Sunday, November 27, 2011

I love...

...cake. Well, nothing new. But there is a new book in my collection called "I love cake" and I intend to try every single recipe in that book! I thought, I'd start with brownies. Trish Deseine calls them "the best brownies"... they are so wonderfully sticky... and the roasted hazelnuts... I still can't get the smile off my face!

(Trish Deseine - I love Cake)

 90g butter
120g dark chocolate
2 eggs, beaten
225g sugar
90g flour
50g hazelnuts, roasted, in coarse pieces

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a brownie tin of about 18x23cm with parchment paper.

Slowly melt the chocolate together with the butter. Let cool slightly. Then, add the eggs and then the sugar and the flour. Beat fast but carefully. Then, add the hazelnuts. Fill the batter into your prepared tin and bake for about 25 minutes. The top should be crunchy but inside the brownies should be soft and gooey. Let cool (you can also serve them warm together with ice cream for instance) and cut into squares. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday = Cakeday

I had some leftover apples and that's what I used them for today... The combination of apples, nuts and cinnamon just always works. This cake goes wonderfully with an extra helping of whipped cream... heart-warming... Perfect for such a lazy day in late autumn.

Apple Slices:
(Source: LE MENU 10/2010)

100g soft butter
125g mascarpone (I had none at hand so I used creme fraiche)
150g sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
50g ground hazelnuts
125g flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 apples, peeled, cut into slices
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Beat butter until smooth. Add mascarpone, sugar, salt and cinnoman. Blend well. Add eggs and beat until you have a light batter. Mix hazelnuts, flour and baking powder and add to the other batter. Mix well. Pour the batter into a prepared caketin of 32cm length.

Stick the apple slices into the cake batter, brush with cream and sprinkle the sugar crystals over the cake. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold, with extra cream or vanilla icecream.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leek and Gorgonzola Tartelettes

Gorgonzola cheese is my newest discovery! I somehow always thought I didn't like it, but since I tried it again some weeks ago, it belongs to the must-haves in my fridge. I used it lately for these cute and yummy tartelettes.

(Original recipe in German: here)

1 stalk of leek
black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
80g gorgonzola cheese
0.75dl cream
1 egg
1 roll of store bought puff pastry

Butter a muffin pan with 12 moulds and line them with parchment paper stripes, this way you get the tartelettes out of the moulds very easily after baking. Put the pan in the fridge. Preheat oven to 200°C.

Wash the leek and cut into thin pieces. Braise lightly with the butter in a frying pan for about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Mix gorgonzola cheese, cream and the egg with a blender and season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Roll out the puff pastry and cut out 12 round pieces that fit into your muffin moulds (I did that with a small glass bowl). Line your muffin moulds with the puff pastry. Fill in the leek and then the cheese-mixture. If possible, put in the fridge for another 20 minutes.

Bake the tartelettes on the lowest slot for about 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Comforting Brownies

I won't say much more about brownies for now... they speak for themselves.

(slightly adapted from here)

200g dark chocolate
125g butter
2 eggs
125g light soft brown sugar
100g caster sugar
75ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
175g plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa
125g pecan nuts, roughly chopped

Preheeat the oven to 170°C. Line a 20cm square cake tin with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate with the butter, then set aside somewhere warm on the stove-top. Beat the eggs with the sugars until the sugar has almost dissolved and the mixture turned creamy and a light beige colour. Next, beat in the chocolate and butter until evenly combined, then add the milk and vanilla. Sift the flour and cocoa twice, then beat this into the chocolate mixture. Finally, beat in the chopped pecans.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick poked through the sugary crust comes out barely clean - the hot chocolate will carry on cooking for at least five minutes after you've taken it out of the oven.
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