Monday, June 22, 2015

Apricot Cake

My summer can't go by without apricot cake. When Edi and Jacqueline brought home a large batch of them from their usual weekend grocery tour, I immediately got the idea to use some of them for baking. Here comes a really simple, but delicious cake I found in this lovely book. I added some vanilla seeds to the dough because apricot and vanilla always strikes me as a winner combination.

(slightly adapted from "Fräulein Klein lädt ein")

90g soft butter
80g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (I used a teaspoon of vanilla extract and the scraped out seeds of one vanilla pod instead)
2 eggs
190g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
90ml milk
350g ripe apricots (you could also use other fruit or berries as well)
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a springform pan of 24cm diameter with parchment paper and grease with butter. 

Wash the apricots, cut them in halves and remove the stone. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract and seeds) until pale and fluffy. Then, add the eggs and beat until creamy. In another bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Add this to the other mixture and combine. Then, add milk.

Fill your dough into the prepared springform pan. Place your apricots onto the dough, cut side face down. Sprinkle with some sugar before putting the cake in the oven.

Bake the cake for about 45 minutes (I suggest you test whether it's done a bit earlier - with my oven, it only took less long, about 35 minutes). When your cake is done, take it out of the oven, let cool and dust with icing sugar before serving.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Yogurt Cake with Raspberries and Dark Chocolate

Things are getting easier. My days have some sort of rhythm again. I had time to bake last Sunday morning - like in the good old times. Julia was also wide awake so I placed her bassinet right beside me in the kitchen and explained to her exactly what I was doing while I was preparing the cake batter. She watched my every move and seemed kind of delighted. I noticed that she also likes to watch me while I'm eating. She keeps looking at my mouth, smiling at me and imitating the movements. I really wonder whether she will become as much of a sweet tooth as I am, but that's left for her to decide.

(slightly adapted from Annemarie Wildeisen's "Heissgeliebtes Backen")

100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
180g raspberries (the original recipe suggests sour cherries)
100g butter
2 eggs
150g sugar
1 sachet vanilla sugar (I used a tablespoon of vanilla extract instead)
180g plain yogurt
300g flour
1 sachet of baking powder

Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 26cm cake tin with parchment paper. Grease the edges with butter.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and let cool a bit. In a large bowl, mix eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar. You can use an egg whisk for that. The recipe says that one should not overmix so I didn't use the electric hand mixer. Add yogurt and melted butter and mix. In another bowl, mix flour and baking powder. Add the chocolate pieces, then the raspberries. Mix and add this mixture to the wet ingredients.

Fill your mixture into your prepared cake tin. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes. Check with a wooden skewer whether your cake is done. No cake batter should stick to the skewer. Let cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving if you like. A chocolate icing would also be nice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blackberry Mini Cakes

May went by without cake. I mean, not that I didn't eat any cake - I just didn't bake one. My daughter keeps me busy. Still (who would have thought that I would be saying this someday) being a mom is the single most wonderful "job" I've ever had. Getting to know my little girl better brings me such joy. And now that she is almost three months old, she's making progress almost every day. She's discovering her world with her beautiful curious eyes and she's laughing and babbling. Of course, she can also express her needs or discomfort by crying at quite a volume… Well, no doubt she must have inherited her voice from her mother. But overall, we're having a really good time.

I made these mini cakes today because I wanted to use up some leftover blackberries before they would go bad. I'm quite happy with the result. Nothing too fancy, just simple and straightforward - a nice summer treat. You could use any kind of berries you like. Adding some white chocolate chunks would probably be a nice idea, I thought, but I had none at home and there was no time for shopping. Why don't you add some chocolate chunks to your batter or some nuts to give those cakes a crunch.

(slightly adapted from Leila Lindholm's Piece of Cake)

100g butter
200ml milk
1 lemon, grated zest
2 eggs
120g sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar or one teaspoon vanilla extract
240g flour
2tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 or 2 tablespoons creme fraiche
200g blackberries
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a muffin tray with paper cases or prepare your mini cake paper cases.

Melt butter, add milk and lemon zest. In another bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar until pale and foamy. Mix egg batter with milk batter. Mix flour, baking powder and salt and mix with the liquid batter. Add creme fraiche and mix. Add blackberries and fold in carefully with a ladle. Fill your mixture into the prepared paper cases.

Bake for about 20 minutes. Test whether your cakes are done with a wooden skewer. No cake batter should stick to the wooden skewer.

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