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

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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!

♥♥♥

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