Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter

The choice this Easter seems to be between rain and snow. Sun - definitely no option... So I enjoyed the lively and colorful afternoon yesterday all the more. Evelyn had spontaneously invited me to come with her to her sister's where the whole family and friends get together to color Easter eggs. Since I knew there was going to be a bunch of children, I decided to bring along something for the kids. But, safe to say, even the adults loved those cute little bunny cookies. A big thank you goes to Sibylle, Evelyn's lovely sister. I had such a good time!

(from: Swissmilk)

for the dough:
250g butter, soft
125g icing sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
400g flour

Beat the butter with an electric hand mixer until soft and creamy. Add icing sugar, salt and egg. Beat until the batter is pale. Sift in flour, beat shortly and then, form a ball of dough with your hands. Cut the ball into quarters, flatten each quarter a little, cover with cling film and let rest in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper. Roll out your dough until it's about 5mm thick (it's best if you let it come to room temperature again after cooling, you can roll it out much easier this way). Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter of your choice and place on the baking tray. Cool again for about 15 minutes.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before glazing.

for the icing:
150g icing sugar
about 3 tablespoons lemon juice (I had no lemons so I took water)
food coloring, if you like

In a small bowl, mix icing sugar and lemon juice. Add food coloring. Glaze the cookies with a pastry brush or dip into the glaze face down and then put on your wire rack. Sprinkle with sugar pearls.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Banana Crumble Muffins

I need some color to lighten up this grey Sunday. Although, every now and then, it seems as if the sun may break through the clouds. We'll see... Anyway, these banana muffins topped with cinnamon crumble totally made my day! Well, it's all about crumble here lately, but who could ever get enough of that?

Did you know that you can freeze bananas? So next time you have some overripe bananas lying around in your fruit basket and don't want to eat them anymore, peel, cut them into pieces, put in a bag and freeze. You can't eat them anymore after defrosting, BUT you can use them for baking! I got Yvette van Boven's new book last Friday and when it came to deciding which recipe to try first, I immediately went for this one since I remembered I had some bananas in my freezer. 

(from Yvette van Boven's Home Made - Sommer)

for the muffin dough:
3 ripe bananas
150g sugar
1 egg, beaten
75g melted butter
200g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of salt

for the crumble:
75g brown sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold butter

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with paper cases (the recipe makes 12 muffins).

In a bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add sugar, egg and melted butter and beat with an electric hand mixer until fluffy. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and beat until well combined. Fill the dough into your prepared muffin cases.

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crumble and rub with your fingers until you have a crumbly mass. Spread on top of your muffins. Bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pear Crumble Cake

I thought spring was on its way... and all of a sudden, it snowed again yesterday. I just glimpsed out of the window and it's white outside... and it's cold. That means winter coat all over again... Well, the snowing might explain the headache I've been having since the beginning of the week. Thank God I had enough cake leftovers from the weekend! Next to my cupcakes, I also baked this cake. It has a wonderful crust, is topped with crumble and slivered almonds and it has a soft filling of pears with vanilla... perfection... That one definitely goes on the list of cakes that I'll be baking again!

(from LE MENU 1/2 2013)

for the dough/crumble:
300g flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
180g sugar
180g butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
2-3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar
30g butter, cold, cut into pieces

for the filling:
about 800g pears, peeled, cores removed, cut in thin slices
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
2-3 tablespoons almond slivers
icing sugar for decorating

For the dough, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Add the 180g butter and rub into the batter with your fingers until you got a crumbly mixture. Take away 1/4 and put into another bowl, set aside. Add egg and milk to the remaining 3/4s of the mixture and form a smooth dough, don't knead. Add the remaining sugar and butter to the other 1/4 and rub with your finger until you got crumble. Put the crumble into the refrigerator.

Press the dough into you prepare baking tin, either a square tin of about 23x18 or a 22cm diameter springform pan. Also form a rim of about 4cm with the dough. Perforate the dough with a fork. Put it into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

In a bowl, mix pears, melted butter, sugar and vanilla seeds. Fill into your prepared cake tin. Spread the crumble over that and top with some almonds slivers. Bake for about 50-60 minutes. Eat warm or cold. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ricotta Vanilla Cupcakes with Lime Frosting

Well, sometimes you have to work on a Sunday afternoon. But that doesn't mean that you can't have cake. I brought these cupcakes to the office today as a sweet motivation for our team. The recipe comes from the lovely Fräulein Klein. Check out her cute bunny ear decoration! Since it's not easter yet, I decided to cover my cupcakes with a buttercream frosting with a sour twist.

(slightly adapted from Die wunderbare Welt von Fräulein Klein)

for 12 cupcakes:
175g flour
2 eggs
100g sugar
125g butter, soft
125g ricotta
1/2 vanilla pod, scraped out seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 lemon

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line muffin tray with paper cases.

In a bowl, beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs and continue beating. Add the vanilla seeds, lemon juice, milk and ricotta and mix well. Add flour and baking powder.

Fill the dough into your paper cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Scroll down for the frosting recipe.

(slightly adaped from Tarek Malouf - Süsse Sünden)

500g icing sugar
160g soft butter
50ml milk
lime, grated zest and some juice

In a bowl, beat icing sugar and butter on low speed. Slowly add milk and keep beating until you have a soft and fluffy batter. Add lime zest and a splash of juice. Beat well. Spread on your cupcakes with a palette knife. Decorate with sugar pearls if you like.

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