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.

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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