Cake, Food

Walnut Cake with Raspberries

IMG_20190317_151238

Gateau Aux Noix–this rich an delicious cake comes from Julia Child’s ” Mastering the Art of French Cooking”–Volume II (if you have the book, it is page 490 in the 39th edition) !!  I had  previously made another one of Julia’s Walnut cakes called Le Brantome which is a fluffier cousin of this recipe.  Having make both cakes, I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite.  However, the richness of this particular cake, makes it more suitable for layering.

The recipe make one 9 by 1.5 inch cake.  I wanted two layers, so I doubled the recipe.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients:

2 cups of chopped walnuts

6 Tbsp of sugar, plus another 1 cup of sugar

2/3 cup all -purpose flour

6 large eggs

8 Tbsp of butter

IMG_20190316_152742

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Butter and flour two 9″ cake pans.

IMG_20190316_164331

Grind 2 cups of walnuts with 6 Tbsp of sugar in a food processor.  You might want to do this in batches, depending on the size of your processor.  It is also important to add sugar with each batch of walnuts, it prevents the oils in the nuts to turn it into “butter” while grinding.

Mix the nut mixture with 2 cups of flour and pass the entire mixture through a sieve–this will separate out the larger chunks of nuts and allow for even incorporation of the the flour and nut mixture.

Next, cream butter, the remaining 1 cup of sugar till pale and creamy.  Then add the eggs and mix well.

Finally, slowly fold in the nut and flour mixture in batches, ensuring that each batch of the dry ingredients is well incorporated before the next batch is added.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans.

Bake for 20 mins.

The cake is perfectly wonderful with just a dusting of sugar.  However, I used the two layers to turn it into a layered birthday cake.  Let me know walk you through the assembly.

IMG_20190316_171622

Assembling the cake–you will need:

Fresh Raspberries (filling and decoration)

Chocolate drizzle ( for decoration, I bought it !)

Walnuts ( whole and ground for decoration)

Crushed, freeze dried raspberries (for decoration)

1 batch of my Marscapone Whipped Cream Frosting

Note: For this cake, had about 4 cups of frosting leftover from the  Spice Cake that I made a few weeks ago.  I froze down the frosting, however when thawing, the frosting becomes loose and runny (bottom image on the left).  To fix it, add another 8oz of marscapone and 2-3 Tbsp of sugar–depending on how sweet you want it.

Assembling the cake is pretty easy.  I added a layers of frosting on the bottom cake, topped the frosting with raspberries and then pressed down the top cake layer.

Next I added a crumb coat to fill in all the holes and press down the crumbs.  Chill this for at least 10-15 mins.

IMG_20190317_140855

Next, I added the rest of the frosting, as patiently as I could to ensure a smooth surface and edges.

Finally, I decorated the cake according to the design I drew out, you can check that out here

IMG_20190317_151253

This time, I remembered to take a picture of the cake once we cut into it !

IMG_20190318_144648

Cake, Gluten-free

Almond Paste Cake

IMG_2266

“Adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts by Lindsey Remolif Shere”-David Lebovitz.

This cake is best made in the food processor. If using a stand mixture, use the paddle attachment and let the mixer run until the almond paste is finely broken up. There’s a few notes at the end of the recipe, including some almond paste tips and suggestions.

1 1/3 cups (265g) sugar
8 ounces (225g) almond paste
3/4, plus 1/4 cup (140g total) flour ( I used Gluten-free flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 ounces, 225g) unsalted butter, at room
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC). Grease a 9- or 10-inch (23-25 cm) cake or spring form pan with butter, dust it with flour and tap out any excess. Line the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper. (See Note, below.)
2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup (35g) of flour until the almond paste is finely ground and the mixture resembles sand.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup (105g) of flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Once the almond paste is completely broken up, add the cubes of butter and the vanilla and almond extracts, then process until the batter is very smooth and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs one at a time, processing a bit before the next addition. (You may wish to open the machine and scrape the sides down to make sure the eggs are getting fully incorporated.) After you add all the eggs, the mixture may look curdled. Don’t worry; it’ll come back together after the next step.
6. Add half the flour mixture and pulse the machine a few times, then add the rest, pulsing the machine until the dry ingredients are just incorporated, but do not overmix. (You can also transfer the batter to a bowl and mix the dry ingredients in, which ensures the dry ingredients get incorporated evenly and you don’t overbeat it.)
7. Scrape the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake the cake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is deep brown and feels set when you press in the center.
IMG_2259
8. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp or serrated knife around the perimeter, loosing the cake from the sides of the pan. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Once cool, tap the cake out of the pan, remove the parchment paper, and set on a cake plate until ready to serve. (Tip: Warm the bottom of the cake pan directly on the stovetop for just a few seconds, which will help the cake release.)

Storage: This cake will keep for four days at room temperature, well-wrapped. It can also be frozen for up to two months.

temperature, cubed

I filled the cake with Raspberry jam and covered it with a whipped chocolate frosting.
As stated by David Lebovitz, this cake is “endlessly adaptable”  I hope you find your own way to dress up this rich cake, or not !
IMG_2269
Dinner, Gluten-free, Poultry, Quick Dinner

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken

IMG_20180919_175722

A few months ago I saw a bottle of locally made Raspberry Balsamic vinegar.  I bought it, but never got around to using it till now.  I read several recipes online and sort of borrowed from different versions and came up with my own.  It is pretty fast to make, provided you have the chicken thawed (something I always struggle to remember as I rush out the door in the morning).  Here is what you will need:

Ingredients:

2 large boneless skinless chicken breast

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, sliced

2 Tsps of dried thyme

1 Tsp of crushed red pepper (optional)

1/4 cup raspberry balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup red wine

1 Tbsp of honey

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Heat olive oil in a skillet.

Season chicken liberally with salt, pepper and 1 tsp of thyme and sear till light golden.

Add shallots and saute with the chicken for a few minutes till they are soft.

IMG_20180919_172557

Stir together vinegar, wine, honey, crushed red pepper, remaining thyme, salt and pepper in the bowl/cup/vessel of your choosing.

IMG_20180919_173009

Add vinegar mixture to the shallots and chicken and simmer on medium heat for 5 mins to cook off the alcohol.

IMG_20180919_173143

Place the whole pan in the oven, uncovered and bake for 15-20 minutes, till chicken is cooked through and the sauce is reduced and thick.

Serve with you favorite sides, we had sauteed green beans and leftover smashed red potatoes.

 

 

Cake

Raspberry Vanilla Cake

IMG_1980

A lovely light summer-y cake.  It is a vanilla cake which makes it appealing to most people and you don’t have to use raspberries, you can use any summer fruit you want.  Here goes !

Ingredients:

Store bought White cake mix

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1 cup whole milk

1 package of cheesecake flavored pudding mix

1 package of white chocolate pudding mix

1 jar of seedless raspberry jam

2 pints of fresh raspberries

Method:

Cake: Bake the cake accordingly to package instructions in two 9 inch baking rounds and cool completely.

IMG_1969

Filling:

Mix the both packages of pudding mix with 1 cup of whole milk.  This mixture will be very thick.

Meanwhile, whip up the heavy whipping cream to soft peaks.

Slowly fold the whipping cream into the pudding mix, adding about a 1/4 cup of whipping cream at a time.

Assembly:

Level the two cake layers and save the “cut-off” cake.

IMG_1968

Spread the entire jar of jam between both layers of the cake.

IMG_1970

Add the whipped pudding filling on top of the jam, only on one cake layer.  Use as much of the filling you like, just make sure you have enough to frost the outside of the cake.  I don’t like a lot of filling, so I actually had enough of the filling left to make my no-bake cheesecake pie (https://questforflavor.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/no-bake-strawberry-cheesecake-pie-with-chocolate-cookie-crust/).

Add cut up fresh raspberries on top of the cream.

Top it off with the other cake layer, jam side facing the raspberries

Frost the outside of cake.

Crumble the leftover cake pieces and use them to cover the side of the cake.

Decorate the top with more fresh raspberries.

Cut and eat !

IMG_1983

 

 

Cookies, Gluten-free

Raspberry-Hazelnut Macaroons (Haselnussmakronen)

IMG_1738

I will not take credit for this awesome recipe.  I read it in Food and Wine magazine and I knew I had to make it.  Granted this is more of a Christmas Cookie, I say yumminess is allowed all year round.  Also, it is snowing outside so I can pretend that it is the holidays !

Enjoy

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/haselnussmakronen

Cake

Almond, Raspberry and Chocolate Torte

image

INGREDIENTS

For the Cake
    • 1 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • Pinch of salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch spring-form pan, with non-stick baking spray and set aside. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Spread almond flour on to parchment lined baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet into the oven and toast for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, beat together egg yolks, lemon zest, orange blossom water (if using) and 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.

In a separate bowl whisk together the almond flour and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to egg yolk mixture and beat until smooth. This mixture will be very thick once incorporated.

image

In a large stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium high speed until they start to increase in size. Once egg whites start to get fluffy, add a pinch of salt. Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of white sugar to the egg whites and continue to beat until soft peaks form.

image

Fold egg whites into the almond mixture 1/2 cup at a time. The batter will start to lighten as you add more egg whites and eventually become light and airy. Transfer batter to the prepared spring-form pan and place into the oven to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until the top is golden brown.

image

image

Now comes the fun part of going crazy and assembling the cake !

Heat a jar of raspberry jam till its spreadable and make a box of white chocolate pudding according to the box instructions.  Set aside.

image

Bake a box of brownies in 9X9 pan.  Cool and mix with half the raspberry jam and smush it into a 9″ round.

Now, go back to you almond cake and slice in half.  One half should be cut in half again.

Transfer the bottom layer back into the spring-form pan.  Spread raspberry jam and them some of the white chocolate pudding mix.

imageimage

Place the raspberry brownie layer ontop

image

spread another layer of jam and pudding

image

image

Top with the other half of the almond cake, remember that this half was split in two, so you should still have another half left.

Now spread nutella, yes nutella on this almond layer and top with the remaining half.

image

image

Transfer the whole springform into the fridge and let it chill overnight.

Next day when you unmold it, all the layers will have set properly.

image

So to recap the layers from bottom up. Cake, jam/pudding, brownie,jam/pudding, cake,nutella,cake.

Now cover in whipped cream. Decorate the sides with wafer cookies and top with fresh raspberries and chocolate curls.

Enjoy !

image

image

Breakfast, Brunch

Raspberry Coconut Cereal Bake

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yet another gluten-free, dairy-free breakfast dish that is delicious hot or cold–perfect or those busy summer mornings when you need a good start to your day.

Ingredients:

3 cups rice cereal

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

2 egg whites

3/4 cup almond milk

1tsp vanilla extract.

1/4 cup frozen raspberries, crumbled

non-stick cooking spray.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Spread cereal on the bottom layer and drizzle with  half the honey.

Sprinkle the coconut over the cereal and the remaining honey.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mix eggs, egg white and almond milk with a 1tsp of vanilla and pour over cereal mixture.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Crumble frozen (not thawed) berries over the top.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bake for 20-25mins till the eggs set.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Serve warm or cold.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA