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delicious culinary journey

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Carrot Cake (sponsored)


The first carrot cake I ate was in a little bagel store in Aix-en-Provence. My friend convinced me that I really really really had to try it. At first I was just like.. carrots? In a CAKE? No way, I had a salad for lunch I thought. She wouldn't stop insisting until I tried at least a piece of her cake. As a surprise, I was convinced by its delicious flavours at the first bite. 

Afterwards I tried a hundred pieces of carrot cake in many different countries and none had that exact taste of the first piece I've ever tried. One of my favourite still is the one from Konrad, a little coffee place in Luxembourg City. It's delicious indeed. But I obviously wanted to have my own recipe. I've tried several but was never really satisfied. Even when developing this recipe, my oven didn't collaborate at first. So it was a little too moist. I've adapted it once again and now came out with a perfect version. If you like carrot cake, you'll definitely enjoy this recipe. Even my not-so-much-fan-of-carrot-cake colleagues approved the recipe. That's quite a feedback I guess.




For one cake you need:
225g flour
165g sugar
125 ml sunflower oil
3 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
350g carrots
50g chopped walnuts
160g tinned pineapple 

For the icing you need:
50g butter
125g cream cheese
400g icing sugar
Extra: marzipan carrots

All the ingredients can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website. 


Preheat the oven to 180°

Whisk together the oil, eggs, flour, sugar and cinnamon until well combined. Add the carrots, the walnuts and the mashed pineapple. 

Pour the dough into a round cake tin and bake for around 1 hour (or depending on your oven, until a skewer comes out clean). Meanwhile prepare the icing. Cut the butter into little cubes, then whisk together with the cream cheese. Once you get an even mixture, slowly add the icing sugar and my until any lumps have disappeared. Put the icing into the fridge to set a little bit.

Now your cake should be ready as well. Let it cool for 20 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before you spread the icing over the top!

Enjoy!!!!





Friday, July 21, 2017

Watermelon Feta Salad (sponsored)


Today I want to share with you one of my favourite summer salad recipes. I have noticed that some famous feta brands are also advertising the combo of watermelon and feta. It is really really tasty and the two ingredients are a perfect match. To add another extra flavors to this, I opted for cucumber and mint leaves as well. 

The inspiration for this recipe however comes from my first trip to NYC. I remember just after a Broadway show we strolled around to grab some food. Eventually, we ended up in this really cute and hip restaurant, where you could find interesting food combinations from starters to dessert. And this is how I got inspired. They served cucumber feta mint salad, and the waiter told me that if I wanted to add some sweetness, I could add watermelon. That’s what I did and the outcome is this beauty. 

My summer salad is a winner at every BBQ party, so if you want to impress your friends, go for this one. If you don’t like feta, you can still opt for mozzarella or any hard white cheese.



Ingredients:
1 small watermelon
1 large cucumber
100g Feta
5 mint leaves

All the ingredients for the recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website


Peel the cucumbers, then dice them. Cut the watermelon into 1 cm thick slices, and then dice them as well. Combine both ingredients in a large salad bowl. Chop the mint leaves and add them to the salad. Crumble the feta and top the cucumber-watermelon mixture with it. Drizzle some olive oil on the salad and it’s ready to be served.

Enjoy!!!




Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Zucchini Feta Cake (sponsored)


I've just come back from my Chile trip and have to cope with these extremely high temperatures here in Luxembourg. More than 30° for a whole week. Well but let's consider the positive aspect of all this. Long summer nights call for picnics or aperitivos; occasions for which I love baking my savoury cakes. This one is definitely one of my favourites. It's so moist yet not compact, I am really glad the feta and zucchini harmonise so well. Even carnivores don't mind the fact that it's a 100% veggie. 

Today I had this lovely cake for lunch with a big green salad. So it's really up to you when to enjoy it. The most important thing with these recipes is that you choose good quality products. The olive oil for instance is a major component in the flavour composition. One might think, well..., it's being baked anyways, but still, a good extra virgin olive oil contributes to a very pleasing outcome. 


For one loaf you need:
255g flour
1 pack baking powder
1 pinch of sea salt
2 eggs
150 ml extra virgin olive oil
185g courgettes
125g feta
zest of half a lemon

All the ingredients for the recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website!


Preheat the oven to 180°

In a large bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Grate the zucchini and set aside. In another bowl mix the eggs and the olive oil until well combined. Add the zucchini and the crumbled feta. Now add the lemon zest and mix until you get an even mixture. Then add the dry ingredients, mix again for about half a minute. 

Pour the batter into a cake pan and bake for around 50-60 minutes. 

Enjoy!!!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Raspberry Rolls (sponsored)


The berry season is ON!
 How are you celebrating the comeback of these fruits? I have tried several new recipes and am now sharing with you one of my favourites. I transformed a winter classic (cinnamon rolls) into a fruity summer roll. I came across the combination of yeast dough and berries when I tasted a new pastry at my local bakery. 

I am quite proud that my brioche-like dough succeeded at the first try. I used fresh yeast, as I never really manage to work with dry yeast. The roll is buttery enough to be a good brioche, but not too greasy. The yeasty note is just as present as it shall be. So I have to admit I am quite proud about the results. It's nice to see that after several years of baking, I have developed a sense for proportions to create my own recipes from scratch. 


For around 10 rolls you need:
400g all purpose flour
100g sugar
1 tsp freshly ground vanilla or 1 package vanilla sugar
42g fresh yeast
300g raspberry jam
125 ml milk
125g fresh raspberries
150g butter
150g icing sugar
4 eggs
sea salt


Preheat  the oven to 180°.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients except the sugar. Heat the milk in a saucepan until lukewarm. In a separate bowl mix the butter and eggs until well combined. Mix the yeast and sugar until completely liquid. Then add the butter egg mixture and the dry ingredients. Once well combined knit with your hands. Cover in kling film and let it left to stand for at least 50 minutes.

Once the dough is ready, roll it out. Mix the raspberry jam and raspberries until you get an even mixture. Spread the raspberry jam on the dough and start rolling from the short sides. Cut the big roll into small pieces and place in a buttered rectangular baking tin. (30 x 24 cm) .

Bake the rolls for 50 minutes until golden brown.

Let cool a little before taking the rolls out of the baking tin. Juice the orange, add the icing sugar until you get a sticky icing. Drizzle over the rolls. Let them now cool completely before you serve them.

Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Pistachio Brownies (sponsored)


When I think of brownies, a hundred memories flash back to my mind. The best one is my 19th birthday. This year, literally every friend who offered me a gift added a tray of brownies to it. Some baked them by themselves, others asked their moms to do so. Sometimes the latter even had to do research to find out what brownies actually are. You can imagine that after this date I had a serious overdose. Understandable, right? Even the biggest chocoholic cannot cope with more than 10 trays of brownies. My family and friends loved my though because for more than a week, we had brownies EVERY SINGLE DAY!


But what makes brownies so special. Why wouldn't one go for a simple chocolate cake? What I love most about brownies is the chewy gooey fudgy texture on the inside and the crunchy crust on the outside. I tested this recipe three times to find the perfect balance between cacao and chocolate. What I can say is that I've come across the perfect balance. My friends and colleagues tested them, and all camps approved without blinking an eye. That's when you know you did everything right. 


For 12 brownies you need:
250g butter
200g flour
280g good quality chocolate
4 eggs
250g sugar
65g cacao powder
200g roasted pistachios

All the ingredients for the recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website!


Preheat the oven to 150°

Melt the butter and chocolate over a double boiler. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar up for 5 minutes until well combined. Pour in the melted chocolate-butter mixture and mix again. Add the flour and cacao, then finally the pistachios. 

Pour the batter into a buttered brownie tin and bake for 30-35 minutes. 

Enjoy!!!!




Friday, March 31, 2017

Strawberry Tiramiu (sponsored)


Spring has finally arrived and with it a variety of seasonal produce. Apples and beets had to say goodbye and leave the stage for a variety of colourful fruits and veggies. It's a real pleasure to stroll around the local green markets and check out if the strawberries and rhubarb are as ripe as they should be.

With the time change, the days are longer. Nature spoils us with beautiful sceneries and smells of blooming flowers. To celebrate the season I gave my traditional Tiramisu recipe a seasonal twist. After the x-massy version with Speculoos, I now opted for the traditional recipe with a very berry extra. 


The Tiramisu recipe is my very first recipe I owned as a kid. I remember that one afternoon I went to see my neighbour who was preparing Tiramisu for her guests in the evening. I remember that it was the first time I heard about this dessert, and had absolutely no clue what to expect from it. Very carefully I dipped the ladyfingers into the coffee and lined them up into the glass dish. As indicated in the recipe we spread half of the mascarpone mixture over them. Then we repeated layers until done. 

As my neighbour saw how passionate I was about preparing the dessert she suggested that we make a little bowl for me as well. I was so happy and obviously agreed immediately. Before leaving her place, she wrote my down the recipe, which I treated as a precious gift ever since. I think I was 8 years old when we made this Tiramisu. Today I am 32 and I still have the original piece of paper. Even though I am digitalising the recipe right now, I will always keep my first recipe of my still growing collection. 


For about 4 cups you'll need:

500g mascarpone
4 egg yolks
100g sugar
250 ladyfingers
3 tsp Amaretto 
1 cup coffee

All the ingredients for the recipe can be purchased on the Auchan Drive website!


In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and the egg yolks until well combined. Beat in the mascarpone until you get an even creme. Pour in the Amaretto and mix again. 

Prepare one cup of coffee and let cool down a little bit. Hull and finely dice the strawberries. Leave one for each glass aside as decoration. 

Now dip one side of each ladyfinger in the coffee and line the bottom of dessert cups. Pour 3-4 tbsp of mascarpone creme evenly on top. Add a few tbsp of strawberries, then cover them with some more mascarpone creme. Repeat the process for each layer and finish off with a with a layer of mascarpone creme. 

Now slice the remaining strawberries to decorate the dessert cups. Crush one ladyfinger and sprinkle the crumbs on each cup. 

Enjoy!!!



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