Thursday, June 23, 2016

Mocca Brownies

Summer has finally arrived and it's almost overwhelmingly hot after those grey and rainy days. But, you guys know that the heat does not necessarily stop me from turning on the oven. Especially when I have brownies on my mind...

(from Coop Zeitung)

100g butter
400g dark chocolate (I used 70%), roughly chopped
150g sugar
4 eggs
2 pinches of salt
1.5 tablespoons instant coffee (I used Nescafé)
1 tablespoon lukewarm water
200g cashew nuts (roughly chopped)
150g plain flour

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a brownie tin (ca. 24 x 30cm) with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, melt butter and and chocolate over low heat. When melted, take away from the heat and let cool slightly. Pour into a bowl and mix with sugar. Then, add eggs and salt. I added a bit of vanilla extract at this point.

Dissolve coffee powder in lukewarm water and add to the batter. Add cashew nuts and flour. Mix and pour your batter into the brownie tin.

Bake for about 25 minutes. The brownies should still be soft i the middle. Let cool, then cut into squares.

The recipe suggests to ice them with an icing made of icing sugar and espresso (250g icing sugar and 3 tablespoons cold espresso) which I left out because I didn't have time.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Peach and Hazelnut Cake

This cake saved our rainy Sunday. It's rich, moist and the sweet fruit perfectly complements the nutty flavor. And, at least, those juicy and yellow peaches look and taste like summer, as a contrast to the current weather situation…

(from an old Saison Magazine)

250g sugar
5 eggs
one vanilla pod
150g full-fat quark (curd)
230g ground hazelnuts
250g flour
1/2 sachet baking powder
4 peaches
a bit of brown sugar for sprinkling
butter, for greasing the tin
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a 24cm round cake tin with parchment paper and butter the edges.

In a large bowl, cream together the eggs and the sugar with an electric hand whisk. Keep mixing for about 5 minutes until you have a pale and fluffy batter.

Scrape out the seeds from the vanilla pod. Add and mix shortly. Add quark, ground hazelnuts, flour and baking powder. Mix well until you have a creamy batter.

Fill the batter into your prepared cake tin. Wash, halve and stone the peaches. Place the peach halves on  your cake, cut surface facing up, press slightly into the batter. Sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

Bake the cake for about 30-35 minutes.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Buckwheat Pancakes with Cherry Vanilla Compote

I wanted to make pancakes this morning and I discovered, to my horror, that I had no plain flour left in my store cupboard. I usually have all the basic baking ingredients around so that I can spontaneously decide to bake something without having to run to a store first. At least, I found some buckwheat flour which actually worked just as well for these pancakes. I liked them best when they were soaked with the juices from the cherry compote.

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

225g flour (I used buckwheat flour)
1 sachet baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3 eggs, beaten
300ml milk
50g butter, melted (the recipe suggest salted butter)
butter, for frying

Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add sugar and mix. Make a hollow in the middle and pour eggs, milk and melted butter into the hollow. Stir everything together until you have a smooth dough. Let your dough rest for about 30 minutes.

In a frying pan, heat a bit of butter. With a soup ladle, pour small portions of dough into the pan and bake. Your pancakes are ready to flip when small air bubbles begin to form on top of the dough. Each side takes about a minute.

I served the pancakes with a cherry compote for which I used 500g pitted cherries, a splash of water, a bit of sugar and half a vanilla pod.

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