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Cheesebread

Say cheese

Though summer and therefore grilling season is coming to it’s end, it never is too late to post the cheesebread recipe. Let it cheer up your autumn instead. Make a nice mushroom soup and bake a cheesebread for those who do not eat mushrooms. For it’s so good, it almost counts as a meal on it’s own. Try and enjoy, different cheeses and different flavors for your liking. It’s delicious!

Cheesebread in a form

350g    White flour

200g    Lukewarm water

15g    Fresh yeast

7g    Salt

10g    Sugar

20g    Oil

170g    Diced cheese (I used processed cheddar cheese and some gouda, too. Like the color of the cheddar when slicing the bread. To dice the the processed cheese I unwrap the slices, pile them and squeeze them together. Then I have a chunk of cheese to dice.)

1. Dice the cheese and place into freezer. This way it doesn’t get smashed into the dough, when kneading. Then again, freezing the cheese also lengthens the proofing time.

2. Measure the flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar and oil into a bowl and knead ’till a smooth, elastic dough is formed. I kneaded my bread this time with the Bosch, and it did work out, almost as good as hand. Just a bit too fast.

3. Cover the dough with a cloth and let it proof for about 40 minutes, ’till about doubled. Then scrape your dough onto a working table (don’t let the picture fool you), spread it our a bit and pour the frozen cheese cubes over it. Knead the cheese gently into the dough, so that the cubes are evenly distributed.

Do as I say, not as I do

4. Shape the dough into a long loaf, so that it fills your bread form. Grease the form and place the dough into it. Let the bread proof covered for about an hour, ’till clearly risen. It might take a while to proof now, ’cause of the cold cheese, so let it take it’s time.

5. Heat up the oven to 190°C and place your bread onto the bottom-mid level of it. Let it bake for 30 minutes, keeping an eye on the browning, and if necessary, turning the bread around. If your bread is a lot paler from the bottom, simply take it out of it’s form, and lastly bake without a mold for some time.

6. Let it cool, slice and enjoy. Doesn’t store too well, so don’t worry if you end up eating it all in a one go. Or then freeze some of it right away.

Marika~

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Being inspired by my mother, I decided to post the recipe for the Florentine biscuits, Florentines I’d simply call them. And why not sharing this, these are yummy, and do not require that much playing around with. Simply boil the ingredients together and bake. And these do resemble a lot the ones you can buy from bakeries and stores. Meaning to me, it’s a good recipe. So, to the recipe, more pics can be found here.

The final result

Florentines (makes 1 baking tray, mine are about 35cm x 45cm)

45g    honey
210g    sugar
45g    glucose syrup – I do not possess this, so I simply used light brown syrup, also not the dark one, anyway
75g    butter
150g    cream
330g    crushed and flaked almonds

and 150g milk/dark chocolate for icing

1. Measure all the other ingredients but the almonds into a pot. Warm up over a low heat, keeping an eye on the mixture and stirring it once in a while. The heat should be so high, though, that the mixture begins to boil. Allow it to boil for a while, it will somewhat thicken and turn slightly golden. Anyhow, do not let it turn darker brown or it will end up burning in the oven. If you do have a thermometer fit for the task, the optimal temperature for the mixture would be 112°C degrees.

2. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in the almonds. Pour immediately onto an oven pan covered with oiled baking paper. Spread evenly, while you still can.

3. Bake in the middle of your oven, 190-210°C, ’till golden brown. Don’t burn it, also don’t let it out of your sight for over a minute. Then again, the longer the bake, the crispier result.

4. Remove the Florentines from the oven and slide the paper off from the tray, so that they don’t keep baking. Let the sheet cool. Once set, turn it carefully over, so that the smooth side is on the top. Remove the oily paper, and if you wish, you can already cut off some edges to taste…

5. Anyway, melt the chocolate in the microwave, or bain-marie-pot, whichever way you know how to. Pour the melted chocolate over the sheet of Florentines. Let the chocolate set overnight. Cut or break into pieces and enjoy! You can also cut the Florentines before coating them with chocolate, even while the sheet is still warm, and then coat them individually, like I did – check the pics, to see it better.

Have a happy weekend! Now I’m making caramel ice cream.. Hoping it doesn’t turn out to be too sweet.

Marika~

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Been enjoying the summer for a week and summer bakings to go with it. Made chicken salad and my favorite Bread with bubbles. Made also the ultimate meringue cake, pavlova, to celebrate the beginning of the berry season.

Pavlova

Pavlova

6 egg whites
2+1 dl sugar
2 ts corn starch

2 dl whipped cream
sugar
bunch of fresh berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and such)

1. Beat the egg whites ’till stiff. Add 2 dl of the sugar little by little, mixing all the time. Mix the rest of the sugar with the corn starch and mix in like before.

2. Spoon the meringue onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Form a circle (about ⌀ 30cm), leave the edges a bit higher than the middle. Sprinkle a bit of sugar on top of the meringue.

3. Bake in 125°C in the middle of your oven for 90 minutes. Keep an eye on the meringue, so that it doesn’t get too brown and turn down the heat in case needed. The ready meringue should be crispy outside and moist inside. Let the meringue cool down. I decorated my meringue with some melted chocolate, and having a bit of chocolate flavor worked deliciously in the combination.

4. Whip the cream, spice gently with sugar and spread over the meringue. Clean the berries, cut smaller if needed and scatter over the whipped cream.

5. Enjoy tremendously, summer is here ❤

Berries

About time

Marika~

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Had visitors from Finland! Made me really happy, and I hope they also enjoyed their time. It’s so good to see some other Finnish creatures than Tiuku for a change, too, not that there’s anything wrong with her either (not that much anyway). Ooh, but it was a lovely weekend. Went hiking into the snowy mountains of Harz, wandered a bit around downtown, played some board games and played a lot with Tiuku, of course.

Ate a lot of yummy things, too. Hopefully enough. Got some cakes for free from my bakery, and cookies as well. Then I baked a cheesecake and we enjoyed some sachertorte from my favorite cakery. Mmm.. And now I’m having an exotic (read: weird) coconut cream -cake with kiwi-banana-passion fruit -decoration.

Something exotic

I also made some oat rolls for breakfast tomorrow. This time with sunflower, sesame, rolled oats and a few raisins. This combination worked as well, tough the dough was quite loose. Added a bit more flour, then.

F-f-f-falling

But that’s it for now. Bedtime once again. Oh, but first I must boast about this: Today was already a t-shirt and tomorrow it’s promised to be 23°C. Sommer, Sonne, Sonnenschein. And let’s still add the picture of the quark-pie from the past:

It was long ago

Marika~

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Carrot bunnies

Perhaps I didn’t make enough ginger breads this Christmas after all, for I had to take upon another arts and crafts project. Bunnies! They are carrot muffins, made with the recipe for Bunny Mother’s Carrot Cake. Chocolate for the face, baking wafers (quite common here in Germany, a bit like eatable paper kind of material) for the ears and some nonpareils for detailing. Cuteness!

Is so fluffy!

All unique

Other things didn’t turn out that photogenic. Made finally the Oreo-mint cake I’ve been dying for. Brought some mint jelly with me from Finland. Anyway, that alone didn’t seem to give enough minty flavor for the cake filling, so I crushed in some mint chocolate, too. That surely helped, turned out yummily minty. Got some strawberries from work so I decorated the cake with them. They made the cutting of the cake a bit tricky, but oh well.. Here it is.

Mint and strawberries

The other not-so-cute-cute-thing, were my big bunny rolls. Turned out to be real French lops. Perhaps I haven’t seen enough other kinds of bunnies, so these are the only ones I can do.

French

Marika~

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Huh, time to post my second pulla recipe. About time, though. Pulla is so typical Finnish yeast baking, and I also bake it from time to time. This is basically the very basic recipe for pulla, for the twist comes only after baking when the yummines are made even yummier with some whipped cream and such. The whipped cream and such gives the pulla it’s festivity, which is needed for it is Laskiainen afterall. So, these pullas are eaten only once a year, just like the Runeberg’s baking portrayed in the previous post. Traditions, traditions.

The time has come

Laskiaispullas

2,5 dl   milk
egg, small
1 dl   sugar
2-4 ts   cardamom
1/2 ts   salt
25 g   fresh yeast
about 7-8 dl   all-purpose flour
100 g margarine

another small egg for brushing
some sugar crystals

For the filling:
strawberry jam and/or marzipan
2 dl whipped cream
2 tbl sugar

1. Soften or melt the margarine. Also, margarine at room-temperature would work fine.

2. Measure the sugar, salt, egg and cardamom into a bowl.

3. Warm up the milk ’till lukewarm and dissolve the yeast into it. Mix together with the sugar, salt, egg and cardamom.

4. Add the flour in couple batches kneading well all the time. Knead ’till the dough starts to come off from the edges of the bowl and you have obtained a smooth dough.

5. Add the soft/melted margarine and knead ’till fully combined. Cover the dough and let it rest for about an hour in a warm place ’till doubled in size.

6. Once the dough has proofed, take it out onto a floured working table. Knead the dough a bit back together and divide into 12-14 equal pieces (I weighed out 14 x 75-80g). Form the pieces into balls and place onto an oven tray with baking paper. Leave about 2cm gap between the pullas so they have room to rise. Better to divide the pullas onto two trays than place them too close together.

7. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the pullas proof for further 30 minutes. Heat up the oven to 225°C.

8. Brush the pullas with some egg and sprinkle some sugar crystals on the top. Bake in the center of the oven for about 10-15 minutes ’till golden brown. Turn the tray around in between if needed.

9. Let the pullas cool down properly before filling them. I filled only eight to begin with. The 2 dl cream was enough for them, but if one wants to fill more, also increase the cream amount. And also, if you are not planning to eat that many pullas at once, better to fill just a few, and store the cream separately in the fridge and fill more as you eat them. Once filled up, they don’t keep good that long.

10. So, after the pullas have cooled down, cut the hats away from the ones you are going to fill. Also, keep the knife in a slight angle, so that you cut deeper in the middle than on the edge. This way you’ll have a little “hole” where to place either couple slices of marzipan of a nice spoonful of strawberry jam.

11. Having filled the pullas so far, whip the cream and add some sugar for flavor. I love piping the cream on my pullas, but you can simply just add a spoonful or so on each. Once the whipped cream is in, place the hats back on.

12. Enjoy! Another delicious thing from Finland!

13. Pullas are best eaten fresh, so simply freeze some right away, if you feel like you can’t manage them all in a few days.

Too kneaded

Looking cute

Getting better

Can I eat now?

Mine

Marika~

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I created a cheesecake. Well, if it can be called a cheesecake. It’s the kind of fridged cake with gelatine. Maybe the word mousse cake would describe it better.  Well, whatever it is, it turned out super! I’m quite the gelatine master and I think with gelatine you can make cake filling with any flavor. I decided to go for mint. My original idea was to make cheesecake with Oreo-cookies bottom and mint mousse filling. The only problem was, I couldn’t find any mint. After wondering what else might go with Oreos, I decided to go for Canada’s Best Maple Syrup. And so, here it is – Canada’s Best Cheesecake. Apologizes for the lack of pictures, only this last piece was still standing when I got to the photo-shooting part.

Canada's Best Cheesecake

Canada’s Best Cheesecake (my cake pan is ⌀ 20cm)

175g   Oreo-cookies
60g   Margarine

2   egg whites (large)
4   gelatine leaves (mine are 12 to 1l of liquid, also you need enough gelatine for about 3 1/3dl of liquid)
2   egg yolks
100g   maple syrup
150g   cream cheese, unflavored
200g   whipping cream

1. Crush the cookies well (with filling). Melt the margarine. Add the melted margarine into the cookie crumbs and mix together. Place a piece of baking sheet on the bottom of a round cake pan (about ⌀ 20-24cm, with removable bottom) and tap the cookie mixture evenly in. Refrigerate.

2. Place the gelatine leaves into cold water. Separate the egg yolks and whites into two bowls. Foam the egg whites really fluffy. Add the maple syrup and cream cheese into the egg yolks and whisk lightly ’till smooth.

3. Whip the cream. Bring some water to boil. Take the gelatine leaves out of the cold water and squeeze dry. Place them into a cup and add about 1/2dl boiling water on them. Mix ’till dissolved. Add the dissolved gelatine into the yolk-syrup-cheese mixture mixing all the time.

4. Then add the whipped cream and mix ’till even. Finally fold in the foamed egg whites. Pour the mixture onto the cookie bottom and fridge for overnight, or at least 5 hours ’till solid. Remove the ring, cut the pieces and enjoy with some more maple syrup. Absolutely delicious, and so fluffy. Love the structure!

Marika~

Ps. Got to be also a confectioner in my bakery today. Was nice, though quite dangerous, when one can eat all the little leftover cake edges and ruined Berliners. Mmmm.. Can’t wait to do that again!

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