Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Apricot - cinnamon jam!

After the fresh apricot upside-down cake I made, I still had a lot of fruit left.

We do eat apricots, but I wanted to preserve them as well, so I made a lovely apricot - cinnamon jam, using my KENWOOD Bread Maker!!!!

It is really easy to make.

I washed, pitted and cubed the apricots. Then I weighed them and added the same amount of sugar.
I also put 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon butter. I didn't add any water, though, because the apricots were very ripe and therefore, juicy enough!

Lastly, the most important step: I chose the jam programme and pressed the button......




The cinnamon is actually a helpfull addition, because it "breaks" a bit of the sweetness of the apricots.

This is a very fragrant jam and you can use it in a lot of ways. For example, I eat it by the spoonful right out of the jar (.......), we eat it on bread, but I also use it in cakes in between the layers and I also glaze cupcakes!


Note: Think toasted bread, cream cheese and this jam.... Heaven!!!



Louise

Monday, 14 July 2014

Fresh apricot upside - down cake!

Summer to me is a lot of things.....

One of them is apricots. Oh, I love them. Their smell, their texture, so so tasty!

So naturally, I used them in a cake!

Fresh apricot upside - down cake

for the pan:
110gr butter
150gr brown sugar
apricots, cut in fourths, as many as you need to cover the base of your pan

for the cake:
210gr all purpose flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
120gr butter
150gr white sugar
1,5 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
150gr buttermilk

* Preheat the oven to 180oC.
* Heat the butter until melted and foamy.
* Add the brown sugar and cook it for a couple of minutes. If not all the sugar is dissolved don't worry.
* Pour into the cake pan and arrange the apricots on top.
* Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder. Add salt.
* Beat butter, sugar and vanilla, until light and fluffy.
* Beat in eggs one at a time.
* Add the flour, alternating it with buttermilk (3 times flour, 2 times buttermilk).
* Gently pour batter or spoon it over the apricots.
* Bake for 45 minutes.
* Once out of the oven, let it stand 5 minutes and then invert it on a serving platter.
* Let it cool a bit, then dig in!






This cake is not too sweet and the taste of the fresh fruit is amazing! It caramelizes beautifully!

I don't know if you can make it with canned apricots. But I don't think the taste will be this fresh.

Louise

Monday, 30 June 2014

Grapefruit jam with raw honey!

I had a few grapefruits in the fruit basket, that I wasn't eating. They were from a tree in my mother-in-law's back yard. Small and juicy!

So I decided to make something with them, since I hate throwing food away.

I admit I do not know the difference between jam and marmalade, so I call everything "jam". It doesn't matter to me really, any way you call this, IT IS DELICIOUS!

Oh, did I mention easy, too?

Grapefruit jam with raw honey
recipe by me

4 grapefruits
white sugar
1 tbsp butter
1/2 apple grated
4 tbsp honey

* Wash the grapefruits very well.
* Place them in a very large pot, cover them with water and boil them for a couple of hours, until they are tender and you can prick them easily with a skewer.
* Once they are ready and not so hot for you to handle, cut them in pieces.
* Put them all (juice s and fruit) in your mixer and mash them.
* Weigh the grapefruit mash and weigh the same amount of sugar.
* Put everything in a pot, except for the honey.
* Add a little water, maybe 1/2 cup.
* Cook the jam in moderate heat, stirring constantly and watching it so that it won't burn.
* Once it is thick and jam-like remove from the heat.
* Let it cool a bit and add the honey.
* Stir until combined and taste it. You might want to add a little more honey, if it is too sour for your taste.
* Put it in glass jars and when they are completely cold, place them in the fridge.






My plan for this is a sugar cookie base tart filled with this jam and some sugar cookie crumble on top!!!



The tanginess of grapefruits and the combined sweetness of sugar and honey make this jam truly divine!

Louise

Friday, 27 June 2014

Daring Bakers - June 2014!

This month the challenge was really really good. One of my favourite treats to bake.

Rolls!
I have baked rolls before: Orange Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls without yeast, but it is always good to make more!

We were to make cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, savoury rolls... Anything in that form, actually!
Our host was Shelley from C Mom Cook.

I got creative and baked savoury rolls, as well as sweet rolls. Oh, all are gluten free. Yeah!

a)
Mediterranean Rolls


dough:
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup self rising gluten free flour
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried garlic
salt

filling:
(I am not listing any amounts, because it is totally a personal preference)
katiki cheese
cream cheese
ham, diced very very tiny
tomato paste
gouda cheese, grated
dried oregano
a drizzle of olive oil

1 cup tomato pasta sauce
100ml heavy cream

* Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment paper. I used a small one (20x20 cm).
* Preheat the oven to 190oC.
* Mix all the ingredients for the dough. Add a little bit of yogurt if it seems dry or a little flour if it is wet.
* Knead very well.
* Mix katiki cheese and cream cheese. Add the ham bits.
* Roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the filling ingredients in layers.
* Drizzle with the olive oil. Not too much because you don't want the excess oil to come out on the surface, while you bake the rolls.
* With the long side towards your belly, start rolling into a log.
* Wet the trim a little so that the end will stick.
* Cut little rolls. I used kitchen thread.
* Place the rolls in the dish close together.
* Mix the sauce with the heavy cream and pour over the rolls.
* Sprinkle some grated gouda cheese.
* Bake for about 30 min.









Notes:
This dough recipe floats all around the web in too many variations, so I thought I should try it. It is extremely easy and soft and tasty!


Very very good..... Gone instantly!

b)
My second choice had to be sweet of course. I was craving something with chocolate or caramel or both!

Chocolate caramel cinnamon rolls

dough:
(recipe from the given one for Banana cinnamon buns slightly adapted)

240ml milk
70gr white sugar
75gr butter
9gr dry yeast
500gr all purpose gluten free flour
3gr salt
2 eggs
30ml olive oil
melted butter

filling:
cinnamon
brown sugar
apricot jam
milk chocolate chunks

* Preheat oven to 190oC.
* Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
    I used a small one (20x20 am), because I made half this recipe.
* In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and butter.
* Heat until slightly warm and the sugar is dissolved.
* Let the milk mixture cool before adding the yeast.
* Once the yeast has been added, let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
* Mix together the flour and salt.
* Mix in the eggs, oil and the yeast mixture.
* Mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
* Place it on a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
* Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough into the bowl.
* Cover and let it stand in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour.
* Gently deflate the dough.
* Roll it into a rectangle and brush it with melted butter.
* Spread half top with apricot jam and half bottom with milk chocolate.
* Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, as much as you like!
* Starting from the long side, roll it into a log.
* Glue the edge with some water.
* Cut rolls using some kitchen thread.
* Arrange them in the prepared dish and bake for 25 - 30 min.

While the rolls are in the oven, make the caramel sauce, which is basically a butterscotch icing.

90gr brown sugar
70gr heavy cream
100gr butter
1 tsp salt
400gr icing sugar

* In a large saucepan combine butter, brown sugar and salt.
* Stir until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved, for about 5-7 min.
* Remove from the heat and add the heavy cream.
* Stir very well.
* Add the icing sugar and stir until smooth.
* Pour the warm caramel sauce on the hot rolls, as soon as they come out of the oven!
* Let them cool a bit and serve.









They are very very good and oh so sweet! Really, I had two rolls in one sitting and I truly felt overwhelmed from the sweetness.
Next day and cold are much much better!






Thank you Shelley for this challenge! I had a very good time making these!



Louise.

Friday, 20 June 2014

Flourless fudgy brownie - gluten free!

Brownies..... I love them.... Is there anyone who doesn't? Amazing dessert!

I belong to those who like their brownies fudgy and not cakey. I just cannot resist this dense, chocolate flavour in my mouth! Yum...

Flourless Fudgy Brownies
recipe from my nutritionist, adapted

2 tbsp salted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp almond flour
2 egg whites
1 egg
1/3 cup corn starch
1 tsp baking soda
100gr melted dark chocolate

* Preheat the oven to 190oC.
* Line with parchment paper a 20x20 cm pan, butter and dust it with flour.

* Place the sugar and the water in a small saucepan and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
* Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla.
* Stir in the cocoa powder until it is thick.
* Mix in the egg and egg whites, so that it is very creamy.
* Stir in the starch and the baking soda.
* Pour into the prepared pan, smooth the surface and bake 25-30 min, until the side spring back when you press them.
* Place it on a wire rack and let it cool completely in the pan.
* Remove it from the pan, place on a platter and dust either with powdered sugar, cocoa powder or, my personal favourite, cinnamon!

 Sprinkled with cinnamon!
Cinnamon and chocolate is a match made in heaven!

(I know the pictures have more light than needed, but the brownies are so dark, I had to change the setting of my camera just to show this!)



Unbelievably good!
They also freeze well. I cut them in pieces and freeze them. I thaw them overnight on the kitchen counter.


MAKE THEM!

Louise!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Playing with light!

Sometimes I play with light, shadows and .... sprinkles!






These photos are of a Birthday cake for my nephew. A lovely tasty tall cake!

I find them interesting. Strange even... And to think I almost deleted them.

This is the original birthday cake.


Louise!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Orange cake bars - gluten free!

One of my challenges in baking is turning ordinary recipes to gluten free ones.

This cake is amazing and it already has corn starch and almond meal as main ingredients. So I thought, it can't be difficult! We are half way there!

Orange cake bars with rasberry jam
recipe adapted from the side of the corn starch box

6 eggs
170gr confectioner's sugar
280gr butter
110gr concentrated orange juice
110gr freshly squeezed orange juice
225gr corn starch
100gr gluten free flour mix
225gr almond meal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
zest from 2 oranges
200gr raspberry jam

* Preheat the oven to 150oC.
* Beat the eggs and the confectioner's sugar until fluffy.
* Add butter and beat well.
* Pour the juices and mix for 2 min.
* In a separate bowl mix the corn starch, the flour, the almond, the baking powder, vanilla, salt and zest.
* Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until just combined.
* Prepare a baking pan, suitable for sheet cakes. Flour and butter the sides and cover the bottom with parchment paper.
* Pour 2/3 of the batter, smooth it and bake it for 15 min.
* Take the pan out of the oven and layer the jam.
* Then add the rest of the batter on top, smooth it and bake for another 30 - 35 min.
* Remove from the oven, let it cool in the pan and then cut in bars.



The "experiment" was very successful. Nobody realised it was gluten free!

Loved the texture, the flavour of the orange, the tanginess of the raspberries... Definitely a recipe to keep!



Louise.