happy Easter cakes…

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it is again Easter time and I finally came to my blog entry for the Easter cakes, very happy for that. I still remember, that I already wanted to share an Easter cake recipe last year, but somehow missed it. Anyway, now I have it on time, more or less. ;-)

When Easter stays almost in front of your door I already start to get happy in the days before. Well, I think the main point is that we only had a four days work week and next week will be the same, wohooo!! As we are not celebrating Easter in a traditional way anymore, I thought to go at least for something sweet to share, which means that we certainly do celebrate. :-)

Now I am just enjoying the days off, having time for myself and sleep long in the mornings. I think that these Easter cakes are perfect for having a small dessert after a good Easter lunch.

Happy Easter to everybody and hopefully you are enjoying the time as I do… ;-)

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preparing the eggs for the pastry and filling

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cook the rice until you get a rice pudding

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cut the pastry into the same size as the moulds and prick with a fork

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et voilà

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use a bunny pattern to sprinkle icing sugar on it

Small Easter Cakes (adapted from Annemarie Wildeisen’s Kochen, pastry from cookbook)

Pastry:
320g spelt flour,

2 pinches of salt,
2 tsp sugar,

mix together

100g cold butter, cut into small pieces,
add into the flour mixture and knead with your hands

2 eggs,
4 tbsp lemon juice,
add and knead well and let rest for at least 30 minutes in a coolish corner

Filling:
preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
prepare one small glass of apricot jam

500ml milk,
pinch of salt,
10gr vanilla sugar,
boil in a pan

80g rice (short grain rice),
add into the pan and cook on low heat while stiring from time to time until liquid dissolved and you having a rice pudding

2 eggs,
75g sugar,
mix until getting creamy

zest of 1 lemon,
150g cream curd cheese,
75g ground almonds,
2 tbsp flaked almonds,
add one after another and mix well

roll the pastry on a floured surface and cut circles in the size of the moulds (mine were about 10cm diameter), cover the moulds with the pastry, prick the pastry grounds with a fork and spread 1 tbsp of apricot jam, fill up the moulds with the rice pudding filling until the edge

bake for approx. 25-30 minutes at the very bottom of the oven

 

ginger here, ginger there, ginger everywhere…

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wohoooo, back with a fantastic recipe! I know that I waited a long time but it was worth it… taking time for myself, not always having the pressure to post immediately every single recipe I tried out at home and having time for myself preparing for spring, which is obviously in front of the door, yaay! :)
This year started with lots of tasks in my life, sometimes I struggled with them and sometimes I could cope very good.. in the end it has always a lot to do with learning… Learning to cope with new situations and settle down again… in the end you have gained a lot of experiences and this is what brings me forward in my life. I also can see the positive things in the end which tells me that I am on the right way and this is what makes me happy today.

So back to the main topic, the important thing, the cookies… ;) As you probably know, I love ginger. In winter times, I am a big fan of ginger tea. Usually when I prepare it, I always put too much slices of ginger which makes it very very spicy, but in combination with honey and lemon it is one of my favourite warm beverages. I do also like Ginger Ale, my favourite one is the ‘Red Rocks’ Ginger Ale. Unfortunately I cannot drink this one anymore as the Cafes here stopped offering it. Never asked why, hm. However, there is another one from Thomas Henry which is also very tasty.

Obviously it made sense to go for some ginger shortbread cookies. My inspiration for them came from the brand Duchy Originals which produces delicious shortbread cookies in a high quality. As they have as well a good price (with ‘good’ I mean pretty expensive) I thought to go for some homemade ones, as this is much more cheaper, but not with lower quality of course. ;)

cut the candied ginger into small pieces

cut the candied ginger into small pieces

form to a ball on a slightly floured surface

form to a ball on a lightly floured surface

cut into round shapes and put onto a baking paper

cut into round shapes and put onto a baking paper

et voila!

et voila!

Once a day I stumbled over a Whole Vanilla Bean Cookies Shortbread recipe at ‘London Bakes’ (whereof I already took some other nice recipes) and tried to convert it to a Ginger Shortbread Cookie recipe. And see, it was not that difficult and the result was very yummy. The cookies are perfect for an afternoon tea. Simple, but not too decent because of the spicy tasting in your mouth, enjoy!

Ginger Shortbread Cookies (adapted from London Bakes, recipe converted):

40ml maple syrup,
1 1/2 tbsp ground ginger,
115g unsalted butter, softened
a pinch of salt,
beat together in a bowl until smooth

120g spelt flour (the original recipe says to use rice flour, it worked for me as well with spelt flour),
50g corn starch/corn flour,
80g of candied ginger, cut into small pieces,
add to the mixture and beat until everything combined
bring the dough together with your hands and form a ball, roll it out on a lightly floured surface, cut into round shapes with 0.5cm thickness and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, let it rest for at least 30 minutes, preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius and put them after into the oven for approx. 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly brown

every year the same again…

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it’s time for Christmas… I know, but time is really running fast and a short time ago you still enjoyed autumn and nice colourful trees with falling leaves – and at the same moment you are in the middle of Christmas time. At least for me it feels every year the same and at the beginning of November I am always kind of shocked when every store is selling already Christmas cookies, Christmas chocolate, Christmas decoration and and and… In the first few weeks I am really able to ignore it, but then one day I am gripped by this strategy as well, and really enjoying it. ;-)

Besides that, I am also on vacation this week which makes me very happy. And as I decided to stay at home and enjoy the spare time for me myself and I, what else could be better than starting to fill up your Christmas cookie boxes? That’s what I did and even already had the chance to give them away, see evidence at the very bottom I got from a colleague.. :-)

To get warmed up a little bit (I don’t want to rush myself during my vacation) I thought to go for some ‘Leckerli’ cookies. Actually in Switzerland the ‘Basler Leckerli’ are very famous and I really love them. So I decided to open my good old classic Betty Bossi recipe book for the most famous Christmas cookies and surprise surprise, I found a recipe for ‘Leckerli’. At the same time I did as well my most favourite Christmas cookies, the ‘Chraebeli’. But I will tell you more about that in the next post. ;-)

So back to the Leckerli. They are not that difficult to make and if you have them in the oven, you definitely don’t want that Christmas time passes at all. You maybe wish that this smell stays all the day in your appartment and wherever you go… Ok now I got drifted away! But I don’t worry because I am very sure that if you will do them at home as well, you will have the same feelings and remember my words. :-)

On this note, I wish to all of you a very nice start into Christmas time.

leckerli-focused-2

leckerli in box

leckerli-with-coffeeLeckerli (adapted from Betty Bossi, recipe adjusted):

preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper

200g sugar,
pinch of salt,
4 eggs,
mix in a bowl

lemon zest,
1 tbsp ‘Birnbrotgewuerz’,
120g Orangeat (candied orange peel),
250g almonds grounded,
60g butter, melt slowly in a pan and cool down,
add to the bowl and mix well

250g spelt flour,
add and mix until combined

spread the mixture onto the baking sheet with approx. 1cm thickness (mine were about 2cm as my baking sheet I used has a smaller size than the common ones), put in the middle of the oven for approx. 20-25 minutes

glazing:
150g icing sugar,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp water,
mix well, immediately after baking glaze the hot pastry and cut into pieces afterwards

Foto(11)@Pola(20131120190536)

summer gone…

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…but I am still here!

I recently wondered when I published my last post and I really got terrified – it was March. Awwh.. Spring and Summer over already.
Even if I have checked my site regularly and apparently my readers did as well (very happy about this), I thought these days that this status really has to be stopped immediately.

In the last few months I went through some changes in my life. Good changes. Even if I was (sometimes still am) not a big fan of it, I really learn to cope with it, the older the better. :) I believe that changes are needed to evolve yourself. Sometimes it is your own decision to change something in your life, sometimes it is not. But in the end it is always your part to accept the change and especially your decision what you want to learn and how you want to continue. If you know and feel that deeply, the right doors will be opened for you. This is it.

Now I sit here, looking back to the past months…there is a smile on my face…positive feelings and happy still being able to share my thoughts with you.

I need to be honest, I was not very creative with baking in this time. Indeed, I tried some new things but mainly made the baked goods which I already did a lot times before. So there is actually not much to say about new recipes. But, in summer, I found the following recipe and thought, even if summer is now gone and I am a little tiny bit too late, this picnic bread is yummy in every other season as well. ;)

Pine nuts

roast pine nuts until golden

preparing fillings

prepare fillings

putting the fillings onto one edge

put the fillings onto the edge

ready for cutting into yummy pieces

ready to eat

The recipe is from Leila Lindholms book ‘Backen mit Leila‘ but I actually found it on the following blog ohhhmhhh. (funny name). :)
I love this bread because you can decide by yourself which ingredients you want to fill in. I liked the version of ‘ohhhmhhh’ and decided to go with the same, but unfortunately I forgot to add the cheese. :( However, it was delicious anyway and perfect for bringing it to a great picnic with friends at the lake. The cheese can be separately added afterwards as well. Wohooo :)

Tomato bread with olives and pine nuts (adapted from Ohhhmhhh):

50g pine nuts,
roast in a pan until golden, put aside

300ml warm water,
1 tbsp honey,
2 tbsp olive oil,
1 tbsp coarsely sea salt,
mix together in a big bowl

15g fresh yeast,
add in small pieces into the water/oil/salt mixture and let dissolve properly

400g spelt flour,
add until dough is well done kneaded, let rest for approx. 40 minutes or until double-sized

put the dough onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle with approx. 1cm thickness

approx. 7 pieces dried pickled tomato, coarsely chopped,
1 tsp liquid honey,
1 handful of black olives, chopped,
put these filings along one edge and spread some water on the other edge, roll it up and combine both ends together, put a glass into the middle to keep the hole while baking

flour the top, cover and let rise for approx. 30 minutes

preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius and put a cup of water into the oven, put the dough into the oven and reduce the heat to 200 degrees Celsius, bake for approx. 25 minutes in the middle rack

is it the perfect combination…?

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After my pretty long phase of baking cakes or candies or energy bars I was ready again for my real passion, the Cookies. I have found the following recipe long time ago on David Lebovitz’ homepage but these cookies never made it to my blog until today. Why that? Why have I waited so long to share my experiences with this recipe? Well, there is a simple reason for that: They were never stored longer than one day in the cookies boxes. :) Unfortunately I never had the time to take a photo of them as they were too fast gone again. But things need to be changed and improved constantly and I am happy to have had the chance to store them one day longer this time. IMG_3466

What I also like very much here is the simplicity of the recipe. They are so easy to make and the result is just very tasty. In the original recipe it says to melt dark chocolate and dip the cookies into it. I like this version as well but prefer to mix in some chopped white chocolate. I love the combination of coconut and white chocolate and I really think that they go perfect together!

What is your perfect cookie combination? Think about… ;)

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White chocolate coconut cookies (adapted from David Lebovitz):

preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius

4 egg whites,
220g cane sugar,
40g flour,
pinch of salt,
1tbsp honey,
240g fine shredded coconut,
mix together in a medium size pan and stir constantly over low/medium heat until it begins to scorch at the bottom of the pan

remove from heat and let cool down to room temperature, mix in 100g of chopped white chocolate and 1/2 tsp of vanilla sugar and make balls with your hands of about 2cm diameter, bake for approx. 18-20 minutes (mine are perfect at 18 minutes)

Becoming Popeye…

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Do you still remember the sailor man Popeye? I am sure you do :) who can forget that he always have eaten spinach to get energy. I really like spinach but today I have something which I like more and gives you lot of energy as well. That’s why I call them the ultimate energy bars.

As January is almost over I am sure that some people could need a little energizer. It seems that this is the month which is pretty difficult for a few people. Starting into the new year, having lot of New Year’s resolutions, trying to stick to them, failing, starting again, failing again and ending up in a bad mood because of failing. Why can’t people have resolutions in any other month instead of January? I am sure that it would be much easier in any other month, for example some when in summer. ;) I also had two resolutions in 2012 and I am still successful with both of them. I think I made them because I just realized that it was the right moment for having a change. I don’t believe that it needs New Year for making a change, even it can help some people. In the end, this is fortunately a self-decision. :)

The following recipe can be used as an energizer, a healthy and even a vegan snack. I love to store them in my airtight can as they even look very good in there. ;) And isn’t it much more inventive if you store some self made bars in your kitchen instead of buying any in a store? It is definetly…

apreps

being prepared with all the ingredients

apreps2

after pressed into the baking pan, add the sliced almonds

apreps3

cutting into rectangles when cooled down completey

ready for storing or giving away

ready for storing or giving away

Healthy Energy bars adapted from The Bojon Gourmet (adjusted):

preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius, line the bottom and sides of an 20×20 cm square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside

120g chopped dried sour apricots,
120g chopped dried dates,
put together in a bowl
1/2 juice of a large orange,
let simmer in a pan over medium heat and toss the juice into the bowl with the dried fruits, stir from time to time while you go further with the recipe
 
100g sliced almonds (toasted), plus a few extra for the top which can be set aside to use later on
140g oatmeal,
2 tbsp ground flax seeds,
2 tbsp flour (for me spelt flour as usual) :),
1/2 tsp fine sea salt,
1/4 tsp cinnamon,
stir together in a large bowl
 
zest 1/2 of large orange,
100g almond butter,
4 tbsp olive oil,
5 tbsp maple syrup,
mix first in a seperate bowl and then stir into the dry ingredients until well combined
 
Scrape the mixture into the lined baking pan and use moistened fingers to press it evenly into the pan. Press the extra sliced almonds onto the top and bake for approx. 45 minutes or until golden (I wanted them to be tight when finished, if you want them more soft then bake for 30 minutes). Let cool completely before cutting with a sharp knife into rectangles.

so many possibilities you couldn’t count anymore…

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2I still don’t want to become vegan but I am still trying new vegan recipes. That’s the positive thing about being not a vegan nor a vegetarian, you have loads of recipe possibilities… :) but as already mentioned in a previous post, I am not thinking about becoming vegan, but I very much like to try different kinds of baking recipes. The most important point here is to give my vegan friends some new ideas, even if they probably have already enough. And secondly, I also like to inspire many other people in my surrounding as I believe that this keeps their minds open. Most of them are very surprised when I tell them that they are eating now a vegan brownie. :) Please get me correctly, I am not on a mission or something like that and I don’t have to satisfy someones mind. But if I only can take people’s criticality away to try something new, something which they are not used to eat, then I have reached my personal target.

The following brownies recipe is my personal favourite. I just LOVE them. Don’t wait with making them if you already have all ingredients at home. The faster the better! ;)

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Vegan Fudgy Banana Brownies adapted from Peachy Palate found via RECIpage (adjusted):

preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20×20 cm baking tray with parchment paper

240g spelt flour,
120g coconut flour,
100g cane sugar,
1tsp baking powder,
1 tsp salt,

mix together in a big bowl

3 large ripe bananas,
375ml almond milk,
1 tsp vanilla sugar,
mash the bananas in a medium bowl, add the milk and vanilla sugar, stir until well combined and add to the flour mixture

70g dark chocolate chips,
fold into the bowl, power the batter into the baking tray and bake for approx. 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the batter

last post in the old year…

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it’s been again a very long time since my last post but in the weeks before Christmas I was very busy. It seems that everything still wanted to take place in the old year for finalizing. To get kind of cleaned up for the upcoming year. :) However, my awareness was more ore less always in place and therefore I really enjoyed the past few weeks. Even if I hadn’t lot time to bake. Indeed I made some Christmas cookies, but no time for documentation and therefore no proof for the blog.. awwwh…Maybe I will find one or two pictures of the vegan cinnamon cookies and will post it afterwards, but I am not sure if anybody is still interested now when Christmas is already over. :) But since it is over I had again more time and that’s why I am happy to provide two recipes which I had already since longer time but never had a chance to post them.

On one side I would like to share with you a recipe from David Lebovitz. When I have seen the recipe for the first time I was already curious on the taste of the Date Bars. I am not a good date eater but used for baking I was sure this must be wonderful. The original recipe says that the dates have to be tossed in Rum, but this is a liquid which I never had and still not have in my appartment. Instead of Rum I took Whiskey, and not just one Whiskey. :) Actually I am not a Whiskey connoisseur or something like that. But last year a friend of mine opened a Whiskey shop. This was the time when I got in contact with it and I really have to say that I like it. I mean, its not an everyday drink is it :) But sometimes for good occassions it’s absolutely worth it. So, when my friend had his opening of the shop I thought that I have to purchase also one bottle of a good Whiskey. I took advice from him and two other good Whiskey drinkers ;) decided to go for the Port Askaig Single Malt. Everyone said to me that this is one of the better ones and for my taste it was just perfect.

IMG_3064So coming back to the date bars. As I hadn’t any Rum left I was kind of forced to take the good bottle of Whiskey. One of my friends was kind of shocked when he got to know that I used such a good bottle for ONLY baking the date bars. haha :) But I still believe in my principles –> high quality ingredients, good product! I am sure that these bars are also so good because of the fine Whiskey flavour which comes through eating. I am sure the bars will be good as well with Rum. But the one thing I would like to give and take along with you is to use always a very good bottle of Rum or Whiskey.

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The second recipe I used just yesterday. I made them early in the morning just after I woke up. I really love staying early in the kitchen for baking. Well, it wasn’t actually baking, it was making caramelized Macadamia nuts. (I really don’t know in which category caramelizing comes into, is it cooking, baking or anything else?) However, as I still had some good Macadamia nuts in stock I thought that they must be used for this beautiful ‘staying at home’ day. :) And not to forget the Caramel flavour in my appartment…mmmmmmmmmh!!!

nuts-in-pan

nuts
I already got the recipe from last year, seen in a newspaper of a Swiss grocery called Coop. They looked just perfect and they already had me when I read the word Macadamia. The recipe says to use salted nuts but this time I used unsalted ones and I must say that I like them more in the end. The nuts are perfect for a present and even if this recipe was in the newspaper during Christmas time I think that this is also good for every other occassion during the year.

nuts in glass

I really hope you will try at least one of them as both recipes are easy to do and tastes so good in the end. They are already in my standard repertoire, maybe in yours as well soon? ;)

I would like to wish everyone of you and also to myself a very good start for the year 2013! Hope the recipes and posts will be continued with even more passion and satisfaction! Good luck on your projects and see you next year!

Cheers,
tschuppi

Date bars (adapted from David Lebovitz, recipe adjusted):

225g diced pitted dates,
1 tbsp Whiskey,
toss the dates in the rum and let them sit for a few hours

preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a 23 cm square pan with foil and coat the inside with non-stick spray

140g spelt flour,
1 1/2 tsp baking powder,
whisk together in a small bowl

200g sugar,
1/2 tsp sea salt,
2 large eggs, at room temperature,
whisk together in a large bowl until smooth

1 tbsp melted butter,
1 tbsp hot water,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
mix into the large bowl, then add the flour mixture

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped,
the tossed dates,
stir in with a spatula

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean

let cool down and then cut into bars

Caramelized Macadamia nuts (adapted from Coop Newspaper):

60 g coconut flour,
1 tsp fine rose salt,
1 ⁄4 tsp coarse pepper,
mix in a bowl

250g sugar,
1 dl water,
400g macadamia nuts, unsalted or salted,
in a pan let boil on mid heat, stir constantly, until the sugar gets dry, stir further until the sugar gets liquid again and the nuts get glossy (you need to be patient, trust me)

immediately put the nuts into the coconut flour mixture and mix well, let cool down on a baking sheet
note: the nuts can be stored in a box up to 4 weeks

what a nice surprise…

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I really love different styles of baking cups. Even if it’s in the end very important that your baked goods are tasteful it is also important to represent them nicely. I think you can catch your friend’s or client’s eyes much more faster.

Usually I first have a recipe in my mind. According to that recipe I am thinking about of which mould or cup to go with. But this time it happened the opposite way. My boyfriend’s mum recently visited England and came back with a very nice present. She definetly know what I like and so she brought some beautiful baking cups. It was really a big surprise to get an absolutely unexpected present and therefore I was even more happy when I’ve seen the baking cups. Thank you my dear! ;)

So some days ago the time has finally come. I thought to go with one of my favourite lemon cake recipes. And as I think that a lemon cake goes with every occasion I am happy to share my favourite recipe with you again. I am sure your next occasion to bake a cake is coming soon… ;) These were the little stars and they really made my day!

Lemon Cake (adapted from Cake & Kuchen by Ilona Chovancova):

- recipe reported under following post
- baking time reduced this time to 22 minutes as baking cups were smaller than usual

ooooooh I am so into mini lemon cakes…. :D

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