lunes, 27 de octubre de 2014

Yogurt Cake with Pomegranate

Another classic fruit that I love to eat in these days is Pomegranate.

But I find it a bit difficult to include in any dessert, because of the seeds it has. Maybe you can prepare a big vanilla sponge cake and put some of the pretty red seeds inside it, but I thought that the cake won't let you taste the pomegranate.

So, searching and thinking, I end up with an idea, preparing something with a soft flavor and smooth consistency and good match with fruit.

And I found it, I found yogurt. It was so easy to put together.

Let's go to the recipe.

Yogurt Cake with Pomegranate


· 2 cups (500ml) of plain, low fat yogurt
· 2 tbsp (25g) of white sugar
· 200g of low fat cream cheese
· 12g of gelatin powder
· 6 tbsp (90ml) of cold water
· 1 Pomegranate
· 1 tsp of brown sugar
· 160g of cookies or crackers
· 50g of melted butter


It,s going to be so easy, I promise. You don't even need the oven.

To prepare the base of the cake, procese the cookies in a food processor, or put them into a plastic bag and smash with a rolling pin, until you get little crumbs. Mix them with the melted butter and place on the base of your cake tin. You have to use one with a removable bottom. I use the little one, 18cm of diameter.
Press the crumbs onto the bottom with the back of a spoon or the bottom of a flat glass, and set that aside.

Put the water in a small glass and pour the gelatin powder on it, and let it hydrate. It won't take so
In a big bowl, put the yogurt and sugar and mix it with a wire whisk. Then add the cream cheese and keep beating until it becomes homogeneous. Don't bit so fast, we don't want to put so much air inside this mixture.
Once the gelatin is hard, place it into the microwave and warm it up a bit. It don't have to boil, so be careful. Gelatin powder needs some heat to activate.
Pour the water-gelatin mixture into the yogurt and cheese one, mix it very well.

Now pour everything in your cake tin, on the cookie base, cover with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge for at least, six hours, or at night.

Once is set, and you are prepare to dig in, cut the pomegranate in half. Hold one of the halves with your hand, seeds side down and smash the other side with a wooden spoon to release all the seeds in a bowl. Do the same with the other side. Once you've got all the seeds out, fill the bowl with water and move the seeds. All the dirt will float and the seeds will sink down to the bottom of the bowl. Let it rest for five minutes. Take the dirt out of the bowl, then pour the water out, and mix the red seeds with the brown sugar. Let it rest for some minutes while you prepare the cake.

Take the cake out of the fridge, unwrap it, and pass a thin knife or an offset spatula between the cake and the walls of the pan. Now you can open it and take the cake out.

Spoon your pomegranate seeds on the cake, and now it's done. You'll have a nice smooth and healthy dessert or breakfast.
You will love the whiteness of the cake and the contrast with the red seeds.

I hope you'll enjoy it.

lunes, 20 de octubre de 2014

Carrot Cupcakes

Well, I have to admit that I love every cake, cupcake, muffin, whatever thing with carrots.
When I was younger I thought it could not work. Carrots! They were in savory dishes!

A long time ago my mum prepared a nice Carrot Cake with Cream cheese Frosting and Nuts for a Cake Contest and she won the second prize. And I couldn't still believe why people thought carrots were something appropriate in a sweet cake.

But then everything changed.

I started baking and a friend told me he wanted a carrot cake because it was his favorite. And, as I am a nice friend, I made it.

And I ate it. Half of it. In ten minutes.

Now I can say that carrot cakes are my absolute favorite cakes. I always ask for it in cafés or bars, but I must say that the ones I make are the best! haha!

Today I'm going to show you how to make carrot cupcakes. They are decorated with a little bit of chocolate, just to find something different while eating it, but feel free to prepare a nice cream cheese frosting if you prefer them that way.

I don't care about the frosting here because what I am looking for is a nice and smooth flavor. And in this cupcakes there will be nice and warm spices. Of course, is autumn!

You can check this recipe here if you prefer the Spanish Version

Carrot Cupcakes

· 1 and 1/2 cups (185g) of all purpose flour
· 3/4 cups (150g) of white sugar
· 1/4 cup (50g) of brown sugar
· 1 cup (250g) of soft butter
· 2 eggs
· 3 carrots finely grated
· 1/3 cup (80ml) of milk
· 1 tsp (5ml) of vanilla extract
· 1 tsp (2g) of ground cinnamon
· 1/2 tsp (1g) of ground ginger
· 1/4 tsp (0.5g) of ground nutmeg
· 1 tsp (5ml) of orange zest
· 1 tsp (5ml) of baking powder
· A pinch of salt


As always, start preheating your oven to 180ºC or 350ºF.

In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour, salt, the spices, and the baking powder. Set that aside
In another bowl beat (by hand, with a hand mixer or a stand mixer) the butter with the two types of sugar until it becomes pale and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one at a time. Add then, the vanilla extract and the orange zest.

Now you have to add the dry ingredients in three times and the milk in two times, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Don't over mix the flour or the cupcakes won't rise up and become hard.

Transfer the batter into the cupcakes tin. You can use paper liners or just grease with butter and flour the holes. you choose.

Put them into the oven for 25 minutes. Check them out with a skewer, insert in the center of one of the cupcakes and if it comes out clean, they are all ready. If not, wait 3 to 5 minutes more.

Once you take them out of the oven, let them cool at room temperature. And prepare your topping. 
Here I make a very ease one. Just melt some chocolate with a splash of cream and pour over the cupcakes once they are cool enough. 

You can let the chocolate set a bit or eat the cupcake right now!

I hope you like them.

lunes, 13 de octubre de 2014

Apple Crumble

Hey guys!

How are you?

As you may know, autumn is the Apple Season, so today I'm going to show you how to prepare an easy an quick apple crumble.

Sometimes you need a sweet apple dessert, or in your breakfast, but an Apple Pie it's too much right now, you don't want to prepare the crust. Same with an Apple Tart.
But there is something easier and (maybe) even better!

This apple crumble mixes my favorite kinds of apple. The bright and green Granny Smith, the big and dark Red Delicious and the sweet Gala.
Mixing different kinds of apples allows you to adjust the sugar to your own preference. The tanginess of Granny Smith will balance the sweetness from Gala.

But, of course, you can use whatever you can get in your supermarket. Or even better if you can pick the apples from your own Apple Tree.

Prepare some vanilla ice cream to put on top of your crumble, or even this amazing Salted or Not Caramel Sauce (see the recipe in my spanish blog).

Let's get started!

Apple Crumble


        Crumble Topping
· 1/2 cup (65g) of all purpose flour
· 1/2 cup (100g) of brown sugar
· 6 tbsp 85g of cold butter
· 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
· 1/4 tsp of salt
· 1 cup of oats
· 1 cup of nuts (almonds, pecans, hazelnuts... you choose)

     Apple Filling
· 4 1/2 cups of apple pieces
· 2 tbsp of sugar
· 1 tsp of lemon juice
· 1 tsp of cornstarch 
· 1/8 tsp of salt
· 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon
· 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
· 1 tsp of ground ginger


You are going to love this recipe if you have never tried it.
First thing you have to do is preparing the crust. It consists on a Streusel topping with oats and nuts.
In a food processor combine the flour, salt, brown sugar and cinnamon for a few seconds. Then add the cold butter cut in small pieces. Cold butter mixes so much better into the flour. You have to pulse your processor until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pieces can be as big as peas, you won't get a a big clump of dough. Now is time to transfer the dough to a bowl and mix the oats and the nuts. You have to chop your nuts in little pieces and if you want a deeper flavor, you can place them into the oven for five minutes. The heat will bring the flavors up. Once you mix all together, place it into the fridge while preparing the apples.

Now it's time to start preheating the oven to 190ºC (375ºF).

For the apples, peel them and cut them into "half-moon" slices of 0.5cm (0.2 inches) of thickness. Place them into a big ball and add the rest of the ingredientes, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, salt and the three spices (if you want, you can also put 1/2 tsp of ground allspice). Mix them all together with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Make sure that the apples are very well covered with all the spices and cornstarch.

Two things to say. If you prefer your crumble with a little bit of juice on the bottom, just leave out the cornstarch as it will be a thickener. Second thing to say is a twist on this basic recipe, you an also add a cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to the apple mixture, I really love that.

Place the apples in your baking dish, casserole or pie dish, whatever you are using. Cover them with the crumble topping, don't leave any apple without topping. Make sure the whole surface is very well covered. It will help to bake the apples faster.

Place your baking dish into the oven, on the lower third of the oven, for 35 to 45 minutes. You will notice that is done when you can see bubbles around the edge of the dish and the crumble is brown.

Serve it in a little bowl with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top.


sábado, 4 de octubre de 2014

Swedish National Cinnamon Bun's Day!

Hi everybody! Today it's the perfect day to feel a bit more Swedish. Today is Cinnamon Bun's Day in Sweden and it is a must share this amazing recipe with all of you.
Because you have to know that I LOVE cinnamon buns, but I do love them even more if they also have cardamom.

And also this is a good opportunity to explain you something about yeast. This dough has active (alive) yeast in it, and there are some rules to follow when using it.

First thing you have to know are the different yeasts you can find in your supermarket.
There are two basic types, the "Fresh" one and the "Dry" one.

The Fresh type must be consumed in a very short period of time and be kept refrigerated because it is alive and is working. A good option to keep it safe, is freezing it. The low temperatures will slow down the yeast work and it last longer. Next time you will need it to prepare some delicious bread, buns or doughnuts, it has to be defrosted in the fridge. It cames wrapped in a cubic shape.

The Dry one is actually the same thing but dehydrated, so it doesn't need to be in the fridge to be kept. This type of yeast is more powerful than the fresh one and needs to be activated first before using it, but it only takes five minutes. It usually cames in envelopes, and it is grey and granulated.

The relation between dry and fresh (in grams):    5.5g of dry yeast = 14g of fresh yeast

Oh! Don't worry about living yeasts, they all die when temperature it's higher than 50ºC (122ºC)

Finally, the baking powder. This is also a rising agent but is not an alive one, so you cannot use it when you want to make doughs that needs to rest and rise for a long time.

And now it's time to start baking!

Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns


· 750g of plain flour
· 110g of white sugar
· 400ml of warm milk
· 110g of room temperature unsalted butter
· 14g of dry yeast
· ½ tsp (1g) of salt
· 2 tsp of ground cardamom
· 1 egg

· 110g of soften unsalted butter
· 45g of white sugar
· 45g of brown sugar
· 2tbsp of ground cinnamon

· 100g de icing sugar
· 2tbsp of water


Swedish Fika is coming!
Let's get started.
Put the milk with the ground cardamom in a saucepan, turn the heat on (medium heat) to infuse the milk with the cardamom flavors, and after a few minutes, add the butter until it melts completely. Don't let the temperature reach over 45ºC (113ºF). You have to be able to put a finger in it and don't burn yourself (be careful!).
Now that it is warm enough, you add the dry yeast to activate it. Of course with the heat off, you don't have to heat the mixture anymore. Remember that the yeast dies when temperature reaches 50ºC (122ºF).

While the activations happens, mix together in a big bowl the flour, the sugar, and the salt. Poke a hole in the middle to pour the saucepan mix in it. After pouring it, start moving with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula to incorporate all the wet ingredients until a ball of dough is formed.
At that point, transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for ten minutes. It will turn from a sticky dough into a smooth one. Try not to use so much flour while kneading it. To prevent from sticking, you can cover your hands with a neutral oil.

Once you get a smooth dough, paint with some oil the walls and bottom of a big bowl, put the ball of dough in it and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place (next to a sunny window or close to a radiator) and let it rest for two hours or until it doubles in volume. Don't put it inside the microwave (it will kill the yeasts). If the place where you place it is not warm enough, the yeast won't work properly.

When the dough is almost risen completely, in a bowl mix de ingredients of the feeling. Make sure the butter is at room temperature, it will allow you to create a paste with the sugar and cinnamon that it will be easy to spread. 

It is also the perfect moment to preheat the oven at 200ºC (400ºF).

Now, put the dough on a surface. You can floured a bit to prevent from sticking.
With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until you get a big rectangle. Spread the filling all over the dough, leaving clear 5cm at one of the long sides. This gap will help to glue the roll.

No it's time to make the roll. Start rolling from one of the long sides, doing in tightly. Keep rolling until you reach the other side. Paint the clear gap with beaten egg, and finish rolling. Now cut this long roll in pieces, between 12 and 16.

To bake them, you can arrange them into a baking pan with removable bottom, leaving a little space between them so they can grow while in the oven. You can also place them in a muffin tin.
Paint them with the beaten egg and put into the oven. Turn the temperature down, 190ºC (375ºF), and bake them for 25 minutes, until they get golden brown.

Take them out of the oven and let them cold at room temperature. 
Now make a glade mixing the water and the sugar until you get a nice consistency and drip it on the buns with a fork.

And now it's time to dig in!!!

Be sure you share them with more people or you'll fell so guilty after eating them all.