Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cake. Show all posts

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Recipe: Apple and Calvados Cake

Celebrating world Apple day, 21st October  with a delicious and comforting cake. Using almost all parts of the apple to make  a real treat. No waste!
Happy Apple day!

Apple and Calvados Cake recipe

prep time:  30 minutes + baking time (50mins)
Medium Bundt cake mould - 1L
serves 6

2 cups  chopped apple (250g); I used Bramley - reserve the skins
1 cup caster sugar, 200g
2 large whole organic eggs, 120g
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 & 1/2  cups plain (all-purpose) flour, 180g
1/2 cup flavourless oil, 200 ml
35ml of Calvados

1. pre-heat the oven to 170C. prepare a bundt cake tin grease and flour it.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl - reserve
3. In a blender, add the apple skins, eggs, oil, vanilla extract and Calvados. Blend very well, until the apple skins are very fine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula, until well combined. Place in the prepared tin.
5 - Bake in a greased pan for about 50 minutes
6. Let it cool for 10 min, in the meantime make the caramel sauce

Calvados Salted caramel sauce
1 cup brown sugar, 200g
 6 tablespoons salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces, 100g
 1/2 cup heavy/double cream, 120ml
 1 teaspoon salt, I use Maldon
 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
 1 tablespoon of Calvados

Place all ingredients, except the Calvados a pan let the sugar dissolve cook for 5 minutes, switch off the heat and add  Calvados.  Drizzle over the warm cake.

Tip, caramel sauce:
It will keep a couple of weeks in the fridge and 1 day out of the refrigerator.

Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter and Facebook…X

Thursday, 7 January 2016

A carrot cake recipe, the Brazilian way

Fluffy, aerated and vibrant colour crowned with an irresistible chocolate sauce - sometimes crisp and firm; in others, creamy and shiny. The Carrot Cake formula works so well that it became the darling of the homemade recipes.

It is true that the popularity of carrot cake won as many fans as numerous versions. Everyone has their way of making it. It is such a maternal, homely, simple and quick recipe. The carrot cake is a favourite of adults and kids alike and the king of the children's party and afternoon treats.

This simple, delightful and devoided of elaborate techniques cake is a hit of sunshine in rainy afternoons or mornings, and even at dawn when we are completely willing to gluttony.

The idea of including carrot in a desserts recipe is ancient. "In the Middle Ages, this was the simplest feature to sweeten batters, because these roots have high concentration of natural sugar, in the Middle Ages, when sugar was a rare and luxurious article, carrots were commonly used in cakes and desserts. "

In Britain, the carrot puddings began appearing in cookbooks in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the use of carrots on desserts was revived during World War II when sugar supplies became scarce. "They used raw roots. In addition to the carrot, potato, beets as well as parsnip and turnips."

Always choose good quality ingredients, it is as important as the preparation. It's known that some people add yogurt to obtain a moist cake and to intensify the carrot taste.

For the little ones, carrot cake has another advantage: introduce the vegetable in food. Children eat carrot cake, think it is tasty and tends to eat it in other ways.
In Brazil, we usually don't cover the carrot cake with cream cheese or butter frosting. We cover it with hot chocolate sauce!
Here is a traditional recipe with a not-so-traditional topping.

Carrot cake recipe, the Brazilian way

Serves: 8
time: approximately 55mins

3 medium carrots scraped and roughly chopped (about 225g)
3 organic large eggs
1 cup flavourless oil (200ml) OR 4-5 spoons of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups  caster sugar (380g)
2 generous cups of plain flour (300g)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
Butter for greasing
Flour for dusting

Chocolate sauce

1.5 cups of milk (300ml)
1.5 cups of caster sugar (300g)
2 spoons of dark chocolate
1 spoon of butter
1 small chilli cut lengthways - seeds scraped, optional
Toasted nuts for decoration

1) Pre-heat the oven at 180C (fan)
2) Grease and flour a mould. Reserve.
3) Blend really well the carrots, eggs, oil, and sugar. Reserve.
4) In a large bowl mix well: the flour, and baking powder. Add the wet mixture very well with a wooden spoon.
5) Pour the batter into the prepared mold.
6) Place it in the preheated oven and bake over medium heat (180C) for approximately 35-45 minutes, pending on the depth of the mold. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes and unmold.
7) While the cake is baking, make the chocolate topping: Add all ingredients in a pan over medium heat until it all dissolves and thickens just a little bit. This process will take between 20-30minutes.
Keep an eye on the pan at all times and stir it every 5 minutes. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes before applying onto the cake.
8) The cake should be ready by now, with a fork prick the cake, so the sauce penetrates it. Pour the hot chilli sauce over the warm cake.  Decorate with toasted nuts. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee.  What a delicious treat! 

Until next time why not join me on  InstagramTwitter, Facebook and Pinterest…X

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Chocolate week: Pão de Mel, Brazilian chocolate and honey buns

The Story behind Chocolates and Their Sweetness

The mention of chocolate triggers an overwhelming craving that only a chocoholic can truly understand. The sweet lure of chocolate goes beyond the sheer love for the taste, it is rather the unexplainable satisfaction that is different from any other foods. When you take a bite and allow yourself just to flow with the fascinating pleasure that comes with it, you are marvelled by the intense but unique sweetness of chocolate. How many foods is there that can be used to say “I love you”? And how many craved foods trigger strong and passionate debates worldwide? There are those who enjoy chocolate for the pleasure of it and others who have it as medicine. Whatever your reason for having a bar is, chocolate carries with it a story of long journeys, history of the people and exotic places with tropical fruit trees. So what do you know about this scrumptious treat?

The history of the delicious chocolate

The story of chocolate dates back to when the Mayans and Aztecs used to make a drink that was known as "Xocoatll” from the beans of the cocoa tree. From there, chocolate began to become relevant gradually; by 1528, it was brought back to Spain still as a beverage by the Spaniards. Again chocolate was introduced in France in 1615 and later the chocolate drinks were accepted in England in 1662. The first time eaten chocolate was introduced was in 1847 by Fry & sons; although it was too bitter to attract much attention. Finally in 1874 Daniel Peter stumbled upon milk while trying out mixtures, and this brought the change that saw chocolate being accepted quickly.

How chocolate is made

Have you ever had a bit of chocolate after a craving, and the overwhelming taste that waters your mouth heavily just takes your mind to wonder how exactly this scrumptious treat is made? This is the chocolate recipe; cocoa beans are usually transported from the local farms in carts or on donkeys to the market for a local buyer who will proceed to sell it to a processor abroad. After they have been dried, roasted, and the shells removed, the nibs inside are crushed, and the end product is the raw material that chocolates and chocolate drinks are made from.

Variety of chocolate delicacies 

Today this one of a kind treat is no news to the ears. Its unique sweetness comes in different varieties like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, fine chocolate, chocolate drinks and many other forms. Dark chocolates are very healthy for you especially because they have flavanoids that can help reduced risk of heart disease.

Five things you didn’t know about chocolate

Can you believe that chocolates can actually make you relax by simply smelling it? It’s true. Chocolate can also lower your risk of stroke. Eating chocolate more often increases insulin thereby preventing diabetes. Another great benefit is it can improve your blood circulation. And it can also help prevent blood clotting. So go out there and make it a chocolate week to reap the benefits.  

A chocolate recipe

To help you out here is a delectable Brazilian recipe. This mini cakes are Brazilian version of European 'gingerbread' covered with melted chocolate to prolong its flavor and moisture. Nowadays, these honey buns have  fillings and toppings of various types, making it interesting for party decorations, gifts, souvenirs and tea cakes. Can be found with ease in Brazil as they are commonly homemade.  This particular recipe makes very fluffy and moist cakes.
Pão de Mel

Serves : pending baking tins size used: approx 25-30 cakes


     2 whole eggs
     1/2 cup (125ml) of honey
     1/2 cup (50g) muscovado sugar
     1/2 cup (60g) of chocolate powder
     1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
     1 teaspoon ground cloves
     1 tablespoons (full) butter
     1 cup (200ml) milk
     2 cups (250g) of plain(all purpose) flour
     1 teaspoons baking soda
     1 teaspoons  baking powder
     700g of cooking chocolate to decorate (complete cover each cake)


1) preheat the oven to 180C (fan assisted) and  greased muffin tins (5cm dia)with butter or a baking pan (approx 22cm x 30cm)
2) beat the eggs well in a mixer, until very foamy and very pale yellow
3)  add honey, sugar, chocolate, clove, cinnamon, margarine, milk and flour.beat well until a fully homogeneous mixture.
4) add baking soda and baking powder and mix the dough by hand until completely incorporated.

5) place in the muffins tins or baking pan previously greased. Bake for approximately 25 minutes at 180C . let it cool completely.
6) Cut any shape you like, if using a baking pan, or if using muffin molds cut in half each cake and fill with the flavor of your choice  (I filled with crunch peanut butter and condensed milk and coconut mix ), you can leave it plain too.
7) deep them in melted chocolate, allow to dry well. You can pack each one and give as a present.  

Pão de Mel filled with crunch peanut butter and covered in chocolate
Pão de Mel filled with condensed milk and coconut, covered in chocolate

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sericaia, egg pudding recipe

Sericaia is a Portuguese egg pudding, known as sericá is a traditional wood oven baked sweet from the Alentejo region. Usually baked in a clay dish, but it's completely acceptable to use a glass or any oven proof dish in a conventional oven. There are several versions that over the years altered the original recipe, but keeping the following points in common: "milk is boiled before being added all the other ingredients, the recipe goes in the oven and has the consistency of cream". In Brazil this recipe has many variations, like the use of coconut milk, addition of cheese and other recipes use condensed milk, we Brazilians can't get enough of it. This version is very simple and tasty.

Sericaia recipe
serves 12 people

• 10 sieved egg yolks
• 500 g sugar / 2 1/4 cups
• 500 ml milk
• zest of 1 lemon
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 pinch of salt (1/2 teaspoon)
• 250 g / 2.5 cups/15 tablespoons of wheat flour dissolved in 500 ml of milk
• 10 egg whites beaten till stiff
 • plenty of grounded cinnamon for sprinkling approx 50g

• 1- In a mixer, beat the egg yolks with sifted sugar until soft and creamy. Reserve this cream mixture .

• 2 - separately, in a saucepan, boil milk with lemon zest, cinnamon stick and salt. Once simmering, turn off the heat and incorporate the wheat flour dissolved in milk, stirring fast and very well with a balloon whisk. Incorporate the cream mixture.
• 3 - return pan to low heat, stirring constantly,  to thicken the cream to the point that gives to see the bottom of the pan ( + / - 15 minutes) .  Remove from heat and set aside until completely cool .

• 5 - After the cream has cooled,  very GENTLY add the egg whites
beaten till stiff.
• 6 - Transfer the mixture to a ovenproof dish, greased and sprinkled with cinnamon baking sheet and sprinkle more cinnamon on the surface of the mixture . Bake in preheated 180C (fan oven) oven for 40-45 minutes .

TIP : Let this desert to cool down before cutting it or make it overnight and then cut next day. It gets even better the next day. Enjoy it!

Monday, 30 December 2013

glazed chocolate mousse cake and happy new year

Chocolate is a well-known aphrodisiac and very good for you! No, that is not listed or count towards five-a-day, but chocolate contains magnesium, iron, potassium and some  vitamins, another excuse to eat chocolate!  Where does chocolate came from? Chocolate comes from the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of  cacao or cocoa tree. They are harvested, inflamed, roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste. The word "Chocolate" comes from the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. The Nahuatl word xocolatl means "bitter water"

This recipe using dark chocolate was given to me many years ago in Brazil and it's such a success. I added the glaze, by Anna Olsen, and it looks and taste even more special with the three layers of chocolate with different textures. Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Glazed chocolate mousse cake


·       200g of good quality dark cocoa powder, sieved

·       250g of unsalted butter at room temperature

·       6 tbsp of caster sugar

·       8 organic medium eggs separated


2 clean and grease free big mixing bowls

whisking mixer

prep: butter and dust with cocoa powder a  20cm/8in spring form cake tin with a removable base.

Lovely napkins kindly sent to me by Talking Tables


  1. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks
  2. In  another bowl whisk the  butter with the sugar until pale.
  3. Add the yolks one by one  
  4. Slowly add the cocoa powder to the mixture and fold gently in the egg whites.
  5. Pour half of the  cake mixture into the tin and bake in medium heat (180C) for about 20 minutes.  Let it cool completely.
  6. Add  3 tbsp of liquor of your preference to the  uncooked mixture reserve in the fridge
  7. Once the base is cooled pour the uncooked chocolate mixture
  8. Leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight to firm up

For the glaze by Anna Olsen

·  60ml water

·  100g sugar

·  60ml whipping cream

·  50g cocoa powder, sifted

·  1 1/2 tbsp unflavoured gelatine powder

While the cake is setting, prepare the glaze. Bring the water, sugar, and cream to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, whisk in the cocoa powder and simmer (reducing the heat if needed) for 4 minutes, stirring often, (the consistency will not change). Remove from heat. Soften the gelatin in 60ml of cold water and then whisk this into the hot cocoa mixture until dissolved. Cool the glaze to room temperature, then chill completely, at least 3 hours.


To finish the cake, remove it from the freezer invert the pan onto a cooling rack placed over a parchment-lined baking tray. Use a hair dryer on a low, hot setting to gently warm the pan so that it releases from the pan, the sides first and then the top. Warm the chilled glaze while whisking occasionally until just melted and smooth and pour this over the torte, spreading gently with a spatula to ensure that it covers the top and sides of the torte evenly. Chill the cake for at least 30 minutes, then lift it onto your presentation plate and store chilled until ready to serve. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

fresh fig cake recipe

This easy cake will take care of the overflow of the lush, seasonal and versatile figs. This a great additional recipe for the autumnal table. Figs can be traced back to biblical times. They are a good origin of potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, fibre which helps with weigh management, and a source of calcium good for bones density.  Enough excuses to eat cake! (oh! and surely figs are part of one-a-day). Recipe was first published at Great British Chefs blog.

fresh fig Cake  
yield: 6-8 portions

-2 cups all-purpose flour (250gr)
-1 cup sugar (200gr)
-1 cup of milk  (about (200ml)

-2 Tablespoons of butter (35gr)
-1 egg
-figs, fresh and ripe (about 12)

-1 tspoon of dry or fresh thyme
-3/4Tablespoon baking powder

½ cup of caster sugar (125gr)

2 tbsp of water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits (about35gr)

Start with the caramel/fig topping:

1. Preheat oven to 180C with rack in middle. 
2. Lightly butter a 20cm round cake pan, then line bottom with a round of parchment paper and side with a strip of parchment paper
3. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved, then wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colours evenly, until dark amber.
4. Remove from heat and add butter, swirling pan until fully incorporated, then carefully but quickly pour caramel into cake pan, tilting it to coat evenly.

5. Cut the figs in half lengthwise and distribute them face down onto the bottom of the caramelised cake mould. Place the prepared caramelised mould onto an ovenproof tray. Reserve.

The cake dough
6. In an electric mixer beat all ingredients until the dough is smooth and homogeneous except the baking powder which should be gently added at last.
7. Pour over the dough over the figs. 
8. Place the tray with the cake mould in a pre-heated oven until golden. About 60-75mins at 180C on a fan assisted oven ( add 20C on non-fan assisted oven). 
9. Allow to cool slightly about 20-30 mins. Un-mold.
Serve with a scoop of maple syrup ice cream.

-place a tray under the cake mould - just in case some of the caramel runs out of the mould while cooking in the oven.
-don't let the cake totally cool down to un-mold, or it will get stuck to the parchment paper
for the ice cream recipe: maple syrup ice cream

Monday, 17 June 2013

Flourless chocolate brownie with salted caramel

I don't know anyone who doesn't like chocolate. Do you?  In my family we are quite taken by Swiss chocolate. My mother's father was Swiss born in Zurich, he migrated to Brazil in the late 1920's, so being a Schaetzle,  we always had chocolate in the house and Lindt was one of the favourites. So no wonder I was happy to receive some cooking chocolate by Lindt.  I was not familiar with their cooking chocolate, which comes in individual 200gr bars at 70% cocoa. It delivers an intense and rich chocolate desert. 
I made some flourless chocolate brownies with salted caramel.  Unlike other brownies this recipe has no flour or grounded nuts. It relies on good quality chocolate and organic fresh eggs to rise.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Flourless chocolate brownie with salted caramel

yield : 12 portions

equipment : 2 big bowls, pan, 1 whisk, pressure cooker, mould: 20cms x 20cms

200 g good quality dark chocolate, chopped (1 ½ cups of tea) – min 70% cocoa
50 g butter (¼ cup)
175 g sugar (3/4 cup)
5 organic eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon of instant coffee
1 can of condensed milk, good quality
½ teaspoon of good quality sea salt, I used Maldon salt

firm caramel
Start preparing the salted caramel - place one can of condensed milk in a pressure cooker upright and cover completely with water.  Cover the pressure cooker according to instructions.  Once it starts to boil,  set the timer to 50 mins and let it cook. After the 50 minutes of cooking take the pressure cooker out of the stove and let it cool completely before opening the pan.
NEVER OPEN THE CAN WHEN IT STILL HOT. The caramel should be firm, not runny.  Add sea salt to the caramel. At this consistency the caramel won’t sink to the bottom of the pan when cooking the brownie.
The brownie mixture:
• In a double boiler, place 200 g of chopped dark chocolate and 50g butter and stir until melted chocolate. Remove from water bath, let it cool for 10 mins. In another bowl mix the 175 g of sugar, 5 lightly beaten eggs  and coffee and mix to form a homogeneous mixture.
• Add the egg and sugar mixture to the melted chocolate mixture.
• Place the chocolate dough on a greased baking sheet and sprinkled with chocolate, place the chopped salted caramel over the dough and bake in moderate oven preheated to 180 ° C for + / - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.  Enjoy it. 

I make some brownie for a picnic and use these lovely napkins and party bags from Talking Tables to store them. 

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can cook the condensed milk unopened can in a pan again completely immersed in water about 6 fingers down, cook in low heat and constantly check so that the can is always completely immersed in water. After 3 hours switch off the stove and let the whole pan and can to cool completely.  NEVER OPEN THE CAN WHEN IT STILL HOT.

A chocolate masterclass with Lindt on Instagram: here

Chocolate tasting masterclass Open the packaging – smell: inhale its aroma and scents – vanilla, spices, fruits etc. Appearance: quality chocolate should have a nice sheen to it. A wide range of different tones of brown depending on the type of chocolate and the percentage of cocoa. Sound: Quality chocolate will break easily and neatly. Dark chocolate has a clear, sharp snap, milk or white chocolate has a more gentle snap because of the milk content. Touch: High quality chocolate should melt with your body temperature. Place a small piece between your fingers, melting, fell the texture. It should be smooth. Taste: put a small piece in your mouth, let the chocolate sit on your tongue and begin to melt. chew the piece three to five times and concentrate on the taste and textures. You’ll soon be a chocolate expert. Practise makes perfect! Let’s open another bar of chocolate… #lindt

Monday, 20 May 2013

Orange meringue pie

Brazil is responsible for at least 50% of orange production in the world market. São Paulo state, where I come from,  alone produce a total of 79% of all orange production in the country, which in turn is the largest producer and exporter of orange juice, accounting for half of world production, of which 97% are intended for export, according to wikipedia.  
Oranges are an important food source of vitamin C. They last longer than many other fruits when they are stored. Orange is a very versatile fruit;  the peel and pulp are used for juice, orange juice is the most consumed fruit juice in the world. Orange peel is used in cakes and general cooking like marmalade, or  eaten just raw.  Orange trees are a symbol of love and marriage in many cultures.
Here is a sweet recipe for any occasion, the results are stunning!

Orange meringue pie

Yield: 6-8 portions

Equipment: blender,  electric mixer.


200g of crushed digestive biscuit
50g butter

• 1 can condensed milk (395g)
• 1/2 fresh double cream (150ml)
200ml of orange juice (about 2-3x)
• 2 organic egg whites
• 5 tablespoons of sugar


200g of crushed digestive biscuit
50g butter at room temperature

Preheated oven at 200°C

Mix the crushed biscuits with the room temperature butter by hand until crumbs are completely incorporated. Line the bottom and sides of a spring form with the crumbly and light mixture. It helps to use the back of a spoon to line the mould.
Place the mould in preheated oven at 200 ° C for 15 minutes.  Reserve.

• 1 can condensed milk (395g)
• 1/2 can of cream (150ml)
200ml of orange juice (about 2 big oranges)

In a blender place the contents of a can of condensed milk, the cream and orange juice. Beat well and pour over crumbs baked earlier. Return to oven for another 15 mins. Reserve.



• 2 egg whites
• 5 tablespoons of sugar

Lower the oven temperature to 150 °C.
Beat the egg whites into firm snow peaks and stirring constantly add the sugar. Spread the meringue over orange mousse and take everything back in the oven for another 30 mins. After that time, only increase the temperature for browning. Remove from oven, let cool and refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving.
Enjoy it!
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