Sunday, 10 September 2017

Blackberry crumble cake & we actually moved

It has been a long long time since my last post and I am afraid some of you were thinking I was gone for good. Well the reason for this very long pause was our move to Sweden.... yes, yes you read right, we actually moved from Spain to Sweden and the last couple of months were pretty busy with all the millions things you have to do, when you are moving. 

I will spare you from all the "nice" stories about the last couple of months and all the "nice" feelings we went through till we finally arrived in Sweden,  as it will end up in a super long complaining post, and nobody wants that, right? Certainly there are also some positive sides to the moving too, such as you finally will get a bigger home, you have finally the change to say goodbye to all the unnecessary things you have been collecting over the years once and for all, you can get super creative decorating your new home and you are closer to your family. BUT (which really needs to be written in capitals) you first have to overcome all the stress and emotional moments before you arrive in your new home. And I am not talking about the funny moving company, which changed their previous statement the day our stuff was supposed to be picked up, neither about all the bureaucratic things you have to manage, but about over 10 years living in Spain we were leaving behind us... It is never easy to say goodbye to your friends!!!

We arrived in Sweden well and are still kept busy, which is OK as we are creating our new home and this is most of the times pretty funny. I discovered my interior design skills as well as handmade decoration skills, while my husband discovered his hand-building skills. We actually moved to a country side, which is a change and we are still in the processes to find our way around... mainly including discovering of all the different farmers around, which makes me personally super happy. We also will have a garden in the future... a real garden... so some of my future researches will also include a study on how to plant and grow vegies and fruits.

Now between all the moving and decorating, I hardly came to focus on baking and cooking, so in one point my husband and my son started complaining. Luckily we have a garden with a huge blackberries bush, which were just waiting for us to be picked. And so it was on time for me to lock myself in the kitchen and create something delicious for my boys.... The outcome was a blackberry crumble cake, which made both super happy. Pablo was mainly proud of the fact that he was picking the berries himself and super happy to see them ending up in the cake.

The picture of my post today will be a wild mix of everything, cake, interior decoration, some insights in Pablo´s new room and some of the relaxing moments at the beach.
Blackberry crumble cake
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 gr sugar
  • 100 gr butter (melted)
  • 150 gr yogurt
  • vanilla essence
  • 250 gr flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh blackberries
I managed to make two cakes out of this recipe (using standard sized cake forms). Preheat the oven to 180C. Whisk the eggs with the sugar with a hand whisk, add butter, yogurt and vanilla essence and give it another whisk. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, whisk till all ingredients are combined. Grease and line the baking forms with a baking paper, divide the dough between the baking forms. Top it with blackberries, gently pressing them a bit into the dough. I covered the whole surface of the dough with the berries.
  • 30 gr butter (cold and cut in cubes)
  • 60 gr brown sugar
  • 100 g flour
  • 0,5 teaspoon of baking powder
  • vanilla sugar
Put all the ingredients into a bowl and combine them with your fingers till you will get big junks of dough crumble... if your crumbles appears too soft, add some more flour, in case the dough will resemble a sand texture add bit of cold water.
Sprinkle the dough crumbles all over the top and bake the cake for 35-45 minutes, till golden brown. Let it cool off on the cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving. It tastes heavenly warm with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Should you be so lucky and have some leftovers, you will be pleasantly surprised about this case 1-2 days later, as it does improve the taste over the time.

Handmade wooden stool done by me. I was checking pinterest for some ideas and found some handmade wooden projects there, so I decided to do something special for Pablo´s room too. It turned out great and he loves it big time. I had super fun myself and I got hooked up by this idea so much, so I think there will be even more furniture building projects in the future.









Enjoy!


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Blueberry muffins for Saturday breakfast

Some days you have to have a muffin for breakfast, right? Maybe not the most healthiest way to start the day you will say, but certainly a very special one. It is not often we do have muffins for breakfast in our home, but when we do, we kind of celebrate this fact a little. I always try to add some nutritious ingredients to them, still trying to stay rather on the cake side, as muffin is a small little cake treat after all.
We love blueberry hence most of the time I will end up with blueberry muffins. Vanilla is another ingredient, which will never be missed in my baked treats. I am a vanilla girl, what can I say. And as for the nutritious addition (and for the feeling guilty part) there will be oatmeal flakes and nuts.

It can all vary depending on what I am having home, blueberries can be easily changed by raspberries, cranberries, apples, apricots or red currant. Different kind of nuts will add different flavors, as well as different spices... cinnamon, dash of nutmeg or ground cardamom. There is also a seasonal aspect too... while in winter we do prefer them rather spiced up (cinnamon, cardamom etc.) in summer the main focus will be put on the berries or fruits. The dough always remains the same, which makes this muffin recipe so cool, it will be then just up too you to play around with additional ingredients and create a special muffin just to your taste.
Blueberry breakfast muffins
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 180 g sugar
  • vanilla essence
  • 100 g butter (softened)
  • 100 g yogurt (room temperature)
  • 1,5 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 180 g flour
  • 125 g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line your muffin thin with muffin paper cases (about 9 big ones or 12 small). In a bowl whisk together eggs and sugar (with a hand-whisk, give it couple of swings that all it takes). Add vanilla essence, butter and yogurt, give it another couple of swings (do not worry for the small butter clumps at this point, they all will disappear when you add flour to the dough). Sift in flour, salt and baking powder, whisk till all well combined. Fold in the berries, use a spatula or spoon and try not to break the berries. Fill the muffin paper cases up to 2/3 and set aside. Prepare the crunchy topping.

Crunchy topping
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • handful roughly chopped pecan nuts
Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mixed them all with you hands till you will get the crumbles, some might be bigger then others. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the muffin dough (generously) and press it gently with your fingers, so they do stick to the dough. Bake for 25-30 minutes till golden brown.

Enjoy!



Friday, 16 June 2017

Baklava-Cheesecake cake, a match made in heaven

This post is long long overdue, but I just now got some time to publish it. Today we are going to talk about "Baklava-Cheesecake". I guess most of you have heard about this cake already, I always wanted to try it, but always missed the right occasion to make it. Several weeks ago however I got even two of such special occasions. First cake was done for my family who visited us for some days. Second was made for a good friend birthday lunch invitation.

If you love baklava and cheesecake as I do, then this cake is a must. It looks stunning, special and festive.... perfect cake to be made for a special occasion. And the best part of it is that you would not need any special decoration or have any special decoration skills, as this case looks awesome by it own already.

I made the cheesecake not too sweet to balance the sweetness of the baklava filling. Nuts, honey and lemon are giving a special wow effect to the creamy cheesecake texture and if you would like it a bit more sweeter, you can always take another splash of the silky sugar syrup on top. The cake was a success and everybody was amazed by it looks!

Baklava-Cheesecake cake

Sugar Syrup
  • 120 g sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • lemon juice of half a lemon
Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan (take a deep one) and bring it to boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to medium-low and let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes. Put it aside to cool down.

Cheesecake
  • 350 g cream cheese
  • 250 ml yogurt (I took the light to balance the creaminess of the cream cheese)
  • 90 g sugar
  • vanilla essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 packages vanilla pudding powder
In a bowl whisk (hand whisk) together cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and vanilla essence, till you get a smooth and silky mixture. Add the eggs, one at the time, whisk till all well combined. Finally sift it vanilla pudding powder and fold it carefully in, avoiding too much beating. Set aside.

Baklava filling
  • 250 g nuts  (I made a mix of pistachios and pecan nuts)
  • 2/3 of sugar syrup
Chop the nuts roughly (I did not chop it too small, to have some bigger nuts bites). In a bowl mix together nuts and syrup. Set aside.

Assembling the cake
  • 4-5 filo dough sheets
  • 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Take your baking form and grease it slightly with melted butter. Take the first filo dough sheet and brush it with butter, fold it in half and cover one part of the baking dish with it. Continue with remaining dough sheets the same way till whole baking form is covered. Depending on how big your baking form is you will need 4 or 5 of the dough sheets. Do not worry to be too neat, just make sure the form is all covered.
Pour in the cheesecake mixture. Take a generous amount of the baklava filling using a spoon, form a small ball and let is fall on top of the cheesecake mixture, letting it sink in. Spread some more of the baklava filling on top. Bake for ca. 40 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let the cake rest and cool of for at least 30 minutes. Serve the cake with a splash of the remaining sugar syrup on top.

Enjoy!


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