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 180ยบ 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.