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

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Laura's Gourmandises on Amazon!

Laura's Gourmandises just got published on Createspace and you can find it on Amazon as well!

In this first recipe book, I put together my favorite recipes posted on this blog in 2013 and improved the text and images. The book is available as hard copy or as Kindle edition and you can find it here.

If you like it, share the word!
And stay tuned for a second book with recipes from 2014!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Moist pistachio cake with glazed Bronte pistachios

A few months ago I went to Sicily, where I discovered cannoli, ricotta, granita, but also pistachios from Bronte. Bronte is a tiny village on the southwest slopes of the Etna volcano and is known for its green pistachios. Because they're so good, they're used in almost every dessert in Sicily :-)

Before leaving, I bought a kilo of Bronte pistachios to bring back home for baking. This week I finally used them and made a pistachio cake which was moist and rich in pistachio flavor, with ground pistachios in the cake and glazed pistachios as "icing". The cake is wonderful, I highly recommend you try it if you like pistachios. Enjoy!

Recipe for a 30 cm-long pistachio cake:

For the cake:
250 g butter, room T
200 g sugar
4 eggs
100 g Bronte pistachios*
100 g blanched + ground almonds**
65 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

For the glaze:
1 dl water
1 dl powder sugar
50 g pistachios

Grind pistachios finely (use a mixer if you have one, I did it by hand with a knife).
Cream butter and sugar (whip them together). Add eggs one by one, whipping in between each egg to make sure each egg gets incorporated. Add ground almonds, ground pistachios, flour and baking powder, incorporate gently and do not overmix. Transfer dough to a buttered and floured cake pan (30 cm long) and bake in the oven 45 min at 175 C. Let the cake cool down for a few minutes and then flip it upside down.

Once the cake is cool, put powder sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil, let some water evaporate to obtain a syrup and then turn off the heat. Add pistachios and swirl a bit. Decorate the pistachio cake with the glazed pistachios and the syrup.

*I kept the thin red skin on the pistachios, but if you want and have the energy you can peel them; also pistachios used her don't have to come from Bronte, they just taste better and sound fancier :-)
** if you want a finer cake you can use almond meal/flour instead of ground almonds

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Multigrain spelt bread without yeast

Since a while now I have been looking to making wholegrain bread. But rather a quick bread than a slow sourdough-based bread that needs 1 or 2 full days to leaven and bake. I remember eating excellent bread in Sweden during the Summer and I found similar cakepan-baked breads in Iceland last year so I set on to make my own fresh baked bread.

This quick bread recipe is a rough mix of spelt flour and flax seeds, but also contains sunflower seeds and pecan nuts. The liquids are yoghurt, olive oil and honey, which gives it a little sweet touch. Finally the leavening agent is baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), which allowed me to make the bread loaf in 1 hour but doesn't give the bread that bready consistency with holes (rather a crumbly cakey consistency which is wonderful). Enjoy the bread with some butter and you'll love it!

Recipe for a loaf of spelt bread

2 dl oats
5 dl spelt flour (dinkel wheat flour)
1 dl flax seeds
1 dl roughly chopped pecan nuts
1/2 dl sunflower seeds
2 tsp baking soda
2 pinches of salt
0.4 dl honey
4 dl plain yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil
Extra: some flax and sunflower seeds for decoration

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix into a sticky dough. Transfer dough to a 30 cm-long cake pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle some flax and sunflower seeds over. Bake in oven 50-60 min at 175 C. Remove bread from pan and let it cool on a wire rack.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Fondant chocolate cake... gluten-free!

The other day a friend asked if I had a recipe for a good basic chocolate cake and I realized I didn't have one. I set out to come up with one by searching and reading different recipes and also by getting inspired by a family recipe of dark and moist chocolate cake. I found a recipe based on buckwheat flour that seemed interesting and sounded very good (plus I was curious to make a chocolate cake without standard flour).

This chocolate cake tastes like chocolate and nothing else (you cannot taste the buckwheat or almond flour). Furthermore, this light chocolate fondant, as its name suggests, melts in your mouth when you eat it and yet is not heavy like classical brownies or classical fondants that contain much more chocolate and butter. The cake is quick and easy to prepare and you can enjoy it straight out of the oven with some fresh whipped cream or cold with some powder sugar. Enjoy!

Fondant chocolate cake:

100 g dark chocolate (over 70% cocoa)
100 g butter
4 eggs
100 g sugar
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
35 g buckwheat flour
30 g almond flour
Extra: powder sugar for decoration

Melt chocolate and butter in a saucepan (very low temperature) or in a bain-marie. Whip up eggs, sugar and salt to obtain a white and very fluffy mix. Add the chocolate mix and vanilla extract to egg mix and mix carefully. Add buckwheat and almond flour and incorporate gently. Transfer batter to a buttered + almond floured springform. Bake 15-17 min at 180C (the cake should still be somewhat wet if you prick it with a toothpick). Let the cake cool down and decorate with some powder sugar.