Zwetschgendatschi (Bavarian Plum Cake)

Can there be anything better than picking plums off a tree and baking wonderful Zwetschgendatschi right away? – Nope, I guess not.

So, that’s exactly what I did yesterday: I harvested some of the plums off my grandfather’s tree and made a baking tin of Zwetschgendatschi. Just perfect!

And even if you don’t have a plum tree of your own – believe me, these Zwetschgendatschi will turn out to be fantastic anyway!

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Zwetschgendatschi (Plum Cake)

Preparation time:  35 minutes (without letting the dough rise)
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Total time: 2.5 h
Yield: 1 baking tin

Ingredients:

  • 400g flour
  • 45g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 50g butter (warm and softened)
  • 150ml milk (lukewarm)
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  •  about 1kg fresh plums
  • 50g macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 100g ground hazelnuts
  • 3 tbsp. mascobado sugar
  • cinnamon sugar

Preparation:

  1. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a big bowl. Add warm butter.
  2. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk with a teaspoon of sugar in a little bowl. Make a little well in the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture in the flour mixture. Stir until a dough forms.
  3. Put the dough on a work surface and knead until the dough is soft and smooth.
  4. Then, put it into a bowl and let it rise (covered with a kitchen towel) in a warm place.
  5. In the meantime, cut the plums in half and remove the stone.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350° F).
  7. Carefully (!) spread out the dough and put it on a baking tin (covered with baking parchment).
  8. Mix macadamia nuts, mascobado sugar and ground hazelnuts in a little bowl. Spread the mixture on the dough.
  9. Arrange the plum halves in slightly overlapping rows.
  10. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  11. Take the Zwetschgendatschi out of the oven and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar when still warm.

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Zwetschgendatschi (English)

Zwetschgendatschi (Deutsch)

Macadamia-Cranberry-Scones with Dark Chocolate

Scones remind me so very much of Britain – and, being very fond of Britain, this is a real reason to bake them. Oh, and they’re absolutely delicious, too, of course!

These scones contain several wonderful flavours which go very well together: Macadamia nuts, dried cranberries and chunks of dark chocolate (so many good things at once!). Therefore, I prefer to eat them “plain”, but obviously you could also enjoy them with clotted cream and jam…they’re fantastic either way!

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Macadamia-Cranberry-Scones with Dark Chocolate

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 18-20 minutes
Yield: 12 scones

Ingredients:

  • 280g flour
  • 50g cornflour
  • 50g mascobado sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt (if you use salted macadamia nuts, don’t add any salt)
  • 125g butter (cold)
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 1 big egg
  • 1 tsp. golden syrup
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 75g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 75g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 45g dried cranberries

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Prepare a baking tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put flour, cornflour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Quickly add the butter (which has previously been chopped in small chunks). Rub it with your fingertips into the dough until the mixture resembles grated parmesan.
  4. Add the grated lemon zest.
  5. Put buttermilk, egg and golden syrup into another bowl and whisk lightly. Then, pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture. Stir only a bit, just until the dough forms.
  6. Add the chopped nuts and chocolate as well as the cranberries. Stir lightly.
  7. Transfer the dough onto a work surface and form a disc (about 2cm high). Divide the disk into 12 equal portions. Form 12 round scones and put them onto the baking tin (maybe you will need two baking tins for all 12 scones).
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the scones are slightly golden. Let them cool down on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

(recipe adapted from Cynthia Barcomi’s „Backen – I love baking“)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Macadamia-Cranberry-Scones with Dark Chocolate

Macadamia-Cranberry-Scones mit dunkler Schokolade

Classic Tiramisù in a Glass (without eggs)

The reception back home in Switzerland was quite rainy and stormy. Reasons enough for me to indulge in reminiscences of beautiful, warm Italy – and what could be more suitable for this than a nice Italian dessert?

I dolci italiani are simply fantastic and the most famous dolce of all is, of course, the tiramisù (literally “pull me up”).

Here is a version which I adapted according to my liking. It is made without raw eggs and there is and extra chocolatey flavour thanks to the grated dark chocolate. Buon appetito!

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Classic Tiramisù in a Glass (without eggs)

The Italian classic dessert served in a glass, which reveals its layers beautifully.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1dl espresso
  • 1,5dl cream
  • 125g mascarpone
  • 4 tbsp. muscovado sugar
  • 12 ladyfingers
  • ¼ of a bar of dark chocolate
  • a bit of cocoa powder (to decorate)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare 4 glasses.
  2. Whisk the cream until stiff, stir in 3 tablespoons of muscovado sugar and the mascarpone.
  3. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the warm espresso. Let it cool down.
  4. If necessary, break the ladyfingers into smaller pieces (such as they fit in the glass). Soak them in espresso and put them into the glasses as the first layer.
  5. Put a layer of the mascarpone crème on top.
  6. Grate dark chocolate on the crème.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 until the glass is full. Dust the last layer of mascarpone crème with cocoa powder.
  8. Keep the glasses refrigerated until you serve them. Buon appetito!

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Classic Tiramisu in a Glass

Klassisches Tiramisu im Glas

New Kitchen Apron!

I’ve just come back from a week of holidays in the Toscana. A week full of sun-bathing, visiting beautiful towns and, of course, eating delicious Italian food…

And, apart from many lovely ideas for new recipes (and an Italian cookbook), I brought a nice personalised apron with me – I bought it in a cute little shop in Viareggio after a relaxing day at the beach.


 

 

 

 

Isn’t it lovely?

Melon Peach Profiteroles

If I had to create a list of my favourite desserts, profiteroles would be very high up. They’re soft and fluffy, they can be filled with any filling you can possibly imagine (I prefer a fruity filling) and…their creation involves a piping bag! I love working with piping bags and today I was especially keen on it as I could try out a new nozzle I only bought last week.

Also, profiteroles are a real eye-catcher. They look at least as good as they taste! Baking them is not as hard as you might think at first glance – even though it might get a little tricky at times! However, if you work carefully according to the recipe, I’m sure it will work out perfectly. So, here’s the recipe…

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Melon Peach Profiteroles

Yield: 12-16 profiteroles
Preparation time: 40 min
Total time: 1h 20 min

Ingredients:

for the choux pastry:

  • 2dl water­
  • 50g butter
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • ­120g flour
  • ­3 eggs (lightly beaten)
for the filling

  • 2dl cream
  • 3-4 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar (sieved)­
  • (maybe) 2 tsp. whipping cream stiffener
  • ­¼ melon
  • ­2 white peaches
  • ­confectioner’s sugar (for dusting)

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Put water, butter, salt and sugar into a medium pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat.
  3. Add all the (sieved) flour at a time and stir 1-2 minutes until a soft dumpling forms which doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot anymore
  4. Take the pot away from the stove and let it rest shortly.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and stir them into the dough. Make sure the dough gets soft but doesn’t dissolve.
  6. Put the dough into a piping bag, pipe 12-16 small heaps onto a baking sheet (covered with baking parchment).
  7. Bake for about 35 minutes in the middle of the preheated oven. Be careful: Don’t open the oven during these 35 minutes!
  8. While the profiteroles are in the oven, prepare the filling: Cut the melon and the peaches into small cubes. Blend 4 tablespoons of the fruit in a separate bowl.
  9. Whip the cream until stiff; add confectioner’s sugar (and maybe the whipping cream stiffener). Put the blended fruit through a sieve on top of the cream and stir in carefully. Put cream and fruit in the refrigerator.
  10. After the 35 minutes of baking, switch off the oven and let the profiteroles dry in the slightly opened oven for about 15 minutes.
  11. Take the profiteroles out of the oven and let them cool down on a wire cooling rack. Cut them in half (horizontally). (Note: At this point the preparation process can be interrupted until 5 minutes before you want to serve the profiteroles.)
  12. Put the cream into a piping bag and pipe an equal share of cream onto each lower half of the profiteroles. Top the cream with 1 teaspoon of fruit and cover with the upper half of the profiteroles. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and enjoy right away!

(recipe of the choux pastry adapted from Betty Bossi)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Melon Peach Profiteroles

Melonen-Pfirsich-Windbeutel

 

Caramelised Apple and Pear Clafoutis

Today I got my last pending result from my exams at University – and I can tell you I am absolutely perfectly happy about it! So, I had to celebrate – and what would be more appropriate than a sweet dish for lunch. These sweet and fruity clafoutis did the trick marvellously!

Of course, you can also enjoy them as a warm dessert in the afternoon (or at any time of the day, for that matter!). They are very easily made – the hardest part is getting them as elegantly as possible out of the ovenproof dish and arranging them on plates, so you really should be okay.

If you don’t have both apples and pears around (or don’t like one of the two) you can also go for either apples or pears, by the way.

So, here’s the recipe! Enjoy!

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Caramelised Apple and Pear Clafoutis

Serves 6
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Baking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples
  • 3 pears
  • 35g butter
  • 100g Mascobado sugar
  • 75g white sugar
  • 100g flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 70g butter (melted and cooled)
  • 220ml milk
  • 100ml pouring cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • whipped cream

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a 2.5 litre ovenproof dish (as in the picture below).SONY DSC
  2. Wash, peel and core apples and pears. Cut them into slices.
  3. Melt butter in a large frying pan (over medium heat). Add apples and pears, cook for 5 minutes while stirring. Add Mascobado sugar and cook for 5 more minutes (until the mixture thickens). Take it away from the heat and let it cool down.
  4. Combine white sugar and sifted flour in a medium bowl. Lightly whisk eggs, extra butter, milk, cream and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Then, gradually, whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.
  5. Put the apples and pears into the ovenproof dish. Pour mixture over apples and pears.
  6. Bake Clafoutis for about 40 minutes in the middle of the oven.
  7. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve hot with whipped cream.


(recipe after “Retro Favourites – Nostalgic Recipes”)

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Caramelised Apple and Pear Clafoutis

Karamellisierte Apfel-Birnen-Clafoutis

Croatian Chocolate Coconut Cubes

I love small sweets. They look cute and whenever you feel like it you can walk past the tray and grab another one.

These Croatian Chocolate Coconut Cubes are soft and the icing makes them slightly moist, which is especially nice in summer.

Today, I baked them for the first time – and I can tell you it was super easy. So, don’t hesitate – give it a shot!

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Croatian Chocolate Coconut Cubes

Yield: about 30 cubes (1.5×1.5 inches)
Preparation time: 50 minutes; including baking (18-20 min)

Ingredients:

For the cubes:­
25g of softened butter

125g of sugar

1 egg

1 sachet of vanilla sugar

150g of flour

½ a sachet of baking powder

75ml (about ⅓ cup) of milk

For the chocolate coconut icing:­
150g of sugar

100g of dark chocolate

100ml (a bit less than ½ a cup) of milk

75g of butter

150g of desiccated coconut

 Preparation Instructions:

For the cubes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and the egg in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder and sift on top of the egg mixture. Then, stir carefully.
  4. Add the milk and stir to create a smooth mixture.
  5. Fill the egg mixture into an angular shaped form of about 8×12 inches (or, alternatively, into a round form with a diameter of about 12 inches). Smooth the surface.
  6. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 18-20 minutes (until golden brown). Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool down.

For the chocolate coconut icing:

  1. Put sugar, dark chocolate and milk into a small pot and let it boil shortly. Then, take it away from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Stir in the butter until the mixture is homogeneous.
  3. Put the desiccated coconut into a bowl.
  4. Cut the cake into squares of about 1.5×1.5 inches.
  5. Dip the cubes into the coconut chocolate icing first and flip them in the desiccated coconut afterwards. Then, let them dry on a sheet of baking parchment.

(recipe after Nina Perusic (from chefkoch.de))

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To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)

Croatian Chocolate Coconut Cubes

Kroatische Schokoladen-Kokosschnitten