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Posts Tagged ‘sweet’

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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Orange Granita

Mmmm…my first encounter with granita…that was something truly amazing.

It happened during my vacation in Italy a couple of years ago.

Oh, I will never forget that moment.

Actually, I was spending the holiday with my sister and her family then. One lovely morning we decided to have a proper look at the village we were staying in…so – under the burning Italian sun – we walked every street, saw every sight and met ever person possible.

Phew!

My feet still get depressed when they remember that.

After a couple of hours, as knackered as people can get, we decided to relax in a cute café sitting on top of a hill and offering a magnificent sea view.

And GRANITA.

First of all, the cup I was given amazed me with its wonderfully colorful content.

And then…wow…that first mouthful…OH, THAT FIRST MOUTHFUL…it was the most refreshing,  invigorating and memorable dessert in my whole life.

During all the years that followed, just until recently, I hadn’t even dared to think I could prepare that delectable treat at home (you know, they make it in those big ‘freezing-and-mixing’ tanks).

But now the things have changed.

And you know what?

Granita might be the simplest and easiest dessert there is.
 
 

THESE are the ingredients!
 

1. First, pour the juice into a saucepan and place it over medium-low heat.
 

2. Add the sugar and stir.
 
 

3. Add the lemon juice and continue stirring just until the sugar has dissolved.
 

4. Remove from heat.
 
 

5. Then find a larger (4 cup – 1 liter) ‘freezer-friendly’ container and pour the mixture in.
 

6. Cover with a piece of parchment paper and put in your freezer.
 
 

7. After about 2 hours into the freezing process, remove the container from the freezer and move the liquid around with a fork, breaking the forming crystal structure. Put back in the freezer.
 

8. Repeat this process about 3 more times (every 2 hours). Then let freeze for as long as you wish.
 
 

This is what I got after leaving the mixture in the freezer overnight.

Wonderful granita!

See? It’s doubled in volume.
 
 

To serve the orange granita, you can use some fresh oranges. Just cut an orange in half and, using a spoon, remove its flesh. Let freeze for a couple of hours. That way you’ll get a nice, cooling and impressive bowl.

Enjoy, dear friends.
 

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Let me introduce my most favorite cookies to you – if these can be called cookies.

I’d rather call them ‘wondrous sensations of supernatural origin’.

Yeah!

That’s what I’d call them.

Oh, and there’s a confession I have to make regarding me and my relation to these gems.

Frankly, I have been addicted to meringues for about 29 years.

Okay, not exactly 29, I was probably fed milk for the first year of my life.

So let’s say – for 28 years.

My love for these beauties was so strong that I learned how to make them early in my life. It just became too life-threatening to rely on a store and whether they had them or not.

Well, I guess this all pretty much explains how gorgeous they are.

SO LET’S MAKE THEM!
 
 

These are the ingredients.

I recommend using very fresh eggs.
 
 

1. Separate egg yolks from whites.

2. Pour 1 1/2 cup (170 grams) sugar into the bowl with the egg whites.
 
 

3. Mix with a whisk until incorporated.
 
 

4. Then pour a little water into a medium pot.

Place the pot on a stove, heat it up and let simmer – because we need steam now.

5. Place the bowl with the egg whites over the pot with simmering water and using a hand mixer, whisk the mixture on slow speed for about 15 minutes.

(If we placed the egg whites over direct heat they would turn into scrambled egg whites… and we don’t want that to happen.)
 
 

6. Remove from heat.

This is what we are going for – soft peaks.
 
 

Now, try to find a piping tip that resembles this one.
 
 

7. Fill the piping bag (or whatever you use for piping) with the egg-white mixture.

8. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

9. And start piping. I have achieved this shape by creating 4 small heaps very close to each other – so that they are touching each other.

10. Preheat the oven to (only!) 266 F (130 C).

11. Place the sheet into the oven, bake at 266 F (130 C) for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 212 F (100 C) and bake for 50 minutes.

12. Rotate the sheet halfway through the baking period.
 
 

13. Meanwhile, mix the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar.
 
 

14. Using a hand mixer again, whisk them over the pot of simmering water for about 15 minutes.
 
 

15. Remove from heat.

16. Add the cocoa and coffee and mix just until incorporated.

17. Let cool completely, then add the butter and mix again until well combined and smooth.
 
 

18. Remove the cookie shells from the oven and let cool.

19. Fill the piping bag with the coffee filling and – using the same piping tip as for the shells – pipe the mixture onto a shell.
 
 

20. Now place another shell onto the filling – both shells have flat sides facing down.
 
 

And that’s it.

Easy, right?
 
 

And yummy… mmmmmmmmmmm.

Enjoy, dear friends!

And now let’s all sing in unison this world-famous song:

Thank you for the music sugar, the cookies we’re eating
Thanks for all the joy they’re bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?
Without sugar or a cookie what are we?
So I say thank you for the sugar
for giving it to me…’

Thank you!

(This recipe makes about 16 cookies – it vastly depends on how much licking is involved in the whole process.)
 

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What comes to your mind when you think of banana bread?

To me it’s BEAUTIFUL.

And FRAGRANT.

And IRRESISTIBLE.

And a piece of sweet art.

The kind of food that makes me feel really good.

I missed this art in my life lately.

And that is unacceptable.

So I just created it…

~~~

To make wonderful Banana Bread you need:

1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans (optional)

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 ripe large bananas, sliced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

2. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes.

They will become wonderfully tender and fragrant.

3. These are our dry ingredients.

Pour them into a larger bowl and mix them.

4. After you toasted the nuts chop them coarsely,…

… add them to the flour mixture,…

… and give it all a good mix.

5. These are our wet ingredients – the sliced bananas, lightly beaten eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.

6. Mash the bananas.

7. Add the eggs, the butter and the vanilla to the bowl.

Mix, mix, mix.

8. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the wet ingredients (banana mixture) into the dry ingredients just until combined.

The batter should be thick and chunky (try not to over mix here – the bread could end up being tough and rubbery – and we don’t want that).

9. Butter and flour (or spray with a non-stick spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan.

Fill it with the lovely batter.

10. And bake for about 55-60 minute (or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean).

Mmmmm, this smells wonderful…

Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove from the pan.

11. Enjoy dear friends…

… and remember that there are many more lovely posts for you to see here.

(This recipe was adapted from joyofbaking.com.)


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cat's-eye-in-bowl

Do you feel like sandwich cookies with jam filling today?

Then let’s prepare some CAT’S EYES.

They are very delicious, easy and fun to make.

~~~

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups (240 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cup (80 grams) confectioner’s sugar

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons lemon zest

jam (any flavor you like; stronger is better)

~~~

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Mix the flour with sugar and salt (set aside some sugar for sprinkling).

4. Add the egg yolks, butter, vanilla extract and lemon zest to the mixture.

cat's-eyes-dough

5. Mix by hand until you form a ball.

cat's-eyes-cutting-dough

6. On a floured surface roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch (1 cm) thickness.

Using a round cookie cutter cut out the dough.

cat's-eyes-on-sheet

7. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet.

Use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the centers of HALF of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small “window/eye” in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.

Re-roll any scraps and cut out the cookies.

cat's-eyes-out-of-oven

8. Bake for 9 minutes or until very lightly browned.

cat's-eyes-jam

9. While the cookies are cooling place the jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it becomes smooth.

Let cool.

cat's-eyes-jam-on-cookie

10. Spoon about 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of jam on the full cookie.

cat's-eyes-powder-sugar

11. Roll the top side of the upper cookie in the confectioner’s sugar.

cat's-eyes-close-up

12. And sandwich the two parts together gently.

Enjoy dear friends!



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