Sunday, September 1, 2019

Mirabelle Almond Cake

Stone fruit season is slowly transitioning from sweet and juicy peaches or nectarines to the joy of mirabelle and damson plums. This is one of my one shot recipes, where I just had the idea of combining mirabelle plums and almonds, and it turned exactly out how I had imagined it. The slightly acid yet sweet mirabelles perfectly match with the almonds. It's definitely not the last time I made this cake. 

Mirabelles are local fruits and I was especially looking forward to their arrival this year. It's very funny because for a very very long time I did not eat any these lovely little fruits. Somehow I just dismissed them from my pre-autumn fruit list. Last year, one of my friends gave me a jar of very delicious mirabelle jam that she made with the fruit from her garden. So that was the time I decided there should be more recipes with mirabelles on my blog. So be ready for more to come! 

For one cake you need:
200g ground almonds
100g flour
1,5 ts baking powder
160g butter
160g sugar
2 eggs
280-300g mirabelles

Preheat the oven to 180°

In one bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until well combined and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one until you get an even mixture. In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients then add them to the batter. Mix again until you get a smooth batter.

Pit the mirabelle, cut them in half. Pour the batter into a buttered cake tin, then place the plums on top. Bake for 40 minutes, cover the cake with baking paper if necessary and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. 


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Grilled Peach Ricotta Crostini

Stone fruit season is at full swing and and the best thing is that you can have peaches, apricots, plums  and nectarines until early autumn. This crostini screams summer vibes and BBQ season with friends and is the perfect appetiser until the fire gets going. Trust me, once you've tried this recipe, you'll be making these crostini for every occasion. It's a real crowd pleaser and the flavours of juicy peaches, sweet honey, creamy honey and fresh thyme on a crunchy crostini are just perfect. 

I've had these buddies in mind for quite some time and today was the big day. I love crostini and toasts A LOT and I'm always eager to try new combinations. The tart and sweet alternation with a creamy layer in between combines seasonal flavours at its best. So what are you waiting for? Head to your closest farmers market and get all you need. 

For 8 crostini you'll need:
8 slices of ciabatta bread
250g ricotta
1 lemon
2 peaches
good quality olive oil
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp honey

Preheat your grill to high heat.

In a medium bowl stir together the ricotta, juice of one lemon and the thyme. Place the bread on a plate and drizzle  with olive oil on both sides of each slice until well covered. Now place the bread on the grill and grill each side for about 2 to 3 minutes. Once they're done set aside and let cool. 

Wash the peaches, slice them and put on the grill for around 2 minutes each side. Once they're done, let cool on a plate. 

Spread the ricotta mixture over the bread and top with peaches. Top the crostini with a few more thyme leaves, then drizzle with honey.


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Banana Raspberry Parfaits

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, yet unfortunately the one I take the least time for. I know it's not ideal, and most of all not very healthy. On weekends however, I really love taking all my time in the morning. Getting up, preparing breakfast, or a sort of home cooked brunch and watching my favourite series. The main reason of my current rhythm is that I prefer to sleep longer instead of sitting half tired half stressed in the kitchen. When I take the time to prepare wholesome meals, I really love to enjoy them and taste every inch of the plate (or jar in this case)

These banana raspberry cups are inspired from a breakfast I once had at a local coffee shop. But obviously I adjusted it to my taste, and amended the fruit-yoghurt-muesli ratio. The more banana the better. Do you agree on that one? What I love about breakfast parfaits is that you can easily make them ahead and take them to work, or have them as a fruity item on your next brunch buffet. 

For 2 parfaits you'll need:
2 bananas
4 tbsp muesli/granola
250g raspberries
250g yoghurt


In a saucepan cook the raspberries over middle heat (keep a few to decorate). Stir regularly until they have softened and remove from heat, then let cool. Meanwhile, blend the bananas until very creamy. Pour into the jars to form the ground layer. Add 2 tbsp of muesli or granola to each jar. Add half of the yoghurt to each jar as well. Add some raspberries on top of each jar.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Asparagus Quiche

The asparagus season is at full swing and Easter is just around the corner. It's no surprise so many delicious green recipes are coming my way. How do you spend Easter? Going to a restaurant or hosting a brunch at home? If the latter applies to your traditions, I have the perfect recipe for you. That goes without saying that savoury tarts are always a crowd pleaser for these occasions. I love brunch and I love to prepare brunch. Setting the buffet and selecting the recipes you want to prepare sparks so much joy. Arranging the selection, being careful what flavours you combine. It's simple magic. 

For this recipe my hardest choice was whether I am going to make tartlets or a large quiche. You can see the result in this blogpost. Either way is a good choice, it just depends on how you want to serve it. A good thing about this recipe is, that it's not only a delicious brunch recipe, but you can also enjoy it as weekdays dinner or quick and easy lunches with a good salad. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I did.  

For one quiche you need:
200g flour
110g butter
5 eggs
20ml water
3g salt
1 pinch of fleur de sel 
125g grated cheese
300 ml heavy cream 
1 pinch of nutmeg

Start making the dough by cutting the butter into cubes. Whisk together the flour, the salt, the butter until you get an even dough. Make a well in the centre, now add the egg to it and start to knead gently with your fingers. Finally add the water to obtain a smooth quiche base. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Put into the fridge for about 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 180°

Grease a a tart tin (if round 26cm). Roll out the dough on a floured surface until and lift it into the tin with a rolling tin. Prick the bottom several times with a fork, cover it with baking paper, weigh down with baking beans and cook blind for 15 minutes. 

In the meantime prepare the filling. Cut the ends of the asparagus and cook them for 10 minutes. Beat the remaining eggs, add the liquid cream, the cheese and the nutmeg. 

Distribute the asparagus over the dough, then pour the filling over them. Bake for 30 minutes.



If you're looking for more Easter brunch recipes please check out the ones of my fellow bloggers:

My picked food made Korean vegetable pancakes
Kleines Kuliversum made radish pots with wild garlic
Fredke and friends made champagne cake
Spiffing Ideas made ham, cheese and fig pie
Liebe mit Biss made eggplant kuku

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Red Wine Pasta with Feta and Basil (sponsored)

When I am approached to develop recipes for collaborations, I always try to make simple dishes, yet use unusual techniques so it has a clear added value for all parties. For this very occasion, notably a wine faire, I asked myself if there was no possibility to infuse pasta the way you infuse risotto. After doing quite some research and reading about other bloggers' experiences I decided to go for the boozy pasta. I love wine, especially red wine, a major reason I threw in a whole bottle from Bordeaux. You might ask yourself why I opted for greek cheese on an Italian dish, wondering moreover why I didn't go for any creamy ricotta or mozzarella. Well here's the answer:  the creamy pasta needed some strong counter-taste. Could you name any other white cheese who'd do the trick?
When cooking with wine, people's opinions tend to diverge tend. As I am not a fan of using the cheapest wine (except if we're talking about one or two table spoons), I chose the real good stuff. Please don't get me wrong, I am not telling you to pop your most expensive bottles! But once you'll test the recipe, you'll exactly understand what I am talking about. 

For two people you'll need:
250g pasta
1 bottle red wine
3 garlic cloves
4 tbsp pine nuts
125g feta
2 handful chopped basil
4 tbsp olive oil
salt, pepper

First chop the garlic cloves. In a large saucepan cook the garlic over medium heat until it starts to brown (3-4 minutes). Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the pasta, a pinch of salt, then reduce heat to a rapid simmer. Cook the pasta until the wine is completely absorbed. Don't forget to stir occasionally to make sure the pasta is well covered in wine. 

 Meanwhile crumble the feta and chop the basil.  Once everything is ready, divide pasta between two plates. Sprinkle with basil, feta and pine nuts and serve.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Spinach Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

Looking at this dish one might notice that I am totally looking forward to spring. February spoilt us with mild temperatures, but then, the weather got back to gloomy and rainy winter moments. I  absolutely love hearty dishes , especially when baked with loads of cheese, but at some point you just want to switch to juicy fresh produce. 

Luckily I had a break from all this gloom and went to Costa Rica end of January. We had loads of typical flavours and some inspired this colourful bowl. So my usual bell pepper carrot salad has transformed into a tropical delight. I have to admit that I had to get used to limes in savoury dishes at first, as for me they're THE ingredient that defines mojitos. Now that I'm a fan, I like to replace lemons by limes quite often. So if you're curious what tropical flavours are hidden in my salad, read on and try the recipe. 

For 4 servings you'll need:
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 cucumbers
4 handful spinach
2 handful coriander 
2 mangoes
4 carrots
4 tbsp chives
450g black beans (canned)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 limes
2 small onions
4 avocados
salt & pepper

Rinse the bell peppers and cucumbers then cut them into little cubes. Peel the carrots and cut as well. Chop the chives and coriander and add the herbs to the vegetables. Now add the spinach as well as the black beans to the mix. Stir until all the ingredients are well mixed.

Peel the mango, press the lime juice and chop the onions into medium-sized chunks. Add everything to a food processor and mix. Divide the salad mix onto four plates, then drizzle the mango vinaigrette over each plate. Cut the avocado and place on top of each salad. Season with salt and pepper ate serve. 


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