7 baking for zounds. Baked new set of cakes and cookies for people celebrating a birthday. yay

Almond cookies (makes about 30-35, 4 cm wide, cookies)

Ingredients

– 340 ground almonds (they should be skinned because the skins make the cookies taste a tad bitter so meh)

– 80 sugar (i used cane sugar, powdered)

– 4 egg whites

– baking powder

– 30 g flour

– orange zest (optional)

– almond extract (optional)

– chopped/whole almonds for decoration

– granulated sugar for dredging the cookie dough in before baking

How to

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2. Grind the almonds, add baking powder and flour

3. Mix the egg whites till they become foamy on medium high speed, gradually add the sugar, keep mixing till they form stiff peaks. the foam should stick to the bowl when turned upside down. I like to add a sprinkle of salt and a bit of lemon juice, will help stabilize the meringue.

4. Fold in the dry ingredients into the egg whites with the orange zest and almond extract. Knead into a smooth dough. It may be sticky, but shouldn’t be overly so. If it is, add flour, a teaspoon at a time.

5. Line a cookie sheet with silicone or parchment. Shape the cookies into medium sized balls and roll them in caster sugar. Make them at least 2 cm thick since they spread a bit, and place them well apart. I flattened mine wiht a fork. This is a very sticky dough, and dredging it in the sugar/almonds helps.

6. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Cover with parchment paper and bake for another 2-3 minutes. They should not turn brown. Cool for a couple of minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tiramisu squares (for about 24 5×5 cm pieces)

Ingredients

For the sponge cake:

– 3 eggs

– 100 g confectioners sugar

– baking powder

– 10 g instant coffee

–  50 ml freshly brewed coffee, cooled

– salt

– 150 g flour

For the filling:

– 3 egg yolks

– 100 g confectioners sugar

– 250 g mascarpone cheese

– 150 ml heavy cream

– vanilla bean (optional)

for the soaking part:

– 200 ml coffee+ alcohol of your choice (i used rum but the original recipe asks for marsala wine )

How to

For the sponge cake

1. preheat the oven to 180 degrees C’, line a pan with parchment paper

2. Separate the eggs and start beating the egg whites with a tad of salt and lemon juice gradually adding the sugar till they form stiff peaks.

3. Mix the cooled coffee with the egg yolks and pour over the egg whites, the meringue should be able to sustain most of the weight and stir slowly

4. Mix the flour with the baking powder and instant coffee powder and pour over the egg whites and mix till no visible traces of egg whites, but no more.

5. Pour into the mould and bake for approximately 30 mins (depends on your oven) it should pass the toothpick test. poke the sponge a few times and if the stick comes out clean, the cake is  done.  LEt cool till COLD and slice it up in two

For the filling

1. egg yolks +sugar => nice shiny foam, should flow like a ribbon (add vanilla pod seeds now)

2. set on bain-marie for 20 mins, mixing from time to time

3. while all the stuff is cooling off, beat the heavy cream and fluff up the mascarpone

Once everything is cooled, just pour the mascarpone cheese over the egg yolks and mix really well before adding the whipped cream.

Assembling

1. Soak the bottom slice of the sponge cake with the coffee+rum liquid. Depending on its use, use more or less of the liquid. I wanted the bottom to be less wet in order to be able to handle the pieces wiht my hands.

2. Spread half of the filling and add the top layer.

3. Soak that one really well cuz it’s gonna be in the middle and won’t matter much.

4. Spread the rest of the filling, even it out or play with teh frosting, no matter.

Slice up and serve with sprinkled cocoa powder 😀

Apple crumble tartz with vanilla sauce (24 5×5 pieces)

Ingredients

For the crust

– 130 g butter

– 200 g flour

– sprinkle of salt and sugar

– 2 tbs of ice-cold water

For the filling

– 5 large apples +1 pear for flavor

– nutmeg +cinnamon to taste (about half a tbsp of each)

– orange zest (the more is used, the more intense the flavour)

– honey or sugar to taste (0ptional, depends on the sweetness of the apples)

for the crumble

– 150 g flour

– 70 g butter

– 70 g sugar

– 30 g oatmeal

– baking powder

How to

turn the oven to 200 degrees C

for the crust:

1. cool the butter and flour and water in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes

2. Crumble the butter and flour

3. add water just enough to get the dough together, don’t knead, use your hands as little as possible, use a fork, let it sit in the fridge till the rest of the stuff are ready for use

for the filling:

4. peel the apples chop coarsely

5. season them wiht nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar (if needed) orange zest and lemon juice, set aside

For the crumble

6. Mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and oatmeal and rub it with your palms in order to obtain a dry crumbly mixture.

7. Take the crust dough out of the fridge and roll it out in the shape of your pan, the dough can be adjusted with your fingers in order to fit the baking pan

8. Spread the apple filling evenly and then proceed with the crumble.

9. Bake for 40-50 minutes till golden brown on the edges.

10. Serve with creme anglaise (vanilla sauce)

ok, i kept saying i’d write the recipe down for this one but i keep being lazy about it.

Basically, it’s heavy cream +vanilla pod and seeds, boiled, set aside, mixed with foamy egg yolks +sugar, and blended then brought close to boiling point for a bit till the sauce thickens.

50 ml of cream for 1 egg yolk and 25 g sugar (that can vary). i also added a bit of cornstarch to thicken it.

Chocolate Loaf cake

Recipe here. one note on this one, must use enough baking powder in order to obtain fluffy results 😀

finally, done, 1000 words!

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