Showing posts with label yogurt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yogurt. Show all posts

Friday, July 10, 2020

Butter chicken

Frango ensopado à moda indiana / Butter chicken

For years now I have been reducing the amount of beef and chicken we eat and we are very fine with it: I use vegetables in many different ways, and they always taste amazing. However, sometimes both Joao and I feel like eating chicken – maybe every 10 days or so? – but my precious little husband does not like chicken cooked in sauces, or “wet chicken” as he says. :S

I, on the other hand, love me some “wet chicken”, so I decided to make butter chicken – first time ever – and just told him I would bake some meatballs for him. When I was making lunch and he smelled the food he changed his mind and told me he would eat the chicken. Not only that happened, but he asked me to make this chicken again twice more. He was surprised of how tender and flavorful the chicken was, and the sauce was thick and delicious, not watery at all – the power of yogurt and spices… :)

Butter chicken
slightly adapted from Good Food magazine

For marinating the chicken:
½ cup (130g) natural yogurt – I was once short on yogurt and used part yogurt, part homemade buttermilk (whole milk + lime juice)
juice of ½ lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
350g skinless boneless chicken breast, in bite-sized pieces

For the curry:
1 tablespoons vegetable oil – I use canola
½ large onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala*
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup (240ml) boiling water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted

In a medium bowl, mix the yogurt, lime juice, spices, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the chicken, mix to combine, cover and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight – I have made this recipe three times and marinated the chicken for 3 hours.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook for 5-6 minutes or until soft.
Add the spices with the tomato purée, cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the water, the bay leaf and the chicken, with the marinade. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened. Stir through the cilantro.
Serve immediately sprinkled with the almonds.

* instead of garam masala, I used a mix of spices called “vindaloo” that has cinnamon, cardamom, cilantro, cumin, cloves, turmeric, fenugreek, ginger, mustard seeds, black pepper and red pepper flakes. If you want to follow the original recipe, use 1 teaspoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon fenugreek

Serves 2

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

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

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake / Bolo de pera, azeite de oliva e chocolate

I have been running around like a headless chicken lately, with loads of work and other things to solve. For that reason, I haven’t posted much and I am also behind with my personal emails.

I decided to stop by very quickly with an equally quick to make cake: put together in almost no time, it is a tender and delicious combination of fruit, olive oil and chocolate. Good for those weeks you have barely time to breathe but still want a slice of cake and a cup of coffee or tea at the end of a tough day.

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake / Bolo de pera, azeite de oliva e chocolate

Pear, olive oil and chocolate cake
own recipe

2 large pears, about 200g (7oz.) each
lemon juice, for drizzling over the pears
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup (120ml) extra virgin olive oil
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped – I used one with 70% cocoa solids

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

Peel and core both pears, slice one thinly and dice the other. Drizzle with a little lemon juice to keep them from browning.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, yogurt and vanilla. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the diced pear. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top. Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter, then sprinkle evenly with the chocolate. Bake for about 50 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack.

* if your pan is not very tall, use a 9in (23cm) pan

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Banana and chocolate cake with coconut glaze for a lazy holiday

Banana and chocolate cake with coconut glaze / Bolo de banana e chocolate com glacê de coco

Tomorrow is a national holiday in Brazil and I really need some time off – the past few weeks have been intense workwise. For that reason, I bring you today a very short post, but with a delicious cake: the recipe is very straightforward too and can be done without any electric equipment – perfect for the lazy days ahead.

Banana and chocolate cake with coconut glaze
own recipe

Cake:
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
¾ cup (67g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch cocoa powder)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon table salt
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup (180ml) canola oil
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed with a fork

Glaze:
1 cup (140) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons coconut milk
¼ cup (25) toasted coconut, for sprinkling over the cake

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 12-cup capacity Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the bananas. Fold in the dry ingredients just until incorporated – do not overmix. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes or until risen and a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely.

Glaze: place the sugar in a small bowl and gradually whisk in the coconut milk, mixing until you get a drizzable consistency – for a thicker glaze, use less milk. Pour over the cake and sprinkle with the toasted coconut.

Serves 10-12

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Yogurt panna cotta with strawberry gelatin and killing classics (or not)

Yogurt panna cotta with strawberry gelatin / Panna cotta de iogurte com gelatina de morango

Every time I hear about movie remakes I feel a pang in my heart – why mess with the classics and ruin what is great already?

When I first read that Hollywood was working on a remake of Blade Runner I thought: “they are going to destroy such an amazing movie”. Weeks ago I saw the first trailer and it was actually a thing of beauty – it is not actually a remake, it is a sequel. We know sequels and prequels don’t always work – right, Mr. Scott? – but this time Denis Villeneuve is directing it, which makes me hopeful already – Arrival should have won Best Picture last February, even though I did love Moonlight. As of now, it seems they are not killing a classic – let’s wait until October to be sure.

And speaking of classics, I know that some people turn their noses up at panna cottas made with yogurt for they are not “the real deal”, however I love them: you still get richness from the cream, with a nice tang from the yogurt, which for me is a perfect combination – and the texture is amazing. To make the panna cotta even more interesting, I added a layer of strawberry gelatin – homemade, of course – and it is so delicious you can even skip the panna cotta, make only the gelatin and serve it on its own: truly delicious.

Yogurt panna cotta with strawberry gelatin / Panna cotta de iogurte com gelatina de morango

Yogurt panna cotta with strawberry gelatin
own creation

Panna cotta:
2 tablespoons cold water
1 ½ teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin
1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (195g plain yogurt, room temperature
¼ cup (60ml) whole milk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Strawberry gelatin:
600g fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (75g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160ml) cold water, divided use
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin

Start by making the panna cotta: set aside six 200-ml glasses.
Put the water in a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin. Set aside for 5 minutes for the gelatin to absorb the water – in the meantime, in a small saucepan, heat together the cream and sugar over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt, milk, vanilla and salt. Whisk in the gelatin until dissolved. Pass mixture through a fine sieve and divide between the glasses. Refrigerate for about 4 hours or until firm.

Now the gelatin: in a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar and 1 tablespoon of the cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are soft and release their juices, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender. Add ½ cup (120ml) of the cold water and the lemon juice. Blitz until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve back into the saucepan.
Place the remaining cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin. Set aside for 5 minutes for the gelatin to absorb the water.
Heat the strawberry juice in the saucepan over medium heat until it starts to boil - remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin until dissolved. Stir through a sieve again, let cool to room temperature, then carefully pour over the set panna cotta, dividing the strawberry mixture among the 6 cups. Refrigerate again for about 4 hours or until jelly is set.

The dessert can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, covered with plastic wrap.

Serves 6

Friday, July 15, 2016

Yogurt, orange and almond cake with white chocolate and yogurt icing

Yogurt, orange and almond cake with white chocolate and yogurt icing / Bolo de amêndoa, laranja e iogurte com cobertura de iogurte e chocolate branco

I am completely drawn to beautiful food photos and I have a list of favorite people whose recipes I trust completely, so a couple of years ago, when I discovered Bill Granger’s column on The Independent I was really happy: his recipes always work and taste delicious and the photos posted on the paper website are truly gorgeous.

I found this cake recipe there and was curious to try it since I called for no butter and no oil. I twisted it around a little bit, but still ended up with a very moist and tender cake, perfumed with oranges. The icing goes a bit to the sweet side, but I am a fan of white chocolate, so no problem to me – if you are a white chocolate hater (as most of my coworkers seem to be), feel free to make a simple glaze with icing sugar and orange juice, it will make the cake shine, too.

Yogurt, orange and almond cake with white chocolate and yogurt icing
slightly adapted from the always great Bill Granger

Cake:
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
½ cup (50g) almond meal
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
2 eggs
170g plain yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Cointreau (optional)

For the topping:
¼ cup (60g) plain yogurt, room temperature
100g white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
2 tablespoons icing sugar
¼ cup (35g) whole almonds, toasted, cooled and then coarsely chopped

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

Cake: in a medium bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, rub sugar and orange zest together until sugar is fragrant. Add the eggs and using the mixer whisk until thick and creamy. Beat in the vanilla and the Cointreau (if using). On low speed, mix in the yogurt. Fold in the dry ingredients and pour batter in the prepared pan. Bake for around 40 minutes, until the cake is risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan onto a wire rack.

Icing: whisk in the yogurt into the chocolate until smooth. Sift in the sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, or until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Unmold the cake, carefully peel off the paper and place onto a serving place. Spread with the icing and top with the chopped almonds to serve.

Serves 8


Monday, January 11, 2016

Simple cornmeal cake, or "bolo de fubá"

Cornmeal cake / Bolo de fubá do Panelinha

The first cake I ever made was a cornmeal one, made with corn flour (not corn starch - the same corn flour used in these tartlets), which is a very common ingredient here in Brazil. “Bolo de fubá” is one of the most beloved cakes we have here, a favorite of many and it goes particularly well with coffee – I was always a tea kind of girl, coffee is something I have learned to enjoy in the past few months.

I guess I was feeling a big nostalgic last week, for I felt a sudden urge to bake a bolo de fubá – so here it is. It is a very simple cake, prepared with the help of a blender, also something very common here in Brazil. It is also best served on the day it is made, and it tastes delicious still warm from the oven - I should know, because I ate several slices in a row – shame on me. :)

Simple cornmeal cake ("bolo de fubá")
slightly adapted from here

soft unsalted butter, to prep the pan
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
1 ½ cups (210g) corn flour (fine cornmeal - fubá) – not corn starch, the same corn flour used in these tartlets
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 cup (240ml) canola oil
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
1 cup (240ml) plain yogurt
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 25cm, 10-cup capacity (10in) Bundt or ring pan.

In a large bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, corn flour and salt. Set aside.
Place the eggs, oil, sugar and yogurt in a blender and mix until smooth, about 5 minutes. Pour over the dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk gently until smooth. Whisk in the baking powder.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 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 15 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack and cool completely (this cake tastes absolutely delicious warm).

This cake is best served on the same day it is made – I found it a bit on the dry side on the following day.

Serves 10-12

Monday, November 23, 2015

Yogurt lime cheesecake bars

Yogurt lime cheesecake bars / Barrinhas de cheesecake de limão e iogurte

Every time I discover something nice I like to share it with you, being related to food or not – and what makes me happy is that many of you feel the same, and I can ask you about something as far from the kitchen subject as a good product suggestion for frizzy hair that I get many answers – so, thank you. <3

Frizzy hair crisis almost averted – with the help of my Brazilian readers over on Facebook – now it’s my turn to share something special with you: one of my favorite food magazines, one that I use over and over again for both recipes and inspiration has now launched a beautiful website, packed with lots of delicious recipes and stunning photos – I hope you enjoy it!

Even though I rely on Delicious Australia very often, most of the times I tweak the recipes here and there, and this cheesecake slice is no exception: 200g of cookies would be swimming in 175g of butter, so I changed the recipe slightly and was very pleased with the result.

Yogurt lime cheesecake bars
slightly adapted from the wonderful Delicious Australia

Base:
200g digestive cookies
85g unsalted butter, softened

Topping:
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (125g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 limes
300g thick Greek-style yogurt
300g cream cheese, room temperature
3 eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20x30cm (8x12in) baking pan, line it with foil leaving an overhang in two opposite sides and butter it as well.

Place the cookies in a bowl of a food processor and blitz until finely crushed. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand. Press firmly into base of pan. Chill for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, rub sugar and lime zest with your fingerprints until sugar is fragrant. Add the yogurt and cream cheese and whisk to combine. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and salt, then pour over base. Bake for 20-25 minutes until set and slightly golden around edges. Cool, then chill until set. Dust with icing sugar and cut into bars to serve.

Makes 24

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lime syrup marble cake, a movie and a great soundtrack

Lime syrup marble cake / Bolo mármore com limão taiti

Days ago I felt like going to the movies but wasn’t in the mood for drama or tears – that made me immediately discard the idea of watching Still Alice despite my love for Julianne Moore and since I’ll only watch horror movies when my sister comes along I completely ignored The Lazarus Effect.

There was Love, Rosie left and I guess it was exactly what I needed that day: nothing serious, a bit of romance, a bit of comedy – the perfect combo. :) But what I really loved about the movie – besides Sam Claflin ;) – was the soundtrack: I looked it up on Spotify and haven’t been able to stop listening to it.

With a good soundtrack sorted out all I needed was a good cake recipe to bake, and the limes in my fridge sent me directly to a couple of recipes with lime published by Dan Lepard on The Guardian ages ago – the cake turned out moist and delicious, and I thought it was a nice change from the usual marble cakes.

Lime syrup marble cake
slightly adapted from Dan Lepard

Cake:
finely grated zest of 3 limes
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (175g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 medium eggs*
150g plain yogurt
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (210g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Syrup:
1/3 cup (80ml) fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20x10cm (8x4in) loaf pan, line it with baking paper and butter it as well.

Place zest and sugar in a large bowl and rub them together until sugar is fragrant. Add oil and eggs, whisk until creamy, then whisk in the yogurt, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk in the flour, baking powder and salt, then tip two-thirds of the mix into the pan. Beat the cocoa into the remaining batter, spoon this into the pan over the yellow batter and gently swirl the two together. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for five minutes. Meanwhile, mix the lime juice and sugar until you have a clear syrup. Prick the cake with a toothpick, then gradually spoon the syrup over the cake, waiting for the syrup to be absorbed before pouring more.
Cool completely in the pan.

* I had only large eggs at home, so I chose the smallest three I could find and used them in the recipe

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Lemon and lavender loaf cake

Lemon and lavender loaf cake / Bolo de lavanda e limão siciliano

Days have been cold here lately – which is something I absolutely love – but that makes it hard for the butter to soften in my freezing kitchen, making my morning baking sessions a bit of a challenge. Add to that that I only had a few spoonfuls of almond meal in the fridge and the idea of baking Nigel Slater’s divine lemon cake had to be postponed.

Nigel’s is currently my favorite lemon cake – with Alisa Huntsman’s simple yet delicious cake right behind it – and my plans were to make it again, swapping the thyme for something else, like caraway seeds or lavender – that was when I remembered seeing a lemon lavender cake in Paul Hollywood’s beautiful cookbook, and since his method involved melted butter it became ideal for my chilly morning. The addition of yogurt and the drizzle poured over the cake in the end make it moist and flavorsome.

If you have time to let your butter soften and have 100g of almond meal around, make Nigel’s cake; if not, Paul’s recipe is exactly what you need – and you can get creative and replace the lavender with whatever strikes your fancy.

Lemon and lavender loaf cake
slightly adapted from the delicious Paul Hollywood's Pies and Puds

Cake:
250g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
125g granulated sugar
1 ½ tablespoons edible lavender
2 large eggs
200g full-fat yogurt*
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Drizzle:
juice of 2 lemons, strained
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 1kg loaf pan (around 10x20cm/4x8in base measurement), line it with baking parchment and butter the paper as well.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and lavender.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the yogurt, lemon zest, melted butter and vanilla. Pour this onto the dry ingredients and, using a spatula, stir until just combined – do not overmix.
Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven and prick it deeply all over with a cocktail stick. Mix the ingredients for the drizzle together and gradually pour over the hot cake, waiting for portions to be absorbed before pouring more syrup. Cool completely in the pan before slicing.

* I used 170g yogurt + 30g whole milk

Serves 8

Friday, February 21, 2014

Hazelnut, cinnamon and coconut cake, a great mini-series and a truly deserved Golden Globe

Hazelnut, cinnamon and coconut cake / Bolo de avelã, coco e canela

I like watching award shows basically for two reasons: it is great to see my favorite actors and directors get awarded – which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen as often as I would like – and I also love seeing the dresses and hairdos worn by the stars (to later comment on the hits and misses). :D

There is, however, another really good reason: TV shows or movies I haven’t heard of, interesting things to look up and maybe add to my already long “to watch” list.
It was because of Elisabeth Moss’ win at this year’s Golden Globe that I learned of Top of the Lake, and what a great mini-series it is: a dark story created and director by Jane Campion – a badass director whose work I admire –, it is set in beautiful locations in New Zealand, with great writing and acting. I already liked Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson – probably the best thing in Mad Men – and here she’s even more fantastic. She truly deserves the GG she took home, and I don’t know how the Globes ignored Peter Mullan, absolutely amazing as the terrifying Matt.

As does The Fall, Top of the Lake discusses violence against women and its consequences – not an easy subject to watch but completely necessary to be portrayed (and here it is done in a very realistic way).

I got addicted to Top of the Lake after minutes only and watched the seven episodes in a matter of days (unfortunately there won’t be additional seasons); every time I saw the characters walking near that cold water I felt like having a cup of tea – and a slice of cake wouldn’t hurt, either. :D

This is a recipe I made because I found the combination of hazelnut, cinnamon and coconut an unusual one, and it turned out to be a delicious one (and the yogurt makes the cake moist and tender to boot).

Hazelnut, cinnamon and coconut cake
slightly adapted from the always wonderful Delicious UK

Cake:
4 medium eggs*
2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
230g all purpose flour
50g corn starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
185ml canola oil
420g plain yogurt
1 cup (100g) sweetened flaked coconut
100g hazelnuts, lightly toasted, cooled and finely chopped

For dusting the cake:
50g icing sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Generously butter a 12-cup nonstick capacity Bundt pan – if using a regular pan without nonstick coating, butter and flour it (I was stubborn and used a 10-cup capacity pan, so I had to bake the excess batter in a 1-cup mini pan).
Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and sugar together until thick and pale. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in the oil, yogurt, coconut and hazelnuts until combined. Stir in the egg mixture.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour/1 hour 20 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes, then carefully unmold onto the rack. Cool completely.
In a small bowl, combine the icing sugar and cinnamon, then sift the mixture over the cake.

* I only buy large eggs, so I chose the smallest 4 in the package to use in this recipe

Serves 10-12

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Apple and polenta cake + a surprise from Cannes

Apple polenta cake / Bolo de milho e maçã

I must confess that reading that “Blue is the Warmest Color” had won the Palme d’Or surprised me quite a bit: not because of the film itself – I haven’t seen it yet so I can’t judge – but because I would never expect a jury presided by Steven Spielberg, a director who very seldom makes adult films, would vote for such a bold film. Maybe Ang Lee had something to do with it (he should have been chosen President of the Jury imo). And even if it was a political choice as some believe it was I’m still surprised, for Spielberg was never the controversial one. I just hope “Blue is the Warmest Color” gets distributed here in Brazil, and soon – I would not like to wait for it as much as I had to for “Drive”.

Something else surprised me weeks ago: Amber Rose’s beautiful cookbook. I don’t worry about nutrition when I bake – I think that if you’re eating a slice of cake or a brownie it’s about pleasure, leave the nutrient talk for your lunch and/or dinner - but I ended up finding Rose’s approach to baking a very interesting one. This cake, for instance, is sweetened with honey instead of sugar, and the result is excellent. Just make sure you use a variety of honey you’re fond of because the flavor is definitely noticed in the cake.

Apple and polenta cake
slightly adapted from the beautiful beyond words Love Bake Nourish (I bought mine here)

Apples:
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter
2 ½ tablespoons honey
450g Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm dice

Cake:
1 cup (100g) almond meal
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (115g) all purpose flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (110g) cornmeal
¾ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
150ml honey
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
3 large eggs
140ml olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep the apples: melt the butter and honey in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil and bubble until it caramelizes a little. Add the apples and cook over medium-high heat until the apple pieces are golden and the syrup is sticky, about 5 minutes. Cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly butter a 20cm (8in) round cake pan, line the bottom with a circle of baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, all purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, juice, honey, yogurt, eggs, olive oil and vanilla until well combined. Pour into the dry ingredients and fold until combined. Stir in the apples.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan over a wire rack, then carefully unmold. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Serves 8-10

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cardamom yogurt cake

Cardamom yogurt cake / Bolo de iogurte e cardamomo

Some plain yogurt in the fridge that had to be used within a few days and no idea what to do with it - that usually happens around here. I love yogurt based cakes because they turn out really moist and tender, but I'd baked a yogurt cinnamon cake a couples of week before that was too sweet and kind of rubbery - a complete disappointment. Therefore, I decided to go to a cookbook that hasn't failed me yet, and the result was a delicious cake, perfumed with cardamom. This is a very nice cake recipe and I am sure that several other flavors can be used instead of cardamom: cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon or orange zest... Delicious.

Cardamom yogurt cake
slightly adapted from the gorgeous Cake (I bought mine here)

Cake:
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 1 small orange
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup plain yogurt
2 ½ cups (350g) all purpose plain flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt

Icing:
½ cup (70g) icing sugar, sifted
about 1 tablespoon plain yogurt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Generously butter a 10-cup capacity Bundt pan.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Next, beat in the orange zest and juice, ground cardamom and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, then mix in the yogurt. Next sift in the flour, baking powder and salt, folding in just until combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the cake for 50–55 minutes or until golden and risen and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully unmold onto rack. Cool completely.

Icing: beat together the icing sugar and yogurt, adding a tiny bit more yogurt if the mixture seems too stiff. Drizzle over cooled cake.

Serves 8-10

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Cinnamon bubble buns

Cinnamon bubble buns / Bubble buns de canela

One of my favorite things about cooking and baking is being surround by fantastic smells: freshly brewed coffee, onions and olive oil being cooked together, citrus fruits while being zested or squeezed... Delicious. And to that list I'll add cinnamon - one of my favorite smells and one impossible to hide in the kitchen: it's really evident when there's something in the oven made with cinnamon, like these wonderful buns - I've replaced the sour cream called for in the original recipe for yogurt, therefore you can indulge in these and call them healthy. ;)

Cinnamon bubble buns
slightly adapted from of the best cookbooks I own

Yogurt yeast dough:
2¼ teaspoons dried yeast
¼ cup (60 ml) warm water
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup plain yogurt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
320g all-purpose flour + a little for kneading, if necessary
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Cinnamon-sugar coating:
65g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Dough: sprinkle the yeast over the water in the bowl of a stand mixer; set aside for 5 to 10 minutes until bubbly. Add the butter, yogurt, sugar, egg, and vanilla to the yeast mixture and stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
Attach the bowl to the mixer, and fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat in 250g of the flour, the salt, and baking soda on medium-low speed until incorporated, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the remaining 70g flour and beat until a smooth, moderately soft dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 3 minutes. At first the dough will be sticky. Add no more than 1 to 2 tablespoons additional flour during the kneading to combat the stickiness. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. The dough is ready when a finger gently pressed into it leaves an indentation. Meanwhile, prepare the pan and make the cinnamon-sugar coating.

Generously butter a 12-cup standard muffin pan (1/3 cup capacity each cavity), then flour the cups, tapping out the excess flour.
Cinnamon-sugar coating: in a small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon; set nearby. Place the melted butter in a small, shallow dish.
Gently punch the dough down to deflate it. Form it into a long cylinder, and divide it into 12 equal portions (each portion is about 1¾ ounces/50 grams). Divide each portion into 6 equal pieces, and then shape each piece into a ball. One at a time, roll the balls first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar. Arrange 5 balls next to one another in a circle in each prepared muffin cup, and then, using a fingertip, poke the sixth ball down slightly in the center.

Repeat with the remaining 11 dough portions. Loosely cover the buns with plastic wrap and set them aside in a warm place until puffy and doubled in volume, about 40 minutes. The dough is ready to bake when a finger gently pressed into it leaves an indentation – in the meantime, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
Bake the buns until golden, 20-22 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 to 8 minutes. Then tilt the pan and gently tap it on a counter to release the buns. If necessary, slip a knife blade between the pan and the bun to release. Transfer the buns to a wire rack.

Makes 12

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yogurt cake with marmalade glaze and a solved dilemma

French yogurt cake with marmalade glaze / Bolo de iogurte com calda de geléia de laranja

The whole vacation song dilemma got solved after all: in the end, throughout my entire trip, Phoenix’s “1901” got stuck in my head in such a deep way that it ended up putting the other two songs aside up to this moment. Go figure. :D

Dorie’s delicious yogurt cake with marmalade glaze got stuck in my head for ages, but the “Tuesdays with Dorie” event made me completely ignore the cookbook for months; I don’t even know if it still goes on, but I used to find it oh, so annoying – nothing personal, but it drove me crazy to read the same recipe over and over in so many different blogs. :/
The jar of orange marmalade I had home was the perfect excuse for this recipe, and the cake turned out so good I bought another jar of marmalade just to make it again. :D

Yogurt cake with marmalade glaze
from the always great and now interesting to me again Baking: From My Home to Yours

Cake:
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
½ cup (50g) almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil

Glaze:
½ cup orange marmalade
1 teaspoon water

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 180°C/350°F. Generously butter a 21x11xcm (8½x4½in) metal loaf pan and place it onto a baking sheet.
Whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.
Combine the sugar and zest in a medium bowl and using your fingertips rub the sugar into the zest until fragrant. Add the yogurt, eggs and vanilla and whisk vigorously until smooth. Still whisking, add the dry ingredients, then switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the oil. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
Bake until cake is golden brown and begins to pull away from sides of pan and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on rack 5 minutes. Carefully cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn cake out onto rack. Turn cake upright on rack and cool completely.
Glaze: stir marmalade and water in small saucepan over medium heat until marmalade melts. Brush hot mixture over top of cake. Let glaze cool and set before serving.

Serves 8

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pistachio polenta pound cake

Polenta pistachio cake / Bolo de milho e pistache

People usually ask me for advice in baking and cooking and one thing I always tell them is to read the entire recipe before actually making it: it is important to know all the details prior to preparation. That is something I learned the hard way: I can’t tell you how many times I’d already be making something, looking forward to eating it only to read “refrigerate overnight” in the middle of the recipe. :S
Having said that, because of this pistachio and polenta cake I might start recommending reading the recipe twice: I did read the recipe and, knowing I had all the ingredients at home I went to the kitchen to make it. Oven preheated and ingredients before me, I started making the recipe only to read “whisk the yogurt and cornmeal in a medium bowl and let it stand for 45 minutes”. My brain or my eyes somehow skipped that piece of information, and I had to go back to the couch and wait longer to have a slice of this beauty – at least it tasted great and it was worth the waiting. :D

Pistachio polenta pound cake
from the absolutely great Cake Keeper Cakes

1 ½ cups (390g) plain yogurt
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (195g) shelled unsalted pistachios
¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk the yogurt and cornmeal in a medium bowl and let it stand for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup capacity Bundt pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Grind ¾ cup (97g) of the pistachios finely in a food processor (grind them with a couple of tablespoons of the flour mixture to avoid turning the nuts into a paste). Add the pistachio meal to the dry ingredients. Coarsely chop the remaining pistachios.
Place the butter and sugar in the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the yogurt mixture in two additions. Mix just until incorporated. Stir in the chopped pistachios.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Cool in the pan over a wire rack for 10-15 minutes then carefully invert it onto the rack. Cool completely before serving.

Serves 10-12

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cherry rippled vanilla frozen yogurt

Cherry rippled frozen yogurt / Frozen yogurt mesclado de cereja

Happy New Year everyone!

The cherry overload goes on in my house – not that I am complaining. ;)
I decided to make a frozen dessert to celebrate the arrival of summer and the slightly adapted cherry filling from those delicious bars was a perfect addition to the already great vanilla fro yo; since my husband doesn’t like frozen yogurt I’ll have to eat it all myself – oh, how big of a problem I have on my hands. ;)

Cherry rippled vanilla frozen yogurt
adapted from two great books: Rustic Fruit Desserts e The Perfect Scoop

Cherry ripple:
500g (18oz) cherries, pitted and halved if small or quartered if large
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1/8 teaspoon salt
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Frozen yogurt:
2 ¼ cups (585g) plain whole-milk yogurt
2/3 cup (133g) granulated or caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the cherry ripple: combine the cherries, sugar, corn starch, salt, lemon zest and juice in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil for 1 minute to thicken. Set aside to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Frozen yogurt: mix the ingredients together in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Refrigerate for at least for 1 hour, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As you remove it from the machine, layer it in an airtight container with spoonfuls of the chilled cherry mixture. Freeze.

Serves 8-10

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lemon ginger frozen yogurt and the beginning of fall

Lemon ginger frozen yogurt / Frozen yogurt de limão siciliano e gengibre

Fall has arrived and the days have been gray in Sao Paulo – the sun comes up for a while, but fat, heavy clouds seem much stronger and take over the sky.

I am not complaining for I love cold days, but this frozen yogurt certainly reminds me of the last days of summer – fresh, tangy, delicious.

Lemon ginger frozen yogurt
slightly adapted from the amazing Bon Appetit Desserts

¾ cup (180ml) water
¾ cup (150g) caster (superfine) sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup (260g) plain yogurt
1 cup (240ml) buttermilk
¼ cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Bring the water, sugar, corn syrup and ginger into a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, strain into a medium bowl and chill until cool.
Whisk the yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice and zest into the ginger syrup. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 weeks.

Serves 6

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