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

 

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!

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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.

 

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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.

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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–

 

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It was even better the next day!!

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Enjoy!

Happy weekend!!

 

 

Check out my Instagram @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

Maple-Pecan-Coffeecake

 

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This is a recipe from Rolling Ridge Maple Products. A small Maple Syrup producer in Southwestern Ontario, just outside of London. We had my Mother visiting for two weeks and of course we had to visit a Maple Syrup producer;) She loved it!! We went home with some Syrup, Maple Sugar and Maple Butter…amazing!

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Maple-Pecan-Coffeecake

  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup

Topping

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

 

-Preheat oven to 375F. Sift together the white flour, baking soda and salt. Mix in the whole wheat flour with a fork. In a large bowl, beat egg until very light; add the buttermilk, melted butter and maple syrup and beat until just combined. Spread batter smoothly in a buttered 8-inch pan.

-Sprinkle with topping. (To make the topping: mix together whole wheat flour, coconut sugar, pecans, cinnamon and melted butter)

-Bake the coffeecake about 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

-Drizzle with some Maple Butter, Maple Syrup or Icing Sugar.

 

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Enjoy!

 

Follow me on Instagram!  @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

Apple-Crumb-Cake/ Apfelstreuselkuchen

Crumb Cakes or Streuselkuchen can be found in many European Countries. It is believed to be of German Origin. Depending on the Season it can be topped with fruits of you choice. Very popular are plums, cherries or sour cherries. No matter what topping, we truly love it.

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Apple-Crumb-Cake/Apfelstreuselkuchen

  • 175g butter, soft
  • 175g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 400g flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 1,5tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1,5kg apples

Streusel:

  • 200g flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 150g butter

 

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

-Grease a 9×13 baking dish (23x32cm). (That’s the baking dish I used, but it can be larger)

-Whisk butter until foamy. Mix in sugar then add eggs one at a time.

-Mix together flour, cinnamon and baking powder, sift and mix into the wet ingredients.

-Spread into prepared baking dish.

-Peel apples and cut into thin slices. Layer onto the dough.

-For the Streusel: Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter in small chunks and mix together until coarse crumbs form. Pour onto apples.

-Bake in preheated 350F/180C oven for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

-Serve dusted with some icing sugar.

–You could add ground nuts to the crumb mix and add raisins to the apples–

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Toblerone Tart

Happy 4th Advent! Only one week till Christmas-my kids are very excited:) It also looks like we will be having a white Christmas this year, with all the snow squalls we had so far I can say we do have enough snow for the rest of the winter;)

I have not been posting recipes for the last two weeks because I was not feeling so well. First I had a gum graft surgery done which left me with eating only soft foods (pureed foods actually) and then we had the FLU visiting our house…I have been making cookies and posting them on Instagram. That must have been funny to watch me baking, I had one cheek very swollen and when I am on medication I am not really myself;) That might explain why I can not find my measuring cup anymore…

I found this Toblerone Tart recipe in a older German Magazine. I kept a few of those Magazines because they have really nice Christmas/Holiday recipes in it. Toblerone chocolate always brings back one specific memory from my teenage years. When I went to college I had to take the streetcar in Bern, Switzerland. On the way there was a stop at the Tobler Factory. It always smelled so good there…:)

Toblerone was created by Theodor Tobler and his cousin Emil Baumann in Bern, Switzerland, in 1908.

 

Toblerone Tart

For the dough:

  • 1 organic orange, zest
  • 125g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g almonds, ground
  • 200g flour
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp whipping cream

For the Mousse filling:

  • 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • 200g Toblerone, chopped
  • 70g butter
  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 2 eggs, fresh
  • 2tbsp honey, liquid

 

-Whisk together butter, sugar, egg and orange zest until foamy. Add almonds, flour and baking powder mix well. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 28cm tart/pie dish.

-On a floured surface roll out dough. (it is a very soft dough, so I ended up rolling it in the dish). With the rest roll out and cut out stars in different sizes if you have, then place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix together egg yolk and cream and brush cookies. Bake for 5 minutes.

-The tart shell has to bake without the filling. Place a parchment paper on the tart and fill with dried beans/legumes, (or put a slightly smaller dish on the parchment paper). Bake for 15 minutes, Remove paper and beans and bake for another 5 minutes. Let cool.

-In a double boiler melt chocolate, Toblerone and butter. Brush cooled tart with 3 tablespoons of the chocolate mix.

-Whip whipping cream only halfway, not completely stiff. Whisk eggs and honey until foamy.

-Fold chocolate mix and cream gently under the egg/honey mix until well combined. Fill into the tart shell. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Decorate with the star cookies.

(If concerned about the use of uncooked eggs in the filling, it might be possible to leave the eggs out, just using the honey. We have our own chickens, so we have very fresh eggs indeed:)

 

 

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The filling is perfect for my post surgery diet;) So smooth!!

 

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Happy Holidays!