Rhubarb coconut cake

rhubarb and coconut cake

It’s rhubarb season! Which makes me really happy because I love it when you can spend a month or so eating only one thing because you know it’s going to be gone soon. Other popular seasons for me are asparagus, clementine and strawberry season. I think I’ve gone through several kilos of rhubarb in the last 2 weeks and 6 recipes. What I found was that you need to know wether you want sweet or tart. Also, success in cakes is entirely dependant on how “juicy” your rhubarb is. One cake I tried was still soggy after the recommended hour in the oven. Not so good. Last but not least, you need to know that rhubarb may look pink at first but it can change colour throughout the baking/cooking process. I’m not a fan of food colouring so I left it out. The result was pink lemonade and yellow curd all from the same batch of stalks. But the taste was out of this world (I’m a big rhubarb fan).

This rhubarb and coconut cake is a recipe I found on 10thKitchen. And it’s one of the best recipe out of the 6 I made. The cake is soft, sweet and with a hint of coconut. The rhubarb is tart and adds beautiful texture. On top is gloriously toasted desiccated coconut. This cake has some of my absolute favourite flavours.

I pretty much stuck to the recipe, only changing one or two things. So credit to 10thKitchen for this scrumptious cake which is now on my “best cakes” list.

Do you eat seasonal? What is your favourite seasonal dish?

slices of rhubarb and coconut cake

Rhubarb and coconut cake

(yields 8-10 slices)

Ingredients:

250g flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

200ml coconut milk (from a can)

3 eggs

200g sugar

12 tbsp coconut oil, warmed so it is liquid

200-220g (approx. 1 big stalk) rhubarb

6-8 tbsp desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a cake tin (approx. 20×10) with baking paper.
  2. Take 1 tbsp of flour and put it in a bowl, set aside.
  3. Wash the rhubarb and cut off the top and bottom bits. Now slice it lengthways and then cut the 2 lengths in cubes. Toss them in the flour making sure all the cubes are covered.
  4. Sift the remaining flour in a bowl and add the baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a second bowl, whisk the eggs and coconut milk together and set aside.
  6. Use a handmixer or a standmixer with a whisk attached and mix together the coconut oil and the sugar until the mixture is smooth (about 1 minute).
  7. Still using the mixer but now on a low speed, add half the flour and mix. Then add the milk-egg mixture and mix. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix.
  8. Fold in the rhubarb with a wooden spoon or spatula and pour the mixture into the cake tin. Sprinkle the top of the cake with the desiccated coconut and then loosely cover the tin with some tin foil.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the tin foil and bake for another 35 minutes. If you think the coconut is getting too brown, put the tin foil back on.
  10. Take the cake out of the oven and let it sit for 15 minutes before removing it from the tin and letting in cool further on a wire rack.

Note: You can also make this into cupcakes. Just cut the rhubarb cubes smaller (size of a pea) and bake for about 30-35 minutes. 

This recipe was originally published on www.10thkitchen.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Peperkoek (spiced bread)

IMG_6058

I grew up on a breakfast of buttered bread with a layer of jam and fresh pastries on Sundays. That’s how we did things in Belgium back in the 80’s. Cereal was new and expensive and I don’t think a lot of people had heard of muesli. Compared to all the breakfast options we have today, it seems very boring and unhealthy. Now and again though, I like to go back to this kind of breakfast purely for nostalgic reasons.

Something that was always on the table at home was peperkoek (spiced bread). It’s not really a bread in the traditional sense. The concept is similar to banana bread: looks like cake but is called “bread”. The proper peperkoek has rye flour and lots of honey. It is light on the inside and has a dark brown, soft, sticky crust. I found this version of peperkoek when I was looking for a simpler recipe that didn’t have so much sugars in it. Granted, this recipe still calls for 250g of brown sugar but the amount of the honey is limited to 1 and a half tablespoons.

Buttered knife with crumbs

The spices is what makes this bread an absolute dream. If you are a fan of speculaas (biscoff cookies) this will be right up your street. It uses the exact same spices. You can find my recipe for speculaas spice mix here. The only way to eat this peperkoek is with a rather thick layer of real butter. Another way to really enjoy it is by putting a slice in between 2 slices of fresh, crusty white bread.

So this isn’t going to be in the top 10 of “healthy breakfasts for you” but it definitely would be part of the “tastiest breakfast treats” list. I think you should try this peperkoek. If anything, for the fact that it makes your house smell amazing. But, if you’re trying to cut down on sugar as part of a new year’s resolution, just save it for later via my Pinterest board.

What is your favourite breakfast? Do you make an extra effort on the weekend? And does anyone make their own croissants?

Peperkoek (spiced bread)

 

Peperkoek (spiced bread)

Makes 1 big loaf

Ingredients:

100ml of water

250g flour

2 tsp baking powder

250g dark brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp speculaas spice mix

1 1/2 tbsp runny honey

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

2. Line a rectangular cake tin with baking paper.

3. In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with a whisk (or use a big bowl and a handmixer), mix all the ingredients except the flour and baking powder.

4. When the mixture is smooth, add the flour and baking powder, a tablespoon at a time. Mix until all the flour is incorporated. Then mix on medium-high speed for about 7-10 minutes. When you stop mixing you should see bubbles trying to form on the surface.

5. Pour the mixture in the cake tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1hr. Use a knife or skewer to check if it is baked completely.

6. Take the peperkoek out of the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before taking it out of the tin and letting it cool further on a wire rack.

ENJOY!!

 Spiced bread or peperkoek

Galette de Rois – 3 Kings pie

Galette de rois

Happy New Year!

I know it’s already been a week since we all stepped into 2016 but nevertheless I wanted to wish you all the best for the coming 366 days. If this is the start of a new beginning for you, I wish you luck on your journey. If you mean to keep going as you did when 2015 ended then I hope it keeps going well for you.

As a child, I remember very well how we celebrated the arrival of the 3 kings (or wise men) on January 6th. We would dress up, cut a star out of cardboard and attach it to a stick then find something that could pass as a small treasure chest. We then went on our way around the neighbourhood singing the 3 kings song to any one who opened their front door. As a reward, we would get a chocolate gold coin or a clementine. When we had enough treasure we would go home to warm up and eat 3 Kings cake, or galette de rois as its called in French. My mother made a different version of the galette de rois than the one I’ve made but the concept is the same: make a cake or pie, stick in a coffee bean or almond or small toy and then see who gets the slice with the surprise. The lucky winner is crowned king for the day. Something we took very seriously as we got older (as in, we would boss around our siblings because, you know, we were the king).

Celebrate with a 3 kings cake called galette de rois

This galette de rois is not difficult to make. Buy yourself some ready rolled puffed pastry and the rest is just a matter of mixing and assembling. The recipe is for 1 galette enough to feed 6 people but I chose to make smaller versions because we’ve been eating so much cake in this house lately (Christmas, New Year and 2 kids celebrating their Name Day in the space of 14 days) that I wanted to tone it down a bit.

What about you, do you stop baking for a while after all the celebrations or do you just opt for healthier or smaller bakes?

Galette de rois

(serves 6)

Ingredients:

500g puffed pastry

125g soft butter

125g sugar

125 almond meal

2 eggs

1 tbsp Amaretto

1 egg yolk for glazing

1 coffee bean, almond or small heatproof toy

Method:

1. Using a standmixer with whisk (or a handmixer) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one by one mixing in between each egg. Mix well until the eggs are COMPLETELY combined. This can take a couple of minutes.

3. Add the Amaretto and mix.

4. Using a spatula, fold in the almond meal.

5. Cut 2 plate size circles out of the puff pastry. Place one on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

6. Add a about 1/2 a tsp of water to the egg yolk and mix. Using a pastry brush, brush the edge of the circle with the egg yolk (about 2-3cm thick).

7. Spoon the almond cream into the middle of the circle. Spread out until it nearly reaches the egg yolk. Be careful not to pile the cream too high. You might have some left over cream. Now place the bean/almond/heatproof toy somewhere in the cream.

8. Place the second circle of pastry on top and lightly press the edge down onto the bottom circle edge. The egg yolk will help the circles stick together.

9. Decorate the edge of the galette like this using the back of a knife.

(this image is from http://www.blogdechataigne.fr)Galette de rois: how to do the edges

10. Decorate the top of the galette if you want to. Using a sharp knife draw out a pattern without cutting through the pastry. Then brush the entire galette with the egg yolk and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

11. While your galette de rois is in de fridge, preheat your oven to 220 degrees C.

12. Take the galette out and put it in the middle of your oven. After 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 190 degrees C and bake for another 20 minutes.

13. Take out the galette when its a nice shiny, dark brown colour. Let it cool on a wire rack.

Make sure that if you use a small toy as surprise it can withstand high temperatures. Also, if you have small children it might be best to skip the surprise because of the possible chocking risk. 

If you want to try making smaller versions, reduce the oven times to 5 minutes at 220 degrees followed by 10 minutes at 190 degrees C. 

ENJOY!!

3 kings and galette de rois

Peanut butter oat squares with chocolate chips

Beautiful pink and green hydrangea

I love simplicity. I like how a pavlova is called just that and not “meringue pie with cream and fresh fruit”. Or what about eclairs? One word to describe what is essentially “crème patisserie filled pastries with chocolate glaze”. A macaron is a macaron just like biscotti is not a “twice baked crunchy Italian cookie with almond pieces”. Simple.

I love creativeness. I like how a simple cake recipe can be the basis for something even greater. I get excited when someone somewhere decides to add salt to caramel and thousands of new recipes are born. Or when you find yourself wondering how browned butter would impact the taste of your pie crust. All great recipes are the result of someone’s creativeness.

Time for tea and peanut butter oat squares with chocolate chips

There are so many good bakes out there. But what do you do when there is not one word that describes your creation? Do you make one up? Sure, you could be really creative in that too. But would anyone find your recipe? Would people know what it actually is? If I told you I could name this week’s recipe “Moira squares” (*) then I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t know what I was talking about. But when I keep it simple and clear and call them “Peanut butter oat squares with chocolate chips” then you can already start to imagine what it would look like and taste like. I suppose the creativity lies more in the recipe than in the name. What do you think? What is your signature bake and what would you call it if it was up to you?

A delicious peanut butter oat square with chocolate chips

Peanut butter oat squares with chocolate chips

(6 big or 8 small squares)

Ingredients:

for the base:

120g soft butter

100g sugar

1 tsp vanilla sugar

2 eggs

150g flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

400g sweetened condensed milk

6-8 tbsp peanut butter

For the topping:

60g flour

50g sugar

60g cold butter

6 tbsp rolled oats

100g chocolate chips

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar in a stand mixer or use a handheld one. Once light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Mix thoroughly.

3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until smooth and no more lumps remain.

4. Spread into a greased and floured baking tin about 26x20cm in size.

5. Bake for 20 minutes.

6. Meanwhile, mix the condensed milk and the peanut butter in a bowl using a whisk. Set aside.

7. Make the topping by putting all the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a bowl and rub them together with your fingers until they form thick crumbs. Now add the chocolate chips and set aside in a cool place (even the fridge is good).

8. Once the base has baked for 20 minutes, take it out of the oven. Pour the condensed milk-peanut butter mixture in top and spread evenly. Then scatter over the topping.

9. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes until the topping starts to turn a golden brown.

10. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving. I find the these taste even better the next day.

Enjoy!

Take one or two of these delicious peanut butter oat squares with chocolate chips

(*)I used to live in a beautiful small village in Northern Ireland called Moira. A couple of years before we left a new shop/deli/eatery opened called The Fat Gherkin. I loved it even before I tasted their food. This recipe is my take on their “Oaty Squares” and why I will call them “Moira Squares” from now on.

 Books, tea and beautiful hydrangea

Sacher Torte – Austrian chocolate cake

Sacher Torte

Have a slice of this delicious Austrian chocolate cake - Sacher Torte

Every Sunday I look at my diary and see a pretty straight forward week: work Monday and Tuesday, day off on Wednesday, blog on Thursday and Friday then settle down for the weekend. And then Monday morning comes around. I find myself at my desk with said diary, a pencil and an eraser and everything changes.

A friend moved away earlier than I had expected. In other words, a last-minute get-together had to be arranged quickly. Another friend who I hadn’t seen in years found herself unexpectedly with a day off in Berlin. So Tuesday’s work got cancelled and off we went for a delicious catch up breakfast. I spent most of Wednesday on the sofa fighting a cold so that I could at least work on Thursday. And now we are at the end of the week and I’m looking after my oldest who was sick last night and this morning and therefore can’t go to Kita. Oh, and I did get that cold…

The advantage of having our business is that I can be flexible. If I don’t get it done during the day because I need to take my daughter to the doctor, I can catch up in the evening. If P. has his days off during the week, I can spend the day with him if I plan work and blog around it. It’s not a perfect system, and like this week, it all sort of became a bit chaotic.

I tried very hard to bake something good in all this chaos. I forced myself to step out of the stress lane and focus. Work slow. Be precise. And it worked… until I sort of dropped the cake and it cracked. I hid it with the icing so it looked a bit nicer. In a weird way, it reflects many parents’ life. You might think we’ve got it all under control. It may look like we have the perfect balance of kids-work-us but in reality it’s more like my Sacher Torte this week: a bit cracked, a bit crumbly, a bit not how it should be but still fabulous. How has your week been?

(Here’s a view of the beautiful Café Sacher, home to the original and secret recipe for this delicious cake)

Sacher Torte - delicious Austrian chocolate cake

Sacher Torte (Austrian chocolate cake)

(adapted from a recipe by Mary Berry)

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

150g dark chocolate

150g soft butter

100g sugar

1/2 tbsp vanilla sugar

5 eggs, separated

75g ground almonds

40g plain flower

For the topping:

6 tbsp apricot jam

150g dark chocolate

200ml whipping cream

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 23cm round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.

2. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it gently in a bowl set on a saucepan with 2-3cm of simmering water. Let it cool a bit. Meanwhile, beat the butter until really soft and then gradually add the sugar and the vanilla sugar. Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Add the cooled chocolate to the mixture and beat again. Then add the egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated.

4.Whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold it into the mixture. Then pour it all in the cake tin. Level the top.

5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean and the top of the cake is springy. Remove from the oven and let cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack and pealing off the baking paper.

6. When the cake is completely cooled, make the topping. Heat the apricot jam in a saucepan. Strain it to get rid of any lumps and bits. Brush the jam on the top and sides of the cake. Let the jam cool.

7. Melt the chocolate and the cream togheter in a bowl set on a saucepan with 2-3cm simmering water. Allow to cool and thicken a bit. Then pour the chocolate in the center of the cake and let it cover the cake completely. Now leave it to set.

 Enjoy!

Delicious chocolate cake - Sacher Torte

Pear and cardamom crumble cake

Pear and cardamom crumble cake

pears

When does autumn start in your book? Do you stick to the official start on the 21st of september? Or does a certain event signify the start of grey days followed cozy evenings? A lady in my dance class recently told me that she refuses to acknowledge autumn until she is back from her late september sunny holiday. When I was younger, I considered summer to be over when school started.

I love the colours of the trees this time of year. The chestnuts on the ground which promptly get picked up by my kids and put in my handbag for safekeeping. The first scarves and gloves early in the morning. A cup of tea in the evening. The smell of our old radiators as they get switched on after months of rest. My Converse being put to the back of the shoe pile because they may be stylish but they are definitely not rain and puddle proof.

Autumn always makes me crave warmth in everything I eat or drink. Cinnamon in my porridge. Ginger in my tea. Cloves in my rice. And cardamom in my baking. I just want to wrap myself in a blanket of spices at this time of year. What’s your favourite autumn moment?

Warming pear and cardamom crumble cake

Pear and cardamom crumble cake

Server 6-8

Ingredients:

60g soft butter

50g sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

75g flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1/2 tsp cardamom

2-3 ripe but firm pears, pealed, cored and cubed

For the topping:

30g flour

25g sugar

30 ice cold butter in cubes

3 tbsp chopped, blanched almonds

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

2. Grease and flour a baking tin about 20×26 cm

3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the egg and beat well until completely incorporated.

5. Mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom.

6. Pour the mixture into the tin and press it into the corners. The mixture will be thick and will spread out thin to fill the whole tin.

7. Top the mixture with the pear cubes.

8. Make the topping by using your fingers to rub the ice cold butter cubes, flour and sugar together until it forms crumbs. Then add the nuts.

9. Sprinkle the topping on top of the pears.

10. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes.

11. Let cool in the tin and cut into squares.

ENJOY!

Pear and cardamom crumble cake perfect for autumn

Cappuccino cake

 

Who wouldn't want a bite of this delicious cappuccino cake?

Do you know the show “The Great British Bake Off”? If not, have a look at this and then make your way over here. If you love baking, this is the most exciting thing on TV every Wednesday night. Actually, it’s the most exciting thing on TV all week! I have watched every series and I recommend you do too (get VPN if you’re not in the UK).

I am a good baker but certainly not as good as the guys and girls on the show. But sometimes, I like to think that I am a genius with the flour and the eggs. I pretend that I have just invented a new sensational flavour combination and that I am the master of the 6-strand braided bread. Am I the only one in this?

I bought Mary Berry’s “Baking Bible” a couple of year ago because of #GBBO (that’s Twitter speak for the Great British Bake Off and one to follow) and I am slowly baking my way through it. Last month I made these beautiful madeleines and this week I decided on the chocolate, coffee and cream combination in this cappuccino cake.

Coffee and cream combined with chocolate in this gorgeous cake

Cappuccino cake 

(adapted from Mary Berry’s recipe in “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible”)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

50g cocoa powder (unsweetened)

3 tbsp boiling water

2 eggs

25 ml milk

100g flour

3 tsp baking powder

50g soft butter

100g sugar

200ml whipping cream

1/2 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 1 tsp of very hot water

some cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a springform cake tin with a diameter of approx. 18cm.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the cocoa powder and boiling water into a smooth paste. Then add the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, butter and sugar and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

3. Pour the mixture into the tin, level the top and put it in the middle of the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

4. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then remove from the springform and cool the cake further on a wire rack.

5. When the cake is completely cooled, slice it horizontally into 2 disks.

6. Whip the cream until it holds its shape. Spread about half of the cream onto one of the disks.

7. Put the second disk on top of the cream.

8. Mix the coffee granules with the hot water. Let it cool down for a couple of minutes and then fold it gently into the remaining cream. Spread the coffee cream on top of the cake and smooth it out using a palette knife (a regular knife will work too just use the smooth side (not the cutting side).

9. Decorate the cake with a dusting of cocoa powder.

ENJOY!

Beautiful Chocolate cake with cream filling and coffee cream on top

French Madeleines

Tray of madeleines and tea cup

In the end, I decided to take a break from every day life. 3 weeks free from the daily routines and the daily stresses that come with it. I decided to relax, clear my head and put all my thoughts and ideas in order. I let it all go for a while and lived very much in the moment. For the first time in my life I lived in the present. In the now. And I can tell you it felt great.

I have a holiday ritual. I look back over the time since my last holiday and take stock. I think about how I have felt in that time. What I have done or not done. What I wanted to achieve and if I have managed it or not. I suppose you could call it an assessment or a review. I gave myself a good score.

Of course there are things that need a bit more tweaking. It will never be perfect (a concept I don’t believe in) but I want to make things the best I want to make them. Not the best they can be or the best I can make them. No, the best I WANT to make them. Usually, CAN and WANT go hand in hand. But sometimes I believe it is better to concentrate on CAN because WANT can easily lead to stress and pressure.

That being said, I have decided to add more posts to my blog that feature other bakers. I have a pile of baking recipe books and a stack of notes/magazine pages/links to other blogs with recipes I want to try but never get round to because of time and because I initially decided to only do my own thing. But now I’ve realised that I need a bit more breathing space in my blog-life. Letting other bakers do some of the work for me every other week will give me that (thank you in advance).

tray of madeleines

French Madeleines

(recipe slightly adapted from “Mary Berry’s Baking Bible” by Mary Berry)

Makes 30 madeleines

Ingredients:

150g butter

3 eggs

150g sugar

150g flour

1 level tsp baking powder

Method:

1.Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C. Grease a madeleine tray with butter, then dust with flour and shake off any excess.

2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and let it cool slightly.

3. In a standmixer with a whisk (or a handmixer) beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and thick. This will take a while (5-1o minutes).

4. Sift in half of the flour and baking powder. Fold it into the mixture.

5. Pour half the butter around the edge of the mixture and fold it in.

6. Sift in the remaining half of the flour and baking powder and fold it in.

7. Pour the remaining butter around the edge and fold it into the mixture.

8. Spoon the mixture into the moulds. You want the top of the mixture to be level with the top of the mould. Depending on how many madeleines your tray makes, you will have to make several batches.

9. Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. You are looking for a golden colour and that the madeleine springs back when you touch it.

10. Take the tray out of the oven and carefully ease the madeleines out of the trays. Place them on a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Swedish sticky chocolate cake – Kladdkaka

kladdkaka with cream and blueberries

In Sweden, where P. is from, there is this tradition that on Saturday everyone goes to the supermarket and fills a big bag full of sweets from the huge pick and mix stand. When you get home, you can keep your lördagsgodis (Saturday sweets) in the bag or put them in a large bowl and munch away all weekend long. This mix of bonbons, chocolates, fudges, caramels and more is a colourful display.

Sometimes, I think our little family is a bit like that bowl of mixed colours and flavours. P. is Swedish, I am from Belgium, the kids were born in Northern Ireland and we chose to settle in Germany. Berlin is our home and we plan to stay here. But how do you answer the question: Where are you from? In my case, I answer by saying that I am from Belgium but live in Germany. P. answers the same way. But what about our kids? They are not from Belgium. They are not from Sweden. They are essentially from Germany.

Blueberries on black background

I’ve been thinking about these things a lot lately. How will our kids deal with all of this? What sort of questions will they ask when they are older? What nationality will they take when they turn 18 and have to choose? How will they give Belgium, Sweden and Northern Ireland a place in their life? In their being? Who will they be and how will they define themselves?

Whatever the answers, we will give them the freedom to search and find their way. Their roots might be growing in German soil, but their heritage, their seeds of life, that has come from 3 beautiful and inspiring places.

P. and I wil make sure they know about their heritage. And part of this heritage for me personally is food. And not just the national dishes, but the simple tomato soup Oma (grandmother in Belgium) makes or the lobster thermidor Farfar (grandfather in Sweden) cooks on special occasions.

This week’s recipe is a Swedish sticky (Kladd) cake (kaka). It’s easy and requires just 1 bowl and something to mix the batter with. I bet you my nearly 4 year old could do this. So let the lesson “this is your heritage” begin…

kladdkaka with bowl of cream and bowl of blueberries

 Swedish sticky chocolate cake – Kladdkaka

Serves 8

Ingredients:

2 eggs

270g sugar

60g flour

1 tsp vanilla sugar

2 heaped tbsp unsweetened cocoa

100g melted butter

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour a round springform tin (important!).

2. In a bowl, use a handmixer or whisk to mix all the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth.

3. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for  30 minutes.

4. Let the cake cool in the tin.

5. When ready to serve, remove the springform side. Do not attempt to remove the cake from the bottom of the tin, it is too sticky and fudge-like. Use a cake cutter (preferably one that won’t scratch your tin) to cut and scrape/lift a piece of the cake. It will come loose, it’s just nice and sticky.

6. Serve with some vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, berries, toasted nuts or sliced, fresh fruit

ENJOY!

 blueberries rolling out of bowl

Red current crumble cake

It’s summer! I want to jump and dance around! I want to eat lots of ice cream and drink lots of fresh juices. I want to feel the warm summer breeze on my bare shoulders as I cycle down our street. Oh yes, I want to grab this moment, this start of summertime, this transition from cold and grey to bright and sunny and hold it ever so tight.

a square of red current crumble cake

These moments when the seasons change are moments I love. It marks the end of one thing and the start of another. I remember as I child, autumn meant the start a new school year. I was always excited about the first day of school (the excitement disappeared about 24 hours later though). Then winter would come and with it the smell of burning wood and the feeling of cold, numb fingers. And just when I would get fed up with darkness and cinnamon scented candles, spring would wake up and tap me on the shoulder reminding me that it’s her turn. She’s a bit of everything, one day she’s feeling hot and the next she just doesn’t want to make an effort. And when she’s done, summer takes over. Suddenly, windows are left open all the time, socks get banished to the back of the drawers and flip flops make their way onto our shoe rack. I think I might just get up from my desk now and do a little joyous dance…

5 squares of red current crumble cake with icing sugar

But for my friends and blogger colleagues who live south of the equator it’s the start of hat-and-scarf-time. They are about to huddle together to keep warm. Iced tea becomes hot tea and ice cream… well, ice cream will always be ice cream and is always appropriate no matter what time of year it is.

red current crumble cake on a grey napkin

This cake is for all of us. For those of us waking up from our winter sleep and for those who are about to start one. Which one are you?

Red current crumble cake squares

Red current crumble cake

(makes about 16 squares)

Ingredients for the cake:

120g soft butter (1/2 cup)

100g + 1 tbsp sugar (1/2 cup + 1 tbsp)

2 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla sugar

150g flour (1 cup)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

280-300g red currents (about 3 cups) fresh or frozen. If using frozen, defrost in a sieve and catch the juices. You don’t need the juices, just drink them!

Ingredients for the crumble:

60g flour (1/2 cup)

50g sugar (1/4 cup)

60g ice cold butter cut into cubes (1/4 cup)

20g oats, not quick-cooking (1/4 cup)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C.

2. Grease and flour a baking tray (approx. 20x30cm or 8x11inch).

3. In a standmixer with a paddle (or use a hand mixer and a large bowl), cream the butter, 100g of sugar and the vanilla sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix thoroughly until the eggs are completely incorporated.

5. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until the mixture is thick and sticky.

6. Use a spatula to spread the mixture in the baking tray. Press it into the corners and flatten the surface.

7. Spread out the red currents on top of the mixture and lightly press them down a bit.

8. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of sugar over the red currents.

9. Make the crumble by mixing the flour and sugar with a wooden spoon in a bowl.

10. Add the ice cold butter cubes and use your finger to rub it all together until it starts to look like small breadcrumbs. Then, add the oats and mix.

11. Sprinkle the crumble on top of the red currents.

12. Bake in the middle of the oven for 50 min or until the crumble has turned golden.

13. Let the cake cool in the baking tray. Once cooled, cut into squares.

(I tried to include cup measurements. Please let me know if you notice any mistakes)

ENJOY!

2 squares of red current crumble cake

one square of red current crumble cake