Strawberry and elderflower sponge cake

Strawberry and elderflower cake

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Today’s cake is a génoise , a syrup, jam, a berry fruit and whipped cream.

Génoise (a sponge-like cake) was the 3rd thing I learned to make after crepes and shortcrust dough (or maybe fourth if we count the baked caramel flan), I can easily track this recipe as back as 24 years ago (I started proper baking at the age of 12).

This only thing new in it would be the Elderflower cordial which I have really come to know about during the last 2 years.

I also came to try Victoria sponge very lately and although it’s tasty and keeps well at room temperature for a few days, I still stick to my genoise formula especially when the cake will end up in the fridge. Génoise is lighter and I like its texture..

 

Strawberry and elderflower sponge cake

Strawberry and elderflower sponge cake. Credit @Nada Kiffa

 

Since génoise (a sponge-like cake) was the 3rd thing I learned to make after crepes and shortcrust dough (or maybe fourth if we count the baked caramel flan), I can easily track this recipe as back as 24 years ago (I started proper baking at the age of 12).

This only thing new in it would be the Elderflower cordial which I have really come to know about during the last 2 years.

I also came to try Victoria sponge very lately and although it’s tasty and keeps well at room temperature for a few days, I still stick to my genoise formula especially when the cake will end up in the fridge. Génoise is lighter and I like its texture..

So today’s cake is a génoise , a syrup, jam, a berry fruit and whipped cream, isn’t that easy and yet formula that makes any crowd happy (unless this crowd has a problem with cakes to begin with, namely people on diet, but then they won’t be reading a cake recipe would they)?

 

Ingredients
Makes 1 cake, 10 inch diameter
Prep: 20 min – baking: 30 min

Genoise

  • 120 g of all purpose flour, sifted
  • 120 g of fine sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 30 g of butter (melted)

Syrup

  • 4 tbsp of elderflower cordial (replace with 2 tbps of orange blossom water or rose water)
  • 3 tbsp of water

Garnishing

  • 250 g of fresh strawberries
  • 2 to 4 tbsp of strawberry or raspberry jam
  • Zest of a lime or lemon (optional)
  • 200 g of single cream for whipping
  • 3 tbps of icing sugar (to taste)
  • A few drops of lemon juice
  • Fine zest of 1/2 lemon (or a few drops of vanilla extract)
A sma;ll slice of the Strawberry and elderflower sponge cake

A small slice of the cake. Credit @Nada Kiffa

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and cover a 10 inch springform or a round pan with a parchment paper (or just butter and dust the pan with flour).

Syrup

Heat water and the elderflower cordial for 5 to 7 min. Set aside to cool

Genoise

There are 2 ways of making the genoise:

1/ We start by making a sabayon, which comes to beat the eggs with sugar over bain-marie for about 10 min until it becomes foamy, cream and almost triples or quadruples in volume. They we fold in the flour delicately and finish with the melted butter (cooled).

2/ This method is documented with picture in my previous post (in French): We will skip the bain marie and beat egg yolks with 3/4 of sugar, flavouring (zest here) for about 10 min until the mix becomes foamy and doubles or triples in volume. Then we delicately fold in (using a spatula) the egg whites beaten with 1/4 of the sugar and the pinch of salty. We add the flour in batches and mix in delicately from bottom to top in a circular motion until all is combined and without damaging the texture hardly earned (the air). The butter is then added at the end and mixed it.

Both methods will need you to bake the genoise for about 30 min until it’s nicely golden from the edges and springs back at the touch (or if you insert a skewer it comes out clean).

Set aside to cool on a cooling rack.

Whipped cream

Mix all ingredients and beat the cream until stiff and holds properly. Cover and keep in the fridge until you need it. You could also use it straight away.

Assembling the cake

Devide the cake horizontaly in 2 layers. Brush each layer with the syrup.

Smear one layer with strawberry or raspberry jam. Then give a layer of cream. Next, place the fruits around (as much as you want really). You can also drizzle some jam again and finish with a hint of zest (optional).

Put back the top layer of the cake and smear the whipped cream all over. Finish with some strawberries and other decoration you fancy which can fit in.

Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, Serve at best cold or just 10 min after taking out of the fridge.

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Marmokuchen – Marbled cake

Marmokuchen or Marbled cake is a big thing here in Germany. Except for the German name, you actually find this cake in many countries and I have no idea where it originated from. In any case, it’s always good with a cup of tea!

A while ago, I’ve come up with a recipe for marbled cake using crème fraîche and almond powder (posted here in French). You can actually marble any cake batter, just like this yoghurt cake /muffins here or with raspberry there.

Today’s version has less ingredients but tastes just as good. It actually tastes like the one I buy from my favorite bakery here in Neustadt, except that theirs looks way bigger than mine.

I have adapted the recipe from Mondamin’s feine Speiserstarke box (it’s a brand of corn starch in Germany)..I’m very satisfied with the result.

I must say that the cake becomes crumbly the next day, but that’s fine. If  you want to find the same texture from the first day of baking it, you may warm it for 4 seconds in the microwave or just dip it in a cup of hot tea before eating it (I know some might find it ridiculous but try it first, when you become expert in the matter no crumb will fall inside your cup)..Today, the cake is in its 4th day since I baked it and it tastes so good.

Ingredients
For 22 cm kugelhof tin/ 16 portions
Prep: 10  min – Baking: 1h

  • 250g butter, soft
  • 190g caster suugar
  • 1 vanilla pod or a good teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g of corn starch
  • 150g of flour
  • 3 tsp of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp of 100% cocoa powder (heaped tbsp for me)
  • 2 tbsp of milk 

Preparation

Preheat the oven at 170 degrees C.

Beat the softened butter with sugar, vanilla and salt for a couple of minutes until soft and creamy.

Add the eggs one by one and continue beating until fully blended in.

Add in the flour and baking powder, all sifted, mix for 2 minutes until the batter looks smooth.

Take off 1/3 of the batter in a bowl and mix in the sifted cocoa powder, add in the milk and stir.

Fill 1/3 of the batter into a marble cake tin. spread the cocoa batter over and finish with the 3rd of the batter.

Bake the cake for about 60 min (if it is too dark above, to cover half of the baking time with a piece of aluminum foil).

Let cool and sprinkle some icing sugar on the top.

Cut your slice and have a kaffee-kuchen moment, Germany style! Everyone seems to be adddicted to this formula over here!


Moist cake aux pommes/ Apple loaf cake

A few months back, I have started a serie of recipes using apples. I love apples and in Germany there is a good variety. I guess the official season is over (if there is any) but we always find apples in our stores don’t we..

I have discovered this apple loaf cake in 750g.com, a french cooking website with its youtube channel, all led by Chef Damien, a very nice and charming Chef.

The cake is outrageously moist and buttery. Very indulging. This is one of those recipes you would be tempted to bake for an afternoon tea/coffee break with family/friend or just for yourself. I shared the recipe with my family in Morocco and they adopted it (I have many nephews and nieces so these sort of cakes after school time are life savers).

Can you see the layers of sliced apples?

The cake is very easy to make and last 3 to 5 days in case you have leftovers. I kept it for 3 days in the fridge and took it out 30 min before serving. It was majestic!

Like you will see in some of the new recipes on this blog, I didn’t get the chance to take photos of the steps but since I was in my last month of pregnancy and after that I gave birth, I rarely had the time/energy to do more than cooking/baking, not really for taking photos. However most of these recipes are so simple that they don’t need that extensive tutorial..

Ingredients
Makes a medium/size loaf
Prep: 7min – Baking: 50 min

  • 170g caster sugar
  • 150g flour
  • 150g salted butter, soft or melted (or 150g unsalted butter and a good pinch of salt)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 vanilla pods, use the scraped beans (or cinnamon, or nothing)
  • 1/3 teaspoon baking powder ( I used ½)
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples ( I used 3 apples gala, medium size)
  • 1 tbsp rum or Calvados (I used lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsps of demerara sugar

Glazing (optional)

  • 2 tbsp of warm apricot jam

A view from the top

Preparation

This recipe can be viewed (in French) here.

Preheat oven to 180 ° C.
 

Peel, core the apples and cut into slices (thin is better). Arrange apples in a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice (alcohol in original recipe).
 

In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar, add the flour, baking powder, scraped vanilla beans and butter.
 

In a cake pan, pour 1/2 (or 3rd in my case) of the dough preparation, 3/4 apples (or 1/3), the rest of preparation, the remaining apples and sprinkle with sugar cane. Repeat and alternate batter and apples until you finish the tope with apples (in my case that’s what I did).

Bake at 180 ° C for about 45 minutes ( I baked at 160/170 C for about 1 h), you just go with the knife test. When it comes out clean your cake is ready.


Glaze with apricot jam (I always do that) and serve warm or at room temperature..



I hope you try this apple load cake, It’s a keeper.


Soft savoury muffins with sundried tomatoes, olives and thyme


Hello and happy February everyone!
Theoretically, It’s just 1 more month to go before I meet baby..So I’m getting heavier and lazier. But there is something nice that comes with this: I get to feel baby moving inside and doing his things (I keep wondering what that could be). It’s just indescribable.
Last month, I have tested my first recipe in “Petit Larousse des apéritifsdînatoires” ordered via Amazon. It’s a sort of savoury muffin/friand recipe (depending how you want to shape it). Of course I changed a few things but that’s because I didn’t have the meaty ingredient.
It’s a straight forward recipe, tasty with a soft bite. My friends enjoyed it.. I hope you do.
Today I’ll be sharing with you this vegetarian version of Mini cakes with turkey, sundried tomatoes and basil which has become Mini cakes with olives, sundried tomatoes and thyme where olives replaced turkey, thyme replaced basil. So I’ll give you my adaptation as well as the original recipe.
Ingredients

Makes 8 standard muffins or cannelés

Prep: 5 min- Baking: about 20 min.

  • 3 tbsp of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • A small handful of basil leaves, chopped which I replaced with 2 tbsp of fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 cl of buttermilk (or liquid natural yogurt)
  • 4 tbsp of good extra virgin olive oil
  • 120g of wheat or all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp of baking powder (I used 2 only)
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper (my addition)
  • 1 good pinch of chilli powder (my addition)
  • 2 heaped tbps of grated cheddar (my addition)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 80g of smoked turkey (finely diced) which I replaced with 3 tbps of pitted black olives, chopped

Preparation
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C and have the silicone moulds or cases ready and lined up.
Beat the eggs with a whisk. Add milk, olive oil and continue beating. Add the flour and baking powder and mix with a spatula or beat at a lower speed (I just used the spatula at this stage).
Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.
Fill the cases or silicone moulds at 2/3 and bake for 20-25 min until cooked through and golden from the top.
Serve warm or at room temperature, optionally with a cream cheese spread.
Notes: 
1- You could add seeds on the top before baking.
2- I’ve put 2 mini-cakes in the fridge for the next day, warmed them slightly. It was even better!
3- Cakes in French refer to Loaves or muffin-like texture bakes. Unlike the English/American culture where a cake refers to a soft of gateau layed/frosted with cream. I know some of you might be lost in translation. It took me a long time to get used to it to.