Chocolate Praline Berry Tart

Time is running and we are leaving Denmark in less than two weeks! It has been a huge decision to leave family and friends and travel to the land of opportunities. Chris and I are quite different when it comes to leaving loved once behind to fulfill our own dreams and hopes for the future, but not once have we disagreed on this decision!

With only 10 days left, we have sold almost all of our kitchen tools so cooking can be quite challenging (and some days quite boring)!! We are used to cooking whatever we want on that particular day, but with a freezer that needs to be emptied and only few tool it takes a lot more kitchen creativity to get interesting and delicious food (I’m not saying that few ingredients and no tools = bad food, I’m just saying that my imagination is somewhere else these weeks, trying to figure where to live, how to buy a car (+ insurance), buying a phone etc.)

Even though the freezer and pantry is almost empty, there is still one ingredient that I have dozens of: CHOCOLATE. I always have lots of chocolate in the house, so that I can create delicious chocolate dreams all day and night if desired 😀 And today has been one of those days where I just wanted to celebrate the existence of world class chocolate, and bake something delicious and pretty for tonights marriage date! Thankfully I haven’t sold my pie dish yet, and I therefore decided to make this fabulous (and pretty) chocolate praline tart with strawberries. If you have trouble finding good strawberries, you can use other berries like raspberries or blueberries. Tonight I’ll serve the tart with a scoop of creamy home made vanilla ice cream, but but you can also serve it with sour cream or just as it is 🙂

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

1 cup flour

2/5 cup icing sugar 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 stick butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp. water

Pinch of salt

 

Praline Filling:

4/5 cup double cream

3 1/2 oz. dark chocolate chips (70%)

5 oz. hazelnuts, skinned and finely grounded

 

Topping:

10 oz. strawberries (or other berries)

10 scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)

 

Begin by making the pastry. Shift flour, icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt into a large mixing bowl and add the cold cubed butter. Use your fingers and rub all ingredients together until it looks like breadcrumbs. Then add egg yolk and water and mix well with your fingers until you can form a ball of dough. Cover the dough with plastic foil and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven at 360F and lightly grease a 9-inch pie dish. Place the dough between two pieces of baking paper and roll it out until it can cover the pie dish. Remove the baking paper and place the dough in the dish and trim the edges. Place one of the used pieces of making paper on top of dough and fill it with baking beans (you can also use rice or some other heavy thing, that prevents the dough from raising). Bake for 20 minutes before removing baking beans and baking paper. Bake for 15 more minutes. Place the baked pastry on a wire rack to cool.

Bring cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate chips. Let rest for 30 seconds before stirring. Add the hazelnut flour when all the chocolate is melted and stir to combine. Let thicken a bit before pouring it into the baked pastry and smooth with a spatula. Leave to cool completely.

Slice the berries (only you use strawberries – all other berries should be added whole, or at least I think so) and place them on top of the cooled chocolate tart.

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Serve immediately as it is or with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream :-

 

Bon Appetit!

 

Ingredients (8 servings)

125 g flour

50 g icing sugar 1 tbsp. cocoa powder

110 g butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg yolk

1 tsp. water

Pinch of salt

 

Praline Filling:

200 ml double cream

100 g dark chocolate chips (70%)

150 g hazelnuts, skinned and finely grounded

 

Topping:

300 g strawberries (or other berries)

10 scoops vanilla ice cream (optional)

Orange Cake with Chocolate chips and Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

This was my first ever orange cake, and I must admit that i am quite proud of myself. It looks good and tastes delicious – what more can one demand?

 

Ingredients (10 servings)

1 stick butter, room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 1/4 cup flour

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tbs. baking powder

1/4 tbs. salt

1/2 cup orange juice, fresh-squeezed

2 tbsp. orange zest

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I prefer to use Amedei Toscano Black 70%)

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

7 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tbsp. orange zest

 

In one bowl whisk together flour, salt and baking powder.

In another bowl whisk together butter and sugar until light and fluffy with an electric mixer, then add one egg at a time and whisk thoroughly between each egg. Now add vanilla extract and whisk again.

Shift in flour mixture i two batches, alternating with orange juice. Whisk until just combined and smooth. Fold in orange zest and chocolate chips (if your chocolate chips are big, you might want to chop then into smaller pieces).

Add half of the batter into a 6 inch greased springform pan and bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for about 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the cake from the springform. Do the same with the other half of the batter. Let both cakes cool completely.

When the two cakes are cooled down, whisk together cream cheese and half of the confectioners sugar. Then add one tbsp. sugar at a time until the frosting has the right texture. Whisk till the frosting is smooth and fluffy. Fold in 2/3 of the orange zest.

Add one forth of the frosting on top of one of the cakes, and spread it around and make sure that you get all the way to the cake edge. Take the other cake at put on top of the first one. Cover the whole cake with the rest of the cream cheese frosting and sprinkle the last 1/4 tbsp. orange zest on top.

 

Ingredients (10 servings)

113 g butter, room temperature

112 g granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

155 flour

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 tbs. baking powder

1/4 tbs. salt

1.25 dl orange juice, fresh-squeezed

2 tbsp. orange zest

50 g dark chocolate chips (I prefer to use Amedei Toscano Black 70%)

 

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

200 g cream cheese, room temperature

2.5 dl confectioners sugar

2 tbsp. orange zest

 

Banana and Blackberry Muffins with Browned Butter Glaze

Bananas is one of those wired fruits which you either love or hate. I out household we hate them, but due to their high level of carbohydrates I alway eat one after my training pass. Sunday evening I realized that I had bought new bananas without eating the old ones first, so I decided to use the old ones for some kind of cake. I never bake anything containing bananas so I did not have any recipes and I therefore had to ask my Facebook friends and search the web, and in the end it ended up the with a combination of several recipes 🙂

If you are more into chocolate than blackberries, you can of cause change that part of the recipe, but if you do that, I would recommend that you chop the chocolate and fold it into the batter instead of placing it in the middle, like the blackberries.

 

Ingredients (12 muffins)

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. soda

1 pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. honey

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

2 large bananas, ripe

45 blackberries, fresh or frozen

 

Glaze:

1 stick butter

1/4 cup sugar

 

Place bananas in a bowl ans mash well. Set aside while preparing the rest.

Shift flour, baking powder, soda, salt cinnamon and nutmeg into a bowl. Add sugar and mix well. In a second bowl, with a folk, beat together eggs, vanilla extract, honey, butter and milk.

Add the bananas to the egg mixture and stir to combine. Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture in three steps, folding gently between each.

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Line standard muffins tins with paper liners. Fill each paper line with 1 tsp. of the banana batter. Then place 4 blackberries in the middle of the batter. Then add another tsp. of the batter. Make sure that the blackberries are fully covered with banana batter.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes or until at toothpick comes out clean. Let rest in muffin tins for 5 minutes and then 5 minutes in a wire rack.

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While cooling, melt the butter in a saucepan and let brown lightly (be careful not to burn). Transfer to a small bowl – same diameter as the muffins. Dip the top of the cupcakes in the browned butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Serve immediately with a cup of good quality coffee or hot chocolate 🙂

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredienser (12 cupcakes)

75 g smør, smeltet

250 gram hvedemel

1 tsk. bagepulver

1/2 tsk. natron

1 knivspids salt

1/2 tsk. stødt kanel

1/2 tsk. stødt muskatnød

115 gram sukker

1 tsk. vanilje ekstrakt

1 tsk. honning

2 store banner, modne

2 æg

1.25 dl mælk

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Berries

Yesterday a friend of mine turned 30 and she asked if I could make her a cake. She did not have any preferences other than CHOCOLATE, so I went for a day wondering what to make. First I wanted to make a chocolate cake with strawberry mousse, but the strawberry season is long gone, meaning that the taste of the berries are gone. So instead I decided to make this chocolate cake covered in whipped cream with crushed chocolate meringue cookies. Making the cake made me totally peckish, but unfortunately we was unable to take part in her birthday – DAMN! But but but that only gives me a reason to make the cake once more 🙂

 

Ingredients (12 servings)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/8 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 sticks butter

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1/2 cup dark quality chocolate (70%)

 

2 cups cream

2 cups chocolate meringue cookies, crushed

20 strawberries

20 raspberries

1/4 cup dark quality chocolate (70%), chopped

 

Melt butter and sugar in a sauce pan. Stir to combine. When melted and combined, transfer to a mixing bowl and whisk at medium speed until cooled (takes 5-10 minutes).

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

When the butter and sugar mixture is cooled, add one egg at a time and whisk between each. Then add vanilla extract.

Shift in flour mixture in four batches, alternating with the sour cream, and whisk until just combined. Add the melted chocolate and gently fold it into the batter with a rubber spatula.

Add the batter to a springform pan and bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean in the middle of the cake. Let cool for 20 minutes before loosening the edges of the cake with a butter knife (but do not remove in from the springform). Let cool completely before removing the cake from the springform pan.

Slice the cake into 3 equally thick pieces. I do not have a tool to do it with, so I just use a piece of wire, which works very well.

Whisk the cream until it gets soft peaks. Then whisk a little bit more, but be careful not to over whisk and turn it into butter! It just needs to be thick enough to cover the cake without running off. Add the crushed chocolate meringue cookies when the whipped cream has reached the wanted consistency. Fold until combined.

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Place the bottom of the three cake slices on a cake stand. Spread 1/2 cup of whipped cream onto the cake in an equally thick layer all the way around. Slice 10 strawberries and place them on top of the whipped cream. Sprinkle with half of the chopped chocolate. IMG_1183

Place the middle-slice of the cake on top and repeat the procedure, but replace the strawberries with half of the raspberries. Then top of the cake with the last slice.

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Cover with the remaining whipped cream and decorate with berries. Serve with a good cup of coffee 🙂

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Bon Appétit!

 

Ingredienser (12 stykker)

0.6 dl usødet kakaopulver

2.8 dl sukker

3.5 dl mel

1 tsk. bagepulver

1 tsk. natron

1 tsk. salt

172 g smør

2 store æg, stue temperatur

1 spsk vanille ekstrakt

2.5 dl creme fraiche

75 g mørk kvalitets chokolade (70%), smeltet

 

0.5 liter piskefløde

5 dl rutebiler, knuste

20 jordbær

20 hindbær

0.6 dl mørk kvalitets chokolade (70%), hakket

 

God fornøjelse venner 🙂

Triple Chocolate Cheese Cake

Friday was my last day as research assistant at University of Southern Denmark. I was employed at the university during my Master studies in public health and stayed as research assistant after I graduated in April 2012. It was three great years where I developed many skills – both professionally and personally, but now it is time to move on and try something new 🙂

During the three year I have put my colleagues through at least 50-75 different cake recipes (especially in the months before our wedding) so of cause it was expected of me to bring a cake on my last day. A favorite of my own is a traditional cheese cake, but I have always (since I learned to eat cheese cake) wanted to bake a chocolate cheese cake and now I wonder why I did not do that earlier in my baking career. It was nothing less than WONDERFUL!

I found the recipe in an old Taste of Home Magazine, and made a few changes to fit what I had in the pantry that day. In the recipe I have written ‘quality chocolate’, and definitely believe that you should go and buy the best chocolate that you can find when making this cake, as the taste of chocolate is as intense as it is. Personally I always use chocolate from Amedei due to the fabulous taste and the fact the it is both gluten free and without any additives. It might seem expensive, but I promise you that you will get what you pay for – the best chocolate in the world (several of the products has won the Golden Bean Award, so I am not kidding when I promise you the best chocolate in the world).

As a new service to our European/Danish readers, I have converted all measures to the metric system. This can be found in the bottom of the post.

 

Ingredients (16 servings)

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp. baking cocoa

2 tbsp. sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling

32 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/3 cups sugar

10 oz. dark quality chocolate (70%), melted and cooled

1/4 cup baking cocoa

4 eggs (lightly beaten), room temperature

 

Ganache

3.5 oz. dark quality chocolate (63%)

1/3 cup cream

1 tbsp. butter

Berries for decoration

 

Cover the outside of an 9-inch springform pan in a double layer tin foil.

In a small mixing bowl, combine graham crumbs, cocoa powder and 2 tbsp. sugar. Stir in the melted butter. Press onto bottom of prepared springform pan and bake for at 350F for 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Cheese Cake 1_Fotor_Collage

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and the remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in cooled chocolate and cocoa. Add eggs and beat until combined. Pour over the cooled crust.

Place springform pan in a large baking pan and add 1 inch of boiling water to larger pan.

Bake at 350F for 60 minutes or until center is just set and the top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath and remove the tin foil. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes before you loosen the edges from pan with a knife. Let cool on the wire rack for one more hour. Refrigerate overnight.

Chocolate Cheese Cake 2_Fotor_Collage

Take the cake out of the fridge 2-3 hours before serving to make sure that it reaches room temperature (if the cake is served cooled it feels heavier and the taste of chocolate is not as intense as you want it to be).

For ganache, place chocolate in a small bowl together with cream and butter. Place over a saucepan with simmering water and let melt slowly. Stir occasionally until smooth. Cool to reach a spreading consistency.

Remove the cake from the springform pan and place on an appropriate cake stand. Spread ganache over cake just before serving.

Decorate with berries and serve with a good quality vanilla ice cream and a good glass of bubbles 🙂

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On the picture below I have replaced the ganache with whipped cream which works just as well as the ganache 🙂

Chocolate Cheese Cake 3_Fotor_Collage

Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (16 servings):

5 dl graham cracker crumbs

1 tbsp. baking cocoa

2 tbsp. sugar

1 1/4 dl butter, melted

Filling

900 g cream cheese, room temperature

3.2 dl sugar

300 g dark quality chocolate (70%), melted and cooled

0.6 dl baking cocoa

4 eggs (lightly beaten), room temperature

Ganache

100 g dark quality chocolate (63%)

75 g cream

1 tbsp. butter

Berries for decoration

Lime and Coco Milk Cupcakes

I am at the moment writing on a scientific article comparing two surgical techniques and such work definitely needs a cake or two 🙂 I’ve been working on the project for 7 month and are finally beginning to see the end of it!

Today the writing went well and I decided to reward myself with a cupcake experiment. The choice of lime and coco milk came from a quick look in our pantry, that among other things contained a lot of limes a single can of coco milk. Unfortunately the coco milk was a light version (only 8% fat) and the taste of coco was not as strong as I had wished, so next time, I will definitely use a full-fat version.

If your are not a fan of lime you can use lemon instead, but I will recommend that you try it with lime first as it is a perfect match for coco milk 🙂 Hope that you will love them as much as I already does.

 

Ingredients (16 cupcakes)

1 stick butter, room temperature

1 cup + 1 tbsp. granulated sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups of flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup coco milk

1 lime, zest and juice

 

Frosting

1 pound cream cheese, room temperature

1 lime, juice

4 tbsp. confectioners sugar

2 limes for decoration

 

Place butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the eggs one at time and whisk until incorporated. then add the vanilla extract.

Combined flour, baking powder and salt in another mixing bowl. Add the flour mixture to the butter and eggs mixture alternating with the coco milk, lime juice and zest. Scrape the sides of the bowl again, if necessary. Only whisk until the batter is combines. Over-whisking the batter might ruin the end result, as the fluffiness of the batter will disappear.

Line standard muffins tins with paper liners. Fill each paper line with 1 tbsp. of the batter and bake at 400F for approximately 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

 

Frosting

Place all three ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth and fluffy. Put the frosting in a piping bag with your favorite piping tip (this one is a 1/-inch round pipe) and decorate the cakes.

Cut the limes into thin slices and place slice on top of the frosting and press it slightly down.

Serve for afternoon coffee or as a dessert for girl night 🙂

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (16 cupcakes)

113 g butter, room temperature

225 g granulated sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

1 tsp. vanilla extract

250 g flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1.25 dl coco milk

1 lime, zest and juice

 

Frosting:

450 g cream cheese, room temperature

1 lime, juice

4 tbsp. confectioners sugar

2 limes for decoration

 

Peach Cobbler

The weather here in Denmark are quite rainy today. Within the last two hours we have had both cloudbursts and thunder :-/

So what to do on such a rainy and sad wednesday afternoon? Well, I went into the kitchen and the first thing catching my eyes were some delicious peaches and I decided to make peach cobblers – a great southern dessert that reminds me of the rainy days in Atlanta, GA 🙂

Hopefully Chris will get exited when he opens the front door, after a 10 hour drive from Norway, and smells the sweetness from the warm peaches together with a cup of hazelnut coffee.

 

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

8-10 peaches

3 tbsp. honey

1 lemon, zest

1 stick butter

1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp. apple juice

1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped

1 cup sour cream/vanilla ice cream

 

Cut the peaches in half and remove the stone. Cut each half into 4 pieces and place in a mixing bowl with honey and lemon zest. Use your fingers mix. Transfer the peach mix to an ovenproof dish and bake at 300F for 10 minutes.

Chop the cold butter and mix it with sugar and flour. Mix until it look like small sand seeds. Assemble the dough with the cold apple juice and add the chopped hazelnuts. Crumble the dough out on top of the baked peaches and bake at 350F for additional 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden.

Serve warm with cold sour cream or vanilla ice cream 🙂

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (4-6 servings)

8-10 peaches

3 tbsp. honey

1 lemon, zest

113 g butter

2.5 dl flour

55 g sugar

3 tbsp. apple juice

0.8 dl hazelnuts, chopped

2.5 sour cream/vanilla ice cream