Thursday, March 31, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

I know, I know... I am all about chocolate lately. But I just can't get away from it :-) So, for my friend Luzia's birthday party, it had to be something with chocolate. What I liked most about these cupcakes is the decadent frosting... I think I ate about half of it while decorating the cupcakes... highly addictive...

(from: Leila Lindholm - Piece of Cake)

3 eggs
200g sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
50g butter
100ml cream
2 tablespoons cold coffee
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Prepare a muffin tray and fill it with 12 paper cases.

Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy. Melt butter, mix with cream and coffee and add to you egg-mixture. Mix flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt and fold into the egg-mixture. Melt chocolate over a hot water bath and fold into your dough.

Fill dough into the muffin forms and bake for about 15 minutes. (I had to bake them for about 25 minutes...) Let cool.

For the frosting:

60g soft butter
300g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
20g cocoa powder
100g cream cheese
1 tablespoon hot coffee

Mix butter, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, cocoa and cream cheese, then add the coffee. Do this with a hand mixer and don't worry if your batter is crumbly at first, it will blend in and get creamy as soon as you add the hot coffee. To make sure the ingredients blend well, take the butter and the cream cheese out of the fridge well in advance.

Spread the icing over the cupcakes and decorate with sugar sprinkles, marzipan flowers, chopped nuts or whatever you like... enjoy...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Deluxe Chocolate Cake with Cranberries

When I recently spent another evening browsing through my beloved cookbooks, I noticed that I have never tried a single recipe from one of my absolute favourite cookbooks - Warm Bread and Honey Cake... time to change that! I was invited for dinner last week and my task, as ususal, dessert :-) This recipe caught my attention because of the addidtion of walnuts and cranberries. I really like this cake! It's something inbetween cake and brownie... and cranberries in a chocolate cake are something else for a change.

(Source: Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra)

150g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs, lighly beaten with
1 tsp vanilla extract
35g cocoa powder, dissolved in
100ml boiling water
50g dried cranberries, finely chopped
50g walnuts, finely chopped
50g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a cake tin with parchment paper.

Sift flour with baking powder and salt and set aside. In another bowl, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Then, add the beaten eggs in two steps, beating well after each addition. Add the flour in two batches as well. Then, add the cocoa paste and mix well. Add cranberries, walnuts and chocolate and mix only until all is just combined.

Pour the mixture into your baking tin. The recipe actually calls for a 20cm square tin and says to bake the cake for 25-30 minutes. I used a cake tin and baked it for about 45 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Salmon Lasagne with Saffron

I have a great savoury recipe for you! With this lasagne you can impress guests and guess what, it is extremely easy to make. It can be prepared in advance so that you will only have to put it in your oven when your guests arrive.

The combination of salmon and saffron works perfectly... and I like the yellow color.

(Source: Betty Bossi Magazin 10/2009)

300g cream curd ("Rahmquark")
180g sour cream ("saurer Halbrahm")
120g grated Sbrinz cheese (1/3 kept aside)
1 sachet of saffron
1 tsp salt
a pinch of pepper

250g fresh lasagne sheets (NOTE: Take fresh pasta sheets, not the firm ones. There are also firm pasta sheets which do not require per-cooking, but according to a friend of mine, the lasagne was too dry in the end. For my friends from Switzerland: There is also rolled out pasta dough available at MIGROS for instance.)
400g salmon filet without skin, grey fat layer removed

Preheat oven to 200°C. Chop the salmon into pieces and set aside. Mix curd, sour cream, Sbrinz, saffron, salt and pepper.

Butter an oven-safe pan of about 2.5l capacity. Layer lasagne sheets, salmon and curd batter. End with the curd batter and cover with the rest of the grated Sbrinz.

Bake for about 25 minutes (you can prepare this lasagne up to a day in advance, in that case, you'll probably have to leave it in the oven for about 5 more minutes).

I usually serve it with a salad. Serves 3 - 4 people.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brownies... what else?!

Hello friends and cakelovers! I'm back for good ;-) or so I hope, but my wrist is holding up well and although I will be busy studying for my finals in fall, I definitely have more time to bake and cook for now!

So... let's get serious... these really are decadent... and delicious...

(from Tartine... a lovely book by the way!)

170g butter
455g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
130g all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
395g brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Butter a 23x33cm baking tin or line with parchment paper (I used two brownie pans each 18x23cm)

Melt butter in a small pan over low heat. Then, take away from the heat and add the chocolate. (I had to put the pan back over low heat to fully melt it.) Set aside to cool.

Sift flour into a small mixing bowl and set aside. Combine eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract in another bowl. With a mixer, beat on high speed until you got a thick mixture which is pale in color (4 - 5 minutes). With a rubber spatula, fold in the cooled chocolate. Then, add the flour and fold it in quickly but gently with the rubber spatula.

Pour your batter into the prepared pan and smooth it a bit with the spatula. Bake until the top looks slightly cracked and it feels soft to the touch. This takes about 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Cut them into squares. They will keep for up to one week in an airtight container in a cool place.

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