Leaf hand pies with hazelnuts and figs

Hand pies are usually baked as round or rectangular shaped cookies. I decided to shape them as leaves for more fun and Autumn styling. Every pie is big enough to be comfortable held in your hand. The filling is quite thick so does not leak outside and made of hazelnuts and dried figs. You may bake them in every shape but I think leaves are now so on mood. Enjoy!

 

about 14 pieces (leaf about 4 x 4 inch)

 

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:

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 7-8 dried figs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg

Topping:

  • 1 egg (divided into yolk and white)
  • 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: chop nuts finely. Cut figs into small pieces with kitchen scissors. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.

Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick piece. Cut out leaves with cookie cutter. Re-roll the remaining pastry. Cut out leaves as the pastry last. On the half of leaves ‘draw’ veins with small knife. Make 2-3 small slashes. Place the filling on the second half of the leaves (without ‘drawing’) leaving empty border around outer edges. Brush edges with egg white and cover each leaf with filling with one leaf with veins. Beat the egg yolk with milk in a small bowl and brush the top of the leaves with. Sprinkle with granulated 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 15 minutes (until the pastry is golden brown). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


 

Category: Pastries/tarts.

Tags: figs, hazelnut.

Mazarin tart with plums

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

Filling:

  • 150 g marzipan (raw masse)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 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.

Easy cranberry cake with streusel

This is actually recipe for two cakes. Light modification of additions and you may choose your preferred flavour. The method and main ingredients are identical and additions change the cake into cranberry citrus or cranberry cinnamony and spices cake. The streusel on the top is similar and the difference is in added nuts and flavours. In both cases the cake is delicious and moist, stays fresh and soft. The cranberry fruits are clearly and sour delectable and they refreshing the whole taste. Enjoy!

 

round spring pan 9 inch

 

 Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 120 g fresh cranberries
  • cake 1. citrus: zest of 1 orange, zest of 1 lemon
  • cake 2. cinnamony: 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of each: ground allspices, cloves, anise

 Streusel:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cake 1. citrus: ½ cup chopped walnuts, 1 teaspoon orange zest, 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • cake 2. cinnamony: ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, 1/8 teaspoon of each: cinnamon, ground allspices, cloves, anise

Icing:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • cake 1. citrus: 3-4 tablespoons orange and lemon juice (mixed together)
  • cake 2. cinnamony: 3-4 tablespoons milk with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

 

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

In a bowl of standing mixer stir together melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Add orange and lemon zest for cake 1. (citrus). Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until incorporated. Add cinnamon and spices for cinnamon cake. Add sour cream and milk, mix until combined. Spoon the cake mixture to the prepared pan. Scatter washed cranberry fruits on the top in way they cover the whole top in one layer. Sprinkle the top with streusel (1. or 2. for desired taste of cake) to cover the fruit underneath. To make streusel just mix all ingredients together with appropriate additions for desired taste of cake. Bake (preferably in convection oven) about 45 minutes or a little longer (in traditional oven) - until the tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 15 minutes then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack. Before serving sprinkle the top with icing.

Make icing: beat icing sugar with juice (cake 1.) or milk (cake 2.) until smooth and thick but still liquid mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe comes from 'Bake from scratch' magazine however modified by me.

Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

Tags: cinnamon, cranberry, hazelnut, lemon, orange, walnuts.

Chocolate cream pear tart

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

 Filling:

  • 150 g ground almonds (almond meal)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon 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.

Pumpkin latte cheesecake

Delicious, autumnal cheesecake connecting the pumpkin and coffee flavours. It is very creamy and delicate, perfectly matches the October mood. The tastes of pumpkin and coffee are well detectable and create harmonious composition. The topping of whipped cream makes every bite melting in your mouth like a sip of pumpkin latte. Very yummy 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

 

 Base:

  • 170 g tea biscuits
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Pumpkin layer:

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pump kin puree
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Coffee layer:

  • 250 g cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee (powder or granules)
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur (I used Kahlua)

Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee (powder or granules)
  • 100 ml whipping cream

 

 

Make the base: process biscuits in the food processor until very fine (sand texture). Add cocoa powder and melted butter and mix until well incorporated. Line the bottom of a spring pan with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture evenly pressing lightly with a spoon. Let it cool in the fridge.

Make pumpkin layer: In a bowl of a stand mixer beat all ingredients until smooth mixture form.

Make coffee layer: heat the cream until hot and stir in the coffee powder. Mix until smooth. Let cool slightly. In a bowl of a stand mixer beat remaining ingredients until smooth mixture form. Add coffee with cream, mix shortly.  

Cheesecake will be baked in water bath (bain-marie) so wrap the spring pan filled with biscuit base  in two pieces of aluminium foil. Spoon the cheese mixture over the biscuit base, alternating pumpkin and coffee layer (one ladle of each at the time). You may mix them with wooden skewer for marble effect. Place the pan in a bigger pan filled with hot water to the half-way of spring pan sides. Place both pans together in hot oven (325°F) and bake for 1 hour. The cheesecake have to be set on its whole surface, if is not bake it longer. Once is baked remove from bigger water pan, waste the aluminium foil and place cheesecake in pan in the fridge for overnight.

Next day remove cheesecake from the pan and place on a cake stand. Dust with coffee powder and whipped cream rosettes. Store in fridge.

 

 

 Category: Cheesecakes.

Tags: coffee, pumpkin.