Showing posts with label citrus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label citrus. Show all posts

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

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

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Red lentil soup with kale chips

Sopa de lentilha vermelha com chips de couve / Red lentil soup with kale chips

As many of you, I have been cooking a lot more since the quarantine started, and it is not an easy task to cook lunch and dinner every day while also trying to vary the menu with what I have at hand – we already feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, so if the food is also the same in every meal… I don’t want to think about that. :D

I was going through some recipes I bookmarked in the past and found this soup on Gourmet Traveller, one of my favorite recipe sources. I decided to freestyle a little with the recipe while also aiming to make it a vegan meal. I did not have vegetable stock in the freezer and was also out of carrots to make some from scratch, so on top of the spices I also added a bay leaf and tomato paste to enhance flavors. And speaking of spices, I used the ones I have at hand and you can adapt and do the same.

To make it vegan I served my soup with kale chips and it worked beautifully – feel free to do what GT suggests and serve the soup with yogurt. Next time I have the soup for dinner (I froze half of it for some other day) I will top mine with a poached egg – my mouth is watering already. :D

Red lentil soup with kale chips
soup recipe adapted from here, chips adapted from several recipes around the web

Soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/3 cup celery stalks, finely chopped – I used frozen and added unthawed to the pan
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon tomato paste
5 ½ cups (1,320ml) boiling water
1 1/3 cups (285g) dried red lentils
1 bay leaf
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large lime, finely grated zest and juice

Kale chips:
5 large kale leaves
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In the meantime, start with the soup: heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add celery and cook for another 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute – do not overcook it or the soup will taste bitter. Add spices and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes – it is important to cook the tomato paste well to remove the flavor of raw tomatoes from the recipe. Add water and stir. When it comes to a boil, add lentils and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and then simmer for 15-17 minutes or until lentils are soft and starting to break down – stir occasionally so it does not catch in the bottom of the pan.

While the soup boils, make the chips: tear the kale leaves into medium pieces and transfer to a nonstick large baking pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper and dress the leaves using your hands. Spread the kale onto the sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool completely so they become crunchy.

If you will eat the soup right away, remove the bay leaf, add lemon rind and juice, then blend with a hand-held blender until a coarse purée. If you are making the soup to freeze, do not add lime zest and juice – do this upon serving.

Divide among bowls and serve with the kale chips.

Serves 4-5

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

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

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

Orange, cinnamon and clove cake and the second recipe I ever learned

Orange, cinnamon and clove cake / Bolo de laranja, canela e cravo

Most people who know me or read the blog know that the first recipe I ever learned how to make was a Brazilian cornmeal cake, the one I published a while ago. I was 11 years old and right then and there a whole new world opened up in front of me: from that day on I engaged in a relationship with food and cooking that changed my life for good.

What not everyone knows is that the second recipe I learned how to make was an orange cake – very simple, yet so delicious, I can almost smell it if I close my eyes for a moment. For that reason (aside from the fact that I am a citrus nut) orange cakes have a special place in my heart and I am always looking for new ways to make them.

The one I bring you today is perfumed with both cinnamon and cloves and the inspiration for this combo of flavors came from the sablés I posted a couple of years ago, when I was saying goodbye to my dear Peggy Olson.

Orange, cinnamon and clove cake
own recipe

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (240ml) sour cream*
Icing sugar, for dusting the cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 2-liter capacity Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine granulated sugar and orange zest and rub them together until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and using the mixer beat until creamy and light in color – 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 slow speed, beat in the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the sour cream in two additions (start and end with the dry ingredients). Beat just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake is golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.

* homemade sour cream: to make 1 cup of sour cream, mix 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream with 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk until it starts to thicken. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour or until thicker (I usually leave mine on the counter overnight – except on very warm nights – and it turns out thick and silky in the following morning; refrigerate for a creamier texture)

Serves 8

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tangerine Prosecco gelatin and a scary movie

Tangerine prosecco gelatin / Gelatina de tangerina e prosecco

I am not very brave when it comes to horror films, but after watching the teaser for It I really wanted to watch the movie. My husband asked if I was sure this was a good idea, and I told him that I would be OK since I am not afraid of clowns.
A few minutes into the movie and I was scared as hell and with my eyes closed. :D To be honest I did not recall the 1990 movie being so scary. :S

As promised, I bring you today a recipe that calls for the tangerine juice left from making the financiers I posted yesterday – and the color of the gelatin reminds me of Beverly’s beautiful hair (I was impressed at how much the young Sophia Lillis looks like Amy Adams). I added Prosecco to the gelatin to make this an adult dessert, but if you don’t drink alcohol or want to make this for kids just replace the Prosecco with more tangerine juice.

Tangerine Prosecco gelatin
own recipe

1 ¼ teaspoons gelatin powder
1 ½ tablespoons water
200ml fresh tangerine juice, strained
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
100ml Prosecco
whipped cream, for serving (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the gelatin with the water. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan combine the tangerine juice and sugar and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is lukewarm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Prosecco, followed by the gelatin. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into four ½-cup capacity glasses. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set.
Serve with a dollop of the whipped cream.

Serves 4



Monday, September 11, 2017

Tangerine coconut financiers, videos and texts

Coconut tangerine financiers / Financiers de coco e tangerina

I was talking to my husband the other day about why I still blog, after eleven years. I was telling him how people are drawn to videos nowadays and that everyone says that blogs are a thing of the past.

The conversation started because I wanted to read reviews about a hair product and all I could find was videos about it. I did not want videos, I wanted text, and there were hardly any. Until that day I used to tell my husband that I did not make recipe videos because I do not have time for them (which is true), but I suddenly realized that I actually don’t like recipe videos (with very few exceptions) – I prefer text whenever possible. I like to read people’s ideas, and it makes me happy when they read me too.

These financiers are a result of replacing almond meal with desiccated coconut, and such a tropical flavor paired beautifully with the citrus touch from the tangerines. This recipe goes to those of you who still feel that blogs are worth reading, and I hope you come back later this week: I will post another recipe using the juice of these very tangerines, since in the financiers you will only use the zest.

Tangerine coconut financiers
own recipe

3 tablespoons (30g) all purpose flour
2/3 cup (67g) desiccated unsweetened coconut
½ cup (70g) icing sugar, sifted
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 2 tangerines
3 egg whites (84g)
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut, icing sugar, salt and tangerine zest. Whisk in the egg whites. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter twelve 2-tablespoon capacity molds or mini muffin pans.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans and smooth the top. Bake for about 10 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.

Makes 12

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Orange olive oil waffles

Orange olive oil waffles / Waffles de laranja e azeite de oliva

I do not make waffles very often because my husband does not like them, leaving me to eat the whole batch alone (not pretty), but since I like them a lot I am always interested in trying new flavors and toppings. A bit of research led me to the fact that the key to get crispier, crunchier on the outside waffles was to use oil instead of butter, and it actually worked.

Now that I no longer can eat regular dairy I have been making my waffles like the ones I bring you today, with olive oil and lactose-free milk, but if you prefer the butter flavor over the crispy texture it is just a matter of replacing the olive oil with melted unsalted butter.

I absolutely love the combination of orange and blueberries – one of my favorite flavor combos – so it is my duty to tell you that the waffles taste amazing served with the baked blueberry jam I posted a couple of years ago (it works well with frozen, thawed blueberries when fresh ones are not available).

Orange olive oil waffles
own recipe

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 large egg
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, place the sugar and orange zest and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, milk and vanilla. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated – do not overmix.

Heat a waffle iron until very hot; lightly coat with nonstick spray – my waffle maker is nonstick, so I do not coat it.
Working in batches, cook waffles until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a baking sheet and keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Makes 5-6 waffles

Friday, August 11, 2017

Orange, blueberry and olive oil muffins and a lactose problem

Orange, blueberry and olive oil muffins / Muffins de laranja, mirtilo e azeite de oliva

I know how rare it is nowadays to post recipes on the blog on two consecutive days, and I am still running around like a headless chicken trying to do everything I have to do lately, but since next week will be even busier than the week ending today I decided to go crazy and bring you these muffins: again a speedy recipe, but a very delicious one. These muffins are golden and really moist, very tender and perfumed with orange zest.

I am a complete sucker for citrus as you all know and in these muffins the orange flavor compliments the blueberries in the most wonderful way. The addition of olive oil is a nice surprise, not to mention that this became my go-to muffin recipe after I was diagnosed as lactose intolerant, a month ago or so: I have made it using lactose-free milk with good results (next time I will try making them using almond milk).

Orange, blueberry and olive oil muffins
own recipe

¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) whole milk, room temperature
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a 12-hole muffin pan with 8 paper cases. Fill the empty cavities halfway through with water (this will prevent the pan from warping).

In a large bowl, place sugar and orange zest and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, olive oil and vanilla until smooth. Pour over dry ingredients and stir lightly with a fork just until combined – do not overmix or your muffins will be tough; muffin batter is not smooth as cake batter.
Stir in the berries. Divide the batter among the paper cases, then bake for about 20 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to the rack. Cool completely or serve warm.

Makes 8

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

White chocolate and lemon blondies

White chocolate and lemon blondies / Blondies de chocolate branco e limão siciliano

Back in the days when I was still dreaming of writing a book I remember telling my husband that I intended to add as many citrus recipes to it as possible, and had all types of ideas for lemon baked goods and desserts – the thought of the fruit makes my mouth water already.

However, every time I went to the grocery store the price of the lemons made me cringe, and I would go back home empty handed. I was unemployed then, so I went from wanting a book filled with lemon recipes to choosing very wisely which recipes to use the fruit in. :(

That is one of the reasons why I am so proud of these blondies: they are delicious, perfumed with lemon and the tart flavor of the fruit goes really well with the sweetness of the white chocolate. The lemons were expensive, but it was worth spending that money to make something so tasty (not to mention easy): the blondies were gone very fast in each of the three times I made them.

White chocolate and lemon blondies
own recipe

¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 ½ tablespoons (35g) unsalted butter, room temperature
200g white chocolate, chopped – divided use
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt

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

In a small bowl, rub together with your fingertips the sugar and the lemon zest until sugar is fragrant. Set aside.
In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) combine 150g of the chocolate and the butter, stirring until they are both melted. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
Whisk in the sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla. With a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in the remaining 50g white chocolate.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack before cutting into squares to serve.

Makes 16


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pear lemon muffins with almond streusel

Pear lemon muffins with almond streusel / Muffins de limão siciliano e pera com farofinha de amêndoa

When I cook or bake at home I many times start with a specific idea, something I saw somewhere or that I really want to eat at that moment. However, there are times that I open the fridge or the cupboard and decide what to make at the sight of whatever there is at home.

The muffins I bring you today came to existence when I was grabbing vegetables to cook lunch: I opened the fridge and saw the pears there. My husband had brought home some beautiful lemons so I decided to pair them with the pears, and the idea to add the almond streusel topping crossed my mind because I had baked a fruit crumble with almonds a couple of days before that.

While the whole process of how this recipe was created might be very mundane, I can assure you the muffins are everything but: they are tender, smell and taste amazing.

Pear lemon muffins with almond streusel
own creation

Streusel:
2 ½ tablespoons (25g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (25g) almond meal
1/3 cup (65g) demerara sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup (25g) flaked almonds

Muffins:
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
¾ cup (180ml) whole milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 small pears (about 400g/14oz in total), peeled, cored and chopped

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

Make the streusel: mix flour, almond meal, sugar and salt in a small bowl. Add the butter and stir with a fork until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Still using the fork, stir in the almond flakes, but do not overmix. Refrigerate while you make the muffin batter.

Now, the muffins: in a large bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk and vanilla. Pour them over the dry ingredients and, with a fork, gently but quickly stir to blend – do not overmix, or your muffins will be tough. Incorporate the pear pieces.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the streusel and lightly press it over the batter to make it stick.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before carefully removing each muffin from its mold.

Makes 12

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies / Biscoitos de laranja, centeio e noz-moscada

Today’s post is about how much I love the Internet and it is probably the 15th time I tell you that. :)

I had been testing recipes with rye flour, but was not very happy with the results: when I made breads, for example, it was fine, but for cookies, muffins and cakes the flour was too thick and the baked goods were not as light as I wanted them to be. So I decided to put the rye recipes aside for a while.

Months later, while browsing one of my favorite Instagram profiles, I learned about a food store that sells spelt flour (which is hard to come by here in Brazil) and there I found a different type of rye flour, called “fine rye flour” – I bought it and retested all the recipes I had made before, and the results were wonderful!

One of those recipes is for these slice and bake cookies, deliciously fragrant from the orange and nutmeg: the rye flour lands them a nutty flavor and a beautiful color.

Orange, rye and nutmeg slice and bake cookies
slightly adapted from Deb’s recipe

1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
½ cup (70g) fine rye flour*
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
2/3 cup (93g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
200g (7oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, rye flour, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, place sugar and orange zest and mix them together until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and mix until light and creamy – scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally throughout the making of the recipe.
Beat in yolks, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, mix in the dry ingredients and mix only until a dough forms – don’t overmix.

Divide the dough into two equal parts. Place each on a piece of parchment paper; shape dough into logs. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5 cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one log at a time (keep the other in the fridge). Cut into 5mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, 12-14 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

* for the cookies to be light in texture, make sure the rye flour you use is finely ground

Makes about 50

Monday, March 13, 2017

Clementine posset

Clementine posset / Potinhos de tangerina

As much as I try to make new things in the kitchen, I have another priority: not to waste food, not even 1 ounce, if possible at all. It is not always possible, and I fail miserably sometimes, but I keep on trying.

Last week, when I placed the tangerine cookie dough logs in the fridge, I looked at the zested clementines and decided to make something tasty with them. I also had some cream in the fridge, so a posset immediately came to mind – it is such a ridiculously easy to make dessert I feel ashamed of even calling this a recipe, but the result is so delicious, velvety and delicate I had to share it with you.

Clementine posset
slightly adapted from the always great BBC Good Food

300ml heavy cream
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60ml) clementine juice, freshly squeezed
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Turn up the heat and bubble for 2 minutes exactly. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the juice – mixture will being to thicken slightly. Stir in the vanilla. Sieve the mixture into a jug, wait for it to cool slightly, then divide between 4 glasses. Chill for at least 4 hours or until set.

Serves 4


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Clementine spiced cookies

Clementine spiced cookies / Biscoitos de tangerina e especiarias

I think one can say I am addicted to baking cookies – as you have probably noticed already – and for a good while now slice and bake cookies have been my favorites: they are easy to make and the uncooked dough can spend some time in the fridge or in the freezer waiting for the right moment to be baked.

Even though the dough can be kept for a good while before baking, I hardly ever keep it that long: I prefer to bake lots of cookies at once and eat them and also share them with my family and friends – a “spreading joy” operation, let’s say. :)

These cookies, deliciously fragrant from the tangerine zest and with a kick from the spices, will make your kitchen smell like heaven. The almond meal makes them quite delicate and tricky to be transported, so for a bit firmer – but still wonderful – cookies omit the almond meal and use a total of 175g all purpose flour.

Clementine spiced cookies
slightly adapted from Annie Rigg's breathtakingly beautiful book

1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
¼ cup (25g) almond meal
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 2 clementines
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 pieces of crystallized ginger, cut into small dice

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Put zest and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and using the mixer beat ingredients together until creamy and light in color. Beat in the honey and vanilla. Turn off the mixer and mix in the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula just until a dough forms – do not overmix.

Place the dough on a large piece of parchment paper; shape into a log. Fold parchment over dough; using a ruler, roll and press into a 3.5cm (1.4in) log – like Martha does here. Wrap in parchment. Chill in the fridge until very firm, about 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap the dough log and cut into 5mm (¼in) thick rounds; space 2.5cm (1in) apart onto prepared sheets. Gently press a piece of crystallized ginger in the center of each cookie. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes. Cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then carefully slide the paper with the cookies onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 30

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Orange berry financiers to start 2017

Orange berry financiers / Financiers de laranja e frutas vermelhas

Happy New Year, everyone!

I wish each and every one of you all the best in 2017 – lots of love, joy and happiness.

I am back at work, after having a week off to enjoy Christmas and spend time with my family. It was a calm week, filled with good food, TV shows and movies, hot days – which are a nightmare for me, but hey, it is summer, after all – and loads of rest, including strategic naps after lunch. ;)

I did not bake much, however: I felt paralyzed with heat and was not brave enough to turn on the oven. I made a chocolate cake for my nephew – he asked for one after watching an episode of Peppa Pig – and it was pretty much it. But I bring you a recipe I made many weeks ago and that tasted delicious: these financiers made with orange and berries. The berries become little pools of jelly when baked and their flavor pairs beautifully with the orange.

These financiers are everything I want 2017 to be: beautiful, delicate, perfumed and delicious: fingers crossed that I get my wish. ;)

Orange berry financiers
adapted from the always delicious Simply Bill

¾ cup (105g) icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
¾ cup (75g) almond meal (finely ground almonds)
1/3 cup (46g) all purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 egg whites
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (35g) blueberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
¼ cup (30g) raspberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
icing sugar, extra, for dusting

In a large bowl, place the orange zest and the sugar and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Whisk in the almond meal, flour and salt. Stir in the egg whites, butter, and vanilla until batter is smooth. Fold in the berries – if you prefer, leave some to be placed on top of the financiers before baking them. Cover batter and refrigerate the batter for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour ten 100ml capacity mini cake or muffin pans.
Pour the batter in the pans. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden – a skewer inserted in the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool in the pans over a wire rack for 2 minutes. Carefully unmold onto the rack and to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Financiers are best served the day they’re made, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days. If days are too hot, keep refrigerated to avoid the berries going moldy.

Makes 10

Monday, December 12, 2016

Panettone

Panetone / Panettone

Even though I have been posting Christmas recipes at this time of the year for a long long time, I have not baked panettone – or chocottone, for that matter – in ages. We sometimes get panettones as gifts, and my husband sometimes buys some at this time of the year.

This year, however, Joao told me he wanted homemade panettone and since I was on a Christmas state of mind I decided to make it. It was a rainy Saturday, I did not want to go anywhere, so I made the panettone and watched Carol in between (by the way, I am still trying to understand all the fuss over the awards season).

This is an adaptation of Paul Hollywood’s panettone and it turned out really delicious – the tender brioche dough perfumed with citrus and dotted with chewy and sweet raisins and dried cranberries. But unlike Paul’s brioche, that still tastes great a day after it is made, the panettone got a little tough on the following morning – it was still delicious, but texture-wise it was better freshly baked. If your family is big, I am sure the panettone will be gone in no time, but if there are not many of you around to eat it within a day no worries: it makes a killer French toast. ;)

Panettone
slightly adapted from Paul Hollywood

14g dried yeast
140ml whole milk, lukewarm
75g granulated sugar
500g all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon table salt
5 large eggs, room temperature
finely grated zest of 1 orange
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Cointreau
1 teaspoon Amaretto
200g unsalted butter, softened
120g dried cranberries
120g golden raisins
120g dark raisins
50g crystallized orange peel, finely chopped

Egg wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork

In the bowl of an eletric mixer, place yeast, milk and a pinch of the sugar and mix with a fork. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add the flour, salt, remaining sugar, eggs, orange and lemon zest, vanilla, Cointreau and Amaretto, then mix on slow using the dough hook for two minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for a further 6-8 minutes until you have a soft dough.

Add the softened butter and mix for another 5-8 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Dough will be very soft. Mix in the dried fruit and crystallized orange peel. Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight until the dough has firmed up enough for you to able to shape it.

Prepare a 18cm/7in panettone pan by brushing the inside generously with melted butter*.
Remove the panettone dough from the fridge, knock back the dough, shape into a ball and place into the pan. Leave to prove at room temperature for a further 2-3 hours, until the dough just starts to dome over the top of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Brush the top of the panettone with egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 150°C/300°F and bake for a further 35 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Check the panettone periodically in case of oven hot spots. Bear in mind that the sugar and butter in the dough could brown too much before it is actually fully baked – if panettone starts to brown too quickly, cover it loosely with foil.
Remove the panettone from the pan immediately and allow to cool over a wire rack.

* I used a 20cm (8in) round cake pan to bake my panettone – I made a collar with a double sheet of baking paper folded in half (that way getting 4 layers of paper) and buttered it all with melted butter (there is a photo of the prepared pan on my Instagram).

Serves 8-10

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Marjoram orange roast chicken

Marjoram orange roast chicken / Frango assado com manjerona e laranja

I was thinking the other day about how drastically I have decreased my cookbook purchase addiction – maybe because of how much bigger my workload is compared to years ago, maybe because the food magazines I subscribe fill that need for inspiration and new recipes, maybe because some books were such disappointments (I am speaking to you, Ms. Lawson)…

My last purchase, as far as I recall, was on Oct 20 last year – this is definitely a new world record or something. :)
However, when I saw that Diana Henry had a new book coming out, I could not wait until I had it in my hands, for I am a huge fan of her beautiful work, plus she is a total dear and have spoken to me on Twitter a few times, even saying “obrigada” in Portuguese once. <3

The book is stunning and the recipes look delicious – and are simple, like the name of the book says. I love that. I decided to start with a chicken recipe and used Diana’s as inspiration, however I made it even simpler than hers. It was indeed delicious and the chicken meat was falling off the bones after a night spent in the fridge swimming in the flavorsome marinade.

Maybe I am cured from my cookbook addiction? I don’t know. What I know is that next time Diana publishes a new cookbook I will have it on my Ipad on the very same day. ;)

Marjoram orange roast chicken
adapted from the beautiful Simple

handful of fresh marjoram leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed then finely chopped
2 oranges
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs

In a bowl, mix the marjoram leaves, the garlic, finely grated zest and juice of 1 of the oranges, the olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is great).

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a medium roasting tray with a double layer of foil and coat the foil with olive oil. Slice the remaining orange and arrange the slices on top of the foil. Arrange the chicken over the orange slices and pour over the marinade. Roast for about 60-80 minutes or until golden and cooked through – time might vary depending on how golden you like your chicken.

Serves 2

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