madeleines au citron

Madeleines are little French cakes, baked in scalloped shell-shape baking moulds. These buttery cakes with the crisp crust on the outside and a tender, moist crumb in the center go perfect for a brunch or with an afternoon tea. The batter can be made in advance, up to two days – preferably they should be eaten straight away, fresh from the oven, but they will still be good for up to a day later.


Makes 48 Madeleines (sized 5 cm diameter, nonstick Madeleine moulds)

  • 200 g butter
  • 60 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 130 g sugar
  • zest of two unwaxed lemons
  • 200 g flour
  • 10 g baking powder

Melt the butter, add the milk and the honey and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Mix together the sugar and the lemon zest, add the eggs and beat until pale and frothy.

Sift the flour and the baking powder for two times and sift it once again into the egg mixture.

Gently add the cool butter to the egg mixture.

Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Put about a teaspoon of batter into each Madeleine shell, filling them 3/4 full.

Bake the Madeleines for about 10 – 12 minutes in the middle of the oven, until the turn slightly golden brown on the edges.

Transfer the pan from the oven and remove the Madeleines by rapping the pan against the counter; the Madeleines should drop out.

Allow the Madeleines to cool a little bit on a wire rack.

Happy baking!



mini loaves of bread

I love the aroma of a freshly baked bread in my kitchen and for me there is almost nothing better than the taste of a crusty homemade piece of bread, spread with salted butter. To bake your own bread is nothing complicated at all, although it does take a little bit of planning ahead, since the yeast sponge needs to be made the night before you plan baking the bread.

Makes about 20 mini loaves of bread

For the yeast sponge, made the night before:

  • 125 g white flour
  • 150 g water
  • 5 g fresh yeast

Combine the flour, the water and the yeast and mix until incorporated. Cover with a wet towel and let the yeast sponge rest at room temperature overnight.

For the dough:

  • 375 g white flour
  • 150 g water
  • 4 g fresh yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the yeast sponge with the flour, half of the water and the yeast. Continue to add water a little at a time.

Add the salt and continue mixing on medium speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture forms a rough dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball, then place it in a large, slightly oiled bowl and coat the bowl with a wet towel and let it rice in a warm place until doubled in volume for about 2 hours.

Knock back the dough to deflate it, then divide into 20 equal pieces of about 38 g apiece.

For shaping use your palms; start at the middle and roll the dough outwards. The bread should end up a little fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends.

Place the breads onto a baking sheet and let them rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 250° C.

Heat a roasting dish in the bottom of the oven and pour in some water to create some steam, this will help form the crust.

Just before baking, slash the top of each bread two times.

Bake the mini breads for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden-brown. To check if the bread is done, tap the bottom with your knuckles – it should sound hollow.

Cool them on a wire rack and enjoy!

Happy baking!


marshmallow hearts

To be honest, Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean a lot to me. Surely, I like being surprised by a bouquet of flowers, some chocolate or (even more) a cake mould. But it doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day. So even though we don’t celebrate this day, I couldn’t resist to make this fluffy and soft marshmallow hearts for my beloved.

Makes about 20 – 30 marshmallow hearts or cubes (Adapted by David Lebovitz)

  • 8 sheets gelatin
  • 140 g corn starch
  • 140 g confectioners sugar
  • 0.8 dl cold water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 100 g corn syrup
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • food colouring

In a bowl, mix the corn stark and the confectioners sugar.

With a sifter, dust a baking tin, about 23cm – 30cm or a square tin about 20cm evenly and completely with a generous layer of the corn stark/confectioners sugar mixture and make sure there are absolutely no bare spots. Set the rest of the mixture aside until using.

In a bowl, soak the gelatin leaves in cold water.

In a small saucepan, fitted with a candy thermometer, mix the sugar, the corn syrup and the water. Place over medium-to-high heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, pour in the egg whites and beat on low-speed until frothy. Add the pinch of salt.

When the syrup reaches about 100º C, increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat the whites until they are thick and fluffy.

When the syrup reaches about 118º C, while the mixer is running on high-speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the whites.

Scrape the gelatin and 2 tablespoon water into the pan that you used for the syrup and swirl it to dissolve.

Pour the liquified gelatin slowly into the egg whites as they are whipping.

Halve the vanilla pods lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds out of one half. Add the vanilla seeds and the food colouring and continue to whip for 5 minutes, until the mixture is feels cool when you touch the outside of the bowl.

Use a spatula to spread the mixture in a layer on the pan. Allow to dry for overnight, uncovered and in a cool place, but not a refrigerator.

Dust the top of the marshmallows with some of the corn starch/confectioners sugar mixture. Use a pizza cutter or scissors (dusted as well with the corn stark/confectioners sugar mixture) to cut the marshmallows into any size or shape pieces that you’d like and toss the marshmallows in the remaining corn stark/confectioners sugar mixture. Remove the excess powder with a brush.

Enjoy! and Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

snowflake cookies

It had been snowing all day long and the world looks like it’s all powdered. Everything is calm and peaceful and after a walk trough the winter wonderland we enjoy a nice cup of tea and some of these perfectly crumbly and tender almond snowflake cookies.

Makes about 50 cookies:

  • 250 g flour
  • 100 g confectioners sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest of one orange or lemon
  • 3 – 4 drops of almond extract
  • 250 g cold butter

Mix the flour, the confectioners sugar, the salt and ground almonds in a large bowl.

Add the butter, and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Halve the vanilla pod lengthwise, and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds out of one half. Add the seeds to the flour mixture, along with the orange or lemon zest and the almond extract and knead the dough as much as necessary with your hands until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and let it rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until it is about 3 – 4 mm thick. If necessary dust the dough with some flour.

Cut shapes with a cookie cutter, then place the cookies on the lined baking tin. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Let the cookies rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, use the middle shelf of the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack and let cool the cookies completely.

Cover the cookies with confectioners sugar.

Happy baking!

pear tarts

Did I ever mention that I love autumn with the early morning fog and the warming rays of the sun in the afternoon? I love the light and the smell of this season and the big variation of wonderful and delicious vegetables and fruits. For a dinner with friends I made these mini tarts with pears, but they can be made with apples or fresh figs as well and they taste delicious served with some whipped cream or homemade ice cream.


For 6 little pear tarts:

  • 1 rectangle puff pastry sheet
  • 3 small pears
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 4 dl water
  • 150 g sugar

Bring the water, the sugar, the vanilla seeds and the bean to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 

Peel the pears, cut them into quarters, rub  the quarters all over with lemon juice, then add the pears to the simmering water and cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove pears from the syrup and allow to cool a little, then remove the cores of the pears from the centers. Cut each quarter lengthwise into 3 or 4 slices, like a fan.

Fold one half of the pastry over the other and cut out 6 circles, the circles should be slightly larger than the size of the pears.

Like a fan top the pears on the pastry and brush the pears gently with the remaining syrup.

Heat the oven to 190° degrees and bake the tarts for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove the tarts from the oven and serve them warm with some whipped cream or ice cream.

Happy baking!


sablés with chestnut purée

This delicate and crumbly French butter cookie is traditional in a round shape with a criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie. A lovely treat on a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea, coffee or hot chocolate.


Makes about 40 cookies

  • 250 g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50 g sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 150 g cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g chestnut purée
  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of milk

Add the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and butter together and gently work with your fingertips until crumbly.

Then add the egg and the chestnut purée and knead the dough as much as necessary with your hands until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and let it rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200° C and line a baking tin with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until it is about 4 mm thick. Cut shapes with your favourite cookie cutter, then place the cookies on the lined baking tin. Repeat with the remaining dough.

With a fork or a toothpick make the criss-cross pattern on the top of each cookie and brush them with the whisked egg yolk and milk and bake them for about 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking!


raspberry tartelettes with almond cream

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.


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!


vegan apple tart

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.


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!