Zucchini and Sweet Potato Tart

This week went by rather quick. The weather is still in April fools mood, giving us a taste of everything, the only sign of spring has been some crocus blooming in my garden.

My veggie tart has been inspired by these gorgeous ratatouille tarts I’ve seen online. Instead of using all ratatouille ingredients, I’ve skipped the tomatoes and eggplants and used sweet potatoes and red peppers for some red color. Pretty simple ingredients but it will take some time and patience to assemble the veggies. In the end I was happy with the result, gorgeous and delicious!

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Before

and after baking

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Zucchini and Sweet Potato Tart

Crust:

  • 300 g white spelt flour
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • room temperature water

-In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt, add the melted butter and a few tablespoons of water. Mix together, adding more water if needed. Knead only until well combined. Let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Vegetable filling:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 green zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 red pepper or italian tomato
  • 1 small onion
  • 50 g grated old cheddar or Gruyère cheese
  • milk or cream
  • sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, nutmeg, dried oregano and basil, or herb the provence

-Slice all vegetables thinly by hand or use a mandolin. The sweet potatoes have to be thinner than the other vegetables, because they need a little longer to cook through. You want to be able to see the green and yellow skin of the squash and zucchini. (You might not need all the vegetables)

-Line bottom of a 11-inch/ 28 cm tart/pie form, grease sides. Roll out dough to fit the form. Prick bottom with a fork. Sprinkle evenly with the grated cheese.

-Starting on the outside, alternate with sweet potato, green zucchini and then yellow squash until you fill the entire form. I’ve added the onions and red pepper last.

-Add some milk or cream and season generously and evenly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, nutmeg and herbs.

-Bake in preheated 350F/180C oven (convection setting) for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sweet potatoes are tender. Cover with aluminum foil halfway through baking. If it looks dry, add some more milk or cream. Let rest for a few minutes before cutting.

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Tip: Try to get same size, and not to thick, vegetables for the slices to be similar, it will be easier to assemble.

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I would like to dedicate this to all the lives lost and those injured in the tragic #Humboltbroncos accident last week on Friday, in Saskatchewan, Canada. Our thoughts and prayers go out the families and everyone involved.

 

Ursula 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alsatian Kugelhopf/Elsaesser Gugelhopf

Happy Friday!

I was thinking of making a Gugelhopf for quiet a while, one with a yeast dough and only raisins in it. I used the recipe for a Alsatian Kugelhopf from my Betty Bossi’s Backstube book. Even though Gugelhopf has its origin in Austria, this seems to be a very traditional cake in Alsace, France. One small village even has a festival each summer to celebrate the Kugelhopf:)

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I slightly adapted the recipe, using instant yeast, because I can not find fresh yeast here. And I sweetened it with honey.

 

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Alsatian Kugelhopf / Elsaesser Gugelhopf

Ingredients:

  • 500 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 120 g honey or sugar
  • 180 ml milk (200 ml if using sugar)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 g butter, soft, cut in small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 g raisins
  • 2 tbsp Rum or Kirsch

-In a small bowl, mix together the raisins and the Rum. Set aside.

-In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast and salt.

-In a small saucepan heat up the milk on medium/low heat, do not boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the honey. Making sure the milk is only lukewarm before adding to the flour. Add the butter. Whisk the eggs before adding to the flour mixture. Knead until soft dough forms.

-Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, for about an hour.

-Grease and flour a 2 l bundt/Gugelhopf form.

-Incorporate the raisins, knead the dough again, then fill into the prepared bundt form. Let rise again. The dough should “spill” slightly over the top.

-Bake in a 350F/180C preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Let cool before taking out of form.

-Dust with icing sugar.

-Serve freshly baked, but also tastes amazing the following days!

 

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This would make a perfect treat for Sunday brunch or afternoon tea!

Enjoy! Have a wonderful weekend!

Ursula

 

 

You can find me on Instagram: littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

Peach Tart

Simple, rustic, delicious fruit tarts, in this case I used peaches. Niagara peaches are in season now and they are so yummy. Of course I had to make some kind of dessert!

This is how you make pies in Switzerland. It is the Swiss version of North American pies I guess;) I just like to call it a tart, rather. This is a very traditional “meal” in Switzerland, documents writing about tarts dating back to as early as 1556!

Easy pie crust filled with either fruit, veggies, cheese or meat. I slightly changed the usual crust, adding some ground almonds. We also add some ground nuts onto the crust before adding the fruit to absorb some juice while baking. And maybe the filling is different as well, a egg-milk-sugar filling.

 

 

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Delicious Niagara Peaches

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Peach Tart

Pie dough:

  • 100 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 100 g almonds, ground
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 85 g butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4-5 tbsp cold water

-In a small bowl mix together flour, almond, salt and honey, add the butter and mix with your hands until resembles fine crumbs. Add the cold water and knead quickly until dough holds together. Wrap into plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • 5-6 peaches thinly cut into slices
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • optional: cinnamon, vanilla sugar or extract
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds or hazelnuts

-Whisk together milk, egg and honey.

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 8 or 9-inch pie form.

-Roll out dough and put into prepared form. Sprinkle the nuts onto the dough then add/layer the peach slices. Pour milk-egg-honey filling over the fruit.

-Bake for about 45 minutes or crust is golden brown and liquid is set. Enjoy warm with some vanilla ice cream or let cool completely.

 

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Enjoy!

Have a great weekend!

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

 

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