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Cover: Make your cake…and eat it

Recipes with double cream

03Oct 12

Pecan Squares

Pecan SquaresThese deliciously satisfying pecan squares are a fantastic solution if you’re looking for an interesting dessert for a dinner party or brunch.  Use the best quality pecans you can get and keep a close eye while baking to avoid burning.

I also suggest you try my apricot and pecan cake. It makes a fantastic breakfast option!

 

Pecan Squares
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A fantastic solution if you're looking for an interesting dessert
Ingredients
  • FOR THE CRUST:
  • 225g butter at room temperature
  • 150g brown sugar
  • ½tsp salt
  • 375g flour
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 115g butter
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 6tbsp honey
  • 2tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2tbsp double cream
  • ¼tsp salt
  • 200g pecan halves
  • ½tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. FOR THE CRUST:
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  3. Line a deep baking dish with parchment.
  4. Using an electric mixer or a food processor, mix the butter and brown sugar on medium until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add the salt and mix to combine.
  6. Add the flour a third at a time on medium speed and continue mixing until the dough starts to form large clumps.
  7. Press the dough into the baking dish lined with parchment to form a crust about ½ centimetre thick.
  8. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork in 10 places or so.
  9. Chill until firm, about 20 minutes.
  10. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes.
  11. Transfer pan to a wire rack for cooling.
  12. FOR THE FILLING:
  13. Reduce the heat of the oven to 160ºC.
  14. Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, double cream and salt in a pot over medium heat.
  15. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon, about 1 minute.
  16. Remove from heat and stir in the nuts and vanilla extract.
  17. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  18. Bake in the 160º oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the filling starts to bubble.
  19. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  20. When cool, carefully lift out of the pan and place on a cutting board.
  21. Cut into 5cm squares.
  22. Can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

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19Jul 12

Hazelnut Torte

Hazelnut TorteA simple, yet satisfying, hazelnut torte recipe that is quick to prepare, and even quicker to disappear! (For those of you who like hazelnuts mixed with chocolate, you should definitely try this white birthday cake with nutella frosting as well.)

 

Hazelnut Torte
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 175g hazelnuts
  • 100g finely sliced almonds
  • 255g caster sugar
  • 4 egg whites, stiffly beaten
  • 3tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp fresh strained lemon juice
  • 250ml double cream, whipped
  • 2tbsp granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 240ºC.
  2. Butter and flour two layer-cake pans and line them with baking parchment. Set aside for later.
  3. Spread the hazelnuts along the bottom of an oven-safe pan and roast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the skin cracks open and the nuts are toasted. Shake the pan every few minutes to keep the nuts from burning.
  4. Remove the nuts from the oven and pour them onto a clean kitchen towel.
  5. Reduce the heat of the oven to 150ºC.
  6. Rub energetically with the towel to remove the skins.
  7. Grind the skinned nuts with a nut grinder or food processor.
  8. Sift through the ground nuts and eliminate any large pieces.
  9. Grind the larger pieces again and add back to the rest of the ground nuts, along with the almonds.
  10. Beat the caster sugar into the egg whites a little at a time.
  11. Continue beating another few minutes after all the caster sugar has been added.
  12. Add two teaspoons of the vanilla extract and all of the lemon juice to the mixture and beat for two or three more minutes to ensure that all of the sugar has been completely dissolved into the egg whites.
  13. Carefully fold a little more than three-quarters of the ground nuts into the mixture.
  14. Pour half of the mixture into each of the buttered and floured cake pans.
  15. Bake in the 150ºC oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cakes are firm but not browned.
  16. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks and remove the baking parchment.
  17. Allow the cakes to cool.
  18. While the cakes are cooling, mix the whipped double cream with the granulated sugar and the remaining vanilla extract.
  19. Fold the rest of the nuts into the whipped cream.
  20. Place one of the cooled cake layers on a serving plate and spread the whipped cream and nut mixture on top of it.
  21. Carefully lay the second layer on top of the first and serve immediately.

 

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21Jun 12

Almond and Chestnut Cake

Almond and Chestnut CakeA traditional Czech dessert, this almond and chestnut cake (called Dort Kastanovy in the Czech Republic) is very hearty and rich.  Chestnuts are not easy to find most of the year except in the autumn, so this is a great seasonal recipe to keep in mind when the leaves start turning colour. I really like the combination of chestnuts and almonds, but if you prefer just almonds, I recommend this almond cake with orchard fruits recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 500g chestnuts, washed, shells and skins left on
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 70g butter, softened
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 6 eggs, yolks separated from whites, whites stiffly beaten
  • 175ml almonds, blanched, peeled and ground
  • 500ml double cream, whipped

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Butter a 20cm spring-form cake pan and dust with breadcrumbs.
  3. Make an incision on the rounded sides of the chestnuts with a sharp knife and roast them on a baking tray in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes to loosen the shells and skins.
  4. Remove from the oven and peel, then cook them on the stovetop in the milk for about 30 minutes.
  5. Reduce the heat of the oven to 150ºC.
  6. Set aside 50ml of the chestnuts and purée the rest through a strainer while they’re still hot.  Add any liquid that wasn’t absorbed during cooking.
  7. To prepare the cake, cream the butter very well with the granulated sugar and the egg yolks.
  8. Mix in the ground almonds and the puréed chestnuts.
  9. Fold in the egg whites.
  10.  Pour the batter into the buttered and dusted spring-form pan and bake in the 150ºC oven for 45 minutes to one hour, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  11.  Cool the cake in its pan for about 10 minutes, then remove the rim.  Run a spatula or knife under the cake to loosen it and then turn it out onto a wire cooling rack.
  12. When it has cooled, split the cake into two layers.
  13. Fill and cove the cake with the whipped double cream.
  14.  Shred the remaining chestnuts (or leave whole according to preference) and sprinkle them over the top.
  15. Slice and serve.

Prep Time:  45 minutes

Cooking Time:  60 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty:  Medium

 

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20Jun 12

Almond Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries

Almond Pound Cake with Fresh StrawberriesA bit of a twist on the classic pound cake recipe, this almond pound cake with fresh strawberries is the perfect treat for a summer afternoon.  I like to use brown sugar to sweeten the strawberries as I find it gives them a more nuanced flavour, but if you don’t like the taste, you can substitute normal white granulated sugar.  In fact, if the berries are sweet enough, you can omit the sugar altogether for a slightly more healthy version. (Also try strawberries with Grana Padano and honey.)

 

Ingredients:

  • 165g butter, softened
  • 190g cake flour
  • 180ml almond paste
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 180ml milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced thinly
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 150ml double cream

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC.
  2. Grease and flour a 25cm x 15cm x 7cm loaf pan, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Cream the butter on medium speed in an electric mixer. Add the almond paste and continue mixing until smooth.
  4. Gradually add sugar and beat until light in colour.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla extract.
  7. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this mixture to the batter alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Mix until just blended.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out with just a bit of crumb on it.
  10.  While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberries: Mix the hulled and sliced strawberries with the brown sugar, stirring well to coat all the berries with sugar.  Set aside for at least 10 minutes so that the berries release their juice.
  11.  Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan on a wire cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes.
  12.  Carefully remove the cake from the pan and continue cooling on the wire cooling rack.
  13.  When the cake has cooled, cut into slices and top with a couple of tablespoons of the strawberry and brown sugar mixture.
  14.  Drizzle a little double cream over the top and serve.

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  55 minutes

Serves:  6-8

Difficulty:  Easy

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22May 12

Upside-Down Maple Cake

Upside-down Maple cakeIf you thought that maple syrup was only good for drizzling over your pancakes, then get ready for this one!  This upside-down maple cake is chock-full of scrumptious maple syrup and rich double cream, and while it may not be the best thing for your waistline, it’ll definitely get your taste buds tingling and your stomach rumbling as you wait for it to bake!

The hardest part of making an upside-down cake is turning it over.  Make sure you separate the cake well from the edges before flipping and shake the pan a little to help loosen it from the bottom.  If you want to play it extra safe, you can try greasing the pan before adding the ingredients.  This shouldn’t be necessary, however, as the maple syrup forms a natural barrier between the cake and the pan.

When you get a little practice with the flip, try this apple tarte tatin.

If you want to make the presentation even fancier, try sprinkling some pecan halves or chopped walnuts on top before serving.  Good luck and good baking!

Ingredients:                                        

  • 250ml pure maple syrup
  • 2tbsps butter, softened
  • 3tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, well beaten
  • 125g sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2tsps baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 125ml whole milk
  • 250ml double cream
  • 20g icing sugar

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC.
  2. Heat the syrup to boiling and pour it into a 15cm by 25cm, 5cm deep glass baking dish.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy.
  4. Beat the egg into the creamed butter.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
  6. Sift into the butter mixture a third at a time, alternating with additions of milk.
  7. Pour the batter onto the hot maple syrup.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes.
  10. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake and then flip it out onto a hot platter.
  11. Sprinkle the icing sugar over the cake.
  12. Cut into portions and serve with the double cream, lightly whipped if you prefer.

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  25-30 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:  Medium

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07Apr 12

Orange Cake with Strawberries and Cream

Orange cake with strawberries and creamThis light and fruity orange cake with strawberries and cream is the perfect dessert to serve on a hot summer afternoon.  The orange rind gives it a subtle citrus flavour which is counterbalanced perfectly by the strawberries and cream.

Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites, beaten
  • 110g butter, softened
  • 145g cake flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 1/3tsp salt
  • 4tbsp orange juice
  • 185ml buttermilk
  • 1tbsp grated orange rind
  • Icing sugar for dusting
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 500g strawberries, chopped
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 100ml double cream

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 175ºC.
  2. Grease and flour or line a cake pan with baking parchment. Set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer on medium speed, blend the butter and sugar until light in colour.
  4.  Add 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, the rind and the vanilla. Blend well.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix just until blended.
  6. Fold the batter mixture into the beaten egg whites. Pour into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
  8. While the cake is baking, prepare the strawberries by mixing the chopped strawberries with 150g of granulated sugar.  Stir well to make sure all the fruit is coated in sugar. Set aside for 20 minutes so that the berries release their juice.  Mix with the double cream and refrigerate until the cake is done and cool.
  9. Pour 2 tablespoons of orange juice on top of baked cake.
  10. Cool cake in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from the pan and continue lettting it sit on the wire cooling rack until it reaches room temperature.
  12. Remove and discard the baking parchment, if necessary.
  13. Drizzle a heaping tablespoon or two of the strawberries and cream over the cake in whichever decorative pattern you choose.
  14. Coat any visible strawberries with icing sugar and serve immediately.  If you don’t plan on serving immediately, leave the strawberries until you do.
Note: Sometimes, I like cutting the cake in half horizontally and adding the strawberries and cream in the middle so as to have several layers of fruit.
 
(Want more orange cake recipes? I recommend this Easter cake with orange and marzipan.)

 

Prep Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  50 minutes

Serves:  6-8

Difficulty:  Medium

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30Mar 12

Spectacular Strawberry and Cream Cake

Strawberry and Cream Cake

This spectacular strawberry and cream cake makes a great summertime dessert, but since these days strawberries can be found year-round, why should you wait?!  Get yourself some fresh strawberries and get baking; I guarantee you won’t regret it! (For an extra fruity flavour, try this strawberry and raspberry tart.)

Ingredients:

  • 240g sifted cake flour
  • 330g granulated sugar
  • 4tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 115g butter
  • 315ml milk
  • 1tsp lemon extract
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 litre fresh strawberries
  • 500ml double cream, whipped with 50g granulated sugar and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 175ml redcurrant jelly

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Butter two 23cm layer-cake pans and line with baking parchment.
  3. Sift together the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the butter and half of the milk.
  5. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally.
  6. Add the rest of the milk, the lemon extract, the vanilla extract and the egg yolks.
  7. Beat with the electric mixer for another 2 minutes.
  8. Pour the batter into the two 23cm buttered cake pans lined with the baking parchment.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  10.  Cool the layers in their pans for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto wire cooling racks.
  11.  Wash and hull the strawberries.
  12.  Chop enough of the strawberries to make 250ml and set aside the rest.
  13.  Fold the chopped strawberries into 250ml of the whipped cream.
  14.  Place one of the cake layers top side down on a serving plate.
  15.  Spread on the strawberry and cream filling.
  16.  Place the second cake layer on top with the top side up.
  17.  Slice the rest of the strawberries lengthwise and arrange them on top of the cake with the pointed ends facing towards the outer edge.
  18.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  19.   Melt the redcurrant jelly in a small pan over low heat, stirring constantly.
  20.  Spoon the melted jelly over the strawberries.
  21.  Spoon the remaining whipped cream in small puffs over the top of the cake in a decorative pattern.
  22.  Refrigerate the cake until you’re ready to serve it.

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  40 minutes

Serves:  8-10

Difficulty:  Medium

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25Mar 12

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate RollThis rich and creamy chocolate roll, similar to a chocolate roulade, is a bit labour-intensive, but I guarantee that the result is worth it!

Ingredients:

  • 150g of semi-sweet milk chocolate
  • 100g (½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 30ml (¼ cup) of water
  • 6 eggs with the yolks separated from the whites and the whites stiffly beaten
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 356ml (1 ½ cups) of double cream
  • 2 tbsp. of icing sugar
  • ½ a tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. Kirsch (or neat cherry brandy)
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC and line a jelly-roll pan with buttered and floured parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate in a double saucepan over simmering water.
  3. Mix together the granulated sugar and water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil and cook for two more minutes over medium heat.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a bowl in the meantime.
  5. Pour the hot sugar syrup over the yolks and beat vigorously with a whisk for around 5 minutes, until the mixture is light, smooth and pale yellow in colour.
  6. Mix in the coffee and the melted chocolate.
  7. Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and whisk vigorously until well mixed.
  8. Add the rest of the egg whites and fold them in with a spatula.  Mix them just enough to combine the ingredients, but take care not to overwork it.
  9.  pour in the batter.  It should be about ½ inch thick.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, until the cake springs back when you press on it.
  11. Cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic film and let it cool for at least 2 hours more.
  12. Start whipping the cream until it is thick but not stiff yet.
  13. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and Kirsch and keep beating until the cream is firm.

Now for the hard part – rolling the cake:

  1. Remove the plastic wrap and slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.
  2. Spread the whipped cream on the cake.
  3. Start at one end and begin rolling up the cake with the paper still on.
  4. Peel off the paper as you go a little at a time with each roll.  Try not to press down so that the cream doesn’t get squeezed out.
  5. Continue rolling and removing the plastic until the roll is completed.
  6. Using two spatulas, slide the cake onto a serving platter with the end on the bottom so that the top looks smooth.
  7. Sprinkle cocoa powder over the top with a sieve to garnish, then refrigerate.

Prep Time:  45 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty: Difficult

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23Mar 12

Spicy Pumpkin Cake

Spicy Pumpkin CakeUntil quite recently, I was thoroughly convinced that the idea of putting vegetables in desserts was completely and utterly insane.  I just couldn’t get my head around the reasoning behind what seemed to me to be a ridiculous notion!  Carrot cake?! Courgette loaf?! Madness!

In any case, my opinion has changed, and it all started when I tried this Spicy Pumpkin Cake at a friend’s dinner party.  It was absolutely scrumptious!

 

 

You can use canned pumpkin purée for this recipe, but if you want it to be truly authentic, you should use fresh pumpkin.  To do so, slice, peel and seed 500 grams of fresh pumpkin and simmer until just tender (about 15 minutes), then push trough a sieve to make the purée.

Ingredients:

  • 120 g butter, softened
  • 250 g brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 625 g sifted cake flour
  • 12 g baking powder
  • 1 1/2 g baking soda
  • 2 g salt
  • 5 g ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 g ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 g ground ginger
  • 175 ml buttermilk
  • 175 ml pumpkin purée
  • 150 g finely chopped pecans

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180º C.
  2. Butter and flour two cake (or bread) pans and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.
  6. Sift the above a second time to make sure they are well blended.
  7. Add the sifted flour and spices mix to the egg and butter mixture and stir for a few seconds.
  8. Add the buttermilk and mix well.
  9. Add the chopped pecans and pumpkin purée, mix thoroughly.  Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure proper mixing.
  10. Pour half of the batter into each of the buttered and floured cake pans.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  12. Let cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and put them in the refrigerator for 45 minutes, or until cold.
  13. Serve. (Try with whipped cream or frosting for extra sweetness.)

Prep Time:  50 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Serves:  8

Difficulty: Difficult

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