Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Cake

Rhubarb again, you might say! Yes, this time with its favorite buddy – strawberry and all enveloped in a tasty batter with scrumptious topping of streusel and almond slices.

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You will love this spring/summery dessert and especially if you are baking for a large crowd. In no time you’ll have a large baking sheet of super tasty, fruity goodness.

This is me, using a large rhubarb leaf from my garden as a fan. 😀

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Strawberry Rhubarb Streusel Cake

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:
• 450 g (200 + 250) or 7 oz + 8.8 oz flour
• 400 g (150 + 250) or 5 oz + 8.8 sugar
• 2 packs (1 + 1) vanilla sugar (or 2 tsp [1+1]vanilla extract)
• 400 g (150 + 250)or 5 oz + 8.8 butter
• 1 pinch of salt
• 500 g (1.1 lb)rhubarb
• 800 g (1.7 lb)strawberries
• 4 large eggs
• 75 g (2.6 oz) corn starch
• 3 tsp baking powder
• 75 g (2.6 oz) sliced almonds
Prepare streusel:
For the streusel combine qty of ingredients marked bold in the ingredient list – flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and cut in butter with a pastry blender or hand until it resembles coarse crumb. Cover and place in the fridge.

Streusel

Cake:
1. Wash rhubarb, pat dry and cut into 1.5 cm or ½ inch pieces. Wash strawberries and split them into halves if small and into quarters if bigger.
2. For the batter combine the remaining butter (or half qty of butter, half cream cheese), remaining sugar and vanilla. Mix at high speed until creamy. Add one by one egg making sure they are well mixed into batter.
3. Combine remaining flour, corn starch and baking powder and stir well. Lower the speed and add the flour mixture.
4. Spread the batter onto a large baking pan covered with parchment paper. I’ve used 13 X 17 inches which is about 33 X 43 cm.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cake 1
5. Place rhubarb and strawberries on the top of the batter. Sprinkle with sugar (if desired). Now spread streusel over it and finally almond slices.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cake 2
6. Bake at 200 C or 395 F 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven, let it cool and serve. You may want to sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
ENJOY!

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Rhubarb Meringue Cake

It’s rhubarb season and this year rhubarb in my garden has been growing like crazy! Over the weekend I picked five stalks, two of which weighed almost a pound. I was searching for a good rhubarb dessert recipe and finally decided to go with this one, which I adapted from a German website.IMG_0936FullSizeRender

I love rhubarb, but because of its tartness I often pair it up with strawberries. Other recipes with rhubarb only, seem to call for a huge amount of sugar, which I try to avoid as often as possible. This cake, even though with rhubarb only, has a perfect balance of tart in the sponge part and then sweet in the meringue top. It tastes heavenly and I will be making it again this rhubarb season.

I tried to go a little fancy with piping the meringue on the top, but it can be just simply spread over the cake. If you choose to do the piping, I’d suggest to add one more egg white because I ran out of it (one corner of the cake didn’t have meringue on, but I was embarrassed to show it… :D)

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Rhubarb Meringue Cake

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:
• 800 g (1 ¾ lb)Rhubarb
• 1 TBSP sugar
• 125 g (4.4 oz) Sugar
• 125 g (4.4 oz) Butter (room temperature)
• 1 Pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
• 1/2 Lemon (zest only)
• 1 Pinch of salt
• 3 Large eggs (divided)
• Sugar*** (for meringue – see step 6.)
• 1 Whole egg
• 100 g (3.5 oz) Corn starch
• 100 g (3.5 oz) All-purpose flour
• 2 tsp Baking powder
• 2–3 TBSP Milk
Preparation:
1. Wash and dry rhubarb stalks and cut into ½ inch pieces. Sprinkle with 1 TBSP sugar and set aside in a bowl.
2. Divide eggs and place the egg whites in the fridge.
3. Place butter in a mixer bowl, add sugar, vanilla, salt and lemon zest and mix until fluffy, then add 3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg and mix until is all well incorporated.
4. In another bowl combine flour, corn starch and baking powder and mix well. Start adding it to the egg mixture alternating with milk. The batter will turn out really nice and creamy.
5. Prepare a 13 X 9 inch baking pan. Brush the sides with butter and place parchment paper on the bottom. Place the batter into the pan, spreading evenly. Now place the rhubarb on the top. Bake at 395 F (200 C) for about 25 minutes.

Rhubarb Meringue Cake
6. While cake is baking take the egg whites out of the fridge and weigh them. The weight of your egg whites will determine the quantity of sugar you will need. (My egg whites weighed 108 grams, so I measured 108 g sugar for my meringue). I learned that by using the same quantity of egg whites and sugar I get the best meringue.

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7. Beat the egg whites on high gradually adding sugar for about 3-4 minutes or until soft peaks form. If you turn your bowl upside down they will stay in place.
Meringue

8. When cake is done, take it briefly out of the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 250 F (120 C). Spread or pipe the meringue on the cake and bake it for another 20-25 minutes.
9. Let it cool and serve.

ENJOY! 🙂

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Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake

A few days ago I went through my freezer to see what we need to use up soon and came across a whole bunch of blueberries which reminded me of the fun times last summer when my daughter and I went blueberry picking. I think we ended up with around 9 pounds and that’s not including the ones we ate while picking. 🙂

Blueberry picking

Anyway, I decided we needed to use some of those soon and what a better combination than blueberry-lemon. Recently a friend gave me a nice, new bundt cake form, so I got an idea to make a blueberry lemon bundt cake. It turned out really good, moist and not too sweet!

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Blueberry-Lemon Bundt Cake

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 350 g (12 oz)sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 4 eggs
  • 300 g (10 oz or 2 1/3 cup) flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 200 g (7 oz) sour cream
  • 500 g (about 1 lb) blueberries

Preparation:

  1. Slice butter into thin slices and place into a mixer bowl.
  2. Gradually add sugar and vanilla sugar and beat until fluffy.
  3. Now add lemon zest, lemon juice and extract and mix well.
  4. Start adding eggs, one at a time until well incorporated into batter.

cake preparation 1

5. Lower the mixing speed.
6. Combine flour and baking powder and start adding to batter alternating with heaping tablespoons of sour cream until all is used up.
7. Butter your bundt cake form.
8. Pour the batter into 3/4 of the form
9. Spread the blueberries on the top of batter. During baking they will sink into batter. (I used frozen blueberries)

cake preparation 2

10. Bake at 195 C or 385 F for about 1 hour or until middle sets and gets a nice golden brown color.
11. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Enjoy! 🙂

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Summer Slices

This is a nice summery dessert which I created using a batter recipe for a marble cake, minus the cocoa and instead of in a bunt cake form I baked it in large baking pan with addition of some fresh fruit on the top. I call it Summer Slices for every piece has a nice amount of summer fruit and berries and it looks so colorful. This cake is perfect for a family gathering or a party, it’s simple to make and super delicious!

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Summer Slices

[Printable Recipe]

Ingredients

  • 300 g butter (10.5 oz or 65 sticks)- softened
  • 275 g (9.7 oz or 2 ¼ cups + 2 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 375 g (13.2 oz or about 3 cups)all-purpose flour
  • 2 – 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • Various fruit (peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
  • Slivered almonds (toasted)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Baking pan 32 x 44 x 2.5 cm (12 X 17 X 1 inch)
  • Parchment paper (size of the pan)

Preparation

  1. Beat softened butter, sugar, vanilla and salt until nice and foamy 1 – 2 minutes.
  2. Add eggs one by one mixing ½ minute after each addition.
  3. Mix in lemon zest.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder and stir well, then start adding to the butter mixture mixing at a medium speed.
  5. At the end add milk and stir until all well combined.
  6. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the batter evenly on the pan.
  7. Lightly toast slivered almonds and set aside.
  8. If you use peaches you will need about 4 large. Boil some water and immerse peaches into boiling water for about a minute. Peel them and slice into thin slices (about 1.5 cm or 1/2 inch).
  9. Spread them on the batter, sprinkle with berries and toasted almonds
  10. Bake at 195 C or 385 F until lightly brown on the top.
  11. Let it cool down and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into slices and serve.
 ♦

Summer SlicesSummer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Summer Slices

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Caramel Almond Topping

I made this cake for my husband’s birthday. First I wanted to make his birthday favorite Julishka, but then I thought maybe this year I’d make something new and different. He likes chocolate and he also likes caramel, so what could really go wrong?!

I remembered a while ago I made a Black Forest Cake which didn’t require any flour, so I thought that would be a good start. I’ve changed a few things around: increased almond meal to 100 g and then substituted bread crumbs with organic shredded coconut.

I also remembered a cake my mom used to make with the almond caramel sauce, for which I don’t have a recipe, but thought I could recreate the sauce and pour over my chocolate cake. The cake turned out so much better than I hoped for. It has a nice texture, it’s moist and not too sweet at all. The sweetness of caramel fits really good with this cake and almonds give it a nice crunch. It’s definitely a winner!

Flourless chocolate cake with caramel almond topping

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Caramel Almond Topping

{Printable recipe}

Cake:

  • 8 eggs (divided)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.8 oz (50 g) dark cocoa
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) ground blanched almonds
  • 1.8 oz (50 g) organic shredded coconut

 Topping:

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 6 TBSP (85 g) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 cup (150 g) roasted blanched almonds

 Preparation:

  1. Divide eggs and first beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm or when you turn the bowl upside down they don’t move. Set aside
  2. Now beat egg yolks, 1 whole egg, water and sugar until very pale yellow, add vanilla extract and cocoa. Make sure cocoa is well blended with eggs. Fold in almonds and coconut.
  3. At the end add egg whites and mix all together by hand until just incorporated.
  4. Pour into a round 8 inch (20 cm) cake spring form lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake at 365 F (185 C) for about 30 minutes.
  6. While cake is baking roast your almonds until light brown and fragrant; set aside to cool.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and cool completely and then make caramel topping.
  8. For the topping pour sugar into a heavy bottom pot and melt at a medium temperature. Have butter and cream handy.
  9. Once the melted sugar starts boiling add butter and cream at once. Lower the temperature and cook for another 5 minutes. Add roasted almonds and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes.
  10. As it cools caramel will become thicker. Pour over cake and serve. Keep the cake at the room temperature, or if keeping in the fridge remove 30-60 minutes before serving.

Bon Appetit!

Flourless chocolate cake prep 1

Flourless chocolate cake prep 2

Flourless chocolate cake prep 3

Flourless chocolate cake with caramel almond topping

Flourless chocolate cake with caramel almond topping

Flourless chocolate cake with caramel almond topping

Egg Foam Pie {Šampita}

Egg Foam Pie? I know it sounds weird, but that would be a literal translation for one of my favorite childhood desserts. All of my Bosnian friends know what I’m talking about here – šampita! 🙂

Šampita is one of many traditional Bosnian desserts. It’s been around for a very long time when fancy ingredients were not available and the most basic ingredients were used to make a dessert. It’s easy and quick to make. Bakeries usually make it with just a layer of puff pastry on the bottom, but this is a kind that’s made at home and it belongs to the category of sugar syrup soaked desserts, such as baklava, gulab jamun, etc. The cake part will soak up the syrup from the meringue and it will be moist and meringue is just sweet enough, fluffy with a hint of lemon.

To me, šampita tastes like childhood, like worry free days, like playing outside, picking flowers, and endless laughter and happiness.

Egg Foam Pie

Egg Foam Pie {Šampita}

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs at room temperature (divided)
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 6 TBSP sugar
  • 6 TBSP milk
  • 6 TBSP cooking oil
  • 6 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Syrup:

  • 24 TBSP (about 250 g) sugar
  • About 0.85 cup (2 dl) water

Also needed:

  • 9 X 13 inch baking pan 2 or 3 inches deep (22 X 23 X 5 cm)
  • Parchment paper
  • 2 oz chocolate (about 50 g)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream

Preparation:

  1. Divide eggs. Place egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Beat egg yolks with sugar until pale yellow, then add milk, oil and at the end flour combined with baking powder.
  2. Pour the batter into the baking pan covered with parchment paper and bake at 350 for about 10-15 minutes or until you notice edges starting to get lightly brown.
  3. While the cake is baking, add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and mix them at the highest speed. When they are done add lemon juice and mix some more. They are done when you turn the bowl upside down and they don’t move. Leave the egg whites in the bowl as you will have to add the syrup.
  4. While the meringue is in making, place sugar and water for the syrup into a small pot and bring it to boil. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat and slowly start pouring into the egg whites while they’re still at the highest speed. You will notice the volume of the mixture quickly increasing.
  5. Now the cake should be done too, so remove it from the oven and spread the meringue all over the cake. It doesn’t matter that it’s too hot. Spread evenly and smooth it out and place it in the oven for 2 – 3 minutes. Remove it from the oven and set it on the counter.
  6. If you wish, you can melt chocolate, combine with some sour cream and drizzle over the cake.
  7. Place it in the fridge and let it cool completely. Enjoy this moist, light and fluffy dessert.

Egg Foam Pie 1

 ♦

Egg Foam Pie

Egg Foam Pie

Egg Foam Cake

Egg Foam Cake

 

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

We celebrated our son’s Birthday in January, and being a cheese cake lover, he asked for a chocolate cheese cake with raspberries. I really liked the challenge and it was a perfect timing to try a new cheese cake recipe I had for a while. The recipe sounded different from the way I used to make cheesecakes, but it really was a great success. The texture of this cake is so creamy and silky, unlike any other cheesecake I had before – a true chocolate lover’s dream. Instead of graham crackers for the crust I used Milano Raspberry Cookies and then decorated the cake with fresh raspberries.

Silky Chocolate Cheese Cake with Raspberry Crust

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

{Printable Recipe}

Crust:

  • 250 g (9 oz) Milano Raspberry Cookies (crushed)
  • 113 g (1 stick) butter (melted)

Cheesecake:

  • 500 g (1 lb) cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 225 g (8 oz) semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
  • 300 g (1 ½ cup) sour cream
  • 45 g ( 3 TBSP) butter (melted)

Also needed:

  • 22 cm (9 inch) spring-form cake pan
  • Parchment paper (same size as the pan)

Preparation:

  1. Cover the cake pan with parchment paper. Crush the cookies to resemble small crumbs. Melt the butter and add into cookies. Mix thoroughly and press into the pan bottom and onto the sides (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm high). Place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  3. While the crust is resting in the fridge, prepare the cheesecake mixture. First, beat the cream cheese until airy and fluffy, then add sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa until well incorporated.
  4. Melt the chocolate over a hot water pan. Turn the mixing speed to low and then add chocolate, sour cream and melted butter into the cheese cream mixture.  Mixture will look really shiny and smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake at 180 C (350 F) for about 45 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Decorate with whipped cream, fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings.

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

German Plum Cake

German plum cake is a dear guest at our house at least once a year (while the Stanley plums are in season). The recipe reminds me so of my high school years. I sat in my German class and looked through a German magazine trying to find an article to practice translating. I came across a beautiful photo and recipe of this cake, so I asked my teacher if I could translate the recipe instead of an article. She thought it was a great idea.

German Plum Cake

This recipe has been in my old, yellowed recipe book ever since. The cake is easily made and it’s huge. It can feed a large group of relatives or friends. It’s good warm or cold and it goes so well with a cup or morning coffee or tea. Enjoy my friends!

old recipe book

German Plum Cake

{Printable recipe}

Dough:

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) low fat cream cheese (or German quark cheese)
  • 125 g (1/2 cup + 2 TBSP) sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 10 TBSP milk
  • 10 TBSP oil
  • 1 small lemon (juice and zest)
  • 500 g (17.6 oz or about 4 cups) flour
  • 20 g (0.7 oz) baking powder

Filling:

  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs)Stanley plums
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 80 g (2/3 cup) flour
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) sliced almonds

Also needed:

  • 1 large rectangular baking pan (13 X 18 inches ) 33 X 46 cm.
  • Parchment paper

Preparation:

  1. For the dough combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla in a mixing bowl. Start mixing at a low speed, slowly adding milk and oil. Add juice and lemon zest. Combine flour and baking powder and stir well. Gradually add to the rest and mix until well combined.
  2. Cover the dough with plastic and let it rest until needed
  3. Wash, dry and pit plums. Half them and make a small cut on each half (as you going to quarter them), but don’t cut all the way through.
  4. Dust your working surface with flour. Place the dough on the surface and roll it out into the size of the pan. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and transfer the dough onto the pan.
  5. Place the plums in thick rows on the dough. Sprinkle with 3 TBSP of sugar.
  6. Beat 2 large eggs with sugar and vanilla until pale yellow, add flour and mix until smooth.
  7. Pour over the plums and sprinkle with sliced almonds
  8. Bake at 200 C (400 F) for 30-35 minutes or until lightly brown on the top.
  9. Cool slightly and slice into squares.

ENJOY!

German plum cake preparation

German plum cake preparation

German plum cake preparation

German Plum Cake

German Plum Cake

Apricot – Chocolate Chip Muffins

 Post title

{Printable Recipe}

Ingredients:

Ingredients apricot muffins

Preparation:

  • Place apricots into boiling water for a 1/2 – 1 minute. If they are soft about ½ minute and if they are harder about 1 minute.
  • Remove the skin, half them, pit them and set aside.

boil and peel apricots

  • Beat butter, sugar, salt and vanilla at a high speed and until fluffy.
  • Add eggs one by one until nicely incorporated into batter.
  • Combine flour and baking powder. Add to batter alternating with milk, until both is used up.
  • At the end, mix in mini chocolate chips.

Batter

  • Fill the batter into muffin pans lined with muffin cups or into mini bunt cake tins. Place an apricot half on each muffin.
  • Bake at 195 C (385 F) about 20-25 minutes. Let cool down, remove from tins and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Apricot muffins

Enjoy!

apricot chocolate chip muffins

apricot chocolate chip muffins

Cherry Upside Down Cake

Hello dear friends! Here is the history of another childhood cake that I really, really LOVE:

My father’s sister (my favorite aunt) had a wild cherry tree in her backyard. It was growing quite close to the house, it was very tall and surpassing the roof of their two-story home. I loved visiting my aunt! I would often stop by her house to have a glass of juice, a treat and to get some auntie love. She would take my hand, lead me through her bedroom to the open window and she would reach out and grab a cherry branch. I would stand there, holding the branch, picking the sweet, little cherries and stuffing them in my mouth. Didn’t wash them either and I am still alive! Can you believe that? 😉

cherry

In February of 2004 we moved to our first home here in the U. S. Snow and cold prevented me to explore my backyard and see what’s there, but when the spring came, imagine my surprise! Right in the corner, just a few feet from the house there was a wild cherry tree! God sure works in mysterious ways!   Having that wild cherry tree in my yard, almost next to my bedroom window made me feel just a little more at home.

cherry

Auntie’s cherry upside down cake is mouth-watering good, moist, lightly sweet and served with vanilla whipped cream on top. Since my wild cherries are not ripe yet, I used bing cherries this time. Nonetheless, it was GOOD, and I mean really, really GOOD! I hope you give it a try while cherries are in season.

 cherry upside down cake

Cherry Upside Down Cake

[print recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 900 g (2 lbs) cherries  + 5-10 cherries for the decoration
  • 5 TBSP sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 TBSP hot water
  • 100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 1 vanilla sugar (or 1 TSP vanilla extract)
  • 125 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
    • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa (OPTIONAL)
  • 500 ml (about 2 cups) heavy whipping cream
  • sugar and vanilla to taste

Also needed:

  • 1 medium cake pan (about 8-9 inch or 20-23 cm)
  • Circular piece of parchment paper, 1 -2 inches larger than the pan circumference.

Method:

  1. Wash and pit the cherries.
  2. Line the cake pan with parchment paper. You should have about 1-2 inches extra which will line the walls of the pan.
  3. Place the cherries on the parchment paper and sprinkle with sugar and vanilla sugar. Paper will keep all the cherry juice from running out of the pan and cake will be nice and moist.
  4. Crack the eggs into the mixer bowl and add 3 TBSP of hot water. Mix at high speed for a minute or two.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla and mix for two more minutes.
  6. Combine flour and baking powder, reduce the mixing speed to slow and add the flour to eggs until just combined.
  7. At this point you can take 1/3 of batter and add 2 TBSP cocoa to it.
  8. Pour the yellow batter onto cherries, then pour the cocoa batter on the top of it and swirl around a bit with a fork.
  9. Bake at 365 F (185 C) for about 30 – 35 minutes. Cool completely and then leave in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.
  10. Whip the heavy cream until dense; add sugar and vanilla after your own taste.
  11. Invert the cake onto the serving plate, spread with whipped cream and decorate with fresh cherries.

Bing cherries

Cake preparation
Cake preparation

Cherry upside down cake

Cherry upside down cake

Easy Chocolate Cake with Hazelnuts

Hello friends! Oh, how happy I am to say that Spring is in the full swing in my neck of the woods! I’ve been so distracted by its beauty, I could hardly manage to do anything inside the house (including baking). Family wasn’t happy about not having goodies for a while, so that’s why I resorted to this easy cake recipe from an old German baking book. It doesn’t require much time or skill and the result is more than satisfying.

This simple chocolate cake can be paired up with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or topped with  fresh berries or berry sauce. It is easy enough to make for those who are new to baking or for the times when you learn that friends are coming over and you don’t really have a lot of time to prepare a dessert.

Enjoy this fine chocolate cake and Happy Spring! 

easy chocolate cake with hazelnuts

Easy Chocolate Cake with Hazelnuts

{print recipe}

Ingredients:

  • 115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g (1 cup) flour
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 3 TBSP cocoa (sifted, unsweetened)
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) chopped and toasted hazelnuts

Preparation:

Beat butter and sugar at a high speed until nice and fluffy, add vanilla extract and eggs.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and add to the butter mixture.

Reduce the mixing speed and mix until creamy; add hazelnuts.

Rub a bottom and sides of a tart pan with butter and pour the cake batter in.

Bake at 175 C (350 F) for about 20 – 25 minutes.

If desired sprinkle the cake with some powder sugar.

Simple, Easy and Yummy!

Bon Appétit!

cake preparation

cake batter

chocolate cake with hazelnuts

chocolate cake with hazelnuts

16th Birthday: Jelly Roll Cake and a Sunny Spring Day

Last weekend we celebrated our daughter’s 16th Birthday! It was the first sunny and really warm weekend this year, so in addition to going out for lunch and having a piece of birthday cake at home, we also spent some time in the park with our pups, enjoying the warmth and noticing the first signs of spring.

A 16th birthday cake had to be (almost) as special and as pretty as our daughter! She wanted to have something with strawberries and chocolate, and this is what mom came up with: A strawberry jelly roll, cut into slices and used to cover the bottom and sides of a cake form; filled with cream cheese, whipped cream and blended fresh strawberries filling.

Strawberry Birthday Cake

Jelly Roll Cake with Strawberries and Chocolate

[print recipe]

For the jelly roll:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 135 g (1 cup) cake flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 120 g (1/2  cup) seedless strawberry jam

For the filling:

  • 450 strawberries (1 lbs)
  • 750 ml (3 cups) heavy cream
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 225 g (8 oz)cream cheese
  • 65 g (1/2 cup) powder sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g (3.5 oz)semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 envelopes plain gelatin
  • 6 TBSP water

Also needed:

√ 10 inch ( 25 cm) round spring cake pan

√  18 x 13 (46 X 33 cm) inch jelly roll pan

√  parchment paper

√  a small sauce pan

√  Plastic wrap

Make jelly roll:

Prepare a large baking sheet and cover it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 395 F or 200 C.

Add 6 eggs and an egg white into the mixer bowl. Mix at high speed until eggs start foaming. Slowly add sugar and vanilla and mix for another 2-3 minutes.

Combine cake flour and baking powder, mix well and slowly start adding to the eggs and sugar, mixing slowly at the lowest setting.

Pour the batter into the baking sheet and bake until edges start getting lightly brown (about 15 minutes).  Take a large kitchen towel, place it under the whole cake and roll it up lengthwise (together with the parchment paper)to form a roll. Keep it inside of the kitchen towel until completely cooled down.

Now lightly heat strawberry jam, unroll the cake and remove the parchment paper.  Spread the jam in an even, thin layer all over the cake. Roll the cake back into a firm roll, wrap again in kitchen towel and leave it in the fridge until needed again.

Filling:

  1. Wash and quarter strawberries, place them in a blender and puree them.
  2. Melt the chocolate and spread in a very thin layer over a bottom of a flat surface (such as a cookie sheet or a tray that can fit into freezer)
  3. Whip the heavy cream, add sugar. Reserve about 1/4 of it for decoration.
  4. Mix the cream cheese, powder sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  5. In a sauce pan mix two envelopes of plain gelatin with 6 TBSP of water until smooth and leave it to rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the chocolate from the freezer. Holding  a metal spatula or a knife under 45 degree angle, start pushing the chocolate to form shavings, later to be used for the filling and decoration. Place all the shavings in the fridge.

At this point take the jelly roll out of the fridge and slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices. Line your cake spring pan with plastic wrap. Lay the jelly roll slices all around the wall and on the bottom of the pan. Now it’s time to finish the filling:

  1. Place the sauce pan with gelatin on the stove and on a low heat and melt the gelatin. Do not let it boil!
  2. Pour the gelatin into cream cheese and stir in thoroughly, add whipped cream and stir until well combined.
  3. Pour half of the mixture into a second bowl, add chocolate shavings and spread it all on the cake. This filling will be firm.
  4. Add strawberry puree into the remaining cream cheese-whipped cream mixture and pour it over the first filling. The second filling will be kind of liquidy, but don’t worry it will solidify because of the gelatin. Now cover the cake with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge at least for 4 hours or best over night.
  5. When you’re ready to serve the cake, remove it from the spring cake pan and place it on a serving plate. Pull all the plastic wrap from underneath the cake, decorate with fresh strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Bon Appetite!

Birthday girl enjoying her cake!
Birthday girl enjoying her cake!

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Jelly Roll Cake with strawberries

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Indiana Spring

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Jelly Roll Cake with Strawberries

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Spring 2

… a great ending to a great day!

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Valentine’s Cake {honey sweet}

The recipe for this torte (cake) comes from my old recipe book that I started when I was about thirteen years old. There are so many good memories of love and friendship preserved on its yellowed pages. Today is just a perfect day to share with you my recipe for this rich and fragrant Valentine’s cake.

Happy Valentine's

Its sweet and satisfying taste will definitely charm your taste buds. Talking about love at the first bite! 🙂

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Valentine’s Cake

{print recipe}

Cake:

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) honey
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 TSP vanilla extract)
  • 50 g (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 lemon (zest and juice)
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 TSP ground cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) flour
  • 3 TSP baking powder

Frosting:

  • 130 g (1 pack) vanilla pudding powder (not instant)
  • 200 g (2 sticks less 1 TBSP) butter (at room temperature)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) cherry jam (red currant jam can be used too)

Also needed:

  • 8 inch (20 cm) round cake pan
  • Same size piece of parchment paper

*** The recipe for the chocolate swirls I found here and it worked perfectly!

PREPARATION:

  1. In a larger sauce pan combine honey, sugar, vanilla and butter. Heat at medium temperature until well blended. Set aside and let it cool completely.
  2. After honey mixture has cooled down, add zest and juice of one lemon, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Lightly beat two eggs and also add it to the mixture.
  4. Combine flour and baking powder and fold into honey mixture.
  5. Pour the batter into the cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 365 F (185 C) about 30-35 minutes.
  6. For the frosting prepare vanilla pudding as directed on the box. Instead of 3 cups of milk use only 2 cups since a thicker pudding is needed. When pudding is cooked and cooled down, mix it with 200 g whipped butter until well combined.
  7. To assemble the cake, first cut it once across to get two equal pieces. Spread the bottom piece with cherry jam and then with the half of the frosting. Put the second piece on the top. Frost the cake all around with the remaining frosting. Decorate as desired.

Valentine's Cake

Valentine's Cake

Chocolate Swirls

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake topped with toasted hazelnuts

Another year! Another chance to live, laugh and do what I love! There are a lot of plans and resolutions in mind which I will put on paper one of these days. For a sweet beginning to the new year, here is a recipe for a scrumptious cheesecake requested by my son for his birthday. When I asked him what kind of cake he wanted to have, he said “Can a cheesecake be made with chocolate and hazelnuts?” Well, no doubt it can! 🙂

My basic cheesecake recipe comes from one of the numerous Dr. Oetker cookbooks. I have changed a thing or two over the years to suit my taste. This time I added chocolate and hazelnuts to it and I didn’t pre-bake the crust as recipe directs, since it always turns too dark and burnt tasting. I just poured the cheesecake batter right onto the unbaked crust and it turned out just right baked together. I also prefer quark cheese for the cheesecake since it is so much lighter than the common American cream cheese, but it was way too expensive, so I went for what is known in the US as Neufchâtel or Farmers’ cheese and has a lower fat content.

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Chocolate swirl cheesecake topped with toasted hazelnuts

[print here]

Crust:

  • 150 g (5.3 oz) flour
  • ½ TSP baking powder
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) sugar
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar (or 1 TSP vanilla extract)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) butter (softened)
  • Flour for kneading

Filling:

  • 750 g (26 oz) cream cheese (used Neufchâtel, but quark cheese is the best)
  • 200 g (7 oz) sugar
  • 3 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 50 g (1.7 oz) corn starch
  • 3 eggs (divided)
  • 250 ml (1 cup+2 TBSP) heavy cream (whipped)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) semisweet chocolate
  • 50 – 75 g (1.7 – 2.6 oz) toasted hazelnuts (coarsely chopped)

Also needed: 25 cm (10 inch) round cake spring pan

Preparation:

  1. For the crust combine all dry ingredients, add 1 egg and butter and mix it at medium speed until well blended. Transfer the dough on a floured surface, knead it for a minute, wrap in plastic and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough is resting prepare the filling. First divide eggs and beat egg whites until firm. Set aside. Next whip the heavy cream and set aside. Lightly toast hazelnuts and chop them coarsely.
  3. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks and lemon juice until smooth and creamy, add corn starch and mix for another minute.
  4. Now add in whipped cream and fold in egg whites by hand. Melt the chocolate over the hot water bath. Take about 1/5 of the cream cheese mixture and place it a small mixing bowl. Pour melted chocolate inside and mix well.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge and divide into 3 equal parts. Roll 2/3 of the dough and place it onto a greased spring cake form. From the remaining 1/3 of the dough make a long rope and press it into the wall of the cake pan. Pour the filling into the unbaked crust, pour the chocolate mixture on the top and make swirls all around with a tooth pick. Top with toasted hazelnuts and bake at 175 C or 345 F for about 45-50 minutes. ***Since I made the cake at night, preparation photos were too dark, so I will not post them this time.

 ♥

Happy Birthday son!
Happy Birthday son!

Here Birthday Cheesecake just ready for the oven:

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Baked, cooled down and ready to cut into it:

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First slice for the Birthday boy:

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

The next day, a break from painting and a piece of cheesecake. Yum!

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

Choco-Coconut Squares (Cupavci)

Coconut! You either love it or you hate it! Some of my friends who hate coconut say it’s because of the texture… My daughter used to hate coconut, never wanted to even try anything that had a slightest hint of it, until one day she worked up the courage to try these and fell in love with them.

These choco-coconut squares are a frequent guest at the table of many Bosnian families. If you like chocolate – coconut combination, I can guarantee you these will knock your socks off! 🙂 Now, in Bosnian language these have a specific name. It is weird and funny and quite unappetizing (the name I mean). That’s why I didn’t try translating it into English. Despite the weird name, this desserts is very popular, it is easily made and super delicious!

Choco-Coconut Squares (Čupavci)

[printable recipe]

For the batter:

  • 5 eggs (divided)
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp.  vanilla extract)
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) self –rising flour
  • 50 g (1.7 oz) plain bread crumbs
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) milk

For the chocolate – coconut dip:

  • 150 g (5.3 oz) semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) butter
  • 100 g (3.5 oz)sugar
  • 150 ml  (about 2/3 cup) milk
  • 150-200 g (5 – 7 oz) coconut (unsweetened, organic, finely shredded)
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) heated raspberry jam (or your favorite jam)

Also needed:

  •          28 X 22 cm (9 X 11 inch) rectangular cake pan,
  •          parchment paper,
  •          cooling rack,
  •          small cooking pot and a stainless steel bowl (for the hot water bath)

Preparation:

1. For the batter divide the eggs. Beat the egg whites with a smidgen of salt until firm, set aside. Beat the egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until pale yellow and all the sugar has dissolved (about 5 minutes).

2. Add milk and mix slowly for another minute. Now start adding flour combined with bread crumbs mixing at a low speed. At the end fold in the egg whites by hand until just combined.

3. Pour the batter into the cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 195 C (385 F) until the top starts getting golden yellow color. Remove from the oven and from the pan  and place it on a cooling rack.

4. When the cake has cooled down completely, cut it horizontally into two halves. Lightly heat the jam and spread over the first half, lay the second half on the top. Now cut the whole cake into squares. If you make three cuts to the longer- and 5 to the shorter side you will get 24 squares.

5. Heat the water in a small cooking pot. Melt the chocolate and butter over hot water bath. Add sugar (if desired), mix it smooth and add milk at the end.

6. Dip each cake square into chocolate. Make sure every side is well coated and then dip in coconut.  Let them rest for about an hour. They are best served at the room temperature!

ENJOY!

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