Monthly Archives: July 2014

sea salt chocolate muffins

When I saw this recipe I just had to try it – chocolate and sea salt, my favourite combination in a muffin. It’s adapted from the simple, sweet life.

saltymuffin

I made one half with white chocolate (Green&Blacks) and the other half with dark chocolate (Valrhona Manjari 64% cacao).

saltymuffin2

The recipe recommended adding the chocolate pieces on top to stop them from sinking to the bottom, which I think is a great idea. Mine did sink to the bottom nonetheless, I’m not sure what went wrong there – maybe the chocolate chunks were too heavy?

saltymuffin5

sea salt chocolate muffins
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 22
Ingredients
  • 1 stick (114g) butter
  • ½ cup (120ml) milk
  • 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs (L)
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (90 -100g) chocolate, chopped (white and/ or dark)
  • sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F / 205° C and line or grease a muffin pan.
  2. Melt the butter and add the milk to the warm butter.
  3. Combine the sugars with the butter and milk mixture in a bowl, then add the baking soda and vanilla extract.
  4. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.
  5. Stir in the flour until everything is completely combined.
  6. Pour the batter into the muffin pan and add the chocolate chips on top.
  7. Bake the muffins for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F / 175° C.
  8. Continue baking for 10 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle the muffins with a little bit of sea salt and bake for another 5 minutes.

 

saltymuffin6

At first I thought I overdid the salt sprinkling part, but my usual cake testers (I want to call them my guinea pigs, but they are my colleagues) thought they were perfectly fine.

 

cioccolato bianco con pistacchi, nocciole e mandorle salati

venchi

Venchi is an Italian chocolate maker whose history dates back to 1878, when Silviano Venchi opened a chocolate shop in the Piedmont region. In 2000, Venchi merged with master chocolatier Pietro Cussino. Venchi produces over 350 specialty chocolates and are widely known for their gianduja. They use Piedmont hazelnuts, Sicilian pistachios, vegetable fats from olive oil, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, cocoa butter, high-quality fresh milk and cream and their products are all gluten-free.

venchi

 

This is Venchi’s white chocolate with salted pistachios, hazelnuts and almonds , which was awarded the Tavoletta d’Oro by the Compagnia del Cioccolato association in 2012.

venchi_white

The white chocolate itself is not salted, it is creamy, with a strong vanilla note, which reminds me of a vanilla milkshake. This is also a chocolate bar, which you tend to eat rather than let it melt in your mouth. The nuts are salted, but not overly so. The nuts, salt and sweetness are a perfect combination, I liked this bar very much.

venchi_white_2

Ingredients: White chocolate, cocoa 30,6% minimum. (sugar,cocoa butter,whole milk powder, salted almonds 12% (almonds 97%, salt), salted Piedmont hazelnut (Piedmont hazelnut 98,5%, salt), salted pistachio (pistachio 98,5%, salt), whey powder, emulsifier: soy lecithin, natural vanilla flavour). 3,52 oz

Zutaten: weiße Schokolade, Kakao 30,6% mind. (Zucker, Kakaobutter, Vollmilchpulver, Gesalzen Mandeln 12% (Mandeln 97%, Salz), Gesalzen Haselnuss aus dem Piemont (Haselnuss aus dem Piemont 98,5%, Salz), Gesalzen Pistazien (Pistazien 98,5%, Salz), Molkenpulver, Emulgator: Sojalecithin, natürliche Vanille-Aroma.) (sic!) 100g

This bar is available online at Venchi. I bought it from Schoko Galerie, a small shop with a good selection of chocolates in Berlin. Price approx. €4,90.

Images by Axel Lambrette (thank you!!!)

brics de sal

blanxart

Bombons Blanxart is a master chocolatier based in Barcelona, Spain. The company was founded in 1954 and states on their website that they carry out their entire production process, from roasting cocoa beans (Ghana, Congo, Guayaquil and the Dominican Republic) to packaging and distribution.

blanxart

Blanxart’s brics de sal are roasted and salted almonds covered in salted white chocolate – a salt party!

blanxart_1

The first thing you taste is the white chocolate covered in salt. The brics de sal are not made to melt in your mouth but to eat, so I’m not going to talk about the chocolate. Basically you’ll taste salt – white chocolate – salt – almond with added salt flakes – a full blown salt explosion. They are somewhat addictive, as salted nuts sometimes are, but the sweetness of the chocolate keeps you from eating the whole box in one go. For someone looking for a truly salty experience, these are highly recommendable.

blanxart_2

This is available at various online shops. I bought it from the Berliner Kaffeerösterei – a micro-coffee roaster, online store, coffee shop, patisserie – with a good selection of chocolates in Berlin. Price approx. € 3.

Images by Axel Lambrette (thank you!!!)

cinnamon pull apart bread

I made this cinnamon pull apart bread the last time my friend J. came to visit from Freiburg, we ate some of it fresh out of the oven and he took the rest with him for the train ride home. It’s sweet, it’s sticky and it’s incredibly delicious!

I adapted this recipe from lecker and used more or less half the ingredients. It was enough dough for a loaf pan that is approx. 10 inches / 25cm long.

cinnbread

Luckily it was a warm and sunny day – the dough had a good time on my window sill.

cinn3

 

cinnamon pull apart bread
 
Prep time
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Author:
Yields: 1 loaf
Ingredients
dough:
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tablespoon (8g) fresh or dry yeast
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (30g) sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • not quite 2 tablespoons (25g) butter
  • 5 tablespoons (75ml) milk
  • 1 egg (L)
filling:
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (50g) butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons (75g) sugar (brown or regular granulated)
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup (Zuckerrübensirup)
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, vanilla and yeast in a bowl.
  2. Moderately heat up the milk and add the butter.
  3. Add the egg to the flour, then add the milk and butter.
  4. Knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl, cover it with a dish towel and let it rest and rise in a warm place for at least one hour.

  5. In the meantime melt the butter and add the cinnamon, sugar and golden syrup.

  6. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough and then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into something resembling a square.
  7. Slather generously with the butter mixture. Cut the dough into squares and stack them.
  8. Place the stacks of dough squares into a greased and floured loaf pan.
  9. Again cover with a dish towel and let it rest and rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.

  10. Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C
  11. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly – if you can…

 

 

hefebrot_5

marbled cookies

A friend of mine loves simple marbled cake and when she told me, I realised I’ve never made one from scratch. As a teenager all I used was (Dr. Oetker) cake mixes, so I’ll have to give it a try soon. Baking isn’t my family’s strong suit, so I never learned to bake from scratch until I lived with my American host family. My grandmother would usually buy frozen butter-cream cakes or throw some fruit on a store bought pie crust and add some (also store bought) jelly glaze. My mother once left a bundt cake in the oven for so long that it burned and became a rock, it hung on our living room wall as decoration for a while. My aunts still buy frozen cakes for family reunions…

marbledcookies

Instead of trying a marbled cake recipe for my friend’s birthday I baked these marbled cookies. They turned out buttery, chocolatey and soft.

This recipe is adapted from lecker.

marbled cookies
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Yields: 60-70
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (250g) butter
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs (M)
  • 3¼ cups (400g) all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (dark)
  • 2½ tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup (90g) chocolate, coarsely chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175° C / 350° F
  2. Beat sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt until creamy.
  3. Add one egg at a time.
  4. Add flour and baking powder (the batter will be hard to mix).
  5. Separate half of the batter and add cocoa, chocolate and milk to one half.
  6. Slightly swirl the two batters.
  7. Place small heaps of the swirled batter (approx. 1 teaspoon) on a baking sheet (approx. 16 heaps on one sheet).
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

 

marbled