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

 

Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Bars -aka- {Friendship Bars}

Hello Friends,

It’s been a while… I promise I didn’t forget about you! 🙂 I find it (just a bit hard) to be a baker and try to be on a weight-loss plan. Finally, I think I am figuring out how to have these two coexist, so I am back to doing what I love!

Idea for these chocolaty bars came at a moment which I like to refer to as “baking inspiration”. This recipe is my own creation and I dedicate it to all my good friends spread all over the world. Some of you I have known since childhood days, some of you are brand new friends, with some of you I have reconnected again and some of you I’ve met in this virtual world. All of you have brought a part of you and your world to share and I feel great deal richer and happier because of it. Here is to FRIENDSHIP!

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Bars aka {Friendship Bars}

[Printable recipe]

For the crust:

  •          12 TBSP (170 g) butter (softened)
  •          1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  •          1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  •          2 egg yolks
  •          About  1/4 cup (50 ml) Bailey’s Irish Cream   ***Exact conversion: {50 ml = 0.21 cup}
  •          2 ½ cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
  •          1/4 tsp salt

 For the filling:

  •          4 of 8 oz packs (900 g) cream cheese
  •          1 cup (200 g) sugar
  •          2 pack vanilla sugar (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  •          3 TBSP dark cocoa
  •          4 oz (113 g) semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
  •          1/2 cup (100 ml) heavy cream
  •          About ½ cup (100 ml) Bailey’s Irish Cream ***Exact conversion: {100 ml = 0.42 cup}
  •          4 eggs (lightly beaten)

For the topping:

  •          4 oz (113 g) semi-sweet chocolate (refrigerated and cut into chunks)
  •          3.5 oz (100 g) hazelnuts (coarsely chopped)

Also needed:

  •          13 X 8 inch (33 X 20 cm) baking pan (or larger)
  •          Parchment paper

Preparation:

 

  1. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Beat in Bailey’s, egg yolks, flour and salt. Press mixture into the bottom of a 13X8 inch (33X20 cm) baking pan, previously lined with parchment paper. If you desire thinner bars you may want to use a larger pan, but it needs to be at least 2 inches deep. My bars have turned out pretty thick because I’ve used 13X8 inch pan.
  2. For the filling beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cocoa until smooth. Add melted chocolate, cream, Bailey’s and lightly beaten eggs. Pour the mixture over the crust.
  3. For the decoration cut chocolate into chunks and coarsely chop hazelnuts, sprinkle all over the top. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for about 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let it set another 10 minutes inside. Cool completely, cut into bars and serve.

Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake Bars Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 1

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 2

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

Bailey's Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

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

Fancy pull-apart Dinner Rolls

Hello my friends, HAPPY NEW YEAR to each and every one of you! 🙂

I hope you had nice and relaxing Holidays with your family and friends. My wish is that this New Year will bring us all peace, love and compassion toward one another and a lot of good memories and joyful moments and that we will get to spend a while here in this virtual world and share some good cooking and baking recipes and stories.

In today’s recipe I wanted to introduce a fancy and an easy way to make holiday/celebration dinner rolls. These rolls are soft and flaky and can be served warm or cold. I made these for our Christmas dinner and they looked just gorgeous and tasted fantastic.

Fancy pull-apart dinner rolls

Fancy Pull-Apart Dinner Rolls

[Printable recipe]

Dough:

  • All-purpose flour: 500 g ( 4 cups)
  • Fresh yeast: 20 g (or 1 envelope dry yeast)
  • Warm milk: 2 dl (3/4 cup + a few TBSP if needed)
  • Sugar: 1 tsp
  • Salt: 1.5 tsp
  • Cooking oil: 5 TBSP

To brush the dough layers:

  • Butter: 120 g (1 stick) at room temp.

Also needed:

  • Round baking pan (or a spring form) 25 cm or 9-10 inches
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame seeds (or any other desired seeds)

Preparation:

  1. Place flour into a mixing bowl, make an indent and crumble up fresh yeast, add sugar and a little bit of milk, mix, cover and let stand for about 10 minutes. If using dry yeast, proof as directed on the package.
  2. Turn the mixer to low setting and while mixing start adding milk and salt. When the flour and milk start forming a dough, add oil and let it stir for another 2-3 minutes to get a shiny and firm ball of dough.
  3. Place the dough onto a floured surface, knead it by hand for a minute or two and then place back into the bowl, cover and leave it at a warm place until double in size.
  4. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Knead each piece and form a small dough ball. Let them rest for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Divide butter into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each dough piece into a 10 inch (25 cm) circle. Spread first circle with butter, put second circle on the top, then butter again and so on until you end up with the fifth circle on the top.
  6. Now roll it all together into  a large 18 in (45 cm) circle. With a pizza cutter cut off about 1 ½ inch (4 cm) all around the circle to get a “hoop”. Place the hoop on a flat surface and cut once vertically and once horizontally to get 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a bun (like a cinnamon bun) and place in the middle of the greased baking pan.
  7. What’s left now is a smaller circle which you will cut to get 16 equal triangles. Roll each triangle not like a crescent, but more like a cone or along one of the longest sides of a triangle. That way you will get a nice swirl. Place all the cones all around the 4 middle rolls with a little bit of space in between.
  8. Cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. Lightly beat an egg, brush all over the rolls and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  9. Bake at 395 F (200 C) about 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Serve warm or cold. The rolls will be soft and flaky and will look just amazing on your holiday table.

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Fancy Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

It’s that time of the year again when we reach for our recipe books and recipe cards to find the most delectable Christmas cookies recipes and prepare them for our loved ones. This year, I am adding a few new-discovered recipes to my traditional cookie menu. These Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies are so silky and delicious and they just melt in your mouth. Fill them with your favorite jam and enjoy the sight and the taste!

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (225 g) butter, softened
  • 3 oz (85 g) cream cheese
  • 1 cup (200 g)sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
  • Jam (strawberry, raspberry – seedless, apricot, etc.)

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place two inches apart on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a deep indentation in the center of each ball; fill with about 1/2 tsp jam. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Hello my friends! I hope everyone is doing well; I missed you all! 🙂 I took an involuntary baking break while I was trying to complete some remodeling projects in the house before the winter gets here. I have not completely abandoned my artistic expression, I started two paintings and plan to finish them before the end of the year and I’ve discovered a new passion: poetry. I’ve always liked reading poetry, but have never tried to write anything. Well, a few weeks ago a “What if I tried” thought crossed my mind, so I started thinking and putting the words together and for now they sound very good to me. I am not sure if I am going to share it with the world yet, but I am sure of one thing: writing poetry brings me so much joy!

My hope is that these chocolate sandwich cookies will bring you joy of making and of course joy of tasting! They are a treasured recipe from my old-yellow-falling-apart recipe book that I started when I was about thirteen years young. These cookies are not too sweet. Cocoa gives them just a hint of gentle bitterness and the vanilla frosting just a right amount of sweetness.

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

[Printable recipe]

Cookies:

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) flour
  • 65 g (2.2 oz )powdered sugar
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) cocoa
  • 13 g (2.5 tsp) baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 185 g (6.5 oz) unsalted butter (room temperature)

Frosting:

  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 4 TBSP flour (or corn starch)
  • 150 g (5.3 oz) powdered sugar
  • 2 packs vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 160 g (5.6 oz) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk (optional)

Chocolate glaze:

  • 75 g (2.6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) unsalted butter

Preparation:

  1. For the cookies, combine all dry ingredients and mix for a few minutes. Add egg and butter and mix on slow until resembles a crumbly mixture. Flour your working surface and knead the dough by hand until nice and smooth. Flatten it, cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. While the cookie dough rests in the fridge prepare the filling.
  3. Mix the flour with a couple of spoons of milk until smooth. Let the milk boil at a low temperature and pour the flour mixture into boiling milk. Whisk constantly until it starts thickening, then remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix all together. You may add an egg yolk for a nice color, but it’s not essential. Now add this mixture to the flour base and whip it at high speed until well combined and fluffy.
  5. Now line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured surface roll out the cookie dough to about 1/2 cm (or 3/16 inch) thick and cut out cookies with a round cookie cutter (about 3-3.5 cm or 1 ¼ inch in diameter)
  6. Bake at 180 C or 350 F for about 12-14 minutes.
  7. Cool down completely. Glue two cookies together with the frosting.
  8. Melt chocolate and butter, let cool down for a few minutes and pour a teaspoon of the glaze on the top of each cookie.

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Flour_Milk frosting

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies