cake

Sweet Saturday #12 - Honey and spices cake

Winter is the right time for this honey and spices cake. This is what winter should taste like, everyday, till summer comes. :-)

This recipe was inspired from a recipe by Christophe Michalak.

To get the maximum flavor from your spices, i recommend you to use whole spices and to grind them yourself, for example using a coffee grinder.  The blend of spices can be filled in jar and stored for up to one year in a cool dark place.

Ingredients for the spice blend:

20 gr. of cinnamon sticks

3 pieces of star anise

7 cloves

10 gr. coriander seeds

7 gr. anise seeds

4 gr. ginger powder

Directions:

Break the star anise into smaller pieces and put it with all the other whole spices into the grinder. Grind till you get a powder without bigger bits. Add the ginger powder and mix well.

Ingredients for the cake:

150ml water

60 gr. brown sugar

150 gr. honey

5 gr. from your home made spice blend

1 zest of an organic lemon

1 zest of an organic orange

4 gr. of whole star anise

95 gr. butter

1 pinch of salt

150 gr. flour

5 gr. baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Put the water, brown sugar and the honey in a small pan and stir, till it is boiling. Then reduce the heat a bit and add the spice blend, lemon and orange zest, the whole star anise and the butter. Mix everything together. When the butter is fully melted, cover the pan, take it from the fire and let the mixture cool down for 20 minutes. In the meanwhile, sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bigger bowl, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a cake pan with a bit of butter. 

Slowly pour a bit of the liquid spice mixture through a strainer on the flour and mix everything together. Pour another little bit and mix again. Repeat this process, till you get a homogenous dough.

Pour the dough into the cake pan and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. The cake will get a golden dark brown color and fill your kitchen with an amazing smell. Let it cool down a bit before you eat it.

You can keep the cake fresh for several days by wrapping it in plastic foil.

Sweet Saturday #11 - Gâteau du Vully

 At middle school we had a half an hour break at 10 every morning and there was a bakery stand where kids could buy croissants and pain au chocolat and also gâteau du Vully. I once agreed to hold hands with a boy from my class during the full half an hour because he said  he would buy me a piece of gâteau du Vully in exchange. He thought it was a fair trade, so did I :-)

This is one of my favorite swiss cakes. Like most of the swiss sweets, of course it's full of cream and butter, the stuff i like the most...This recipe is really easy and quick. I gloriously failed my try last weekend at getting the proportions right, because i put waaaay to much cream. But this saturday it turned out really tasty and quite the way i remember it. 

Ingredients:

Dough:

300 gr. flour

1/2 tsp of salt

7 gr. fresh yeast

2 tbsp of warm water

1 egg yolk

120 ml of warm milk

50 gr. melted warm butter

Filling:

200 ml of heavy cream

50 gr. sugar

30 gr. butter

Directions:

Butter a round pan of about 28 cm diameter. In a big bowl, mix the flour and the salt.

Crumble the fresh yeast in a cup and dissolve it in the warm water with a spoon. In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter with the milk and the swirled egg yolk. Pour the yeast on the flour and mix very roughly, then add the butter/milk/egg liquid. Mix till everything sticks together. Take the dough out of the bowl and continue kneading it by hand on a very slightly floured surface for about 15 minutes. Yeap, that's the catch of this recipe, you're right...Then flatten the dough ball in your hands by holding it in one hand and pulling gently on the edges with the other hand. Turn the dough and proceed with pulling the edges. The dough should take more and more the shape of a pizza. When it gets close to fit the size of your cake pan, place it into the pan and flatten it a bit more with your hands, till it fits exactly the bottom of the pan (no need to pull up the edges or anything).

Cover the pan with a plastic foil and let the dough rise for 40 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees celsius. Take off the plastic foil and push the dough to the side of the pan with your thumb. Work your way all around. This will form the border of your cake and prevent the cream from escaping.

Then pick into the middle of the dough with one or two fingers in order to form small wells.

Pour about half of the cream on the dough and sprinkle the sugar and the butter over it, then pour the other half of the cream and put the cake in the middle of the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes. After the first 10 minutes, lower the temperature of the oven to 220 degrees celcius. Don't worry if the cream seems still a bit liquid when you take the cake out of the oven, it will get stiffer once it cools down.

The cake tastes best when fresh and warm. If you want to keep it, wrap it in plastic foil, so that the dough doesn't dry out.

Sweet Saturday #6 - Hazelnut cake

This is a super easy and fast swiss hazelnut cake called “Gâteau de Payerne”.The outside is crunchy and the inner layer is juicy and moist. We ate this cake imagining there was snow outside the window and a lit fireplace in our living room. It is the perfect winter afternoon cake. It tastes even better after 24 hours in the fridge.

image

This is how it's done:

Ingredients:

150 gr soft butter

100 gr sugar

1/2 tsp salt

125 gr grated hazelnuts

150 gr flour

for the filling:

85 gr sugar

125 gr grated hazelnuts

1 package of vanilla sugar

150 ml heavy cream

Directions:

Put the butter in a bowl and stir it till it is really soft, then add the sugar, the salt, the hazelnuts and the flour and mix briefly to get a soft dough. Wrap in a plastic foil and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

For the filling: Mix the sugar, the hazelnuts, the vanilla sugar and the cream in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Take a cake pan of about 24 cm diameter. Trace the outline of it on a baking paper, then grease the pan. Split the dough in two parts. Roll the first half out to cover the bottom of the cake pan and have a little border of about 1cm height all around. Roll the second half out on the baking paper, so that it covers the outlined circle.

Slowly pour the filling on the dough in the pan. Take the baking paper with the rolled out second part of the dough. Hold it paper facing upwards and cover the filling with it. Slowly detach the paper from the dough. To prevent the filling of “running out”, fold the borders of the lower dough layer above the upper one.

Bake for 45 minutes. Once the cake cooled down you can sprinkle the top with a bit of sugar powder (but it tastes wonderful without as well).

Sweet Saturday #2 - Banana bread

Alva’s godmother Iiris makes the best banana bread in the world, and she allowed me to share the recipe. It’s without sugar, non-dairy and without white flour. A healthy treat for our lazy saturday afternoon.

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas

375ml. spelt flour

1ts baking soda

1/4 ts salt

2 eggs

100ml. coconut oil

8 dates

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Mash the bananas with a fork. Put in a large bowl. Add the flour, the baking soda, the salt and mix everything together.

2. mix the eggs with a fork and add to the ingredients in the bowl. Mix.

3. Add the coconut oil. Mix.

4. Put the dates in the food processor with a little bit of water and mash them. Then, add them to the rest and mix well.

5. Pour the batter in a cake pan and bake for 30-40 min.

Sweet Saturday#1 - Pessach cake

While looking for a cake recipe for our seder, i found this recipe in Cynthia Barcomi’s cookbook. I was really sceptical at first, specially because I am not a big fan of eggs and this recipe asks for a lot of eggs.

I was so suprised when I tasted it. Super airy, light and fresh… This cake is a major success!!! Everyone loved it, I was asked to share the recipe and I even did it a second time this week adding some filling and topping.

Ingredients:

45gr. Matzo flour (or 55gr. of potato flour)

80gr. Potato flour

1/4 Tsp. Salt

9 Egg yolks

200gr. Sugar

1Tsp. Zest of an (organic) orange

1Tsp. Zest of an (organic) lemon

60ml. freshly squeezed orange juice

1Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

9 Egg whites

a pinch of salt

100gr. Sugar

250ml cream (optional)

4 pears or other fruit (optional)

——————————————————————————————

1. preat oven to 185°C. Put a side a 25cm diameter cake pan (the sides should be high - 15cm is good). Important: do not grease the pan! (otherwise the cake won’t rise properly). I used a teflon pan, it worked great.Sieve the flours and the salt several times till they get really airy.

2. Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer, add the sugar and continue beating till the mix is light yellow and really creamy. Add the citrus zests and juices and mix. With a rubberspatulafold inthedryingredients. Don’t overmix. It has to stay airy.

3. Clean the beaters of the electric mixer very well (there shouldn’t be any fat on them) and beat the egg whites in a separate bowl on low speed. When you get a foamy consistency, add a pinch of salt and continue beating at a higher speed. When the egg whites are getting stiff, add the sugar and continue beating till they are really stiff but not dry.

4. Start by folding a third of the egg whites into the batter. Don’t overmix, it should stay airy. Then take another third and fold it in, then the last third.

5. Pour the batter into the pan and hit it a few times against the work surface (to make sure there is no air bubbles). Put it in the oven.

6. Bake it for 50 minutes, check if the cake is ready by sticking a toothpick in the center. If it comes out without dough sticking to it, it’s ready. Turn off the oven, leave the cake to cool down in the oven with the door slightly open. When the oven is cooled out, take out the cake and leaving it in the cake pan, turn it upside down on a plate and let it cool down completely before taking it out of the pan. If you want your cake to be non-diary, you can serve it as is or put some fruits with it.

7. (optional dairy part)

Cut 4 pears in small pieces and put them to cook in a bit of water. Once they are soft, pour out the water and puree them.

Grate one fresh pear in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the heavy cream with the electric mixer till it gets to be whipped cream.

Cut the cooled out cake in half horizontally and spread the pear puree evenly on the lower part. Sprinkle the grated fresh pear over the puree. Cover the pear layer with a layer of whipped cream. Place the top half of the cake on this (as if making a sandwich). You can cover the top with another layer of whipped cream (this is what I did in the picture), or cover it with slices of pears. Place in the fridge for an hour before serving.