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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Semi-frozen Strawberry Tarts

I hope you all have or had a lovely Sunday!! We are going through the first hot weather this year, today it is 32C, and humid in southern Ontario! It would be so nice to jump into a pool right now…

We finally went to a Strawberry Farm at the beginning of the week and bought a lot of strawberries:) And we are picking the first few from our garden. After that amazing Strawberry-Coconut-Cake for my birthday I am back at making also a little bit more healthier treats again. I totally love strawberry tarts, I had two;) when I was in Switzerland (forgot to make a picture). So instead of making a pastry crust, I made an unbaked, raw nut base, filled it with my coconut custard from Coconut Custard mini tarts with mixed berries and put it in the freezer, then decorated it with strawberries-that easy, so refreshingly delicious!

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Semi-frozen Strawberry Tarts

 

-Makes 10 tarts

 

Coconut-Custard:

-get recipe here: Coconut Custard mini tarts with mixed berries

-Prepare ahead of time. It needs a few hours to cool and set in the fridge.

 

No bake nut base:

  • 3/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

-Blend nuts together until coarse crumbs, add rest of ingredients, pulse a few more time until holds together. Press into cupcake tins. I used silicon forms, slightly greased.

 

Decoration:

  • Strawberries

 

-Once the custard is set, you can fill the cupcake tins. Let freeze for a few hours. It will be easier to take out of the form. Decorate with Strawberries and keep in the refrigerator for semi-frozen or put it (without the berries) back in the freezer. My husband and I liked it more semi-frozen, my kids liked it really cold;) LOL

 

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How do you beat the heat?

 

 

Enjoy!

Ursula

 

You can find me on Instagram: @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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”

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Have fun and enjoy!

You can find me on 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