Jaffa Cake

As kids, growing up in Croatia, Jaffa cookies were something we all were looking for as a treat. Sponge cake with orange jelly, covered in chocolate. Who wouldn’t like that?!

Chocolate with orange is an all time favorite combination and this cake does it justice. 😃
It’s soft and moist, and makes you crave for more 😉
The cake is very juicy and full of orange flavor!

Jaffa Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) canola/sunflower oil
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 10 g (1 tbsp or one little package) vanilla sugar
  • 10 g (1 tbsp or one little package) baking powder
  • 2 large oranges
  • 15 g (2 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp apricot or orange jam

For the syrup

  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) water

For the glaze

  • 200 g (1 cup) dark chocolate
  • 125 g (1/2 cup) butter
  • 1 tbsp oil

Preparation

Jaffa Cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
  2. Grease and flour (or use parchment paper) two round baking pans.
  3. In the standing mixer or in a large bowl mix the eggs with both sugars until foamy.
  4. Add oil and milk and mix for a minute.
  5. Add flour combined with baking powder and mix until incorporated.
  6. Divide the mixture into two equal parts, and in one part mix in cocoa powder.
  7. Pour each batter in a separate baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes until the cakes are done. Do a toothpick test for completeness. Insert the toothpick in the cakes, if nothing stays on it, the cakes are done. Let them cool.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. In a small saucepan, cook sugar with water until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  9. When the cakes are cooled, place the dark cake on the bottom of the round baking pan.
  10. Smear the jam on the dark cake.
  11. In a large bowl, break the light cake into small pieces and pour over the sugar syrup. Add the orange zest of one and juice of two oranges. Mix well. Spread it over the jam.
  12. For the glaze melt the chocolate with butter and oil in a microwave or in a double boiler over steam.
  13. Pour the glaze on top of the cake.
  14. Refrigerate the cake overnight before serving.
Jaffa Cake

What is your favorite chocolate and fruit combination?

Poppy Seeds Strudel

All the poppy seed lovers, this one is my favorite poppy seeds dessert, ever! Period!

Usually, poppy seeds are used in desserts with yeast dough or shortbread pastry. I love them all, don’t get me wrong, but this one takes the win 😉
If you aren’t already a poppy seed lover, after you try this, you might be. Welcome to the club! 😃

This is an unusual strudel made with very liquid poppy seed batter and phyllo sheets. Since every sheet gets smeared, the cake is very soft, moist and not too sweet. Just perfect.
Poppy seeds are not your typical ingredient. It’s very popular in Eastern and Central Europe, but not in many other cultures. Other cultures usually aren’t very familiar with it or aren’t used to its particular flavor.
This recipe packages it in a way that it’s not only palatable, people can’t stop eating 😋

This is my go to dessert when I need to feed a lot of people, such as when I go to a party or am hosting one of my own. It’s a hit among our multicultural friends here in Canada. Everyone loves it, form our friends from Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Iran to Venezuela and Brazil. Give it a try, you will be pleasantly surprised!

Ingredients

  • 250 g (1 3/4 cup) ground poppy seeds
  • 15 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • 500 ml (2 cups) liquid yogurt
  • 375 g (1 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable or similar oil
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) baking powder or two little packages
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) vanilla sugar or two little packages
  • 4 eggs

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 °C (340 °F).
  2. Mix the eggs with both sugars in stand up electric mixer or with hand electric mixer until foamy.
  3. Add oil and mix a bit more.
  4. At the end, add the remaining ingredients: baking powder, poppy seeds and yogurt. Mix until combined. The mixture is extremely liquid, don’t get scared. This is the way it should be.
  5. Grease a large cookie sheet.
  6. Divide the sheets to make three broad rolls (5 sheets for each out of 3 rolls).
  7. Smear the mixture thinly over each sheet. Roll up the sheets flat in the width of 8-10 cm (1/3 pan).
  8. Coat them with oil and bake them for about half an hour until golden brown.

Have you ever cooked or baked with poppy seed? What is your favorite way to use poppy seeds?

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

One of the most popular cakes in North America is for sure a carrot cake. There are so many different versions and some get pretty complex, but I like mine simple. Why?
I want to indulge in the flavor of carrots, although I don’t have anything against some nuts or pineapple to compliment the cake 😀
Well, that is another story! 😉

Here is my version, moist cake with creamy cheese filling, perfect dessert for Easter. 🥕🐇

Happy Easter!

Ingredients for the cake

  • 350 g (2 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 450g (3 cups) peeled grated carrots
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 350 ml (1 1/2 cups) oil

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

  • 140 g (10 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 340 g (3 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) sour cream
  • 450 g (1 3/4 cup) cold cream cheese

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (350 °F).
  2. Grease and dust with flour round baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  4. In food processor shred the carrots or grate them manually.
  5. With the electric or stand up mixer beat the eggs with both sugars on medium-high speed until combined.
  6. Add oil in slowly until well incorporated.
  7. With a spatula, stir in the flour mixture and the carrots.
  8. Bake around 30-40 minutes until the cake is done. Test with toothpick by inserting it in the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  9. Cool the cake completely before you cut it in half horizontally.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting.
  11. With the electric or stand up mixer beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy.
  12. Add the confectioners sugar, salt and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
  13. Beat in the sour cream.
  14. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the cream cheese until fully incorporated.
  15. Increase the speed until the frosting is light and fluffy.
  16. To assemble the cake, place one half of the cake on a serving platter. Spread half the frosting and top with the other half of the cake. Cover the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting.

Decorate the cake as you like. My options were chocolate Easter eggs or Easter sugar cookies. My dear friend Dina made these little minis, aren’t they adorable?

What are you having for dessert this Easter?

Egg Whites Cake

This cake… could not be simpler 🙂 I usually make it when I make Croatian jam cookies as I have leftover egg whites.

You can use many ingredients to elevate this simple cake. Chopped hazelnuts, almonds or peanuts, dried figs, apricots or dates all go great with this dough. You can combine whatever you like, even fresh fruit can be great.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 200 g (1 1/2 cup) icing sugar
  • 120 g (1 1/4 cup) all purpose flour
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) chopped almonds
  • handful of raisins
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • lemon zest of one lemon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 170 °C (340 °F).
  2. Grease and flour baking pan of your choice.
  3. In a stand up mixer beat egg whites with sugar until stiff.
  4. Add flour, lemon zest, nuts and dried fruits. Gently fold in with spatula until combined.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Dust with powdered sugar before serving (optional).

One combination I tested had dried cranberries, raisins, chopped almonds and chopped walnuts and the other one dried figs, dates, raisins, chopped walnuts and chopped pecans.

What would be your favorite combination for this cake?

The Cake from town Ston, Croatia

Traditional cake from a place called Ston, Croatia. Mali Ston or Little Ston, a tiny little village at the end of the isthmus that connects the Pelješac Peninsula with the mainland of the Dalmatian coast.

Historically, like many cakes, Stonska Torta was reserved for special festivities like Christmas, Easter, and weddings, as cakes were considered a luxury. Centuries ago when this cake was born, they used pasta for the filling to economize on ingredients.

Travel tip: This little village is also known for the best oysters at the Adriatic!

Cooking Croatian - Celebrating Croatian Cuisine on Foodies+ - Dalmatian region

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 450 g (3 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-3 tbsp water

For the filling

  • 500 g (5 cup) dried penne or ziti pasta
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) ground almonds
  • 100 g (1/3 cup) bread crumbs
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 large eggs
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 10 g vanilla sugar or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g (1 cup) unsalted butter

For the garnish

  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour with salt.
  3. In a small bowl whisk the eggs, olive oil and vinegar.
  4. Slowly add the olive oil mixture to the flour, stirring gently with a wooden spoon or spatula. Do not over-work the mixture.
  5. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture loosely comes together.
  6. Let it rest covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel.
  7. Cook the pasta in boiling unsalted water as instructed on package for al dente.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the sugar, almond meal, bread crumbs, and cinnamon.
  9. In another small bowl, beat the eggs slightly with the lemon zest and vanilla extract.
  10. Grease and dust with flour a spring-form cake pan.
  11. Roll out dough to a circle and place it into the pan, letting the extra dough drape over the sides of the pan.
  12. Spread a handful of well-drained cooked pasta across the bottom.
  13. Sprinkle with two large handfuls of the almond meal mixture.
  14. Pour 1/2 cup of the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with 1/3 of the butter pieces.
  15. Repeat for all layers to the top or until the ingredients are used up.
  16. After each addition, tap the pan down gently to settle all the layers.
  17. Trim the excess dough from the sides of the pan.
  18. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until crust is slightly brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
  19. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.
  20. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

What is an old traditional cake from the place you are from?

Moroccan Lemon Cake (Meskouta with Lemon)

This traditional Moroccan cake is one of my favorite lemon cakes ever. I love its soft structure and amazing lemon flavor. It goes perfectly with Moroccan traditional mint tea, but I enjoy it with coffee or green tea as well.

Moroccan Lemon Cake (Meskouta with Lemon)

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 300 g (1 1/2 cup) sugar
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) vegetable oil
  • 265 g (2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 15 g (4 tsp) baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • fresh lemon juice form one lemon
  • zest from 1 or 2 lemons
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 10 g vanilla sugar
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. Grease and flour a round baking pan.
  3. Zest and juice the lemon.
  4. In a stand mixer or by hand, beat together the eggs and sugar until thick. Gradually beat in the oil.
  5. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, and then the milk. Beat until smooth, and then mix in the lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and bake for about 40 minutes. Test with toothpick if the cake is ready by inserting the toothpick in the cake and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 7 to 10 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a spatula, and turn out the cake onto a rack to finish cooling.
  8. Dust with powdered sugar before serving!

What is your favorite citrus in desserts?

Chocolate Roll

Chocolate lovers are going to be thrilled with this Swiss roll. It’s made of chocolate sponge cake, chocolate cream and chocolate glaze. Yes, chocolate everything! As I said, chocolate heaven!

Chocolate Roll

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 5 eggs
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 20 g (3 tbsp) cocoa powder
  • 40 g (3 heaping tbsp) of all purpose flour

For the cream

  • 200 ml (3/4 cup) heavy whipping cream
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

For the glaze

  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 60 g (1/4 cup) butter

Preparation

  1. Coat the large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  3. Separate the egg whites and the egg yolks in two separate large bowls.
  4. Mix the egg yolks with sugar until foamy, then add cocoa and stir. Mix in the flour.
  5. In a separate bowl mix egg whites with a touch of salt until stiff.
  6. Gradually fold stiff egg whites in the egg yolk mixture with spatula.
  7. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Baked cake together with parchment paper shift on a wet dish cloth and roll.
  10. Now prepare the cream. Heat the cream to a boiling point.
  11. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put it in the hot cream.
  12. Add the butter and mix until you get a smooth mixture.
  13. Allow to cool in the fridge.
  14. Cooled cream mix with electric mixer until it becomes creamy.
  15. Unwrap the cake from the dish cloth and carefully take off the parchment paper.
  16. Coat it with cream and roll.
  17. For the glaze melt the chocolate in double boiler or in microwave, add butter and stir until dissolved. Pour over cake and let it cool off.
  18. Cool in the fridge before serving.

Instead of chocolate glaze sprinkle the roll with some cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Decorate as you wish, I put some chocolate candy 😀

What is your favorite roll cake?

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

This is one of those magical chocolate desserts that melt in your mouth! The name fits perfectly, it is very moist and it tastes almost like chocolate mousse!

Try it out and dig into the chocolate heaven 🙂 It pairs excellent with berries and citrus, I of course chose strawberries 😀

Chocolate Magic Custard Cake

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250 g (1 ¼ cup) granulated sugar
  • 110 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 65 g (½ cup) all purpose flour
  • 40 g (⅓ cup) cocoa powder
  • 500 ml (2 cup) milk, lukewarm
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar for dusting

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 160 °C (320 °F).
  2. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Separate egg whites and yolks in two separate large bowls.
  4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff and set aside.
  5. Melt the butter in the microwave.
  6. Whisk egg yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until creamy.
  7. Add melted butter and mix for half a minute.
  8. Add the flour and unsweetened cocoa powder. Mix with a spatula until incorporated well.
  9. Pour the milk gradually and continue beating.
  10. Add in the egg whites, one third at a time and gently fold in with spatula.
  11. Pour this liquid batter into the baking pan and bake for 60 minutes.
  12. Let it cool and when it comes to room temperature chill for an hour.
  13. Slice it in the size you like and dust with powdered sugar right before serving.
  14. Keep it in refrigerator until you finish it all.

What is a magical cake that you adore?

Nutella Brownies

These are the brownies to try even if you don’t like Nutella. Or brownies.
But you do. Otherwise, I’m really confused about what you’re doing here. 😛

These brownies are fudgy, moist and delicious. I tried many brownie recipes before I adapted this one to perfection so it’s not too sweet but still sweet enough 😀

Without further ado, please enjoy 😋

Ingredients

  • 170 g (1 cup) dark chocolate
  • 170 g (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) extra dark chocolate
  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 150 g (1/2 cup) Nutella
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) vanilla sugar
  • 100 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 °C (350 °F).
  2. Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Melt both chocolates with butter in the microwave or over double boiler.
  4. Stir in the Nutella.
  5. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugars on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula.
  7. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt, folding gently until combined.
  8. Pour the batter into the baking pan.
  9. Bake around 35 minutes. Do not over bake, rather under bake in this case.
  10. Let cool to room temperature before serving.

Which recipe did you adapt to your liking and how?

Nesquik Cake

This is kids’ favorite cake. The adults love it as much 😀

When my friend shared this recipe with me, she gave me doubled amounts. I was like, 12 eggs?! They love the cake sooo much she always makes a double batch. After I tried it, I understood why. The cake is so moist and creamy you gotta try it to believe it.

Nesquik Cake

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 6 eggs
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp Nesquick
  • 100 ml (7 tbsp) milk
  • 100 ml (7 tbsp) oil
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) baking powder
  • 50 g (1/2 cup) white chocolate for decoration

For the cream

  • 500 ml (2 cup) heavy cream
  • 300 g (2 3/4 cup) dark chocolate

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C (355 °F).
  2. Separate egg yolks and egg whites in two large bowls.
  3. With electric mixer mix egg yolks with sugar until foamy.
  4. Add oil and milk in egg yolk mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, baking powder and Nesquick).
  6. Add dry ingredients in the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Separately mix egg whites until stiff and mix in lightly with spatula to the batter.
  8. Pour the batter in a baking pan.
  9. Bake for 20-25 min.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the cream.
  11. Cook the cream to the boiling point (but don’t let it boil), remove from the heat and add broken chocolate pieces. Mix until combined.
  12. When the cake is done, make holes all over it with a fork. They allow the cream to settle into the cake.
  13. Pour the hot cream on the still warm cake.
  14. Chill in the refrigerator over night before serving.

What was your favorite cake when you were a kid?

Walnut Roll

Most Croats cannot imagine their celebration, whatever the occasion is, especially Christmas, without the Orahnjača – Walnut roll, traditional Croatian recipe for yeast-based dessert.

Along with the walnut filling, poppy seed filling is common. Usually, one roll is made with walnuts and the other with poppy seeds. This recipe makes two rolls.

This recipe is part of Foodies+ Christmas Recipes from Around the World cookbook, amazing cookbook with over 400 pages that shares many recipes you can use all year round. All proceeds are going to Action Against Hunger.


Ingredients for the dough

  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 20 g (5 tsp) vanilla sugar
  • 500 ml (2 cup) milk
  • 20 g (2 tbsp) dry yeast
  • 800 g (7 2/3 cup) all purpose flour
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) butter, melted
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp of rum (optional)
  • zest of two lemons

Ingredients for the filling

  • 500 g (5 1/2 cup) walnuts, ground
  • 2 egg whites
  • 200 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 100 ml (1/2 cup) milk, scalded
  • 1 tsp rum (optional)

Many Croats put raisins in the filling, previously soaked in rum, but I’m not a fan 😀

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl mix flour, yeast, salt, sugar and vanilla sugar.
  2. Add egg yolks in the flour mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl warm the milk (not hot) and add butter to dissolve.
  4. Slowly mix in milk and butter mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon or with electric mixer spirals until blisters begin to form on the dough and the dough starts removing from the bowl edges.
  5. Add rum and lemon zest. Mix well until combined.
  6. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it stand in a warm place until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  8. Pour the scalded milk over the ground walnuts.
  9. Combine with sugar and rum. Allow to cool.
  10. Gently fold in beaten egg whites.
  11. To assemble spread flour on a large table-cloth.
  12. Divide the dough into two parts.
  13. Roll each part out very thin and fill with walnut filling.
  14. Roll by lifting the edge of the table-cloth on which the dough was rolled out.
  15. Grease the baking pan. Place the rolls into the pan.
  16. Put in the oven on 50 °C (125 °F) to rise again.
  17. Then heat the oven to 170 °C (240 °F) and bake for 40-50 minutes or until they become golden. Let cool in the pan.
  18. Brush with oil when cooled.

Note: It is very important that there is no draft in the room where the dough is rising. It will not rise properly.

What is your traditional Christmas dessert?

Poppy Seed Squares

Many European countries use poppy seeds in desserts. I use it often because of its specific flavor that I really enjoy. Did you know that poppy seeds are rich source of thiamine, folate, and several essential minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc?

For this gluten free cake, you will need little time to prepare and even less to indulge 😀 Choice of jam is up to you. I used homemade sour cherry jam since sweet and sour complement each other creating a divine taste 🙂

Poppy seed squares

Ingredients

  • 7 eggs divided
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 140 g (10 tbsp) butter at room temperature
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 200 g (1 1/4 cup) ground poppy seeds
  • zest of one lemon
  • jam of your choice (I used sour cherry jam and it was perfect!)
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) dark chocolate
  • 100 ml (1/4 cup) whipped cream

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C (390 °F).
  2. Divide eggs in two separate mixing bowls.
  3. Separately whip butter until foamy.
  4. Beat egg yolks with 6 tbsp of sugar until foamy.
  5. Add whipped butter to the egg yolk mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Combine poppy seeds with baking soda and lemon zest and add to the egg yolk mixture. Mix well.
  7. Mix egg whites with 6 tbsp of sugar until stiff.
  8. With a spatula add beaten egg whites to the batter.
  9. Bake in a baking pan covered with parchment paper for about 40 min until golden brown.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare the chocolate glaze. Heat the cream up to boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate broken in pieces. Mix until chocolate is incorporated.
  11. Spread your jam of choice on the baked cake and pour chocolate glaze on top.

Enjoy with your favorite cup of coffee or tea!

Have you ever tried a poppy seed dessert? What was your favorite?

Marble Cake

The first print references to marble cake began appearing in the last quarter of the 19th century. One popular variation of this recipe during Victorian times was “Harlequin cake”, which was baked with checker-board patterns. Early recipes use molasses and spices to achieve the dark-colored batter.

Today, we use cocoa and it tastes like a having a piece of chocolate with your sponge cake 😀

This, easy to make, simple cake is usually served around Easter, but I usually make it on the weekends when I don’t plan on baking but still crave something sweet, since all the ingredients are in my staple.

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs divided
  • 280 g (1 1/3 cups) granulated sugar
  • 20 g (1 1/2 tbsp) vanilla sugar
  • zest from one lemon
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) softened unsalted butter
  • 10 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 280 g (2 1/2 cup) all purpose flour
  • 10 g (2 1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp rum (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C (390 °F).
  2. Separate egg yolks form egg whites in two separate bowls.
  3. Mix in self standing mixer or with electric beater egg yolks and sugar until foamy.
  4. Add vanilla sugar, lemon zest and butter. Mix until combined.
  5. Add progressively milk and oil, and at the end alternately mix in flour mixed with baking powder.
  6. Beat egg whites until stiff.
  7. With spatula, mix in egg white mixture in the egg yolk mixture until combined.
  8. Divide prepared batter into two parts.
  9. In one part add cocoa and rum.
  10. Greased pan sprinkle with bread crumbs, pour the yellow batter and then the brown batter.
  11. Bake the cake in preheated oven at 200 °C (390 °F) for 20 min and another 30 min on 150 °C (300 °F) until golden brown.
  12. After the cake is done, cool it off on the rack.
  13. Before serving sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Do you have your go to cake when craving something sweet?

Istrian Cake with Almonds and Curd

Although Istria is most famous for its delicious seafood, fish, olive oil and wine, it has a few dessert gems. This Istrian Cake is one of those gems, made from favorite Istrian ingredients such as almonds, lemons and curd. Moist and super tasty traditional cake that you can try in your own kitchen and get a little bit of taste of Croatia 🙂

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Istrian cake with almonds and curd - Istrian region

In addition to the original recipe, after I finished the cake and chilled it, I smeared it with apricot jam and sprinkled with almond shavings. If you cannot get a hold of fresh curd, ricotta would make a perfect substitute.

Tools you need

  • Mixing bowls. Before you can put the ingredients into the round baking pan, you need to mix them somewhere. Mixing bowls to the rescue! Make sure bowls you use are adequately sized. There are few things worse than overflowing bowls.
  • Round baking pan to make your cake look perfectly round 😀
  • Measuring spoons to, you know, measure things with them
  • Kitchen scale because baking is a fine art and perfection is a little bit more reachable when you quantify things; alternatively, you can use cups, in which case…
  • Measuring cups. Sometimes when you buy measuring cups, measuring spoons come with them
  • Spatula makes mixing things into other things easier
  • Electric mixer for ultimate combining of your ingredients
  • Zester to zest lemon zest (is there a way to use zest in that sentence again?)
  • Lemon squeezer. You could just use your hands to squeeze lemons if you want to get your hands juicy. Or you could use a lemon squeezer to keep your germs and lemon pits out of the cake. And possibly look fancy while doing it.
  • Kitchen mittens. Things get hot in the oven. ‘Nuff said.

Ingredients

  • 250 g (2 cups) curd
  • 250 g (2¾ cups) ground almonds
  • 200 g (14 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 6 eggs separated
  • 250 g (1¾ cups) brown sugar
  • 10 g (4 tsp) vanilla sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • zest of four lemons

Preparation

  1. Combine almonds with ⅓ of sugar, flour and lemon zest and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat with electric mixer, butter with remaining sugar until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add egg yolks to butter and sugar mixture.
  4. With spatula in a separate bowl combine curd with lemon juice and honey and mix in to the butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Add almond mixture to curd and butter mixture.
  6. Beat egg whites until stiff and gently stir in with spatula into the rest of the mixture.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased round baking pan.
  8. Bake at 150 °C (300 °F) for 40 min or until the crust gets golden.
  9. After the cake cools completely, smear the apricot jam on top and sprinkle with almond shavings if you wish.
Istrian cake with almonds and curd

Serve chilled 😀

What is your favorite almond cake?

Black Guinness Cake with Cream Cheese Froth

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, I thought I’d share this amazing cake with you! Did you ever try using beer as an ingredient in a cake before?! Done right it tastes amazing, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this saint than with a beer in one hand and having a slice of beer cake in another (probably on a fork, but really depends on how many other beers you had before) 😀

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Black Guinness Cake with the side of a beer

Tools you need

Springform pan. Perfect shape for your cake in the making.
Chef’s knife. Butter melts faster when cut in pieces 🙂
Whisk for whisking things, as the name implies.
Saucepan for saucing pans heating up beer and butter.
Before you can put the ingredients into the pan, you need to mix them somewhere, mixing bowls to the rescue! Make sure bowls you use are adequately sized. There are few things worse than overflowing bowls.
Measuring spoons to, you know, measure things with them.
Measuring cups to measure larger quantities of things than with measuring spoons. (Who comes up with these descriptions?)
Kitchen scale because baking is a fine art and perfection is a little bit more reachable when you quantify things.
Spatula to put the froth on the cake and make the whole thing actually look like beer. Important stuff here.
Electric mixer. Mixing is great and all, but doing it by hand can get exhausting. Sometimes you can outsource that work to a family member. Other times you need a bit more power.
Kitchen mittens. Things get hot in the oven. ‘Nuff said.
Round serving tray. You can serve a cake on anything, even eat it straight from the pan. It’s round, though, so it’s gonna look best on a round serving tray and there’s plenty to choose from.
Cake stand is a fancier way to display your cake than the serving tray.

Ingredients

Makes 12 slices

For the cake:

  • 250 ml (1 cup) Guinness beer
  • 250 g (1 ⅛ cups) unsalted butter
  • 75 g (¾ cup) cocoa powder
  • 400 g (2 cups) sugar
  • 142 ml (½ cup & 2 tbsp) sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 275 g (2 ¼ cups) all purpose flour
  • 2 ½ tsp baking soda

For the topping:

  • 300 g (1 ⅕ cups) cream cheese
  • 150 g (1 ½ cup) icing sugar
  • 125 ml (½ cup) whipping cream

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F)
  2. Oil or butter a 23 cm springform pan, dust with flour and set aside.
  3. Pour the Guinness beer into a large wide saucepan, add the sliced butter and heat until the butter is melted, at which time you should whisk in the cocoa and sugar.
  4. With electric mixer beat the sour cream with the eggs and vanilla and then pour into the brown, buttery, beery pan and finally whisk in the flour and baking soda.
  5. Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Leave to cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack.
  6. When the cake’s cold, place it on a serving tray or a cake stand and start the icing.
  7. Using electric mixer lightly whip the cream cheese until smooth, add the icing sugar and then beat them both together until combined.
  8. Add the cream and beat again until it makes a spreadable consistency.
  9. Spread the cream with the spatula on the black cake so that it resembles the frothy top of the famous Irish pint.
slice of Black Guinness Cake with the side of a beer

How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
What are you favorite St. Patrick’s Day dishes?