chocolate hazelnut mounds

Inspired by the sweet cherry amaretti I came up with these chocolate hazelnut mounds. They are crunchy on the outside and still a little gooey in the middle. I used dark salted chocolate for this recipe which gave these chocolate hazelnut mounds a special flavour.

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chocolate hazelnut mounds
 
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Author:
Yields: 20
Ingredients
  • 2⅓ cup (200g) ground hazelnuts
  • 10 tablespoons (120g) sugar plus 1½ tablespoons (20g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt
  • ½ cup (100g) dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 egg whites (M)
  • icing sugar for rolling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 340°F / 170°C.
  2. Mix the ground hazelnuts, sugar and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites and 1½ tablespoons (20g) sugar into soft peaks.
  4. Fold the egg whites gently into the other ingredients.
  5. Add the chopped chocolate.
  6. Form walnut-sized balls and roll generously in icing sugar. The dough is quite sticky so it will be easier to roll the balls in the icing sugar rather than in your hands.
  7. Place the mounds on a baking tray and flatten slightly.
  8. Bake for 14 mins, until slightly coloured but still gooey inside.
  9. Leave to cool.

 

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kaneelbullar (swedish cinnamon buns)

I don’t know where I found this recipe, I might have photocopied it somewhere, so please forgive me for not linking it to the original post. While going through a couple of recipes online to see where I might have found the one I am using, I saw that most recipes call for lukewarm milk instead of cold milk, but I stuck with the cold milk.

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The dough should be kneaded well for at least 10 minutes but my hand-held mixer is not up to the task, so I tried kneading the dough with my hands. It was a terrible, sticky mess and I gave up. I also hadn’t dissolved the yeast properly, so I was quite curious to see how these buns turned out. While I was writing this and leaving the dough to rise I started feeling sorry for the dough and gave it another try (it hadn’t risen a millimetre yet).

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I guess I used another 1 1/2 cups (200g) of flour trying to wrestle the dough under control, but I think it was worth it in the end. It did look a little bit better.

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I rolled out the dough into four thinner squares and placed these smaller buns into mini muffin pans and ended up with 48 mini cinnamon buns.

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kaneelbullar (swedish cinnamon buns)
 
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Author:
Yields: 20
Ingredients
dough
  • 1 cup 6 1 tablespoon (250ml) cold milk
  • 5½ tablespoons (80g) softened butter
  • 6 - 7 tablespoons (75g) sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 packages dry active yeast (14g)
  • 4 cups (500g) flour (plus 1or 2 cups (200g) or more)
  • 1 egg (L)
filling
  • 7 tablespoons (100g) softened butter
  • 14 tablespoons (120g) brown (granulated) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 egg for brushing
Instructions
  1. Mix the milk with the yeast and stir until dissolved.
  2. Then add the butter, sugar, salt, cardamom, egg and enough flour to make the dough combine.
  3. Keep the mixer on continuously using the dough hook while adding the flour.
  4. Work the dough for about 10 minutes with a mixer.
  5. Leave to rise (1 to 2 hours) until it’s doubled in size.
  6. Work through the dough with some more flour until the dough stops sticking and can be shaped, then cut the dough in half and roll out the first piece in a rectangular shape (around 18 x 14 inches / 45cm x 35cm).
  7. Spread a generous amount of butter evenly, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Roll the piece lengthways so you end up with a long, tight thin roll.
  9. Cut the rolls into about 20 pieces and place each in a muffin pan.
  10. Cover and leave to rise another 1 to 2 hours.
  11. Beat the egg with a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon of water and brush carefully on the buns.
  12. Sprinkle with pearl sugar (optional).
  13. Bake at 480°F / 250°C for 8-10 minutes.

 

Even though I didn’t follow the instructions properly the miniature cinnamon buns turned out pretty OK. I’m sure they could have been better, probably not so dense, but they were still delicious.

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sweet cherry amaretti

A few weeks ago I went shopping for a birthday present with a friend and we walked past a greek deli that had quite a variety of cookies and cakes in their display. My friend bought sour cherry amaretti and we were both quite enthusiastic about them. My friend was quite sure that they were based on Yotam Ottolenghi’s sour cherry amaretti recipe so I decided to try making them myself. I’ve made two different versions – one with sweet cherries & without the almond extract – and one exactly as suggested by the recipe.

I prefer the sweet cherry version.

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sweet cherry amaretti
 
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Yields: 20
Ingredients
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons (60g) dried sweet cherries
  • 10 tablespoons (120g) sugar
  • 2 cups & 2 tablespoons (180g) ground almonds
  • zest of ½ lemon
  • pinch salt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 egg whites (L)
  • confectioner's sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 340°F / 170°C.
  2. Mix the ground almonds, sugar, lemon zest and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites and honey into soft peaks.
  4. Fold the egg whites gently into the other ingredients.
  5. Add the cherries.
  6. Form walnut-sized balls and roll generously in icing sugar. The dough is quite sticky so it will be easier to roll the balls in the icing sugar rather than in your hands.
  7. Place the amaretti on a baking tray and flatten slightly.
  8. Bake for 12 mins, until slightly coloured but still gooey inside.
  9. Leave to cool.

 

And these are the sour cherry amaretti. For Ottolenghi’s ingredients check this site.

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melk karamell zeezout

tony’s chocolonely

A friend gave me this chocolate which she saw at Goldhahn und Sampson, a gourmet shop in Berlin that sells food, wine, cookbooks and kitchen utensils. Tony’s Chocolonely is a dutch fair trade chocolate maker based in Amsterdam. They strive to sell 100% slave-free chocolate and have set up long-term relationships with cocoa farmers in Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

What I haven’t quite understood is why they call it a “Belgian chocolate” when they are dutch chocolate makers, who work with African farmers.

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This is a pretty big milk chocolate bar with caramel and sea salt. The bar is very thick but it’s easy to break along the ridges. The small caramel pieces slightly disturb the melt and the size of the chocolate somehow forces you to rather eat than melt the chocolate in your mouth. The pieces of caramel are crunchy, the chocolate is sweet with vanilla and honey notes and it has a nice amount of salt. It’s a sweet guilty pleasure, surely one of the better caramel sea salt chocolates I’ve tasted.

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Belgische melkchocolade. Ingrediënten: suiker, volle melkpoeder, cacaoboter, cacaomassa, stukjes karamel (10%), zeezout (0,5%), sojalecithine (gegarandeerd gentech vrij). Cacaobestanddelen: ten minste 32%. 180g

Ingredients: sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, caramel pieces (10%), sea salt (0,5%), soy lecithin (guaranteed GM-free). Cocoa solids: 32% min. 6,3 oz

My friend bought it at Goldhahn und Sampson in Berlin. I don’t know what it cost there, it is priced at €2,63 at Tony’s online store.

Images by Axel Lambrette

salted black and white cookies

It has been quite a while since I last posted, but I’m trying to get back on track. The weather was very grim during the winter and taking pictures seemed utterly pointless without any kind of daylight – you’ll see what I mean when I finally come around to post my  x-mas cookie baking.

Anyway, I came across this recipe a while ago and decided to try it last weekend.  They are adapted from Joy The Baker, who in turn adapted them from Martha Stewart. I added a bit more more salt as well as a salted chocolate and I they turned out great.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
salted black and white cookies
 
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Author:
Yields: 48
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 13 (190g) tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup (130g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 egg (M) - separated
  • 1 scraped vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3½ tablespoons (40g) salted dark chocolate, chopped
  • course sea salt
Instructions
  1. Mix the softened butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Add the egg yolk and vanilla bean.
  3. Gradually add flour and salt.
  4. Separate half of the dough and set aside.
  5. Add the cocoa powder and chopped chocolate to one half of the dough and mix until well combined.
  6. Turn out the doughs onto a lightly floured work surface and roll each into a 10 inch (25cm) log.
  7. Brush the top of the chocolate dough log with the egg white. Sprinkle the course salt on top.
  8. Then press the vanilla log on top of the chocolate dough log.
  9. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  10. Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C.
  11. Cut the log into rounds and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  12. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

 

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I used Mast Brothers Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt (72%).

chewy snickerdoodles

A while ago I went shopping with a friend and ended up buying baking weights and a home made soft, chewy snickerdoodle in a household goods shop. The cookie was so delicious I wanted to try and make them myself. I searched online and found this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

chewy snickerdoodles
 
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Author:
Ingredients
dough
  • 1 cup (220g) butter (room temperature)
  • 1⅓ cup (265g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (L)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
topping
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Make the topping: toss ¼ cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat oven to 375° F / 190° C.
  4. In a large bowl using a mixer cream the butter for about 1 minute on medium speed.
  5. Then add the sugar on medium speed until fluffy and light and mix in egg and vanilla.
  6. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  7. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 different parts.
  8. The dough is quite thick and you may have to stir the rest by hand.
  9. Take 1.5 - 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll the dough balls into the reserved cinnamon-sugar topping.
  10. Bake the cookies for 11-12 minutes.
  11. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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They turned out nicely chewy but unfortunately not quite as good as the one I bought at the little shop.

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brown sugar & spice cookies

So now that I have maple extract, I thought I could try it in a cookie and here’s what I came up with, an adaptation of a snickerdoodle. I actually made these a few months ago but never got around to posting the recipe. I liked the combination of spices and they were crisp on the outside and slightly soft and chewy inside.

 

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brown sugar & spice cookies
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (95g) cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • 1 cup (230g) butter
  • 1 cup (190g) golden caster sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) light brown soft sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons golden caster sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl mix the flours, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together.
  2. Beat the butter with the sugars on high for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Then add the vanilla extract, maple extract and the molasses.
  4. Slowly add flour mixture on until it is just incorporated.
  5. Chill the dough for 1 hour or longer.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175° C.
  7. Once the dough is chilled, roll it into about 1 inch balls (I used a tablespoon measurement) and then roll in the golden castor sugar to coat.
  8. Place on a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes
  10. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about 2 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

 

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