RASPBERRY TARTELETTES with ALMOND CREAM

PIES & TARTS

You really can’t beat the taste of freshly picked raspberries and although the signs of autumn already here, our raspberry bushes are still full with deep-red berries with a delicious sweet flavour.  So what goes better than putting them together with a blob of almond cream into a buttery short pastry crust.

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Makes 6 tartelettes in 10 cm tins.

For the pastry: 

  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 60 g confectioners sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • a pinch of salt

Add the flour, the butter, the confectioners sugar and salt together and gently work with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and knead the dough only as much as necessary with your hands until the dough comes together.

Wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or best overnight.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator half an hour before using.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Cut the pastry in 6 pieces and roll out each of the pieces between two sheets of baking paper until about 3 – 5 mm thick.

Place the pastry in the tins and prick each base several times with a fork.

Fill the pastry tins with baking paper and add baking beans to weigh it down.

Bake the pastry for about 10 minutes on the second lowest rack in the oven, then carefully remove the paper and beans and bake the pastry for about 5 minutes more or until golden.

Then transfer the tart shells to a wire rack and let cool completely.

For the almond cream:

  • 1.5 dl milk
  • 30 g sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 15 g cornstarch
  • 80 marzipan, grated
  • 40 g ground almonds

Heat the milk in a pan over low heat and bring it to boil, then remove the milk from heat.

Mix the sugar, the pinch of salt , the egg yolk and the cornstarch in a bowl. Than stir the egg mixture in the hot milk very slowly and set the pan over low heat and bring the mixture to boil until the milk-egg mixture is thickened.

Pour the cream through a sieve into a bowl, add the graded marzipan and the ground almonds and allow the cream to cool to room temperature.

Beat the egg white until stiff and fold in the cream and set aside until ready to use.

To assemble the tartelettes:

  • 200 g raspberries
  • confectioners sugar

Spread the pastry cream onto the bottom of each of the tart shells and add the raspberries.

Sprinkle over the confectioners sugar and ENJOY!

Happy baking!

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VEGAN APPLE TART

PIES & TARTS

My dear friend Luana from benvenutocellini asked me a few days ago, if I could give her some suggestions for vegan cakes recipes. After searching the net and reading many of vegan recipes and articles I was ready for my first vegan cake. I thought I can’t go wrong to start with an apple tart and I’m very happy how delicious it turned out.

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Preparation for a 20cm spring or tart pan

For the pastry:

  • 100 g spelt flour
  • 80 g whole hazelnuts
  • 60 g cane sugar
  • 80 g vegan butter or margarine
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk

Spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and bake them for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, let the nuts cool completely and finely grind the hazelnuts.

In a large bowl add the flour, the sugar, the margarine, the almond milk and the ground hazelnuts and gently mix until the dough comes together. The dough should feel a little moist.

Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 60 minutes.

For the filling:
  • 3 – 4 apples
  • 3 tablespoon muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados

Peel all of your apples, get rid of the cores and cut the apples in slices.

Add the apple slices to a pan and add the muscovado sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, the lemon juice and Calvados,

Simmer gently the mixture for about 10 minutes on a medium low heat, until the apples are just tender.

Remove from the heat and slow to cool completely.

To assemble the tart:

Preheat the oven to 190° C

Transfer the dough to the tart pan and press it into the pan until the base and sides are evenly covered with a neat layer of dough and pierce with a fork several times. Keep the remaining dough for the crumb topping.

Fill the pastry case with a round of baking paper and add baking beans to weigh it down.

Bake the pastry for 15 minutes on the second lowest rack in the oven, then carefully remove the paper and beans and bake the pastry for 5 minutes more.

Remove the pastry from the oven, arrange the apples in a circular pattern and spoon a little bit of the applesauce over the apples and sprinkle it with the remaining crumb topping.

Bake the tart in a preheated 180° C oven in the middle rack for about 15 minutes.

Spoon the remaining applesauce over the tart and serve the tart warm or cold.

Happy baking!

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THREE KINGS DAY

ROLLS & BUNS

On the 6th of January we celebrate the Three Kings Day here in Switzerland. It marks the end of the Christmas season and celebrates the visit of the Wise men to the Baby Jesus. To honor this arrival, a Three Kings Cake is made and if you visit any bakeries or supermarkets right now in Switzerland, you will see Three King Cakes for sale.

The Three Kings Cake is a sweet bread, similar to a Challah or braided bread and shaped like a flower. In addition, a King is hidden in one of the pieces and whoever gets the piece with the King inside is crowned King for this day. 

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Preparation:

  • 500 g flour
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 30 g fresh yeast
  • 3 dl milk
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 almond
  • 1 dl milk
  • sliced almonds and coarse sugar for decoration

Warm the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm and dissolve gently the yeast in the milk.

Melt the butter in another saucepan.

Combine the flour, the sugar and the salt and form a little hollow in the middle. 

Pour the yeast – milk mixture and the melted butter in the hollow and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic for about 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a bowl and coat the bowl with a wet towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume for about 90 minutes.

Knead the dough once more and let it rise for another 90 minutes.

When the dough has doubled the volume once more, knead the dough. Then cut the dough into 4 pieces.

Form a roll of one of the pieces, this will be the middle roll.

Cut the three restless pieces in half once more and form 6 small rolls, placing the almond into one of the rolls.

Place the big roll onto the baking sheet, then place the six smaller rolls around the larger one and let it rise for another 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200° C

Brush each of the rolls with the egg yolk – milk – mixture and sprinkle with the coarse sugar and sliced almonds.

Bake the cake for about 30 minutes.

Happy Three Kings Day!!

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DACQUOISE with MANDARINS

DESSERT

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and a good start into the new year. We were invited to a lovely new years party at our good friends home. For this special and festive occasion I wanted to surprise my husband and friends with a delicious and nice looking dessert.

A few month ago, I made a Dacquoise with mixed berries and it was a big hit on my summer party, so I decided to make this dessert – cake again, but instead of berries I took some refreshing and sweet mandarins. 

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Preparation for a 24 cm diameter cake ring:

For the meringue cakes:

Preheat the oven to 180° C

  • 225 g whole walnuts
  • 130 g confectioners sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 60 g sugar

Spread 100 g of the walnuts on the baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, let the nuts cool completely and roughly chop the walnuts.

Finely grind the remaining 125 g walnuts with the confectioners sugar and mix it with the toasted walnuts, then set aside.

Place the egg whites and a pinch of sugar in a bowl and beat on medium speed, until frothy.

Add the remaining sugar, one-third at a time. Let each amount clear before adding the next. Continue mixing on medium speed for a stronger and more developed meringue.

Gently fold in the nuts and sugar mixture until just combined.

Spread the meringue mixture into approximately 26 cm-diameter circles on two paper-lined, baking trays and bake each base for about 20 minutes.

Remove the baking trays from the oven and let the meringue cakes cool completely.

Cut the edges of both of the meringue cakes away in the size of the cake ring. Set the cakes aside until ready to use.

For the pastry cream:

  • 2 gelatine leaves
  • 250 g white chocolate, chopped
  • 2,5 dl milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 dl whipping cream

Soak the gelatin leaves into cold water until they are soft, then wring the gelatin gently to remove excess water, and add it to the chopped, white chocolate.

Pour the milk the in a pan over low heat and bring the mixture to boil, then remove the milk from heat.

Than stir in the egg yolks in the hot milk very slowly and set the pan over low heat and bring the mixture to boil until the milk-egg mixture it thickened.

Pour the cream through a sieve over the white chocolate. Let the chocolate begin to melt and then stir it gently with a spatula.

Cool the chocolate mixture to room temperature.

In the meantime beat the whipping cream until stiff and pour it gently into the cooled chocolate mixture and set aside until ready to use.

To assemble the Dacquoise:

Peel and fillet about 6 – 8 mandarins.

On a serving plate place the cake ring firmly in the center of a baking sheet. (Make sure your freezer is big enough for the serving plate)

Arrange the mandarin segments on the bottom of the baking sheet.

Pour two-thirds of the pastry cream over the fruits and smooth the cream out with a palette knife.

Then lay the first meringue cake down onto the pastry cream, pour the rest of the cream over it and smooth the cream out with a palette knife. Then lay the second cake layer down onto the pastry cream.

Put the cake in the freezer for at least 2 hours.

Remove the cake from the freezer.

Run a round-bladed knife around the sides of the cake pan to loosen any stuck edges.

Place a serving plate on top of the cake and carefully flip over, so that the fruits are facing up.

Enjoy and happy baking!

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COCONUT CHOCOLATE BARS

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

These coconut chocolate bars are rich of flavors, soft and tender on the inside, smothered in bitter-sweet dark chocolate and sprinkled with coconut flakes. They taste more like little cakes rather than cookies but nonetheless they look very pretty and decoratively on your christmas cookie plate.

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Preparation for about 80 little cakes:

Preheat the oven to 180° C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

  • 200 g milk chocolate
  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 200 g coconut flakes
  • 100 g flour
  • 250 g dark chocolate couverture
  • about 50 g coconut flakes for decoration

In a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, gently melt the chocolate.

Put the soft butter, the sugar, the vanilla sugar and salt in a bowl and beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs, one at the time, and fold in the melted chocolate, the ground almonds, the coconut flakes and sift in the flour.

Spoon the dough in the prepared baking tray and bake the cake on the middle rack of the oven for about 15 minutes.

Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.

In a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of simmering water, gently melt the couverture.

Cut the cake in about 2 x 2 cm cubes, dip the cakes in the chocolate and sprinkle the little cakes with coconut flakes.

Happy baking!