29 November 2012

Lemon Drizzle Loaf Cake

Despite the large title of this recipe I can assure you is very easy to make. Just have a look below to the directions of this loaf and you will see it's very easy to make, you just need to mix all the ingredients at the same time and in less than 10 minutes the mixture will be in the oven. I just wanted to keep the original title which looks very nice don't you think so? Lemon never fails, that's what I always think if I need to choose a flavour, and this loaf was not an exception. I took this cake to my dutch class and everybody liked it!
It is very moist and the lemon topping gets into the sponge giving it extra flavour and texture.

INGREDIENTS makes a 22cm loaf tin
155g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
155g caster sugar
20 g cornflour
155 g unsalted butter at room temperature
3 large eggs
greated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180º and grease the tin.
Sift the flour, the baking powder and cornflour into the mixing bowl. Add the sugar, the butter, the eggs and lemon zest and juice and mix until evenly blended.
Pour the mixure into the loaf tin and level the top with a spatula. Bake in the center of the oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in its tin. 

For the drizzle:
150 g powder sugar
juice of 2 lemons

Sift the sugar into the lemon juice and mix it well using a hand whisk. Prick the surface of the loaf all over with a skewer. Pour the drizzle over the loaf and allow it to set before removing the loaf from the tin and seving. 

Recipe from Primrose Bakery.

I have to tell you I enjoyed a lot my weekend in Barcelona in the fair of BCNandCake, I meet a lot of people I was looking forward to meet and also new people with awesome blog pages, you can check some of the pictures I did here
I'm also so happy I was on time for Alma's book presentation and she took time to sign my book 

22 November 2012

Orange and Cardamom Cookies

Today is Thanksgiving, but no, I am not gonna show you any special recipe for this day. Actually I did never celebrate this and I do not have any plan for tonight. But is really funny to see in the movies how important is that celebration and how nice looks, of course I do not think everything is like in the movies. But I am really surprised even is an american tradition it has not expanded at all to the rest of the world, such as Halloween and other traditions. So I am just bringing you some cookies that makes me remember the american style ones, soft and chewy, I really like this texture and the spiced and orange taste is a great combination. 

INGREDIENTS makes 32 cookies
150 g plain flour
160 g brown sugar
130 g butter, softened at room temperature
2 teaspoons cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons whole milk
white granulated sugar to roll them

Sift the flour, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. 
In the mixing bowl beat together the sugar and the butter. Add the egg and the orange zest. Alternaly add the sifted ingredients with the 2 tablespoons of milk. Cover the bowl with plastic film and place it in the fridge for an hour.

Preaheat the oven 170º and prepare the baking sheet.
Make little balls with two spoons and roll them into the granulated sugar and place them on to the baking tray. Make sure to leave about 7 cm to each other since they grow during the baking.
Bake them for 7-10 minutes until cookies get golden. 

Remove from the oven and wait 5 minutes befor to transfer the cookies to a wire rack to let cool completely. Store in an airlight cointainer for up to 1 week.

So if you celebrate it: Happy Thanksgiving Day, and I will be glad next year if you invite me over!  ^_^

Tomorrow I am gonna be in Barcelona, I hope to arrive on time for Alma's book presentation, and on saturday I will be on the BCNandCake, how else is gonna be there? Would be great to meet some of you 

19 November 2012

Coffee and Pecan Layer Cake

Last saturday I really felt the need to make something with coffee and I remember this cake. I did some other coffee cakes recipes before and definitely this is the one I like the most. If you like coffee you will love it. It has a soft and sweet taste with a perfect moistured sponge. I took the original recipe from this lovely Nigella's book, since I've got it I did quite a lot of its recipes and specially this one I wanted to share here with you.

INGREDIENTS  18 cm tin
225 g light brown caster sugar (or half white half brown)
225 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
200 g plain flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
4 medium eggs
2 tablespoon milk
4 teaspoons espresso coffee
1 teaspoon boiling water
50 g pecan nuts

Preheat the oven to 180º and grease the tins.

Crunch the pecan nuts in a food processor. Sift the flour, bicarbonate and powder baking. Keep aside.

Dissolve the espresso powder with boiling water.

Beat the sugar and the butter until fluffy and pale. Add the espresso alternately the eggs, the sifted ingredients and the pecan nuts. Finally add the milk.

If you use two tins divide the mixture in two and bake for 25 minutes. Or bake it for 40 minutes if you use an only one tin. Make sure a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes, before turning them out onto the rack.

For the Frosting:
300 g icing sugar
150 unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
2 teaspoons espresso coffee
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 tablespoon whole milk
pecan nuts for decorating

Sift the icing sugar in the mixing bowl, add the butter and beat until fluffy and pale. 

Dissolve the instant espresso powder in 1 tablespoon boiling water and add it while is still hot to the mixture. Add the milk and mix until well combined.

Top with pecan all around the edge of the circle.


14 November 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

What to do if your guests request you more than one dessert? just mix them! and this is what I did. Well I saw this original idea in the book of Lola. And here you have a cheesecake cupcake with a generous topping of brownies and white chocolate. For the topping I used this recipe

100 g digestive biscuits crushed
30 g melted butter

Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and divide the mixture into the muffin cases. Press down slightly with the back of the spoon.

130 g white chocolate
130 g dark chocolate
300 g cream cheese
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

Preheat the oven up to 160º.
Put the white and the dark chocolates chopped in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat, stirring until the chocolate melts. Set aside.
Put the cream cheese, the sugar and the vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat between each addition. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the melted chocolate.
Divide the mixture into the muffin cases up to the top.
Bake for 20 mintues or until set and just firm to the touch. The cakes will rise and feel springy.
Let it cool for 30 minutes in the tin, after remove the cupcakes carefully and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours or overnight to allow them time to set before applying the assorted toppings.

To decorate
brownies and melted white chocolate

Top each chilled cupcake with chunks of chopped brownie and drizzle with white chocolate melted.

These cupcakes will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Enjoy them 

08 November 2012

Pumpkin Loaf

Another pumpkin recipe! I know, but I can not control myself when I see the colourfukl pumpkins in the market. I told you that several times... I just love them, in any dish, savory or sweet. This loaf is absolutly soft and tasty, the pumpkin adds moisture and colour to the sponge. I do not like dry and flavourless cakes, this is completly the other way around, juicy, very soft and with all kind of spices. And to emphasize this all even more topped with a lemon glaze is delicous. You can add also some pecan or walnutes but I made it without.

INGRIEDIENTS makes a 22 cm loaf tin

250 g plain flour
250 g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
120 ml mild olive oil or sunflower oil 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
a pinch of ground clove
a pinch of salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
300 g pumpkin puree (instructions here)

Preheat the oven to 180º and grease the loaf tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder, all the ground spices, salt and bicarbonate in a bowl, set aside.

Mix the oil and the sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffly. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat again.

Add the sifted ingredients graduatlly in three addition, alternating with the puree and mix until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and level it out with a spatula,

Bake in the center of the oven for 50 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool ten minutes in the tin and then let cool completely on a wire rack.

If your loaf gets darker on top before the inside is done cooking, just cover it with aluminium foil.

You can also use loaf tin paper liners or just a baking paper on the bottom to unmold it better, but with a tin perfectly greased this should not be any problem.

For de Glaze
150 g icing sugar
2 tbsp fresly squeezed lemon juice

Stif the icing sugar. Pour the lemon juice into the bowl of the sugar and beat with a hand mixer and after with an electric hand mixer. The glaze should have a liquid consistency.
Pour the glaze carefully over the top of the loaf, allowing it to run over the sides.
Allow the glaze to set a little bit before serving.

Enjoy this loaf better one day after baking  

05 November 2012

Chocolate Marmalade Tartlets

Here I suggest you an easy way to fill tartlets, with chocolate and jam, just a perfect combination. You can fill them with your favorite jam, in my case I used the pumpkin jam I did, which is spiced and very tasty and mixed with the chocolate ganache is absolutly delicious. I love the touch that  caramelized pine nuts gives to this dish, but you can also easily substitute for an other nut. But make sure you put those three ingredients, jam, chocolate and crunchy nuts for ultimate in flavour and texture.

Tartlets are so easy to make. You will just need to make the crust, it is also posible to buy it on a store ready to use. Of course I rather do one by myself, much healthy and with ingredients that for sure everybody has at home. 

Pâte Sablée {based on Martha's Stewart}
140 g butter cubed and room temperature
100 g white sugar (I used vanilla sugar I made)
190 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

With an electric mixer beat the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour and salt, beat until just combined, do not overmix. Shape the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour or up to 2 days, or freeze up to 3 months.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 3/4 mm thick and make a disk a little bit bigger than your tartlet shells with removeable bottoms. Press each portion into the bottoms and sides and pierce the bottoms of the shells all over with a fork. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180º. Cover tartlet shells with baking paper and fill them with dried beans. 

Bake in preheated oven until edges are golden. Remove paper and weights and continue baking until crust is golden-brown all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
150 ml heavy cream
190 g chocolate, finely chopped
Pumpkin jam (or your favourite jam)
caramelized pine nuts for garnish (optional)

Put the chocolate chopped into a bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil on a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove just when starts boiling and pour into chocolate bowl and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Let it cool for 5 mintues.

Once tartlet shells are completly cold, remove tins, spread the bottom with the jam and cover with the chocolate ganache. Tap tartlets to flatten. Top with some caramelized pine nuts.

Serve cold.

I think this pumpkin jam is amazing but I would also recommend you any other homemade jam.

01 November 2012

Chestnut Cream

I am keeping doing perserves during last weeks, these cold days makes me stay more at home and enjoying cooking moments.

It's chestnuts season and I decided to make a this cream which has a consistent texture, perfect to accompany tarts, pannacotas, and other sweet tenders. I am thinking to fill some macaroons with it. But as well as other perserves and jams, this cream is also suitable to use in savory dishes such as grilled meats.

Preserves is also a nice option to give away, and for Christmas I am already planning to delight my relatives with perserve jars.

I do not like to make so much jars, with the quantities I detail you below you will get a jar of 250 ml, if you want to make some more just increase the ingredient quantity and you will enjoy longer this lovely cream.

To give an stronger taste of vanilla I used homemade vanilla flavored sugar. You can also add cinnamon, clove, ginger, any other spice or just any extra flavor.

150 g chestnuts (roasted and peel) 300 g whole chestnuts
125 ml heavy cream
120 ml milk (full or half fat)
80 g white sugar (I used homemade vanilla flavour sugar)
a pinch of salt
half vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 180º.
Make a cut to each chestnut and put them ont the tray in the middle position of the oven, over a baking paper.  Roast them about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and peel them when they are still hot.

Put the chestnuts in a saucepan with the milk, heeavy cream, sugar, salt and the half vanilla bean until it boils and let it cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes, or when it gets the right consistensy for a cream. The chestnuts will get softer and the mixture thickens. Remove the vanilla bean,

If the mixture is too thick just add cold milk, you can add as much milk as you want until you get the desire texture.

Liquify the mixtute with a blender and pour the hot cream into sterilised jars, let it cool and place in the fridge. 
To sterelize the jars put them into boiling water.

Try to add some congac or other liqueur to the cream to give an special taste. Mixed with chocolate ganache is perfect to fill cakes, cupcakes or any other dessert dish.

Happy All Saints Day