Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cinnamon Rolls

Here comes the perfect breakfast to brighten up a grey and rainy Sunday morning! It's the kind of recipe you can put together on the spur of the moment because it only consists of ingredients one has usually got in the store cupboard. The dough is easily prepared and the filling can be customized according to taste. I imagine that dark chocolate or fresh berries would make a nice addition, or maybe a bit of lemon or orange zest - go with whatever you fancy.

(from the wonderful "Home Made" by Yvette Van Boven)

350g flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch of salt
75g cold butter
150-175ml buttermilk or milk
1 egg

a big chunk of really soft butter
sugar (white, brown, whatever you like)
raisins (I had none at home, so I used diced dried figs and they worked really well)
nuts, chopped (walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, whatever you have at home, I used a mixture of different nuts)

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add the cold butter in pieces and rub with your fingers until you have a sandy mixture. Slowly add the milk and knead until you have a smooth dough.

Roll your dough out on a floured surface (about 0.5cm thick). Generously spread the soft butter on the dough. Sprinkle on sugar, raisins, cinnamon and nuts. 

Then, starting at the longer end of the dough, roll into a coil. Slice into rolls and place them into a greased baking dish. Whisk your egg and brush the rolls with it. 

Bek your cinnamon rolls for about 25 minutes. Serve with cold butter, cream or crème fraiche.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Vegan Bananabread

I think this is the first time I baked something vegan. I have an office mate who's allergic to milk protein and I've been looking out for suitable recipes for her (which is not all that difficult because there are a lot of vegan foodblogs out there). I had bookmarked this recipe here and this weekend seemed to be a good time to try it since we had some overripe bananas lying around. I really liked this cake. I wouldn't serve it for dessert, though. It's, however, perfect for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. The cake is also made without sugar and very suitable for kiddies. Julia was very fond of it.

(from Love Nonpareille (find the German version there))

275g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
50g walnuts, coarsly chopped (I ground them rather finely in the food processor. I wanted to feed Julia some of the bread, too, and therefore needed to avoid having pieces of nuts in the bread)
40g coconut oil
80g dates (about 6)
50ml almond milk
4 large ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cake tin (about 25cm) with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and walnuts. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil over low heat and let cool slightly. Add melted oil to the dry ingredients and, with a whisk, mix until combined.  

Pit the dates and, together with the almond milk, mix until you have a paste (you can either do this in a food processor or with hand-held blender). With a fork, mash 3 of the bananas. Add the date-paste, the bananas and the vanilla extract to your dry ingredients and mix with the whisk.

Fill your dough into the prepared tin. Half your left banana length-whise and then half the two pieces again. Place onto your dough. Bake for about 40-50 minutes. Test with a wooden skewer if your cake is done.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chocolate Buckwheat Cake

I recently discovered buckwheat flour. Not because I have to have a gluten-free diet, but because I like its distinct taste. I've been experimenting with buckwheat flour a lot lately and the thing I discovered is that you have to pay attention to the quantities. If you use too much of it in a batter, the flavor becomes quite overwhelming. So, usually, a mixture of buckwheat flour and plain or wholemeal flour seems to be the solution to achieve just the right depth in flavor. Buckwheat flour works wonderfully in this chocolate cake here, in combination with ground hazelnuts and dark chocolate. I used really dark chocolate, about 79%, and I like the result a lot. If you want to brighten things up a bit, go lower on the cocoa content. The simple cream topping gives a wonderful, almost light contrast to this dark and dense cake. Plus it looks beautiful, doesn't it?! Like a cloud - to complement this chocolate heaven. This cake is incredible on the second day. I really recommend baking it a day ahead!


170g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
115g unsalted butter, cubed
4 large eggs, separated
100g unrefined or granulated sugar
80ml plain whole-milk yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
75g almond or hazelnut flour (see Note, below)
35g buckwheat flour

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Butter an 20cm cake pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.

In a large, heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter until smooth, then remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, half of the sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and salt, the whisk them into the melted chocolate. Stir in the almond or hazelnut flour, and the buckwheat flour.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or by hand, whip the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gradually whip in the other half of the sugar until the whites are in firm peaks. Fold one-third of the whipped egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining chocolate mixture just until it’s completely combined.

Scrape the batter into the pan, level the top, then bake for 25 to 30 minutes; the cake will feel relatively set, but the center of the cake should still be soft. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the cake pan.

The cake will keep for up to three days at room temperature.

For serving, I topped the cake with whipped cream and dusted it with cocoa powder.

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