Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rhubarb Cake with Almonds

2014 has been treating me well so far. Sometimes, it's just wonderful how life surprises you if you just let it. In fact, I'm still so overwhelmed from all the good that has happened to me in the past few weeks that I don't know what to say. But I have a delicious recipe to share with you. Rhubarbs are in season. It's spring in my kitchen - and in my heart.

(from the lovely Zucker, Zimt und Liebe by Virginia Horstmann)

100g flour
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
150g soft butter
150g sugar
2 eggs
200g ground almonds
400g rhubarb, washed, peeled, cut into pieces of about 5cm or so
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C, line a 20cm diameter springform pan with parchment paper and grease with butter.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. In another bowl, mix butter and sugar with an electric hand mixer until pale and creamy. Then, add the eggs, one by one. After that, add the flour and the ground almonds. Mix until well combined.

Fill the dough into your prepared springform pan and spread the rhubarb on top of it in a fanlike kind of way. You could, of course, also cut the rhubarb stalks into dices and just scatter them on top of your cake. Then, scatter the slivered almonds on top and sprinkle with the brown sugar.

Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes. If the cake browns too much towards the end, cover with aluminium foil. Then, take out of the oven and let cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving if you like.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chocolate Fondant Cake

For the past six months, I had the pleasure to share my office with Karma. Sadly, she will be leaving tomorrow. So, this week, I wanted to bake a cake especially for her. And this is what she had wished for - a devilish chocolate fondant cake (recipe by the one and only Trish Deseine). Beware my friends, this is serious stuff - I think we've all had ourselves a little chocolate overdose yesterday. Karma, we are going to miss you big time! But we'll make sure that, although you're leaving, the good karma will stay in our office.

(from Trish Deseine's fabulous "I love Cake")

200g dark chocolate
200g butter
250g sugar
5 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
(I just saw a version of this recipe in the internet where Trish adds a tablespoon of strong espresso to the cake batter, I didn't do that, but it sure sounds good to me)

(for one 20cm diameter springform pan - I doubled the above recipe and used a 26cm diameter springform pan, baking time will be a bit longer)

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line your cake tin with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Pour into a large bowl, slowly add the sugar while constantly stirring. Let this cool down a little.

Then, add the eggs, one by one. Stir well with a wooden ladle after adding each egg until it has combined with the batter. Then, add the flour, stir well.

Fill the batter into your prepared cake tin and bake for about 22 minutes until just firm at the edges but still soft in the middle. Take out of the oven, let cool.

It's best to bake this cake a day ahead.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Marble Cake with Cinnamon and Cardamom

Marble cake is a good old classic. To me, it always brings back childhood memories. It was my favorite cake when I was a little girl. Myriam Zumbühl (remember her from her lovely series Myriam und die Meisterbäcker?) spiced this simple recipe up by adding roasted and ground cardamom seeds and cinnamon buds ("Zimtblüte") to the cake batter. Cinnamon buds have a much more intense aroma than ground cinnamon, it's more diverse, fuller and almost flowery. Just heart-warming. And I swear, this cake and me… love at first bite. Pure comfort on a day you thought the sun was going to be shining and then the sky is all grey instead.


200g soft butter
200g sugar
1 vanilla pod, scraped out seeds
3 large eggs
250g flour
3 tablespoons baking powder
5 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 cardamom pods, roasted, seeds crushed
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon buds or simply ground cinnamon, works just as well
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 25-30cm cake tin with parchment paper and grease with butter.

In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric hand mixer until soft. Add 180g of the sugar and the seeds of the vanilla pod. Beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one. Then, sift in the flour together with the baking powder. Add two tablespoons of milk and beat until all is well combined.

Fill 2/3 of your batter into the prepared cake tin. Add cocoa powder and spices to the rest of the batter together with the rest of the sugar (20g) and 3 tablespoons of milk. Beat until well combined. Then, fill the chocolate batter into your cake tin, too and run a fork through the dough so that you get a marble effect.

Bake the cake in the middle of the oven for about 50-60 minutes (mine took about 45 minutes only). Test with a wooden skewer, whether your cake is done. There should be no more batter sticking to your skewer. 

Let the cake cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving. If you bake the cake one day ahead, the aroma of the spices can develop and the cake smells even better!

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