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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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

A little throwback to our vacation in Switzerland and Italy, Summer 2016

As I was looking through my photos of last years vacation, I though it would be fun to show some of the things we ate while in Switzerland and Italy. Yes I do make pictures of our food, if it looks nice I’ll snap a pic;) And I am not the only one…

We went to Switzerland last summer to visit my family. It was a very special and important time for all of us. My father had to undergo a very dangerous heart operation in June, where they only gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. Feeling so blessed and still emotional that he survived, I can’t explain how it felt to see my dad end of July.

Usually we only eat out a few times, it is pretty expensive in Switzerland and we are able to cook and eat at “home”, that’s why I have only a few pictures to show.

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This was one of my kids plate. They (we) love Cordon-Bleu.

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My “Fitness” Plate , as they call it, this was salad with deep fried fish, okay the deep fried part is probably not so fitness related;), but I love how they make salads.

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Now this is a iconic meal you need to eat if you are ever going to Switzerland: “Rahmschnitzel”. So delicious!

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My kids and I love the “Kalbsbratwurst” (veal sausage), another traditional dish usually served with “Roesti” (Hashbrowns).

 

We also went on a little trip to Venice, Italy. We went by train, 6 hours. Venice is a very interesting and beautiful City.

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Bridge of Sighs

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Very cute side passages

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It was my kids first time in Italy so they really had their minds on trying an Italian pizza:) and gelato (ice cream), for what I was to late to take a picture from, lol.

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This was for one person-they had no sizes to choose from! Way to much, but delizioso!

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I had to have Gnocchi al pesto-this is one of my favorite dishes-so good!

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Cappucchino

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(Pizza)Bread Faces- so cool!

 

Back in Switzerland:

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Beatus Caves.

Following pictures are from the french speaking part of Switzerland. We stayed with my two brothers and families in a Chalet. That was lots of fun!

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I hope you enjoyed my little throwback!

Ursula

 

 

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