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.

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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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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.
 ♦

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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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Hungarian cake or a Birthday cake for him

A few weeks ago my husband had a birthday. When I asked him what kind of dessert he wanted, he said either Julishka pie or the Hungarian cake. I decided to make Hungarian cake since we already had Julishka this year. Now, what is known as Hungarian cake in the US, in Bosnia it is known as Hungarian Woman cake, with a difference that we use only one word for it – Mađarica (Mah-dia-ree-tsah). It comes from the word Mađarska, which is the Bosnian word for Hungary. Mađarica is a sweet, rich, caramely, chocolatey goodness that becomes tastier as it “ages” (!Aging meaning days, not months or years!) 🙂

If the Hungarian ladies are anything like this cake, then Hungarian men should be very happy! 😉 If you make this cake today don’t serve it right away. It is best when served the next day or even a few days later. When kept in the fridge this cake will still be good even after a week.

Hungarian Cake (Mađarica)                                Printable recipe

Cake layers:

  • 300 g flour (2 1/3 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 g butter (3.6 oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g sugar (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream

Frosting:

  • 200 g sugar (1 cup)
  • 500 ml milk (2 cups)
  • 60 g flour  (1/2 cup)
  • 150 g butter (5.4 oz) at room temperature
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa (sifted)

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 100 g (3.6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons cooking oil

Preparation:

Cake layers

For the cake layers combine flour, baking powder, sugar and mix well. Add thinly sliced butter and start mixing until large crumbs start forming. Add egg and sour cream and knead into a smooth dough ball. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces.

On a lightly floured surface roll out each piece of dough into a 9 X  9 inches (23 X 23 cm) square. Lay it on a parchment covered cookie sheet and cut off any excess dough. Bake each layer for just about 5 minutes at 365 F (185 C). Don’t let it brown. Remove each from the oven and let it cool completely.

Filling

For the filling place the sugar into a thick bottom pan. Let it melt at a low temperature. When all melted, pour the milk over the melted sugar. Be careful as this will make quite a reaction and sugar will start to bubble and will instantly harden. With a wooden spoon break up hardened sugar into smaller pieces. As the milk simmers, occasionaly stir it. All the hardened sugar will melt.

While milk is simmering, mix the ½ cup flour with a bit of milk and make a smooth mixture. ( In Europe there is a special kind of flour for making a filling base, but in US there is not, so you  may get few crumbs in the filling – don’t worry about it)

When all the hardened sugar has melted and you just have a great smelling caramelly milk, pour the flour mixture in it, mixing constantly until it thickens. Let it cool completely.

Beat the butter and sugar until nice and fluffy, add the sifted cocoa and beat until all combined. Add the butter to the caramel mixture. Filling is now done. I have divided my filling into two equal portions. One I left as it is and into the other one I added 1.8 oz (50 g) melted dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon of rum.

Putting the cake together and chocolate glaze

Divide the filling into 4 equal portions. Lay one cake layer onto a serving plate, spread the 1st portion of the filling on it. Repeat until the last cake layer, which comes on the top.

For the glaze melt the chocolate over a hot water disch, add oil and mix until smooth. Let it cool for about a minute or two and pour over cake. Shake it a little so it evenly spreads over the top. Leave the cake in the fridge for at least 24 hours or even better 36.

Remove from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving, cut into small bars 1 X 2 inches (2.5 X 5 CM) and enjoy!

See below what happens when you add milk to the melted sugar…

Chocolate Mousse-Blackberry Birthday Cake

My youngest child, my baby daughter has turned 15. I still remember the day she came into this world and into my life. I felt immeasurably happy and blessed to hold my little bundle of joy in my arms. I miss those days when she was so dependent on me and when I could spend every minute taking care of her, cuddling her and kissing her chubby cheeks. I miss dressing her for school, brushing her hair, playing with her, coloring together. I even miss buying toys! 🙂 I got a bit misty eyed remembering the good old days, but I am delighted to see her growing up to be a beautiful, smart, artistic and caring young lady. Can a mother ever say enough of great things about her child? 🙂

As she has a beautifully distinguished character, so her wish for a birthday cake was a bit unusual as well: A Blackberry Cake. Birthday blackberry cake was certainly a challenge, but it turned out super delicious!

Chocolate Mousse-Blackberry Birthday Cake                    Printable recipe

Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp water
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2.6 oz (75 g) flour
  • 1.7 oz (50 g) corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Chocolate mousse:

  • 2 cups (500 ml) chilled heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4.4 oz (125 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2.6 oz (75 g) milk chocolate

Frosting and decoration:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 5.2 oz (150 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 24 oz (700 g) blackberries
  • 1-2 tbsp powder sugar
  • Blackberry leaves for decoration

Cake preparation:

Divide eggs. Beat egg whites with 3 tbsp water until foamy. Slowly add sugar and vanilla, mix for couple of minutes, then add one by one egg yolk. Combine flour, corn starch and baking powder. Gently fold into egg mixture. Pour the batter into a 9 inch (23 cm) spring form cake pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 365 F (185 C) 20 – 30 minutes. Cool completely and then slice through into two equal pieces.

Chocolate mousse preparation:

Heat  3/4 cup (125 ml) cream in a 1-quart heavy saucepan until hot. Whisk together yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a metal bowl until combined well, then add hot cream in a slow stream, whisking until combined. Transfer mixture to saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until it registers 160°F (71 C)on thermometer. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and stir in vanilla.

Melt chocolate in a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water stirring frequently. Whisk custard into chocolate until smooth, then cool. Beat remaining 1 1/4 (375 ml)cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Whisk one fourth of cream into chocolate custard to lighten, then fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly.

Place the bottom cake part back into the spring form. Pour the chocolate mousse onto the cake. Cover and leave it in the fridge for at least 4 hours. Do not put top cake piece over the mousse as it is still very soft. Cover with plastic wrap and save it until ready to ensemble the cake.

Prepare frosting and decoration:

Whip heavy cream until firm, add sugar and vanilla. Cover and leave in the fridge until ready to ansamble the cake. Melt the chocolate in a metal bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. Spread the melted chocolate in two thin ribbons on piece of parchment paper, place it in the freezer. Make sure each ribbon is at least 3 inches (7-8 cm) high.

Wash blackberries and place them on a kitchen towel to dry.

Ensamble the cake:

  1. Remove the spring form with mousse from the fridge. If the mousse is firm enough, place the second sponge cake on the top.
  2. Remove the cake from the spring form and place it onto a serving plate. Frost the cake all around with whipped cream.
  3. Remove the chocolate ribbons from the freezer. Break them up into 1 – 2 inch pieces. Make sure pieces are little higher than the cake. Place the pieces around the cake to form a „fence“.
  4. Place the blackberries on the top of the cake. If desired, dust with powder sugar and decorate with blackberry leaves.

Enjoy! 🙂

Birth of a Dream Cake

I truly admire people who are able to come up with their own original recipes. I love and enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, be it baking or cooking. I’ve adjusted known recipes to fit my taste and I can even say I improved some (at least I think so :)), but I’ve never created my very own recipe.

Last week, after a quite long pause, I started going to pastel painting class again. I forgot how this class does wonders to my emotional wellness, inspiration, and just overall feeling of joy! As I was doodling on a note pad thinking of what could be my next painting project, I found myself sketching a cake… Weird how my mind switched from thinking of painting to thinking of a cake and my hand followed accordingly.

In the back of my mind I had plans to make a cake this weekend – a cake for my birthday. I could have let my family buy me a cake, but as every other year I am totally almost expected to make a cake for each family member’s birthday. Honestly, I like it that way! Still sketching, an idea of my very own cake came to mind… Raspberries came to mind, vanilla, white chocolate, mmm… why not?! Here it is! From the birth of an idea to the final product – Raspberry Dream Cake!

Raspberry Dream Cake              Printable recipe

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp hot water
  • 3/4 cups (150 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp bitter almond extract
  • 5 oz (150 g) sour cream* ( I added sour cream to the batter for additional moisture and to avoid cake being dry)
  • 1 1/4 cup (150 g) flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 5 oz (150) g ground hazelnuts

Frosting # 1 – Semolina, butter, white chocolate frosting:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) cream
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) semolina
  • 1 stick (100 g) butter
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
  • 3.5 (100 g) white chocolate

Frosting # 2 – Raspberry Gelée:

  • 14 oz (400 g) frozen raspberries
  • 6 oz (170 g) fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) water
  • 2 envelopes (14 g) plain gelatin
  • 6 tbsp water

Decoration:

  • 7 oz (200 g) white chocolate
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cup (300 ml) heavy cream (whipped)
  • Sugar
  • Fresh raspberries
  • Lemon Balm leaves

Also needed: 7 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan, parchment paper, plastic wrap, a long sharp knife, cake decorating bag with a star tip

Cake preparation:

  1. In a mixer bowl beat 6 eggs with 4 tbsp hot water until foamy, add vanilla and  bitter almond extract. Slowly start adding sugar and mix at least for 2 minutes, before adding sour cream. Combine flour, baking powder and ground hazelnuts. Turn the mixing speed to low and add the dry ingredients.
  2. Bake in a 7 inch (18 cm) spring form cake pan lined with parchment paper at 365 F (185 C) for about 30 minutes. Cool completely, remove from the spring form and slice across into three even pieces.

Prepare frosting #1:

  1. Combine cream, milk, vanilla and sugar and let it boil. Pour into it semolina flour, lower the heat and mix until all liquid disappears and the mixture has a pudding consistency. Cool slightly and cover with plastic wrap to avoid crust forming. The mixture will harden somewhat as it cools.
  2. Combine butter and sugar, mix until fluffy, add melted white chocolate and mix well. Add it to the semolina mixture and again mix well or until thoroughly combined.  Cover and set aside.

Prepare frosting #2:

  1. Line a 7 inch spring form cake pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Combine  frozen, fresh raspberries and water. Blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add sugar.
  3. In a small cooking pan disolve gelatin  in 6 tbsp of water, mix and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Lightly heat gelatin and let it melt, but do not let it boil. Take few table spoons out of raspberry mixture and mix it well with gelatin.
  4. Now add the gelatin into remaining raspberries and mix well. Pour it into spring form and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  5. Remove from the fridge, remove the pan rim. Slowly divide into two pieces by cutting through with a long, sharp knife.

Put together and decorate the cake:

  1. 1st of 3 cake layers
  2. ½ half of semolina frosting
  3. 1st piece of raspberry gelée
  4. 2nd  of 3 cake layers
  5. 2nd half of semolina frosting
  6. 2nd half of raspberry gelée
  7. 3rd of 3 cake layers
  8. Melt the white chocolate with vegetable oil until liquid. Pour and spread over top of the cake and sides. Put it into fridge for about 15 minutes.
  9. Beat the cream with desired amount of sugar until dense. Decorate the sides and top of the cake with whipped cream, fresh raspberries and lemon balm.

Bon Appétit!


Raspberry Gelée

 

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

I woke up today to a rainy morning and clouds, but a few hours later all that turned to a beautiful, sunny day. Seeing the sun and first spring flowers blooming out there I was so inspired to bake something light and springy. This Strawberry Yogurt Cake came right to my mind. These kind of yogurt and cream based cakes are often made in Germany. If any cake can be called light, then this is it (despite the cream 🙂 ). There is no butter and I excluded egg yolks! There is plenty of yogurt which makes it very refreshing and then strawberries to make the whole experience complete. It’s almost as if a smoothie was transformed into a cake. I LOVE IT, I hope you will too!

Strawberry Yogurt Cake                Printable recipe

For the cake:

  • 3 egg whites (large eggs)
  • A smidgen of salt
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Spring form cake  pan 9 in (23 cm) in diameter; Parchment paper round (same diameter as the pan)

For the filling:

  • 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ cup (50 g)sugar
  • 1 vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) plain yogurt (2%)
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh strawberries + 4-5 for decoration
  •  2 envelopes of plain gelatin
  • 4 tbsp water

Cake preparation:

  1. Add smidgen of salt into egg whites and beat them until fluffy, add sugar and beat few minutes more. Combine flour and baking powder, fold into egg white mixture by hand.
  2. Preheat oven to 365 F (185 C). Line the spring form with parchment paper and pour the cake batter in. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and return the cake to the form.

Cake filling:

  1. For the filling whip the cream until dense, add sugar and whip for one more minute. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. In another bowl add yogurt, lemon zest and sugar and mix by hand until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Put 4 tbsp cold water in a small cooking pot, empty contents of 2 gelatin envelops into it, mix it so there is no crumbs. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
  4. Wash strawberries, remove stems, put into blender and blend until liquid. Add strawberries into yogurt mixture.
  5. Place the cooking pot with gelatin on the stove and lightly heat it, only until dissolved, do not let it boil! Add to it about ½ cup yogurt mixture and mix well. Now pour the gelatin mixture into remaining yogurt mixture, add whipped cream and again mix by hand until it all blends and looks like a strawberry smoothie.
  6. Pour the filling into the spring form and on the top of the cake. Filling will be liquid and that is ok.
  7. Refrigerate for 3 hours minimum or best over night. After that filling will become dense (like jello).
  8. Remove spring form ring, decorate the cake with whipped cream and strawberries.

BON APPETIT!

“Here is the deepest secret nobody knows…”

For Valentines to all of You:

My all time favorite love poem and some heart shaped mini chocolate cakes!

i carry your heart with me by E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Valentine’s  Heart Mini Cakes

~ Orange flavored cakes dipped in chocolate ~

Printable recipe

For the cake:

  • 8.8 oz (250 g) softened butter
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 pack Vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 organic orange (zest and juice)
  • 3 ¼ cup (400 g) flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder

For the chocolate dip:

  • 7 oz (200 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 5.5 tbsp (80 g) butter
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) milk

For the white chocolate dip:

  • 7 oz (200 g) white chocolate
  • 5.5 tbsp (80 g) butter
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) milk
  • Various kinds of Valentines sprinkles

Also needed:

  • 12 x 17 in (32 x 44 cm) baking sheet
  • Cooling wire rack
  1. For the cake, mix softened butter and sugar until foamy, add eggs one by one, mixing about 1 minute after each addition.
  2. Add sour cream, orange zest and juice, mix for another minute or two.
  3. Combine flour and baking powder. Fold into butter mixture by hand.
  4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, pour the batter and evenly spread in the pan.
  5. Bake at 375 F (190 C ) until light gold color. Cool completely.
  6. Use a large heart shaped cookie cutter (about 2.5 – 3 in ) and cut out individual cakes. I had about 28 of them.
  7. For the dip, break the chocolate into small pieces, put it into a stainless steel bowl, add butter. Place the bowl over a dish with boiling water, let it all melt, mix until smooth, at the end add milk.
  8. Dip each heart cake into the melted chocolate, put sprinkles on and place on the wire rack to cool down. Keep in the fridge and remove at least 30 minutes before serving.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Chocolate Almond Cake

The recipe for this fine cake I have had since 1990. It is really hard to believe that 21 years have passed by. So many things have happened in my life and made it totally different from what I would ever expect. To make a long story short – a college student from Bosnia ended up in Germany because of the war, got married, had children, immigrated to the United States to start a better life for her family, and is now sharing with you a recipe for this delicious Chocolate Almond Cake. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/5 stick (250 g) unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 pack vanilla sugar)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups (250 g) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 9 oz (250 g) semi-sweet chocolate (shredded)
  • 1 1/2 cups (150 g) blanched, ground almonds
Frosting:
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam (strained)
  • 5 oz (150 g) semi-sweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
1. In a stand mixer, mix butter for about 30 seconds, add sugar little by little and vanilla, mix until smooth.
2. Add an egg one by one, mixing 30 sec. after every addition.
3. Combine flour and baking powder, mix well. Fold into egg-butter mixture by hand. Add shredded chocolate and almonds and mix well.
4. Line a 9 in (24 cm) round cake pan with parchment paper. Evenly spread the batter into the pan. Bake at 375 F (180 C) for about an hour or until soft center of the cake disappears.
For the frosting, heat apricot jam for about 45 sec. and strain it through a fine mesh, to become smooth and without any apricot pieces. Brush it over warm cake.
Let the cake cool down. Melt the chocolate in a hot water bath, add cooking oil and mix it until smooth and glossy. Pour over the cake. Let it stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Reserve some chocolate for the decoration.
For the leaf decoration, get some rose leaves (plastic leaves are fine too). Brush them with chocolate once, let them rest for a few minutes and then brush them a second time. Place them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Gently peel of each rose leaf and you should have a beautiful chocolate leaf decorations.
Bon Appetite!

Grandma’s Plum Cake

My favorite kind of plums are Damson plums. They are very common in Bosnia, where I grew up. Their smell and taste remind me of my childhood and my grandparents.

I was so happy to find them on my Saturday’s visit to our local Farmer’s Market. I decided to make this cake by my grandma’s recipe. Her plum cake is delicious, rich and aromatic, and the whole house was enveloped in its heavenly smell.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2.2 lbs (1 kg) Damson plums (washed, pitted and quartered)
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 5 eggs (divided)
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 1 pack of vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 small lemon (zest and juice)
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (75 g) walnuts (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp confectioners sugar (for sprinkling the cake)
Also needed:
  • Parchment paper
  • 9 X 13 inch (23 X 33 cm) rectangular baking pan
1. Wash the plums, dry them, remove pits and quarter them. Mix sugar, vanilla sugar (or extract), cinnamon and sprinkle over plums. Mix well and set aside.
2. For the batter beat egg whites with just a pinch of salt, until shiny and firm. Set aside.
3. Mix egg yolks, sugar and vanilla sugar at a fast rate and until pale yellow, add melted butter and continue mixing for another minute.
4. Fold in (by hand) lemon juice and zest. Also gently fold in flour and at the end egg whites just until combined (Batter needs to look fluffy).
5. Now add the plums into batter and mix them in well (by hand).
6. Pour the batter into 9 X 13 in rectangular baking pan, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
7. Bake at 395 F (200 C) about 30 minutes. Cool down completely, sprinkle with confectioners sugar.
BON APPETIT!!! 🙂
Damson Plums – fresh from the Farmer’s Market
Batter
In the pan and sprinkled with walnuts
Voila!