Posted in Desserts, Gluten Free, Recipes, Swedish Recipes, tagged Apple, cake, cinnamon, Easter, family, oats on April 4, 2013 |
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Last week I needed a dessert for my pie loving in-law family and I was lucky enough to find Charles‘ beautiful Appelkaka, a Swedish apple cake. I knew JTs family would like it because they are pie people and apple is one of their fav’s. We’re all trying to cut down our carbs, so when I saw this cake is made without the traditional pastry, I decided to make it. Of course, things don’t always go as planned, so when I started out to make the cake, I gathered all my ingredients. Apples: check. Sugar substitute: check (I had one diabetic and one hypo-glycemic in the house). Bread crumbs: wait…does that package say Parmesan Bread Crumbs? Oh my. Change of plans. Nix the bread crumbs and get out the food processor and pulse 120 g of Oats a few times, I wanted some texture, so it wasn’t pulsed to a smooth powder, but almost. And there we had it. When I changed up the bread crumbs to oats, I thought I’d change up the method as bit as well. I hope you don’t mind Charles, it turned out quite successful and the plates were licked clean. Thanks again for a lovely Swedish dessert.
A quick taste of spring, and then it snowed.
I think they may have retreated back into the ground.
Appelkaka, A Swedish Apple Cake
A delicious combination of apples, almonds, oats and cinnamon
Serves 8-10, depending on the slice size
- 6 or 7 large Apples
- 4-6 tsp Stevia (I had organic stevia powder at home, so I just used that. I think it was this brand – no weird aftertaste)
- 120 g Oats, pulsed a few times in a food processor (not quite 100% powdery but close)
- 50 g almond meal or roughly chopped almonds
- 60 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Splash of lemon juice
- Sliced almonds for garnish
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp stevia
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Pre heat the oven to 395°F. Line a 10″ spring form pan with a little parchment (my pan didn’t have tall enough sides, so I had to make my sides out of parchment).
- Peel and coarsely grate the apples and splash a bit of lemon juice into it so it stops them from discolouring.
- Mix the pulsed oats, cinnamon, almonds and butter until it resembles a coarse meal.
- Take about 1/3 of the oat mix and press firmly into the bottom of the spring form pan. Add about 1/2 of the grated apples on top and sprinkle with another third of the oats. Finish with the remainder of the apples and press firmly down. Sprinkle the final third of the oat mix on top, just like a crumble.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until the apples are soft.
- Garnish with sliced almonds and serve with Greek yogurt, flavoured with a tsp of stevia, lemon zest and a small splash of pure vanilla.
A very tasty appelkaka
Laura, Brady and Brian
Our Easter Lunch, complete with the wonderful Beef Tenderloin.
Dan, Joan, Dad and JT
Beef Tenderloin with a port sauce.
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Posted in Cakes, Recipes, tagged allspice, anise, cake, cinnamon, eggs, ginger, Indonesian, layer, mace, nutmeg, spice, thousand on February 18, 2013 |
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A mildly spiced layered cake
My friend Genie (Bunny. Eats. Design) in New Zealand very kindly invited me to participate in a new forum called Our Growing Edge which will be held monthly. It’s content will be defined by our cooking bucket list, so to speak — things that we want to conquer or need to conquer and upon our success (or failure!) we will create a post and link it to her page for the month. This is rather exciting because we all have our arch nemesis in cooking. Please click on over to Genie’s lovely blog (particularly on Tofu Tuesday’s when she showcases her most adorable flop eared bunny).
In early January, my friend Sam (Sweet Samsations) posted a recipe for an Indonesian cake I had never heard of, which is not rare in this very large world of ours, but what caught my eye was the huge quantity of eggs used in this cake, Sweet Samsations uses 30 – THIRTY; I even found one that used 45 eggs! I just can’t imagine buying that many eggs for one recipe. But it is a beloved cake that’s for sure so I knew I had to look around and find a recipe with a more reasonable egg content because I HAD to make it. Fast forward to late January when Genie asked me to participate in Our Growing Edge, I knew what I wanted to make: Indonesian Spekkoek Lapis Legit. Now to find the time to bake it because it’s quite labourious as you bake each layer individually over the other in the same pan.
I landed on Food Network’s Emeril Lagasse’s recipe (didn’t make sense to me either) because his cake only used 12 eggs, and 12 is easily divided into two; I found my recipe, only 6 eggs! I did a quick assessment of the baking container that Emeril’s recipe used and determined that if I halved his recipe it would fit snugly into my 4″ x 6.7″ loaf pan. I didn’t get as many layers as I had hoped, but it still looked nice and it still had good flavour. Emeril suggests to decorate with powered sugar, and I added candied orange peel as garnish. I will serve it with the orange syrup that was the left over from candying the peel.
Serves 4-6 depending on how thick you slice it
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground mace
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp anise extract
170 g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
6 large eggs, separated
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
Candied orange peel as garnish
Preheat the broiler (I have this range
with two ovens, I used the larger oven with the rack in the lower middle so it’s not too close to the broiler).
Butter the bottom and sides of a 4″ x 6.7″ loaf pan and line with buttered parchment paper. I left enough of the parchment to go past the top of the pan, so I could use it to lift the cake out when it was done.
Combine the nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, mace and ginger and set aside.
Weigh your empty bowl, write down the measurement. In this bowl, cream the softened butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat until smooth. Fold the flour into the batter with a rubber spatula.
In a clean bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until stiff and shiny but not dry. Fold the whites into the egg yolk mixture, being careful not to over-mix. Divide the batter between 2 bowls. Add combined spices to 1 bowl and stir well.
Weigh your bowl with the cake batter. Subtract this new weight from the old weight so you know how much your batter weighs and divide in half. Put your second bowl on a scale that can tare
and zero it out. Pour half the batter into this bowl (you can see exactly when you reach half on the scale).
Mix the spices into the second batter along with the anise extract.
Pour 4-6 tablespoons of the batter into the bottom of the pan and spread out evenly. Sammy suggests to pre-heat the pan, which I didn’t do, but I suspect it makes spreading the batter much easier since my subsequent layers spread easier on the hot layer.
- Bake in a hot broiler for 2 minutes. Watch carefully.
Pour 4-6 tablespoons of the spiced batter, spreading it over the first layer to form a thin second layer. Place the pan under the preheated broiler for 2 minutes, or until the layer is firm and very lightly browned. Continue until you have exhausted both batters. Emeril noted that the cake typically has between 12 and 15 layers — I ended up with 10, not bad for a first timer!
Allow the cake cool on a wire rack, turn out onto a cutting board and even up the sides by cutting clean new edges.
Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and garnish with candied orange rind.
Slice thinly and serve warm or at room temperature with additional orange syrup, if you so desire.
I should have made the layers much thinner
It’s quite a show stopper!
- It’s a mildly spiced cake with a predominant butter flavour, I think I might increase the spices a bit more if I make it again because I thought it tasted a bit greasy.
- The butter really does need to be soft so it makes a lovely smooth batter.
- Many Indonesian bakers suggest to press down each layer after you bake it, although I did that, mine bounced right back.
- It’s a very rich cake so you needn’t cut large pieces.
- Next time I may try chocolate and vanilla layers or even vanilla and espresso flavour!
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Posted in Cool Stuff, Desserts, Hungarian Food, Things to do in Toronto, tagged Cabbagetown, cake, garden, hungarian, preserved cherries, squares, tour on August 31, 2012 |
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I am rather thrilled and honoured that my good friend Charles of Five Euro Food has kindly asked me to guest post. Charles has been a valued commenter on my blog for over a year now, and as most of you know, he takes his time to formulate interesting and thoughtful remarks; his comments are a joy to read and sometimes even have a bit of a chuckle over. Thank you Charles, your friendship is cherished, I hope to do your guest post right.
In keeping Charles’ tradition of a little peek into living in Paris, I will give you a little peek into living in Toronto and a lovely Hungarian family recipe. I ask that you head on over to Charles’ blog to check out our little adventure, but I will share my recipe here as well. I belabored over which recipe I would share as Charles’ guest post, because he takes so much time to photograph and document his recipes so well; I didn’t want to get ahead of myself and bite off more than I can chew (pardon the pun) so I hope you enjoy it. This recipe is a cherished favourite for my family (my brother always asks for it when I visit and now that my dear Mom is gone, it is up to me to carry on the tradition).
By Éva Hársfai-Robinson (1936-2005)
Makes 1 pan 9” x 13” about 20 squares
Cost: ~€0.31 ($0.40) each piece
Preparation time: ~40 minutes
Calories: ~120 calories per piece
- 1 jar pitted cherries 500 mL to 700 mL, drained but reserve liquid
- 3 eggs separated
- 120 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 125 g caster sugar
- 250 g flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- About ½ cup milk – or use reserved cherry liquid (if you use the reserved liquid your squares will be a bit pink)
- Grease and flour 9” x 13” x 2” baking pan (22cm x 33cm x 5cm).
- Preheat oven to 350° F (175°C)
- Drain cherries, liquid reserved (you can use this as your liquid or make a delicious sauce or use it in soda as flavouring!)
- Whip egg whites until a stiff but not dry (should be able to stand in a peak) – no need to wash the beater if you do it in this order, if you cream the yolks first, then you must wash the beater and dry thoroughly).
- Cream egg yolks with butter and sugar until light and fluffy (should be a lighter shade of yellow).
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt – dry ingredients.
- Alternating dry ingredients with the milk (or reserved cherry liquid), fold into egg yolk mixture.
- Fold beaten egg whites into the mixture.
- Pour into greased pan. Note the dough should be quite thick, should have to spread it into the cake pan, it should not pour by it self.
- Dot with cherries throughout (you may want to give each cherry a squeeze as you dot so ensure there are no pits!).
- Bake in preheated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes (test with toothpick to make sure it’s done).
- Cool in pan (don’t cut until it is entirely cool otherwise it will become ‘bacony’ or szalonás, as the Hungarians put it).
- Creaming the butter, sugar and eggs together takes patience
- I start out lining up all the cherries, but then I have to fill in the spaces so I can use up the whole jar!
- The cherries behave as they wish, so there is no point in lining them up anyway
They are moist and not overly sweet.
A short note: This was my very first guest post ever, and I am delighted that it was for Charles’ Blog. I have a new found respect for Charles’ blogging, over and above my original respect, which was plenty! The extra effort Charles puts into this blog is unparalleled, the ingredient shot, the video, the working shots etc., make this blog ever so wonderful to follow but impossible to follow in its footsteps!
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Posted in Cakes, Desserts, Recipes, Swedish Recipes, tagged cake, chocolate, delicious, gooey, sticky, yummy on June 24, 2012 |
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There were too many candles to put on the cake so I just used one
It was JT’s birthday last week. It’s just the two of us, so we usually keep it low key, but we do like to fancy it up with the food. Lobster was on sale at our local market so we took advantage and bought two for his birthday dinner. We love lobster and rarely indulge due to its rich and pricey nature so a birthday celebration is the perfect time to take advantage of this delicacy. We dined in our outdoor dining room under the early evening sky. It was wonderful.
JT didn’t mind, because this entire cake was his. Of course, he didn’t eat it in one sitting
When I asked what JT would like for dessert he said cake. Now that stopped me in my tracks because he is more of a pie person than a cake person. But then again, I had just shown him Charles’ recipe (Five Euro Food) for Kladdkaka and he knew I was dying to make it so he said ‘cake’ or kaka in Swedish. He is so thoughtful and generous. Oh, but wait…this generosity may have some selfish motivations !
Night-time photos are not the best
I knew I would like this dessert from the name alone. Kladdkaka. Kladdkaka, kaka, kaka, kaka, kaka, Kladdkaka. Giggle, giggle, giggle. But I digress; I knew I would like this dessert because I LOVED his Tuppkaka dessert (that, for the record I have now made about 6 times). Plus Kladdkaka is very easy to make, one bowl is all you need. In fact, I was lazy and made the entire cake in the food processor. I didn’t even bother to change the blade to the plastic ones. Just processed away. The cake has an intense chocolate flavour without being sweet; don’t be too afraid of the sugar quantity, you need it to mellow the bitterness of the cocoa powder. Next time I think I’ll add a tbsp of espresso powder and a good pinch of cayenne pepper! I may even try to make this gluten free, using almond flour instead of white flour. Stay tuned.
Caster sugar is plain sugar that is much finer than regular sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar. It is supposed to melt a lot easier. I just put my regular sugar in the food processor with metal blades and I pulsed it until it looked significantly finer than original but now powdery.
Such a moist and chocolatey cake, but not as sweet as you would think
adapted from Charles at Five Euro Food
- 200 g Caster Sugar
- 140 g unbleached Flour
- 50 g Cocoa Powder
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 120 g Butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam, heated until runny
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder and baking powder to the bowl of your food processor. Plus few times to incorporate evenly.
- In the microwave, melt the butter slowly so it doesn’t overheat. Add melted butter and vanilla to the food processor in an even stream. Mix well, scraping down the sides as required. Lightly beat the eggs and add to the chocolatey mix until a smooth thick batter forms.
- Lightly grease a round tin about 20cm in diametre (I used a spring form tin). Spoon the batter into the tin and smooth out to the edges (it is rather thick). Resist the urge to try this batter, it’s seriously good and you won’t be able to stop.
- Take a knife and draw a spiraling circular pattern into the cake top (dig in about 1/2cm). Using a fine tip cake decorator, squeeze the slightly warm but runny seedless raspberry jam into the cut pattern. Don’t worry about how it looks on top, it will be dusted with confectioner’s sugar so it doesn’t matter. I wanted the raspberry jam to seep into the cake, which it did very nicely.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes before removing and allowing to cool for ~10 minutes before carefully removing from the tin. Try not to over-bake the cake. If you do, all delicious gooeyness may be lost!
- Serve with fresh raspberries and whipped cream, or just on its own, for a gooey, chocolatey delight!
Thanks Charles for another winner — hope you don’t mind my creative license!!
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I saw this recipe on a few blogs because it was the daring bakers challenge (on Lorraine’s blog here and Sawsan’s blog here) and I was immediately drawn to it. I love spice cakes and combined with nuts and rose petals? I just couldn’t resist. Poor Sawsan had an issue with her cake, but I loved that she posted it anyway! It’s a very tasty cake and I will more than likely make it again.
We were having friends Rae and Monica over for dinner and they like dessert (but not rich chocolate, for some reason) so I am always on the lookout for something new to try. Lorraine topped her cake with a gorgeous combo of pistachios and edible rose petals…OMG so lovely, and she also made a light syrup to drizzle over it, which I also did. Unfortunately I did not have edible rose petals nor pistachios so I used dried cherries and mixed nuts. I also added a bit of cognac to the honey drizzle for some adult effects!
Now I must digress for a moment and talk about that jar you see in the background. It is a jar or Turkish nuts (variety) in honey. My friend Barb of Profiteroles and Ponytails gave it to me last year and I have hesitated to open it because of my previously bad behaviour (I devoured the last jar in a matter of months, just standing at the pantry and spooning copious amounts into my mouth); so I stashed it at the back and immediately forgot about it. We were out for dinner with Barb and Carol, a good friend from out East when I remembered that I had the jar in my pantry. I mentioned I was going to bake this cake and we all agreed the nuts would be exceptional on the cake as décor, texture and flavour. Carol asked how I used up my first jar: I said I stood in front of the pantry and ate it by spoonfuls until it was no longer. I don’t think she believed me, but it’s true!
It’s like ruby jewels decorating the cake
Armenian Nutmeg Cake
Recipe adapted from these lovely and talented ladies: Lorraine’s blog Not Quite Nigella and Sawsan, Chef in Diguise
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 1 tsp baking soda (bi carb of soda)
- 2 cups all-purpose (unbleached) flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
- 3/4 cup butter, cubed, chilled
- 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/4 cup Turkish nuts with honey (or just 1/4 cup nuts and 1/4 cup honey)
- 2 tbsp cognac (you can also use rosewater instead, however I find the flavour a little too strong, plus I prefer booze )
- Preheat oven to 340°F. Line a 10 x 5 inch loaf pan with parchment paper on the base and sides. In a cup mix the baking soda and milk and set aside. In a large food processor add the flour, baking powder, brown sugar and butter and process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Place half of the above mixture in the base of the pan patting it down with fingers to make a base and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the egg and nutmeg for 2 minutes until fluffy and pale. Add the vanilla and the milk and soda mixture and whisk until combined. Then add the remaining half of the flour and butter mixture and mix until smooth (you can still use the whisk for this as it is quite liquidy still). Pour on top of the base crumbs and then sprinkle the walnuts on top (my walnuts baked right into the cake, they actually fell into the centre, so I will suggest you fold the walnuts into the cake. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean – many have found that while the top looks cooked, the batter is runny underneath so try the skewer in several places.
- When cake is ready, remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan (thank you Sawsan for your experience). While doing this, heat nuts and honey mixture gently and add the cognac. Pour the nut and honey mixture over the top of the cake allowing the honey to soak into the cake. Sprinkle the chopped dried cherries over the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The walnuts fell into the batter during baking, so I suggest folding them in.
I used the loaf pan because I knew I wanted a certain sized cube as a small portion. I dressed each portion individually for my dinner party. I froze the remainder of the cake.
The jar has the nuts layered in a beautiful pattern.
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My SIL’s mother, Lea was one of my Mom’s dearest friends (JT’s Mom was her other dearest friend but sadly she passed away quite a few years before my Mom). Lea recently had hip replacement surgery and is recovering slowly, and when I spoke to her, I detected quite bit of frustration in her voice. She has 6 grand children and she likely feels like she’s missing out on quite a bit of action! So, to help cheer her up, I decided to bake her some brownies, but not just any brownies, but Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars! Now who wouldn’t cheer up with a big, fat bucket full of Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Brownie Bars? Frankly, she wouldn’t expect anything less from her good friend’s daughter; my Mom always had food whenever there was a visit!
Chewy, chocolatey and peanuty. I know you want one!
Year’s ago JT was in NYC on business (why wasn’t I with him you ask aghast? I’m still asking myself that same question) and he bought me a Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook as consolation (huh, diamond tennis bracelet would have done the trick!). Believe it or not, I have not made a single thing from that book. Why, you might ask? Although the book is FILLED with wonderful delectable sweets, it is by far, the most unhealthiest recipes I have in my collection and therefore put it aside for the ‘right moment’. And the right moment is upon us, because as we all know ‘cheer’ is nothing without copious amounts of calories and fat.
So join me in wishing my SIL’s Mom a speedy recovery so she can get back to baby-sitting those rug-rats !
Small, bite sized little morsals
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (I used all natural, unsweetened)
- 1 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1 cup peanut butter chips
- 3/4 teaspoon shortening
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
- Stir together the melted cooled butter, sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in large bowl. Add 2 beaten eggs; stir until blended.
- Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Add to egg mixture, stirring until blended. Spread in prepared pan.
- Bake 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir together sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, remaining beaten egg and 1 teaspoon
vanilla extract. Pour evenly over hot brownie. Set aside 1 tablespoon each milk chocolate chips and peanut
butter chips; sprinkle remaining chips over peanut butter mixture.
- Return to oven; continue baking 20 to 25 minutes or until peanut butter layer is set and edges begin to brown.
- Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
- Stir together remaining milk chocolate chips, remaining peanut butter chips and shortening in small
microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at MEDIUM an
additional 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when
stirred. Drizzle over top of bars. When drizzle is firm, cut into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.
24 to 36 bars depending on the size you cut them.
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