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:

zaterdag 26 mei 2012

Avocado-Dressed Shrimp a la Mexicana Tostada

Finally it's that time of the month again Potluck week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Because i wanted to make this recipe ever since i saw it a few weeks ago but the time wasn't right untill now ofcourse! I made this as an appetizer but i made really small bitsize tostadas and if there wouldn't have been anybody else around i could have eaten them all by myself;-).

To make small tostadas i used a cookie cutter to cut out small rounds from big tortilla's(The leftovers i didn't use this time but there are options enough to do that). Baking small tortillas is another option ofcourse but i was lazy and used storebought tortillas this time around. If you want to make youre own here is the recipe.

The taste of this small tostada is fenominal! The combination of shrimp, avocado and lime do the trick for me. Although my avocado wasn't totally ripe yet, but this recipe is a winner for me and will be my go to summer appetizer this year.

Avocado-Dressed Shrimp a la Mexicana Tostada

Camarones a la Mexicana con Aguacate
Makes about 4 cups, enough for 15 tostadas, serving 15 as a nibble or light appetizer
Rick Bayless Recipe from Season 6 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time


12 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) medium-small, peeled-and-deveined cooked shrimp
1 medium white onion, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 large tomato, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (you should have a generous cup)
1/4 to 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
Hot green chiles to taste (usually 3 serranos or 1 to 2 jalapenos), stemmed and roughly chopped
1 medium avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and chopped
1/3 cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, onion and tomato. Measure the lime juice into a food processor or blender. Cover and turn on. Drop in the chile(s) and, when chopped, turn off and scoop in the avocado and cilantro. Blend until smooth. Thin to a "creamy dressing" consistence with water (usually 2 to 3 tablespoons). Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. (You will have about 1 1/2 cups.)
Mix the dressing into the shrimp mixture. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the shrimp a la mexicana and refrigerate. When you're ready to serve, scoop into a serving bowl, decorate with a cilantro sprigs and it's ready.

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vrijdag 18 mei 2012

Blueberry streusel coffee cake - THB

I started a new baking challenge with The Home Bakers six weeks ago hosted by Joyce of kitchen flavours. Read all about the home bakers and feel free to join!
Our third bake together is the Blueberry streusel coffee cake as seen on the cover of the book, it is chosen by Chaya of Bizzy bakes. You can see the original recipe here.

This cake was easy to make. I really liked it but most of the people that got to taste it liked the streusel topping most of it. Lucky for me that blueberrys aren't hard to get overhere, but some other participants could not get them easily. The dough was made with all purpose and whole-wheat flour so it would be great in the morning as a breakfast to.

Instead of using half a cup of granulated sugar i only added a quart cup of sugar, because the topping would be very sweet also. Eating the topping together with the cake was just the right amound of sweetness for me.
Used yogurt and not buttermilk just because i had it in my fridge.
Blueberry are easy to get fresh or frozen, i used frozen blueberries. Instead of 2 whole cups i only added 1 and a half cup because my boyfriend doen't like blueberries.

Baking this cake i bought myself a 8 inch springform baking pan. Where if the cake was ready i could easily slight the cake from the bottom and that worked verry well.

About The Home Bakers
We are a group of home bakers who share the same passion in baking and we love collecting cookbooks! Most of us would probably have tried out about 2 or 3 recipes from some of the books that we own and these books somehow got pushed back till later or kinda forgotten, as we collect more cookbooks along the way! So at THB, we will bake from one cookbook only, until every recipe has been baked. This will not only fully utilized your cookbook to the maximum, but it will widen your baking skills, and learn more about baking as we share our experiences together. Come join us as we venture into the exciting world of baking right in our own kitchen haven. The challenge of The Home Bakers is to complete every recipe from one chosen cookbook. This will be an easier challenge if we are baking and sharing our experiences together. There's always something new to learn about baking.

The Chosen Book
We are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas, who has written more than 50 cookbooks. "Coffee Cakes" is a beautiful cookbook with various bakes covering Sunday Brunch Cakes, Everyday Morning Cakes, Savory Picnic Cakes, Bundt Party Cakes and Delectable Dessert Cakes, a total of 60 wonderful recipes. Just by taking a peek at this book, would make you want to bake each and every recipes!

dinsdag 15 mei 2012

Fresh Corn Chowder with roasted peppers - Crema de Elote

Yellow i need some more of that lovely color in my live at this moment, it makes me happy!
When i saw this weeks cooking them at I Heart Cooking Clubs and that we would be celebrating yellow foods this week. "Yellow ingredients and/or yellow dishes! Eat the rainbow, right? Don't forget yellow! Red gets all the attention these days, give yellow some love! "
Yesterday when i was running true authentic mexican the sun started shining after a rainy spring "so far", and sudddenly there was a lot of yellow. When i found this recipe for corn chowder.

The chowder was very lovely and i am going to make this one again, because even my boyfriend really liked this soup and he usually doesn't like soup that much. The sweetness of the corn together with the spicy serrano pepper is a great combo.


Fresh corn chowder with roasted peppers
Crema de Elote

Rick Bayless, Authentic mexican
Yield: about 1 quart, 4 servings


2½ to 3 cups frozen corn, defrosted
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled an minced
1½ tablepoons cornstarch
2 cups milk, plus a little more if necessary
2 fresh chiles poblanos Serranos, roasted and peeled, seeded and finely diced
1 cup thick cream or whipping cream
salt, about 1 teaspoon
½ cup crumbled mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese like feta
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley


Preparing the corn. Simply place the defrosted corn in the blender or foodprocessor and puree it.

The corn puree. Heat half of the butter in a small skillet over medium. Add the onion and fry untill soft, 6 or 7 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer. Scrape the mixture into the corn in the blender or processor, along with the cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Process until smooth.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium-large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the corn puree and stir constantly for several minutes, untill quite thick.

Finishing the soup. Whisk in the milk, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring often.
When the soup is ready, strain it trough a medium-mesh sieve. Rinse out the pan, return the strained soup to it and stirin the diced pepper and cream. Season with salt and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
When you are ready to serve, thin the soup with additional milk if it is thicker than heavy cream, then ladle into small, warm soup bowls. Garnish with the cheese and chopped parsley, and serve at once.

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woensdag 9 mei 2012

Guacamole Sencillo - Simple Guacamole

After one month cooking with Rick Bayless, i still am a newbie to mexican cooking so nothing hass changed yet. But i have been choosing recipe of wich i could get the ingredients easily because i still haven't found a good source of jalapenos, pobalonos, tomatillos or mexican cheese. So the only green pepper i can buy is the green serrano pepper . So i made up my mind and now the substituting is" on" because otherwise i would not have a real impression of the mexican kitchen after six months. I know serranos aren't the same as Jalapeno, padron or poblano pepers but wat else am i supossed to do. I really enjoyed mexican cooking so far and it can only become better.

This weeks theme for cooking along with the I Heart Cooking Clubs is For mom! And ofcourse its all about pampering the mom in your live! I decided to treat my mom on some homemade guacamole another mexican basic i wanted to learn. I had guacamole before but never made my own and it tasted so much better then store bought(never going to do that again after this). Real easy to make to. My mum really liked it too, although mothersday still has to come;-)

Simple Guacamole
Guacamole sencillo

Rick bayless, as seen here
Serves 8 to 12 as a snack


2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled
Hot fresh green chiles to taste (I’d choose 2 serranos), stems removed
3 ripe avocados, preferably the black-skinned Hass
A couple of tablespoons chopped fresh Mexican herbs (such as cilantro, pipisa or papalo)
1 small white onion (fresh knob onion—green tops still on—is best), finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
A little crumbled Mexican fresh cheese (queso fresco) for garnish Had to use greek feta
A sliced radish or two for garnish


Finely chop the garlic and green chiles, and scoop them into a bowl.
One at a time, run a knife down through each avocado, starting at the top, until you reach the pit; continue cutting around the pit until you reach the point you started.
Twist the two halves of the avocado apart. Remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh into the bowl with the chiles. Mash coarsely with the back of a spoon or an old-fashioned potato masher.
Add the herbs and onion, stir to combine, then taste. Season with salt (usually about a teaspoon) and lime juice. Scoop into a serving dish and garnish with cheese and radishes.

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