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 have been looking for recipes that require a lot of chocolate because I need to reduce my chocolate stash that has been magically building up in the last months. So after baking my favourite brownies last week I searched for a new recipe and came across this chocolate bread. It is adapted from my Paula Deen.
I’ve been making these brownies for at least 15 years, so I’m not sure where the recipe actually originated. It is one of my most used recipes, these brownies were especially popular at parties, where my friends would get the munchies for no apparent reason…
It’s a very basic recipe and you can use milk or dark chocolate, or a mix of both and you can add chocolate chips or nuts or marshmallows.
A few weeks ago summer finally arrived in Berlin and temperatures reached a balmy 90° F (33° C) – since then the weather has been alternating between rain, storms and a chilly 68° F (20° C) and heat waves. On that first summery Sunday I had planned to get up early and bake before it got too hot, but the plan was thwarted when I went to a friend’s annual roof top summer party and didn’t really get to bed at a decent time… Despite the slight headache and incredible temperatures in my kitchen I made this pear walnut cake.
This cake is adapted by The Complete Magnolia Cookbook. The pears make it sweet and moist and I added a little bit of chocolate, because that’s really never a bad idea.
And if you actually let the cake cool off before you try to get it out of the pan, it won’t crumble to pieces – see chocolate crème fraîche cake if you want to see what happens when you’re slightly impatient like me.
This is my second scone test for my upcoming holiday and it is adapted from Cynthia Barcomi‘s first book. A long time ago when I didn’t live in Berlin and would come here at least once a year for the Berlin Film Festival, I would always stop by Barcomi’s coffee shop to buy cookies, muffins and bagels to take back home (then Dortmund). It was the only place I knew of where this kind of baked goods were sold at that time. This was many, many, many years ago (I feel old) and Barcomi’s has since expanded, Cynthia Barcomi has published a number of cookbooks and cookies, muffins and bagels are sold in many other places now too. Her classic cream scone recipe calls for chocolate and currants. I don’t really care for currants, so I left those out. And because I wanted to see how the scones taste without the chocolate I divided the dough and added less chocolate (1,8 ounces / 50g) to half of the dough.
I used my hands to mix the ingredients instead of my 25-year-old hand mixer because I might be making these scones in a holiday home without appliances, but I felt like my hands were trapped in quicksand. I managed to untangle my fingers from the dough after a while, but I think the next time I’ll try mixing the dough at least with a spoon or a fork first.
After I divided the dough I formed two circles (one with and one without chocolate) and cut each into 4 pieces instead of the 8 mentioned in the recipe. The scones should bake for 18 to 20 minutes until they are lightly golden, but both the plain and the chocolate scones didn’t turn golden after 22 minutes, so I took them out nonetheless – my oven is a little bit whacky – and they were definitely done. Both varieties tasted great and kept for another day without turning dry.
chocolate (3,5 ounces / 100g) and currants (½ cup / 75g)
Preheat the oven to 375° F / 220° C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly whisk the cream and the egg in a bowl.
Throw all the dry ingredients into another bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers to make a reasonably crumbed mixture.
Add the egg&cream mixture and work the dough until everything is mixed, don’t overmix.
Lift the ball of soft dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Knead the mixture just a little. Pat the dough gently with your hands and form a circle to a thickness of approx. 2,5 cm (slightly under 1 inch) and cut it into 8 pie triangles.
I bought a new cake pan last Saturday, which I wanted to use as soon as possible. And I wanted to try a recipe from a cookbook I’ve never used before. Quite a while ago one of my friends brought back The Complete Magnolia Cookbook from her New York trip as a gift for me and sadly enough (the cake tasted great!) I hadn’t tried any of the recipes so far. Unfortunately there are not a lot pictures in the cookbook, which makes it harder to decide what to bake if you’ve never been to the actual Magnolia Bakery.
This cake is adapted from The Complete Magnolia Cookbook’s chocolate sour cream cake with chocolate chips, mainly because sour cream is practically impossible to find in Germany. If you come across something labelled sour cream in a German store it is usually some kind of yoghurt based milk product with spices and herbs. I really miss “real” sour cream!!!
By the way, this is what happens when you don’t grease and flour the pan properly and then don’t let it cool off long enough and then thump the pan impatiently on the countertop….
Don’t let the battered look deceive you, the cake tasted great and stayed moist for quite a few days.