Monday, July 27, 2015

Red Currant and Ricotta Muffins

I'm not a huge fan of red currants - too sour for my taste. But when they are baked into a cake, now that's a whole different story. Then, they harmonize wonderfully with the sugar. And in this case here, they are a perfect contrast to the plain ricotta. These little muffins would be a wonderful addition to any summer buffet or picnic.

(Original recipe in German here)

150g ricotta
1dl milk
1 sachet vanilla sugar
60g butter
150g sugar
1 egg
250g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
200g red currants (original recipe suggests fresh or frozen raspberries)

Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare 12 muffin cases.

In a bowl, mix ricotta, milk and vanilla sugar. Melt the butter. Let cool slightly and add to this mixture. In another bowl, beat egg and sugar until pale and fluffy and fold this into the ricotta-mixture. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Then, carefully fold in the berries. 

Fill the mixture into your muffin cases and bake for about 20 minutes.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chocolate Cake with Pears

I love to cook for special occasions. Of course, with Julia around, it's simply not possible anymore to spend a whole day in the kitchen preparing dishes for the evening. However, I still managed to cook a simple dinner for Edi's birthday. And there had to be cake! He had wished for something with chocolate and pears - a match made in heaven.

(German Version here)

for the dough:
150g butter, soft
175g sugar
1 pinch of salt
3 eggs
150g dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons cream
100g ground hazelnuts
225g flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder

for the pears:
3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into slices
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons sugar

for the glaze:
100g - 150g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100ml cream

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Line a 26-28cm diameter springform pan with parchment paper and grease with butter.

In a bowl, beat butter with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Add sugar and salt and mix well. Add the eggs, one by one and keep beating until the batter is pale. Add melted chocolate, cream and hazelnuts. Sift in flour and baking powder. Beat well until all is well combined. Pour your batter into the prepared springform pan. Arrange your pear sliced on the cake. Brush them with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for about 40-45 minutes.

When the cake has cooled, heat up the cream in a small saucepan. When it is bubbling, take away from the heat and stir in the chocolate pieces. You will need at least 100g. I usually use a bit more until I have the consistency I like. With a spoon, spread the glaze over the cake.

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