Sunday

photo-02-12-2016-12-55-53Hello, how are you doing? How is your Sunday? I am happy to report that my coffee quota was reached today and that I saw loads of beautiful Dutch landscapes in a frosty cold sun. We visited family this weekend and brought the carrot cake in the picture above. It was delicious and I’d be happy to come back with a blog post on it after I try baking it just one more time, you know just to be sure.

Before diving into the week ahead, I am happy to share all the things I loved to read this week with you.

I thought this was such a good piece on how it is to be propelled into being an Instagram influencer. I have to shamefully admit that since I read this, I have also start to use a hashtag-generator and I am almost too afraid to look at what it is spitting out. So my creamcheese covered carrot cake is now tagged as vegan (cringe I know).

This recipe of Marmelade made out of mixed citrus fruits sounds wonderfully relaxed and looks amazing.

And how nice would it be to gift this Spruce Needle Vodka? I am not yet sure whether I fully grapple which tree we are looking for in the forest, but I am hopelessly enthusiastic (it’s always the same story :)).

How cool and trippy does this wallpaper look like?

And this recipe for German Lebkuchen sounds manageable, and I am wondering whether I shall try to make it, you know to mark living in Germany officially. Same with these Peanut-Butter Cookies, but with way less of an excuse. 🙂

Have a wonderful evening!

Have a wonderful sunday!

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Hello! How are you doing? How is your weekend? I am staying in today to catch up on studying and the pile of books on my nightstand. Of course, all while staying close to the coffee machine. I hope your Sunday is filled with nice food, loads of good coffee and blankets. 

Here are a few things that made me happy this week, and I thought would be nice to share:

Anyone else watching all those cookie-icing little videos on Instagram (such as this one)? This holidays I’d love to try making these decorated snowflake cookies.

This week I made a Chocolate – Espresso Macaron cake, which is rather a macaron of epic proportions, covered in dark chocolate whipped ganache.

And this tip on how to perfectly slice cake (or pie) by actually first slicing out a sliver to make sure that the next pieces are coming out perfect, brilliant!

This recipe of pumpkin-stuffed pasta shells in cream sauce sounds pretty good!

Have you seen this timelapse of fungi growing? I can’t even express how excited I am about watching Planet Earth II.

These dip-dyed name cards are incredibly cute and it is such a smart idea to use food-coloring for this!

And I would like to make this Genius cheese-spread.

And while in full hibernation-mode, this is the most relaxing song according to science.

Have a wonderful Sunday! 

Chocolate – Espresso Almond Macaron Cake

photo-17-07-16-13-00-35I know, I know, this thing is extravagant and really decadent, even compared to my normal baking.
Even though I initially had doubts about the amounts of sugar and almonds, I changed my mind, of course, after reading Deb Perlman’s coercions and flaming reviews to make this meringue cake.
And honestly, I mean, this is basically a giant, layered macaron, covered in dark chocolate-espresso whipped ganache. Like, who am I to say no?
And this, combined with the recent success I had with my
Macarons (!) let me to this beautiful cake. A warning: make sure you have enough people to share this with and serve the thinnest possible slices.

I have amended the original recipe slightly to simplify some steps (I have for example skipped the orange syrup and added espresso instead, as I simply love the combination of  almond-chocolate and coffee).

More traditional takes on recipes like this (often called hazelnut torte or hazelnootschuimtaart), are often coated in a layer of crispy sugared nuts or nougat. Even though I love the combination of dark chocolate and hazelnut-crunch, I tried to keep this recipe as simple as I could. Plus, I truly loved decorating this cake by using both gold paint and gold leaves, which worked rather well on the smooth dark background of the chocolate ganache.

This cake is perfect for the upcoming holidays, mainly because this is a monster that will treat a huge crowd. Another argument to make this cake now, while it is still cold outside,  is that the ganache tends to soften a bit when warm. 🙂

Chocolate – Espress Almond Meringue Cake

Ingredients

  • For the macaron dough
  • 11 egg whites*
  • 350 grams of granulated sugar + 80 grams of water
  • 400 grams of almond flour
  • 250 grams of icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 4 sheets of baking powder
  • *in case you are wondering what to do with 11 egg yolks, this recipe for Yellow Butter Cake would be perfect, as well as making this Zablagione Recipe.
  • For the ganache
  • 400 grams of dark chocolate (I used 60% bars), chopped into small pieces
  • 200 grams of cream
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (I used a nice himalayan salt)

Instructions

  1. This cake holds up really well for more than a week. As it tastes even better after a day (or two) in the fridge, this is a perfect treat to make ahead of the holidays. When cooled properly (or even frozen), this cake is really sturdy and easy to transport.
  2. I have found that making this recipe is easiest with a standmixer, so you have your hands free to do the other parts, but in fact you can also make these with a handmixer.
  3. As there are different steps involved, just make sure you have all ingredients measured out to be prepared.
  4. Stir together 5 egg whites, the icing sugar, espresso powder and almond flour in a large bowl until you have a thick paste. Set this aside until the 'meringue' whipped part of the macarons is ready to be mixed in.
  5. Whip the remaining 6 egg whites with the salt into a frothy mixture. As always, make sure that your bowl and whisk are sparkling clean. To be sure, I usually wipe a halved lemon over the bowl and attachment.
  6. On the stove, heat the water and granulated sugar until 110 degrees Celsius. Once this syrup has reached this temperature, move quickly.
  7. Add the syrup in one go to the frothy egg whites while the kitchen machine is still running. Keep the machine running until no longer visible fog is coming from the mixture.
  8. You will end up with a beautifully shiny and stiff whipped egg white mixture (this part is called Italian Meringue).
  9. From this point onward you will only mix by hand. Drop the almond-egg-white-paste into the meringue mixture and fold it through using a spatula. When making macarons, you would aim for a thick yoghurt-like consistency. In this case I found it more helpful to mix a little less to make sure the mixture is a bit thicker.
  10. After your mixture has reached the right consistency, a 15 cm diameter cake tin and draw rounds on the sheets of baking paper with either an edible stift or a thick marker that will still be visible if you flip over the sheet.
  11. Now you can either use the spatula, a spoon or a piping bag to divide the macaron mixture and cover the drawn rounds.
  12. Other than with macarons, you can immediately proceed to baking. I found that baking these on a low temperature of 150 degrees Celsius for around 30 minutes gave the best result. Be sure to double-check: the disks should easily come of the baking paper (test by trying to lift the edge with your finger).
  13. Even if you let these disks bake a little too long, there is no need to worry, as they will regain a little moisture from the ganache and get a bit softer again.
  14. While the macaron-disks are cooling down, you can proceed to make the whipped ganache. Heat up the cream until it almost boils. Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl and pour over the hot cream. This is also the point to add the vanilla essence and salt.
  15. Let this mixture stand for some minutes to make sure that the chocolate has enough time to melt.
  16. This is where I involved the standmixer, as this is a rather lengthy process, but you can also do this with a handmixer. Let the ganache mix on a low speed to allow little bits of air to be beaten into the cooling mixture.
  17. When it the ganache reaches the texture of a smooth hummus, you can start to asemble the cake.
  18. Place one little blob of ganache on your cake board or platter to assure that the cake will not move.
  19. Place the first macaron disk and cover with the ganache, be sure to save enough to be able to coat the outsides, and repeat until you have stacked all four layers. Use the remaining ganache to cover the top and outsides of the cake and smoothen with a spatula.
  20. This cake tastes best after a day in the fridge, when all textures are smoothened and the tastes have been allowed to develop - the macaron will be deliciously chewy as a result.
  21. After you cake is properly chilled, it is easier to decorate. I used a wider brush to apply gold paint to the top as well as some gold leave to the sides.
  22. The golden / bronze balls can be made by rolling truffles in some gold-dust. I was lucky enough to find them in a deli-shop and simply splurged. 🙂
http://tukskitchen.com/2016/11/24/chocolate-espresso-almond-macaron-cake/

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Happy Friday!

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Hello! How are you doing? How is your week? I am enjoying a super relaxed day off (!), which really feels like a bit of a guilty pleasure but is oh-so soul-restoring. Today I’m reading a book, going to the gym and I’m trying to draw one of these prints on chalkboard paper (which I ordered here in case you are looking for some).

Here are a few things that made me happy this week, and I thought would be nice to share:

These pull-apart Garlic Rolls look amazing. I tried my hands on these Cheddar Swirl Buns last week and am convinced that baking bread in small portions, covered in loads of butter, spices and cheese is the way forward from now on.

Even though I am currently mostly looking at them, of course cake is on my mind. I saw this Dulce de Leche Crepe Cake and this Coconut Carrot Cake and am considering to make one for family on Christmas Day.

And considering festive nibbles, how tasty do these Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Truffles sound?

And has anyone tried to smoke meat in a BBQ? We recently bought a Weber and I am wondering whether I could use it to smoke some nice chicken breasts or Turkey Legs in it this winter?

I recently bought these over-the-knee bordeaux red boots and couldn’t be happier. Never realized how nice it is to have warm knees in winter! Now it is just a matter for it to be even colder and snuggle up in these boots and the biggest of sweaters.

Since I am living in Germany I reluctantly wear a cycling helmet. Although it is, surprisingly, not as disturbing as I had expected, going out for a cocktail with a helmet hanging from your purse is not really chic. This idea of this foldable helmet, made out of beehive structured cardboard, is so, so smart and I hope it will be on the market soon!

I’m looking forward to the upcoming follow-up of Gilmore Girls and had to laugh at this sum-up of Lorelai’s coffee habit. And while we are talking coffee, I am really thinking about making this Latte Oatmeal.

Have a wonderful weekend!  

Happy Weekend!

tukskitchen.com

Hello good morning, how are you doing? How was your week? I am happy to report that I am drinking coffee, listening to the Beach Boys, reading and planning to not do much else this weekend. Here are a couple of things that made me smile this week. 🙂

Wednesday we woke up to some very unexpected results. Even though I know that Facebook should never be a source of news, I do realise – shockingly enough – that I too have been clicking around in my own bubble of likes and good news. My resolution is to try to watch the daily news as much as I can. Maybe my parent’s generation do know what they are up to in the end.

And on a lighter note, I love this idea of a cook-book club! How cool is that? I’m wondering whether I should try to start one here in Frankfurt.

Maybe I am a little early, but I love making presents for the holidays myself. Currently I am infusing walnut oil with dried porcini in some simple but beautiful bottles.
Another idea I really love is to gift a baking mix in a pretty jar, such as this gluten-free Hazelnut Brownie Mix. In case you are looking for more ideas, check out some of my holiday gift ideas and recipes from the last years over here.

Also, have you ever tried to ferment something in honey? I am not sure about whether the honey I can buy is really ‘raw’ but I would be really happy to try the cranberry variation.

And this must be the stuff that dreams are made of: Dulce de Leche – Dark Chocolate salted tarts.

These days I am truly trying to eat less sugar, and it is a rough road to be honest. This recipe of Granola based on peanut butter sounds perfect and I have tried different riffs on this idea already. Happy to report on that soon. 🙂

And considering dinner options, these Lazy Cabbage Rolls sounds like a great way to try my hands on a Russian classic.

Have a wonderful weekend!