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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Festive fruit cake

For Christmas in Sweden I decided to try a "Fruktkaka" or fruit cake with lots of dried fruit in it. It's a lighter and easier-to make alternative to the British "plumpudding" and heavier more cake-like alternative to the Italian "panettone". You can use any fruit you like (and nuts too such as hazelnuts or almonds if you like) and I included apricots, plums, raisins and figs.

The cake needs a few days to "age" so plan to prepare it ahead of time. I baked it 3 days before serving but it tasted even better 5 days later! Try it and don't forget to share your feedback :-)

Recipe of the fruit cake:

250 g butter, room T
2.5 dl sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs
4.5 dl flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
20 dried apricots, re-wetted
10 dried plums
2 dl raisins
2 dl dried figs

Whip up butter and sugar. Add eggs one by one, whipping in between each one. In another bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder. Add cut-up dried fruits and mix with flour: use scissors to chop up apricots and plums. Add flour and fruits to egg mix and incorporate (it will be a thick sticky dough). Transfer dough to a buttered and floured Bundt cake form (2 liters volume - you can also use a standard long cake pan). Bake in the oven 1h15 at 150-160 C.
Flip the cake upside down on a plate and let it cool in/under the cake form. When cool, wrap the cake in plastic foil and let it "age" for a few days (3-5) at room temperature before serving. Decorate the cake with some powder sugar and serve. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Energizing cereal bars

Happy New Year !!! With a new year come new resolutions... and in terms of Laura's Gourmandises I would like to make new kinds of desserts, such as pâte à chou based desserts (chouquettes, éclair au chocolat) but also "healthier" snacks without added sugar to eat as snack or before doing sports.

So my first 2015 recipe is cereal bars with lots of nuts and dried fruit that are just delicious and full of good things :-) They are easy to make and do not require baking. All the dried fruit, seeds, and nuts used here are natural and do not contain any fat or added sugar. Of course you can replace certain ingredients with others if you prefer (pecans instead of walnuts, only raisins or only cranberries) but I find this combination really good.

You can store these bars for quite some time in the fridge (or freezer) in an airtight box and you can wrap them in plastic foil to eat them on-the-go. I had one for lunch while on the slopes in Zermatt, I was good until (almost) dinner. Enjoy!

Recipe for a 25x35cm pan

3.6 dl oats
1.6 dl whole almonds
0.8 dl raisins
0.4 dl cranberries
0.8 dl chopped walnuts
0.8 dl pumpkin seeds
1.2 dl shredded coconut
0.6 dl sunflower seeds
0.8 dl flax seeds, roughly ground in a mortar
0.8 dl honey (liquid)
2.4 dl whole almond purée/paste
0.6 dl apple purée/compote (no sugar added)

In a bowl mix all dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Transfer clumpy mix to a baking pan lined with parchment paper and flatten with the spoon or your hand (easier). Freeze overnight.
Next day take out of freezer and cut into 6x3 bars (suggested, but you can make them bigger or smaller). Store in an airtight box in the fridge and enjoy bars for breakfast, as snack, or before working out, they're excellent, very filling and a great source of energy!