Anise and Fennelseed Cookies

These anise and fennel cookies aren't the most traditional christmas cookies I have baked so far, but they are one of the tastiest cookies I have baked so far. Delicate and crumbly, they are both sweet and salty. They are made with almond and spelt flour and packed with roasted fennel, anise seeds and some added sesame seeds that give an extra crunchy textures. 

Even though they aren't the most traditional christmas cookies they do make for a great last minute christmas gift or an after-dinner treat. Now it's one week to christmas, tomorrow is the 4th of advent. Tomorow I will bake some of my other favourite cookies, Speculoos, Lebkuchen and Cinnamon Stars, which I shared with you last year. 

 


Ingredients

  • 300g white spelt flour
  • 120g sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 1tsp corse sea salt
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp anise seeds
  • 200g cold butter
  • 2 large egg yolks

 


Recipe

1. Mix together the flour, sugar, almonds and sea salt. 

2. In a small pan without any oil, toast the sesame, fennel and anise seeds for 2min. until you can smell the aroma. Be careful not to burn them. 

3. Cut the butter into small cubes and rub them into the flour-mix just until crumbly. Add the toasted fennel, anise and sesame.

4. Add the egg yolks to the dough and knead in until the dough just comes together and you have a smooth dough- do not overwork though. Wrap in foil and refrigerate for 20-30min. 

5. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C and get your cookies cutters ready. Unwrap the dough and on a floured surface roll out 5-8mm thin. 

6. Cut out the cookies, using your favourite cookie cutter. Roll out leftover dough and repeat until all the dough is used up. You can also use cookies stamps to make them look extra christmas-y :-)

7. Place the cookies on a tray lined with foil, cover with foil and put them in the freezer for 10min.

8.Place them on a tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle on some sugar, and bake for 18-20min. until golden. Let them cool for a couple of minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack. Keep them in a cookie jar or eat them right away :) 


Pistachio Layer Cake with Raspberries

The year is slowly coming to an end - this means it's not only a time to look back at the past year, but mostly look towards what's coming ahead. For ages now, I have been thinking about a remake for my blog. After a lot of work (some almost lost pages and a major panic attack) it is finally done! I wanted to create a site that is a little bit more picture-intensive and I gotta say, I am pretty happy with it.

And since I won't just write a post about my new design, there is of course also a new recipe. And since we're already on the topic of looking forward - I am really looking forward to my bff's wedding next year. I will be baking her wedding cake and so lately I have started collecting recipes and testing cakes. This is the first serious trial and I think it has definitely secured a place as one of the cakes that will eventually make it to the 'finale'. 


Ingredients

for the cake

  • 250g butter
  • 120g pistachios
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 250g sugar
  • 300g white spelt flour
  • 0.5tsp salt
  • 2.5tsp baking powder
  • 50ml whiskey
  • 50g greek yoghurt
  • 50ml lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • zest of 1-2 lemons
  • 4 large eggs

for the frosting

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 400g mascarpone
  • icing sugar to taste
  • optional: vanilla, lemon zest
  • 250g raspberries
  • 3-4 figs

Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Sieve the flour, mix with the salt, ground almonds and the baking powder. 

2. Pulse 100g of the pistachios in a blender until finely ground. When you pinch them with your fingers, they should stick together a little bit. 

3. Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy. Add the ground pistachios and lemon zest. 

4. Add one egg at a time, until all is mixed well. 

5. Now add the flour bit by bit, alternating with the whiskey, the yoghurt and the lemon juice. 

6. Grease a cake tin and line with baking paper. Add the batter to the tin and spread evenly. 

7. Bake 40-45min. until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool down.

8. In the meantime whip up the cream cheese with the mascarpone and to your own taste add sifted icing sugar, vanilla or/and lemon zest.

9. When the cake has cooled completely, using a large knife or a wire cake cutter, half the cake in the middle. Spread half the frosting on the bottom cake and add some raspberries. 

10. Place the top part of the cake back on, spread the remaining frosting on the top. Garnish with remaining raspberries, cut up figs and remaining pistachios. 

As it's gonna be an autumn wedding I thought it would be nice to pick up on more warming and comforting flavours, like nuts and seasonal fruit such as figs. And although raspberries are summer fruit I couldn't really part with them - they just add this subtle tartness to cut through the earthy taste of the cake. My brain is now already working on other cakes that could have wedding cake potential. A friend of mine mentioned date cake which is sort of stuck in my brain now, and I know that my to-be-married-friend loves banana bread so that's also an option. What kind of creations would you fancy on your special day?

Spelt apple cake with caramelised cinnamon apples

Lately I have been harvesting so many apples, I keep running out of ideas what to do with them. I made a ton of apple compote, I try to put apples in our dinners (tonight some will go into a chicken roast with dark beer sauce), I have made cakes, pies, muffins and swirls. So when I was browsing through some of my favourite blogs I found a recipe by Pastry Affair for apple muffins, and even though I had seen plenty of apple muffins and cakes lately, her photos spoke to me. 

I changed the recipe slightly by using spelt flour. Also in the end I decided to go for a cake tin as I didn't have any muffin moulds at hand. I am still collecting kitchen utensils for our place in the country and some essentials are still missing unfortunately. 


Ingredients

  • 80g butter
  • 80g muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 apples
  • 150g muscovado sugar
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 350g spelt flour
  • 300ml milk
  • for the topping: 1-2apples, 1tbsp muscovado sugar, 1/2tsp cinnamon


Recipe

1. Preheat oven to 180°C fan. In a medium saucepan, melt 1tbsp butter on medium heat. Add 80g sugar and let it melt on low heat until you get a goldenbrown caramel. Peel and cut 2-3 apples (roughly 200g) into 2-3cm chunks. Add the apples to the caramel and sautée for about 5-8min. Apples should be cooked but not falling apart.

2. Beat the remaining butter with 150g sugar, add the eggs and continue whisking for another min. until foamy. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. 

3. Sift the flour with the baking powder. Gradually add the flour to the egg-mix, adding a bit of the milk inbetween, until both are used up and you have a smooth batter. 

4. Grease a cake tin and line with parchment paper. Mix the batter with the apples and gently fold through. 

5. Cut the apples for the topping into thin slices. Place on top of the cake batter, slightly overlapping. Mix the remaining sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle on top of the apples. 

6. Bake in the oven for approx. 25-30min. until a skewer inserted comes out clean and the top is goldenbrown and caramelised. 


There is so much that inspires me, my friends, colleagues, or even just spending a couple of minutes browsing through Instagram, or Pinterest, I am usually quickly overwhelmed by all the pictures and recipes out there. This recipe is so easy and so pleasing, I am considering making it again tomorrow (there are still so so many apples left).

Half-dried tomatoes

Autumn is the time to harvest and preserve. I was counting on a big tomato harvest this year - unfortunately our tomatoes were heavily affected by blight, so we had to cut down the plants and only a basket full of tomatoes made it through. 

They didn't lack in taste so at least we got a taste of what our tomato harvest could have been like. To preserve some of these fruity gems, I decided to make some half-dried tomatoes. You don't need a drying machine, a normal oven will do the trick. 

Recipe

Preheat the oven to 140°C. Cut the tomatoes into 0.5-1cm wedges and place on a baking tray. Drizzle on some olive oil and sea salt, optionally you can also add some herbs, such as thyme or rosemary. Place the tomatoes in the oven, place a spoon or something else in the oven door, so it stays slightly ajar (1-2cm are just enough, to help the steam to escape). Let the tomatoes dry for 2-3 hours, checking once in a while to make sure they evenly dry. 

Banana Bread with Plums

Even though Indian summer has made a strong comeback, there are definite signs of autumn. Mushrooms, apples, grapes, and yes, plums! We didn't harvest this many this year, or lets say, a lot of plums came with a little unwanted house worm cozying up inside. But some of them luckily made it into my kitchen and into this cake. 

And lucky I was, cause this recipe was actually written at the request of a very dear friend of mine, who recently decided to go vegan and instructed (yes, she was very firm) me to come up with a way to combine several of her current food crushes: banana bread and plum-cake. So, here we go! 

 

Ingredients

  • 4 medium overripe bananas (roughly 300g mashed)
  • 180g white spelt flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 120ml coconut oil, melted
  • 100g coconut blossom sugar, or sweetener of your choice
  • 1/2 tonka bean or 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 200g plums

 

 

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Halve and deseed the plums, coat them in 1tbsp of the sugar and let them soak. Peel and finely mash the bananas with a fork or a hand blender. Mix with the sugar. 

2. Melt the coconut oil and whisk into the banana mash until well combined. Mix in the spices.

3. Sieve the flour and baking powder directly into the banana-mixture and fold in, so there are no lumps. 

4. Grease and line a cake tin with baking paper (I used a 23cm wide one) and pour in the batter.

5. Now place the plums on the batter, cut side up. 

6. Bake for 30-35Min. (If you are using a larger cake tin, the cake will be flatter and cook more quickly) until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Let the cake slightly cool down, before taking out of the tin. Serve warm with coconut yoghurt, or whipped coconut cream.  

Raspberry Miso Chocolate Brownies

A while ago, a friend of mine made some scrumptious raspberry chocolate brownies, ever since I haven't stopped craving this combination. Quite some time ago I was testing out a recipe for a similar brownie, which starred shiro miso. As you might know by now, I am really into pairing unusual ingredients and trying out funny combinations. So today, I wanna share my love for my newest dream couple: Shiro miso and dark chocolate. 

Also known as sweet or light miso, it is milder than its darker types and has a more subtle saltiness to it. Miso is generated from fermenting soy beans with salt and barley and it's usually used in Japanese soups, stews or marinades.

In my view, there is nothing better than sweet and salty popcorn, my favourite chocolate is dark chocolate with sea salt flakes, and well the list goes on. So, I was intrigued and got the idea to use miso in combination with dark chocolate. Et voila, it's a dream! I added some extra sea salt flakes on top (cause, well, I can't get enough), plus the salt really elevates the chocolate flavour. The sweetness mainly comes from the raspberries, I only added a little coconut syrup for sweetness. 

 

What you need

  • 200g white spelt flour
  • 1 flax egg (1tbsp flax meal + 2tbsp water)
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 2-3tbsp high quality raw cacao powder
  • 50ml coconut blossom syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 200g high quality dark chocolate (70% and plus)
  • 100ml coconut oil
  • 150-200ml oat milk or your favourite nut milk
  • 1-2tbsp shiro miso paste
  • 150g fresh raspberries
  • sprinkle of sea salt

 

 

What to do

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. Prepare the flax egg and let soak for a couple of minutes. Gently melt the chocolate with the coconut oil in a bain-marie.

2. In the meantime, mix together the flour, baking powder, vanilla and cacao. 

3. Now mix the dry ingredients with the flax egg, 150ml milk, the syrup and the melted chocolate. Add the miso paste and mix everything just until there are no lumps, but do not over-mix. If the mix is too thick, add a little more milk.

4. Grease a flat, rectangular tin and pour in the batter. Level out evenly, then add the raspberries on top, lightly pressing them into the batter. 

5. Bake for 25-30min. or until a skewer inserted comes out clean (I prefer my brownies more on the muddy side). 

6. Sprinkle on some sea salt and serve with coconut wipped cream if you like. 

Elderflower-infused Semolina Cake

It has been almost three months since my last post and I am feeling a little out of touch, to be honest. My own frustration of not having had (or spent) time on my recipes and photos in the last couple of months has been on my mind a lot lately. It's the typical dilemma: Work, which makes for the money, yet takes away time from my projects and creative work. I like going to work, I have great colleagues, yet it doesn't always fulfil my own creative needs. Four weeks ago I was on holiday in Greece, which helped getting a little perspective and one thing I realised is that I want to change this division. My first impulse was 'Ok, I have to be more efficient in the way I spent my time', need to 'schedule' my days through, that sort of thinking. But even now when I read this, I realise this isn't gonna work for me, it's only gonna stress me out even more.

So I am making an attempt at balancing the scales a little: Spending more energy on things I connect with emotionally and which I am passionate about. I took a big step lately, when I decided to start my own 'pop-up' brunch. I am working together with a girl who runs a café in Berlin and starting this June I will serve savoury and sweet waffles for. (You can have a look on Instagram, which will give you a hint) but first I want to share my recipe for this elderflower-obsessed (yup, I might have gone a little overboard) cake. Hope you're having a great summer, doing the things you love! 

Elderflowers are a great plant to work with in the kitchen. You can use them in so many, countless ways, not just as syrup. At the moment I drink a lot of elderflower tea brewed from freshly picked blossoms, it helps when you have a cold, but it's even shown positive effects on people who suffer from hay-fever. For the cake we will use it in two, possibly three different ways. But first, what you'll need: 

For the Cake

  • 500g semolina
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 600ml milk
  • 10 elderflower blossoms
  • 150g butter
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 100g brown sugar (or coconut blossom sugar or sweetener of choice)
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g greek yoghurt
  • 1tsp baking powder

For the Elderflower Syrup

  • 500ml water
  • 10 elderflower blossoms
  • 125g honey

For the Elderflower Icing

  • 80ml elderflower syrup
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • optional: a couples of elderflower blossoms to decorate

Instructions

1. After you have picked the elderflowers, place them on a white linen, any insects will start crawling out (they are attracted by the white light). 

2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk with 10 elderflowers. When it boils, take it from the heat and let it infuse another 20min. until the milk is cooled down again. Strain the elderflower milk through a clean cloth into a clean container. 

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan. With an electric whisk, mix together the butter and the sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, keep whisking. 

4. Now, add 400ml of the elderflower-milk as well as the semolina, baking powder and the ground almonds to the egg-mix. Keep whisking so there are no lumps. Fold in the greek yoghurt and the vanilla. 

5. Grease a loaf-tin with some butter or oil and sprinkle with some flour or semolina. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 30-35min. until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for 10min. 

6. In the meantime, prepare the syrup: bring the water to a boil with the remaining elderflowers. Simmer for 5-10min., then take from the heat and infuse another 20min. Using a clean cloth,  strain the elderflowers, collecting the juice in a clean saucepan. Bring the juice to a boil again with the honey and let it reduce until you get a slightly thick, syrup-like consistency. 

7. Use 80ml of the syrup and mix it with the icing sugar. Zest and juice the lemon. add to the icing sugar. If it's too liquid add more sugar, if it's too thick either add more syrup or lemon juice. 

8. Using a skewer, poke little holes in the cake (every 2-3cm or so). Pour over the remaining elderflower-milk and let the cake soak it all in for another 20-30min. 

9. Turn the cake out onto a platter and brush on the elderflower icing. Decorate with some fresh elderflower blossoms, if you like.