Thursday, 25 September 2014

Super-crusty Apple pie

My new running track in London goes right around one of the many beautiful green parks here. For most people this would rather be called a forest though, but I think "park" just sounds more british or sophisticated (in a good way!). And at one point I pass a beautiful small apple tree - it's not actually that huge or big old apple tree like, but it's like a miraculous spot right in the middle of an already magic area. I don't think I'll have to start much rambling about how much I love apples or apple trees - but as soon as the green gems start to get some colour going and urge to be picked I won't wait long to take the call!

We actually picked a lot of feral apples on a family trip to southern Germany back in August. And what do you do with all the apples? You may have guessed it: BAKE. SOME. CAKE. Sorry for being so direct with my point, but if you've got some buttery crust with juicy sweet apples - what's not to love? You don't aaaalways have to be as fancy and put them in a chocolate cake like here or sprinkle them into muffins like this - sometimes a simple and quick cake is all you need to go with your afternoon cup of coffee or tea. To remind you that simple things own some magic as well and that you can find it if you only let the magic in.

In this way, get your oven going and put those apples out there to a good use - happy baking everyone! :)

Super-crusty Apple Pie
makes one pie, 20 cm in diameter
For the filling:
- 6 apples, I used tart feral ones
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon
For the crust:
- 250g butter
- 180g sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 350g whole wheat flour
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp milk
For serving, optional:
- 200g whipping cream, whipped to desired consistency and optionally sweetened

1. Peel the apples and cut them into small cubes, mix with the sugar and cinnamon.
2. Preheat your oven to 175 °C/ 350 °F. In a medium sized bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar for about 2 minutes until creamy. Mix in the eggs, then work in the flour, cinnamon and salt.
3. Grease or line a 20 cm pan with parchment paper. Spread one half of the crust dough onto the bottom and the sides of the pan. Drain the excess liquid from the prepared apple filling and layer the apples onto the prepared dough. Top with rough pieces of the remaining dough and glaze with the milk.
4. Bake your pie for 45-60 minutes until crust is slightly browned and apples are fully cooked.
5. Remove from the oven, let sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Best served warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

 Today I'm bringing cookies for you guys (even if you can just watch them on your screen for now and "have" to bake them yourself). To be honest, I stared at a blank page for like two hours, typing, deleting and re-typing sentences for this recipe post. As I took the photos I had a wonderful post in mind about how chocolate-chunky, crispy and chewy these cookies are as well as super handy to take away for lunch boxes, trips or just to be easily enjoyed when the afternoon crisis hits.

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

As you may guess, things turned out differently, just having arrived in Great Britain not even two weeks ago I had to travel three countries, two timezones and three different currencies to get to a funeral, all within three days. Yes, things were rushed, so as I sat in yet another plane I finally had the time to type this post, as I was dreaming about having these Cookies instead of the mushy and dry airplane sandwich... Thus I also couldn't reply to numerous of your comments and questions on my last post - yes I'm doing an au-pair year abroad and combining this with food blogging might seem crazy, but hey, I'll happily admit that and keep posting - 'cause you've guessed it: I'll keep blogging, so be sure to stay tuned for heaps of recipes+photos! :D

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

A crisp crust meets huuuge (seriously, use big chocolate pieces, you won't regret it) chocolate chunks and a chewy centre, all packed up with a wholesome spelt-y touch - heya for all non-wheat and wheat eaters as well, these cookies will make your jaws drop (to insert another one ;-)).

Okay, things are still a little rushed round here, so I won't steal any more of your time and hand you out the recipe instead - happy baking and cookie eating everyone!!

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies
- makes about 20 cookies, depending on size
- 300g Whole Spelt Flour
- 100g Butter
- 100g Almond Butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
- 110g sugar
- optional: 1 tsp vanilla
- 220g dark chocolate chunks

1. Cream together the butter, almond butter and sugar - for about 2 minutes. Add in the egg, mix throughoutly then stir in the flour and salt (and optional vanilla). In the end quickly stir in the chocolate. Wrap dough in foil or cover the bowl and set it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 175 °C/350 °F. Get the dough out of the refrigerator, form into a sausage and cut it into slices approximately 5mm thick. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, at least 3cm apart.
3. Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes, until slightly browned, yet soft. Take them out of the oven, let cool on a wire rack and enjoy either still slightly warm or at room temperature.

Whole Spelt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday, 1 September 2014

Caramellized Cheesecakes - upside down

What do you do after school? Like seriously once you've graduated..? It feels like the whole wide world is open to you, which is the exciting side but then you may also doubt how some decisions can narrow your future possibilities (don't get me wrong here, I believe in the possibilitiy of 180° turns yet some people tell you different...).  So, I've graduated this summer and what's up next?

For the past four to five years I always knew that going abroad was what I wanted to do next. Over the years the idea of a gap year in an english speaking country took shape and was finally fixed a few months ago. As you read this chances are that I'm already in the capital of the UK as an au pair and can't waitto see what this year's got to offer!

Because I'm not the only one out of my close friends who is spending some time away from home, there's been quite a marathon of last-get-togethers and goodbye-parties, huh, they've been great and sad at the same time...

But let's draw the line straight to these caramellized upside down cheesecakes before I get to nostalgic - they were a paty favour thus I baked them in small individual muffin tins, but you can as well do it in one pan, just remember to increase the baking time! In a ranking they would achieve a "my-sister-almost-ate-all-before-I-could-bring-them-to-a-party"-voting. Good because that means that they're irresistible and an ironically good kind of bad, because they might disappear before serving time.

Judge whichever way you like, just make sure that you bake them - easy preparation and when you choose the muffin tins, they're on the table in less than 45 minutes! So happy baking everybody!

Caramellized Cheesecakes - upside down
- makes 15 individual sized cakes or one regular sized one
For the crust:
- 150g flour
- 100g butter
- 40g sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt

For the cheesecake:
- 500g cottage cheese
- 200g cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 60g sugar

For the caramel:
- 5 Tbsp Butter, melted
- 4 Tbsp brown sugar
- optional: 1 tsp cinnamon

1. Prepare the dough for the crust, by working all the ingredients together, set aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 160°C/320°F. For the cheesecake filling mix together both cheeses and the sugar, then stir in the beaten egg.
3. Mix the sugar with the spice, when using. Brush the bottom of your pan(s) with the melted butter, sprinkle with the sugar, then divide the cheesecake mixture on top or spoon it on all at once, when using just one pan.
4. For the later-to-be-bottom divide the crust dough on top just like a crumb topping.
5. Bake for 20-45 minutes depending on pan size. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes before inverting the cake(s) onto a plate. Allow for further cooling and enjoy!