3 hrs (preferably overnight).
Decorate the cake with powder sugar and candied orange zest slices (let them rest in some lemon juice + sugar). Serve with orange slices/quarters.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To-die-for chocolate chip pecan cookies


One thing I ate a lot (unfortunately) and used to love during my time in the US was chocolate chip cookies. Upon my return in Switzerland I stopped eating them because I never found cookies here to be soft or gooey enough. But last night I wanted one of those cookies so I searched for recipes.

The recipe below is a compilation of three different recipes I found online. I made an excellent base cookie dough with pure vanilla extract and added some of my favorite ingredients, namely semisweet and bittersweet chocolate and pecan nuts. The dough takes 15 min max to prepare and you only need 11 min or so to bake your cookies... it is almost too easy and too fast to get those melting cookies out of the oven and straight into your belly :-)

Recipe for about 30-35 cookies

5 dl flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
220 g butter (room T)
2 dl brown sugar
2 dl white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
5 dl (300 g) chopped dark chocolate*
3.5 dl (200 g) chopped pecan nuts

Cream butter and sugar (beat up in a bowl). Add eggs, one by one, while beating and add last the vanilla extract. Mix in a separate bowl dry ingredients and add all at once to the batter. Mix only until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and pecan nuts. Refrigerate the dough for 20-30min**. Make cookie dough rolls of 5 cm of diameter, cut 2 cm-thick slices and place them on parchment paper (leave space between them because they flatten while baking). Bake for 11-12 min at 175 C.

*I like to mix semisweet and bittersweet chocolate
**You can keep the cookie dough for a few days in the fridge or even for longer in the freezer

References, adapted from:

Friday, April 4, 2014

Bounty-like chocolate-covered coconut cake

The other day I was cleaning the kitchen cupboards and found some grated coconut that was about to expire. I wondered what kind of dessert I could make with it and remembered I liked Bounty chocolates very much. So I decided to make a coconut cake covered with a good layer of chocolate in order to have all the good flavors of a Bounty in a cake :-)

The recipe is based off of a "Neuchâtel"-style hazelnut cake in which I replaced hazelnuts with coconut and added my own chocolate cover on top. It's very easy to make but takes a bit of time because of the icing (but you can easily skip it). Moreover, you can replace cream with yoghurt or milk for a lighter version of the cake. Try it, it's really good!

Recipe for a 25cm-long coconut cake

2 eggs
2.5 dl sugar
zest of a lemon
a pinch of salt

3.75 dl coconut
2.5 dl flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2.5 dl cream

Beat up sugar, eggs, salt and lemon until white and fluffy. Add all remaining ingredients and mix carefully. Transfer to a buttered + floured cake form, bake 45-50 min at 180 C. Unmold the cake and let it cool down.

Chocolate cover

100 g baking dark chocolate
15 g butter
85 g cream
1 tbsp sugar

Melt chocolate in a bain-marie (or at very low temperature in a saucepan) and mix in all other ingredients. Pour the chocolate mix on top of the coconut cake and allow it to cool and dry for 2-3 hrs.