Bee Sting Cake/Bienenstich

Hi there, I am finally back! I’ve had a wonderful trip to Switzerland-visiting my family, I really really enjoyed it:)

I thought you might like to see some photos I took:

 

IMG_3103

Lake Thun

IMG_3127.JPG

Eiger, Moench, Jungfraujoch

IMG_3132

Beatenbucht, Lake Thun

IMG_3101

Schloss/Castle Schoenau

IMG_3133

Spitzbub Cookie

IMG_3171

Nussgipfel

IMG_3222

Bienenstich/Bee Sting Cake

Seeing all the yummy stuff over there, I thought of making Bienenstich, Bee Sting Cake. A famous German Cake.

 

Bienenstich

Yeast Dough

  • 250 g all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 50 g soft butter
  • 1 tbsp quick instant yeast
  • 200 ml milk, warm
  • 1 egg

For the topping:

  • 50 g butter
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 100 g almond shavings

Vanilla Pastry Cream:

  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 400 ml milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar or honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 vanilla pod

For the dough: In a bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar, add butter and mix well. Add Yeast, milk and egg. Knead dough well until smooth dough forms. Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size.

For the Almond topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together butter, honey, milk and almonds until warm, remove from heat.

For the pastry cream: In a medium saucepan mix together, and bring the milk, corn starch, sugar, egg and vanilla pod to a boil, while whisking. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap touching the cream to prevent a “skin” forming on top. Let cool down a bit then put in the fridge until set.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. You can use a round cake pan or a square pan.  Line with parchment paper.

-Roll out dough to fit the pan, let rise again. Cover with almond topping and bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.

-Cut cake in half. Spread pastry cream on bottom then cover with top. Cut in desired slices. Store in Refrigerator.

IMG_3214

 

 

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

Follow me on Instagram: #littleswisslittlecanadian

Almond Croissants

These lovelies, called “Nussgipfeli”, are one of my favorite pastries to eat when I am in Switzerland. Usually made with a hazelnut filling, either using a puff pastry or a yeast dough, is so good. One of the most iconic Swiss treats.

Here usually you can find almond croissants. These are really yummy too. It is actually pretty easy to make. You can use a puff pastry or make a sweet yeast dough like I did.

IMG_3084

 

I am very excited because I am going to visit my family in Switzerland for the next two weeks:)!! Looking forward to see everyone, but mostly my dad who did turn 70 this April. He was very sick last year, undergoing a major heart surgery and we are just happy and thankful to be able to celebrate this special birthday.

On the other side I have to admit I am also looking forward to all the good food;)

IMG_3082

 

Almond Croissants 

Yields: 8

Sweet yeast dough:

  • 300 g unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 60 g butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast

-In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, yeast and honey.

-In a saucepan warm/melt butter with the milk.

-Add butter and milk to the dry ingredients and mix well. Knead dough well until smooth ball forms. Place back into bowl then cover with plastic foil. Let rise until doubled in size.

Almond filling:

  • 150 g almonds or hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar, or 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 tbsp milk or cream

-Mix all ingredients together. The filling should be moist.

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • almond slices

-Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-On a floured surface roll out dough into a circle.

-Spread thinly with apricot jam then cut into 8 wedges.

-Spread filling onto wedges. Roll dough up into a croissant. Let rise for another 15 minutes.

-Brush with some egg wash then bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

-Brush warm croissants with some icing: 100g powdered sugar, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice mixed together. Sprinkle with almond slices.

–I brushed it with honey;)–

IMG_3081

 

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

You can find me on Instagram @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

Swiss Carrot Cake

I hope you all had a happy Easter! And we certainly can not complain about the longer weekend;) Here in Canada our kids do not have spring vacation like my nephew and niece have in Switzerland. So we take the extra two days off of course! Also the weather was pretty nice and warm on Easter Sunday.

We have been making a few treats, like these carrot cookies!

IMG_3062

I will definitely make these again, these cookies were so soft and just yummy!! I used coconut sugar for sweetening. I might be posting the recipe another time.

This year I colored our eggs traditionally with onion peels.

IMG_3057

 

But the grand dessert was our carrot cake. Now a European carrot cake is a bit different than a North American carrot cake. So once in a while I like to make it the way I grew up eating it. Also in Switzerland you decorate a carrot cake with Marzipan carrots and I made some “grass” also using Marzipan. Now here in Canada, because you can not buy the finished product, you will have to make your own “carrots” using plain Marzipan and food coloring. I was lucky that my mom brought those when she was visiting:) This is not the original recipe I have in my 1982 Betty Bossi book: Kuchen, Cakes & Torten, rather a bit of a lighter version with less butter and flour. I admit, I did use coconut sugar, which turned out beautiful. We really, really liked it! And it is a keeper all year long! Make it a day or two in advance, it will taste even better:)

IMG_3068

 

Swiss Carrot Cake

  • 240 g almonds, ground
  • 300 g carrots, shredded
  • 90 g butter, unsalted, melted
  • 6 eggs, egg whites separated
  • 230 g sugar
  • 1 organic lemon, zest
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 60 g unbleached flour

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line the bottom of a 8-inch round baking pan with parchment paper. Grease and flour the sides.

-Cream together 100 g sugar and egg yolks. Add lemon zest, salt, cinnamon and clove. Mix in carrots, flour and nuts.

-In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff. Slowly add 130 g sugar then whisk again until shiny.

-Add 1/3 of the egg whites to the first batter and carefully mix under. Then add the rest. Mix in melted butter just until combined.

-Fill in prepared baking pan and bake for about 45-50 min, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Decoration:

  • almond shavings (around 50g)
  • apricot jelly, or jam warmed and then strained through a sieve. Spread around cake then sprinkle the almond shavings on.
  • Marzipan carrots
  • green Marzipan (around 200g), roll out, in between plastic wrap, to cover the top. Then make some “grass”.
  • or plain marzipan and orange and green food coloring and some pistachios for the “carrot top”.
  • using a garlic press to make the “grass”
  • Some chocolate eggs

 

-You can also simply dust the cake with icing sugar.

IMG_3070

 

IMG_3065

 

If you never had a European style carrot cake you might want to give this a try;) just saying…!!

 

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

Blueberry-Coconut-Streusel Muffins

Happy Weekend everyone!!

These cake-like muffins were a huge hit with my family! Blueberries and coconut with a hint of vanilla…amazing!

This was mostly a surprise for my son who had a small surgery on his hand this week. I have been very proud of him because he was very brave!

IMG_3030

 

Blueberry-Coconut-Sreusel Muffins 

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 cup butter, soft
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

-Combine flour with coconut, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in butter and mix until it is in tiny pieces. Remove 3/4 cup of this mixture to a small bowl.

-Combine milk with eggs and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir just until moistened.

-Stir blueberries in gently. Do not defrost frozen blueberries.

-Spoon batter into 12 buttered or paper-lined muffin cups. Sprinkle each with the reserved crumb mixture.

-Bake 30-35 min. in a preheated 350F/180C oven. Cool 5 to 10 min. before removing from pan.

 

IMG_3019

 

The recipe is adapted from: “Best of the Milk Calendar recipes” Baked Goods.

 

 

 

Follow me on Instagram: #littleswisslittlecanadian

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Mohnstrudel, Poppy Seed Strudel

Happy Friyay!!

Poppy seed pastries are very popular in Central and Eastern Europe. We have a wonderful Hungarian Restaurant in London where we went for lunch a while ago and we had a Mohnstrudel for dessert, it was amazing! Usually we buy a poppy seed pastry at our local Polish Delicatessen store.

It does not happen often that I make it myself;) But I tell you it was totally worth it, so good!

Poppy seeds are an excellent source of minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, copper and potassium. They are also loaded with dietary fibers, vitamins and healthy fats.

IMG_3012

 

Mohnstrudel

Yeast dough:

  • 50 g butter, melted
  • 150 ml milk
  • 50 g sugar
  • 400 g unbleached white flour
  • 7 g instant dry yeast
  • 2 eggs

Filling:

  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 g poppy seeds, finely ground
  • 5 tblsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tbsp extract
  • 5 dried prunes, soaked in Kirsch Schnapps
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • milk for brushing
  • powdered sugar

-For the dough: Mix together butter, milk and sugar until creamy. In a mixing bowl add flour and yeast, add wet ingredients and using a standard mixer or you hands mix and knead until holds nicely together. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 1 hour.

-For the filling: In a medium saucepan heat the milk then add poppy seeds and sugar, reducing heat to your lowest setting and continue stirring so it does not burn, for about 30 minutes, then add vanilla and cinnamon. I had to add a little bit more milk because it seemed so dry. It is suppose to be moist but not to wet.

-Cut prunes very finely. Mix prunes into the poppy seed mixture. Puree mixture in a blender or food processor. Let it cool.

-Preheat oven to 180C/350F

-On a floured surface or on a parchment paper, roll out dough to a rectangle. Spread filling evenly on the dough leaving a 2 cm space all around. Fold in edges then roll the dough up.

-Place Strudel on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush Strudel with some milk. Bake for about 30 minutes.

-Serve dusted with icing sugar.

 

–Was served at the Restaurant with a chocolate sauce–

 

IMG_3013

It was even better the next day!!

IMG_3011

 

Enjoy!

Happy weekend!!

 

 

Check out my Instagram @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

Hazelnut-Butterfly Sweet Yeast Bread

There are some dishes from Switzerland, sweet or savory, that I am sometimes suddenly thinking off…maybe even missing a little. And that can be at times like right before I go to bed for some weird reason;)

Most of my baking is out off Swiss or German cookbooks, some old true and tested recipes that everyone loves. The other day my husband was asking for a Hazelnut Sweetbread. A traditional sweet yeast dough filled with ground hazelnuts. We call this a Russenzopf (Russianbraid, I do not know how or why it got that name). The great thing about it is you can take the same recipe and make hazelnut rolls or crescents called Nussgipfeli, which I LOVE and need to eat when we are in Switzerland, or like I did for this recipe, a butterfly.

IMG_2973

However you shape it, it is delicious!

Now trying to cut down on white refined sugar, I used honey and coconut sugar. I will give you the original version as well, using white and brown sugar.

IMG_2974

Hazelnut-Butterfly

Yeast dough:

  • 350 g white unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey, or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125 ml milk, room temp.
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 1 egg

-Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk together milk, egg and butter. Add to dry ingredients. Knead dough until smooth. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size. About 1 hour.

Filling:

  • 200 g Hazelnuts, finely ground (you can also use ground almonds)
  • 5 tbsp coconut sugar, or 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 organic lemon, juice and zest
  • 100 ml cream or milk

-Mix all ingredients together.

-Preheat oven to 180C/350F (Convection setting). Line a 30 cm loaf pan with parchment paper.

-Roll out dough into a rectangle. Spread filling out evenly. Cut horizontally. Roll each piece from the outsides to the center and lay both pieces on top of each other in a prepared baking dish. Let it rise for another 30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Spread the icing on while it is still warm.

Icing:

  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

-Mix together well.

IMG_2961

IMG_2963

Tip: Original recipe calls for 250 g Marzipan, 1 organic orange, zest and 1 tbsp juice. It is called Almond-Butterfly.

Recipe adapted from Dr. Oetker “Backen macht Freude” and Betty Bossi “Backstube”

IMG_2975

Have fun and enjoy!

You can find me on Instagram. #littleswisslittlecanadian

Brownie Heart Cupcakes

 

Can’t decide if you want to make Brownies or Cupcakes? How about a Brownie Cupcake?!

This is a cute Valentines treat for all those chocolate lovers out there!!

 

img_2892

 

img_2897

 

(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)

 

Brownie Heart Cupcakes

Makes 24

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temp.
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

 

-Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Line a 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.

-Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pot of simmering water, stirring until chocolate melts.

-Attach bowl to mixer, add sugar and whisk on medium-high speed until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture.

-Divide batter among muffing cups, filling each 2/3 full. Spread remaining batter in square pan. Bake until set but still soft, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins and pan on wire racks.

-Frost cupcakes with buttercream. Cut out 24 hearts from brownie in pan. Top each cupcake with a heart.

 

Basic Buttercream

  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temp.
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

 

-In a medium bowl sift together confectioners sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter, milk and vanilla. Stir until smooth and free of lumps.

–Buttercream can be stored in refrigerator up to two weeks–

 

img_2895

 

 

Enjoy!