Thee met Aimée

Iets lekkers met een bite!

Thee met Aimée

Crispy, crunchy oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal cookies may be just as famous as the legendary chocolate chip, but they’re not in the Netherlands. We use oatmeal to make porridge, and that’s about it. That is why I wanted to try a little baking with oatmeal myself, and naturally I started with cookies. Like I wrote in one of my previous posts, I am almost religiously in favor of crunchy cookies: This led me to this recipe on SmittenKitchen, a deliciously inspiring baking blog. I made some minor changes, converted the volume amounts to SI units and tried & tested a few variations. I hope you like them, and that you will share your own variations in the comments below!

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Oatmeal-cookies-1Ingredients:

–          1 cup / 128 g all-purpose flour

–          1 teaspoon baking powder

–          1/4 teaspoon salt

–          1 3/4 sticks / 200 g butter (slightly softened)

–          1 cup / 200 g sugar

–          1/4 cup packed / 50 g light brown sugar

–          1 large egg

–          1 teaspoon vanilla extract

–          2 1/2 cups / 225 g old-fashioned rolled oats

 

–          6 ounces / 170 g white chocolate, chopped

–          + 1/2 cup / 70 g hazelnuts

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You can play around with the addition of chocolate and nuts. I have tried these two varieties and my friends and family loved them.

 

Variety 1:

1/2 cup / 75 g white chocolate

+ 1/2  cup / 70 g toasted hazelnuts

+ 70 g ‘kandijsuiker’ : These are very crunchy sugar crystals, I’m not sure about a non-Dutch equivalent… Basically, you could use anything sweet and crunchy

 

Variety 2:

1/2 cup / 70 g toasted almonds

+ 1/4 cup / 70 g peanut butter

+ 50 g ‘kandijsuiker’

 

These amounts will yield about 24 portions (2 tablespoons of dough each). Bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 Celcius for 13-16 minutes.

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Fudgy chocolate layer cake: Our wedding cake!

In January, my all-time love and I finally got married. After being over ten years together, we knew what kind of cake we wanted even before we started planning the wedding: Chocolate + chocolate and nothing frivolous, airy, fruity or flower-y. As much as I would have loved baking such a cake myself, I decided this wouldn’t be a project I’d want to take on the days before my own wedding (thank you, past-me). Some of my best-baking friends and family got the scare of the year when I asked them if they’d want to bake one of our wedding cakes. It took a lot of convincing and a very detailed, tried & tested recipe, but in the end they could not have done a better job (we’re forever thankful). So now, I would like to share this recipe, which has a special place in my heart, with all of you, the readers of my blog. I hope it may bring you as much joy as it did us!

Fudgy chocolate layer cake: Our wedding cake 2

This epic chocolate cake consists of three kind of muffin-like, fudgy cake layers, with a chocolate fudge cream in between (‘ganache’).

 

Ingredients for the cake:

–          300 ml water

–          90 g Dutch cocoa powder

–          250 g flour

–          476 g sugar

–          1 tsp salt

–          2 sachets of baking powder (=2 x 16 g)

–          3 sachets of vanilla-flavored sugar (=24 g)

–          350 ml buttermilk

–          130 g vegetable oil (peanut of sunflower)

–          3 free-range eggs

 

Ingredients for the ganache:

–          250 g (extra) dark chocolate

–          75 g butter

–          250 ml cream

 

Method:

One day/a couple of hours ahead: Cook 300 ml of water, dissolve the cocoa in the boiling water and leave to cool.

Mix together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and vanilla-flavored sugar (if you don’t have vanilla-flavored sugar, just use 500 g sugar instead of 476 and add some fresh vanilla of vanilla flavoring). Next, add the buttermilk, oil and eggs and stir until you get a smooth batter. Then, add the water-cocoa solution, and let the batter rest for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

I highly recommend you either use three baking pans or take turns in the oven to get three cake layers, because this cake is next to impossible to cut into three layers. Grease the baking pan (24 cm diameter), put some baking paper on the bottom and poor in 1/3 of the batter (which will approximately weigh 595 g). Bake the cakes for about 50 minutes and leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the ganache, slowly melt the chocolate and butter. Let this cool for a little while, and then stir in the cream. You can now let this mixture cool until it has the consistency you like to work with. Smear the ganache on two of the cake circles, stack them up, add the third cake circle, and smear the rest of the ganache all over the resulting layered cake.

To enable easy cutting of the cake, it’s best when it is a bit cooled, but not too cold, because the ganache because difficult to work with – and it doesn’t taste nearly as good as it does at room temperature.

Fudgy chocolate layer cake: Our wedding cake 1

German apple pastry: Apfelschnitten

Although the American kitchen is well known for its home baking, the baking tradition is said to have originated from the German/Austrian immigrants. Classics like Scharzwalder Kirschtorte (chocolate and cherry liquor cake), Sachertorte (chocolate cake with apricot jam) and of course apple pastries like Apfelschnitten/Apfelkuchen are famous around the globe. And what about ‘the original’ New York cheesecake? Not to offend anyone, but the Germans already had their Kasekuchen.

As a baking fanatic and foody, of course I feel drawn to trying all these classics, and today I’ll share a great recipe for Apfelschnitten. They’re not difficult to make, and really practical at a party: everyone can just grab a piece and eat it without a plate and fork.

I used a 38,5 by 26 cm square oven pan (1001 cm squared, which resulted in about 18 servings), but you could of course adjust the ingredients to fit your baking pan.

Ingredients:

For the crust

74 g raisins, soaked in 74 ml rum

370 g flour

225 g sugar

2 eggs

165 g butter

pinch of salt

zest of 1/2 lemon

74 g raspberry jam

For the pound cake layer

53 g butter

90 g butter

1 egg

zest of 1/2 lemon

144 g flour

5 g baking powder

30 g almond powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

111 ml milk

For the topping

5 medium-sized, sweet apples

74 g apricot jam

2 tbsp water

  1. For the crust: mix together the flour, sugar, eggs, butter, salt and zest, and knead into a ball. Roll it out on a flour dusted worktop, and cover the (baking paper-covered) bottom of the pan. Poke some holes with a fork, and apply a layer of rasperry jam. Let the crust sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. For the pound cake layer: mix together the butter, sugar, egg and zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, almond powder and cinnamon, and add to the butter mixture. Mix in the milk, and spread the cake mixture over the chilled crust.
  3. Sprinkle the raisins onto the cake layer.
  4. Cut the apples into wedges, and lay them onto the cake layer party covering each other, like roof tiles.
  5. Bake the Apfelschnitten (which literary translates as ‘apple wedges’) for about 40 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.
  6. For a nice, shiny finish, heat the apricot jam with some water and cover the top of the Apfelschnitten.

 

 

Showoff post: Mocha cake, a Dutch classic

When my grandmother turned 88 last month, I grasped at yet another fitting opportunity to bake something. Something great. Something new. And by ‘new’ I mean: something I have never made before. Because a mocha cake is all but new. It is a Dutch patisserie-classic as old as, well, my grandmother. Its status is therefore not really hip and happening, but needless to say, my grandmother loved it — although frankly I’m not quite sure what’s left of her tastebuds. Fortunately, the rest of the family enjoyed it as well.

It consisted of two layers of vanilla sponge, with mocha buttercream in between & on the outside. A typical mocha cake has sides decorated with candied hazelnut bits, buttercream rosettes and some kind of chocolate decoration. But that’s really as far as the chocolate goes with this cake: mocha has the leading part.