zaterdag 8 september 2012

Strawberry coffee cake & some other cakes

Since April of this year i have joined The Home Bakers. Whe are baking every three weeks but i have been missing out on some bakes or i made the cake but didn't had the time to post my findings on my blog. The idea is whe bake all the recipes from one book and whe started with Coffee cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. So starting this post with this Strawberry coffee cake.

Our seventh bake together was picked by Alice from I love.I cook.I bake. She chose this delicious cake and for the recipe you have to go to her site. She used blueberries instead of strawberries, like to see wat the others made of theirs go to the home bakers page.

I decided to make only half of the cake so i needed only half of the ingredients. Baking my coffee cake in a round 9-inch pan. The batter was easy to make but a little tough. So spreading it out on the bottom was not going very well. Then on to that layer i putted all my strawberries and then the second layer of batter but it seemed more like dough. Baking it 180C for about 30 minutes. The cake rose above the pan but after cooling down it was collapsed. The taste is really great, but next time i will not put my strawberries in 1 layer but mix them a little more trough the batter. I especcially liked the cruch of the brown sugar on top.

Pear pinwheel and Hazelnut cake
Almond-crusted butter cake


donderdag 30 augustus 2012

Sun-dried tomato-pistachio polenta cake

This is our 8th bake together (Though i already missed out on some bakes)with The Home Bakers, and it is my time to pick a recipe from coffee cakes(the book whe are currently baking from). So since nobody had chosen a savory cake yet, i thought i should do so.  This recipe looked very appealling to me and i love sun-dried tomato's. It is baking in the oven right now,  and i am curious how it will be.

I made only half the recipe and baked it in small ramekins, so i ended up with five individual small cakes. Bud i did keep the 1/3 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes:-).The smell is great and the taste is seriously awesome "I think". I almost regret i made only half the recipe. Baked the cakes in only 20 minutes because of the small ramekins i used and didn't use the optional water. But putted in 1 extra teaspoon of the oil from the sun-dried tomato's.

Here is the recipe from the book:

Sun-Dried Tomato-Pistachio Polenta Cake

Makes one 9-inch cake
Serves 10

This savory tomato herb bread has a delicious polenta and nut crunch in each golden slice. Nicely moist, with a fine, crumbly texture, it is excellent warm or cold. Serve it for an Italian-style brunch, lunch, or buffet party. It is also an ideal complement to a Caesar salad or a lentil or bean soup for a light meal.
  • 1/3 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons hot water (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely ground polenta or cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup (2-1/2 ounces) unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan or pie pan.

If the tomatoes are dry-packed, cover them with the hot water and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes to soften.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk or an electric mixer until light. Blend in the oil, honey, and herbs. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, polenta or cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to blend. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture alternately with the buttermilk or yogurt in 2 increments. Beat until smooth. Stir in the tomatoes and any liquid. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the nuts and 2 tablespoons of the cheese for the topping and stir the remainder into the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the reserved nuts and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then unmold right side up on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

zondag 15 juli 2012

Tortilla soup (Sopa Azteca)

Soups and sides is this weeks theme at the i heart cooking club. I immediateley decided to finally make the tortilla soup because i was curious about it's taste(i never had any before). My boyfriend didn't like it at all but i liked it very much, and i am glad i still have leftovers for tomorrow.

Rick Bayless says"Like guacamole, tortilla soup has a place, I feel, in practically every collection of Mexican recipes. It’s a filling, flavorful meal that can be made with little effort, but one that sings with an unmistakable Mexican harmony. Earthy dark pasilla chile. The softening crunch of toasty corn tortillas. Soul-satisfying broth. And creamy-rich avocado and cheese.
A note about pasilla (sometimes called negro) chile: Its unique flavor defines tortilla soup in central Mexico. In Michoacan, it’s ancho chile. In your kitchen, it might turn out to be another chile, like New Mexico or even a little smoky chipotle (be forewarned that chipotle will make the broth quite spicy). Though for these everyday recipes I’ve relied heavily on the easier-to-use powdered dried chile, finding powdered pasilla (negro) can be harder than finding the whole pod. Should powdered chile be at your finger tips (be it powdered pasilla (negro), ancho or beyond), add about 1 tablespoon to the pan about halfway through the cooking of the onion.
In Mexico, it’s more common to crush toasted chile pods over the soup than to add it to the base. You can follow that lead, or do both as we do in our restaurants."

Sopa Azteca
Tortilla Soup

Serves 4 to 6
Recipe from
Frontera Grill/Topolobampo

1 large dried pasilla (negro) chile, stemmed and seeded I used 1 normal dried chile
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
1 medium white onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 quarts chicken broth
1 large epazote sprig, if you have one can't find epazote so i left it out

4 (about 1 1/4 pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large ripe avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Mexican melting cheese (like Chihuahua, quesadilla or asadero) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
A generous 4 cups (about 6 ounces) roughly broken tortilla chips
1/2 cup Mexican crema, sour cream or creme fraîche for garnish
1 large lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

Quickly toast the chile by turning it an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until its aroma fills the kitchen. (Lacking an open flame, toast it in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing it flat for a few seconds, then flipping it over and pressing it again.) Break the chile into pieces and put in a blender jar along with the tomatoes with their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chile.)

Heat the oil in a medium (4-quart) saucepan over medium-high. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 7 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon, pressing them against the side of the pan to leave behind as much oil as possible, and transfer to the blender. Process until smooth.

Return the pan to medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly, until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add the broth and epazote, if using. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt, usually about a generous teaspoon (depending on the saltiness of the broth).

Just before serving, add the chicken to the simmering broth. Divide the avocado, cheese and tortilla chips between serving bowls. When the chicken is done, usually about 5 minutes, ladle the soup into the bowls. Garnish with the crema. Pass the lime separately.

Admitting this to:
Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

zondag 8 juli 2012

Tropical pink limeade


 Salud! is this weeks theme at I heart cooking clubs. And while í am making this post the rain is pouring, but when i made this thirst quensing limeade this week it was very hot outhere and we where really in the mood for this limeade.

It even was a coinsidense that i could get my hand on prickly pears because i never noticed them before in any shop, but now they where there and the taste is great in this lovely pink limeade.



Tropical Pink Limeade


Makes 5 or 6 servings
Courtesy by Rick Bayless
Recipe from Season 3 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time


1 1/3 cups fresh lime juice
1 quart water (use sparkling water for a festive touch)
1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
2 or 3 prickly pears


In a large pitcher, mix together the lime juice, water and smaller amount of sugar. Taste and add more sugar if you think the limonada needs it. Serve over ice.

Cut the ends off 2 or 3 prickly pears (handle prickly pears with latex or rubber gloves or with tongs). Make a shallow slit down the length of each one, then peel away the thick skin; discard. In a small bowl, crush the fruit into a coarse puree, then strain the puree into the limeade mixture. Taste and add more lime or sugar if necessary.

Admitting this to:
 Rick Bayless @IHCC button rounded

donderdag 31 mei 2012

Chocolate Meringue truffle cake with liquer 43

Did you know that Nigella Lawson is hosting a cookalong, on her own website. I didn't! Untill i accidentaly found out last week when i saw this Chocolate meringue truffle cake featured on the front page. So i decided to make it immediately.
Nigella says"This is a dinner-party stalwart from a couple of decades back, and I like it no less than I did when I first tasted it, made by my sister Thomasina, about twenty years ago. But I have added something: I make a thin meringue base instead of crumbling biscuits into the tin. This is not hard, not even remotely, and you don't have to worry about anything since you don't want airy puffy meringue, but rather a contrastingly crackling base, with just a hint of chewy marshmallow."

Since i don't like rum i substituted it for liquer 43, thats more my kind of thing. The taste went wonderful with the truffle chocolate cake. But probably you can substitute it for any liquer that you might like(i think coconut or mint infused rums would be great also).
The cake was not difficult to make but the time of baking the meringue bottom is a little short i suppose, because it became wet after putting the filling on it(and it still hass to sit in the fridge overnight). So the taste and surely the crackling base where Nigella talks about was completly gone. Next time i bake this cake i think it would be a great idea to brush the meringue bottom with molten chocolate before putting the filling on it, so it won't go to waste.
But after all this cake was still amazing!

Recipe adapted from here

1 egg white
50g caster sugar
2 teaspoons cocoa
Drop of wine vinegar


400g dark chocolate
60ml liquer 43
60ml golden syrup
500ml double cream 
cocoa to decorate
sugared pecans to decorate

Serves: Makes 10-12 slices

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C. Line a 20cm springform tin with baking parchment and oil the sides with some flavourless oil; almond would be good.

Whisk the egg white until foamy peaks form and then whisk in the sugar a little at a time to make a thick, glossy mixture. Sieve over the cocoa and sprinkle with the vinegar, and whisk again to combine everything. Spread as evenly as you can over the bottom of the prepared cake tin and then put in the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool while you make the truffle filling.

Melt the chocolate with the rum and syrup in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let it sit off the heat for 5 minutes or so.

Whisk the cream until it thickens slightly - it should be slightly aerated and have the consistency of thick pouring custard, no thicker. Pour into the chocolate mixture, beating gently until everything is amalgamated. Pour into the meringue-bottomed tin and cover the springform with clingfilm, and put in the fridge for a night or day, or for up to two days.

A short time before you are ready to serve the cake, take it out of the fridge and let it lose its chill. It will be easier to spring open if the chocolate truffle filling has become less fridge cold, although you don't want soft room temperature chocolate. Spring the cake free, then transfer to a plate without removing the base unless you think you can with ease (and have one of those big round spatulas). Smooth the sides with a spatula if you want a smarter look, and push the cocoa through a sieve to dust the top of the cake.

maandag 28 mei 2012

Vanilla and Cinnamon Challah bread pudding

Yesterday was the day that the daring bakers presented this months challenge, whe made challah this time. I made 2 small loaves but whe couldn't eat all of it with the two of us and it was already starting to get dry. So i decided to make a bread pudding from the leftovers of this delicious sweet bread.
Here is the recipe

Do you want to make Challah bread yourself here is the recipe.

Vanilla and Cinnamon Challah bread pudding

Adapted from here.
serving 5 to 7


5 cups challah bread, in cubes
1 cup whole milk
½ cup whipping cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup apple, peeled and chopped
½ cup of nuts, chopped
¼ cup of raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
Icing sugar and cinnamon for decoration


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and  lightly grease a 8 X 8 inch square baking dish.

Place the bread chunks in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, mix together the whole milk, whipping cream, eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder and salt, then pour this mixture over the bread chunks & let stand for 10 minutes.

Fold in the apples and nuts,  then spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and dust the top with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Bake 30-40 minutes, or until lightly golden.

Cool about 5 minutes before serving, although it will also taste just fine served cold.

zondag 27 mei 2012

Daring bakers may 2012: Challah

May’s Daring Bakers’ Challenge was pretty twisted – Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to make challah! Using recipes from all over, and tips from “A Taste of Challah,” by Tamar Ansh, she encouraged us to bake beautifully braided breads.

Baking bread isn't a think i have done verry often and certainly not from scratch. So i was a little bit intriqued by this challenge when i started it. To start with baking bread from "scratch" i thought it was a good idea to use the easy challah recipe provided by Ruth.

The making of the challah "after all" wasn't dificult at all but it took some time because of all the time it needs to rise. I was braiding the bread in a three strain(you can also do four or six strain) and that part went verry smooth either. So i wondered ,why was i so afraid my attempt would fail? This bread looks so nice but mine turned out great as well.

The taste of the bread was  surprisingly nice, the sweet flavor of it and the slight yellow color. You can also make a lot of variations on this bread. Some of the daring bakers put nutella or fruit inside, i'd like to try that to anytime soon. The only thing is that in mine opinion you have to eat this bread the same day it is baked because it thurns dry quickly. But with the leftovers i made a great challah bread pudding, i'll tell you everything about that tommorow.

What to do with Chalalh leftovers make an Vanilla and cinnamon Challah bread pudding!
Here are the recipes that ruth provided for the chalange:

Ruth’s “Go-To” Whole Wheat Challah
(adapted from D’s Whole Wheat Challah)
Servings: 12

2 (.25 oz.) packages (4½ teaspoons) (22½ ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) warm water (100°F/38°C)
½ cup (120 ml) (100 gm) (3½ oz) brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup (one stick) (120 ml) (115 gm/4 oz) margarine or unsalted butter – room temperature
2 tsp. (10 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) salt
3 large eggs
2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) whole wheat flour
2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) all-purpose flour
½ cup (120 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) rolled oats (Old Fashioned work just fine!)
Additional flour for kneading (½ to 1 cup) (120 to 240 ml) (70 to 140 gm) (2½ to 5 oz)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water for glaze

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast in warm water. Allow to stand about 5 minutes until creamy/foamy.
2. With paddle attachment beat 3 eggs, sugar, margarine (or butter), whole wheat flour, all purpose flour and oats into the yeast mixture. Or, if mixing by hand (ok, spoon), combine eggs and margarine/butter with yeast mixture until well mixed. Add flours and oats and mix until it becomes difficult to mix.
3. Once combined, switch to the dough hook and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding flour as/if needed. If kneading by hand, this should take about 10-12 minutes.
4. Form dough into a round, compact ball. Turn in oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen/tea towel. Let rise in warm area (I put it in the oven with the light on) until doubled, approx. 2 hours.
5. Once dough has doubled, punch down. Recover with towel, allow to rise again for an hour, but even 30 minutes will be fine if you’re in a hurry.
6. Punch the dough down again, divide in two.
7. Shape each half as desired (3, 4 or 6 strand braid, rolls, etc.). Place shaped loaves onto parchment covered baking trays. Cover with the towel and allow to rise another hour.
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
9. Brush loaves with egg wash. (Sprinkle with vanilla sugar/sesame seeds/poppy seeds/other topping here if desired)
10. Bake 30 to 40 min. until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
11. Transfer loaves to a wire rack to cool before serving.

Challah (Honey White)

(from Tammy’s Recipes)
Servings: 2 loaves

1 ½ cups (360 ml) warm water, separated
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) (15 gm/½ oz sugar
2 Tbsp. (2-2/3 packets) (30 ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) dry active yeast
½ cup (120 ml) honey
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) oil (light colored vegetable oil, or olive oil if you prefer)
4 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. 7½ ml) (9 gm) (1/3 oz) salt
5 cups (1200 ml) (700 gm/25 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more as needed (up to 8 or 9 cups total)
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

1. In mixer bowl/large mixing bowl combine ½ cup warm water, 1 Tbsp. sugar and 2 Tbsp. yeast. Allow to proof approximately 5 minutes until foamy.
2. To the yeast mixture add the remaining water, honey, oil, eggs, salt and 5 cups of flour. Knead (by hand or with your mixer’s dough hook) until smooth, adding flour as needed. Knead for approximately 10 minutes.
3. Transfer dough to a clean, oiled bowl, turn to coat or add a bit more oil on top. Cover bowl with a kitchen/tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 ½ hours.
4. Punch down the dough, divide it into two sections. Use one half to make each loaf (shaped or braided as desired).
5. Place loaves on parchment lined or greased baking sheets, cover with a towel, allow to rise 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
7. Brush tops loaves with egg wash. (Sprinkle with seeds or toppings here if wanted.)
8. Bake loaves 30-40 minutes until done.
9. Cool on wire racks.

Easy Challah


4 cups (960 ml) (360 gm/20 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) (11¼ ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) package rapid rise yeast
½ (120 ml) (115 gm/4 oz) cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. water

1. Measure flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl (or in the bowl of your stand mixer) combine water and yeast, allow to sit 5 minutes until foamy.
3. Add 1 ½ cups of the flour mixture to the water and yeast mixture, beat until well combined. Cover with a dish towel, let stand 30 min.
4. Add two eggs to the dough, beat again.
5. By hand or with your dough hook knead in the remaining flour mixture. Knead approximately 10 minutes.
6. Transfer to oiled bowl, cover, let rise one hour.
7. Punch down dough, knead approximately 3 minutes.
8. Divide dough in two. Shape each half as desired (3, 4, or 6 strand braid).
9. Place loaves on parchment covered or greased cookie sheets, cover with a towel, allow to rise one hour.
10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
11. Brush loaves with egg wash.
12. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees, bake until golden crust forms (about 25-30 minutes).
13. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Once cooled, challah loaves which will not be eaten right away (or in the next couple of days) should be bagged in heavy duty freezer bags. Remove excess air from the bag before securing it tightly (tying a knot or using tape). Put the bagged loaf/loaves into the freezer as soon as possible to ensure fresh taste; frozen challah will keep approximately three months.

Additional Information:
Egg free recipes: This recipe uses baking powder for the egg-replacer. The resulting loaves were light and fluffy, and tasted better than I thought they would!
This recipe uses a more common egg replacer – flax seed meal. It was a tougher dough than I was used to using, but the resulting loaves were light, and looked beautiful with the flax speckles.
Gluten free recipes:
Videos: These videos were made in my kitchen. The kids – mine and my sister’s were running around. So it is totally a real world view, no fancy tricks happening!
Video of basic three strand braid:
Videos of four strand braids:
Videos of six strand braids:
Video of four strand braided round:
Additional resources: