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Cranberry Coffee Cake

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and even though the Dutch don't celebrate it, fresh cranberries are found everywhere in grocery stores and market stalls this week. I bought some to make cranberry jam, but Mark suggested a coffee cake instead. This is the recipe I used. The tartness of the berries worked wonderfully with the sweetness of the cake and the crunchiness of the nutty streusel!



STREUSEL
1/2 cuppacked light brown sugar
1/2 cupall-purpose flour
1 teaspoonground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoonsalt
5 tablespoonsunsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
3/4 cups pecan nuts, chopped

CAKE
2 cupsall-purpose flour
2 teaspoonsbaking powder
1/2 teaspoonsalt
1 stick (1/2 cup)unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cupgranulated sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoonorange zest
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cupsfresh cranberries

BUTTERMILK GLAZE
1 cup confectioner's (icing) sugar
1/4 cup (or less) buttermilk


DIRECTIONS
Make the streusel topping: Combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt…

Blueberry Crumb Bars

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It's the middle of november here in Amsterdam and Dutch blueberries are still in season. So, why not enjoy these delicious berries with a buttery crust underneath and a streusel on top!



INGREDIENTS 3cups (390 g.)all-purpose flour 1/2cup (100 g.)granulated sugar 1/2cup (100 g.)brown sugar 1teaspoonbaking powder 1/4teaspoonsalt 1large egg 1 1/2tspvanilla extract 1cup (226 g.)unsalted butter,chilled and cut into cubes FILLING 1tablespoon (9 g.)cornstarch 1/2cup (100 g.)granulated sugar 1 1/2tablespoon (22 ml)lemon juice 4cups (approx. 500 g.)fresh blueberries,at room temperature
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 375°F/180°C. Butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (also line with parchment and butter parchment to remove the bars more easily), set aside.
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together egg and vanilla until combine.
Add egg mixture and cold butter cubes to flour mixture and using a fork or a pa…

Sicilian Orange Cake with Whipped Ricotta Cream

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I'm a big fan of this cake. The texture is a little bit like a semolina cake (due to the almond meal). It requires neither oil, nor butter (the almonds are rich enough in fat) but the oranges make it incredibly moist.



CAKE
2 large oranges
5 large eggs
8 oz. almond meal (225 grams)
8 oz. sugar (225 grams)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
(in France or Italy, ricotta is mostly found in containers of 250 grams. I used 2 tablespoons for the cake and the rest of the container for the whipped cream)

WHIPPED RICOTTA CREAM
250 grams ricotta cheese (minus the 2 tablespoons used for the cake), cold
20 cl whipping cream (no less than 30% fat), cold
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange



Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
Rinse and boil oranges with skin on until soft (20-25 minutes). Allow oranges to cool.
Cut in quarters, removing the pips. Blend until smooth.
Beat eggs and add remaining ingredients before mixing thoroughly.
Line bottom of an 8 or 9-in…

Lemon-Almond Snowcloud Pie with Blueberry Coulis

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This recipe is a mash-up of two recipes I've shared in this blog : the crust is a regular shortbread dough (but I could have used Speculoos cookies and butter like I usually do for a cheesecake base), and the filling is the "blueberry snowcloud" recipe. The result is a crunchy crust with a bavarois filling, lighter than cheesecake because I only used one small container of cream cheese.







CRUST 250 grams all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 60 grams confectioner's sugar 120 grams unsalted butter 1 egg yolk 1/4 cup cold water FILLING 1 pound of cream cheese/ricotta/greek yogurt (I used 150 grams of PHILADELPHIA cream cheese, 250 grams of ricotta cheese and 1 plain greek yogurt) 2/3 cup white sugar 3 large egg whites 1 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons + zest of 1 lemon 4 gelatin leaves (2 grams each)
BLUEBERRY COULIS 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup white sugar

Mix together butter, flour, salt, confectioner’s sugar, egg yolk and water. Roll dough into a ball, wrap wit…

Paris-Brest

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Last month, my partner and I spent a few days in Paris. One day, we stumbled upon this remarkable bakery on Rue Saint-Denis which sold, among other delicious pastries, an enormous Paris-Brest cake by the slice. It was so good that we went back for more the next day. Paris-Brest is a delicious choux pastry filled with a hazelnut "mousseline" cream, and it involves one hard-to-find ingredient: praliné (hazelnut-almond paste). This recipe is great because it shows how simple it is to make your own praliné. It is an extra step you can do without if you can good quality praliné in a jar, but it was well worth the effort.


PRALINÉ (HAZELNUT-ALMOND PASTE) 100 grams hazelnuts 125 grams almonds (preferably skinned) 180 grams sugar 50 grams water
CHOUX PASTRY 125 ml (1/2 cup) whole milk 125 ml (1/2 cup) water 75 grams (1/3 cup) unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup all-purpose flour 4 large eggs 1/4 cup sliced almonds
EGG WASH 1 egg 2 tablespoons water
MOUSSELINE CREAM 500 ml (2 cups) whole milk 130 gr…

Hazelnut dacquoise with praliné feuilleté and chestnut buttercream

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This is a creation of mine, combining two recipes that I thought would work well together. Pretty happy with the result.



DACQUOISE
90 grams ground hazelnuts
100 grams whole hazelnuts (I used walnuts instead)
100 grams confectioner's (icing) sugar
3 large egg whites
35 grams white sugar

PRALINÉ FEUILLETÉ
200 grams of pralinoise (55% hazelnut content)
100 grams of crêpes dentelles (I used "Gavottes")

CHESTNUT BUTTERCREAM
370 grams (whole jar) of chestnut cream
150 grams PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
125 grams unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven at 180°C (about 350°F).
For the dacquoise, coarsely chop the whole hazelnuts and toast them in a pan, stirring from time to time to avoid burning. When toasted, set aside.
In a bowl, beat egg whites with handheld mixer adding white sugar in small amounts, until fully incorporated and mixture thickens and forms glossy peaks.
In a separate bowl, mix ground hazelnut and confectioner's sugar together. Fold delicately into the egg white mixture wi…

Japanese Cheesecake

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We love cheesecake! I've wanted to try one of these for so long, because they're supposed to have this incredibly light texture, soft as cotton, unlike their rich and dense American cousin. I've flavored this one with almond extract and added some toasted almond slices for a little bit of crunch. Just amazing!







INGREDIENTS5 oz. (140 grams) granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
2 oz. (50 grams) unsalted butter

9 oz. (250 grams) PHILADELPHIA cream cheese
3 fl oz. (100 ml) fresh milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 oz. (60 grams) all-purpose flour
1 oz. (20 grams) cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted


DIRECTIONSMelt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, salt, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.Make the meringue by whisking egg whites with a handheld mixer until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.Fold 1/3 meringue into the cheese mixture, then fold in another 1/…