Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Chocolate chip cookies with oats

Cookies com pedaços de chocolate e aveia / Chocolate chip cookies with oats

I made these cookies last week and the inspiration was something very simple: while I was grabbing a can of chickpeas in the cupboard to make a soup, I saw the jar of oats right next to it, and thought that I hadn’t baked cookies in a very long time. Some more searching through the bags, jars and cans and I found some very good dark chocolate begging to be used.

It is a simple cookie but the bitterness of the chocolate really makes it. There is not a lot of oats in the recipe, but I do feel virtuous eating my cookies and thinking that they have a little bit of goodness in them, from the oats and from the chocolate. These days, isolated and feeling blue, thinking positive is one of the things I try to do the most.

Chocolate chip cookies with oats
slightly adapted from Donna Hay

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (44g) rolled oats
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (116g) light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
Place the butter, sugars and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Add the egg and beat until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low speed just until incorporated and a dough forms. Fold through the chocolate pieces.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for about 14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 28 cookies

Monday, June 22, 2020

Anthill orange yogurt cake

Bolo formigueiro de laranja e iogurte

Those of you who follow the news about Brazil probably know that the situation here is completely chaotic: not only we have to deal with a virus, we also have to deal with a psychopath in the presidency of the country. It has not been easy to keep sane.

I have found solace in the kitchen, cooking and baking, trying to make my days a little bit lighter and happier. I made this cake last week, using again the Epicurious’ yogurt cake as base and it turned out amazing: super tender, perfumed with orange, delicious. I added chocolate sprinkles in order to turn the cake into an anthill cake, a popular cake in Brazil.

I hope you like the recipe much as I did.

Anthill orange yogurt cake
slightly adapted from Epicurious

1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
¾ cup (180g) plain yogurt – I used sheep’s milk yogurt
½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil – I used canola
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

Preheat oven to 180C/350°F. Lightly brush a 6-cup capacity loaf pan with oil, line it with baking paper and then brush the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and orange zest and rub together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Fold in reserved dry ingredients, keeping 1 tablespoon reserved, just to blend – if batter is too lumpy, whisk for a few seconds. Stir the chocolate sprinkles into the reserved flour mixture, then fold everything into the batter.
Pour the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully and using the paper as a guide, remove cake from pan and transfer to the rack to cool completely.

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Ratatouille calzones

Calzones de ratatouille / Ratatouille calzones

Last week I told Joao that for the weekend I wanted to make something different for lunch: I was not in the mood for pasta or for the good old rice and beans combo, and I definitely wanted to try my hands at a new recipe.

Going through the vegetables in my fridge I found one eggplant, one zucchini, a couple of carrots and that was it: not much to choose from. So I kept the carrots for some other time and used the eggplant and the zucchini to make a sort of ratatouille, adding tomato paste and olive to make the mixture more interesting. Mixed with cheese it became the filling for these calzones and I bring you this recipe with a very proud smile: the calzones turned out so good!

Apparently going through the crisper drawer might be a good creative exercise. :D

The recipe yields 8 large calzones, which is too much for the both of us for one meal, so I froze the remaining calzones and we ate them for dinner yesterday. If you want to do the same, just wait for the calzones to cool completely, wrap in foil and place them in a plastic bag, sealing well. Once the calzones are thawed, 10 minutes in a hot oven are enough to make them delicious again.

Calzones de ratatouille / Ratatouille calzones

Ratatouille calzones
own recipe

Dough:
2 teaspoons dried yeast
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups (300ml) lukewarm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons table salt

Filling:
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
½ small onion, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 medium zucchini (240g), in 1cm-cubes
1 medium eggplant (300g), in 1cm-cubes
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry white wine
10 large black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 ½ cups (150g) coarsely grated yellow mozzarella*
3 tablespoons coarsely grated parmesan
2 teaspoons dried oregano

After assembling the calzones:
olive oil, for brushing
finely grated parmesan, for sprinkling over the calzones

Start with the dough: in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the yeast, sugar and water with a fork. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, flour and salt and mix for 6-8 minutes or until a soft and elastic dough forms. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size – mine proved for 90 minutes.

In the meantime, make the filling: heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring occasionally until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant – do not let it burn or it will get bitter. Stir in zucchini, eggplant and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are softer. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes – it is important to cook it thoroughly to avoid the raw tomato aftertaste. Add the wine and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the olives. Remove from the heat, cool completely, discard the bay leaf and then stir in the cheeses and the oregano.

Preheat the oven to 420°F/220°C. Have ready two large baking sheets.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts – each will be around 100g (3 ½ oz.). Roll out each portion of dough on a lightly floured surface until you get a rough 25cm (10in) circle. Place about ½ cup of the filling on one side of the dough and fold the other half over, pinching the seams well to keep the filling inside – since vegetables can vary in size, if you have a scale weigh the filling and divide it equally in 8 portions. Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling. Place the calzones onto the sheets and brush them with the olive oil and sprinkle with the parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve immediately.

* the yellow mozzarella I used is not like fresh mozzarella balls, therefore it does not release too much liquid. Replace by cheddar or something similar texture wise.

Makes 8

Monday, June 8, 2020

Lime olive oil pound cake

Bolo de azeite e limão / Lime olive oil pound cake

During this isolation period, I have not made too many sweets: my husband is not into them very much and I don’t want to end up eating it all myself. I do search for some chocolate when anxiety comes hard on me, I must confess, but having to deal with an entire cake before it goes stale might be tricky.

So in almost 3 months at home I have baked 3 cakes so far, one being the yogurt marble cake I shared with you weeks ago. I felt like baking another cake last week, but didn’t have time to wait for the butter to soften (and I don’t have a microwave oven to speed up the process). So I made Alice Medrich’s pound cake with olive oil and it was not only easy to put together but it turned out tender and delicious. I could have used sherry, as the original recipe calls for, but I wanted a recipe that more people could make during these times, so I adapted it a little bit and replaced the booze with milk. A little lime zest and a pinch of nutmeg made it all even better.

Lime olive oil pound cake
adapted from the sherry and olive oil pound cake on this book

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125g) sugar
finely grated zest of 2 limes
150ml flavorful extra virgin olive oil
3 cold eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
150ml whole milk, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour an 8-cup capacity Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine sugar and lime zest and rub with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the oil and beat until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is thick and pale, 3-5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Stop the mixer and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until blended. Stop the mixer and add ½ of the milk, then beat just until it is blended. Repeat with another third of the flour, followed by the remaining milk, and then the remaining flour.

Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for about 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and cool completely.

Serves 8-10

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Apple crumble with corn flour and orange and my eating habits during quarantine

Crumble de maçã com fubá e laranja / Apple crumble with corn flour and orange

I don’t know about you guys, but during this quarantine my eating habits have varied a lot: breakfast with homemade bread and fruit, followed by lunch, also homemade, the very Brazilian combo of rice & beans with vegetables on the side, and sometimes beef or chicken (usually once or twice a week, tops). When it comes to dinner… my will power is usually gone.

Some days I make soup, some days I make a hearty salad with beans and eggs, but there are days I crave food that makes me feel hugged – that is when my dinner becomes pizza (homemade, because I am too afraid to order), or a nice loaf of bread with cheeses and some wine. If there are avocados dinner is guacamole. And on top of all that my cravings for sweets are now daily, and no longer only during my PMS days.

In the very few times I went out for groceries I brought home some chocolate, but my stash sometimes vanishes in no time at all. In one of those days I was desperate for something sweet I used one apple that had been in the fridge forever to make a crumble, my favorite dessert. To make the recipe a little bit more interesting, I replaced the all purpose flour with corn flour (finer than cornmeal, but this would also work) and added orange zest – it turned out delicious!

I share the recipe with you today and I hope you like it as much as I did – I am sure this crumble topping would also be delicious with other fruit, like bananas or pears: use whatever you have at hand.

Apple crumble with corn flour and orange
own recipe

Crumble topping:
2 tablespoons demerara sugar – I use it for the crunch, but it can be replaced by granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 orange
½ cup (70g) corn flour – it is finer than cornmeal, but the latter works just as fine
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
2 ½ tablespoons (35g) unsalted butter, cold and diced
¼ cup (22g) rolled oats

Filling:
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Have ready two 1-cup capacity each heatproof bowls.

Topping: in a medium bowl, rub together the sugar and orange zest until sugar is fragrant. Add the corn flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and rub the ingredients with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. With a fork, stir in the oats. Freeze the mixture while you prepared the apples: peel and core the apples. Cut them into small dice and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and stir to coat. Divide the apples between the two dishes and sprinkle with the crumble topping. Bake for about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

The crumble topping might be frozen for up to 1 month in a tightly sealed plastic bag.

Serves 2

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Yogurt marble cake

Bolo mármore de iogurte

Hello everyone – it makes me really happy that after all this time without posting here there are still people who read me. Thank you. <3


I haven’t baked much lately, for now I have no one to share the baked goods with – my husband does not like sweets and I don’t want to end up eating everything myself… But I felt like baking a cake these days and even Joao had two slices of this cake – he told me it paired perfectly with an espresso. Success! :)

I used sheep milk yogurt because of my lactose intolerance, but feel free to use regular yogurt instead, like the original recipe calls for. The cake turned out moist, tender and delicious.


Bolo mármore de iogurte

Yogurt marble cake
slightly adapted from Epicurious

1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (180g) plain yogurt – I used sheep milk yogurt
½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil – I used canola
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

Preheat oven to 180C/350°F. Lightly brush a 6-cup capacity loaf pan with oil, line it with baking paper and then brush the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, yogurt, oil, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Fold in reserved dry ingredients just to blend – if batter is too lumpy, whisk for a few seconds.
Pour half of the batter into another bowl and to this half add the cocoa powder and stir to combine. Pour both batters into the prepared pan, alternating the colors to get a nice marbled effect. With a small spatula or blunt knife, swirl the batters slightly. Smooth the top and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean.
Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Carefully and using the paper as a guide, remove cake from pan and transfer to the rack to cool completely.

The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Serves 8

Monday, September 3, 2018

Yogurt passion fruit cake

Bolo de iogurte e maracujá / Yogurt passion fruit cake

I have not posted on this blog in such a long time I wonder if there is still anyone around. Life is hectic and I no longer have time to write each recipe in two different languages, therefore I have focused on my blog written in Portuguese (and even there I have not been able to post regularly).

Cakes are probably my favorite thing to bake and that is why I bring you a cake recipe today, after all this time: it is adapted from several different recipes that are prepared using the yogurt empty package. Since those can vary quite a lot from one place to the other, I have used measuring cups/grams in order to make the recipe work for everyone, no matter where they live. I added passion fruit pulp with the seeds because I love how beautiful they make the cake look, but if you don’t like them just strain the pulp before using it in the recipe.

Yogurt passion fruit cake
adapted from several different recipes

Cake:
2 ¼ cups (315g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ cup plain whole milk yogurt
¾ cup (180ml) canola oil
2 ¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) passion fruit pulp, with the seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Syrup:
¼ cup (60ml) passion fruit pulp, with the seeds
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon just until smooth – do not overmix or the cake will be tough.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack.

In those 20 minutes, make the syrup: place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook for further 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is syrupy. Brush the hot syrup over the warm cake. Cool completely and serve.

Serves 10-12

Monday, April 16, 2018

Brownies with white chocolate and raspberries

Brownies with white chocolate and raspberries / Brownies com framboesa e chocolate branco

I think that whenever inspiration fails me when I want to bake something I bake brownies: I can’t think of any other baked good that is a hit with pretty much everyone I know. Not to mention that I absolutely love brownie batter: when I could still eat dairy I would always leave some batter left in the bowl for my own moment of happiness while the brownies were in the oven. :)

The brownies I bring you today combine the tart flavor of raspberries with the sweetness of white chocolate: nothing like sour or citrus kick to make white chocolate even more special. However, raspberries go well with all kinds of chocolates, so I have made this exact same recipe using both milk and dark chocolate chips to replace the white chocolate and it worked like a charm.

Brownies with white chocolate and raspberries
own recipe

¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
1 cup (90g) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup (46g) all purpose flour
pinch of salt
¾ cup (75g) frozen raspberries, unthawed
100g white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) square pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang on two opposite sides, and butter the foil as well.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugars, cocoa and vanilla, followed by the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Fold in the flour and salt. Fold in raspberries and white chocolate.

Spread batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack. Cut into squares to serve.

Makes 16

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Peanut butter and chocolate chip bars

Peanut butter and chocolate chip bars / Barrinhas de manteiga de amendoim e chocolate

Lately I have been using peanut butter as a way of increasing my protein intake: I buy the natural type made with roasted peanuts only and add a spoonful to smoothies and such.

That reminded me of these bars I made ages ago, when I bought natural peanut butter for the first time. The jar seemed to last too long and I wanted to make something delicious with it. These bars are easy to put together and peanut and chocolate are a match made in heaven.

Peanut butter and chocolate chip bars
own recipe, inspired by several others

1 cup (300g) natural peanut butter
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups (175g) icing sugar, sifted
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (125g) dark chocolate chips
½ cup (70g) toasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line a 20x30cm (8x12in) baking pan with foil and lightly butter it.

In a food processor, process the peanut butter, sugars, butter, baking soda, salt, egg and vanilla until creamy. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the chocolate chips and peanuts. Press dough into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges (the center will still be soft).

Cool completely over a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Makes 24

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Cornmeal, coconut and marmalade cake

Cornmeal, coconut and marmalade cake / Bolo de fubá, coco e geleia de laranja

I bought Ottolenghi’s beautiful book ages ago and if I am not mistaken the first recipe I made from it was the semolina, coconut and marmalade cake – it is delicious and the recipe yields two cakes: you can enjoy one while making other people’s day better sharing the second loaf.

One day I wanted to make this cake again, however I did not have any semolina at home. I decided then to use corn flour instead and it worked beautifully. Feel free to use one or the other.

Cornmeal, coconut and marmalade cake
slightly adapted from the wonderful Jerusalem

Cake:
¾ cup (180ml) sunflower oil
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 cup (240ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
160g orange marmalade
3 large eggs
70g granulated sugar
70g unsweetened desiccated coconut
90g all purpose flour
180g fine corn flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt

Soaking syrup:
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
140ml water
1 tablespoon orange blossom water

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Whisk together the oil, orange zest and juice, marmalade, and eggs until the marmalade dissolves. In a separate bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until well combined. The mixture should be runny.
Butter or brush with oil, line two 1-lb loaf pans (8½x4½ in/22x11cm) with baking paper and butter the paper as well. Divide the filling evenly between them. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in a cake comes out clean and the tops turn an orangey brown.

Near the end of the baking time, place the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, start brushing them with the hot syrup using a pastry brush; you’ll need to do this in a few goes, allowing the syrup to soak in for a minute or two before you carry on brushing with more syrup. Make sure you use up all the syrup and it is all absorbed into the cakes.
Cool completely on the pans over a wire rack.

Makes 2 cakes

Friday, March 23, 2018

Rye chocolate chip financiers

Rye chocolate chip financiers / Financiers de centeio com gotas de chocolate

Financiers are one of my downfalls: petite, delicate, but full of flavor, they are a great way of using leftover egg whites. I have been trying to make them using olive oil instead of butter, but the texture was a bit off, so more tests are necessary.

The recipe I bring you today is from ages ago (when I could still eat butter) and it is delicious: the rye flour makes the financiers a little bit heavier on texture, yet flavorsome, and the flavor of the rye flour goes really well with chocolate.

Rye chocolate chip financiers
own recipe

85g almond meal
¾ xícara (105g) icing sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons (30g) all purpose flour, sifted
3 tablespoons (30g) fine rye flour, sifted
pinch of salt
5 large egg whites
85g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (85g) dark chocolate chips

In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, icing sugar, all purpose flour, rye flour and salt. Whisk in the egg whites. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth, then fold in the chocolate chips. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter ten 100ml-capacity molds or mini muffin pans.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the top. Divide the berries among the pans, placing them on top of the batter and pushing them slightly into the batter. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and risen – a skewer in the center should come out clean.
Cool in the pans over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold and transfer to the rack, cooling completely.

Financiers are tastier on the day they are made, however they can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days

Makes 10

Monday, March 12, 2018

Simple breakfast bread (dairy free)

Simple breakfast bread / Pão de forma do meu jeito

I wanted a bread recipe I could make sandwiches with, turn into toast for breakfast, and do everything we do with packaged white bread. I no longer buy that and most of the homemade versions I found called for milk or butter (or both). I thought of making Kim Boyce’s oatmeal bread, which is delicious, replacing the butter with olive oil, but the making of that recipe is not as straightforward as I needed it to be.

I reached out to King Arthur Flour’s website and I bring you my take on their white breakfast bread: a bit of whole meal flour, a bit of oats, no dairy. It is not a light bread and I like it that way, but the big surprise came when my 3-yeard old nephew saw the bread cooling on the counter and asked for some. I gave him a tiny piece, so sure that he would not enjoy such a dense kind of bread, but he devoured it in seconds and asked for seconds (and thirds). :)

Simple breakfast bread
slightly adapted from here

1 1/3 cups (320ml) lukewarm water
1 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
1 tablespoon demerara sugar – for the caramel flavor; use granulated if you prefer
½ tablespoon honey
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) whole wheat flour
1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoons table salt

Place the water, yeast, sugar and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Whisk with a fork and set aside until foamy. Add the olive oil, flours, oats and salt and knead for 8-10 minutes until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Transfer to a large bowl brushed with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to prove for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Brush with olive oil a 5-cup capacity loaf pan. Punch the dough to remove the excess of air and transfer to a slightly floured surface. Roll into a large rectangle, then fold it like a letter and fit into the prepared pan. Cover and set aside to prove again for 1 hour – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown – bread should sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack to cool. Cool completely.

Makes about 10 slices

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies / Cookies de aveia, limão siciliano e passas

Days ago I was thinking (again) of certain ingredients and why they are so hated: aside from coconut and cilantro, I can’t think of anything that divides people as much as raisins do – at least here in Brazil. Every December there are hundreds of memes on Facebook and Twitter of either people saying how much they hate raisins and begging others not to add them to the Christmas dishes or people saying how much they love them, “please add raisins to everything”. It is crazy. :)

I like raisins and have nothing against them, but have to say I prefer them on sweet dishes rather than savory ones. In cookies they work beautifully and here, combined with lemon and oats, make them even more delicious.

Lemon and raisin oatmeal cookies
own recipe

¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (58g) light brown sugar, packed
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups (120g) rolled oats
1 cup (150g) raisins – use golden raisins if you prefer

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub sugars and lemon zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and beat until creamy and light – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Add the flour mixture and the oats at once and mix on slow only until a dough forms. Stir in the raisins.

Roll 2 leveled tablespoons of dough per cookie into balls and place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 20

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Banana muffins with cashew nut streusel

Banana muffins with cashew nut streusel / Muffins de banana com farofinha de castanha de caju

Usually making baked goods with bananas is not easy at my house because my husband and I like the fruit so much we end up eating all the bananas before they get ripe enough for baking. However, when the weather is too hot (as it is currently) they get ripe overnight – these muffins are a great way to use them up.

I developed this recipe a long time ago, when I was still working on the book project. Lately I have been making it without the streusel (because of my lactose intolerance) and the muffins taste great anyway. However, if you can, make the muffins with the streusel because it makes them extra special.

Banana muffins with cashew nut streusel
own recipe

Streusel:
½ cup (70g) all purpose flour
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of table salt
5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter, cold and diced
2/3 cup unsalted cashew nuts, finely chopped

Muffins:
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 small very ripe bananas
¾ cup (150g) demerara sugar – used for color and caramel flavor; can be replaced with granulated sugar
½ cup (120ml) canola oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a 12-hole muffin with paper cases.

Streusel: in a small bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Using a fork, stir in the cashew nuts. Refrigerate while you make the muffin batter.

Muffins: in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Stir in the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until incorporated – do not overmix or your muffins will be tough. Divide the batter evenly among the paper cases and sprinkle the top with the streusel, pressing lightly with your fingers to make it stick to the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted on the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully unmold and transfer to the rack. Serve lukewarm or at room temperature.

Makes 12

Friday, January 19, 2018

Flourless chocolate peanut cake

Chocolate peanut cake (gluten free) / Bolo de chocolate e amendoim (sem farinha de trigo)

This morning I joked on Instagram that this week feels like it lasted 45 days already – I am completely exhausted and very happy it is Friday. \0/ To celebrate it, I bring you a recipe that is perfect for the weekend: a moist, delicious and almost creamy chocolate cake, to be served with whipped cream or ice cream.

This cake is similar to this one, which is also gluten free, however it is more flavorsome and moist. The recipe is easy to make and calls for peanuts, a very Brazilian and cheap ingredient that goes really well with chocolate.

Flourless chocolate peanut cake
own recipe

200g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, finely chopped
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, chopped
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (65g) peanut meal – very finely ground peanuts
pinch of salt
whipped cream or ice cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 20cm (8in) round cake pan with a removable bottom, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter it as well.

In a large bowl, put chocolate and butter and melt them over a saucepan of barely simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Add the sugar and whisk well. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk in the vanilla.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in the peanut meal and salt. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes or until the top of the cake is opaque que a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out still moist. Cool completely over a wire rack. Carefully remove from the pan and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Serves 8-10

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Roasted garlic pecorino focaccia

Roasted garlic pecorino focaccia / Focaccia de alho assado e pecorino

I can say that after the lovely Ina my favorite Food Network presenter is Rachael Ray – she is fun and her food always looks good – even though most of the times her portions look too generous to me. :)

She constantly says how much she loves garlic and I always relate to that: I have a heavy hand with it comes to adding garlic to my food and usually double the amount requested in recipes (maybe that is why both my husband and I rarely have colds). And don’t even get me started on roasted garlic: I just love the stuff so much I had to mix it into a focaccia dough. It turned out delicious, but if you are not a fan of bold flavors you can tone this down by adding half the amount of garlic and replacing the pecorino with parmesan.

Roasted garlic pecorino focaccia / Focaccia de alho assado e pecorino


Roasted garlic pecorino focaccia
own recipe

For the roasted garlic:
1 large head of garlic, whole
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Dough:
2 teaspoons dried yeast
¼ teaspoon granulated sugar
300ml lukewarm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a little extra to drizzle over the focaccia
3 cups (455g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup finely ground pecorino
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the whole head of garlic in the center of a medium piece of foil. Drizzle with the olive oil and close the ends of the paper, pressing them together so the oil does not leak. Place the foil package in a small baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes or until garlic is tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. When garlic is cold, remove the pulp from the skins and mash it with a fork to form a purée – save the olive oil left in the foil for later. Set the garlic aside.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast, sugar and water and mix with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the olive oil, flour, salt and half of the pecorino and mix with the dough hook for 6-8 minutes or until an elastic and smooth dough forms – it kneading by hand, 10-12 minutes should do. Add the mashed garlic, half the thyme leaves and mix well. Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in volume.

Lightly brush a large baking sheet with olive oil. Carefully transfer the dough to the prepared sheet, gently so you don’t lose the air trapped in the dough. Shape it onto a 30x20cm (12x8in) oval. With lightly floured fingertips, pierce the dough in a few spots without pressing it too deep. Measure the olive oil left from roasting the garlic and add more olive oil until you have 1 tablespoon. Drizzle over the dough, then sprinkle it with the remaining thyme leaves and pecorino. Set aside in a warm place for about 20 minutes – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Bake the focaccia for 25-30 or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and very carefully slide it onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. The focaccia can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days and tastes fresh again if reheated briefly in the oven.

Serves 8-10

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Black Forest self-saucing pudding to start 2018

Black Forest self-saucing pudding / Bolo-pudim Floresta Negra

Happy New Year, everyone! :)

I haven’t posted anything new on the blog for quite a while, even though I have several great recipes to share with you: my workload last December tripled and I was working like crazy in order to get things done before taking a few vacation days. I had also promised myself that on those vacation days I would not seat in front of a computer and I am proud to have kept the promise – I really needed the time off. Of course I am only human and used my mobile to post and check Instagram and Twitter, but that was kept to a minimum and it was a lot less than I had expected.

I got back to work and because we still have some amazing cherries around I thought I’d share this self-saucing pudding with you: it is delicious and easy to put together. Here in Brazil cherries are easier to be found in the summer, but if you are facing winter don’t worry: this recipe is also great using frozen raspberries instead of the cherries – it will no longer be a Black Forest pudding, but it will taste great all the same.

Black Forest self-saucing pudding
own recipe

Batter:
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (125g) all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of table salt
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup (80ml) whole milk, room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cognac – use kirsch if you have it at home; or omit alcohol all together
1 cup (150g) fresh cherries, pitted and halved
¼ cup (42g) dark chocolate chips or chunks – I used one with 53% cocoa solids

Topping:
½ cup (88g) light brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup (120ml) boiling water
whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter four 1-cup (240ml) capacity heatproof ramekins.

Start with the batter: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the butter, milk, egg, vanilla and cognac. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until a thick batter forms. Stir in the cherries and chocolate. Divide batter evenly among the ramekins.

Topping: in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cocoa. Sprinkle over the batter. Place the ramekins in a baking sheet, then pour 2 tablespoons boiling water over each ramekin, gently pouring it over the topping. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until mixture rises and a crust forms. Serve immediately with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Serves 4

Monday, December 4, 2017

Apple and coconut upside down cake

Upside down coconut and apple cake / Bolo invertido de maçã e coco

Apple cakes are truly favorites or mine – there are several recipes on the blog, including a version made with olive oil that I will repeat next weekend – and the upside down version is even more beautiful. The apple slices turn into a flavorsome layer and the coconut gives a nice tropical touch to the batter – it is a very tender and delicious cake.

The recipe is easy to put together – despite the look of the cake – and I find arranging the apple slices on the bottom of the pan therapeutic. Just be careful not to use a springform pan or one with a removable bottom: the sugar of the topping will melt in the oven and it might leek.

Upside down coconut and apple cake / Bolo invertido de maçã e coco

Apple and coconut upside down cake
own recipe

Apple layer:
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 small Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced

Cake:
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (35g) desiccated unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of table salt
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (80ml) buttermilk*
1/3 cup (80ml) coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a round 20x7cm (8x2.5in) cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter the paper as well – do not use a pan with a removable bottom because the sugar will melt in the oven and might leek. If your 20cm (8in) pan is not deep enough use a 23cm (9in) pan. In a small bowl, mix well sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the buttered paper. Arrange the apple slices on top. Set aside.

Cake: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients in three additions followed by the buttermilk, then the coconut milk. Mix only until incorporate – do not overmix. Spread the batter over the apple slices and smooth the top. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 1 hour, then carefully unmold onto a plate and peel off the paper. Serve on its own or with whipped cream.

* homemade buttermilk: to make 1 cup buttermilk place 1 tablespoon lemon juice in a 240ml-capacity measuring cup and complete with whole milk (room temperature). Wait 10 minutes for it to thicken slightly, then use the whole mixture in your recipe

Serves 8-10

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lime nutmeg snickerdoodles and Christmas gifts

Lime nutmeg snickerdoodles / Snickerdoodles de limão e noz-moscada

This is the time of the year when my colleagues and friends with kids tell me that they have to buy Christmas gifts for their children’s teachers, and since the kids have so many teachers these days they have to buy tons of presents. This is when I suggest them to make cookies or brownies, to wrap them up beautifully and there, gifts are ready. :)

These snickerdoodles may be a good idea for a holiday gift: starting with a traditional snickerdoodle recipe, I swapped the baking soda and cream of tartar for baking powder – since not everyone has cream of tartar around or wants to buy it – and added a touch of lime and nutmeg (instead of the most common cinnamon). The cookies turned out delicious and they smelled amazing while in the oven – you might have to bake an extra batch for your neighbors. :)

Lime nutmeg snickerdoodles
own recipe

Dough:
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 limes
½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

To roll the cookies:
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub sugar and lime zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and beat until creamy and light – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients at once and mix on slow only until a dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes – in the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

To roll the cookies: in a small bowl, rub sugar and lime zest together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Stir in the nutmeg. Roll 2 leveled teaspoons of dough per cookie into balls and then roll the balls through the sugar. Place onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are golden around the edges. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 35

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Gorgonzola and fresh oregano grissini

Gorgonzola and fresh oregano grissini / Grissini de orégano fresco e gorgonzola

At home we like nibbling very much, especially on weekends, and that came to my mind as I set up a plate of bread, cheese and fruit last Saturday for dinner: a glass of wine and the meal was perfect.
Sometimes we have guacamole with homemade tortillas, and of course there are days I don’t even want to enter the kitchen: those are the days for pizza. :)

If you are feeling a bit more enthusiastic than me lately please have a go at these grissini: they are absolutely delicious and great for the cheese/fruit platter (and with wine, too). :)

Gorgonzola and fresh oregano grissini
own recipe

1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
200ml lukewarm water
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (46g) whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons olive oil + a bit extra for brushing
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, packed
50g gorgonzola, coarsely grated or crumbled if too soft
3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the yeast, sugar and water with a fork. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the flours, olive oil and salt. Mix on medium for about 8 minutes or until mixture turns into an elastic and smooth dough – if mixing by hand, 10-12 minutes should do it. Mix in the oregano and the gorgonzola, shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a large bowl lightly brushed with olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to prove for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line two large baking sheets with foil and brush it with olive oil.
Punch the dough to remove the excess air. Divide dough in 24 equal portions e roll each of them into a 30cm (12in) sausage shape – if dough is too stick, lightly flour your counter, but avoid too much flour or the dough will be tough and dry. Place the grissini onto the foil leaving 2cm (little less then 1in) between them. Brush them with olive oil, sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer the sheets to a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes 24

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