Cookbook of the month: December

1Hey guys,

As we had the idea to make a “cookbook of the month”, we´ll now present you the first selected.

We have decided to make a “cook book of the month” which we will of course publish once a month. In these posts we will let you know about randomly chosen cookbooks which we like and we have tested. We will tell you guys what our favorite recipes are, which ones worked out and which ones failed and of course why. This month it´s the incredible “gorgeous cakes” by Annie Bell.

We chose this cookbook because every recipe we have made out of it turned out wonderfully delicious.

In “gorgeous cakes” you will find a numerous variety and diversity of yummy cupcakes, cakes, tray bakeries and other nice treats.

So we’ll present you some of the best recipes:

Cherry crumble cake

For this cake I used fresh black cherries and pitted them by myself (It takes long but is so good!). The cake is best right after baking but also good the next day. It is light and a good to bake in summer, because you get the best fresh cherries then. 

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 100g unsalted butter, diced
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 90ml milk
  • 125g self-raising flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 250g black cherries, pitted

Crumble:

  • 90g plain flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 90g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 25g organic porridge oats

How to prepare the cake:

Preheat the oven to 200°C and butter a 20cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base. To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then incorporate the milk, flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface.

To make the crumble, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon and butter in a food processor and whizz until the mixture just starts to form large crumbs (or do this by hand). Transfer the mixture from the food processor to a bowl and stir in the oats.

Scatter the cherries over the surface of the cake, top with the crumble mixture and bake for 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake. It can be served warm, about 30 minutes out of the oven, or at room temperature.

Chocolate sensation

IMG_0587

I prepared this cake for a friend of my mother’s two days ago. I first wasn’t sure if the filling may be too runny to spread it, but it came out to be absolutely perfect! If you want the cake to be sweeter, just use milk chocolate instead of the dark chocolate for the filling. The amaretti look gorgeous  on the cake’s top.Ingredients:Chocolate cream:100g dark chocolate (approx. 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces

  • 200ml sour cream

Cake:

  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 300g golden caster sugar (I used less)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 270g plain flour, sifted
  • 230g buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 50g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Chocolate icing:

  • 225g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or strong black coffee

To decorate:

  • Chocolate shavings
  • 4 amaretti half-dippedin chocolate

How to prepare the cake:

To make the chocolate cream melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan with a little simmering water in it. Beat it into the sour cream, cover and chill for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 174°C and butter two (three if you have them) 20cm sandwich or deep cake tins with a removeable base, and line the base with baking paper. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor for 3-4 minutes until really light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Now add the flour in three goes, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Add the salt, vanilla extract and cocoa. Mix the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda together (it will fizz), and add to the batter. Divide the mixture between the tree tins or, if using two, add a third of the mixture to each one, bake these, and then bake the third sponge once the other two are cooling. (I weight the mixture then divide it to get evenly thick sponges.) Bake the cakes for 20-25 minutes until shrinking from the sides and firm when pressed in the centre. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then turn the cakes out onto a wire rack, remove the paper and cool the right way up.

To assemble the cake, spread one layer with half the chocolate cream, top with another layer and spread with the cream, then lay the third layer in place. For the icing, melt half the chocolate and butter in a small pan over a low heat, stirring until smooth, then stir in 1 tablespoon coffee. Spread it over the top and the sides if the cake with a palette knife. Leave to set for 1 hour. Repeat with the remaining half of ingredients, this time pressing the chocolate shavings into the sides of the cake. Pile the amaretti into the center. Leave for another hour to set. Transfer the cake board or serving plate. The cake can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days, in which case bring it back up to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Fig streusel

It’s a perfect cake. Light, not too sweet, easy and quick to prepare.. I love it and it’s my personal favourite!

Ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 110g ground almonds
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 225g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 500g figs, stalks trimmed, and cut into quarters
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 40g flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar for dusting

How to prepare the cake:

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Put the flour, ground almonds and caster sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and reduce the mixture to crumbs (it’s very important that the butter is cold, otherwise it will cream into a dough). As it starts to resemble a crumble, transfer the mixture to a bowl. Scatter half the crumble mixture over the bottom of a 30 x 23 x 4cm non-stick traybake tin and, using your fingers, press it onto the base. Scatter over the fig quarters and then drizzle with the honey. Stir the flaked almonds into the remaining crumble mixture and scatter this over the top. There should be tips of fruit showing through.

Bake for 45 minutes until the top is golden and crisp. Remove and allow the traybake to cool, then dust the surface with icing sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the tin and cut the streusel into squares.

Raspberry valentine’s cake

This cake’s frosting is very rich but combined with the light cake and the fresh raspberries it actually doesn’t seem to be. I made it for Adriana’s seventeenth birthday in France. A perfect cake for raspberry lovers.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 4 medium eggs
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Frosting:

  • 120g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 300g cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250g (approx.) raspberries
  • Handful of small unsprayed red rose petals (optional)
  • Icing sugar for dusting

How to prepare the cake:

Preheat the oven to 200°C and butter a 23cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they are stiff. In another large bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar until they are pale but not too white. Fold the whisked whites into the egg and sugar mixture in two goes, then fold in the ground almonds, again in two goes, and the baking powder and orange zest. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a spoon. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden and shrinking from the sides and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and leave it to cool.

To make the frosting, place the butter and icing sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer the butter cream to a large bowl and work in the cream cheese and vanilla extract.

Invert the cake onto a plate or board, keeping the base upwards. Make a heart template, using the cake base to trace a circle, then cut out a heart from the cake using a large sharp knife.

Smooth the cream cheese frosting over the top and sides of the cake using a small palette knife. Arrange the raspberries on the top of the cake, holes downwards, starting at the outer edge and working inwards. Transfer the cake to a serving plate or cake board. Scatter some rose petals over and around the cake if wished and dust with icing sugar. Unless you are serving it straight away, place the cake in a cool place for up to a couple of hours. Any longer than this, loosely cover it with clingfilm and chill it, in which case remove it from the fridge 30-60 minutes before serving.

Heart template:

To make a paper or card heart-shaped template, first cut out a circle the size of the cake (23cm). Now fold it in half and trace half a heart on the half moon. Cut it out with scissors and open it out. This will give you a perfectly symmetrical heart.

Rich lemon curd sponge cake

This cake is actually perfect for summer. It’s a little rich and you might not be able to eat more than a little piece but it´s soooo good!

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 225g unsalted butter, diced
  • 225g golden granulated sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 50 ml double cream
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)

Filling:

  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 medium organic eggs
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 90g golden granulated sugar
  • 200g mascarpone

Topping:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 50g golden granulated sugar

How to prepare the cake:

First make the lemon curd for the filing. Place all the ingredients except the mascarpone in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until the butter melts, then continue to whisk for a couple of minutes until the mixture resembles a thick custard. Pass it through a sieve into a bowl, cover with clingfilm and chill for a couple of hours until it sets.

Preheat the oven to 190°C and butter a 20 cm cake tin 9cm deep with a removable base. Place all the cake ingredients in a food processor and cream together. Transfer the mixture to the cake tin, smooth the surface and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the cake. Combine the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl, stirring to evenly distribute it, then spoon over the top of the cake. Leave t to cool, allowing the juice to sink into the sponge.

Blend 100g of the lemon curd with the mascarpone. (You won’t need all of the lemon curd but the rest will keep well in the fridge for a week and is delicious on toast or bread.) You can leave the cake on the base or remove it as you prefer. Slit with a bread knife and spread the lower half with the lemon mascarpone cream, then sandwich with the top half.

If not serving within a few hours, cover and chill the cake. Bring it back up to room temperature 30-60 minutes before serving.

Hope you enjoyed our first ‘cookbook of the month! 🙂

N&N

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