Sunday 20 December 2015

Cranberry time

I have recently bought a packet of plump scarlet cranberries to make plenty of sauce for the chilly nights coming, and I couldn’t help having a go at a cake as well. The result was glorious. Here is the recipe.

You need: 250 g of flour, 170 g of sugar, 70 g of butter, 2 eggs, 200 g of cranberries, 150 ml of water, one lemon, 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 100 g of dark chocolate, half a glass of milk, one and a half tsp of baking powder, one tsp of bicarbonate of soda and some grease proof baking paper.
First prepare the cranberries. Boil them in a pan with 150 ml of water, the juice of a lemon and 2 tbsp of brown sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes, then spoon them in a round baking tin (about 9 inches, 23 cm, diameter) lined with grease proof baking paper. Keep some of the juice of the cranberries.

Beat the butter in a bowl till soft and creamy, add the sugar and the yolk of the eggs. Then add the grated zest of a lemon, the flour, milk, the juice of the cranberries (about 3-4 tbsp), baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and finally the white of the eggs whipped stiff.

Mix well and pour the mixture in the baking tin. Bake for 30-45 minutes, 180 °C. When cool, turn it upside down on a plate and peel off the grease proof paper. Warm the dark chocolate with two tbsp of milk in a pan. When it is melted, pour it on the cake and let it cool. Serve with whipped cream....or (why not) cranberry sauce.

Sunday 13 December 2015

My birthday cakes

I celebrated my birthday with two gorgeous cakes I shared with my colleagues and with my family. The two cakes are very different from each other but complement each other’s flavour in some way. Here they are.

Chocolate pear cake
You need: 200 g of flour, 100 g of sugar, 70 g of butter, 200 g of dark chocolate, 100 g of amaretti, 4 eggs, 100 ml of white wine, 2-3 pears, one and a half tsp of baking powder, one tsp of bicarbonate of soda. Icing sugar to decorate.
Peel the pears and cut them into cubes, boil them in white wine for 10-15 minutes or till soft. Mix flour, sugar, the yolk of the eggs and the melted butter in a bowl. Add the baking powder and the bicarbonate of soda as well. Melt the chocolate in a pan and beat the egg whites till stiff. Add all to the mixture together with the crushed amaretti. Pour half of the mixture in a greased tin and add the pear cubes, finally cover them with the rest of the chocolate mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, 180 °C . When it has cooled dust with icing sugar.

Apple tart with Philadelphia cream cheese
This is what you need.
For the dough: 300 g of flour, 2 eggs, 50 g of melted butter, 70 g of sugar.
For the cream: 350 g of Philadelphia cream cheese, one egg, 50 g of sugar, 2-3 apples, the juice of half a lemon.
For the top: 50 g of sugar, half a tsp of cinnamon.
First prepare the dough mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and kneading it. Let it rest for half an hour in the fridge. In the meantime cut the apples into quarters, peel, core them then cut into slices. Season the slices with the juice of half a lemon. Prepare the cream by whipping together the cream cheese, the egg and the sugar.
Roll out the dough and line a greased tin. Spread the cream on the dough and set the apple slices in rows or in a circle. Finally mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it on top. Bake for half an hour at 180 °C .