Monthly Archives: September 2014

cream cheese bundt cake

I came across this recipe when I was looking for another scone recipe and I thought I’d give it a try. It’s a very simple bundt cake which I adapted from lecker.

cream cheese bundt

cream cheese bundt cake
 
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Author:
Yields: 12
Ingredients
  • 1 cup & 1 tablespoons (250g) butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups & 3 tablespoons (400g) all purpose flour
  • 6½ tablespoons (100g) cream cheese
  • 13 tablespoons (100g) sour cream or crème double
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (50g) soft brown sugar
  • 5 eggs (M)
  • salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2–3 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Grease and flour a 10 inch / 26cm cake pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C
  3. In a large bowl cream the sugar, cream cheese and sour cream with the butter, add the eggs one at a time.
  4. Then add the dry ingredients and the milk and beat just until smooth.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Let cool for 10 – 15 minutes.
  7. Dust with confectioner's sugar when the cake is fully cooled.

 

I usually don’t have a lot of luck with getting a cake out of a pan without destroying it, but this one worked out fine.

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kristálysó (crystal salt)

rózsavölgyi csokoládé

rózsavölgyi csokoládé is a hungarian bean-to-bar producer with a shop in Budapest. Their cocoa beans are sourced from two main growers: Cacao San José (the Franceschi family) in Venezuela, which also supplies Domori, and Bertil Akesson in Madagascar and they produce single origin chocolates. They have won several awards, for example a bronze award from the Academy of Chocolate for their “Olives and Bread 77%” chocolate in 2013.

I bought this salted bar in Berlin, but when a friend of mine travelled to Budapest I asked him to bring a few more of their bars, because I was also intrigued by the “Olives and Bread” bar. Unfortunately the shop was closed due to the summer shutdown of the factory. As the bar was already a few days over its best-by-date, I had to take the pictures myself in a hurry, so please excuse the poor quality…

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This bar is a milk chocolate with 40% cocoa solids and salt. The bars are packaged really beautifully and the chocolate itself has a lovely pattern.

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The chocolate melts nicely and has a slightly malty note. It is not very salty, but since it is already past its best-by-date I’m not sure if it has already lost some of its flavour. I would like to give a fresh batch another try, I think this chocolate could be quite interesting.

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Ingredients: sugar, cocoa mass, milk powder, cocoa butter, lecithin of soya, vanilla, salt
cocoa content min. 39%, 2.5 oz

Zutaten: Zucker, Kakaomasse, Milchpulver, Kakaobutter, Sojalecithin, Vanille, Salz, 39% mind. Bio Kakaomasse, 70g

The chocolates are available online at Rózsavölgyi, I bought it in Berlin from Chocolaterie Estrellas. Price approx. 4€.

sea salt organic milk chocolate artisan bar

rococo

Rococo is a british chocolate company founded by Chantal Coady with shops in London and in Chester. She was awarded Chocolatier Of The Year 2012 and her bars, pralines, caramels and truffles, as well as her packaging, have won awards. Rococo owns a cocoa farm (part of the Grenada Chocolate Company) which provides the organic Trinitario cocoa beans for her chocolates.

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This bar was the Winner of the Academy of Chocolate Gold Award 2011.

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This is another one of my favourite salty milk chocolates, even though the saltiness here is also more restrained than what I usually prefer. Rococo adds Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt to this chocolate – a salt made from seawater taken only from around Anglesey. The chocolate has a long, smooth melt without any grittiness or discernible salt grains. It has a hint of malt and vanilla, and the amount of salt is not overpowering. It is a great salted chocolate bar, not too salty, not too sweet, perfect for those who prefer only a hint of salt.

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Ingredients: organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic whole milk powder, organic cocoa mass, Halen Môn Anglesey sea salt, emulsifier: soya lecithin, organic vanilla beans. Contains 37% min organic cocoa solids, 18% min organic milk solids.

Zutaten: Bio Rohrzucker, Bio Kakaobutter, Bio Vollmilchpulver, Bio Kakaomasse, Halen Môn Anglesey Meersalz, Emulgator: Sojalecithin. 37% mind. Bio Kakaomasse, 18% mind. Bio Milchpulver.

This bar is available at Rococo and various other online stores. I bought it online from xocoatl, a shop in Wiesbaden. Price approx. €5,90.

Images by Axel Lambrette

blonde chocolate and sea salt

the chocolate society

The Chocolate Society was formed in 1991 by three chocolate enthusiasts. After 20 years the company was sold and then encountered some financial difficulties in 2009 and was then again sold to two new owners. These new owners, Duncan and Alasdair Garnsworthy (who has been trained by French chocolate makers Valrhona), decided to move the business forward by returning to its roots and now make fresh chocolates in small batches. Their small factory is situated in Somerset (UK) and they produce a range of luxury chocolate products, including fresh chocolate truffles, caramels, pralines, honeycomb, bars and more.

Since I am also partial to white chocolate, a friend recommended this bar. It is a “blonde” chocolate with Halen Môn Sea Salt. 

chocoloate_Society

Blonde chocolate is a type of chocolate made by caramelising butter in the chocolate making process. The result is a sweet and creamy chocolate, similar to a white chocolate, but with a caramel flavour and colour. Without the salt it resembles a caramac bar, but much creamier and denser. Although the bar also contains vanilla, the buttery caramel flavour is much more prominent.  The amount of salt is satisfying and it complements this sweet caramel chocolate perfectly. Definitely one of my favourite bars.

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Ingredients: blonde chocolate (min 32% cocoa solids, pure cocoa butter): cocoa butter, sugar, whole milk powder, dried skimmed milk, whey, butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla extract, Halen Môn Sea Salt.

Zutaten: Weiße Schokolade (min 32% Kakaomasse, reine Kakaobutter): Kakaobutter, Zucker, Vollmilchpulver, Magermilchpulver, Molke, Butter, Emulgator (Soyalecithin), natürliches Vanille-Extrakt, Halen Môn Meersalz.

I bought this bar from The Chocolate Society’s online store. Price approx. € 5,60.

Images by Axel Lambrette

traditional english scones

So this is the fourth scone recipe I’m trying while on my perfect (and easy) scone recipe quest. I adapted it from Beth Eaglescliffe home baking recipes and I think they’re quite good, in fact they are currently holding second place.

When I went through the many scone recipes online, I repeatedly encountered the “self-raising” flour problem. I’ve never seen self-raising flour in stores here and for the ultimate scones recipe that I posted in June I just winged it, but this time I thought I should do some research. Check the tips page on how to make self-raising flour.

This is how I winged it before: 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt for 1 3/4 cup (225g) flour

For this recipe I used the Bread, Cakes and Ale conversion and added 25g of baking powder to 475g of plain flour.

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traditional english scones
 
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Author:
Yields: 12
Ingredients
dough:
  • 4 cups (500 g) self-raising flour - I used 3 cups & 12 tablespoons (475g) all purpose flour and 2 tablespoons & ½ teaspoon (25g) baking powder
  • 4½ tablespoons (55g) caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons (100g) butter
  • 11 oz (300ml) milk
glaze:
  • 1 egg
  • splash of milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet and dust with a little flour.
  3. Place the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.
  4. Add the butter in small pieces and rub the butter into the flour so you get little cornflake – sized pieces.
  5. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and gradually add the milk, then fold the milk into the dry mixture gently with a wooden spoon, try not to beat the air out of the dough.
  6. Place the dough onto the floured work surface and shape it by patting it gently into a one inch thick sheet.
  7. Using a 2 inch / 5cm diameter cookie cutter cut out scone from your dough sheet.
  8. Beat the egg with a splash of milk.
  9. Put the scones on the greased baking sheet and brush each one with the egg glaze, then bake for 10 minutes.
  10. Check them after 10 minutes to see if they have risen and are golden on top, if not, leave to bake for 2 or 4 more minutes.
  11. Place the scones in a towel on a wire rack to cool.

 

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crumbly scones

A few weeks ago I asked my friend J to pick the next scone recipe and she chose Baked’s maple walnut scones. That recipe unfortunately requires maple extract, another ingredient that is probably impossible to find in Germany (I didn’t even bother looking, since vanilla extract disappeared from our shelves recently), so I gave up and chose this recipe:  Jamie Oliver’s crumbliest scones. I adapted it just slightly and I think they turned out quite great, for now the hold the first place in my scone quest!

These scones are made with milk and eggs, while the cream scones are made with heavy cream and the ultimate scones are made with buttermilk.

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crumbly scones
 
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Author:
Yields: 16
Ingredients
  • 11 tablespoons (150g) cold butter
  • 4 cups (500g) self-raising flour (I used regular flour + 4 ½ teaspoons baking powder)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 heaped teaspoons golden caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (L)
  • 5 tablespoons milk
Instructions
  1. Put the butter, flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a bowl and rub the butter into the flour so you get little cornflake – sized pieces.
  2. Make a well in the middle of the dough, add the eggs and milk, and stir it with a spatula.
  3. Move the dough around as little as possible.
  4. Sprinkle with flour, cover the bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C.
  6. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it's about 1 inch / 2 - 3cm thick.
  7. With a 2½ inch / 6cm round cutter or the rim of a glass, cut out circles from the dough and place them on a baking sheet.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, or until risen and golden.

 

I don’t have a regular round cookie cutter (maybe I’ll go out and buy one now before I forget again) so I used a slightly serrated cookie cutter, which gave these scones a funny shape, but these scones are really great, not too sweet, so clotted cream and jam go extremely well with them!

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lime cheesecake

For one of my friend’s birthday I made his favourite – chocolate espresso cheesecake – and because I still had some limes laying around I went ahead and made a lime cheesecake too. Since the chocolate espresso cheesecake was a gift I didn’t want to cut into it to take a picture, so all I have is a picture of the lime cheesecake. I’ll post the chocolate espresso cheesecake some other time.

One of the toughest things to find in Germany, online or otherwise, are graham crackers, which I think are just perfect (actually essential) for the crusts. Whenever any of my friends travel to the US I ask them to bring back graham crackers, if they have any spare space in their suitcases. If I don’t have any graham crackers left, I usually make the crust with a mix of plain butter cookies and McVities Digestive cookies (or biscuits if you’re British).

I used two pans – the smaller one was for the chocolate espresso cheesecake. It is so rich, you can only eat minute slices.

lime

And for the fun of it I tried one with and one without parchment paper, after all you can remove the side of the pan easily, but since my last “greased pan debacle” I think I’ll go with parchment paper wherever possible.

lime cheesecake
 
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Author:
Yields: 9
Ingredients
crust:
  • 8 tablespoons (120g) butter
  • 3 cups (250g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (32g) sugar
cheesecake:
  • 1½ cups (360g) full fat cream cheese
  • 3½ oz (100ml) cream double or sour cream
  • 2 eggs (L)
  • 1 yolk (L)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon grated zest of a lime
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
Instructions
crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F / 175° C.
  2. Melt butter and add graham cracker crumbs and sugar and firmly press the crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch (22cm) cake pan.
  3. Bake until the crust is fragrant and are golden for about 5 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
cheesecake:
  1. Wash the lime and grate the skin using a fine grater or a zester. Place the zest together with the cream cheese, sugar and lime juice in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Then slowly add the sour cream until it is a smooth paste.
  3. Spread this mixture on the biscuit base and bake for 45 minutes, rotating the pan every 15 minutes.
  4. Crack open the oven door and let the cake sit in the oven for one hour.

 

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