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:

 

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Lake Thun

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Eiger, Moench, Jungfraujoch

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Beatenbucht, Lake Thun

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Schloss/Castle Schoenau

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Spitzbub Cookie

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Nussgipfel

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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.

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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.

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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;)

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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;)–

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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!

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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.

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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:)

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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.

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

 

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

Chocolate Squares (Studentenschnitten)

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!!

It can be very tricky to translate a German word/sentence, because if you do translate word by word it often does not make any sense. This cake is called Studentenschnitten, which means student slice. This does not sound so great, therefore I will call it simply, Chocolate Squares. You can buy it ready made in Switzerland, and that is what my Mother and everyone else I know used to do-we never made it ourselves…

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover Christmas cookies and chocolate. I used a simple recipe from a Swiss chef, Annemarie Wildeisen. The base crust, which is similar to a pie crust, is from my Tiptopf cookbook. (She is using a store bought dough)

 

Chocolate Squares

 

Base crust (Pie crust):

  • 150g flour
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 90g butter, cold
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg

-Mix together flour and salt. Add butter and with a fork or pastry blender mix until it resembles fine crumbs.

-Add whisked egg and mix dough only until it holds together. Wrap in plastic foil and chill for 30 minutes.

 

Filling:

  • 300g cookies, finely ground
  • 6 eggs
  • 175g sugar
  • 100g bittersweet chocolate or milk chocolate
  • 175g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 150g hazelnuts or almonds, ground

 

Chocolate Icing:

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 40g butter
  • 3tbsp icing sugar

 

-Whisk together eggs and sugar. In a double boiler melt together chocolate and butter, add to egg mix.

-Combine flour, nuts and cookie crumbs. Add slowly to wet ingredients.

-Roll out base crust to fit into a 30cm square or round pan.

-Cover with the filling. Bake in a 350F/180C oven for 40-50 minutes.

-In a double boiler melt dark chocolate, add butter. Sift the icing sugar and mix well. Spread onto the cooled cake.

-Cut into squares.

(You could spread some Strawberry jelly onto the cake first, and then add the chocolate icing)

Can be kept in refrigerator for 3-4 days

 

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Love, Peace and Happiness!!

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Christmas Baking

Here are some of the Christmas Cookies I have been making this year. Most of them are old European (Swiss/German) recipes that my Grandmothers and my Mother used to make.

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Nusshaufchen, Zimtsterne, Maple Cookies, Spitzbuben and Domino Stones (you can find the recipe here Sweet Domino Stones). I also made a fruit cake-with raisins soaked in Kirsch Schnapps overnight-amazing:)

 

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I also made some Truffles (made with dark Chocolate and Coconut milk, no added sugar)-these were delicious!!

 

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My favorite: Spitzbuben with homemade red currant jelly-so delicate:) My mother gave my those cute cookie cutters years ago when my kids were still little.

 

Most of the cookies are already gone! I had to actually hide some of the Spitzbuben because I was not able to eat (chew) cookies after my surgery. So they are waiting for me in a special hiding place;)

I decided to make some more cookies. I found two great recipes that are slightly healthier-without white refined sugar-great!

If you like Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Dates and Honey-you will LOVE these cookies!!

Found the recipe in a German magazine.

 

Date-Nut Cookies

For the dough:

  • 200g whole wheat flour
  • 100g white flour
  • 50g hazelnuts, ground
  • 1 egg
  • 100g honey
  • 160g butter, cold

For the filling:

  • 200g dates, finely chopped
  • 50g almonds, finely chopped
  • 50g honey
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • dash cloves
  • dash cardamom

-Combine flour and nuts, add egg, honey and butter. Mix together (like a pie dough) until it holds nicely together. Wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate for 1 hour.

-Mix together dates, spices and honey.

-Roll half of the dough out to fit into a square or rectangle baking dish (30cm length). Spread filling evenly onto dough. Roll out remaining dough and cover filling. Gently press down a bit.

-Bake in preheated 350F/180C oven for 20 minutes.

-Let cool. Cut into triangles. Decorate with almonds, icing or chocolate.

-Yields: about 20

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Following recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart magazine. I used coconut sugar.

 

Honey-Walnut-Coins

  • 2 1/2c white flour
  • 3/4tsp sea salt
  • 3/4cup finely chopped (toasted) walnuts, plus 48 walnut halves for decorating
  • 1cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4cup coconut sugar
  •  1/3cup honey, (orange blossom or regular)
  • 1/4cup honey for brushing

-Combine flour, salt and walnuts. Beat butter until fluffy, add sugar, beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in honey. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Halve dough.

-On parchment paper, shape each portion into a round log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 1/2 inches long. Wrap tightly in plastic foil and chill 1 1/2 hours.

-Preheat oven to 325F. Let dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rotating log as you go to keep it from flattening. Place round on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Spacing 1 inch apart. Press a walnut half into each round.

-Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are pale golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; brush cookies with honey. Let cool completely.

-Can be stored in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

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Merry Christmas!

Sweet Domino Stones

We bake every year several kinds of Christmas cookies. Most of them are traditional Swiss and European cookies that I know and have liked since my childhood. I find most of the recipes in my old Swiss baking book that my mother had already before I was born.

A few weeks before I start baking, I take out my books and magazines and look through all the yummy cookies…and then all the amazing recipes online! If we could only eat that much, I would definitely like to bake way more varieties:)

So I settle on my usual ones and then I will add one or two new cookies. I found these Domino stones in an older German Magazine.  With European recipes I sometimes have to change things up a bit, just because I can not find the exact ingredient here.

Let your kids help with the decorating;) These are also cute just plain without the chocolate icing.

 

Sweet Domino Stones

  • 125g          butter, soft
  • 100g         sugar
  • 1tsp          vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 2                eggs
  • 50g           corn starch
  • 150g          flour
  • 3tsp          baking powder
  • 1tsp          orange, zest
  • 30g           almonds, ground
  • 50ml        milk
  • 3tsp          cocoa powder

Almond filling:

  • 150g         almonds, ground
  • 150g         sugar
  • 1                organic orange, zest
  • 1-2            orange, juice

 

  • 500g        dark chocolate
  • 50g           icing sugar
  • 1-2tsp     lemon juice

 

-Preheat stove to 350F/180C. I used a 12×8 inch (30x20cm) baking dish.

-In a bowl mix butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, eggs until creamy.

-Mix in corn starch, flour, baking powder, orange zest, almonds and milk. Mix well.

-Divide batter into two. In one bowl mix in cocoa powder until well blended.

-In a third small bowl mix together almonds, sugar and orange zest. Add orange juice until mixture is moist.

-Spread vanilla mix into prepared dish, top with almond mix and last add the cocoa batter, spreading evenly.

-Bake for about 15 min. or tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

-Cut into domino stones.

-In a double boiler melt the dark chocolate. Carefully dip in dominoes, (or only the top).

-Mix together icing sugar and lemon juice and decorate with dots.

 

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The almond filling tastes like Marzipan!

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Aren’t they cute…

 

Happy baking!

 

 

 

 

Quinoa-Almond-Porridge

We have been blessed with an exceptionally warm October. Beautiful Indian Summer! But now it looks like it is starting to stay on the colder side. I do not enjoy the colder temperatures and often need something to warm myself up from the inside. What better way of doing just so on a chilly morning, is to enjoy a bowl of warm Porridge served with Blackberry Sauce. Usually I would use Oats but I had some Quinoa flakes left and I really like Almonds or any Nuts, so I mixed those together and-I have to say-I love this Porridge!

Porridge

  • 1cup       Quinoa flakes
  • 1/2cup   Almonds, ground
  • 1cup       Water
  • 1cup       Almondmilk, unsweetened
  • 1 pinch  Sea Salt
  • 3tbsp     Maple Syrup
  •                 Cinnamon

Blackberry Sauce

  • 2cups    Blackberries, frozen
  • 2tbsp     Water
  • 2tbsp     Maple Syrup

In a medium Saucepan mix up Water, Almondmilk, Quinoa, Almonds, Sea Salt and Maple Syrup. Bring to a boil, stir and let Porridge simmer on low heat for about 10 Minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in a sprinkle of Cinnamon.

In a small Saucepan bring Blackberries, Water and Maple Syrup to a boil, stir. Remove from heat.

Divide Porridge into 3 small bowls and serve with Blackberry Sauce.

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I find Porridge very filling, therefore the small serving size. You can always double the ingredients. Enjoy!