Pistachio blood orange upside-down cake

Upside-down cake is baked different than usual and inverted after baking. This method let us save the pretty looking whole fruits on the top of the cake. In the recipe below they are blood oranges which are now widely available. Inside the cake along with orange hint we will find big load of pistachios which pair perfectly with citrus fruits. The cake has really nice structure, is not dry and stays fresh for three days at least. And looks beautiful on the table. Enjoy!

 

round spring pan 9 inch

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 blood oranges
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar

 

  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (125 g) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 g) sugar
  • zest of 1 blood orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Greek yoghurt (natural)
  • 1 ¼ cups ground pistachios (I used unsalted)
  • 1 cup (160 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

 

 

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Important: cake should be baked in spring pan (zipped). In the oven orange juice will drip off the pan (place baking sheet on the lower oven shelf) what causes in pretty look and proper structure of the fruits. If the pan would be tight the juice would stay inside and cook fruits which fall apart.  

Grease the pan with butter and line with parchment paper (sides and bottom). Grease again (sides and bottom - over the paper) and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Slice oranges (in zest) thinly. Place half circles on the side around the perimeter and place half circles on the bottom around the perimeter. Place whole slice in the middle of the bottom. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs (one at the time) and mix together. Add orange zest, mix together. Add yoghurt and pistachios, mix together. Add flour with baking powder, mix until incorporated. Spoon the cake mixture carefully over oranges. Bake for 1 hour (until the wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Remove from the oven, leave in pan for 5 minutes.  Then remove cake from the pan and transfer to the cooling rack placing cake upside-down (oranges up). Cool completely. Cooled cake is very easy to be cut (even orange zest part).

 
 

Category: Fruit cakes.

Tags: orange, pistachio.

Rose mini pies with blood orange custard

I am sure you know pies – pastry pocket filled with fruits or anything else. Mine are shaped as cupcakes with lid. The crust is homemade ‘sweet crust pastry’ – classic patisserie shortbread enriched by almonds. I added new ingredient: rose and created ‘rose crust pastry’. Thanks to almonds the crust is delicate and more elastic (does not break so easily as typical shortbread). Thanks to rose – smells beautiful and has sweet flowery taste. Homemade custard is based on homemade blond orange curd which are more delicate, sweeter and flowery comparing to ordinary oranges. After I baked these pies I announce the combo of rose and blood oranges as my absolute top pairing in the kitchen. Cupcakes are delicious and sophisticated. Enjoy!

 

cupcakes (or other design) shaped mini tart pans abot 1.5 inch deep (8-9 pieces)

 

Ingredients for the base:

  • 2/3 cup (150 g) softened butter
  • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon rose extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons (260 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon edible rose petals ground to powder
  • 4 tablespoons almond flour

Custard:

  • 1 ½ blood oranges
  • 1/3 cup (70 g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 g) butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk (save the white)

 

  • 1 cup (250 ml) milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch/corn flour

 

Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, rose and vanilla extracts, mix together. Gradually add flour with rose powder, 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: grate the rind and squeeze the juice of blood 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 20 to 30 minutes). Once it is ready set aside. Pour the milk to the sauce pan and heat to boil. Meanwhile stir corn starch into orange curd and mix until incorporated. Pour the hot milk over the orange curd, mix and immediately return to sauce pan. Heat on a medium heat stirring constantly until thicken and start to bubble (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside.

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. Spoon the blood orange custard to each pie almost to the top. Cover each with the top part already brushing the edges lightly with egg white (left from orange curd) and press to seal. Make small hole or cross in each pie (on the top cover).

Bake at 350°F for 25-30 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: oranges, rose.

Coffee raspberry and oat truffles - 3 recipes

Homemade truffles – easy and delicious treats made of simple ingredients. Maybe they are not so pretty as store bought but for sure win by taste and we may choose our favourites instead of random mix. In this post I present the recipe for three different sweets because they are so simple that you do not need to limit yourself to one type only. The coffee truffles contain alcohol and coffee so I recommend rather for adults and youth – intensive in taste, very coffee-y. The raspberry truffles contain big fruit portion covered with very dark chocolate – creamy inside, stiff outside. The oat truffles are healthy treats without sugar and with dried apricots which are good iron source. All three kinds are delicious. Enjoy!

 

about 60 pieces (depending on size)

 

Ingredients - coffee truffles:

  • 50 ml whipping cream
  • 75 ml coffee liqueur  (I used Kahlua)
  • 200 g dark chocolate (I used semi-sweet 55%)
  • 80 g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powder)
  • 100 g white chocolate
  • instant coffee for dusting

Ingredients – raspberry truffles:

  • 150 g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 50 ml whipping cream
  • 200 g pink ‘ruby’ chocolate (you may use white instead)
  • 100 g very dark chocolate (70%)
  • optional micro balls for dusting

Ingredients – oat truffles:

  • 200 ml rolled oats
  • 150 g dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cold brewed coffee or water
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • pinch of salt

 

 

 

Coffee truffles: place cream and liqueur in a sauce pan and heat until hot (do not boil). Remove from the heat and add chocolate broken into pieces. Mix until smooth mixture. Add almonds and coffee powder, mix until incorporated. Place into the fridge to cool and thicken. Then shape mixture into small balls and place them to the freezer for 15 minutes. Melt white chocolate in a double bath (bain-marie). Dip quickly each ball (one at a time) in white chocolate and place onto a wire rack to set. Before chocolate sets dust with coffee powder.

Raspberry truffles: place raspberries and sugar in a sauce pan and heat until fruits become a puree. If you do not wish seeds pass fruit through the sieve and return to the pan. I let seeds stay. Stir in cream. Remove sauce pan from the heat and add (ruby/white) chocolate broken into pieces. Mix until smooth mixture. Place into the fridge to cool and thicken. Then shape mixture into small balls and place them to the freezer for 15 minutes. If the mixture is still too soft divide it into small portions, place to the freezer for 10 minutes and then shape prettier balls. Place balls to the freezer for 15 minutes.  Melt very dark chocolate in a double bath (bain-marie). Dip quickly each ball (one at a time) in it and place onto a wire rack to set. Before chocolate sets sprinkle with micro balls.

Oat truffles: place all ingredients in a food processor and process until thick smooth mixture (paste). Place to the fridge for ½ hour or to the freezer for 10 minutes then shape into small balls.

 

 

Category: Desserts/icecream.

Tags:  Apricots, Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee, Glutenfre, Oat, Raspberry.

Coffee anise cookies

They are simple, easy, shortbread cookies. For entertainment I baked them as a coffee anise combo. The coffee is not very much detectable but it changes a little common butter flavour. My children associate the anise with liquorice taste (black candies) and there is something similar but without unpleasant bitterness. Cookies smell pretty before and after baking. The home shape with star or heart give the festive look but of course you may bake them different shaped. Enjoy!

 

about 55 pieces (depending on size)

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (150 g) softened butter
  • 9 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powder)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure anise extract
  • 1 teaspoon crashed or ground anise seeds
  • 2  cups (320 g) all purpose flour

 

 

 

In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter, coffee and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, anise seeds and anise extract, 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.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. Cut out smaller shapes in. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out cookies as the pastry last.

Place cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and put the tray to the fridge until the oven is heated. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 9-12 minutes (depending on size) until the pastry is golden brown. Cool after baking on a wire rack.

 

 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: Anise, Coffee.

Vanille Kipferln (vanilla crescents)

Vanille Kipferln are traditional German shortbread crescents baked in Advent time. Pastry is more flaky than typical shortbread because of almonds addition. After baking crescents are stiff outside and crispy inside. They stay fresh for few days. Vanilla seeds from the vanilla bean give very clear, intensive vanilla flavour. Beware not to eat them all. Enjoy!

 

about 58-60 pieces (depending on size)

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (180 g) softened butter
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (90 g) icing sugar
  • 100 g almond flour
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 ¾ cup (280 g) all purpose flour

 

 

 

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix until smooth, tight dough (the bowl should be almost clean). When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours (or overnight).

After cooling time remove dough from the fridge. Tear away walnut size portions and fill with it crescents mould (one portion – one hole). If you do not owe special mould roll each portion with your fingers into a log shape and fold ends to create crescent. Prepared without mould cookies place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 10 to 18 minutes (depending on the oven condition). The crescents should be lightly browned and set. Just after baking they are still tender and become hard when getting cold. Cool after baking on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

 

 

Category: Cookies.

Tags: Almonds, Vanilla.