Almond Coconut Birthday Cake

Happy weekend everyone!! This was a very special week for us; we celebrated our daughters 18th Birthday! I have to admit this comes with some mixed feelings and maybe a few secret tears:) Yes my babies are growing up, making me think back to when they were little, time goes by so fast indeed, but now I have a grown up daughter, and I am very proud of the young lady she’s become!

We share a love for all things coconut, usually my kids let me know what kind of cake they would like to have on their birthday, but this year they were both asking for a surprise:) I’ve made her a almond coconut cake with raw Raffaello truffles, you could of course use the real Raffaello truffles. I’ve made the cake refined-sugar free; almond coconut sponge filled with coconut whipped cream, so simple but so delicious!

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If you love coconut you’ll love this cake!!

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Almond Coconut (Raffaello) Cake

Almond Coconut Sponge

  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup honey or sugar
  • 1/2 cup almonds, ground
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 500 ml whipping cream, 35%, chilled
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or icing sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 8 or more Ferrero Raffaello truffles, optional
  • lightly toasted shredded coconut, optional

-Grease and line a bottom and sides of a 9-inch (23 cm) pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 340F/170C.

-Separate egg whites from yolks. Add a pinch of salt to the whites and start mixing until foamy. Gradually add honey or sugar and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

-Mix egg yolks with almond extract and fold into the whipped whites.

-Mix together ground almonds, coconut and flour then gradually and carefully incorporate into the whites.

-Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.

For the whipped cream frosting:

-In a large bowl mix the whipping cream and the vanilla sugar. Whip until lightly/almost stiff then gradually add the honey or icing sugar, as sweet as you like it, continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Fold in the shredded coconut.

Assemble the cake:

-Divide the sponge cake into 3 layers. Place one layer on a serving plate. Spread 1/3 cup coconut milk over the cake. Spread evenly with a bit less then a third of the whipped cream. Top with second cake layer and repeat. Add the third layer of cake. Cover the top and sides of the cake with whipped cream, leaving it like that or get creative with piping rosettes and so on. Decorate with Raffaello truffles and toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

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Tip: You could get fancy and drizzle some coconut liquor (Malibu) over the sponge layers:)

 

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Happy 18th Birthday!

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

Follow me on Instagram: littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

I’ve posted a picture of these muffins on Instagram back in October. The original recipe uses pumpkins, which I did use for the first batch and we just loved these muffins. The sweet potato came into use because I had no pumpkin on hand so I thought I just give it a try and it was surprisingly very yummy. I added some oat crumble and some maple caramel drizzle like I made for the Caramel Apple Sticky Buns, used only coconut sugar and maple syrup, otherwise followed Linda’s Spiced Pumpkin Loaf recipe from her blog sweetenufblog . Sweet potato as well as pumpkins are very healthy and I just love them. So feel free to use either, both are delicious!! Just made another batch this week to pack for my kids for school:)

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Here are some other yummy pumpkin recipes:

Pumpkin-Oat-Squares

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Pumpkin-Chocolate-Muffins

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Pumpkin Spice Babka

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Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

Yields 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, I used coconut sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 cups sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Glaze: Combine 1/3 cup icing sugar with 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Oat crumble: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • Optional: toffee bits, butterscotch chips, pecans

-In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside

-In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and beat until very light in colour and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, and scraping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl. Beat in the maple syrup. The mixture will look curdled at this point! As you add the flour mixture it will come together.

-Remove the bowl from the mixer and using a wooden spoon stir in half on the flour mixture until combined. Add in the pumkin and stir until combined then add in the remaining flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Fold in the nuts.

-In a small bowl mix together the oats, cinnamon, maple syrup and coconut sugar.

-Fill into prepared muffin tins, smooth out the top with an offset spatula or knife, then sprinkle some of the oat mix on top.

-Bake in 325F preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes until top springs back lightly when touched. Or a tester inserted into centre comes out clean.

-Let cool completely then drizzle with the maple glaze.

-Tip: Double the oat crumble recipe if you like to have a thick crumble top.

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Thanks again for the recipe Linda!

I hope you’ll give it a try!

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caramel Apple Sticky Buns

I got the inspiration for these sticky buns from the October 2017 edition of the Canadian Living magazine. I’ve been waiting impatiently to try them. A pretty sticky bun situation, with an apple and pecan filling and sticky caramel made with apple juice and sugar.

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As always I’ve made these completely refined sugar free, but I will write down the original ingredients as well. These are best enjoyed freshly baked and still warm.

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Caramel Apple Sticky Buns

Yields: 12 buns

Dough:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, I used white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, I used honey
  • 11/2 tsp quick-rising (instant) dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Glaze and Filling:

  • 4 apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar, I used coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup apple butter*
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger

To make the dough:

-In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, add milk and heat until warm, (not hot). Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, add egg. Stir until combined. Turn onto floured work surface and knead dough until soft and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease all over then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.

Glaze and Filling: Line a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

-Meanwhile (optional peel) grate apples to measure 4 cups; strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl, pressing on solids with back of spoon to extract juice. Reserve grated apple.

-In a small saucepan, bring apple juice and brown sugar to boil over medium-high heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add butter; cook, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Reserving 3 tbsp, spread remaining glaze evenly over bottom of prepared pan; sprinkle with 1 cup of the pecans, In a bowl stir together apple butter, reserved 3 tbsp glaze, cinnamon and ginger.

Assembly:

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

-On a slightly floured surface roll out dough to a 16-x 12-inch rectangle. Leaving 1/2-inch border on 1 long edge, spread apple butter mixture evenly over dough; sprinkle reserved apple and pecans over top. Starting at the long edge opposite border, tightly roll up dough, pinching seams to seal.

-With a serrated knife, cut into 12 buns; arrange, cut side up, in prepared pan. Cover with a damp tea towel; let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

-Bake until golden brown and buns sound hollow when gently tapped, 30-35 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before serving.

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*I’ve made these without the apple butter, because I did not have any at the time.

-Also I found the sticky buns were not really sticky after baking, maybe it depends how much juice you’ll get from the apples. I’ve made an additional simple maple glaze: In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of maple syrup and 1 tsp cinnamon to a boil, then reduce to low heat, stirring until slightly thickens; add the butter, stir until melted, remove from heat and pour over baked buns.

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Enjoy!

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Ursula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apfel Puddingteilchen/Apple Pudding Danish

Pastry filled with vanilla pudding or custard then topped optional with fruit of choice I stayed with autumnal fruits like our local apples, really simple but oh so yummy treat that you could find in any German bakery. Again I had some trouble figuring out how to call this in English, did not have much luck so I am just calling it a danish.

There are so many delicious apple dessert that I would like to make, but it would just be to much to eat;) I am glad to be able to get back into baking and also eating normal again, after being sick for the last two weeks. Strong stomach pain kept my in bed or on the washroom for most of the time. I am feeling much better now, trying to get back into normal eating without getting stomach pain can be challenging. Also hope to get back to posting a recipe per week again.

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Recipe is adapted from Chefkoch.de

Apple Pudding Danish

Pastry Dough:

  • 300 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 80 g honey or sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pkg vanilla sugar or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g quark or greek yogurt
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 6 tbsp oil, canola or coconut oil

Filling:

  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding powder, Dr. Oetker
  • 500 ml milk
  • 40 g honey or sugar, or more

Apple Topping:

  • 2 1/2 medium apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or more
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

For Eggwash:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk

-Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-Prepare vanilla pudding according to package a few hours ahead, it needs to cool down and set.

-Mix apples with the maple syrup, lemon juice and cinnamon and let simmer on medium/low heat for about 10 minutes.

-In a medium bowl mix together quark, milk, oil, honey, vanilla extract and salt. Sift flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients and mix it well until holds together, it will be a soft dough.

-On a floured surface roll out the dough into a rectangle, then cut into 10-12 pieces. Transfer pieces onto baking sheet and fold edges in slightly. You can keep a rectangle shape or make it more round or traditionally into a pretzel shape.

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-Add 2-3 tbsp of vanilla pudding into the center of the pastry then top with the apples.

-Brush pastry with the egg wash, sprinkle with some slivered almonds if you like

-Bake in a preheated 350F/180C oven for 20-25 minutes or golden brown.

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I hope you give this recipe a try, it is so good, perfect for your afternoon tea or coffee!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ursula

 

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Babka

This is just a simple sweet yeastbread filled with pumpkin and spices and glazed generously with spiced maple syrup. I just love the smell and taste of this. I usually make babkas (Nussstriezel) filled with ground hazelnuts or almonds, I was surprised how good it was with a pumpkin filling.

Nothing complicated for the filling, just pumpkin puree sweetened with coconut sugar, spiced it up with cinnamon and pumpkin spice mix. For the dough I used my sweet yeastbread recipe that you can find here: Almond Croissants just changed the flour ingredients to 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour and 100 g spelt flour and spiced it up a bit by adding 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp cinnamon:)

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Pumpkin Spice Babka

Dough:

 

Pumpkin Spice filling:

  • 200 g pumpkin puree, (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix

Spiced Maple Syrup Glaze

  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix

-Prepare dough in advance, it needs at least 1 hour to rise. In the meanwhile prepare your pumpkin filling by mixing together pumpkin puree, coconut sugar and spices.

-Whisk together maple syrup, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice mix, set aside.

-Line a loaf pan or a baking sheet with parchment paper

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-When doubled in size, roll out dough into a rectangular shape. Then spread pumpkin filling evenly all over. Start rolling dough up from the longest side, like you would for a cinnamon bun and gently pinch ends together. Cut log lengthwise in half so filling is exposed, pinch one end. Twist both pieces, pinch the other end to secure.

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-Place in prepared loaf pan or baking sheet. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.

-Bake in preheated 350F/180C oven for 40 minutes.

-About 25 minute into baking brush some of the syrup onto babka. Bake until golden brown. Remove from stove and brush with remaining syrup. Let cool before cutting.

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–Make sure your spice mixes are not old, it looses its flavor over time.–

 

Wishing everyone a happy weekend and to all my Canadian friends a happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zucchini Brownies

It’s that time of the year again when kids and parents are getting ready for a new school year. Two month of summer break sound awfully long at the beginning but then it goes by so quick. My daughter is going to start her last year in high school, grade 12, and my son will be in grade 10. We’ll also use this long Labor Day weekend to make some healthy treats to go, like cereal bars and cookies…

Fall is definitely in the air, it’s been much cooler, especially during the night. We still have plenty of veggies to harvest in our garden, but I believe this was one of our last zucchini we’ve used for these fudgy, chocolicious, yummy brownies. These happen to be egg-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free (Feel free to use regular sugar). The chocolate frosting is optional but totally worth it!

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Zucchini Brownies

  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3-5 tsp water

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

-In a medium bowl mix together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix well, then fold in the zucchini. You may have to add some water at that point. The batter should be very thick for fudgy brownies.

-Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Top the warm brownies with the chocolate frosting if desired.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, or more if you like it sweeter
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • pinch of Himalayan salt

-In a small saucepan, over low heat, mix together the oil and maple syrup, add cocoa powder and salt and whisk until smooth.

 

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I hope you’ll give it a try!

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

Follow me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raspberry-Streusel-Muffins

Hello, happy weekend everyone!

I’m finally back with writing another recipe. I took a little break because my brother, with his family, were visiting for the last two weeks. The weather was pretty good, we went to Huron Lake for a swim, drove to the St. Jacobs Farmers Market, went Go-Kart driving and played mini-golf. Over the weekend we went to Niagara Falls, which is a three hour drive from home. They went now alone travelling to Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto before they’ll fly back home to Switzerland on Monday.

Our garden is doing very well this year. For now we have a lot of beans, red beets, salad, zucchini, swiss chard and now the first potatoes! Raspberries are done for the season and the following recipe was one of the desserts we’ve made.

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Raspberry-Streusel-Muffins

Yields: 14

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g butter, soft
  • 175 g coconut sugar or regular sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 150 ml buttermilk or non-dairy milk
  • 200 g raspberries, fresh or frozen

-Separate eggs. Whisk together butter, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla sugar and salt.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

-Whisk egg whites until stiff. Mix together flour and baking powder and fold in alternately with the milk and egg whites, to the butter mix. Gently fold in the raspberries (if using frozen berries you do not need to defrost them).

-Fill into prepared muffin forms, top with streusel if desired. Bake for about 35 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean.

Tip: Streusel topping is optional but of course delicious! You can use about half or less of this streusel recipe: Peach-Crumble-Cake/ Pfirsich-Streuselkuchen

 

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Huron Lake

 

Niagara Falls:

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Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

You can find me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian