Category / Desserts

Desserts

Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Bundt Cake

Chocolate cake is already delicious but what about combining it with vanilla cheese cake? Hmm… the combination is divine… Several days ago, I have promised to bring a cake at the office. The options of what to prepare are always more then enough, but for this particular occasion I have been considering as much the flavour as the logistic transportation practical side. As a result, this delicious chocolate cheesecake swirl bundt cake has emerged delighting all the senses.

Preparing the cake was easy and simple. Keeping it away from my family has been a real struggle and temptation, something to remember and avoid in the future whenever I can. Why did I not even consider to prepare two cakes instead of one? With the cake intact and graciously arriving at the office in one piece it made me happy to see the joy it brought to my colleagues and that even before noon not a single slice was left.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling
  • 6oz cream cheese, softened (from 8-oz package)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Vanilla
Cake
  • 1 1 box Betty Crocker™ SuperMoist™ dark chocolate cake mix
  • 1/4 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Topping
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 Vanilla
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • Coffee Chocolate beans

Method

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt cake pan, or spray with baking spray with flour. In small bowl, beat 6 oz cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Beat in granulated sugar, vanilla, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 egg until smooth; set aside.

2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, 1/4 cup flour, the water, oil and 2 eggs with electric mixer on medium speed 2 minutes; stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Pour into pan.

3. Spoon cream cheese filling over batter, keeping it away from edge of pan. Run table knife through batter in large zigzag pattern once around pan.

4. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Turn pan upside down onto cooling rack; remove pan. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

5. In small bowl, beat 2 oz cream cheese and 2 teaspoons milk using whisk. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. If too thick, add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency. Spoon icing over cake.

6. In small microwavable bowl, microwave whipping cream uncovered on High 30 seconds or until cream just beings to simmer. Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Place in small resealable food-storage plastic bag. Cut off small corner of bag; drizzle over white icing. Decorate with coffee chocolate beans.

Desserts

Speculoos Cake

It is mid September and the summer days start to whisper of the coming autumn. We cuddle lovingly at home with a cup of tea, glowing candles, warm blanket and a book close by. Home sweet home. Our travelling business agendas keep us far from home and when the weekend comes being home is a joy and celebration. We treasure these simple moments in many ways. Sharing hours among the mundane taking care and the things that bring delight. Sometimes it is a walk in the woods, sometimes it is delicious dinner, sometimes a favourite cake. Speculoos are traditional cookies offered all year round, but especially around St. Nicolas on the 6th of December in Belgium. A couple of years ago a Belgian company transformed this delicious flavour into a paste, that nowadays can be easily found in every store all over the world – called Speculoos Paste or Cookie Butter. This is the main ingredient our weekend cake today – delicious and spicy, soft and flavoursome Speculoos Cake.

 

Ingredients

  • 250g self-raizing flour
  • 220g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 vanillas
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tbsp of Speculoos Paste
  • 4 Speculoos cookies

 

Method

1. Soften the butter.

2. Whisk the softened butter, the sugar and the vanilla. Gradually, one by one, add the eggs continuously whisking. Whisk in the flour adding a little bit at a time. Add four table spoons of Speculoos paste and whisk again until smooth.

4. Grease and flour a backing dish. Poor over the cake mixture. Smooth evenly. Brake four speculoos cookies in half and dip each cookie half in the cake mixture.

5. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes on 175C. When ready, take the cake out of the oven and let it rest for 2min in the form, then take it and turn it upside down on a plate. Serve warm with a spoon of vanilla ice cream, or cold.

Desserts

Banoffee Cake

A recent trip to Germany has expanded my culinary horizons adding one more show-stopping cake recipe book to our library. This time, the challenge has been set even higher, embracing the hidden secrets shared by a renown German fine patisserie chef Noemie Strouk in her culinary book “Baking with a wow-effect“.

Wow-effect it is… Browsing through the tempting looking pages I leave my husband to make the final choice of what he might wish for me to prepare, as honestly speaking any single cake looks absolutely more then fine to me. His choice is a Banoffee cake and the challenge is on.

The original recipe requires first to bake a cookie base for the cake, but considering an alternative version we decide to make the base from speculoos cookies in a similar way as preparing a cheese cake. The flavour combination between the speculoos cookies the banana and the caramel with the light and fluffy mascarpone cream topping ends as being absolutely sublime. Simple, elegant, light and so easy and quick to prepare… fine dinning “wow” it really is.

Ingredients

  • 200g Speculoos cookies
  • 100g butter
  • 50g salty butter
  • 125g crystal sugar
  • 190g cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 bananas
  • 300g cream
  • 50g mascarpone
  • Vanilla sugar Dr. Oetker (8g)
  • 30g powder sugar
  • Chocolate curls
  • Hazelnut bresilienne
  • Dry cornflower petals
  • 2tsp cacaco powder

Method

1. Prepare the speculoos cake base: Blend the speculoos cookies into a fine dust. Melt 100g butter. Mix the butter and the cookie dust together into a sticky mess. Place baking paper on the base of a 22cm cake form. Press the cookie and butter mixture into a flat disk in the cake form and let it chill for half an hour in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare the caramel: Place 125g crystal sugar in a pot with a thick bottom. Place it over medium fire and let the sugar caramelise (do not touch). Once the caramel starts to get a golden colour and all the sugar has dissolved add a little bit from the cream (do not poor all the liquid at once as it will start to rise). Add 190g cream in three or four times stirring continuously. Cut the salty butter into pieces. Add the butter to the caramel one piece at time stirring continuously until the caramel start to thicken. Once all the butter has been added set aside and let it cool completely on room temperature. Once cooled add a pinch of salt and stir the caramel.

3. For the cream topping: In a cool glass bowl add together the cold 300g cream, 50g mascarpone and vanilla sugar. Mix together with a mixer initially on slow speed until the cream starts to thicken then on high speed. Add the powder sugar and mix until thick.

4. To assemble the cake: Take the cake form out of the fridge. Open the ring and let only the cookie base remain. Cut two bananas into rings and arrange them on top of the speculoos cookie cake base. Drizzle over caramel. Using a piping bag, pipe the mascarpone cream on top of the cake. Dust caoaco powder on top and decorate with chocolate curls, hazelnut bresilienne and dried cornflower petals.

Desserts

Chocolate Cake

It is New Year and my birthday all in one and in a good old tradition we celebrate with a festive home made cake to mark this exceptional occasion. And what a festive cake this one turns out to be – a truly decadent, flavour rich orange chocolate cake to make all the senses feel special, deserving and desired. The recipe calls for a lot of plain chocolate, but I like to diversify by adding additional flavour dimensions to my creations. In this instance for example, I am adding a orange intense Lindt dark chocolate to the cake sponge instead of plain dark chocolate, making the faint orange aroma coming through in a very pleasant, subtle way.

But the desire for decadence does not stop there. The entire chocolate cake is covered in the luscious chocolate mousse, the final decorations of which are further intensified with a rum essence flavour. And if this would not be enough, the cake is decorated with mini Lindt chocolate bombones – very, very deliciously chocolatey indeed. I take one bite and all my wishes have come true!

Ingredients

For the Cake
  • 225g margarine or unsalted butter (softened)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs (beaten)
  • 16g Vanilla Sugar Dr. Oetker (2 small packages)
  • 200g self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tbs caster sugar
  • 30g cocoa
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 100g Lindt Intense Orange Dark Chocolate (melted)
  • Few mini Lindt Chocolate Bombones (for decoration)
For the Chocolate Mousse
  • 200g good quality milk chocolate (I have used Cote d’Or)
  • 200g good quality dark chocolate (I have used Cote d’Or)
  • 400g cream
  • 3 egg yolkes
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 3-4 droplets of rum essence

 

Method

For the cake:

1. In a large bowl mix together the softened butter, the vanilla sugar essence and the custer suger for several minites until the mixture become pale and light. While continuing whisking add the eggs one at a time. In another bowl mix together the flour, the cocoa powder, the baking powder and soda. Start gradually adding (in three times) the dry ingredients to the soft mixture and whisk until well incorporated.

2. Over a pot with a simmering water, place another pot and melt the chocolate by breaking it into pieces and mixing with the two spoons of milk. Once the chocolate has melted add to the cake mixture and mix well.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 175C. Lay two cake forms with baking paper and spread the cake mixture in the two forms evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, check if ready and take out of the oven. Let the cakes rest for two minutes then run a knife over the edge of the cake making sure it could be released by the form easily. Take the cakes out of the forms and let them cool completely.

For the chocolate mousse:

4. Cut the chocolate into tiny pieces and place in a large bowl. Heat the cream until it starts to simmer and then pour over the cut chocolate. Let is rest for 2 minutes allowing the chocolate to melt then mix everything together until all the chocolate has melted. Let is rest for a while.

5. In the mean time, separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Over a pot with simmering water, place another pot and whisk the egg yolks until they become pale and thick. Make sure that the water underneath is not touching the bottom of the upper pot that the water is just simmering lightly. If the temperature is too high there is a risk that the eggs might turn into an omelet. Mix the egg mixture together with the chocolate cream mixture until well combined.

6. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks start to form. Gradually, in three times, add the beaten egg whites to the mousse, folding gently until well combined. Place the mousse in the fridge for 40 min to 1  hour until it becomes sufficiently thick to start assembling the cake.

To assemble the cake:

7. Cut the two cakes in the middle and place all four cake disk on the table top. Take the chocolate mousse out of hte fridge and mix it well together feeling how thick the mousse has set. If still runny, place it back in the fridge and wait for an additional half an hour. If thick and glossy it means that it is ready to assemble the cake.

8. In serving dish or a plate, place one of the four cake sponge disks. With a spatula knife cover the cake top with chocolate mousse. Place the second cake disk and repeat placing a layer of chocolate mouse over a layer of cake. Once done, cover the whole cake with the remaining mouse.

9. Preparing for the final cake decoration, add a few droplets of rum essence to the remaining chocolate mousse for extra flavour. Place a star tip in a piping bag and spoon in the chocolate mousse. Start by decorating the chocolate cake bottom edge either by making chocolate pearls, or any decoration you may desire. On a smooth cake top pipe chocolate rosettes. Place mini Lindt Chocolate bombones on each rosette for an added flair.

10. Place the chocolate cake in the fridge overnight to set completely the chocolate mousse. Leave it out of the fridge for at least half an hour before serving so the chocolate mouse softens a little. If refrigerated the cake would keep up for a week.

Desserts

Apple Marzipan Cake

In a recent trip to Germany we have stumbled upon an apple cake recipe book, Apfel-kuchen by Elisabeth Bangert. Looking simple and unassuming, it somehow reflected homemade German cooking with an appetisingly looking pictures of recipes on how to make apple cake 100 different ways. As this is my husband’s favourite cake, the investment seemed worthwhile and I bought the book with the promise starting from the order of the index to make every single recipe in the book.

A month ago, I have attempted recipe number one – Apple Cream Cake and we were both amazed by the result. Following on my promise, recipe number two quickly followed. Simple cake base, glazed on top with caramelizing cream marzipan paste, soft apples with a hint of lemon juice and roasted walnuts. Absolutely divine.

 

Ingredients

  • 125g self-raizing flour
  • 110g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 8g Vanilla Sugar Dr. Oetker
  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml cream
  • 150g marzipan
  • 1tbs caster sugar
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 apples
  • 25g walnuts

 

Method

1. In a sauce pan add 200ml cream and one table spoon of sugar. Bring to the heat and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Cut the marzipan block into cubes and add them to the cream, stirring gently until the marzipan has melted into a thick paste. Set aside and let it cool slightly.

2. In the meantime, whisk the softened butter, sugar and the vanilla. Gradually, one by one, add the eggs by whisking continuously. Add the flour stirring until well combined.

3. Peal the apples and cut them into thin slices. Mix with three table spoons of lemon juice.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Lay a baking form with a baking paper. Pour in the cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then take the cake out. Pour gently on top of the cake the cream and marzipan paste. Carefully arrange on top the apple slices and sprinkle over with a handful of walnuts.

5. Return the cake back to the oven and bake for additional 35 minutes. When ready, take the cake out of the oven and let it cool completely before serving.

Desserts

Apple Cream Cake

My family’s favourite fruit is apple and this, unsurprisingly often dictates the flavour of our home made desserts. I have so many recipes of various apple cakes and somehow they do not seem to be enough. Every new discovery of making an apple cake in a different way quickly becomes a family favourite requested to be repeated over and over again.

In a recent trip to Germany we have stumbled upon this apple cake recipe book, Apfel-kuchen by Elisabeth Bangert which seems to be the answer to my husband’s prayers. Glancing through the pages I have asked which of the recipes shall I prepare first and his immediate response was that it really doesn’t matter, I could start from the first recipe and every day make one cake until the book is done. Why not indeed? If only Father Christmas could give presents every day…

Based on the available ingredients at home I have selected one of the book recipes and what a result. One of the most delicious apple cakes we have ever made has quickly filled the kitchen with irresistible arroma. Crunchy almond caramelised top hiding melting apple slices with a hint of lemon, surrounded by a soft and thin cake base. Absolute perfection. No surprise that the Germans really do know how to bake the best in the world apple cakes. Grateful for the book and looking forward to attempt the remaining recipes. According to the index order, of course. Just to make someone special happy.

Apfel kuchen

Ingredients

  • 125g self-raizing flour
  • 210g butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla essence (8g Vanilla Sugar Dr. Oetker)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3tbsp cream
  • 3tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 apples
  • 50g almond flakes

 

Method

1. In a sauce pan add 100g of the butter, three table spoons of cream and two table spoons of sugar. Bring to the heat and mix until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Set aside and let it cool slightly.

2. In the meantime, whisk the remaining softened butter, the sugar and the vanilla. Gradually, one by one, add the eggs continuously whisking. Add the flour and whisk until combined.

3. Peal the apples and cut them into thin slices. Mix with three table spoons of lemon juice.

4. Lay a baking form with a baking paper. Pour over the cake mixture and spread evenly. Carefully arrange on top the apple slices and sprinkle over with some sugar. Graze the apples with the mixture of melted butter and cream. Sprinkle over the almond flakes.

5. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes at 175C. When ready, take the cake out of the oven and let it rest until completely cool than take out of the form and present on a serving plate.

 

Desserts

Garash Cake

The Christmas holiday season is behind us. It always feels a bit like climbing a mountain heel. I am enjoying the journey, the beauty of discovering little things at every stop on the way and the thrill and anticipation of seeing the view from the top of the  mountain. We have reached the peak at New Year with a spectacular display of fireworks and cascading emotions full of hope for all that is to come and now that the holidays are over, I am still cherishing the sparkling images of the memorable experiences of all that has been left behind.

This image of a traditional Bulgarian Garash Cake is one of them. Gracing our Christmas eve dining table, it was a stunning centrepiece at the end of festive meal. Rich and decadent, beautifully balancing the flavours of a crunchy walnut meringue and the softness of a cacao butter cream, contrasted by the delicate zest of fresh berry fruits. We have savoured every bite… A perfect celebration cake just to enjoy indulging oneself or to be generous and share with others. I for myself, know exactly what to choose.

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of walnut meal
  • Vanilla essence (8g Vanilla sugar Dr. Oetker)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1tsp cornflour
  • Raspberries
  • Redcurrant
  • Blueberries
  • Powder sugar
For the cream
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 5 tbsp cacao powder
  • 125g butter
  • 8 egg yolks

 

Method

1. For the cake. Break the eggs, splitting the whites and the yolks in two separate bowls. Put the yolks aside as they will be needed for the cream. Start preparing the cake layers by whisking the egg whites with a pinch of salt. Ones the soft peaks start to form add the vanilla essence and gradually spoon per spoon in regular intervals of whisking add the sugar. Ones the meringue start to form stiff peaks add one tea spoon of corn flour. Add the walnut meal to the meringue and gently fold it together with a spatular.

2. Layer a baking tray with a baking paper. Using a pen and a round baking form, circle on the baking paper the round size of the cake layers you would like to have. Set a plain round nozzle in a piping bag (the same size you would normally use for making macarons – 12) and fill the bag with the walnut meringue mixture. Starting from the centre of the circle on the baking paper, squeeze the cake mixture making round circles until you reach the end of the rim of the shape you would like to create.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 175C. Set the tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cake layer is ready when you touch it and it does not stick to your hand. Take it out of the oven and let it cool completely. In the mean time pipe the second layer of the cake and bake. Depending on the size of the circle you should be able to make between 4 and 6 layers of the cake. Try to make them as thin as possible. Once cooled peel off the baking paper from the baked meringue layers.

4. For the cream: In a small pan over a medium heat mix together the water and the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cacao powder and mix the sirup until all is well combined. Take it out of the heat and let it cool completely.

5. In a separate bowl whisk together the slightly soft butter and start adding the egg yolks one by one. Once all the eggs have been combined add the slightly cooled cacao sirup and whisk together until well combined. Set to cool in the fridge for at least one hour.

6. To assemble the cake: Lay the first meringue layer in the centre of a serving dish. Set a start shaped nozzle in a piping bag and fill it in with the cacao cream. Starting from the centre of the cake pipe in a rozzet shape form the cream util it reaches the rim of the cake. Set the second meringue layer on top and pipe the cream on top. Repeat until you set the final top layer and decorate it on top with the cream. Put the cake in the fridge and let it rest overnight.

7. Before serving decorate the top of the cake withe fresh fruits like raspberries, blueberries and redcurrant and dust with powder sugar.

 

Desserts

Almond Raspberry Crumble Cake

We were recently in Germany on a weekend trip to Aachen, and as always we could not resist a stop to our favourite book store. It is truly and enchanting place. Selling everything a person could imagine, indulging passions varying from music to cooking, from travelling to science, and for everyone a beautiful book could be discovered as a cherished piece of one’s soul, available to be embraced and taken home.

On this particular trip, I was casually glancing through one of the book sections when a most spectacular recipe book caught my eye. I have never seen a book like that. Big and shiny, with a boldly written title “Indulgent Cakes” gracing the cover next to a mouth-watering four tier cake. And this was only the start of the magic. Every turning of the page revealed the most amazing cake recipes one could only imagine, presented in a most enticing, elegant way. This was not a book, this was a piece of art, a piece of magic and my soul rejoiced that I could have it.

Sitting in our living room and discussing our plans for my husband’s family birthday celebration, it is no surprise that when it comes to cakes, we have a reference for recipes like none other. I let him turn the pages and choose his heart’s desire. We stop and discuss a few, but the final selection is made for an Almond Raspberry Crumble Cake. Light and soft like a feather lemon sponge meets a fragrant nutty crumble topping, kissed by a layer of sweet and sour raspberry perfection in-between. What a beautiful way to say happy birthday to my dearest one in the language of food and love.

{Original recipe from Indulgent Cakes by the Australian Women’s Weekly}

Ingredients

For the cake
  • 125g salted butter (room temperature)
  • 275g sugar
  • 1tsp of grated lemon peel
  • 1 Vanilla sugar (Dr. Oetker)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4tsp soda bicarbonate
  • 225g plain flour
  • 125ml milk
  • 125g Rasberries
  • 1tbsp powder sugar
For the crumble
  • 150g plain flour
  • 60g almond powder
  • 75g Demetra sugar
  • 75g sugar
  • 125g salted butter (cold)
  • 20g oatmeal
  • 50g Almond flakes

 

Method

1. For the cake. Preheat the oven to 180C. In a large bawl whisk together with an electric mixer the eggs, butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon peel. Once fluffy and smooth add the soda bicarbonate and the flour, and the milk mixing well until all is combined.  Lay a backing form with baking paper. Poor the cake mixture on top and gently smooth the service. Put the cake in the oven  and let it cook for 20 minutes.

2. For the crumble: In the meantime prepare the crumple by putting in a separate bawl the flour, the oatmeal, the sugar, the almond powder and the butter. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers. When the entire paste starts to resemble bread crumbs add the almond flakes.

3. Once the cake has baked for 20 minutes, take it our of the oven and generously scatter on the top the fresh raspberries. Cover on top with the crumble and return to the oven to bake for additional 30 minutes.

4. Once baked, take out of the oven but keep in the baking form to slightly cool for 10 minutes. Take out the cake of the form and place it onto a cooling wrack to cool completely.

5. Dust with powder sugar before serving.

 

Desserts

Classic Crème Caramel

Is there a more classic dessert than the beloved creme caramel? We used to eat it so often at home while growing up as kids. We would be coming home from a weekend visit to my grandparent’s farm house, carrying so many home grown products and the inevitable stack of fresh laid eggs. Transforming them into delicious dishes will be simply a matter of time and a pleasure my mother would really relish. We, as kinds would be helping of course, especially when it comes to making creme caramel. The easy part would be burning the sugar and whisking the egg mixture. But the hardest part would be the patience to wait and to wait until the creme caramel is out of the oven, until it has cooled and set, until we could finally take a spoon and dive into a mini-pot of heavenly delight. I am not a child any more, and I still find making the creme caramel part easy, but waiting to sample one extremely, unreasonably, exasperatingly difficult. And who wouldn’t when every spoon full of golden brown custard and liquid caramel kehlibar tastes like the sweetest thing on the earth?

{Original recipe from Mary Berry}

Ingredients

For the caramel
  • 160g sugar
  • 6tbsp water
  • unsalted butter, for greasing the ramekins
For the custard
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 25g sugar
  • 600ml full-fat milk
  • 1 Vanilla sugar essence Dr. Oetker

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Warm the ramekins in the oven, so they are warm when the caramel is poured in.

2. First make the caramel. Pour the sugar and six tablespoons of water into a clean stainless steel pan. Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over a low heat. When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark copper colour.

3. Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed ramekins. Set aside to cool and become hard. (Do not put in the fridge because the sugar will absorb moisture and go soft and tacky). Once hard, butter the sides of the ramekins above the level of the caramel.

4. For the custard: whisk the eggs, vanilla essence and caster sugar together in a bowl until well mixed.

5. Pour the milk into a saucepan, gently heat over a low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl. Whisk together until smooth, then pour the mixture into the prepared ramekins.

6. Stand the ramekins in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle. Cook in the oven for about 50 minutes or until the custard has set. Do not overcook the custard – check around the edges of the dishes, to make sure no bubbles are appearing.

7. Take the crème caramels out of the oven, remove the ramekins from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.<

8. To serve, loosen the sides of the custard by tipping the ramekin and loosen with a small palette knife round the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the ramekin and turn upside down.

Desserts

Low Fat Apple Cake

It is weekend and this, in my family means, my time for cooking. It may sound slightly strange, but being two passionate cooks, me and my husband had to define a simple routine, via which each of us will have access to the kitchen and an opportunity to delight by cooking for the other. As a working from home man, he has the pleasure to do so during the week, and I am returning the gesture in the weekend. Of course, the order is not always strictly followed, but I must admit, I rather enjoy to arrive in the evening at home, welcomed by the inviting aromas of a delicious meal and the warm embrace of my loved one. In the weekend however, relieved by the daily stress, it is such a pleasure for me to cook from the heart, amazing Francois with a new recipe or a dish that he really, really loves.

Knowing his preference for apples, I am preparing today this deliciously moist and juicy low fat Italian apple cake. The recipe has been slightly adapted from the original “La buona cucina di casa” cook book, adding vanilla and walnuts, but in essence this still remains the lightest and less caloric cake I have ever made. Isn’t it a wonder that a cake can be really made without using butter or any type of oils, and yet to be still so deliciously delightful?

Slightly moist, light and spongy, this cake with leave you smiling, reaching quickly for a second slice. With less then 116 calories per piece, we could easily afford it, don’t we?

For the ones not truly shying from a real temptation, this cake could be deliciously served with a scoop of ice-cream or a generous teaspoon of caramel dulce de leche.

 

Ingredients

  • 750g apples (Pink Lady or Granny’s Smith)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1 package Vanilla sugar essence Dr. Oetker (8g)
  • the zest of 1 lemon, grated
  • a pinch of salt
  • 130g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 75 ml low fat milk (or full fat milk)
  • 12g (3 teaspoons) baking powder
  • 100g walnuts
  • 1tbsp sugar to sprinkle on top
  • icing sugar for dusting

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.2. Grease and flour a 22 cm pan and set aside.

2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Place the eggs, sugar,vanilla, lemon zest and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and creamy.Add the flour, baking powder, milk, and beat until well combined. Add two thirds of the apples and the chopped walnuts to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula.

3. Place the batter in the prepared pan. Arrange the remaining apple slices over the top of the batter. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional).

4. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

5. Dust the low fat apple cake with powdered sugar before serving.