Monday, June 23, 2014

Ricotta Lemon Bundt Cake, my own take

There was a BBQ on a Saturday afternoon for a friends’ get-together, and it required a cake. A ricotta cake seemed like the perfect choice--- dessert-like, moist and rich like a cheesecake, but lighter and easier to handle with simply napkins. This cake came out great, received many compliments and I am sure to make it more often. A new go-to recipe. Unfortunately, the cake was gone before I could take a decent photo of a it at the BBQ.

ricotta_bundt_4

Lemon Ricotta Bundt Cake
Regular sized Bundt cake pan
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 Ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 ts lemon extract
  • 1/2 ts vanilla extract
  • zest of 1  organic lemon (save juice for glaze)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  ts baking powder
  • 1/2 ts baking soda
  • 1/2 ts salt

For The Lemon Glaze:
  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 TB fresh squeezed lemon juice
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a regular sized bundt or ring pan.
  2. In a large mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the ricotta cheese and blend well. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each. Add the extracts and lemon zest and mix until fully combined.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt.
  4. Add the dry ingredients in several smaller parts, mixing just until incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spoon as needed.
  6. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until the cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
    Cool completely.
  8. Whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth and thick.
  9. Drizzle the lemon glaze over the top of the cake.
  10. Let the glaze set for 30 minutes and then cut into wedges and serve.
ricotta_bundt_1
ricotta_bundt_3
ricotta_bundt_2
BBQ-4

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ricotta Cake

A citrus-y ricotta cake --- light, fluffy and a small size. Can I say more?

Recipe here


Apple Almond Cake

What a classic cake! Apple cake -- made extra beautiful with the sliced apples and a dough that flows around it. Original Swiss Betty Bossi recipe!

Recipe here (in German). 


Raspberry or Strawberry Sour Cream Cake (GF)

Another eye catching summer cake: a thin tart with a layer of sour cream, another layer of raspberries and then some crumbs. Perfect for those summer afternoon get-togethers.

Find the recipe here


Strawberry Mascarpone Layered Cake with Amaretti

This cake immediately caught my eye: a light, angel food like bottom layer with amaretti for extra flavor, and a thick layer of cream (a pound of mascarpone and a half pound of whipped cream!) and finished off with fresh in season strawberries berries, wild strawberries and amaretti crumbs. Holy summery festivity!

Original recipe (in German)


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Brownies on a Sunday

It is one of these Sundays. The work pile is sky high. The weather is dreary, cold and rainy, and all the new outdoor cushions only look good, and looking at them has to suffice. Plus, the new work week is near. One day ahead.

navy_cushion

To infuse my day with a little bit of comfort, I baked brownies again. Typically I share my baked goods at work. but these I cut up into bite size pieces, and freeze them. They are really good, right out of the freezer with hot coffee. Or a desert snack.

vegan_brownies_0

vegan_brownies_1

vegan_brownies_2

Chocolate Brownies, almost vegan.

Makes large 17 by 11 inch cookie sheet of brownie, or 2 regular sized brownie pans.

  • 4 tablespoons +  4 teaspoons ground flax meal
  • 1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 cups pure cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons gluten-free flour  (oat, or a glutenfree all purpose flour like Trader Joes)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup + 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 9 ounces dark chocolate chips, about 1 1/2 cup standard sized chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 325* F and lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 17 x 11 pan.  In a small bowl mix the ground flax and water and set aside so that it can thicken and gel.
  2. In a medium bowl sift and stir together the flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until fully combined.  Set aside.
  3. Melt the coconut oil and chocolate together in  a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments —stirring each time, until fully melted.  Stir to combine.
  4. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar and the flax mix. Add the instant espresso powder, vanilla, and almond extract until fully combined.  Now, add in the melted chocolate/coconut oil mix, mix until fully combined.
  5. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. Use a spoon, and add spoon by spoon so that it does too much. Keep the stand mixer on low speed. A thick but soft dough will form. 
  6. Spoon the dough batter into the pan and evenly distribute to the edges with a spatula or your fingers.  The dough should be very soft and easy to press/spread.
  7. Place in the center of your oven and bake for ca. 35 minutes. The sides will rise slightly higher than the center.  Allow to cool for 30-45 minutes.
  8. Once cooled it can be cut into bite-sized pieces and frozen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Baby (bundt) cakes

Sunday. Time to kick off the shoes, make coffee, and eat a mini bundt cake baked on Saturday. Enjoy a sun bath in the French door windows.

mini_bundt_1

The sun slowly melts the snow piles in the garden, the circles around the tree become larger every day. The deck floor emerges. It will still take weeks, …..weeks until there are buds on the trees. Last summer I planted a plum tree; it shed its leaves earlier than any other tree. With hope and slight concern I wait for it to come back to life this spring, to grow and blossom. Buds. Blossoms. Plums?

mini_bundt_2

The bird feeder was empty again this morning. Hoof marks around the feeder, leading into the woods in an elegant line. Likely one of the hungry deer that decided to look for alternate food resource after a too long, too cold winter.

Time to melt some chocolate, glaze the ‘mother’ bundt cake, and to type up the recipe.

mini_bundt_3