• This is the next propose of using seasonal fruits – here apricots but you can use plums or cherries as well. It is common sponge like cake however not so common because of addition of small almonds’ pieces which you will feel as crunch by eating. On the top of cake lie apricots and whole cake is covered with lavender crumb. The cake smells beautiful during baking and after and taste very nice. Some gentleness of cake, some sourness of apricots and some sweetness of fragrant crumb exist here accordingly. Enjoy!

     

    round pan 8 inch

     

     Ingredients for cake:

    • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup light brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • ¼  teaspoon salt
    • 75 g almonds, chopped finely (but not almond flour)
    • ¼ cup buttermilk
    • 6-7 apricots, pitted and halved

     Crumb topping:

    • ¾ cup all purpose flour
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup butter, melted
    • 25 g almonds, chopped finely (but not almond flour)
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoon dried lavender flowers or 1 tablespoon fresh flowers

     

     

    Grease and line baking pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar at medium speed until fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Stir in almond and vanilla extracts. The mixture could look curdled but it could be so.

    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and almond flour. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Pour cake mixture into prepared pan. On the top of cake lie halved apricots cut part up. Pour over lavender crumb. Bake for 60-70 minutes (until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool in pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make crumb: mix together all ingredients until smooth crumbs form.

     

     

     

     

     

    The recipe is inspired by Cherry Crumb Cake from 'Bake from scratch', however changed a lot by me.

    Category: Fruits cakes.

    Tags: almonds, apricots, lavender.

  • This is an easy tea cake perfect for using seasonal fruits, today strawberries. I added almond flour to cake mixture and topped the cake with sliced almonds. The combination of almonds and strawberries is great and delicate. The cake is soft, moist and not too sweet. The top of strawberries and sliced almonds is luscious and crunchy at the same time. Icing threads give the proper drop of sweetness. Enjoy!

     

    8 inch round pan

     

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup butter, soften
    • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (180 g) sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • ¾ cup (120 g)  all purpose flour
    • 4 tablespoons almond flour
    • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 80 ml Greek yoghurt, natural
    • 1 teaspoon pure almondextract
    • 10-12 strawberries, sliced
    • 1-2 tablespoons sliced almonds

    Icing:

    • 2/3 cup (100 g) icing sugar
    • 2-3 tablespoons whipping cream
    • 1 tablespoon strawberry juice

     

     

    Grease and line pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°F.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract. In a separated bowl mix flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Mix yoghurt with almond extract. Stir half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Stir in yoghurt. Add the rest of flour mixture and mix well. Pour dough mixture into prepared pan.  Arrange sliced strawberries on the top and sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Bake for 35-40 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave in the pan for few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.  

    Make icing: beat cream with icing sugar until smooth, thick but still liquid. Pour over the cooled cake creating thin lattice pattern.


     

    Category: Tea/bundt cakes.

    Tags:almonds, strawberry.

  • Don’t you have any donuts’ tin? You can still bake them using another small round tins or even one big. Because it would be shame to abandon this recipe. These donuts are really tasty, almondy, moist, fluffy and have slightly crunchy texture. Less fat, not fried so more healthy. And with matcha glaze match perfectly the Spring. Enjoy!

     

    12 classic donuts and 6 mini donuts

     

     Ingredients:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ¼ cup oil
    • ¾ cup greek yogurt, plain
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon pure almand extract

     Glaze:

    • 1/3 cup milk
    • 1 tablespoon matcha powder
    • 1 ¼ cup icing sugar
    • 1/3 cup powdered milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Additionally:

    • chopped almonds
    • white sprinkles
    • 2 oz white chocolate, melted

     

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease donut tin.

    In a large bowl mix together flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. In a separated bowl whisk (with fork) eggs, sugar, oil, yogurt, almond extract and buttermilk. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until combined. Spoon the batter into the donuts’ moulds, filling to just below the top of each mould. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges. Cool in a pan for 5 minutes than transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled glaze with matcha glaze.

    Make glaze: bring milk to the boil. Remove from the heat and mix in matcha powder. Set aside for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined. Let set for few minutes until slightly thickened. Frost cooled donuts, decorate with almonds, sprinkles and/or with white chocolate.

     

     

     

     

    Category: Donuts.

    Tags: almonds, matcha.

  • Very tasty and very popular English tea cake. The name was given when such kind of cake was served at the Princess Victoria’s wedding party to honour her husband Prince Battenberg. Usually it is a light almond sponge shaped as bicolour check covered with thin layer of marzipan. My version is red – green check with tastes of pistachio and cranberry. The sponge is delicate but tastes could be detected. Sweet marzipan completes them perfectly. I like this cake very much. Enjoy too!

     

    square pan 8 x 8 inch

     

    Ingredients:

    • 125 g (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) butter , softened
    • 125 g (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 100 g  (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) all purpose flour
    • 1½  teaspoons baking powder
    • 50 g finely ground almonds (almond flour)
    • 2 tablespoons powdered freeze-dried canberry
    • 7 tablespoons finely ground unsalted pistachios
    • few drops food colouring  – red and green

    Assembly:

    • 250 g raw marzipan mass (store bought or homemade – recipe here)
    • 3-4 tablespoons apricots jam

     

     

    Prepare the pan: grease with melted butter. Cut the parchment paper into a 8 x 14 inch rectangular. Fold the paper in half widthways then open out and push up the centre fold to make a pleat as tall as the pan. Line the base of greased pan with the paper so the pleat is placed exactly in the middle (creating a wall between two halves of the pan and dividing it to two separated containers – see last picture). Preheat oven to the 350°F.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and baking powder, mix well. Divide the mixture in half. Add almond flour and powdered cranberry to one portion, mix until combined. Add pistachios to the second portion, mix until combined. If both mixtures are to pale and you wish more intensive colour add few drops of food colouring – red to the cranberry one and green to the pistachio one. Spoon prepared mixtures into the pan – one to each separated part. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave in the pan for few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Roll out the marzipan thinly. Heat gently the jam until it spreads easily. Cut both sponges in half lengthways to make four strips – two red and two green. Brush one long side of each cake with heated jam. Place onto the marzipan one red sponge and one green sponge in that way they touch together with brushed sides. Brush with jam the upper surface of sponges and place onto the remaining sponges touching their brushed sides. Alternate colours. Brush all outer sides of built cake with jam. Wrap the marzipan neatly around the cake and seal it on the bottom edge. Cut off the excess of marzipan. Serve in slices.


     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags:almonds, cranberry, marzipan, pistachio.

  • These shortbread cookies I baked in the shape of ‘2’ for my son’s second birthday. You can bake them of course in a different shape. There are easy and quick to prepare and not so common like just butter cookies. Almond flour gives them a new quality taste marzipan like. This is perfect treat for children – not too fat, not too sweet, funny and small enough to match little hands. In our house they disappeared without trace. Enjoy!

     

    the amount depends on cookie cutter size

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 ¼ cups cake&pastry flour
    • 100 g almond flour

     Icing:

    • ¼ cup icing sugar
    • 1 tablespoon warm water
    • your favourite sprinkles

    In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and almond extract, mix together. Add salt and almond flour. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball. The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

    Line the baking tray with paper parchment. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick square. Cut off desired shapes. Place cookies on the baking tray and store in the fridge until the oven is not ready. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown in colour. Cool completely.

    Make icing: mix the icing sugar with water until smooth. Cover each cookie with icing and sprinkle with sprinkles.


     

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags: Almonds, marzipan.

  • Very yummy small tarts filled with homemade cherry custard. The shell is made of ‘sweet crust pastry’ – classic patisserie pastry with almond flour. Almonds give delicateness and more possibilities of shaping. After baking the cherry custard is still soft and gentle. The hearts are subtle, sophisticated and tasty. Enjoy!

     

    heart shaped mini tart pans (10 pieces)

     

    Base:

    • 2/3 cup softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
    • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 4 tablespoons almond flour

    Custard:

    • 300 ml milk
    • 3 egg yolks
    • 60 g granulated sugar
    • 5 tablespoons cherry puree
    • 50 g corn starch
    • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, softened

     

     

    Shortcrust base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour with salt and almond flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make custard: you can use store-bought cherry puree from the tin or make homemade. Place in a saucepan 150 g frozen cherries with 1 tablespoon sugar. Heat until fruits are very soft and sugar has dissolved. Place in a food blender and blend until smooth. Pour the milk in medium sauce pan and heat until boil. In a bowl beat the egg yolks with corn starch and sugar until light and creamy. Add cherry puree and mix until incorporated. Pour boiled milk over egg mixture, stirring constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for few minutes until starts to thicken and bubble. Remove from the heat and beat in the butter. Transfer to a bowl. Cover the surface with a cling film to prevent forming a skin. Leave to cool.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick rectangular. Cut out heart shapes similar size as pans. Fill pans with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out the next batch of hearts. Pour the cherry custard over pastry bases and smooth evenly. Cover each with the second heart.

    Bake at 350°F for 20-22 minutes (until the pastry is golden beige). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Tarts/pastries.

    Tags:cherries, almonds.

  • I suggest to abandon the old Roman ‘October’ name and change it to ‘Leaftober’. Currently I notice the huge leaves fall. We have plenty of leaves everywhere. Some of them even fell on the cake. Shortbread shell, inside the filling based on the French frangipane (creamy mixture made of almonds and butter) but with chocolate. It became delicious chocolate cream with almond texture. All is topped with pears which combine with chocolate just perfectly. Everything covered with big layer of leaves – very tasty leaves. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart ø 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for the base:

    • 2/3 cup (150g) softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2  cups (320g) all purpose flour

     Filling:

    • 150 g ground almonds (almond meal)
    • ½ cup (100g) sugar
    • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (100g) butter
    • 70 g chocolate (I used semi-sweet 55%)
    • 1 egg
    • 3-4 pears, peeled and sliced

    Topping:

    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make filling: melt chocolate in water bath. All remaining ingredients except pears mix together until smooth. Add chocolate, mix until incorporated.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Spread the chocolate mixture over the base. Arrange pear slices all over the spread. They may lay in more than one layer. Cut out different sizes leaves from remaining pastry and arrange them over the pear layer. Beat the egg yolk with milk in a small bowl and brush the top of the pastry (leaves) with. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling looks baked). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, chocolate, pears.

  • These shell shaped mini pies are filled with homemade cranberry custard. After baking the cranberry custard is still soft and gentle. The pastry is made of ‘sweet crust pastry’ – classic patisserie pastry with almond flour. Almonds give delicateness and more possibilities of shaping. These treats are subtle, sophisticated and tasty. Enjoy!

     

    shell (or other design) shaped mini tart pans (12 pieces)

     

    Ingredients for pastry:

    • 2/3 cup softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
    • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • 4 tablespoons almond flour

    Custard:

    • 200 ml milk
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 40 g granulated sugar
    • 3 tablespoons cherry puree
    • 40 g corn starch

     

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour with salt and almond flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make custard: you can use store-bought cranberry puree from the tin or make homemade. Place in a saucepan 120 g frozen cranberries with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Heat until fruits are very soft and sugar has dissolved. Place in a food blender and blend until smooth. Pour the milk in medium sauce pan and heat until boil. In a bowl beat the egg yolks with corn starch and sugar until light and creamy. Add cranberry puree and mix until incorporated. Pour boiled milk over egg mixture, stirring constantly. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for few minutes until starts to thicken and bubble. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl. Cover the surface with a cling film to prevent forming the skin. Leave to cool.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick rectangular. Cut out proper shapes similar size as pans. Fill pans with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out the shapes like the top of pans. Pour the cranberry custard over pastry bases and smooth evenly. Cover each with the top part. Damp the edges lightly with water and press to seal. Make small hole or cross in each pie (on the top cover).

    Bake at 350°F for 20-22 minutes (until the pastry is golden beige). Cool after baking on a wire rack. During baking the top parts of pastry can lift themselves over the filling but after cooling they will return to place.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, cranberry.

  • This is just a sweet bread with apricot filling. Shaped as a wreath looks fancy and interesting. Because we are close to Easter time and in many kitchens yeast cake is a ‘must have’ tradition I recommend it for the festive days. It does not need to be hanging. Wreath on the table will delight your guests as well. And the taste will not disappoint for sure. Enjoy!

     

    1 wreath about 10 inch diameter

     

     Dough:

    • 2 cups flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
    • ¼ cup lukewarm milk
    • ¼ cup lukewarm water
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 1/6 cup butter, soften
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Filling:

    • 1 ½ cup dried apricots
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 cup water

    Topping:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon flaked almonds
    • 1 tablespoon demerara (turbinado) sugar

     

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar, salt and butter in small pieces. Add yeast mixture, vanilla extract and orange zest. Add water and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes) and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Make filling: place apricots, sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat until sugar dissolved then bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for further 15 minutes until apricots are soft. Drain. Blend apricots until smooth mixture.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 16 x 6 inch rectangular. Spread the filling evenly onto the dough leaving an empty 1 inch border along one long side. Roll up into a log starting to fold longer site without border. Shape a log into a ring joining ends together. Place the ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let stand in a warm place for 30 minutes to rest and double in size.

    Preheat oven to 350°F.  

    Using kitchen scissors cut seven diagonal slashes into outer edge of dough (about 4 inch apart). Brush the top with egg, sprinkle with almonds and sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the base.

     

     

    The recipe comes from the AWW book 'Simply Bread'.

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: almonds, apricots, orange, yeast.

  • Just to remind: frangipane is a classic French tart filling made of butter, sugar and almonds. I like it because tastes delicious and matches very well with various fruits. I recommend especially the sour one to pair up perfectly with sweet filling. Today recipe with rhubarb slices as this fruit season is so short and the shortbread crust made as French sweet pastry. If you ask about the taste – divine. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart 14 x 4.5 inch

     

     Base:

    • 2/3 cup softened butter
    • ¾  cup superfine sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 2  cup flour (possibly + about 5-6 tablespoons)
    • 2 tablespoon corn starch

     Frangipane filling:

    • ½ cup softened butter
    • ½  cup superfine sugar
    • 100 g almond flour
    • 2 tablespoon dark rum
    • 1 egg

     Rhubarb top:

    • 450 g fresh rhubarb
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 cup water

     

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and egg yolk, mix together. Add corn starch and gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball. The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a clear foil and let cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

    Prepare rhubarb: using a mandolin slicer or vegetable peeler slice the rhubarb long-ways. Place the water and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add rhubarb slices. Cook for about 10 minutes until softened then drain on a paper towel. Repeat until all rhubarb is cooked. Reserve the syrup.

    Make frangipane filling: mix all ingredients together until became thick and smooth mixture.

    Cooled pastry place on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick square pan size. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Pour the frangipane mixture over pastry base and smooth evenly. Place in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 350°F for about 30 minutes. Cool in the pan. Place rhubarb slices over baked frangipane (more layers until all rhubarb is used). Brush the top with remaining syrup.

     

     

     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, rhubarb.

  • This is traditional Polish Christmas cake called ‘makowiec’. Made of yeast dough (sweet bread – brioche like) filled with poppy seeds mixture. In a classic version (usually made) is baked as a Swiss roll shape. I tried some new shape – giant spiral and it works fantastic. The filling is more connected to the dough and for me it causes more taste in every bit. The filling is packed with poppy seeds, raisins, almonds and honey. You may also add nuts and candied orange zest if desired. Try some new cake on your festive table. Enjoy!

     

    springpan ø 9 inch

     

    Dough:

    • 180 ml lukewarm milk
    • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup butter, softened

    Filling:

    • 350 g poppy seeds
    • 200 ml milk
    • 7 tablespoons honey
    • 30 g almonds, chopped finely
    • 30 g raisins
    • 30 g golden raisins
    • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

    Sugar icing:

    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 1-2 tablespoons warm water

     

     

    Place the poppy seeds in a bowl and pour over the milk. Stir with a spoon to sink all poppy seeds. Set aside for 3-4 hours.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. Add eggs and egg yolk and stir until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour the yeast mixture in.  Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth. Stop mixer, scrap the bowl sides. On the low mixer speed add butter – 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the next tablespoon butter only when the previous is fully incorporated. When you use all butter and the dough is ready (smooth and glossy) shape it in a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.

    Make the filling: drain poppy seeds, discard milk. Process seeds in a food processor for 3-4 minutes until become soft and velvety. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Try and add more honey or other nuts if you wish.

    Grease springpan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 18 x 12 inch rectangular. Rotate the rectangular in order the wider side is its base closest to you. Cut into five straps (each 3 3/5 inch wide and 12 inch high). Spread the filling even on all straps. Roll the first strap into a roll. Place the roll on the beginning of the second strap and roll together with filling. Place this roll on the beginning of the third strap and roll together. Continue with remaining straps. The last strap do not encompass the whole big roll you got. Carefully lift the giant spiral (help yourself with a spatula), rotate 90° and place it in the sprinpan (the cut surface up). The center of the cake should be in the center of the pan. On sides stays empty space for rising. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour to rise and reach the sides of the pan. Bake in preheated oven in 400°F for 45-55 minutes. After 25 minutes cover the cake with aluminium foil to avoid scorching. After baking cool in the pan then transfer to a wire rack.

    Make icing: beat together icing sugar and water until smooth. If the icing is too solid add more water. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.


     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags:almonds, Christmas, poppyseed, raisins, yeast.

  • Chocolate cake in glutenfree version. Instead of flour are ground almonds (almond flour) which give noticeable texture. Some glutenfree cake could be dry inside but this is moist and fluffy and as bonus very easy to prepare. The topping is made of blood orange curd complementing the taste of tangy and fresh flavour and matching the chocolate perfectly. You can also use ‘normal’ oranges, the taste will be more intensive. Enjoy!

     

    round pan ø 8 inch

     

     Ingredients:

    • ¾ cup butter
    • 200 g dark chocolate
    • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 4 eggs (whites and yolks separated)
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 300 g ground almonds (almond flour)

    Orange curd:

    • 2 blood oranges
    • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/3 cup butter
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk

     

    Make orange curd: grate the rind and squeeze the juice of oranges into heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the sugar and butter and stir until dissolved and melted. Put the egg and egg yolk in a bowl and beat together. Pour them through the sieve into the orange mixture. Stir the mixture constantly over the heat until the orange curd thickens and lightly coats the wooden spoon (it could take 10 to 20 minutes). Once it is ready set aside to cool.

    Grease pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.

    In a medium saucepan place chocolate, butter and cocoa powder and heat gently until melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Add butter-chocolate mixture and almond flour and beat until combined. In a separated bowl beat egg whites until stiff. Mix the foam with silicon spatula into cake mixture. Once well incorporated spoon the batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). After baking leave in pan for few then transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. Top with orange curd before serving.


     

    Category: Chocolate cakes.

    Tags: almonds, chocolate, glutenfree, orange.

  • Marzipan is very popular ingredient especially for Christmas baking. I like it very much so use in every season often. It matches very well with fruit cakes or to cover layered cakes. You can eat it raw too or use in truffle/candy making. Not every place offers raw marzipan mass to purchase so you can easily make it at home. This recipe does not contain eggs so it is safe for eating raw and store at home. The preparing is not complicated so try and enjoy!

     

    you will get about 250 g marzipan

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
    • ¼ cup water
    • 120 g almond flour (fine ground almonds)
    • 120 g icing sugar
    • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
    • 1-3 tablespoons warm water (optional)

     

     

    Place the sugar, corn syrup and water in a small saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved. Boil further few minutes (do not mix) until candy thermometer registers 235°F.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer place the almond flour and icing sugar and mix together. On the motor running pour the sugar syrup. Add almond extract and mix until mixture forms a ball. If the mass is too thick add water (one tablespoon at a time).

    Transfer mixture onto working surface dusted with icing sugar. Knead the mass 2-3 minutes until smooth and firm. Shape into Swiss roll, wrap in the foil and refrigerate until needed. Store in the fridge up to two weeks.

     

     

     

    Category: Tutorials.

     

  • This is very tasty and light tart with ricotta cheese filling. The shortbread crust is slightly more flaky than I bake usual however it works well here. The filling made of ricotta cheese with chocolate brings to mind Italian stracciatella taste and it is the best describing because chocolate does not take control of the mixture but could be easily detected. The cheese is still soft in texture and delicate after baking and the whole tart is light and subtle. And I have the evidence that I tell the truth – no one piece of cake was left for the next day. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart ø 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for base:

    • ½ cup butter, cold
    • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 ½ cups flour
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 egg
    • 3-4 tablespoons cold water

     

    • 1 tablespoon ground almonds (almond flour)

    Filling:

    • 375 g ricotta cheese
    • 2/3 cup icing sugar
    • 85 g dark chocolate, finely chopped
    • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (of 1 lemon)
    • 1 egg
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch

     

    • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds

     

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer mix together flour and sugar. Add sliced butter and rub until become crumble. Add the egg and water and shortly mix until the mixture begins to form a dough. Shape in your hands into a ball. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.  

    Make filling: mix all ingredients (except sliced almonds) together.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into a circle. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Sprinkle with almond flour. Pour the ricotta filling over pastry base and smooth evenly. Fold the edges of the pastry into the center so that they touch the filling. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out small stars and place them over the filling in random way. Sprinkle with sliced almonds. Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags:almonds, chocolate, ricotta.

  • This is traditional Christmas and wedding cake very popular in Scandinavian countries. It originates from Norway or Denmark and consists of three ingredients only. In fact it is baked homemade marzipan, shaped as lots of circles arranged in a tower. Dough preparing is very easy and takes few minutes but you need more time by creating circles. The taste is definitely worth the effort – crunchy outside, gooey inside, clearly almond in flavour. I like it more than macarons because is not so sweet. Enjoy!

     

    19-circles tower

     

    Ingredients:

    • 250 g finely ground almonds (almond flour)
    • 250 g icing sugar
    • 50 g egg whites (of 2-3 eggs)

    Icing:

    • 100 g icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons warm water

     

     

    In a bowl of a stand mixer combine almond flour and icing sugar. Add egg whites and beat until the dough forms smooth and firm mixture. Shape it into a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.

    Dust a surface with rice flour. Remove cooled dough from the fridge. Divide it into smaller portion. Roll each in your hands into a rope, about ½ inch in thickness. Cut the first rope for the lenght of 4 inch. Seal its ends to form a circle. Make further ropes measuring: 5 inch, 6 inch, 7 inch, 8 inch, etc. Seal each rope's ends and form circles.  

    Meanwhile line a cookie tray/s with parchment paper and preheat oven to 400°F.

    Place circles onto prepared tray/s. They can lay concentric but cannot touch each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until stop to be pale and becomes light beige and you can easily remove them from the parchment paper. Cool on a wire rack.

    Make icing: beat icing sugar and water until smooth. You can also use royal icing (made of icing sugar and egg white). Fill a piping bag with prepared icing. Place the first (biggest) circle on a plate and pipe icing’s zigzags on its top and outer sides. Place the second circle on the top. Repeat until you use all circles – every next should be a little smaller than previous.


     

    Category: Meringues/macarons.

    Tags:almonds, glutenfree.

  • This is easy and very tasty cake perfect for everyday coffee rest or for occasions. Preparing is not time consuming and the effect is excellent. Two flavours: lemon and almond interface in harmonious way and are detectable in every bit. Thanks to almond flour and almond liqueur the cake is soft, fluffy and moist, stays fresh for few days. I forestall your doubts – alcohol evaporates in temperature 170°F so after baking remains the taste only and we may easily serve this cake to children. I added to the cake a layer of lemon curd only because I had leftovers from another baking, you may omit it but I recommend it to add – perfectly emphasises the taste and the level of delight. Enjoy!

     

    10 cups budtcake pan

     

     Ingredients:

    • 1 cup butter, melted
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • ½ cup milk
    • 3 eggs
    • ½  cup almond liqueur (I used Baileys Almande 13% alc.)
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¼  teaspoon salt
    • 3 tablespoons lemon curd (optional)

    Icing:

    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 3-4 tablespoons almond milk or cow milk with 1 teaspoon almond extract

     

     

     

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease the pan and dust it with flour.

    In a bowl stir together melted butter, lemon zest sugar and both extracts. In a separated small bowl slightly beat eggs with a fork. Add eggs, milk and almond liqueur to the butter mixture and stir (or mix with electric mixer) until combined. Add flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated. Spoon the 2/3 of cake mixture to the prepared pan. Pour the lemon curd over it avoiding touching the sides of the pan. Spoon the rest of the cake mixture on the top. Bake for 1 hour (until the tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean). Leave in the pan until cooled then remove from the pan.

    Make icing: beat icing sugar with milk of choice until smooth and thick but still liquid icing. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.

     

     

     

     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags: almonds, lemon.

  • Linzer torte is a famous Austrian tart from the city Linz. This is probably the oldest cake in the world because was found its recipe from the year 1653. The tart is not complicated at all however the recipe is composed of more ingredients than usual tart’s recipe. The shortcrust pastry is very crisp and contains ground almonds (or nuts, often hazelnuts), lemon zest and juice and cinnamon. Maybe it is a little surprising but trust me – very yummy. The filling is made of fruits in the shape of puree or thick jam (mostly redcurrant, plums or raspberry). The top always is decorated with lattice. This dessert looks wonderful on the table and tastes perfectly. Enjoy!

     

    tart pan 10 inch

     

     Base:

    • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon butter, softened
    • ½ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • juice of ½ lemon
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½  cup almond flour
    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

     Filling:

    • 350 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
    • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg yolk, mix together. Add lemon juice and zest and salt, mix well. In a separated bowl mix together flour, almond flour and cinnamon. Add flour mixture to the butter mixture still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for 1- 2 hours.

    Prepare filling: place raspberries and sugar in a small saucepan. Simmer until sugar is dissolved and raspberries become puree (about 10 minutes). Remove from the heat and mix in corn starch. Mix quickly to avoid lumps forming. Set aside to cool and thicken.

    Place cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and divide to 2/3 and 1/3. The bigger part roll out into 1/5 inch thick circle. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press with your fingers to place property. Place the filling evenly onto the pastry base. Roll out the remaining pastry into 1/5 inch thick rectangular and cut into ½ inch wide strips. Place the strips on the top of filling in the shape of lattice (one layer in one way then second layer perpendicular on the first, not entwined). Place the tart in the fridge as long as you preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake tart for 45 minutes. Cool in the pan, dust with icing sugar before serving.

     

     

     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, cinnamon, lemon, raspberry.

  • Scandinavian Mazarin is a Northern version of French filling called frangipane (classic creamy mixture made of almonds, sugar and butter). The difference is that almond flour is replaced here by marzipan. The second difference is that the filling is twice sweeter because marzipan contains sugar added. After baking this filling is also a little different – not so tight like frangipane but more like a thick custard. Sour fruits are needed on the top to make the whole cake more harmonious, however if you are not fans of very sweet cakes I recommend to reduce the amount of sugar in the filling. I do not like so sweet cakes nevertheless I ate it with pleasure. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart ø 10 inch

     

    Ingredients for the base:

    • 2/3 cup (150g) softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2  cups (320g) all purpose flour

    Filling:

    • 150 g marzipan (raw masse)
    • ½ cup (100g) sugar
    • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon (100g) butter
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 tablespoons (21g) corn starch (corn flour)
    • 10-12 blue plums, halved and pitted

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make filling: grate the marzipan on the big holes grater. Add all remaining ingredients except plums and mix together until smooth.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Pour the filling mixture over the base. Arrange plums halves all over the filling (cut side up). Place the tart in the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set). Cool after baking on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, marzipan, plums.

  • These cookies come from German tradition and are known as ‘Mohntaschen’ what means poppy seeds pockets. They were made of shortbread pastry and filled with poppy seeds filling. Later they were adapted into Jewish kitchen where are known as ‘Hamantaschen’ what means Haman’s pockets. Today they can be filled with many various fillings depending on what the baker likes. I filled them with blood oranges marmalade and almond black sesame frangipane. After baking I named them: Napoleon’s hats because they look exactly like those hats. Enjoy!

     

    about 46 cookies

     

    Ingredients for pastry:

    • 2/3 cup butter, soften
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 cups all purpose flour

    Filling 1:

    • 5-6 tablespoons blond oranges marmalade (recipe here)

    Filling 2:

    • ½ cup ground almonds
    • 4 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
    • 1 tablespoon flour
    • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 1 egg

     

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Make filling 2: grind sesame seeds in coffee grinder or crush with pestle and mortar. Add to remaining ingredients and mix until smooth paste.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and divide into half. Roll out the first part into 1/5 inch thick. Cut off circles 3-3.5 inch in diameter. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling 1 in the Middle of each circle. Lift up the edges and seal in three points making vertices of an equilateral triangle. Reroll scrapes if necessary and make more circles. Place all cookies onto large sheet lined with parchment paper and put into fridge.

    Repeat with the second part of the pastry but use the filling no 2. Place cookies on second large line sheet and put into fridge. All cookies have to spend one hour in the fridge at least. You may also leave them there for overnight and bake the next day.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake cookies (one sheet at the time) for 20-25 minutes until golden beige and the filling is set. Cool on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: almonds, orange, sesame.

  • If you like carrot cake you will love this parsnip cake. My husband is a big fan of carrot cake and he wishes I bake it for every his birthday. But I am recipe developer and big fan of novelty so I cannot bake the same cake all the time. So I decided to bake this parsnip cake. There are some similarities between carrot cake and parsnip cake like between carrot and parsnip. This cake is light and tasty, a little spicy, really moist like every vegetable cake and delicate sweet. This is not only nice change from very popular and often eaten carrot cake. I would say maybe this change will be permanent because I found this cake really tasty and interesting. I would highly recommend it for every fan of vegetable cakes. Enjoy!

     

    2 x round spring pan 7 inch for 4-layered cake

     

     Ingredients for cake:

    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • ½ cup almond flour
    • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spices
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • ½ cup butter, melted
    • ½ cup buttermilk
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups shredded parsnips (about 2 pieces)

     Blueberry frosting:

    • 250 g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 500 g mascarpone cheese (divided 375 + 125)
    • 6 tablespoon icing sugar (divided 4 + 2)
    • 350 ml whipping cream (divided 250 + 100)

     Assembly:

    • 100 g icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons blueberry juice (saved previously)

     

     

    Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.

    Make cake: combine flour, almond flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. Mix with a spoon until well combined. In a medium bowl combine sugar, butter, buttermilk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until well incorporated. Pour wet ingredients over dry and stir until combined. Fold in the parsnips and mix well. Divide the batter evenly into prepared pans. You can also divide the batter into 1/3 and 2/3 to two 9 inch pans. You will have then 3-layered cake. Bake for 35 minutes (or a bit longer until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean). Cool in pans.

    Place blueberries and granulated sugar in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until sugar dissolved and blueberries started to come apart. Place fruits on the sieve and press to drain the juice. Save the juice.

    Whip 250 ml of whipped cream to the stiff peaks. Place 375 g mascarpone cheese and 4 tablespoons icing sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer and mix until combined. Add drained blueberries and mix shortly. Fold in the whipped cream and mix with rubber spatula.       

    Cut both sponges horizontally into 2 equal layers. Place the first layer on a serving plate. Spread a 1/3 of prepared frosting evenly. Cover with second sponge on the top and spread the next 1/3 of the frosting. Repeat with third sponge and the last portion of frosting. Cover with the last sponge. Place the cake in a fridge for 15 minutes to set.

    Whip the remaining 100 ml of cream to stiff peaks. Mix the remaining 125 g of mascarpone cheese with sugar and 2 tablespoons blueberry juice (saved previously). Fold in the whipped cream and mix gently. Cover the top and sides of the cake.

    Make sugar icing to assembly the cake: mix the icing sugar and blueberry juice (saved) until smooth but still liquid. Add more juice if needed. Decorate the edges of cake with blueberry icing and let it stream down.


     

    I used sponge recipe from the book 'Food 52 - baking', however a little changed by me.

    Category: Layered.

    Tags: almonds, blueberry, coconut, maple syrup, parsnip.