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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plum Rose Tarts with an Almond Shortbread Crust

Happy weekend everyone!

Fall has finally arrived! It’s been crazy hot lately, which made it kind of harder to think of fall baking:) I’ve found some beautiful local plums and like every year turned them into some kind of dessert(s). Our annual favorite happens to be a Zwetschgen-Streusel Cake (Plum-Crumble-Cake). I took the recipe from my Peach-Crumble-Cake/ Pfirsich-Streuselkuchen just used plums instead of peaches, so delicious!

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Instead of using apples to make roses I thought I give it a try with plums. It was a little tricky because the plums were very soft, you definitely need some patience;), in the end I was happy, it worked out beautifully!

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Baked in a yummy almond shortbread crust

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Plum Tarts with an Almond Shortbread Crust

Yields: 4 small tarts

Almond Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup almonds, finely ground
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lg egg yolk

-In a small bowl, with a whisk, mix together butter, honey almond extract and egg yolk. Add flour, almonds and salt. Mix until well combined. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

-Start with cutting about 5 plums into very thin slices, once you assemble the roses you see if you might need more.

-Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 4 small tart forms.

-Take dough out of refrigerator and let it sit for a few minutes, otherwise it is very hard to roll out. Then roll out and cut to fit into each form, prick crust with a fork and place again in refrigerator for a few minutes.

-Assemble roses by starting on the outside working toward the center.

-I used a simple milk, egg, honey and cinnamon filling from my Peach Tart , I only used a little bit in each tart.

-Bake in preheated 375F oven for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350F, for another 10-15 minutes, bake until golden brown and liquid is set. Cover with tin foil if crust is golden brown but liquid is not set. Let cool before taking out of forms.

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In memory of my late father-in-law who passed away one year ago.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forest Berries Meringue Pie/Waldbeeren Meringue Kuchen

Happy weekend everyone!!

While growing up in Switzerland, we used to spend a lot of time in the forest. With family or with school. They have nicely looked after hiking trails. There is just something calming and peaceful about it. We would also often look for and find a lot of blueberries and strawberries! Now these are sweet memories:)

I’ve had a lot of raspberries and we are still picking some strawberries in our garden. We used to have blackberries but after getting hurt (scratched) a lot, we had enough and we dug the plant out…but I tell you that is a stubborn plant, it keeps on growing back…My brother in Switzerland has a thorn-less blackberry plant!!! That is the most amazing thing. Haven’t seen this here so far.

For this berry pie I used a mix of what I like to call forest berries (Waldbeeren): blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. Deliciously melt in your mouth meringue filling! Totally worth trying out! Feel free to use your favorite pie crust recipe.

 

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Forest Berries Meringue Pie

Pie crust:

  • 200 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100 g butter, cold, cut into very small pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 lemon, zest
  • 1 egg

-Mix together flour and salt, add butter and with a pastry blender or your hands mix until crumbly.

-Add lemon zest, honey and egg. Knead only until it holds together. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 375F/190C

-Grease a 9-inch pie form. Roll out dough to fit form. Prick dough with a fork. For blind baking I cover bottom with parchment paper, then as a weight I pour some legumes like dry chickpeas over paper. Bake for about 10 minutes then remove paper with legumes and lower oven temperature to 350F/180C and finish bake until golden brown.

Meringue:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150 g sugar (I used honey)
  • 500 g berries of your choice (I used blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

-Beat egg whites with salt until peaks form, add half of the sugar, beat until shiny then add rest of sugar until stiff.

-Mix half of the meringue with the berries. Fill into baked pie crust. Then top with remaining meringue.

-Bake in 375F/190C oven for a few minutes until golden brown.

 

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Hiking in the Swiss Alps 2016

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Enjoy!

Wishing you all a happy weekend!

Ursula

 

 

 

 

You can find 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peach-Crumble-Cake/ Pfirsich-Streuselkuchen

Here is another Streusel cake I’ve made. You can find my Apple-Crumb-Cake here: Apple-Crumb-Cake/ Apfelstreuselkuchen. With all the amazing summer fruits and berries in season now, we just had to have another Streuselkuchen:) This time I used peaches and it was so good. It is not quit the same recipe as the Apple-Crumb-Cake, I think it was even better:)

My kids are having their long summer vacation now, that means we have more time to do things together like baking! These are some of the things my daughter and I’ve created so far;)

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Maple-Almond-Buns

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Giant Cinnamon Bun Cake

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Strawberry-Banana-Pops

 

 

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My Peach-Crumble-Cake/Pfirsich-Streuselkuchen

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Peach-Crumble-Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 120 g honey
  • 2 pk vanilla sugar or 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 100 g butter, soft
  • 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • about 600 g peach slices

Streusel:

  • 250 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 120 g honey
  • 150 g butter, soft
  • 1 pk vanilla sugar or 1 tbsp vanilla extract

-Line a 9×13-inch (23x32cm) baking dish with parchment paper.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

-Cream together eggs, honey, vanilla sugar and butter. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to wet ingredients, mix well.

-For the Streusel: mix flour, honey, butter and vanilla sugar until crumbly.

-Fill batter into prepared baking dish. Top with peach slices and then cover with the Streusel.

-Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Tip: I’ve used frozen peaches from last summer, just left them to thaw a bit.

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Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

You can find me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

Black Cherry Cinnamon Buns

Happy weekend everyone!

Have I ever mentioned that I love cinnamon buns?! Well, there is just something about it, I can’t help it. In Switzerland we make cinnamon buns with a hazelnut filling, which is amazingly good;) Checking online you can find cinnamon buns with all kinds of fillings and crazy toppings! It is certainly a treat to be indulged once in a while only-wright?

My husband and I have some trouble digesting wheat products. I personally had to cut back on eating bread (sniff) and pasta. We seem to have less problems mixing white or whole wheat flour with a greater amount of spelt flour, especially for breads and quiches.

Summer is such a great time for many reasons but also for all the berries that are growing. We have strawberries, raspberries, red currants, black currants, gooseberries, cherries, plums and apples in our garden. For now everything is growing great, except the black currants, plums and cherries, (well, there is one cherry growing! LOL) because of frost.

These cherry cinnamon buns were so good. It definitely makes it easier and quicker using frozen pitted cherries. Soft dough and sweet fruity cherry filling-yum!

 

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You can find the sweet yeast dough recipe here: Almond Croissants I just changed the flour ingredients to 100g spelt flour and 200g unbleached all-purpose flour.

 

Black Cherry Cinnamon Buns

Yields: about 8

Sweet yeast dough:

Almond Croissants

 

Black Cherry Filling:

  • 300 g frozen black cherries
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch

-In a small saucepan mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened.

-Remove from heat. Let cool completely.

 

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a baking dish or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-On a floured surface roll out dough into a rectangle. Spread cherry filling evenly, leaving a 2 cm space from the outside. Roll up gently, this might get a bit messy, and cut into even rolls. Carefully place onto prepared dish or sheet. Cover and let rise again.

-Bake for about 30 minutes or golden brown.

-I glazed the still warm buns with a mix of honey and milk. You could use icing sugar mixed with milk. Use a traditional cinnamon bun icing if desired.

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Recipe by: a little Swiss, a little Canadian

 

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

 

You can find me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian