baking

All posts tagged baking

Baking With Booze: the Schnapps Edition! Apple and Poppy Seed Cake With Schnapps

Published February 26, 2015 by The Feminist

This is an unconventional twist on two of Austria’s most classic desserts: the Apfelstrudel and the Mohntorte.

Think: caramelized and spiced apples mixed together with a poppy seed sponge and drizzled with Schnapps. Things really can’t get more Austrian than that!

WARNING: Eat too much of this cake and you may start to yodel.

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Ingredients:

  • 140gr caster sugar
  • 170gr butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 140gr flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 50gr poppy seeds
  • 75gr nuts (mix of your choosing)
  • 2 tbsp fruity Schnapps (apple or apricot), 2 extra to drizzle over the top

Method:

  1. Heat a knob of butter in a pan and fry the apples with a tbsp. of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon until golden brown.
  2. Blitz the nuts and poppy seeds together in a blender until you get a fine dust/paste.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Mix the sugar with the butter until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time.
  5. Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder and spices.
  6. Add the poppy seed mix.
  7. Stir in the fried apples and add 2 tbsp of Schnapps.
  8. Pour the batter in a loaf tin and bake for approx.. 50 minutes.
  9. Once the cake comes out of the oven, drizzle on some extra Schnapps (2tbps, or more!)
  10. Serve with a glass of Schnapps on the side.
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Dense, Dark and Devilishly Delicious: This Chocolate & Orange Cake Has It All

Published January 30, 2015 by The Feminist

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Chocolate and orange: it’s a classic combination that works every single time. But be prepared: this wonderful cake takes this traditional match-made-in-heaven even one step further onto the delicious scale, for this is not just a regular chocolate cake flavoured with orange zest or juice. Oh no. This cake is like a giant cake version of chocolate covered candied orange peel, for it boldly not only contains the zest or juice of this citrus fruit, but the whole – yes , the whole! – orange.

If you think putting whole oranges in a cake sounds a bit bonkers, I totally feel ya. It is not something I, an amateur Belgian baker, do on a regular basis either. But nevertheless, I was so terribly intrigued I simply had to try it! After all, the Spanish have been doing it for centuries! And if there is anything the Spanish know how to do – apart from dancing the flamingo and making paella- it is baking orange cakes. (Preferably using Valencian oranges, of course.)

So there I was, in my tiny Belgian kitchen, boiling two oranges (I used the smaller, but very flavoursome Minneola oranges) in a pot for about an hour until they were completely tender and my kitchen smelled like a Spanish beach party. After that heavenly scented hour, I blitzed the oranges in a blender. Whole. Including juice, flesh and skin. This amazing puree is then mixed through the other ingredients, poured in a tin, baked in the oven  … et voila! You will have never tasted such a wonderful chocolate cake in your life! Thanks to the orange puree, the cake is dense, moist and incredibly pudding-like; anything but what you’d expect from a traditional flour-based chocolate & orange cake. Moreover, the orange notes are punchy, but not too overwhelming, and seem to make the chocolate taste even more chocolatey.

What did I say again? Oh yes, the best chocolate and orange cake EVER.

So my dearest readers, you can stop being skeptical. Bake this cake. You won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

  • 50gr butter
  • 25gr cocoa powder
  • 2 Minneola oranges (or you could use 2 smaller regular oranges or clementines)
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1 egg
  • 140gr caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 85gr flour

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Cook the 2 oranges in boiling water for about 1 hour until they are soft and tender. Drain and let them cool slightly before blitzing into a pulp in your blender.
  3. Once you’ve blended the oranges into a puree, put the puree in a large mixing bowl together with the cocoa powder, rum and sugar.
  4. Stir in the egg, mix well, and finally add the flour.
  5. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake for 30 minutes in the oven.

Wonderfully Eccentric: Amaretto, Orange and – hell yeah! – Couscous Cake

Published January 17, 2015 by The Feminist

couscous cake

Weird, Wacky and Wonderful.

No, this description doesn’t just fit my very own personality (you know what they say: “know thyself and thou shalt be happy”), but these three adjectives are also the best way to describe this delicious cake.

When I told a random stranger at the gym that I had just baked the most incredible sweet couscous cake, she looked at me as if I was completely bonkers. (Admittedly, the fact that I simply wanted to share that with a stranger while running on the treadmill probably contributed to her thinking I was mentally challenged.)

Anyway, what I would like to say to that random stranger at the gym – and everyone else who is reading this with a huge frown on his forehead: wipe that frown off your face, darling! Using couscous in a sweet cake may sound rather eccentric at first (eccentric in this case being a euphemism for absolutely fucked up), but once you’ve tasted this cake, you will realize that this is in fact a sweet tooth’s revelation. The couscous adds great texture to the sponge and gives it a nice earthy flavour-dimension. Although this cake is slightly denser and heavier than a simple flour cake, your plate will be empty before you know it, thanks to the zingy, fragrant and sticky orange and fenugreek syrup that is poured all over the top of the cake once it comes out of the oven. This crazy-sounding syrup not only adds extra flavour, but makes the cake so intensely moist.

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And once you know that I’ve also poured in a good splash of Amaretto, you just know that the initially wacky is in fact rather wonderful.

So weird as this all may sound, this couscous cake is a culinary sensation!

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Amaretto, Orange and Couscous Cake With a Fenugreek Syrup

Although there are quite a few powerful flavours in this cake, one will never overpower the other and they all marry beautifully well together.

Ingredients:

  • 90ml olive oil
  • 60ml Amaretto
  • 60ml fresh orange juice
  • 70gr orange marmalade
  • 2 eggs
  • 35gr caster sugar
  • 35gr desiccated coconut
  • 40gr plain flour
  • 90gr spelt couscous
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Almond flakes to garnish, optional

For the syrup:

  • 50ml water
  • 50ml fresh orange juice
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Whisk together the olive oil, juice, marmalade, Amaretto and eggs until the marmalade is semi-dissolved.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut, sugar, flour, couscous and baking powder. Add these to the wet and mix well until combined.
  3. Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment. Pour the batter into the tin and bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
  4. Near the end of the baking time, place the syrup ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil. Let it reduce slightly until it gets syrupy. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour one third of the syrup over the cake. Wait 5 minutes and pour over another third of the syrup. Wait another 5 minutes and pour over the remaining syrup. Let the cake cool down slightly in the tin before removing from the tin. Scatter some almond flakes over the top, if you wish.

Baking With Booze: Italian Amaretto Coffee Cake

Published December 20, 2014 by The Feminist

Dear readers, it has been a ridiculously long time since my last Baking with Booze video. Not because I was lacking inspiration – I’m never short of inspiration!- but because I was lacking time. These past couple of weeks have been absurdly busy and I regret to say that the first thing that suffered from my busy life was my blog and my Baking with Booze spin off show.

However, this doesn’t mean I have forgotten all about you, dear readers. You still have a special place in my heart and that is why I decided to clear my busy schedule and make some time to put together another Baking with Booze video.

This cake is – to use Tom Kerridge’s favourite phrase- “utterly lush”: a moist loaf packed with aromatic coffee and Amaretto flavours and topped with a tasty walnut crumble. It is by far the most perfect cake to kick off the Holidays, for it will get you into a Christmas spirit in no time.

PS: With this video, I also took the liberty to bombard you with my favourite song of the moment: Therapy by Mary J. Blige. I hope you all like it as well, because otherwise you are so screwed. 😉

Ingredients:

For the walnut crumble:

  • 50gr walnuts, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 20gr butter
  • 1 heaped tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

For the Amaretto coffee cake:

  • 150gr butter
  • 200gr cane sugar
  • 200gr flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 100ml hot water
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 50ml Amaretto

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Make the walnut crumble. Mix the butter, maple syrup, cinnamon and flour together in a blender until you get a thick paste. Stir in the chopped walnuts by hand until evenly dispersed and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Mix the hot water together with the espresso powder and let it cool slightly before adding to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well. Now stir in the Amaretto as well. Your mixture will look disgusting at this stage, but it will change, trust me.
  5. Stir in the eggs, one at a time and whisk well after each addition.
  6. Finally, stir in the flour and baking powder and pour the batter into the baking tin.
  7. Scatter dollops of the walnut crumble all across the top of the batter and bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes.

Baking With Booze: The Carrot Cake

Published November 11, 2014 by The Feminist

Carrot Cake. It is probably the best cake-y invention ever. Yes, even better than when those two lovely French ladies accidentally dropped their apple tart on the ground and decided to serve it upside down and call it tarte tatin.

I’m absolutely infatuated with the humble carrot cake. Why?

First of all, it is so damn easy to make.

Secondly, it looks pretty (cuz it’s orange, obvs.)

And thirdly, which is the most obvious reason, because it contains carrots.

Although the carrot cake has been a staple dessert in the Anglo-Saxon world since the Second World War, it has only become “fashionable” in tiny Belgium these past few years.

In fact, some –ignorant- people here have still never tasted it (the horror!) or even heard of it (complete and utter terror!) How these people have managed to survive without the wonder of the carrot cake in their lives is honestly beyond my comprehension.

Anyway, so when I was telling my colleagues at work that I had baked a carrot cake for my latest Baking With Booze video and two of my co-workers frowned and asked me whether that meant it was a savory cake, I seriously almost had a heart attack and fell off my chair!

So for once and for all, dear Belgian folk: a carrot cake is a sweet miracle. An edible wonder ful of spices, flavour and a bold and rich attitude.

And no, it doesn’t taste “too carroty” either.

So whether you’re finally willing to take the carrot cake leap of faith, or whether you’re looking for a new and easy version of your classic favourite recipe: this Baking with Booze recipe is it!

It’s super easy.

It doesn’t require much assembling or decoration skills. (phew!)

And it has Madeira wine in it.

I rest my case.

Ingredients:

  • 125gr ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50gr cane sugar
  • 150gr carrots, grated
  • 50gr pecan nuts, chopped + extra for decoration
  • 2 eggs
  • 50gr butter
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 50 ml Madeira wine

For the the cream cheese frosting:

  • 150gr cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp (or more!) of Madeira wine

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and stir until everything is combined.
  3. Pour the mix into the baking tin and bake in the oven for approx. 45 minutes.
  4. Once the cake has completely cooled, start making your frosting by mixing the ingredients together. Taste whether the frosting is boozy enough.
  5. Spread a generous layer of the frosting on your cake and decorate with pecans.

Baking With Booze: Chocolate and Cherry Cupcakes with a Built-In Cherry Liqueur Shot Glass!

Published October 19, 2014 by The Feminist

I don’t mean to wallow in self-glorification – but damn! – sometimes I really do have the most ludicrously marvelous baking ideas!

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Because, yesssss, you’ve read it correctly: this is a chocolate and cherry cupcake… with a built-in (!!!) cherry liqueur shot glass.

I’ll give you a couple of seconds to process this incredibly alluring concept…

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Surely, I deserve some kind of statue for this?

Anyway, I think Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood would have been really thrilled with this cupcake, If they had ever been given the chance (nay, the privilege!) to taste it.

Seriously. This is some good sh**

So without further ado, this is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 75gr plain flour
  • 1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 40gr dark chocolate
  • 60gr butter
  • Jar of cherries: 100gr of cherries (drained and chopped up) + 100ml of the syrup
  • 75gr cane sugar
  • Cherry liqueur (I used fancy Portuguese cherry liqueur, but any kind will do)
  • Chocolate shot glasses (can be found in specialized baking shops or you can be brave and attempt to make your own)
  • Chocolate spread (or make chocolate ganache)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Put the butter, dark chocolate and cherry syrup in a pan and let it melt.
  3. Take of the heat and stir in the sugar. Whisk in the egg and finally stir in the chopped up cherries. Add the mixture to the flour, cocoa and baking powder and stir well until everything is incorporated.
  4. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Let them cool completely before starting on your built-in shot glasses.
  6. Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, hollow out each center with a sharp knife to create a hole for the chocolate shot glasses to sit in.
  7. Pour a shot of cherry liqueur in the center of the cupcake. This will give the cupcakes a boozy flavour and make them extra moist.
  8. Now put the shot glass in the cupcake.
  9. Frost the cupcakes with chocolate spread or ganache.
  10. Pour a shot of liqueur in the glass. Eat and drink the shot glass first, before starting on your cupcake!
  11. Cheers!

Baking With Booze: Gin, Passion Fruit and Lime Cheesecake

Published October 2, 2014 by The Feminist

Summer is now officially over and I can’t even begin to describe how terrified I am about the prospect of colder weather. Yes, there are the really cool fall clothes. Sure, there is the really yummy fall food. But my toes are just too susceptible to the winter cold to be able to fully enjoy all of that.

Hence, I decided to remain in a summer mood for a little while longer (cuz ignorance is bliss y’all!) and conjured up this magnificent exotic cheesecake on a coconut and lime crust. This cheesecake is so sublime that even in the coldest of temperatures it will be able to light a fire in your heart. (please forgive me this cheesy quote, pun not intended.)

Gin, Passion Fruit and Lime Cheesecake on a Lime and Coconut Crust

Ingredients:

For the lime and coconut crust:

  • 100gr plain flour
  • Zest of one lime
  • 50gr caster sugar
  • 30gr desiccated coconut
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 20 gr peanut butter
  • 30gr butter

For the cheesecake:

  • 150gr sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 400gr Philadelphia light
  • Juice of 6 passion fruits, seeds removed
  • Juice of one lime
  • Zest of one lime
  • 100ml Gin

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment. Put all the ingredients for the crust into a mixer and mix until you get a crumb-like consistency. Press the mix into the bottom of your tin and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  2. Lower the oven temperature to 150°C and start with your cheesecake filling.
  3. Mix together the eggs and sugar until light and frothy. In a separate bowl, mix together the lime, passion fruit juice and gin. Pour the liquid into the egg mixture. Stir well.
  4. Slowly fold in the cream cheese until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture onto your baked crust and sprinkle the lime zest over the top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour/ 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool completely before serving (with a gin & tonic, obv. )