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

 

 

 

No-Bake Fruit Pie with Coconut Milk Custard

Happy Weekend everyone!

This is an other no bake dessert. The crust is made out off nuts and dates-that’s all! Filled with my Coconut Milk Custard, which I used in a previous recipe, Coconut Custard mini tarts with mixed berries, and topped with fruit of your choice…so delicious and healthy:) I will definitely make this again.

 

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Prepare Custard in advance.

 

No-Bake-Fruit Pie

Crust:

  • 1cup Medjool dates
  • (if you use other dates, soak them in water first to soften a bit)
  • 3cups mixed raw nuts

-Grease a 9-inch pie dish.

-In a food processor grind nuts and dates until finely chopped. It should stick together. Spread evenly into pie dish.

 

Coconut Custard:

-Prepare Custard ahead.

 

-Fill pie with the Coconut Milk Custard and top with fruit of your choice. I used Blueberries, Kiwis and Orange-Segments.

-Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight, it will be easier to serve.

 

 

 

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Enjoy!

 

Follow me on Instagram:)  littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Nut & Date Chocolate Balls

These little Energy Treats are high in Iron, which has become a very important part in my Diet. I am trying to get my Iron levels up, but that has become a harder task than I thought. Even with Supplements and Iron rich foods, my body doesn’t seem to cooperate. I do love homemade Granola, Cereal Bars and Energy Balls. They are so healthy and delicious. My kids love homemade Bars or Balls for School. Covered in Chocolate makes them look more like Truffes-yummy!

  • 2cups  walnuts
  • 2cups  dates (pitted)
  • 1cup    cashews
  • 1tbsp   coconut oil
  • (3tbsp cocoa powder) optional
  • 3tbsp  rum (I used cherry schnapps)-use water or juice if these are for kids
  • 1cup    dark chocolate
  • himalayan salt

-In a food processor, process nuts and dates until finely ground. Add coconut oil, (cocoa   powder), rum. Process until smooth.

-With a small scoop shape into balls. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until hardened.

-Melt Chocolate over a double boiler.

-Dip balls in chocolate, sprinkle with salt or walnut pieces. Keep refrigerated.

Yields around 30 balls

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