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JpegWhen my husband and I were newlyweds (well, relatively) there was a heavenly poppy seed cake in the bakery that was basically two thin layers of dough with a lot of poppy seed filling.

Then they changed the recipe and started adding all kinds of fillers to the cake – raisins mostly – and completely ruined the cake.

For Purim, the poppy seed holiday, a craving for proper poppy seed cake came over me. Not 70% dough with a few poppy seeds hiding there but a lush cake that is more poppy seed then dough. And no raisins at all!

I based the recipe on three different recipes (all in Hebrew). Here is the final version.

I wanted enough cake to use in our mishlochei manot, so I spread it out over two large pans (26 x 32 and 20 x 30 cm). This means there was less dough to go around, but I wouldn’t put more dough – it was enough as it was. The filling was enough but there can always be more 😉

Filling

400 gr ground poppy seed (make sure it’s freshly ground or grind yourself. I bought it already ground because on Purim it’s usually fresh, everyone uses it).
300 ml milk
150 gr butter
200 gr sugar (I used a mix of brown and white because I ran out in the middle, it was still great)
75 gr crumbled gluten free cookies
2 eggs

Put poppy seed, milk, butter and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil while stirring. Remove from heat, let cool a bit and then stir in the cookie crumbs and the egg. Let cool completely before assembling the cake.

Dough

150 gr butter
80 gr white sugar
1 tsp real vanilla
1 egg
300 gr Tami gluten-free flour
(original recipe also had 3 gr baking powder, forgot to put it 😳 )

In a food processor put the butter, sugar and the vanilla. Process until smooth. Add the egg, and process until smooth again. Add the flour and process only until you get large moist crumbs. Press desired amount into the bottom of the baking pan (I used around 2/3. If I make one pan I’ll freeze half). Refrigerate the rest (not critical but can help afterwords so the dough is less sticky). Dough was sticky but I didn’t add more flour as gluten free dough tends to be more sticky then gluten dough, and if you add enough flour the dough becomes crumbly. Dough was still crumbly to my taste, maybe the forgotten baking powder had something to do with it? Or simply use less flour next time (and it will be even more sticky 🙄 )

Assembly

Preheat oven to 170°C. Spread the poppy seed filling in an even layer on the dough base. Grate the remaining dough on top of the poppy seed. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden on top and filling is firm.

While we did manage to put some in the mishloach manot, I kept taking “just one more piece” until it was finished 😉

Bon Apetit!

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Sometimes things are black and white 🙂

whole-all

Investigator asked for a chocolate mousse cake for his birthday.

So Insightful, trying to be different asked for a white mousse cake for his birthday. Being insightful, he arrived at the conclusion that having a cake the exact opposite doesn’t make him different. So he asked for a different topping and decorations as well.

Chocolate Mousse cake

Same as here, except I added 2 heaped tblsp of instant chocolate pudding to the mousse to make it more stable and then it doesn’t need to be frozen. Writing on top was piped with melted white chocolate.

Investigator cut round.jpg

 

White chocolate mousse cake (no bake!)

Base:

150 gr white gluten-free cookies (vanilla or petit-buerre)
100 gr margarine or butter, melted (was a bit much, will try with 75 next time)

Mix together and level in the bottom of the cake pan.

White chocolate mousse:

1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 packet white chocolate (100 gr)
4-5 tbsp water
2 heaped tblsp instant vanilla pudding

Melt chocolate and water in the microwave. Mix until smooth (I had lumps still, didn’t make a difference). Mixture should be liquid enough to pour when warm (not hot).

Whip cream until stiff. Add melted white chocolate and continue beating. Add vanilla pudding and continue beating until smooth. Place on base and level top.

Vanilla cream:

1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
200 ml milk
1 packet instant vanilla pudding

Beat all together until creamy and smooth. Place on mousse and level. Refrigerate overnight (can probably refrigerate less, I didn’t try).

Decorate with melted bittersweet chocolate and decorations of choice. Decorations with food coloring should be placed immediately before serving as the color runs afterwards (the picture above has the few decorations I put before I remembered this 🙂 I added more afterwards).

Insightful cut.jpg

And joy reigned in the kingdom of LeftoverRecipes…

Take Her To A Peaceful Place by FrankAtt

Take her to a peaceful place” by Frank Att

 

 

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Jpeg

A thing of beauty…

I haven’t written in ages. I haven’t stopped cooking or reading; just didn’t have to time to write about it 🙂 but today I’m lying in bed with a bad back (after soooo long without any problems 😦 ) so I find I suddenly have the time. Silver lining, right?

So. This used to be the cake I made for my mom’s birthday… until it wasn’t. Then my mom suddenly requested it again. As I no longer have wheat flour, I made it gluten free, but use the flour you have on hand. This is based on “Fruit and cream cake” in “Cakes for all Seasons” by Nira Scheuer.

Ingredients

Dough: (this makes double the amount, I put half in the freezer for the next pie)
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour or Tami gluten free flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon zest
pinch salt
150 gr margarine or butter

Cream:
1 box whipping cream (250 ml)
1 cup milk (240 ml)
1 packet instant vanilla pudding (80 gr)
1 box white cheese (5% fat)

Fruit Topping:
Canned (600 gr with the juice) or fresh (1/2 kg) soft fruit, sliced. I used canned peaches.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Dough: Mixed everything in a food processor until it forms a ball. Do not over process. Put half in a bag in the freezer for next time; press the rest into a pie plate*. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden. Let cool.

Cream: whip the cream,milk and pudding together until fluffy. Add the white cheese and whip until blended. Put mixture into cooled pie shell. Flatten top.

Fruit: Arrange slices on top of cream in an aesthetically pleasing way (or not 😉 ). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

Tip: if using canned fruit, blend the syrup with leftover canned or fresh fruit and freeze into popsicles.

Bon Apetit!

* There’s a rumor that someone has invented the “rolling pin” with which you can roll the dough into a perfect circle and then transfer it with panache to a pie plate. I’ve never believed it.

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My MIL wanted a cake Insightful and Investigator could eat, and in addition she thought about buying a chocolate mousse cake. I took up the gauntlet and said, “I’ll bake a gluten free chocolate mousse cake!” (Gulp).

In the end I took two recipes – the base from one and the mousse from another. The result was good, except the fact that I didn’t think of amounts when I did my patchwork, so there was too much mousse (an oxymoron, I know. Nevertheless.) However, if that’s the only problem… 😀

So here it is in all its glory (but with the amounts fixed).

Ingredients: (26 cm baking pan)

Base:

5 eggs
3/4 cup powdered sugar (or white, I didn’t have)
1 packet (80 gr) instant chocolate pudding (Osem is gluten-free)

Chocolate Mousse:

1 box (250 ml) cream or non-dairy substitute
1 packet (100 gr) bittersweet chocolate (be careful, many kinds contain gluten!)
5 tbsp water

Ganache:

1/2 box (125 ml) cream or non-dairy substitute
1 packet (100 gr) bittersweet chocolate

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Prepare the base: Separate the whites from the yolks. I add a pinch of white vinegar to the egg whites, it makes them more stable, but that is up to you (you can’t taste it afterwards). Beat the egg whites. When foam starts appearing, add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating continuously, until stiff. Add the yolks and continue beating the eggs. Add the instant pudding, and continue beating until mixed. Pour into baking pan and bake 45 minutes. The cake will rise high – don’t worry, it will fall when cooled. Let cool to room temperature.

Jpeg

Fell flat. It gets even flatter with the mousse on top.

Prepare the mousse: Melt the chocolate with the water in the microwave until smooth. it should be liquid enough to pour out of the bowl, if it isn’t, add more water, heat, and mix again. Cool so won’t be burning hot (warm is OK). Beat the cream until soft, pour the chocolate into the cream and continue beating until stiff. Spread over the cooled base and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Prepare the ganache: Melt the chocolate with the cream and mix until smooth. Let cool to room temperature and pour over the cake.

chocolate mousse cake'

This is too much mousse. Yummy 🙂

Freeze overnight, take out of freezer two hours before serving, or leave in the refrigerator for a day.

chocolate mousse slice

Bon Apetit!

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It’s been ages since I baked a cake all alone. Lately either I haven’t baked a Shabbat cake at all, or the kids helped me. And if they help me, obviously I do the grown-up thing and let them lick the cake batter. What else can I do?
But now I made a last minute birthday cake for my niece and I’m all alone. I can’t let that batter go to waste, now, can I? So I’m standing in the kitchen licking batter and scraping the bowl and feeling… like a child.

image

I missed a spot!

May we all remember the sweet taste of childhood 🙂 Have a great weekend!

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I like starting the day with something sweet (who doesn’t?). But eating double fudge brownies for breakfast every day would be expensive for my wardrobe 😉 So I tried to find something that is:

a. Gluten free (so the guilt would be split between more people)

b. Protein based, instead of carb based (healthy!) and

c. With chocolate, because of course.

So I tried out this recipe from Elana’s Pantry (doubled, with the addition of chocolate chips, because of course)

The advantages: This is gluten free. It has only almond meal, so it’s pretty healthy. It is also immensely satisfying, so perfect as a breakfast food. And it looks great!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

The disadvantage: The taste. Wait! Don’t go away! It doesn’t taste bad as such. It just tastes different. Almond meal has a pronounced (but not bad) aftertaste that takes some getting used to. I personally liked it and ate it with joy. Investigator liked it with the chocolate chips. Insightful and Independent wouldn’t touch it. *Sigh*

In any case, I’m thinking of substituting one cup of almond flour with chickpea flour, which surprisingly has no taste at all (odd, isn’t it?) in the hope of cutting down the unfamiliar taste. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Ingredients for the adventurous:

  • 200 gr almond flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • about 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C
  2. In a medium bowl, combine chocolate chips, almond flour and baking soda
  3. In a large bowl combine eggs, vanilla, honey and vinegar
  4. Stir dry ingredients into wet, mixing until combined
  5. Transfer to a loaf pan
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. If top becomes too brown, cover in aluminium foil.
  7. Let cool in pan and eat!

Bon Apetit!

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I posted before about my basic chocolate oil cake. Now I present the vanilla chocolate chip cake – no eggs, no dairy, no margarine. And universally approved.

Magic!

image

Ingredients
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (I’ve used up to only spelt flour, it still comes out great, just more dense)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
One heaped teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips or to taste
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp vanilla (I like a lot, a tsp is fine too)

Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt and baking powder. Add chocolate chips and mix.

image

All dry ingredients mixed

Add water, oil and vanilla and mix until combined. Pour into 25×25 cm baking dish.

image

Before baking

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

image

wait until I take a photograph!

image

still some left here...

Bon apetit!

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Sometimes I wonder whether using up leftovers is even a good idea. I still remember the time I made muffins with red pepper and cheese to use up some peppers. It sounded great on paper (well, web site) but when I made it it turned out meh. It was edible, but was that really the best use of flour, eggs, and cheese? I don’t think so.

But this time, a friend sent me this recipe, and I had some bananas and pineapple to use up, and I thought: This can’t be coincidence. This is meant. So I got out the mixer and started baking. 🙂 The results were utterly amazing. A rich cake, filling and satisfying, that my kids practically fought over (without adding chocolate chips!). I didn’t mention the pineapple though 😉 Definitely a keeper. So thanks, Claire and Chantal, for the lovely recipe!

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour (originally 3 cups flour)
1 3/4 cups dark brown sugar, unpacked (originally 2 cups sugar)
1 tsp baking soda
2 dashes cinnamon (originally 1 tsp cinnamon, my kids like it less)
2 pinches salt (originally 1 tsp)
1 cup vegetable oil (originally 1 1/2 cups)
240 gr (1 small can) crushed pineapple with juice
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 cups diced bananas (3-4 medium bananas)

Four Diced Bananas - a little more than 2 cups

Four Diced Bananas – a little more than 2 cups

I first blended the pineapple and the bananas in the food processor, as my pineapple can was cubed pineapple and not crushed. However, the original recipe suggests mixing everything by hand, so next time maybe I’ll leave the bananas in pieces.

 

Really Crushed Pineapple!

Really Crushed Pineapple!

 

I did the classic muffin style: Mix dry ingredients together…

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Add liquids…

With Liquids

With Liquids

And mix it all. Pour into ring pan and bake at 170°C for 80 minutes (not a typo).

Waiting...

Waiting…

After ~40 minutes the top will get brown; cover with aluminium foil to prevent burning and continue baking. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. This is a large cake, about twice the size of my regular cake; it didn’t last twice as long though 🙂

Done!

Done!

Bon Apetit!

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I get hungry mid morning and want something light yet sweet. For my kids, I sometimes make the microwaved cakes in a bowl, but for myself I was looking for something that I can finish by myself without feeling guilty 😕

I found this amazing and excellent recipe. At first I was sure something was missing as it had absolutely no added liquids. But it surprisingly works very well. As it’s based on fruit and oatmeal, it’s reasonably healthy (well… if you ignore the 1/4 cup sugar, of course 😉 ). I used cherries instead of blueberries, and added ground almonds and coconut.

My first try came out more like a pudding, because I tried to substitute part of the oatmeal with ground almonds. I heard from a friend that she regularly substitutes ground almonds instead of flour, so it made sense. However, almonds simply don’t absorb liquids the way oatmeal does and this is not a good substitute.

My next tries were more successful – in them I added extra ground almonds, and as my bananas were large I added more oatmeal as well. The result was a very satisfying fruit cake, which I ate with some yogurt or quark.

As always, my eldest loved the cake and my youngest didn’t 🙄

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, mashed

One mashed banana

1/2 cup oats (I used Quakers). More if your banana is large.
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp coconut flakes
6-7 cherries, pitted and cut , or other fruit

[No oil, eggs, water, milk, baking soda, or baking powder. Cool, huh?]

Mix all ingredients together:

Before microwaving

Microwave for 3 minutes, check for done-ness by touching the top of the cake lightly. Top should be dry (assuming you didn’t touch a cherry) and firm.

If not done, add in one minute stages until done.

Done!

Let cool and eat!

I made twice the amount in four bowls for my kids to taste. The results were awesome and looked so pretty…

Four mini cakes

I also made an amount of these without cherries, to take with me to the hospital when I gave birth. They were sweet and very satisfying as a midnight snack when breastfeeding, and kept remarkably well.

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My husband and I went to a wedding yesterday, and I promised my kids a surprise today if they’ll be nice with the babysitter. So this morning I made them chocolate cake in a bowl. After it was done, I cut it into quarters, and then arranged in each plate two cucumber slices (for eyes) two chocolate chips (nose) and a quarter cake (mouth).

My husband asked the kids, “Does it taste good?”

My eldest answered that he hadn’t tasted it yet becasue the cake was still too hot, and he doesn’t like cucumbers. My youngest, who doesn’t mind eating slightly warm chocolate cake, said “Yes!” cheerfully.

My husband asked, “Did you say ‘Thank you!’ to Mommy for making such a nice breakfast?”

My youngest said sweetly, “Thank you mummy for such a nice breakfast!”

My eldest thought a bit, and then said, “Thank you mummy for giving me cake that is too hot to eat!”

🙄 😆

Cake in a bowl

I use a bowl and not a mug, for the following reasons:

1. It cooks more evenly in a shallow bowl

2. You see how big it really is. This is a a lot of cake, so definitely more than one serving. I found that it makes 2-4 servings, and 2 is if you’re really hungry (or if your children really love cake 🙂 )

Basic chocolate cake:

4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
generous pinch baking powder (or 1/8 tsp, if you prefer)
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp water or milk
1 beaten egg
few drops vanilla
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix dry ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Add wet ingredients and chocolate chips. Mix. Cook in microwave on high for 2.5 minutes. If still sticky, add another 30 seconds. Cut into quarters and eat!

Variations:

Choco-Vanilla cake: 
This makes a vanilla flavoured cake with chocolate chips. Same procedure as before, with slightly different ingredients:

6 tbsp flour
4 tbsp sugar
pinch baking powder
1 beaten egg
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp milk or water
1/2 tsp vanilla
chocolate chips.

Almond-chocolate cake:

Substitute up to 3 tbsp flour for finely ground almonds or other nut. If it still seems too liquid, add more flour (almonds absorb less moisture than flour).

Banana/applesauce cake:

Substitute mashed banana or unsweetened applesauce for the oil (I’ve tried it in other cakes, not in this one, so I can’t promise… but it should work!) You can also try variations on this recipe.

Have a sweet year! And may your kids always make you laugh…

Laugh!

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