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

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The perfect Lemon cake (Pierre Hermé)

Last year I tried many different lemon cake recipes, with lemon juice or zest, with cream or yoghurt, with icing or not, etc. I got very frustrated because I was never happy with the result and decided to forget about it for a while. Recently I read about Pierre Hermé's lemon cake recipe, tried it, and loved it!

The cake is easy to prepare and has a wonderful lemon taste with all the zest in it and the lemon syrup covering it. It is very refined and easy to eat as snack, dessert or even for breakfast :-) To make it lighter you could replace the cream with some yoghurt and if you do not like rum you can use another liquor or skip it entirely (although the cake after baking does not smell nor taste like rum at all).

You can keep the cake for a few days wrapped in plastic and you can also freeze it down. The recipe below is for a 35-38 cm long cake pan but because I like my cakes high I used a shorter form. You can also half all the portions and use a 19cm cake pan. Try it and enjoy!

**For the Orange cake version, click here**

Recipe for a high 30cm-long lemon cake

400 g sugar
zest from 3 lemons
6 eggs
190 g cream
3.5 tbsp rum
375 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
150 g melted butter, room T

For the lemon glaze / syrup:
150 g water
65 g sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice


Mix sugar and lemon zest and leave to rest 10-15 min. Add eggs and beat until while and foamy. Add cream, rum, mix. Slowly add flour + baking powder + salt (pre-mixed) while mixing to have a nice homogenous batter. Last add melted butter (cooled down to room T), mix, and transfer to a buttered + floured 30cm cake pan. Bake in the oven 90 min at 160C (or until a knife comes out clean of it). (you can also use a longer cake pan and in that case you'll bake the cake in less time: e.g. 60 min for a 38cm-long cake pan)

While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan heat up sugar and water until it boils. Let it cool down and then add lemon juice. When the cake comes out of the oven, glaze it with the lemon syrup/glaze with a brush (it will seem like a lot of syrup but the cake acts as a sponge and will absorb it all). Let the cake cool down and then take it out of the cake pan.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A light and healthy broccoli / salmon / yoghurt quiche

Last week I prepared a quiche with broccoli, salmon, dill and a yoghurt base for a few of my sporty friends: it was light, healthy, tasty and full of proteins and vitamins! I had had once a broccoli and salmon quiche and thought it was very good. I had some leftover smoked salmon in my fridge so I used that  (but it also works with fresh salmon!) and pre-boiled the broccoli a bit so it wouldn't be too crunchy. Finally I added some dill (aneth) because I really like that with salmon.

Unlike other quiches I made before such as the Quiche Lorraine and the Onion Pie I replaced most of the cream and milk with yoghurt which made it much lighter and also gave it an interesting taste and texture. The broccoli-salmon quiche is excellent both cold and warm and it was still good after 3 days in the fridge. It's a nice recipe for lunch and dinner, easy to reproduce, and makes for a surprising quiche!

Recipe for a big broccoli-salmon quiche:

1 pâte brisée (shortcrust):
240 g flour
120-140 g cold butter
1 dl cold water
1 tsp salt

2 heads of broccoli
a few slices of smoked salmon
3 eggs
3 dl yoghurt
0.75 dl cream
0.75 dl milk

Prepare the dough ahead of time as shown here and refrigerate it (the longer the better). Fold it out onto a buttered and floured pie form, prick it well, and pre-cook 10 min at 200 C.
Cut up broccoli in big cubes and pre-cook them in water (transfer them to cold water, heat it up and stop when the water starts to boil). Slice the smoked salmon in small pieces (2x2cm).
In a bowl, mix yoghurt and cream, add eggs one by one, mix with a fork and add some chopped aneth/dill and some pepper (no real need for salt since smoked salmon is already very salty).
Spread the broccoli cubes on the cooled down pre-cooked dough. Distribute the salmon pieces and cover the pie with the egg-yoghurt mix. Bake for 30 min at 200 C.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Midsummer strawberry cake (Jordgubbstårta)

Summer is coming and strawberries too! Last night I saw local Swiss strawberries at the supermarket so I bought them in order to make a nice strawberry cake for my friend's birthday today. I remembered that my Swedish grandfather used to love cake with strawberries and cream in the summer (i.e. Midsommar jordgubbstårta) so I thought I should make one like that too.

I made a classical spongecake (same as for Toscakaka and chocolate chip cake), sliced it in two, filled the middle with strawberry jam, cream and strawberries, and then covered the whole cake with lots of cream and whole strawberries. What could go wrong with strawberries, cream, and a little sugar? Well not much I can tell you, so if you're hosting a party anytime in the summer I suggest you try this recipe :-)

Recipe for the strawberry cake:

800 g strawberries
7-8 dl cream
strawberry jam
1 spongecake

2 eggs
2 dl sugar
50 g butter, melted
1.25 dl milk
3 dl flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla sugar

Beat eggs and sugar until white and foamy. Melt butter and add milk, heat/cool to 37C. Add butter, milk, and dry ingredients to sugar-egg mix and mix until incorporated. Transfer to a buttered+floured springform and bake in the oven 30 min at 175C.

Let the cake cool down completely and then slice it 2 layers (you can do 3 layers also if you like). Whip up the cream with 3-4 tsp powdersugar (to your taste). Spread strawberry jam on the lower layer, then add a generous layer of whipped cream and finally add a layer of sliced strawberries. Cover the cake with the upper part of the spongecake. (if you're having 3 layers repeat the 1st filling). Cover the whole cake with whipped cream and decorate with whole strawberries.