Montag, 21. Juni 2010

Banana and Cardamom Bread

(please click on picture to see full size)

This combination of banana and cardamom is delicious in this soft textured moist loaf. It´s perfect for tea time, served with butter and jam.

Ingredients:

150ml warm water
1 teaspoon dried yeast
pinch of sugar
10 cardamom pods
400g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons malt extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon sesame seeds to sprinkle

Method:

1. put the warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Add the sugar, mix and leave for 10 minutes
2. Split the cardamom pods. Remove the seeds and chop finely
3. Stift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture with the malt extract, chopped cardamom seeds and bananas.
4. Gradually incorporate the flour and mix to a soft dough, adding extra water if necessary. Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Return to the clean bowl, cover with damp dish towel and leave to rise for 2 hours until double in bulk.
5. Grease a baking sheet. Turn the dough on to a floured surface, kneed briefly, then divide into three and shape into a plait. Place the plait on the baking sheet and cover loosley with a plastic bag. Leave until well risen. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
6. Brush the plait lightly with water and sprinkle with the seesame seeds. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F) Cook for 15 minutes more, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Note if you prefer using a bread machine to make the dough - add the ingredients recording to your bread machine instructions. Take the dough out of the bread machine when the cycle is finished - you might need more flour - kneed a little and put in a floured bowl to let rice for 1 hour more. Then go on with #5 as described here above. I made my dough using a bread machine and a baking pan so I didn´t have to divide the dough in 3 pieces to make the plait.


Picture above shows the whole bread after baking 
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As well as being low in fat, bananas are a good source of potassium, therefore making an ideal nutrisious low-fat snack.

Note
Using Malt Extract in breadmaking produce a well-risen. good flavored loaf. Beside adding natural sweetness to your bread it is a complex mixture of carbohydrates, minerals and proteins, together with trace elements and vitamins. If you can´t find malt extract you can substitute it with other sweetness like vanilla or molasse.

Freitag, 18. Juni 2010

Birthday "Hæ Hó Jibbí Jei og Jibbi jei ... það er kominn 17. júni"

Yesterday was Icelands National Day and my birthday - Usually there is rain on my birthday - even in the famous 17. June song "Hæ Hó Jibbí Jei og Jibbi jei það er kominn 17. júni" (if you wanna play the song on guitar or just sing along just click the link for lyrics and guitar grips) they sing about it - no Birthday without hearing that song play on the radio (thanks for internet and internet radio I could hear it loud and clear over RUV then on Monday 14th and in the radioshow Stefnumót just put your cursor between Rás2 and Rondo then you should be on the right place in the show to hear it ;-) If anyone got this song as mp3 I would be very happy to get it :-D Thank you Humperdinkus from youtube for letting me know where I could listen to the song - brouht the spirit of 17. June over to Germany :-) 




(please click picture to see full size)

I had Birthday Butterfly´s over the Rainbow cake - some strawberry-bree salad and some chocolate cupcakes of course with vanilla butter creme (pink) and mint butter creme (green)

First to the primadonna of every Birthday - The Birthday Cake


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Since the 17th of june is famous for being a rainy day - I had a little rainy surprise in my Birthday Cake ;-) wanna slice? ;-)


(please click on picture to see full size)

Now here is the best part - hardly any food colouring used - I just added a few drops to make the colours look brighter - beside that it´s all in the fruits and berrys :-) Every Layer has it´s own taste. Red is Strawberry, Orange is Orange, Yellow is Lemon, Green is Kiwi, Blue is Blueberry and Purple is purple grapes. Covered with whipped cream and served with the rest of the berries :-) I saw this cake for the first time by I am baker Blog and fell in love with it - this was something I definately wanted to try at least ones ;-) It does take some time to mash all the ingredients and bake the 6 layers. There was no recepie for the bund at the I can bake blog so I just used one from another cake and used 8 eggs. On the original blog they use 6inch cake pans - but my smallest ones where my checkerboard cake pans (9inch). So it wasn´t as high as by I am baker.

Birthday Cake

Before you start making the dough - it is useful to prepare your "fruit-colouring mixes"
Here is what you need:

Red: 1/2 cup pureed strawberries
Orange: 2 tbsps of freshly grated orange zest and 1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
Yellow: 2 tbsps of freshly grated lemon zest
Green: 1/2 cup of diced kiwi
Blue: 1/2 cup of blueberries
Purple: 1/2 cup of finely diced purple grapes, 1 tbsp lemon zest and 1 tbsp orange zest

I used the dough from an old family cake recepie from my mum and doubled it.

Ingredients:

8 eggs
400g caster sugar
200g flour


Beat the eggs with the sugar untill fluffy then add the flour and mix well (but be carefull not to overmix it)


I used a measure cup to measure how much dough I had and divided it then in 6 seperate mixing bowls. Then added the different "colour-mixes" prepared before. You can do this cake without using any food colouring - but I added like a drop to the blueberry mix and some orange to the orange mix to make the colours clearer. Beat well together and always be sure to clean your instruments between "colours"


Now time to bake :) at 370F or 180°C I baked 3 at a time for like 10 minutes - then put on a wire wrack to cool.


After they where all baked and cooled I cooked together 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water to make a simple syrup. Set a side to cool down and then brush that on between the layers. Cover your cake with some plastic foil if you are serving it the next day or later.


Then whip the cream and cover your cake and decorate the way you want to - of course instead of whipped cream you can use any other covering frosting of choice. The whipped cream however tastes delicious to this fruity taste cake.


My Motto was Birthday Butterfly´s flying over the Rainbow to keep the rain away ;-)


Strawberry-Bree Chese Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing


with all the lemons that lost their zest during the making of the birthday cake I decided to use all the lemon juice from them for my dressing on the healthy part of my birthday dish - the Strawberry-Bree Chese Salad with the Honey Mustard dressing


(please click on the picture to see full size)

All you need is a salad mixture with Frisee salad in it - Here in Germany you can buy a salad mixture called paris salad mixture and it´s a great mixture and ready to go as well - so no snip snap needed ;)
Add 
250g of strawberry´s sliced in half
200g of Brie cheese ( I used the one from President)
150g cashew nuts

Honey Mustard Dressing (double)
2 tbsp Honey
10 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
4 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp mustard (dijon)
1 garlic clove

serve with fresh baquette

Of course ther wouldn´t be a birthday without cupcakes - ;-)


Magnolia Chocolate Cupcakes




2 cups all-purposed flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (softened) (see note)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
6 ounces (170g) unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake papers and muffin tins)

Note: To melt the chocolate, place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 5-10 minutes. Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain. Remove from the heat and let cool to lukewarm 5-10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175°C) .
Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stift together the flour and the baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on a medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.  Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chocolate, mixing well until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, altering with the buttermilk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.

Icing: Vanilla Buttercream and Mint Buttercreme (I used the buttercreme from here adding vanilla essence or mint essence)

(please click picture to see full size)

Note: If you would like to make a layer cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake the layers for 30-40 minutes.
This is a recepie from the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York

Doves on the cupcakes are not eatable but the flowers are (both from tortissimo)


Dienstag, 8. Juni 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies




Have some delicious oatmeal raisin cookies today
you won´t regret it ;-)


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups Butter
3/4 cup Brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 Egg 
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 cups oats
1 cup raisins

Preparation 

Preheat oven to 180°C (375°F). Beat margarine and sugars untill fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add combined flour, baking soda, salt and spices; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins. 

Use a full rounded tablespoon to make cookie dough balls - press them down a little on a prepared baking sheet ( no worries they don´t fload over all during baking). I got around 25 cookies from the dough - but of course it varies how big you want them.

Bake 8-9 minutes for chewy; 10-11 minutes for crunchy cookies. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Remove to wire rack. Store tightly covered.


Here a picture of them cooling down

P.S. I accidently forgot the plain sugar in this recepie and only used the brown one - but they still taste sweet enough for my taste ;-)
This recepie I found on http://www.bigoven.com/