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I love bundt cakes.

It seems that I tend to celebrate the arrival of each season with them.

Somehow, it always works.

 

To welcome this year’s spring and Easter, I decided to go for a wonderful, fresh and invigorating citrus flavor.

And here it is.

 

In fact, the big clever books of baking would call this cake a chiffon cake.

Chiffon cakes are light and moist cakes that use vegetable oil instead of butter. That is the main reason why these cakes do not tend to harden or dry out as traditional butter cakes might.

That is positive, I think.

 

Frankly, this cake tastes just lovely.

Plus, there’s this delicious citrus glaze that increases the whole fresh experience immensely.

Here’s how you can make it too…

 

These are the ingredients that will come in handy.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 325 °F  (165 °C).

 

2. Wash one tangerine under running water thoroughly.

Pat it dry with a kitchen towel.

Then grate one tablespoon plus one teaspoon peel. We are going to need one tablespoon for the cake and the remaining teaspoon for the glaze.

 
 

Mmm.

 
 

3. Now, squeeze the juice from 4 tangerines.

And try not to drink it.

Be strong!

 
 

4. Pass the juice through a fine sieve to get rid of seeds.

Because there might be seeds.

They are naughty and tend to sneak into your juice unobserved.

 
 

5. Now prepare your dry ingredients.

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 cup granulated sugar.

 
 

6. Make a well in the center.

Add the oil, egg yolks, and the tangerine peel and juice.

Whisk into the dry ingredients.

 
 

7. In another larger bowl, beat the egg whites until they just stand in stiff peaks when beaters are lifted.

 
 

8. With a rubber spatula, gently fold one-third of the whites into the egg-yolk mixture to loosen the batter.

Then fold in the remaining whites.

 
 

9. Brush a 6-cup (1.4 liters) bundt cake pan with some vegetable oil.

Or use your cooking/baking spray.

 

10. Then dust the pan with some flour lightly.

But be careful at this point, don’t miss a spot. The more attention you pay to this process, the easier it will be for you to remove the cake from the pan after baking.

 

Note: You can use an angel food cake pan instead, if you wish to.

 
 

10. Using a spoon or a ladle, pour the batter in the pan.

 
 

11. And bake at 325 °F (165 °C) for about 30 minutes…

 
 

… or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of the cake…

 
 

… comes out clean.

 
 

Hello baby.

I like you.

I like you very much.

 

12. Or, in other words, remove the cake from the oven.

Let it stand on the wire rack for about 15 minutes.

Then, using a knife, carefully loosen the cake from the edges and the center of the pan.

 

13. Invert the cake on a cake stand or a plate.

 

14. Let cool completely.

 
 

15. To prepare the glaze, squeeze 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon juice from the remaining tangerines.

Start preparing the glaze just before using it.

 
 

16. In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, tangerine peel, and 2 tablespoons tangerine juice until smooth, adding the remaining teaspoon juice if necessary for good spreading consistency.

 
 

16. Spoon the glaze over the cooled cake, spreading it with the back of the spoon and allowing the glaze to run down the sides of your cake.

 

17. Use some colorful, happy sugar sprinkles to decorate the cake.

 

18. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

 
 

And most importantly – enjoy, dear friends!

 

Love,

Petra

 

(This cake has been adapted from www.goodhousekeeping.com.)

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When I was a kid, cakes like this one were on our table very often.

My lovely Mom used to make them.

They were filled with any fruit that was in season. And during the months of winter, Mom would use just about any canned fruit she had on hand.

So, whether you use plums, cherries or any kind of berries to make this sponge cake with fruit, you’ll be amazed by a very nice flavor it has and how surprisingly easy it is to prepare it.

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
 

1. First, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C).

 

2. Separate the eggs placing the yolks in one bowl and the whites in another.

Use larger bowls.

 

3. Pour the sugar into the egg yolks and beat until thick and pale in color.

 

Try your best not to eat this all.

Oh my gosh, it’s so good.

Or is it just me?

 
 

4. Then add the butter and mix until fluffy.

 
 

5. Next, in a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. Add it to the egg-yolk mixture. Mix to combine.

 
 

6. Then, using a cleaned whisk attachment, whisk the whites…

 
 

…until they hold stiff peaks.

 

7. Add the whites into the egg-yolk batter.

Small lumps of egg whites in the batter are okay.

 
 

8. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and dust it lightly with flour.

 

9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

I used a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) baking pan. This cake will rise a lot, so if you are going for a less tall version, use a larger baking pan.

 
 

10. Spread out the batter evenly.

 
 

11. Now cut the plums into halves. Or, if you are using canned plums, drain them.

 
 

12. Evenly arrange the halved plums on top of the batter.

 
 

13. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

 
 

14. Remove from the oven and let cool.

 

14. Then dust with a little confectioner’s sugar and cut into squares.

 
 

And most importantly, enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This cake takes about 45 minutes to prepare.)

 

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I love it when fall strikes and days get colder.

The reason why I love this time of year so much might have something to do with the fact that I suddenly have all the good reasons to indulge myself with sweet mulled wine or hot chocolate.

The best hot beverages ever!

Oh, how I love them!

They are true soul soothers!

 

The following recipe is just delicious.

The taste vastly depends on the kind of chocolate you use. So get the one you really like.

Also, there are different types of chocolate when it comes to its fat content. So remember – the higher the fat content, the more creamy and rich your hot chocolate will be.

So let’s experiment!
 
 

These are the ingredients you will need.

Just this few.
 
 

1. To prepare your own soothing drink, first break the chocolate into smaller chunks.

 

2. Place the chocolate chunks into a heatproof bowl.
 
 

3. Add the sugar.
 
 

4. Add the milk.
 
 

5. And place the bowl over a pot of boiling and steaming water.

 

6. Stir until the chocolate melts. Then keep stirring until the mixture gets hot, almost boiling.
 
 

7. Pour the chocolate into two cups and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and some grated chocolate or a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired.
 
 

And in case someone comes and steals your chocolate shamelessly be really thankful that this recipe yields two mugs.

Enjoy, dear friends!

(This lovely recipe was adapted from Joyofbaking.com.)
 

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These bite-sized cookies are perfect for having with tea.

(Psst, coffee is all right too.)

They taste wonderful and are very, very simple to make.

I like to prepare them when my sugar craving strikes out of the blue. Or when friends call unexpectedly saying they will come soon.

These cookies just save lives.

 
 

Here’s the list of ingredients.
 
 

1. To make your own Tea Cookies, first preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Sift the flour and sugars into a larger bowl.
 

 

3. Add the softened butter, two egg yolks and lemon zest…
 

 

4. …and use pastry cutter or just a plain fork to turn the ingredients into a crumbly mixture.

 

5. Then use your hands to form a ball.

 
 

Like this one.

Though creating a face is not necessary.

But it helps.

Kidding!

But it really does.

Kidding again!

 

Now I’d like to tell you this: Please, be patient when you find yourself in the phase in-between the crumbs and the dough ball. It only takes patience and trust that those crumbs will eventually come together. Give it five minutes or so and you’ll see success!
 

 

6. Place the dough ball on a very, very lightly floured surface.

This dough is almost not sticky at all so you really need very little flour, if any.

And besides that, the more flour you’d be using the firmer the cookies would get. And we don’t need that.

 

7. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough until you form a log which is about 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) wide in diameter.

 

8. Then cut the log into about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds.
 
 

9. Place the rounds onto the sheet and bake in the preheated oven (350 °F – 175 °C) for 10 minutes.

The cookies should still be very pale in color when baked.
 
 

10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe makes about 30 cookies and will take you about 40 minutes to make.)
 

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I’m in love with apples and cinnamon.

Forever.

I’ve noticed that I can go without some treat from the cinnamon-apple realm for about two days.

Hm.

It seems that I have issues.

Wonderful and delicious apple-cinnamon-fall issues.

 

Anyway, as I was searching for the right recipe I found out there were loads and loads of different variations of the apple cake.

I borrowed a little from here and a little from there and created this ultra-simple and easy version.

Luckily, everything turned out perfect and the cake tasted just as I’d wished it would have.

Yummilicious!
 
 

Here’s what you need if you want to make it too.

Which is highly advised!
 
 

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
 

2. Then prepare your dry ingredients.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt.
 
 

3. Now, in the bowl of your electric mixer, whisk the butter and 1/3 cup – 70 grams (!) of sugar until light and fluffy.

Please notice that I am using only half of the sugar amount for the batter.

The other half will go on top of the cake.

 

4. Add the whole egg and mix just until blended.
 
 

5. Add the flour mixture in three additions, …
 
 

6. …alternating with the milk, beating until just combined.

The batter is done.

Easy.
 
 

Now we need one apple – any kind, sweet or tart.

 
 

7. Peel the apple.
 
 

8. Cut it in half.

 

9. Using a sharp knife, remove the core.
 
 

10. And slice the apple.

 
 

11. Grab a round pie pan (it should have the capacity of 4 cups/1 liter) and grease it with some butter.

 

12. Pour the batter in the pan and even out the surface.

 

 

13. Lay the apple slices on the batter in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge.
 
 

14. Now, for the final touch we need the remaining sugar (1/3 cup – 70 grams).

Combine the sugar with the cinnamon in a bowl…
 
 

15. …and sprinkle the heavenly fragrant mixture over the apples.

Just like this.

It might seem like a lot but it will be all right.

I promise.
 
 

16. Bake for 25 minutes.

 

17. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool on the wire rack.
 
 

Oh, yum!

You can serve this cake as is or (OR!) with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

I thank heavens for that combination very, very often.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

(This recipe was vastly adapted from SimplyRecipes.com.)

 

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These muffins are like treasure boxes.

Cute, little treasure boxes.

The moment you take a bite the muffin welcomes you with its moist and tender texture.

After a while you’ll notice that a couple of refreshing assorted berries have come to greet you too.

‘Yum’ – that’s exactly what comes to your mind!

And then, as if this wasn’t enough already, you’ll stumble upon these wonderfully rich and creamy white chocolate chunks that counterbalance the tartness of the berries in a way you’ve never even dared to dream about before.

And you think: ‘I thought “Yum” before… so what am I supposed to think now? Shall I scream? Or call somebody? Or shall I run really fast?’

These muffins, they are amazing.
 
 

This is the cast of characters.

 

I’ve noticed that for some reason the number of ingredients in my recipes rarely exceeds ten.

If ever.

Who knows why?

‘Cause I don’t.
 
 

1. To make your own ‘treasure box’ muffins you’ll need two bowls.

One bowl for the ‘wet’ ingredients and the other one for the ‘dry’ ones.

Then you just combine the two, bake it and that’s it.

Bye!

 

No, no, no, just kidding – don’t you expect me to leave that quickly.

You know me, don’t you?

I’m here to reveal the whole story in every specific detail.

Otherwise my brain would break.

 

So (and this really is the step number one), in a bowl pour all the wet ingredients – the lemon juice, oil, milk and egg.
 
 

2. Whisk them to combine.
 
 

3. Then grab the white chocolate.
 
 

And chop it roughly into chunks.

Of course, you can also use store-bought chunks or even chips.
 
 

4. Place the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and chocolate chunks) into the second bowl.

Set about half a cup of chunks aside for decorating.

 

5. Stir to combine.
 
 

6. Now pour the wet mixture into the dry one.
 
 

7. And stir -and this is important when it comes to muffins – just until it combines.

Small lumps are perfectly all right.

Overmixing a muffin batter might result in tough muffins.
 
 

8. Finally, add the berries.

If you decide to use frozen berries, don’t let them thaw before baking. That way they won’t bleed into the batter and the batter will remain yellow(ish).

Which is exactly what I didn’t do.
 
 

9. Gently, fold in the berries and admire the beauty you’ve created.

Yes, I see a lot of beauty in batters.

Yes, I am feeling all right.

Why do you ask?
 
 

10. Line the muffin tin with paper liners.

If you don’t want to use papers, then just oil the tins with some vegetable oil.

 

11. Using a spoon, fill each cup full of batter and sprinkle a few chocolate chunks over the top.

The extreme amount of batter per cup might surprise you, but that way you’ll achieve those nice domed tops more easily.
 
 

12. Bake at 356 F (180 C) for about 20-25 minutes…
 
 

… or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
 

13. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Then let cool completely.
 
 

Here it is – standing proud in all its irresistible deliciousness.
 
 

Oh my!

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

This recipe makes 11 large muffins.
 

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The early fall is truly magical.

These days I love to revel in all the pleasant impressions that this time of year evokes in me.

I love the calm… as if everything is coming to rest after all the hard work.

I’m excited when I see first signs of the glitter party that nature is going to throw soon.

Also, I love to go for long walks and enjoy the nice and warm days.

And if I didn’t sleep so late I’d definitely enjoy the crisp and cool mornings.

Hm, you can’t have everything, I guess.

 

But most of all, I enjoy the fruits of this season.

Like apples, for example.

In my world, there’s nothing more wonderful than the smell of apples and cinnamon coming out of the oven.

That’s why I end up making all sorts of apple-cinnamon creations these days each year – Apple Crisp being one of my favorite.

Yum!
 
 

The ingredients are simple and economical.

And that’s great.

 

Now I invite you to have a look at what crazy stuff was going on in my kitchen…
 

1. First, I preheated the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
 
2. I placed all the ‘topping’ ingredients into one bowl – namely the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, salt, oats and walnuts.
 
Okay, maybe it wasn’t that crazy.
 
 

3. Using a fork, I combined them all just until this crumbly mixture had formed and no large pieces of butter were visible.

The topping is finished.

Easy!
 
 

4. Then I grabbed six medium apples.

These are Golden Delicious.

Also Empire, Gala, or Braeburn are especially good in this recipe.
 
 


5. I peeled, washed, cored and sliced them.
 
 

6. And then I cut the slices into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks.
 
 

7. To make the filling, I placed the apples, the lemon zest (I used dried lemon zest) and the sugar in a larger bowl…
 
 

8. …and tossed it to combine.

Mmmm… can you smell that?

Instant home!
 
 

9. I am brushing a dish with vegetable oil here.

Instead, you can butter the dish or just spray it with some cooking spray.

Also, although I used a slightly larger dish, I recommend to use a 9 inch (23 cm) deep dish pie plate or an 8 x 8 x 2 inch (20 x 20 x 5 cm) baking dish.

 
 

10. Fill the dish with the fragrant apple filling.

 
 

11. And, using your fingertips, spread the topping evenly over the apples.
 
 

12. Pop it in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

 
 

13. Remove from the oven, place on the cooling rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.

Then dig into it with a spoon and check whether everything is all right.
 
 

And if everything is perfectly all right, and it definitely will be, proceed to another step – fill a bowl with some more spoonfuls of this flavorful, juicy and crispy wonder.

Add a nice, fat scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Or two.

Or four.
 
 

And have a great time!
 

If, by any chance, you end up with some leftovers, refrigerate them and reheat them before serving.
 
 

Enjoy!

 

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