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

 

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

 

 

 

 

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 Walnut Tarts

Happy Sunday everyone! Here in Ontario Canada we are enjoying a longer weekend because of Family Day Monday! The weather is above average, warm and sunny, perfect to go for a walk or run. We are spending some quality time with my mom who is visiting from Switzerland.

One of the things I grew to love since coming to Canada is Maple Syrup. I can’t wait for the Maple Syrup season to begin!

The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for 75% of the world’s output. Vermont is the largest producer in the United States generating about 6% of the global supply.

 

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Love the combination of Maple Syrup and Nuts!!

 

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This recipe makes enough for a 9-inch (about 23cm)pie dish or 12 3 1/2-inch (9cm) tart pans.

 

Maple Walnut Tarts

Pastry 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water (approx.)

 

Walnut Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

 

-Preheat oven to 425F (220C)

Pastry:

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add water 2 tbsp at a time, mixing with a fork. Add a little more water if necessary. Press mixture into 2 flat disks. Wrap in plastic foil or waxed paper and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Filling:

In a bowl, beat together eggs, syrup, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla until just blended.

-On a lightly floured board, roll out pastry disks. Cut into 5-inch (12cm) circle. Line 12 tart pans or a 9-inch round pie dish with pastry.

-Divide walnuts and maple syrup mixture equally among tart shells. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is soft set.

-Let stand 15 minutes before removing from tart pans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

The recipe is adapted from the Get Cracking cookbook.

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowball-Apples

Several Years ago I received a cookbook that features 200 year old recipes from the beautiful Emmental region in Switzerland. If your wondering-yes, this is the region were the Emmentaler Cheese is from:)

Many recipes are well known dishes in today’s households. I am used to eat and prepare baked apples filled with ground hazelnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Such a classic!

Topped with Meringue, my kids thought these look a little bit like snowballs:)

 

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In the book these are called Snow-Apples/Schnee-Aepfel.

 

Snowball-Apples

  • 4 apples
  • jam of your liking (I used red currant)
  • applejuice
  • 1 or 2 eggwhites
  • sugar

 

-Preheat oven to 375F/190C

-Peel apples (I left the skin on), cut out the cores. Place apples in a baking dish.

-Fill holes with jam. Cover the bottom of your dish with some juice.

-Bake in oven for about 40 min. or until soft.

-Whip one or two egg-whites until soft peaks form, add sugar and keep whisking until shiny.

-Top apples with Meringue and bake 10 minutes, or until lightly brown.

 

–I used 2 egg whites which gave the snowball effect;)–

–I prepared the meringue with honey–

 

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Recipe from the book: Aemmitaler Chuchi.

 

 

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!