All posts tagged cake

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.



  • 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


  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.

Dense, Dark and Devilishly Delicious: This Chocolate & Orange Cake Has It All

Published January 30, 2015 by The Feminist

choco or

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.


  • 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


  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.


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!


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.


  • 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


  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. 😉


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


  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: 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!


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…


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:


  • 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)


  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: Campari Orange Cake

Published August 22, 2014 by The Feminist

Although my Baking with Booze series is an experiment all on its own, it wasn’t until I was baking this Campari Orange cake that I realized how risky these desserts were. With this cake, I was truly touching in the dark. Basically, I just improvised all the way through. It could have gone horribly, horribly wrong, but for some mysterious reason (I call it “being a baking genius”) it turned out to be the most wonderful cake you will have ever tasted!

Seriously, making sure that the levels of sweet and bitter marry beautifully together was a demanding balancing act. I wanted the cake to be sweet, but not too sweet. I wanted to be able to taste that typical Campari flavour, but without it being too grimacingly  bitter.

I swear, I was so nervous when I was about to taste this cake. (I even detected some heart palpitations!)

But once I took a bite out of  this cake, all my worries evaporated.

Mark my words: this cake is ridiculously delicious.

Furthermore, it was also ridiculously easy to make.

So yes, you would be an idiot not to bake it yourself.

The One and Only Campari Orange Cake


  • 125gr ground almonds
  • 40gr plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50gr caster sugar
  • 1 knob of butter (approx. 1 tbsp)
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 100ml Campari
  • 2 eggs

For the syrup:

  • 100gr caster sugar
  • 70ml Campari


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mix together the oil, butter, eggs, Campari, orange zest and orange juice. Your mixture will look disgusting at this stage (totally normal!)
  3. Stir in the caster sugar, flour, baking powder and ground almonds.
  4. Pour the batter into the baking tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  5. Just before removing the cake from the oven, make your syrup. Bring the sugar and Campari to the boil on a low heat and let it reduce until you get a lovely syrup.
  6. Once the cake has come out of the oven, drizzle the syrup over the top. You can use all the syrup or only half of it (depends on how boozy you want your cake 😉 ).
  7. Let the cake cool completely before slicing it into thin (or thick) slices. The cake should be firm enough to slice, but still feel moist in the middle and taste as light as a feather when it goes into your mouth.

5 Reasons Why You Need To Bake This Chocolate-Rum-Coconut Cake

Published May 27, 2014 by The Feminist


1)     You’re awesome. You deserve a treat.

2)      Eating cake is cheaper than therapy.

3)      It’s somebody’s birthday somewhere.

4)      Time flies when you’re having rum.

5)      Chocolate comes from cocoa, which is a tree… That makes it a plant… So this cake is actually a salad.


Chocolate. Rum. Coconut. Cake.

Honestly, these four words should already be enough to make you want to bake this delicious example of decadence. Chocolate and coconut is by far the best dessert combination on the entire planet (Can I get an Amen?) but to make things even more jaw-dropping, finger-licking, knee-wobbling extravagant I added a generous splash – well, an entire glass – of rum (Mr. Sparrow would be so proud)

The result was a super moist sponge that oozed chocolaty richness, coconutty decadence and boozy lusciousness.


However, this drool-worthy description is not yet finished, because I even added a chopped chocolate-covered coconut bar to the batter, which created a lovely polka dot effect in the cake.


I used the special edition Côte D’Or Coco, which has a very intense coconut flavour, but if you can’t find this one, just use a good ol’ Bounty candy bar 😉


What are you waiting for?

Get baking!


  • 40gr cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 dl rum
  • 1 dl coconut milk
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 200gr caster sugar
  • 125gr butter
  • 140gr plain flour
  • 100gr chocolate-covered coconut bar (Cöte D’Or or Bounty)
  • To decorate: dark chocolate spread, desiccated coconut


1)      Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a round baking tin with baking parchment.

2)      Pour the rum in a small saucepan together with the butter and gently heat until  it has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder. Let it cool slightly.

3)      Mix the egg in a jug together with the coconut milk and then add this to the mixture in the pan.

4)      Sift together the remaining sponge ingredients into a large bowl. Pour in the contents of the pan and mix on low speed.

5)      Chop the candy bar in fine chunks and stir into the batter.

6)      Pour the batter into the tin and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

7)      Set aside to cool and remove from the tin onto a wire rack.

8)      Spread the chocolate spread generously on top of the cake and sprinkle on some desiccated coconut.


Turning Savory into Sweet: White Wine, Apple & Thyme Cake

Published May 19, 2014 by The Feminist


White wine… apples… thyme… When you hear these ingredients together, you would immediately assume that they are about to be turned into a lovely savory dish. Something hearty. Something blokey. Something French.

For the sake of proper evidence, I googled these three ingredients and the first things that pop up are recipes for chicken, pork chops and gravy.


Quod erat demonstrandum

Google does not know what he’s missing. (I’m calling  Google a he, since not picking up on stuff is something men tend to do a lot. ) Indeed, white wine, apples and thyme are delicious in savory dishes. You won’t hear me denying that. But once you’ve ever tasted these in a sweet dish, the savory version will be a bit like eating canned ravioli when you know what the real/fresh stuff tastes like.

You might be wondering how I came up with the idea of throwing these three ingredients into a cake. Well, since my last bake was a very traditional one (remember the strawberries and cream roulade?), I really wanted to do something absurd this time. Something with alcohol. So then I started going over the types of booze I had not used in desserts yet (not that many left, I have to admit), and came up with white wine. And since white wine, apples and thyme are such a classic combination, the idea of turning it into a cake kinda created itself.

Needless to say: this cake rocks! The white wine gives the cake a very fruity flavour and adds plenty of richness and moisture. This cake, however, won’t make you drunk. Almost all of the wine evaporates in the oven, but the wine flavour remains. The touch of thyme creates an unusual herby tingling on your tongue and works remarkably well surrounded by sugary ingredients. Moreover, I used apple sauce instead of fresh apples. Not only did this add extra moisture and sweetness, it also was part of my “avoid using butter” plan.

Yes, you’ve read that correctly.

This cake contains no butter. Zero. None. Instead I used apple sauce and Greek yoghurt.

It worked out splendidly! (Surely, I deserve a medal of some sort now? )



  • 250 grams self-raising flour
  • 150gr Greek yoghurt
  • 200gr apple sauce
  • 175 grams caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme, plus some extra to decorate
  • 100 grams ground almonds
  • 6 tablespoons white wine, 4 extra tbsp for the drizzle
  • Honey, optional



  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Line a loaf tin with baking parchment.
  2. Mix the yoghurt and sugar together. Gradually add the beaten eggs, then gently fold in the flour and ground almonds. Fold in the apple sauce, the thyme and then the white wine and pour the mix into the tin. Garnish with some extra thyme twigs and drizzle over some honey. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake-tester comes out clean.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 4 tbsp of wine with 2 tsp of sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Once the cake comes out of the oven, pour the wine syrup over the hot cake and let it soak up all the yummy liquid.



Going Old-School: Strawberry and Mascarpone Roulade

Published May 13, 2014 by The Feminist

oldschool roulade

My great grandfather came to visit us this weekend. As his title of “great grandfather” may suggest, he is rather old (I stopped asking how old he was because it was getting a bit embarrassing) and loves talking about the “good ol’ days”, “that time in the war” or how “today’s pop music is destroying our culture”.

Yes, I quite adore him. So when he came to visit, I decided to bake him something delicious. The only problem was that, given his age, he prefers to eat traditional, classic desserts. No room for funky cupcakes, extravagant brownies dunked in rum or anything that sounds vaguely exotic.

You can imagine that –for me (the crazy chick who likes to do funky stuff with food)- it was rather a challenge to stick to old-school baking. Sure, these conservative bakes can taste lovely but they are just not very exciting.

Since my great grandfather loves strawberries and cream, I decided to make a classic roulade cake. What do you think, dear readers? The cake certainly looks “vintage”, doesn’t it?


But can I tell you a secret? I used a filling of mascarpone instead of whipped cream and added a couple of tablespoon of strawberry liqueur.

Naughty me.

Ssshhh. Please don’t tell him.

It’s our little secret.

Needless to say, the roulade cake tasted divine, and although I don’t like to admit it, there is just something extraordinarily comforting about classic, old-school desserts. However, I honestly believe that my secret addition of liqueur and mascarpone made all the difference flavour-wise. Just sayin’.


Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • 120g plain flour
  • 3/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 250gr mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp strawberry liqueur
  • 150ml whipped cream
  • 2 tsp icing sugar
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Praline, shop-bought or home-made



  1. Preheat your oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks until pale and then gradually add the caster sugar and vanilla. Whisk until pale and fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, then add to the egg yolk mixture.
  4. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pout onto the prepared baking tray, making sure it’s of even thickness and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until a light golden brown and springy to touch.
  5. Dust a tea towel with icing sugar and invert the hot sponge onto it. Beginning at the narrow edge, roll the sponge and towel up together, then cool seam down for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, make your strawberry and mascarpone filling. Chop some strawberries (6-8) and stir them into the mascarpone. Add 2 tbsp of honey and the strawberry liqueur.
  7.  Once cooled, gently unroll the cake and remove the tea towel and baking parchment. Spread with the mascarpone filling and re-roll the roulade.
  8. Whisk the whipped cream together with the icing sugar and spread onto the roulade. Decorate with fresh strawberries and a sprinkling of praline.

Bananarama: Spiced Banana Bread with Dried Fruit

Published May 4, 2014 by The Feminist


In a world filled with bloody civil wars and global warming catastrophes, it seems a bit ridiculous that I spend my time worrying about the bananas in my fruit bowl going to waste. And yet, that is exactly what I do every time I have a bunch of overripe bananas lying around in my kitchen.

My problem is that I do not like eating brown, splotchy, palette-sticking bananas (does anyone?), but at the same time I shiver at the thought of having to toss them in the bin. Merely the thought of doing so gives me nightmares about the EU’s towering food waste mountain.



So in order to tackle that terrifying waste mountain, I try to make small changes everywhere I can. And that means using up those overripe bananas.

There are plenty of overripe banana recipes out there for you to try, and the most exciting thing about these recipes is that the uglier the banana, the better the end-result.

This recipe is a lovely exotic spiced banana bread with lots of dried fruits and nuts. The almost overwhelming banana scent is counterbalanced with the aroma coming from the spices and the crunchy texture of the nuts adds another quirky dimension to an already brilliant banana bread.

So if you so much as think about throwing those bananas in the bin, I will personally come and haunt you in your nightmares together with some creepy images of exploding waste mountains. No offence.



  • 250gr self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • Pinch of star anise
  • 80gr butter
  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 40gr caster sugar
  • 40gr muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • Handful of chopped nuts
  • Handful of mixed dried fruit (pineapple, apricot, mango, fig,…)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cake tin with baking parchment.
  2. Put the flour, spices and baking powder together in a bowl and rub in the butter until you get a breadcrumb consistency.
  3. Stir in the sugar and mashed bananas.
  4. Stir in the eggs until you get a smooth mixture.
  5. Add the nuts, fruit and coconut. Pour the mixture in your baking tin and sprinkle some extra muscovado sugar and coconut (about 1 tbsp each) over the top. This will give the cake a lovely crunch.
  6. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.