Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Triple Chocolate Brownies

I made these brownies for a birthday party on Tuesday. They are really chocolate-chocolate-chocolaty... just the way they should be, because chocolate makes you happy (words to live by!).


140g dark chocolate
100g milk chocolate
150g white chocolate
125g butter
3 eggs
150g sugar
150g flour
70 cocoa powder
1.5dl cream

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Line a brownie tin (18x23cm) with parchment paper.

Melt dark chocolate and butter in a little pan.

Chop milk and white chocolate into pieces and set aside. Mix flour and cocoa powder in a bowl. In another bowl, beat eggs and sugar until foamy. Fold in flour mix, cream and molten chocolate and mix it well. Add the chopped chocolate and mix well.

Pour the batter into your prepared brownie tin and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Let cool and then cut into pieces.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Lavender and Peach Streusel Cake

Last Friday, I "invented" my own cake. I used a basic cake recipe and modified it. I love to try and combine flavours and I suddenly had the thought that peach and lavender might make a nice combination. The brown sugar streusel gave this cake a certain extra and what came out of the oven was a chunky yet moinst and fruity cake with a hint of lavender taste and a crunchy covering.


150g butter, in pieces, soft
200g sugar
a dash of salt
4 eggs
250g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 lavender twigs, plucked flowers
(I used fresh lavender from my "herb garden", otherwise I would use dried lavender.)
2 peaches, cut into slices

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Mix butter, sugar and salt until foamy. Add one egg after the other and add the lavender flowers. Beat for another 5 minutes or so. Fold in flour and baking powder and mix until the batter is smooth. Fill into a 24 cm diameter springform pan and place the peach slices onto the batter.

For the streusel mix 35g cold butter, 40g flour and 1.5 tablespoons brown sugar and crumble it with your hands. Disperse on top of the cake.

Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cravattine with Ricotta and Peas

I realized yesterday that I hadn't cooked a decent pasta in a long time! So yesterday's lunch was a pasta dish with one of my favourite light summer sauces. I can cook this pasta spontaneously almost anytime because I always have the ingredients at home. See, this is one of the reasons I love ricotta, you can make a simple but most delicious pasta sauce with it in no time! And frozen peas also always belong in my freezer. I use them very often for spontaneous "creations".

Recipe (for 2):
I always cook this dish "freestyle" so I'm not absolutely sure about the exact measures but I think these should be about right. The original recipe comes from Donna Hay's "Instant Entertaining".

ca. 350g cravattine (or other pasta)
about 120g of frozen peas
about 125g ricotta
olive oil
lemon juice

Cook the pasta in saltwater for about 10 minutes. While the pasta is boiling, cook the frozen peas in a little water also for about 10 minutes. When the pasta is al dente, drain it together with the peas and put it all back into the pan you cooked the pasta in. Add a few splashes of olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add ricotta and mix it all well. Then, put onto two plates and grate some parmesan cheese onto it if you like. Decorate with herbs, such as basil. Donna Hay seasons this pasta with mint leaves which I haven't tried but I'm sure tastes also good.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Eggs and Smoked Salmon in Herb Sauce

I made that for my brunch two weeks ago. I wanted to include some savory dishes also. Since I had a lot to do with everything, I was looking for something simple and I found this recipe on Annemarie Wildeisen's homepage. I think, this dish would also make a good starter at a dinner.

(from Annemarie Wildeisen, slightly adapted since I spontaneously decided to make it and had no chervil at hand)

3 eggs (cooked, halfed)
a handful of parsley
a handful of chive
180g sour milk (I used m-dessert from Migros) or sour cream
0.5 lemon (grated zest)
6 tranches of smoked salmon

Chop the herbs (keep some on the side for decoration) and mix with the sour milk. Add lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside (you can prepare this and keep in the fridge).

Right before serving, spread sauce onto a big plate. Put salmon tranches onto the sauce (form some sort of nest). Put the halfed eggs into the salmon nests and if you want to, you can spread some more sauce onto that and then decorate with remaining herbs. Serve right away.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nutella Bread Twirls

Here comes an easy one! And a winner for sure, let me tell you.

You need:

about 120g Nutella
1 store-bought pizza-dough (ca. 25 x 38 cm)

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Roll out the pizza dough and spread Nutella lengthwise on one half. Cover with the other half of the dough and roll over it with the rolling pin once or twice.

Crosswise, cut into about 20 pieces and twist each of them. Bake them for about 12 minutes.

The recipe says, you can prepare the twirls a little in advance and keep them in the fridge until you want to bake them.

(recipe from: Betty Bossi Magazine 3/2010)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Semolina Pudding

This weekend, I hosted my first brunch. I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning in the kitchen trying out new recipes.

I got this recipe for semolina pudding from Nicky's famous blog Delicious Days.

Semolina pudding has been on my to do-list for a very long time and now that I tried out Nicky's recipe, I can't believe I waited so long. It's really simple and sooo yum! I love semolina pudding and now I can make it myself whenever I feel like it. It's just as Nicky says, it makes you smile.

You need:

1l milk (I used 2.5% fat)
200g heavy cream
a pinch of salt
100g sugar
1 vanilla pod, scratched out seeds
100g semolina

Pour milk, heavy cream, salt, sugar and vanilla seeds and pod into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, take away from the plate and remove vanilla pod. Add semolina slowly. Keep stirring constantly and return to the plate. Bring to a boil again and let simmer until it gets a little thicker. This takes about 2 or 3 minutes. Fill into little glasses (I ended up with 7 filled little jam glasses, 200 ml capacity). The good thing is that you can prepare them a day or two in advance and keep them in the fridge (covered). But you can also serve them warm... yum!

For my brunch, I chopped a few strawberries, mixed them with a little icing sugar and put that onto the puddings.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Courgette, Mint and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Ok... no baking this weekend. I stuck to that. My wrist is alright again. But hey, Mauro and I had to eat something, right?!

I have a great salad recipe for you! It is simple, yet special.

The idea comes from Julia's blog A Slice Of Cherry Pie.

I used

1 ball of buffalo mozzarella
2 little courgettes, washed, diced
a packet of baby leaf salad, washed
a few peppermint leaves, minced
fresh lemon juice
olive oil
a hint of balsamico

serves 2

Roast courgette dices and peppermint leaves in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast over medium heat until they start to soften but are still a little firm in the middle (about 10 minutes or so).

Put the salad leaves onto 2 plates, then tear the mozzarella ball into pieces and put onto the salad together with the warm courgettes. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamico and lemon juice. As you can see in the picture, we also added cooked eggs. This way, together with a piece of baguette, this salad makes a perfect and light summer dinner!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Nutella Banana Muffins

It is June, right?! I'm sitting at my desk right now and I'm looking out of the window... this weather gets me down. And my right wrist is totally overstrained, so I guess I should try and rest a little for a few days... no extensive cooking and baking sessions...

But I can still visually feed you (and myself) with something nice, can't I?!

I know, it's muffins again, but who doesn't like muffins! These are very easy. I nicked the recipe here.

I have baked them several times already and they sure are a winner at any dinner or party! You just tell people that there's Nutella in them and they will be gone in no time ;-) Their texture is heavenly... and the combination of Nutella and banana... delicious...

Talking about those muffins already makes me happy :-) You should try them out, they won't forsake you!
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