• This is classic bundtcake dough – butter creamed with sugar, then eggs, then flour. The black currants fruits are not very numerous to avoid weighting down the cake what might cause soggy texture. Among ingredients we have French black currant liqueur Creme de Cassis which gives main, clear and tangy flavour. Lavender suits perfectly this taste adding some herbal and light hint. The cake is moist and fluffy at the same time. All above make this a sin worth bake. Enjoy!

     

    10 cups budtcake pan

     

     Ingredients:

    • 1 cup butter, melted
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons dried edible lavender
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • ½ cup milk
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup black currant liqueur (Creme de Cassis)
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ¼  teaspoon salt
    • 2-3 tablespoons black currant fruits

    Icing:

    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons black currant liqueur (Creme de Cassis)
    • 2 tablespoons water

     

     

     

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

    In a bowl stir together melted butter, lavender, sugar and vanilla extract. In a separated small bowl slightly beat eggs with a fork. Add eggs, milk and black currant 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 1/3 of cake mixture to the prepared pan. Scatter 1 tablespoon black currant fruits. Spoon the next 1/3 of the cake mixture on the top and repeat with fruits. Spoon the rest of the dough over. 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 liqueur and water until smooth and thick but still liquid icing. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.

     

     

     

    Category: Fruit cakes.

    Tags: blackcurrant, lavender.

  • Madeleines – these small French cookies shaped as shells recently landed here often. Why? They are easy in preparing, require only short baking and are tasty. Moreover – endless possibility of flavours inspires me to create new and new. Today version is lavender and black currant. In the place I live in currants are very hard to find so I used French currant liqueur Creme de Cassis. You may add currant juice instead of. Lavender takes over the taste however somewhere appears the currants flavour too. Enjoy!

     

    20 pieces bigger madeleines or 30 standard sized

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½  cup + 1 teaspoon (120 g) butter, melted
    • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Creme de Cassis liqueur
    • ½  cup sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    •  ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (100 g) all purpose flour
    • 6 tablespoons (60 g) almond flour
    • 1 ¼  teaspoons baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 ½  tablespoons dried edible lavender

     

     

     

    Melt the butter. Remove from the heat, add liqueur. Set aside.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat together eggs, egg yolk and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). In separated bowl mix together flour, baking powder, salt and lavender. Add to egg mixture and mix with rubber spatula until combined. Stir in melted butter, mix with spatula. Place dough mixture into the fridge for overnight.  

    Next day preheat oven to 380°F (190°C) – preferably on convection oven mode. Grease madeleine pan/s with melted butter and place to the freezer for 10 minutes. Then fill each hole with dough. Place the madeleines pan on the cookie sheet and put together on the upper oven shelf. Bake for 15 minutes (bigger and ticker madeleines) or 10 minutes (standard sized). They should be set and springy when touched in the center. Cool on a wire rack. Before serving you may pour icing over or dust with icing sugar.

     

     

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags: almonds, blackcurrant, lavender.

  • The composition of dark chocolate and black currant fruit is incredible good. The combo of soft, fluffy cake and foamy fruit mousse is positively surprising. Adding to them mirror chocolate glaze make this dessert sophisticated, elegant looking and ties together all flavours. Everything you will find in every piece of this delicious dessert. Enjoy!

     

    You should make this cheesecake a day before because it must spend the night in the fridge to become proper structure.

    round spring pan 9 inch and two round 7-8 inch pans

     

     Chocolate sponges (two):

    • 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
    • ½  teaspoon soda
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½  teaspoon salt
    • 100 ml plant oil
    • 1 and 1/3 cups sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 egg
    • 1 ½  teaspoons vanilla
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2/3 cup hot strong brewed coffee

    Mousse:

    • 800 g black currants (fresh or frozen)
    • juice of half lemon
    • ¾ cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons gelatine
    • 450 ml whipping cream
    • 8-10 tablespoons icing sugar

    Mirror glaze:

    • ½ cup +2 tablespoons sugar
    • 3 tablespoons water
    • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
    • 1/3 cup whipping cream
    • 2 teaspoons gelatine

     

    Chocolate sponges: grease and line baking pans. Preheat oven to 325°F.

    In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat oil and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract, mix. Gradually add flour mixture to oil mixture alternately with milk, in three batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. On the end add hot brewed coffee and mix together only 30 seconds. Divide the dough evenly between prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes (or longer - until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean). Cool sponges in pans for 15 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

    Mousse layer: place black currants, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves and fruits burst. Transfer to the blender and blend until smooth. Place half of the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell. Heat gently soften gelatine in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Add to half of warm puree and mix together. Whip the half of whipping cream with half of icing sugar* until stiff peaks. Gradually add prepared half of black currant puree and whip together.

    Line the bottom of 9 inch spring pan with parchment paper. On the base – in the center place first chocolate sponge and pour over black currant mousse. Place to the fridge for ½ - 1 hour.

    After this time make the second half of black currant mousse repeating steps described above. Remove the pan from the fridge, place in the center the second sponge and pour over the second half of the mousse. Even the surface and place to the fridge for overnight.

    The next day carefully remove the cake from the pan. Place on a serving plate and decorate with mirror glaze.

    Make the glaze: place the gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside for 5 minutes to swell. In a saucepan place su gar and water and heat until sugar dissolves. Add cocoa and cream and mix until combined. If the mixture is not smooth strain it through the sieve. Heat gently soften gelatine in a double boiler or microwave and stir to dissolve. Add to the warm glaze and mix. Cool the glaze slightly In the fridge to allow thickening.

    *my cakes and desserts are not very sweet. You may try every layer on every step of preparing and add more sugar if you want, remembering that sugar is less detectable in frozen/cooled desserts. 

     

     Category: Fruits cakes.

    Tags: black currant, chocolate.

  • Hand pies are usually baked as round or rectangular shaped cookies. I decided to shape them as flowers for more fun and Summer styling. I filled them with black currants fruits because I was able to buy some and the taste is amazing. Black currant is like no other fruit – is sour, tangy, dry with deep flavour. It is a perfect fruit for baking or jams. The pastry and filling are very simple but at the same time special thanks to black currants. If you cannot get them you may bake with blueberries or raspberries but of course the taste will be different. However it will be still a delightful dessert. Enjoy!

     

    about 30 pieces (depending on cutter size)

     

    Ingredients for the base:

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

    Filling:

    • 200 g black currants
    • ¼ - 1/3 cup sugar

    Topping:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 1 tablespoons turbinado 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: In a bowl mix washed fruits and sugar. The amount of sugar depends on your taste and the fruits’ sourness.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Cut out flowers with cookie cutter. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out flowers as the pastry last. On the half of flowers cut out smaller flowers. Make egg wash whisking together egg and milk. Place the filling on the flowers without holes leaving empty border around outer edges. Brush edges with egg wash and cover each flower with filling with one flower with a hole. Brush the top of each flower with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put the tray to the fridge until the oven is heated.

    Bake at 375°F for 12-15 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown darker around edges). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: black currant.

  • Sweet buns with summer or autumnal fruits are always a good idea and yummy treat. I used the rest of my black currants but you may add literally all kind of fruits. Even more – chocolate, nutella or any nut spread will work perfect too. These buns are twisted into knots and the filling is placed evenly. They are yummy, enjoy!

     

    about 20-25 buns

     

    Dough:

    • 4 ½  teaspoons dried yeast
    • ¾ cup (180 ml) lukewarm milk
    • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
    • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons (500 g) bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/3 cup (70 g) butter, melted

    Filling:

    • 250 g berries (fresh or frozen) or 400 g bigger fruit (like apples or pears)
    • 2-3 tablespoons sugar
    • juice of ½ lemon
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch / corn flour

    Topping:

    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon milk
    • 2 tablespoons sugar

     

     

    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, lukewarm milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg and vanilla extract. Gradually add melted butter and mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (5-6 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 lukewarm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Once the dough is ready remove from the bowl, place on a working surface and knead for further 3-4 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Make filling: place fruits (bigger sliced into pieces) in a sauce pan. Add sugar and lemon juice and heat until fruits are tender and puree like. Add corn starch and mix to dissolve. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool and thicken.

    Place the dough onto the working surface and divide into half. Roll out one piece into a rectangle with longer side about 16 inch/40 cm placed the shorter side as a base. Spread the half of the filling over the vertical half of the dough. Cover with clean half folding dough into half. You should have now the rectangle of 8 inch/20 cm height. Cut the dough into strips about 1 inch/2 ½ cm wide (and 8 inch/20 cm long). Working with one strip at the time hold it with both your hands on the ends and twist few times. Then shape a knot starting with one end as a center. Hide the second end underneath. Place on a lined sheet. Repeat twisting and shaping with remaining strips. Roll out the second half of the dough and repeat all steps.  Let stand buns in a warm place for 20 minutes to rest and puff while preheating oven to 350°F.

    Make egg wash whisking egg with milk. Brush tops of buns and sprinkle with sugar.

    Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.


     
     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: blackcurrant, yeast.

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