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!

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.


rasp-tarte3

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!

 

chestnut and chocolate cake


I love this time of the year; the leaves change colors, the air is crisp and clear, the early morning mists, followed by plenty of sunshine in the afternoon. The smell of autumn and the wonderful aroma of roasted chestnuts wafting through the air. Enjoy this moist and nice chestnut & chocolate cake with a cup of coffee or tea for warming up after an autumn walk.


Preparation for a 22 cm bundt mould

Preheat the oven to 180° C and lightly grease and flour the bundt mould.

  • 80 g butter
  • 125 g confectioners sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 180 g chestnut puree
  • 125 g ground almonds
  • 90 g dark chocolate
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Kirsch
  • about 1 teaspoon cocoa powder

In a bowl whisk the butter, the confectioners sugar and the egg yolk until fluffy.

Add the chestnut puree and the almonds the butter – egg mixture.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is fully melted.

Add the melted chocolate and the Kirsch to the batter and gently beat until combined and set aside.

In a bowl beat the egg whites until stiff.

Mix a third of the egg white into the batter and combine them well. Fold the rest of the egg white into the mixture and mix gently, until combined.

Pour the batter in the bundt mould and bake the cake for about 50 minutes and a toothpick, inserted in the center of the cake, comes out clean,

Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Sprinkle the cake with cocoa powder and serve it with some whipped cream.

Happy baking!

marroncake2

 

valentine’s day macarons with raspberry filling


A delicious and home-made-sweet surprise on Valentine’s Day; treat your beloved one with this pretty looking and fruity tasting raspberry Macarons!


raspberry macarons

Makes about 40 Macarons:

For the shells:

  • 200 g ground almonds
  • 200 g confectioners sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 x 75 g egg white (about 5 eggs)
  • Red food coloring

Sift the ground almonds and confectioners sugar together through fine sieve, just make sure it is very fine and pour 75 g of the egg white into the almond-confectioners sugar mixture and set aside.

Place the another 75 g of the egg white into a mixing bowl and whip the egg white to the soft peak. Add some colouring paste to the egg white.

Put the water and sugar in a heavy-base saucepan over medium-high heat.

When the syrup reaches 117°C, take if off the heat and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl with the whipped egg white.

Continue mixing for about 10 minutes, until the meringue cool down. The whipped egg white will be very stiff and glossy.

Mix a third of the whipped egg white into the almond mixture and combine them well. Fold the rest of whipped egg white into the mixture and mix gently, until the batter is smooth and thick.

Put the mixture into a piping bag fitted with 0,8-cm plain tip. Pipe the staggering rows of rounds of the size of a walnut onto baking trays, lined with parchment papers or baking sheets. Tap the underside of the baking sheet to remove air bubbles.

Let the piped shells stand at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes to let the crust forms. When the piped shells are dry to touch without it sticking to your finger, they are good to go into the oven.

Preheat the oven to 170°C and bake the Macarons for about 10 – 12 minutes on the lowest part of the oven.

Remove the tray from the oven and put the Macarons (still on the baking paper) onto a cool bench top. This shocks them and makes them easier to remove from the paper.

For the filling:

  • 300 g white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 300 g raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 30 g sugar

Stir the raspberries and the sugar in a pan over low heat and bring the mixture to boil. 

Remove the mixture from the heat and blend until smooth, then press the mixture through a sieve over the white chocolate.

Let the chocolate begin to melt, and then stir it gently with a spatula. Set it aside and let it cool completely in the refrigerator, for about 2 hours.

Give the filling on one shell and place the other shell on, slightly twist as you push down so the filling evenly spreads between the two halves.

Store the Macarons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for least 12 hours. Macarons will taste better after they are chilled overnight as the filling flavour will blend in and shells will be less dry. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!