Crumb cake with cinnamon, walnuts & chocolate

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This cake is considered a coffee cake even though it does not have coffee in it but it is an everyday cake which you can take with a beverage. It has a tasty spice kick to it with a nice crunch. Enjoy :)

Ingredients:

Crumb Topping:

1 cup (240 ml) walnuts or pecans

1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) mini chocolate chips

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

Coffee Cake:

1 2/3 cups (215 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup (180 ml) sour cream or plain yogurt (full or reduced fat)

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Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray) a 9-inch (23 cm) spring form pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper.

Crumb Topping: Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool and then coarsely chop. Then, in a small bowl, stir together the chopped nuts, sugar, chocolate chips, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

Coffee Cake: In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.

Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon. Sprinkle about half of the crumb topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then sprinkle with the remaining crumb topping. Bake for about 40 – 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes one – 9 inch (23 cm) cake.

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Taken from joyofbaking

Peach clafotis with poached fruits

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This is originally a french dessert. It can be done with different fresh fruits but the most used are peaches and cherries. This is the first time I have done this dessert and I was surprised at the end result , which was really close to creme caramel with the added freshness of the fruit. Do give it a try.

Serves 5

Ingredients:

About 5 to 6 ripe peaches cut into medium sized, equal wedges

Juice of 2 oranges sifted (if there was not enough juice then use more than 2), the juice of each in a separate glass

1/2 tsp rose water

3 tsps maple syrup (if you don’t have any use honey instead)

1 stick of cinnamon

50g of flour

1 egg and 1 yolk

zest of 1/2 lemon (I used the zest of half an orange too but that is optional)

80ml of cream

80ml of milk

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 cup of white chocolate cut into thin small pieces or melted

20g of melted butter

1/2 tsp of vanilla essence or paste

a pinch of salt

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Method

1) In a bowl put about half the peaches with a small amount of orange juice and a bit of sugar (white or brown), set aside.

2) In a medium sized pot on medium to low heat, put the rest of the peach wedges with the juice of one orange, maple syrup and stick of cinnamon. Let the mixture simmer with occasional stirring (be careful not to damage the peaches) until the juice becomes thick and the peaches are soft but still retain their shape. Remove from heat and add the rose water. Leave to cool.

Note: If it is not sweet enough, you can add more maple syrup to it.

3) In a large bowl put the flour and make a well in it. Place the egg and the egg yolk in the middle of the well, zest of 1/2 lemon (or orange), a pinch of salt then whisk to get batter.

4) Add to the batter a mixture of the milk and cream in two batches, half each time, while whisking.

5) Then add to the batter the sugar, white chocolate, 1/4 cup of orange juice, butter and vanilla essence/paste, whisk all together to have a smooth mixture.

6) Butter and cover with a light sugar coat the mold(s) you are going to use.

7) Put in the mold(s) the peaches in the bowl and pour the mixture over them until they are 3/4 covered.

8) Bake for about 30 min. in a 180C/350F/gas mark 4 preheated oven or until it is golden brown on top and the mixture has set.

9) Remove from oven and let cool and it can be garnished with a bit of icing/powdered sugar.

Serve with poached peaches and thick cream

Recipe adapted from the TV program Master Chef Australia

Enjoy!

Rice pudding with dried fruits

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This dessert is a very nice treat any time, satisfies the sweet tooth and has health elements at the same time.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

½ cup short grain rice

6 cups water (1500 ml)

400 g sweetened condensed milk

2 tablespoons blossom water

About a handful of dried fruits of your liking (put them in water when you begin making the pudding so they become a little more soft)

Dried pistachios, almonds, pecans/walnuts, pine nuts, cashews for garnish ( put them in cold water for an hour or two)

rice pudding with dried fruits

Method:

1) Put the rice and water in a pot, bring to boil and simmer on low heat with occasional stirring until rice is well cooked. Don’t worry if the water seems too much for the rice.

2) Add the milk to the rice mixture. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat with stirring from time to time until the mixture is thick and creamy. The mixture will thicken more when it cools.

3) Add what you wish and the blossom water, and stir. Remove from heat and pour the mixture in cups or a bowl.

4) Allow the rice pudding to cool a bit and then place in fridge to cool.

Liquorice pudding

liquorice pudding

Yes you read right liquorice! I’m a big fan and I love the taste so if you do too give this a try. You may have to add more liquorice to the recipe because pure Italian are not always available haha. I also garnished it with some pieces instead of the salt to add more flavor. Enjoy!

Ingredients

60 ml water
1 teaspoon(s) pure italian liquorice pellets (such as amarelli rossano)
2 tablespoon(s) light muscovado sugar
175 ml double cream
2 teaspoon(s) cornflour
1 tablespoon(s) milk
soft sea salt flakes (to serve)

Method

1) Put the water and liquorice pellets in your smallest pan and bring to the boil, stirring or whisking frequently to help the liquorice melt. Once it starts bubbling, turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes, stirring or whisking every now and again.

2) Turn the heat back on and whisk in the sugar, then the cream, and bring to a bubble. Remove from the heat.

3) Spoon the cornflour into a little bowl, cup or ramekin and slake it with the milk: which is to say, whisk in the milk until you have a smooth paste.

4) Pour this, whisking as you go, into the mixture in the saucepan. Still whisking, put the pan back on the heat and bring back to a bubble, whisking all the while, for 20-30 seconds, or until thickened.

5) Divide between 2 heatproof glasses or cups and – unless you want to eat this hot – cover, touching the surface of the puddings, with clingfilm or baking parchment that you’ve wet with cold water then wrung out (this is to prevent a skin forming, a thing I cannot tolerate), and put them in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

6) Let the puddings come to room temperature before serving, and remove the clingfilm or baking parchment and smooth the tops with the back of a teaspoon. Put the soft sea salt on the table to sprinkle over as you eat, if wished. For those of us who love liquorice, this pudding is a sheer, spine-tingling joy.

Source: Nigella.com

Rainbow cake

I must say I am not a fan of food coloring but it is a rainbow cake! Trying it once in a life time :) You can use an vanilla cake recipe that you have or ones that are already in a box. If you do not have one, this is a recipe from joy of baking.

Ingredients:

1 box vanilla cake

Food coloring (yellow, blue, green and red), to make more colors have some fun and mix colors (for example: red and yellow, red and blue.)

Apricot jam

1 cup whipping cream

Walnuts for garnish

Method:  

1) Make the cake according to the recipe you are doing. Divide the cake batter into small separate bowls equally.

2) For each bowl add a separate color or mix two colors, mix well to have a uniform color.

3) You can use any pan you wish I used two 20 cm round pans. In each pan divide the batter of each color equally (if you are using one pan then no need to divide, just spread on top of each other).

4) Bake the cake as the recipe suggests or the instructions.

5) After the cakes have cooled. Add any color if you wish to the whipping cream then beat it. Spread apricot jam on the top of one cake (if you have one cake you can cut it in half) then some of the whipped cream. Put the second cake on top. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on the assembled cake and garnish it.  Enjoy.

Orange & cardamom scones

I have never tried to make scones before but this recipe seemed versatile in which you can keep most of the ingredients and just change the ones that have to do with the taste. The original recipe had lemon zest and dates in it.

Ingredients:

150 ml milk
150 ml cream
Zest of 1 or 2 oranges (depending on the size and how much you like the taste)
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cardamom
3 cups self-raising flour (if none then add 6 teaspoons of baking powder to plain flour)

Method:

1) Beat the milk, cream, egg and the orange zest together in a bowl. Combine the sifted flour, cardamom and sugar in another bowl (usually like muffins the dry and liquids each alone then combined together). Make a well in the flour then add the other ingredients. Make a dough  (it will be a bit sticky and soft).

2) Flour lightly the top of the area you want to stretch the dough on and your hands but do not knead much. When the dough is evenly stretched using your hands (press from the center) about 2 cm, cut out the scones with a floured dough metal cutter. If you can’t cut anymore then knead the dough back into shape to reuse it.

3) Grease a shallow tray with butter and put grease proof paper and scones on it. Glaze then with milk mixed with sugar.

4) Preheat oven to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6. Bake for 10-15 min or until golden brown. They sound hallow when tapped firmly on the top with your fingers. Turn scones onto wire racks. If you prefer crusty scones, cool the scones uncovered. To soften the crust, wrap hot scones with a clean tea-towel.

Adapted from Master chef Australia recipe and Australian Women’s Weekly Home Baked tips.

Quick and delicious chocolate truffles

Who does not like melt in your mouth chocolate truffles?! This is a very quick way of doing it with yummy results. You can use any good quality dark chocolate you wish, some already have flavors like mint, orange, berries, etc.

Makes 30 small truffles

Ingredients:

227 g (8 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (35-40% butterfat)

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

5 to 6 leaves fresh mint

Coatings:

Cocoa Powder

Finely chopped, ground pistachios

Other options: Melted or tempered chocolate, confectioners sugar (icing or powdered), toasted and chopped Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts), toasted coconut and shaved chocolate.

Method:

1) Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2) Crush the mint slightly with the end of spoon. Heat the cream, mint and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.

3) Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn’t melt completely, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.) Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm (this will take several hours or overnight).

4) Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. With your hands, a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring to room temperature before serving.

To Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and bake nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds) about 8 – 10 minutes or until brown and fragrant. For hazelnuts toast about 15 minutes or until the skins start to blister. Remove from oven and roll in a clean dish towel. Let the nuts ‘steam’ for about 5 minutes and then remove the skins. Once the nuts have cooled, chop coarsely.

Adapted from Chocolate truffles, Joy of Baking