17 December 2014

Naked Cranberry Cake

Thinking about xmas recipes right? Here you a delicious cake with cranberries, I decided to make a naked cake and decorate with fresh cranberries which looks perfect for these holiday seasson. But if you rather not use frosting it will be also a good choice perfect fro breakfast or an afternoon tea. This recipe is adapted from this loaf cake.
What's about your preparation for Chistmas?

Cranberry Cake
makes 20 cm pan
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
200 g white sugar
200 g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking  powder
a pinch of salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
zest of one lemon
3 large eggs
125 g heavy cream
125 g mascarpone
150 g fresh cranberries
100 g white chocolate, in chunks

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Sift the flour, the baking powder and the salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the lemon zest, the mascarpone and the heavy cream mixing well at the time.   Add the vanilla, the eggs, one by one and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat just until wel combined. Do not over mix.
Add the white chocolate and the cranberries and incorporate with a spatula.

Pour the batter into the greased pan, level with a spatula and place it on the preheated oven in the middle tray. Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.Remove the cake from the  pan and cool on the rack.

50 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100 g cream cheese
100 g mascarpone
150 g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract teaspoon, I use this one
dried and fresh cranberries to

With a mixer cream the butter add the sifted powder sugar gradually and cream until smooth and pale. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the cheeses and mix until incorporated, do not overmix to avoid the frosting becomes to liquid.
Cut the cake in layers, spread a good dollop of the cheese cream frosting, spread out using a palette knife and if you wish sprinkle some dried cranberries all over. Repet the same on the top layer.

I top with some fresh cranberries, to give the snow effect, wash the cranberries with cold water and roll them on granulated sugar. 

This has been my last recipe before Christmas and also probably the last of the year. But I will be anyway very active in facebook and instagram.  So for all of you who celebrate Christmas, and even those who do not, I wish you all the best and Merry Xmas!   

10 December 2014

Ginger Cookies

Today I'm back with an other recipe with ginger, this flavored cookies is a perfect treat for Christmas afternoon teas. They are lightly crunchy outside and chewy inside.

Ginger Cookies
makes 24 cookies
125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150 g brown sugar
200 g all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of molasses
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
a pinch of salt
more sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Sift the flour, the baking powder, the spices and the salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla , the fresh ginger and the egg, beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and beat just until wel combined. Cover the bowl and chill for 1 hour.

Remove the dough from the fridge and gently form balls of 22 g. Gently roll the balls of dough in sugar, place them on a non-stick or parchment paper, make sure you leave space in between. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let them on the tray for 1 minute and  transfer on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. 

It´s only 2 weeks to go for Christmas eve!

Have a nice week  

03 December 2014

Ginger Brownies

Finally I'm back two weeks after my last recipe, but I've been quite busy these days. But here I'm with a delicious brownies, this one has a special hint, ginger. I adapted this recipe from Albert Heijn magazine. The original is with stem ginger, I did it also with fresh ginger but  defenitely I rather use crystallized ginger.
What's about your Christmas preparation? We set up the Christmas tree last Sunday, even traditionally in the Netherlands you do it after the 5th.

Ginger Brownies
makes a tin 23x23 cm
250 g chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa, broken into chunks
150 g butter at room temperature
175 g sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or extract)
75 g crystallized ginger, finely chopped
a pinch of salt
75 g plain flour, sifted
75 g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
cocoa powder for serving

Preheat the oven to 180º.
Line a square cake tin with baking paper and butter it or better use spray.
Melt the chocolate with half of the butter in a bain marie or at very low power in the microwave. Set aside to let it cool.
In a large bowl cream the sugar with the remain butter. Add the vanilla and the eggs, one by one. Beat until well mixed.
Stir in the chocolate, the nuts and the ginger using a spatula. Carefully fold in the flour.
Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the surface with a spatula. Bake the for 35-40 minutes, insert a skewer and this should come out just with few crumbs. Do not over bake.
Remove from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of icecream or whipped cream.
Dust with cocoa powder or icing sugar. 

I'm going to spend this weekend in Munich, I think it's going to be freezing but I'm looking foward to visit its xmas market, so if you have any suggestion let me know!


13 November 2014

Apple and Walnut Bundt Cake

Next 15t November is the National Bundt Cake Day and here is my suggestion for you, a delicious apple and walnut cake with covered with caramel frosting.

Apple and Walnut Bundt Cake
Makes 24 cm bundt cake tin
300 ml soft olive oil
320 g white sugar
3 large eggs
400 g self-rasing flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
100 g walnuts, chopped
3 big apples, peeled and cubbed

Preheat the oven to 180º and grease the tin.
Sift the flour, the ground spices and the salt in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the oil and the sugar in the mixer large bowl, add the eggs one by one, beating well after each one.
Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated, do not overmix.
Finally add the walnuts and the apple and mix it with a spatula.
Pour the mixture into the tin, level with a spatula. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Place the tin on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove the tin and leave it to cool down on the wire rack while you do the topping.

Caramel topping
100 g light brown sugar
75 g unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
80 ml heavy cream
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
150 g icing sugar

Melt the cubbed butter in a pan in a medium heat. Add the sugar and the salt, once disolved add the double cream. Bring it to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from the heating and allow to cool down for a while.
Sift the icing sugar and add to the caramel, beat well until smooth and distribute it all over the cake. 

If you like apple have a look at this french apple tart, the dutch one, this crumble or this loaf cake. Let me know if you try any of them! 

05 November 2014

Pesto Sauce

Pesto is the tradicional northen Italy sauce usually made with basil, pesto Genovese. There are other variations with any other green such as rucula, sage or like my today's suggestion with swiss chard and rosemary. I also substitute the pine nuts by almonds and hazelnuts. I love to eat pasta with any type of pesto, but pesto combines also perfect with salads, with grilled fish or chicken, or even with baked potatoes. It is really easy to make, In  my case I used the traditional method in a mortar, but you can use a food processor and you will enjoy a lovely and fresh pesto sauce in less than two minutes. But I would suggest you to try it with the mortar and have a look to here if you really want to know the difference, I totally agree!

Swiss Chard and Rosemary Pesto
Makes enough for 6 servings
100 g swiss chard baby (or any other green)
rosmery, finely chopped
50 g  almonds and hazelnuts
60 g Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino cheese (or both)
1 garlic clove
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste

Chop the garlic and the rosemery very small. Place some of the nuts in the mortar with the green leaves and grind all over in circles until all is crushed. Add the rest of the greens, the nuts, the garlic and the salt and keep it working. Once the paste is done mix in the cheese and finally slowly add olive oil and continue stiring, 

If you use the food processor, combine the swiss chard, the rosmery, the nuts and the salt, until coarsely chopped. Do not overmix otherwise it will oxidize. Add some oil and pulse until smooth. Place it in a bowl and mix in the grated cheese.

We can also keep it in an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top and store it in the freezer. I always remove the green germ of the garlic, but just keep it if you like it. 

I ate it with pasta, I top with some extra cheese and dried tomato. Try to do your own pesto at home, as you can see is really easy.

Have a nice week.

28 October 2014

Sweet Potato Pie

Today I share with you an other fall recipe. Sweet potato pie is a traditional dish from the United States, usually served during the celebration of the Thanksgiving. It is extremely sweet but with a layer of the cream cheese gives a perfect balance of flavours. Actually it is a variety of the pumpkin pie, so you can perfectly substitute the sweet potato for pumpkin, that would be a nice idea for Halloween.

Cream Cheese Sweet Potato Pie
Makes 24 cm bundt cake tin
340 g flour
200 g cold butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Cream cheese filling
400 g cream cheese
90 g white sugar
1 large egg

Sweet potato filling
375 g sweet potato puree
125 g golden caster sugar
125 ml heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves
2 eggs
a pinch of salt

50 g flour
25 g golden caster sugar
25 g unsalted cold butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt
40 g hazelnut, crushed

Clean and peal the sweet potato, cube it and place it in a pan covered with boiling water, heat until is soft. Remove the water and process in a food processor until smooth. Alow to cool down and place it in the fridge.

In the meanwhile make the crust. Combine all the ingredients for the crust, better if you use your hands. Shape the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Roll out the pastry on a light floured surface and line a buttered tin. Trim and pierce bottoms with a fork. Put it back in the fridge.

Mix the cream cheese with the sugar and the beaten egg. Place this mixture in over the crust of the tin and place it in the fridge. Do not overmix otherwise the mixture will turn too liquid and the sweet potato mixture will go into the cream cheese. You can also put it in the freezer while you preapare the other mixture. It is very important that the cream cheese is very cold.

In a separate bowl make the sweet potato filling. Put the sweet potato puree, add all the spices, the sugar and the salt and mix well. Add the cream and the beaten eggs an combine.

Add the sweet potato mixture over the cream chesse, level with a spatula. Place it in the oven for 30 minutes.

For the crumble combine the flour, crushed hazelnuts, the sugar, the cinnamon and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix well. Add the butter and blend with your fingertips until the mixture turns to breadcrumbs.

After 30 minutes in the oven sprinkle the crumble and bake for 20 minutes more or until an inserted skewer comes out clean and the crust is golden brown. Let it cool and refrigerate for 4 hours to seto

You can top with some whipped cream and ground cinnamon before serving.

For more fall recipes check here.

Have a nice week.

21 October 2014

Pumpkin Soup

This rich and tasty soup is perfect for the fall season and any cold day. It is extremly easy to make. There are a large of varieties to make this soup. Before I used to make pumpkin soup with heavy whipped cream, but a friend of mine suggested me to use coconut cream instead and she was right, it's delicious! 
This is perfect to serve for Halloween in an empty small pumpkin as a bowl. 

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 4-6
800 g pumpkin puree (I used a whole pumpkin about 1 kg)
200 ml coconut milk
vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves
1 medium onion
a pinch of grated ginger
a pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and white pepper, to taste
pumpkin seeds for garnish, optional

For the pumpkin puree you will need about 1 kg of pumpkin to get 800 g of puree. Put the peeled and cubed pumpkin in a medium saucepan covered with the stock and heat it until the pumpkin is slightly soft. 
In the meanwhile heat the chopped onion in a pan with some oil for few minutes on a low heat. After add the garlic and let it slowly simmer. 
Once the pumpkin is done remove some of the stock and keep aside, maybe we will need it later. Add the ginger, the nutmeg, some salt. pepper, the onion mixture and make the puree using a blender. 
Finally stir in the coconut milk and bring it to heat for a while without boiling. If it's think you can add some extra stock. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. 
Garnish with some pumpkin seeds 

The quantity of the stok it will depend of the thickness you like your cream.

If you like pumpkin check out this quiche, or this spiced jam or the loaf.

14 October 2014

Sticky Toffee Pudding

He did it again! Jaime suprised us with a new book, just one year after he published his last one here we have a new book with 100 recipes more. Of course I didn't want to miss this one on my collection and I order it. So I totally recomend you if you are doubting to buy or not. I did already some of his recipes and today I wanted to share with you this sticky toffee version which appears in this new book I can just say it is absolutly amazing, I ate several versions, I have to say I'm a big fan of sticky toffee. But defently this turned my favorite. Sticky toffee pudding is one of the classics of the british cuisine, which it has a very moist cake made from dates and served with warm toffee sauce.

Sticky Toffee Pudding
Makes 24 cm bundt cake tin
4 Earl Greay tea bags
450 g fresh dates
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 nutmeg for grating
170  unsalted butter at room temperature
340 g self-raising flour
170 g golden caster sugar
170 g dark muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
Maldon salt for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180º
Pit the dates and finley chop them. Place the tea bags in a jug and cover with 300 ml of boiling water for 3 ½ minutes. Remove the bags, add the copped dates and the cinnamon and leave it for 10 minutes. After blend this mixture and set aside.

Cream the butter and the sugars in a large bowl, add the eggs one by one. Add the flour and finally the date mixture. Pour this mixture into the tin, level with a spatula. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Toffee sauce
125 g unsalted butter
60 g dark muscovado sugar
60 g golden caster sugar
150 ml heavy cream
25 ml dark rum (optional) I didn't use it

When your cake is almost ready start doing the caramel sauce. Melt the cubbed butter in a pan in a medium heat. Add the sugars, once disolved add the double cream and if desired the rum. Bring it to boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.

As soon as de cake is done, allow to coold down in the tin on a wire rack and transfer to a plate and brush it with the caramel sauce. Sprinkle with the Maldon sea and serve with a jug of caramel sauce.

Serve it warm but also possible to keep up to 2 days covered at room temperarute. This cake is normally also served with ice cream or custrad, but you don't really anything else to enjoy this lovely and tasty cake.

Have a nice week.

08 October 2014

Salmon and Spinach Quiche

The filling of this quiche as you can see is a classic, Salmon and spinach, what a perfect combination don't you think so? Before I mixed all the ingredients in the same mixture, but now I rather make two layers and the combination of tastes and texture is extremely much better.
Also the base has a special taste since I added almond flour. Once the dough is into the mold instead of removing the leftover I fit and fold it inside the mold to get a thicker and more crunchy crust.
Both as a single dish or accompanied by a simple salad, do you mean you want a piece?

Salmon and Spinach Quiche
Makes 24 cm pan
150 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50 g almond flour, plus extra to set the bottom
125 g cold butter, cubed
1 large egg
a pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until well combined. Use your hands and knead. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap in ciling firm. Refrigerate at least for 30 minutes.

400 g fresh salmon
400 g fresh spinach
4 large eggs
150 g creme fraiche
1 large onion finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic minced
fresh oregano and fresh thyme
fresh nutmeg
salt, pepper and olive oil
50 g rosted pine nuts

Grease the mold. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and cover the mold and press into the bottoms and sides and pierce the bottoms of the bottom with a fork. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180°.
Toast the nuts in a pan until lightly roasted, without oil, be careful because they are done very quick. Keep them aside.
In the same pan cook the onion gently in a pan with olive oil, add the garlic and cook for few minutes. Add some salt and pepper, oregano and thyme. Put the spinach and cook them until are reduced, let all the liquid evaporate. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cut some more thyme and oregano and mix them with the salmon in a big bowl, add some salt and pepper, grated nutmeg, the creme fraiche and the eggs.

Sprinkle the bottom of the mold with some almod flour, top with the spinach mixture, after the salmon and eggs mixture, and finally sprinkle the pine nuts all over.

Bake for 50 minutes with the tray in the center of the oven, until set and lighlty golden. Allow to cool down for a while before serving. Best eaten on the day it is made, but can be refrigerated overnight.

You can use as much as herbs you consider, I can not tell you the exactly amount but I tell you I used a lot, I like the taste of the herbs.

Check out here more suggestions for quiche and savory tats.

Have a nice week.

30 September 2014

Pumpkin Ice Cream

If you follow my blog probably you'll know I'm a super fan of this magic veggie.  Nowadays we can get pumpkin in almost all stores along the year,  but is specially in this season of the year that seems it is time to eat and make dishes with this fabulous vegetable. It is so versatile and gives an special texture to all the dishe, both savory or sweet, and the best for me its gorgeous color. 
So why not to try with an icecream? The method I used is really quick, just mix all the ingredients and place it in the freezer, I rather to mix it several times once I placed it in the freezer, but this is not really necessary. The fat of the heavy cream and the condensed milk helps to get a creamy and soft texture. 

For the puree you can use canned pumpkin but don't be lazy and make your own at home, the procedure is easy and you can not compare, check it out here how to make the puree.

Do you want to try this spiced pumpkin ice cream?

Pumpkin Ice Cream
serves 6:
400 g pumpkin puree
250 g condensed milk
250 ml heavy cream (min 35% fat)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of ground cloves

For the pumpking purée: you will need about 550 g of pumpkin to get 400 g of purée. Put the peeled and cubed pumpkin in a medium saucepan covered with unsalted water and heat it until the pumpkin is slightly soft. Remove the water and make the purée using a blender or a fork. Let it cool down and place it in the fridge.

In a large bowl combine the pumpkin puree with the condensed milk, the vanilla and add the ground spices. 

In a separate bowl whisk the heavy cream until it forms peaks. Fold this into the condensed milk and pumpkin mixture with an spatula. 
Pour the mixture into a freezer proof container and refrigerate it for 45 minutes, after this period remove from the freezer and mix it well with a fork. Repeat this process one more time. If you have an ice cream maker just follow the instructions of the manufacturer.  After 4 hours you can enjoy a creamy and tasty ice cream. 

Take out from the freezer some minutes before serving and allow it to defrost for a while, then you will make perfect scoops. 
Make sure that the pumpkin, the  condensed milk and the heavy cream are in the fridge before you use them and keep the container in the freezer at least 30 minutes before you start the recipe.

Do you like also pumkin? Check out this loaf, these cupcakes, this jam or my favorite one the pumkin cheesecake.

See you next week with a new recipe.

22 September 2014

Panna Cotta Cake

Pannacotta, that famous italian dessert is incredibly to make. Normally served in individual portion but that time I decided to make it with a bottom lose cake pan.  

Panna Cotta Cake
makes a 15 cm cake
for the crust:
150 g cookie
80 g melted butter

for the filling:
500 ml heavy cream
50 g sugar
1 vanilla pod
100 g fresh raspberries plus some more for topping

Crush the cookies in a food processor or in a plastic bag, seal the bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Mix together with the melted butter with a fork until well incorporated. Place this mixture in the greased tin and press with the bag of a spoon. Keep it in the fridge to set while we do the filling.

Heat 300 ml of the heavy cream and the sugar in a saucepan with the seeds of the vanilla pod. Bring it to simmer for about 5 minutes on low heat. In the meanwhile put the gelatin sheets into a bowl with cold water, or just follow the directions of manufacturer depending on the kind of gelatin you will use.

Remove from the heat. Drain the gelatin and add it to the mixture let the mxture cool down for about 20 minutes and place this mixture for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Blend the fruit and set aside.

In a spearate bowl whip the the remaining 200 ml of cream and using a spatula mix it with the cold mixture from the fridge. Pour this mixture over the cookie base and with the fork spread the mixture of the fruit all over making spirals with the fork.

Place it in the fridge to set for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Top with some fruit and fresh mint before serving.

I you want other panna cotta ideas check out this one or this other one.

Have a nice week 

16 September 2014

Chickpea Hamburger

I'm a big fan of Moroccan style food, I love the spices and herbs and today I want to share with you this tasty vaggie burger which makes me remember the hummus or the falafel taste. It is really very easy to make, you will need a can of chickpeas and you can add some other veggies, in my case I used carrot and some spices. I like to seve this dish with some iogur mixed with harissa, 

chickpea hamburger
400 g can or cooked chickpeas
1 large carrot grated
2 medium eggs
2 chopped spring onion
chopped coriander
cumin powder
sweet paprika powder
salt and pepper

In a large bowl mash the chickpeas with a potato masher, you can use also use a foodprocessor but do not overmix, leave some big chunks.
Beat the eggs and mix into the chickpeas mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and add some breadcrumbs for setting. Form the burgers and use some more breadcrumbs to both sides.
Cook the burgers over medium heat in a frying pan with some oil until golden-brown.
Serve with some bread, fresh sliced tomatoes and rucula. 

Have a nice week