Showing posts with label zest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zest. Show all posts

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, October 3, 2013

Back from vacation with fresh orange pound cake with passion fruit icing

Fresh orange pound cake with passion fruit icing / Bolo de laranja com cobertura de maracujá

Hey, everyone!

After a couple of weeks on vacation I am back home, tired and immensely happy. I haven’t baked in a while but have a delicious cake recipe to share with you today, something I prepared weeks ago and that turned out really good. The passion fruit icing is completely optional: in fact, I personally liked the cake better without it.

Oh, and I’ll be answering your questions and emails over the next few days. :)

Fresh orange pound cake with passion fruit icing
adapted from the wonderful and delicious Desserts from the Famous Loveless Cafe

Cake:
1 ¾ sticks (198g) unsalted butter, softened
1 ¾ cups (350g) granulated sugar
finely grated zest of 2 large oranges
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
2 ¼ cups (315g) all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
½ cup sour cream*
1 ½ tablespoons orange juice

Glaze:
2 cups (280g) icing sugar
2-3 tablespoons passion fruit juice, more if necessary

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter two 20x10x5cm (8x4x2in) loaf pans, line them with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, zest and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the yolks, beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt over the bowl, add the sour cream and juice and fold together by hand. Transfer the batter to the prepared pans.
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the cakes are golden and risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the pans over a wire rack for 10-15 minutes then carefully unmold onto the rack. Peel off the paper. Cool completely.
Make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl, add the passion fruit juice gradually, mixing until desire consistency. Drizzle over the cooled cakes.

* 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)

Makes 2 loaves (serves 6 each)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Coconut lime oatmeal cookies + the lovely Sarah Carey

Coconut lime oatmeal cookies / Biscoitos de aveia, coco e limão

I have several favorite TV cooks – Nigella, Nigel Slater, Jamie Oliver, among others – but there is one lady I adore and she’s not on TV, she’s on Martha’s website: the lovely Sarah Carey. It’s wonderful to watch her around the kitchen, not only because her recipes are delicious but also because she’s too much fun! :) I find her videos very useful, too, for beginners in the cooking department since she’s very thorough with her instructions, showing all the steps of the recipe and giving precious tips. Yes, I’m a fan. :)

These oatmeal cookies are tasty and easy to make, and the combination of lime and coconut is always a winner. The recipe is below but I urge you to watch Sarah bake these – I know you’ll become a fan, too.

Coconut lime oatmeal cookies
from the lovely and fun Sarah Carey

2 ¼ cups (315g) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine salt
1 cup (226g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¾ cup (131g) packed light-brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
2 large eggs
2 cups (180g) rolled oats
1 cup (100g) sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted and cooled

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a medium bowl, using a mixer, beat butter and sugars until pale and creamy, 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla and zest, then the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. On low speed, add flour mixture and beat until just combined. Mix in oats and coconut.
Drop dough in 2-tablespoon-size balls onto prepared sheets, 5cm (2in) apart. Bake until cookies are golden around the edges but still soft in the center, 12-14 minutes. Let cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and let cool completely.

Makes 35



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Strawberry and rose hazelnut tart, music and a baking bonus

Strawberry and rose hazelnut tart / Torta de morango, água de rosas e avelã

When I was 10 years old I got the Arena album as a gift from a cousin I deeply love. I used to listen to it nonstop, 24/7. I still have the album but since I no longer have a record player I bought the CD a while ago – I love listening to it while I drive to/from work. So good.
The CD version has two bonus tracks, but unfortunately “Girls on Film” and “Rio” are songs I never cared about (and still don’t).

Like one of my all time favorite albums, this recipe has a bonus, too, but in this case it’s a really good one: you get a delicious, fresh tart for dessert and also yummy slice and bake cookies with the leftover pastry. The cookies are so good you might consider postpone making the tart and stick to the pastry alone. :)

Strawberry and rose hazelnut tart
slightly adapted from the always stunning and delicious Australian Gourmet Traveller

Spiced hazelnut pastry:
¾ cup + ½ tablespoon (176g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (148g) icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 orange
3 egg yolks
1 ¾ cups + ½ tablespoons (250g) all purpose flour
¾ cup (75g) hazelnut meal (finely ground hazelnuts)
¾ cup (75g) almond meal (finely ground almonds)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder

Filling:
700g strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup + ½ tablespoon (72g) superfine sugar*
¼ cup (30g) corn starch
finely grated zest and juice of ½ orange
3 teaspoons rosewater
seeds of 1 vanilla bean
heavy cream, for brushing
icing sugar, for dusting
crème fraîche, to serve

Start by making the spiced hazelnut pastry: beat butter, icing sugar and orange zest in an electric mixer until creamy, add yolks and beat to combine. Add remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours).
Roll two-thirds of hazelnut pastry to 3mm-thick between two large pieces of lightly floured baking paper and line a lightly buttered 24cm (9in) diameter tart pan with a removable bottom. Trim edges, prick pastry all over with a fork and freeze until firm (15 minutes). Roll out remaining dough on a lightly floured piece of baking paper to a rough 24cm-long rectangle, place on an oven tray and refrigerate between the paper pieces until firm (15-20 minutes).
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Combine strawberries, sugar, corn starch, zest, juice and vanilla seeds in a bowl and fill pastry case.
Remove the pastry rectangle from the fridge, remove the paper piece on the top and cut the pastry into your favorite shapes using a cookie cutter (mine was a drop shaped cutter about 3cm long). Place them randomly over strawberry mixture, leaving some of the filling uncovered**. Brush pastry with heavy cream, place tart pan onto a baking sheet and bake until crisp and golden (35-40 minutes), cool completely in the pan over a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.

* after tasting the tart I though the filling needed a bit more sugar – have a taste of your strawberries and adjust the sugar amount accordingly to their sweetness

** I gathered up the pastry leftover pieces and made slice and bake cookies with the remaining pastry – they tasted delicious!

Serves 10

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Baked lemon ricotta doughnuts - all the deliciousness of doughnuts without frying

Baked lemon ricotta doughnuts / Doughnuts assados recheados com ricota e limão siciliano

I love doughnuts – as do many of you, I believe – but the idea of frying them... Not so much. I’m not a fried food kind of cook – I love eating it, not making it. That is why I was quite taken by this recipe: the doughnuts are baked instead of fried and they turned out beautiful, very tender, absolutely delicious.
The filling is oh, so good – I ate several spoonfuls of it before actually assembling the doughnuts. And I’m not ashamed of that. :D

Baked lemon ricotta doughnuts
slightly adapted from the always beautiful and delicious Australian Gourmet Traveller

Dough:
5 1/3 cups (746g) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
½ cup + 3 ½ tablespoons (142g) superfine sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons (7g /1 sachet) dried yeast
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup (240ml) lukewarm whole milk, plus extra for brushing
1/3 cup (80ml) buttermilk*
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Lemon ricotta filling:
250g ricotta
¼ cup (50g) superfine sugar
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
1 large egg

To serve:
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (200g) superfine sugar
finely grated zest of 1½ lemons

Start by making the dough: combine flour, sugar, yeast and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix to combine. Whisk together milk, buttermilk, eggs and the melted butter and, with motor running, add to flour mixture, then mix on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic (4-5 minutes). Shape into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1-1½ hours).
Meanwhile, for lemon ricotta filling, process ingredients in a food processor until smooth (1-2 minutes), transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (otherwise it will be too fluid).
Knock back dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 5mm thick. Cut 48 rounds with a 7.5cm-diameter cutter (reroll scraps if necessary**). Place a heaped teaspoon of lemon ricotta filling in centre of 24 rounds. Brush edges with milk, cover with the remaining rounds, press to seal edges well. Trim with a 7cm-diameter cutter. Transfer to a large baking sheet, lined with baking paper, cover and stand in a warm place until risen (1-1½ hours), then bake until lightly golden (10-12 minutes).

Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and set aside. Combine sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Dip hot doughnuts immediately in the melted butter, toss in lemon sugar and serve hot.

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

** I tried rerolling scraps, but dough became tough, it did not work; so I braided the scraps into several little breads

Makes about 24 doughnuts

Monday, August 23, 2010

Very tangy lime lemon bars

Very tangy lime lemon bars / Barrinhas super azedinhas de limão e limão siciliano

Facing the possibility of making either lemon or lime bars, what does one do? I solved that dilemma by making lemon AND lime bars – why choosing one if you can have both? :)

After I made the cocoa brownies – courtesy of ChuckAna Elisa told me that I would love Alice Medrich’s books; I ended up buying Bittersweet and Pure Dessert and these delicious and mouthwateringly tangy bars are from the latter.

Very tangy lime lemon bars / Barrinhas super azedinhas de limão e limão siciliano

Very tangy lime lemon bars
from Pure Dessert

Crust:
½ cup (113g/1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup (50g) caster sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour

Topping:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (224g) caster sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 eggs
finely grated zest of 1 lime and 1 lemon
¼ cup (60ml) strained freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup (60ml) strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
powdered sugar for dusting, optional

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

Start with the crust: in a medium bowl, combine melted butter with sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. Press dough evenly over bottom of pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is fully baked, well-browned at the edges and golden brown in the center.
Now, the topping: while crust is baking, stir together sugar and flour in a large bowl until well-mixed. Whisk in eggs. Stir in zest and juices. When crust is ready, reduce heat to 150°C/300°F, slide rack with pan out and pour filling onto hot crust. Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer, or until topping no longer jiggles when pan is tapped.

Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Lift up foil liner and transfer bars to a cutting board. If surface is covered with a thin layer of moist foam (not unusual), blot surface gently with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture; repeat with a fresh piece of paper towel if necessary.
Using a long, sharp knife, cut bars into 16 or 24 daintier bars and sift powdered sugar over bars, if desired. Stored in an airtight container, bars can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Makes 16

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Strawberry crostata

Strawberry crostata / Crostata de morango

As a kid my favorite dessert was strawberry tart – it was similar to the banana tart I made for my dad a while ago: same crust and filling, with the strawberries beautifully arranged on top of the velvety cream – mom brushed the berries with jam so they’d be shiny and pretty. :)

My taste buds have changed a lot all these years and my childhood tart is no longer my favorite dessert, but I’m still crazy about strawberries; I used them instead of rhubarb and raspberries in this recipe and have to say that NOT eating all the filling before making the crostata was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done in my kitchen. :)

Strawberry crostata / Crostata de morango

Strawberry crostata
adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller

600g strawberries, hulled and halved
1 ¼ cups (250g) caster sugar
1 10cm-piece of orange zest
juice of 1 orange
1 5cm-piece of lime zest
juice of ½ lime
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
1 egg beaten with ½ tablespoon water, for brushing (egg wash)
2 tablespoons demerara sugar, for dusting

Pasta frolla:
1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon (220g) all purpose flour
¼ cup + 3 tablespoons (100g) cold unsalted butter, coarsely chopped
60g pure icing sugar, sifted
scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
pinch of salt
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

For pasta frolla, process flour, butter, icing sugar, vanilla seeds and salt in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Gradually add egg mixture, process until mixture just comes together – you might not need all the egg mixture. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead lightly until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap, refrigerate to rest (1-2 hours).

Meanwhile, combine strawberries in a large saucepan with caster sugar, zests, juices, ginger and vanilla seeds. Stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and stir occasionally until very thick and jammy (10-15 minutes) – while mixing, squash the berries down using a silicon spatula to release all their juices. Set aside to cool completely, the remove the orange/lime zest pieces.

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Roll out two-thirds of the pasta frolla on a lightly floured surface into a 3mm-thick rectangle and line a buttered 13cm x 36cm rectangular tart pan, trim edges and spoon in cooled strawberry mixture. Roll out remaining pasta frolla on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick, then cut into 15mm-wide strips. Arrange strips in a lattice over jam, press pastry edges to seal and trim excess. Brush pastry with egg wash, dust with demerara sugar and bake until pastry is crisp and golden (40-45 minutes).
Cool in pan before serving.
Crostata is best eaten on day of making.

Serves 10 – I made ¾ of the recipe above and used a 30x10cm pan; there was some pasta frolla left, and I froze it.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sour lime cake

Sour lime cake / Bolo de limão azedinho

A lovely Brazilian blogger friend of mine has been having lots of fun in the kitchen lately, but she still doesn’t have a very close relationship with her mixer – that’s why I think these little cakes are perfect for her: they’re tender, delicious and very moist and all one needs to prepare them is a bowl and a wooden spoon. Really simple.

I got the recipe from the DH mag #44 and used limes instead of lemons, to change things up a little.

Quéroul, sweetie, hope you like these!

Sour lime cake
from Donna Hay magazine

1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups + 2 ½ tablespoons (330g) caster sugar
2 eggs
½ cup (130g) plain yogurt
¼ cup (60ml) lime juice
finely grated zest of 2 limes
2 cups + 2 tablespoons (300g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

Lime icing:
2 ¼ cups (315g) confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon boiling water

Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F. Butter well two 4 cup capacity (960ml) Bundt pans.
Place the butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt, lime juice and zest in a bowl and whisk to combine. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture and whisk until smooth.
Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes then carefully unmold onto a wire rack. Cool completely.
Make the icing: place the icing sugar, juice and water in a bowl and mix to combine. Spoon over cakes to serve.

Serves 8-10 – I halved the recipe above and used four 1-cup (240ml) capacity mini Bundt pans

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pistachio lime cookies

Pistachio lime cookies / Biscoitinhos de pistache e limão

I’d promised myself I would stop buying cookbooks – because I have so many already – but I’m a very weak person and the so called promise lasted a couple of months, only. :S

In order to feel less of a failure, I’ve switched that promise for another one, much more feasible: start using more the books I already own. Beginning with one I bought several months ago but hadn’t used yet.

Pistachio lime cookies
from Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup (170g/1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
finely grated zest of 4 limes
1 ¼ cups (250g) granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (133g) unsalted pistachio nuts, lightly toasted and chopped

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter with the lime zest on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar in a steady stream and mix until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, then add the lime juice and vanilla, mixing well for about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two additions mixing until almost combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer, add the pistachios and finish mixing by hand.
Shape the dough into a mound, divide into quarters and roll each into a log 3.75cm (1 ½ in) in diameter - about 15cm (6 in) long. Wrap the logs with plastic*, twisting the ends tightly to secure. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm (this dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or may be frozen for 1 month).
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the logs into 6mm (¼ in) thick slices, turning the roll every two or three cuts, and place 5cm (2in) apart on the prepared sheets.
Bake for 8-9 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Let stand for 2-3 minutes before loosening from the paper with a thin metal spatula. Transfer to a wire rack.
Store the cookies in an airtight container, layered between strips of wax paper, for up to 3 weeks.

* I always use baking paper and a ruler to shape cookie dough logs, like Martha does here – it works really well.

Makes about 60

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Babas with lime syrup

Babas with lime syrup / Babas com calda de limão

I did now know what babas were until I saw this post on Helen’s blog, a good while ago – her beautiful citrus version immediately caught my eye, but for some reason I did not try my hand at making babas until very recently.

Discovering new desserts is always a good thing, especially when they are very tender and drenched in a lovely syrup – yum! :)

The recipe comes from here – the only change I made was using limes instead of lemons – but the idea of using dariole molds came from here.

Babas with lime syrup / Babas com calda de limão

Babas with lime syrup
from Donna Hay magazine

1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon caster sugar
¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm milk
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (150g) all purpose flour
1 egg
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (90g) unsalted butter, room temperature, chopped

Lime syrup*:
½ cup (100g) caster sugar
1 cup (240ml) water
1/3 cup (80ml) lime juice
shredded zest of 2 limes

To make the babas, place the yeast, sugar and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and allow to stand until bubbles surface. Add the flour and egg to the yeast mixture. Attach a dough hook to the mixer and beat the ingredients to a sticky dough. While the motor is still running, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, and beat well for about 4 minutes – the dough hook did not work for me, it did not mix the ingredients properly, so I switched to the paddle attachment and it worked beautifully. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place in a draft-free place and allow the dough to double in size (1-1 ½ hours).
Divide the dough into 6 pieces and place in 6 well buttered 1-cup (240ml) capacity baba molds. Cover and allow to stand until the dough almost fills the pans (30 minutes or so).
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the babas for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand in the pans for 5 minutes.
While the babas are baking, make the syrup: place the sugar, water, lime juice and zest in small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer for a further 3 minutes.
Spoon half of the hot syrup over the hot babas still in the pans, set aside for 2 minutes then carefully unmold. Transfer the babas to a wire rack then pour over the remaining syrup.
Serve warm.

* there was plenty of syrup left, I think that half the recipe would have been enough

Makes 6 – I used ½ cup capacity dariole pans and got 8 babas

Friday, January 29, 2010

Lemon coconut mini cheesecakes

Lemon coconut mini cheesecakes / Mini cheesecakes de limão siciliano e coco

I’ve read that “Monk” is about to end – its last season is about to start here in Brazil. Can’t say I’m sad – I’ve tried watching the show several times, but it’s really not my cup of tea; I don’t see what all the fuss is about – or all the awards, for that matter.

I used to feel the same way about cheesecakes, until I made this recipe – now I want to try each and every cheesecake flavor out there. :)

Lemon coconut mini cheesecakes / Mini cheesecakes de limão siciliano e coco

Lemon coconut mini cheesecakes
adapted from Donna Hay magazine

Base:
75g digestive cookies
1/3 cup (30g) unsweetened desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
175g ricotta
175g cream cheese
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon (162g) caster sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 160°C/300°F.
To make the base, process the cookies in a food processor until finely crushed. Add the coconut and butter and process until combined.
Butter fourteen 1/3 cup (80ml) capacity mini cheesecake pans (with removable bottoms). Press the mixture over the base of each pan and refrigerate.
Process the ricotta and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and process until combined. Pour the mixture over the bases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until set.
Allow to cool, then refrigerate. Carefully remove from the pans and top with coconut curls to serve.

Makes 14

Friday, January 15, 2010

Lemon shortbread

Lemon shortbread / Shortbread de limão siciliano

If you take a look at my now organized bookshelf – I’m so proud of myself! – will see that every single book and magazine have several bookmarked pages; a closer look and you’ll see that most of those pages hold citrus recipes – what can I do? If there are lemons, limes or oranges involved, I’m in.

My obsessions are not restricted to food, only – ask my husband how he feels about watching “Eastern Promises” once again. :)

Lemon shortbread / Shortbread de limão siciliano

Lemon shortbread
from Donna Hay magazine

2/3 cup (150g) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (55g) icing sugar, sifted
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups + 1 tablespoon (255g) all purpose flour, sifted
2 tablespoons corn starch, sifted
2/3 cup (94g) icing sugar, extra, sifted

Place the butter and icing sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the flour and corn starch and beat just until a smooth dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Place each half onto a large piece of baking paper form into a 20cm (8in) long log. Wrap well in the paper and refrigerate for 1 ½ hours or until firm.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one of the dough logs (keep the other in the fridge) and slice it into 1cm-thick rounds. Place onto the prepared baking sheets 5cm (2in) apart and bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden. Remove from the oven and cool in the sheets for 5 minutes.
Gently toss the warm shortbreads in the extra icing sugar and allow to cool completely on wire racks.

Makes 40 – I got 38

Monday, December 7, 2009

Spiced sable rounds with eggnog glaze

Spiced sable rounds with eggnog glaze / Biscoitinhos sablé de especiarias com cobertura de eggnog

Today’s cookies are a proof that there’s still kindness in the world – people who will do something nice for someone else even though they live on the other side of the planet.

I bookmarked one recipe last January already thinking of making it for the holidays. But when I reached for it on my del.icio.us a couple of weeks ago the link no longer worked... Google showed me someone on Flickr who had made those cookies and I asked her if she had the recipe posted somewhere – she didn’t, but was kind enough to send it to me by email. Isn’t that sweet?

Anastasia, thank you for sending me this great recipe – the cookies turned out delicious! I wish I could send some your way.
xoxo

Spiced sable rounds with eggnog glaze / Biscoitinhos sablé de especiarias com cobertura de eggnog

Spiced sable rounds with eggnog glaze

Cookie dough:
1 ¼ cups (282g) unsalted butter, cold and coarsely chopped
1 cup + 1 ½ tablespoons (218g) caster sugar
2 eggs
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
4 cups + 4 tablespoons (600g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Glaze:
1 egg
1 tablespoon brandy
1 tablespoon dark rum - I used white
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
2 cups + 2 ½ tablespoons (300g) icing sugar, sifted
freshly ground nutmeg, for scattering

Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine. Add lemon zest, spices, flour and baking powder and mix until just combined. Divide dough in four equal parts and form each one into a log that is a little more than 3.5cm (1 ½ in) thick. Wrap well in baking paper and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C; line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
Unwrap one of the dough logs (keep the others in the fridge) and slice it into 6mm (¼-in) rounds. Place onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes or until just golden – mine needed 15 minutes for staying in the fridge for 24 hours.
Repeat with the remaining logs.
Make the glaze: whisk egg, brandy, rum and vanilla paste (if using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds with the back of a knife and add to the bowl) in an electric mixer for 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the sugar and whisk until thick and pale.
Spread icing over warm cookies then scatter with a little nutmeg and cool on a wire rack. Let glaze set completely before storing the cookies.
Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes about 90 – I halved the recipe and got 48

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lemon cream pots to celebrate vacation time

Lemon cream pots / Potinhos de limão siciliano

One of my all time favorite songs is only 1m52s long – that’s not much for a song, but it doesn’t stop it from being beautiful.

These lemon pots are made in no time at all and are delicious – it took me a little longer than the song to put them together; they developed a wonderful velvety texture after resting in the fridge.

I’m finally on vacation now - see you in three weeks!

UPDATE: my lemon broccolini soup has been featured on the Saveur magazine website! :D

Lemon cream pots / Potinhos de limão siciliano

Lemon cream pots
from Donna Hay magazine

2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
½ cup (100g) caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup (60ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
whipped cream, to serve

Place cream and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add lemon zest and juice and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
Pour into four ¾-cup (180ml) capacity dishes and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set.
Top pots with the whipped cream and serve.

Serves 4

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lemon tart ice cream

Lemon tart ice cream / Sorvete de torta de limão siciliano

The weather has been crazy here lately – 29ºC (84ºF) days in the middle of winter. I like the cold and the hearty food that comes with it, but have enjoyed the sunny days as well – after all, they are the perfect excuse for making ice cream. :D

I chose this flavor because of my sister’s love for all things lemon – I wonder where she got that from... :D

This is the recipe I used but the idea of adding cookie bits came from my dear friend Luna’s ice cream. :D

Lemon tart ice cream / Sorvete de torta de limão siciliano

Lemon tart ice cream

Lemon curd:
50g unsalted butter, room temperature, chopped
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¼ cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1 cup + ½ tablespoon (106g) caster sugar

Custard:
1 cup + ½ tablespoon (106g) caster sugar
1 ¼ cups (300ml) heavy cream
1 cup (240ml) whole milk
4 egg yolks
100g digestive cookies, broken into pieces

Start by making the curd: combine the butter, eggs, lemon juice, zest and sugar in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, over low heat for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Strain lemon curd through a fine sieve into a medium heatproof bowl*. Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until cool.

Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a medium heatproof bowl until thick and pale. Gradually stir the warm cream mixture into the egg mixture. Return to saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 10 minutes or until the custard coats the back of the spoon. Transfer to a medium heatproof bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool.
Gradually stir the custard into the lemon curd and stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, for 2-3 hours, then pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Scoop the ice cream into a container and stir in the cookie pieces. Put in freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

* next time I make this ice cream, I’ll be adding the zest after straining the curd, so it won’t get stuck inside the sieve

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Orange poppy seed sugar cookies

Orange poppy seed sugar cookies / Cookies de laranja e sementes de papoula

I have tried, people. I swear I have. I’ve baked with strawberries and bananas to shake things up a little around here. But then I go to Joy’s beautiful blog and there is this amazing column there, on the right, called “citrus bits”, full of mouthwatering photos... I gave in. :D

These cookies are very easy to make and you can freeze one of the dough logs for later – but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. Honestly.

Orange poppy seed sugar cookies / Cookies de laranja e sementes de papoula

Orange poppy seed sugar cookies

2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup + 2 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
finely grated zest of 2 large oranges

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a medium bowl and poppy seeds together.
Put the sugar in a medium size bowl, add the orange zest and use the tips of your fingers to rub them together until sugar is fragrant.
Using an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth. Beat in the fragrant sugar and zest and continue to beat for about 2 minutes until mixture is light and pale.
Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two. Beat in the vanilla.

Reduce the mixer to low speed and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated. Because the dough is best when it is worked the least, you might want to stop the mixer before the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough, and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and malleable.

Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide in half. Shape each half into a chubby sausage - about 5cm (2in) in diameter* - and wrap in baking paper. The dough must be chilled or at least two hours. Well wrapped the dough can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.

Center the rack in the oven and preheat oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Use a sharp, thin knife to slice into 6mm (¼-in) thick rounds, and place the rounds on prepared baking sheets, leaving a little over 3.5cm (1 ½-in) of space between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midpoint. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies rest 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.

* my dough sausages were 4cm in diameter and I got 5cm (2in) cookies

Makes about 45 cookies

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lime tartlets

Lime tartlets / Tortinhas de limão

I’m such a softie - just can’t say “no” to my sister.

She finally stopped by and we spent last Saturday together. When I told her I was going to make sfiha – because she loves it – she replied: “It’s been ages since I last had lime tart...” :D

I wanted something different from my last lemon tart and for that I combined Deb’s fantastic sweet tart shell (it doesn’t shrink!) and Nigella's fresh lime filling. If my sister is any indication – she asked to take some tartlets home – this recipe is a keeper. :D

Lime tartlets / Tortinhas de limão

Lime tartlets

Tart shells:
1 ½ cups (210g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (70g) confectioner’s sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
126g (1 stick + 1 tablespoon) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg

Lime filling:
finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
¾ can (295g/10.5oz) sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cup (160ml) heavy cream

Start by making the shells: pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor. Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. (You’re looking for some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.) Stir the egg with a fork, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds. Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up – I used my Kitchen Aid with the paddle attachment in the whole process.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing. Chill the dough, wrapped in plastic, for about 2 hours before rolling.

To roll the dough: butter twelve 9cm (3 ½in) tartlet pans with removable bottoms - alternatively, use one 22cm (9in) tart pan. Roll out small portions of chilled dough on floured sheet of parchment paper to 11.5cm (4 ½in) rounds, lifting and turning dough occasionally to free from paper. (Alternately, you can roll this out between two pieces of plastic, though flour the dough a bit anyway.). Transfer dough into prepared tartlet pans and seal any cracks in dough. Fold overhang in, making double-thick sides, and if too thick, push the dough down with your fingers towards the bottom of the pan. Pierce crust all over with fork.

Freeze the crusts for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil (or use nonstick foil) and cut roughly into twelve squares; place the foil squares, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. And here is the very best part: Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights. Put the tartlet pans on a large baking sheet and bake the crusts for 20 to 25 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Bake the crust about 10 minutes longer to fully bake it, or until it is firm and golden brown, brown being the important word: a pale crust doesn’t have a lot of flavor. Transfer the pans to a rack and cool the crusts to room temperature

Do ahead: the dough can be wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. While the fully baked crust can be packed airtight and frozen for up to 2 months, the flavor will be fresher bake it directly from the freezer, already rolled out.

Filling: using an electric mixer, whisk all the ingredients in a large bowl until thick and creamy. Pour into the baked and cooled tart shells and chill for a further 30 minutes or until set.

Makes 12

Lime tartlets / Tortinhas de limão

Monday, July 27, 2009

Citrus delicious pudding

Citrus delicious pudding / Sobremesa cítrica deliciosa

I have a new obsession: delicious and put-together-in-a-minute desserts that get transformed while the oven – two different textures in only one dish.
It all started with Bill’s banana pudding and last weekend I tried Donna Hay’s citrus pudding: half of it becomes sort of a sponge cake, and the other half is similar to silky baked custard. So, so good.

Something tells me I’m gonna love Nigella’s hotcake – and I won’t be waiting for the holidays to make it. :D

Citrus delicious pudding / Sobremesa cítrica deliciosa

Citrus delicious pudding
from Donna Hay magazine

6 ½ tablespoons (91g) unsalted butter, softened
2 ½ cups + 2 ½ tablespoons (330g) caster sugar
1 ½ cups + 1 tablespoon (375ml) milk
3 eggs
¼ cup (60ml) lemon juice
¼ cup (60ml) lime juice
½ cup (70g) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
Place the butter, sugar, milk, eggs, lemon and lime juices, flour, baking powder and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth - I tried mixing the batter in my Kitchen Aid but it didn’t work well (the butter didn’t get mixed at all). So I switched to an immersion blender.
Pour into a lightly greased 5-cup (1.2 liters) ovenproof dish and bake for 1 hour or until golden.
Dust with icing sugar to serve (I forgot).

Serves 6

Citrus delicious pudding / Sobremesa cítrica deliciosa

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