Apple Cake with Rosemary

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Only one month and the spring will be here! Last year in September we harvested our apples and since now we have some in our not heated cellar. Our old apple trees gave us a lot these delicious fruits which I learnt to appreciate during the last years.

Apple is not equal to apple, we have old kinds of them, but I don’t know how they are called. Anyway I experimented with many recipes and so we never get bored from them.

Today I would like to present you a soft juicy apple cake with a special touch! It’s a special version of the famous Thurgauer (from Thurgau, Switzerland) apple cake: the addition of rosemary.

Today, herbs are not only used for savory recipes, the taste of sweets can be enhanced and the result will be upgraded with such a single step.

Note: the recipe fits for a baking mold of 26 cm (about 10 inches), but I made a cake of 14 cm (about 9 inches) plus a mini one for give away with some almonds for decoration! I also used small apples from the garden as they fit in both cake molds.

Apple Cake with Rosemary

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1h 15 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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You need:

  • 150 g butter or margarine
  • 150 g brown sugar (if possible finely grinded)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla aroma
  • 4 tablespoon Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 2 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 50 ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sieved
  • 600 g apples
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons quince jelly (you may add one more brandy tablespoon)
  • 2 springs rosemary

additional to coat butter and ground almonds

Procedure:

  1. Beat butter until soft and add gradually sugar, salt and eggs (one by one). Beat until it becomes clear.
  2. Add vanilla, yogurt, brandy and rosemary; mix well.
  3. In a big bowl combine flour, almonds ground and baking powder. Add this to the batter.
  4. Coat your baking mold of about 26 cm (10 inches) with butter and flour or better with almonds ground.
  5. Pour the batter in the baking mold and preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  6. Peel (if needed) the apples, remove the core and arrange them over the batter; if you want prevent browning dip the slices in a big bowl with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange slices over the batter.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes at 180°C/350°F until golden brown.
  8. In the meantime melt the quince jelly in a small saucepot, switch off the heat and place the rosemary springs to infuse.
  9. When the cake is ready, brush the surface with the rosemary infused quince jelly!
  10. Let cool down on a grid before serving.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

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Ravioli ai Porcini – Ravioli with Mushrooms

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Crazy for ravioli? How many times we bought from the store „Ravioli ai Porcini“ and how many times we realize that they are not really tasty as they should be.

Here is the alternative: prepare these yourself for special events it’s fun, economic and the result is much better that whatever you can buy!

Don’t wait and try this recipe:

Ravioli ai Porcini – Ravioli with Mushrooms

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 60 mins
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

You need:ravioli-ai-porcini-1

Dough:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • About 3-4 tablespoon water

Filling

  • 2-4 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup broth, warm
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 150 g canned mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons ricotta (alternative cream cheese or cottage cheese)
  • Dried rosemary powder, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Salt, dark or light soy sauce, to taste

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon cream cheese with black pepper, more if desired
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • Salt if needed

For cooking

  • 3 liters salted water, boiling
  • 2 tablespoons vegetal

Procedure

  1. Combine the ingredients for the dough in the food processor with half of the water. Pulse and more water an elastic and not to wet dough is formed. Remove from the food processor and wrap in foil.
  2. Place the porcini in the broth to rehydrate (soak).
  3. In a skillet fry the onion in the oil until soft and translucent.
  4. Add canned mushrooms and fry until the borders of the mushrooms turn light brown. Reserve a few beautiful pieces for decoration.
  5. Remove the porcini form the broth and chop them. Now add them with the soaking broth to the skillet. Cook until liquid is adsorbed.
  6. Place to cool down
  7. In the meantime roll out the dough on a floured to a thin sheet and cut out the shapes you with. For Valentine’s Day hearths are cute!
  8. Add cream cheese to the filling and season with rosemary, pepper and salt to taste.
  9. Place the filling over the first shape, Place some filling over this and cover with another shape and press well the borders. Transfer the ravioli to a towel dusted with flour.
  10. Proceed until all the ingredients are finished. Remaining filling or dough can be frozen and used for example for a soup.
  11. Heat salted water, add some oil sot that the ravioli don’t stick while cooking.
  12. Place the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and heat this in the microwave, stir and the sauce is ready! J (or perform this in a small saucepan).
  13. Cook ravioli in the salted water with oil. This will require only a few minutes!
  14. Serve this with the sauce and reserved mushrooms!

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Valentine’s Day Crackers

 

valentine-s-day-crackersDo you need a special touch for your Valentine’s Day dinner?

These very versatile crackers, can be used as decoration for your tables, can make a great addition to soups, as base for appetizers and are great if served with a red spread or tempting salsa!

The great thing is this recipe is that you don’t need a lot of ingredients, and you can adjust it to taste!

Suggestions: add other spices/herbs/garlic powder or other additions to the dough, top with seeds, brush with oil.

Valentine’s Day Crackers

  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need (for about a dozen of 3 cm wide pieces):valentine-s-day-crackers

  • ¾ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • Water (about 2 tablespoons)

Procedure

  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowls and stir to combine with a fork or even simply with a spoon.
  2. Add water spoon by spoon until the dough comes together but it is not to wet. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Knead shortly with your hands and transfer it to a floured surface.
  4. Roll out the dough to 2 mm thick and cut out the hearts and place them on a baking sheet (I use foil). Assemble the rest of the dough and repeat until dough is finished.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F.
  6. Pinch the crackers with a fork and let rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Bake at 220°C / 425°F for about 15-20 minutes until the borders begin to turn golden brown.
  8. Transfer immediately on a wire rack to dry and cool down.
  9. If they are not dry enough place them shortly in the still lukewarm oven.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Tenerife: La Cueva del Viento

 

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The “Cueva del Viento” is a cave in municipality of Icod de los Vinos in the north east of Tenerife. This is Europe’s largest lava tube and is considered to be the 5th largest in the world after four of Hawaii’s volcanic wonders. Its underground passageways form tunnels spanning over 17 Km (10 miles). 

The cave (or better the caves) had been formed by the hot lava from the Pico Viejo volcano eruption about 27.000 years ago. As the lava flows and comes into contact with the air, the surface of the flow cools and hardens, forming an outer layer while the lava continues to flow through it until the flow stops, thereby forming the volcanic tube.

To visit this place you have to join an organised tour which will bring you to the place and you will have a chance to explore a small part of the tunnel. The tunnel itself remains closed and to preserve the delicate ecosysteme only a small part is open to the public. All reservations are made online!

We tried to capture some impressions of this place with the camera and with lightroom presets I’ve made the dark parts of the picture become more visible. I hope you will enjoy them!

After the the transfer by minibus and parking we enjoyed a short walk along old trays. Our guide (we got a great French speeking guide) explained us the difference between the different lave surfaces: the smooth one  pahoehoe and the rough (painful to walk on) A’a lava.  Places with A’a lava are known as “malpais”  (for example the Malpais de Güimar) as this places cannot be used for agriculture.

 

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The tunnels of the Cueva del Viento

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Here an official video of the cave: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jW2anlp3ASU

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Source : Information brochure from the website http://www.cuevadelviento.net/

More about the “Cueva del Viento”:

https://laciudaddeldrago.wordpress.com/httpwww-cuevadelviento-org/  (español)

http://www.todotenerife.es/en/article/show/4846/04-cueva-del-viento

http://www.cavepics.com/IVS17/REIN.pdf

http://www.atlantic-island.eu/documentos/MartinOromiHernandez1986.pdf

Tenerife: Los Reyes Magos at Los Cristianos (Adeje)

 

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Christmas time does not finish on the 25th of December! For the Spanish and in general the Latin tradition the “3 Kings Day” is very much celebrated and it’s a day filled with joy!

This day is celebrated on the eve of 5h of January (not the 6th) and we were very lucky to assist at this festival in the South of Tenerife, in Los Cristianos! While in Santa Cruz de Tenerife the Kings arrives by air (elicopter) in the big stadium, in Los Cristianos they arrive with the ship!

Everybody, especially the children is highly excited and all way at the port and along the streets. Music and a lot of people actin follow the Kings. A real feast of Joy!

 

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Swiss Quick Chocolate Cake with Melting Center

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Chocolate smell is almost irresistible especially if you get high quality chocolate! I used high quality of dark Swiss chocolate!

These recipes are almost identical and I really can’t say which the best is. In the first one I really appreciate the Kirsch addition, the result is amazing and the work needed is sooooo little!

The first recipe is also known as „Sven’s Shoggikuchen“, the second one is lightly bigger and it came from a package description and suggestions of the chocolate.

The cake is best if served slightly (only slightly!) lukewarm while the core is still soft melted. If you have leftovers and you place the cake in the fridge, the cake will get a fudgy center. J

We inverted the cake on a plate and inverted it again on the plate for serving. Then we used a spatula to transfer the slices to the single plates. And WOW, you will see how your guest will ask for some more! It taste really as you wish!

Swiss Quick Chocolate Cake with Melting Center

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Version 1:swiss-quick-chocolate-cake-with-melting-center-2

You need

  • 125 g flour, sifted (all-purpose flour, no self-rising flour!)
  • 200 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g chocolate, dark
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 tablespoons kirsch
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar ( decoration)

Procedure

  1. Preheat to oven at 250°C (480°F).
  2. Coat your baking mold (24 cm / 9.4 inch) first with butter and then with little flour.
  3. Melt chocolate with butter in small pan or simply in the microwave. Stir to combine.
  4. With a food processor combine flour, sugar and eggs.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture and the Kirsch to the dough. Mix well again.
  6. Pour the dough into the mold
  7. Bake your cake at 250°C (480°F) for exactly 11 Minutes (heat and timing are basing it on convection oven).
  8. Decorate with powdered sugar.

Version 2:

You need

  • 150 g flour (all-purpose flour, no self-rising flour!)
  • 190 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 160 g butter
  • 200 g chocolate, dark
  • Powdered sugar

Procedure

  1. Preheat to oven at 220°C (450°F).
  2. Coat your baking mold (26 cm / 10 inch) first with butter and then with little flour.
  3. Melt chocolate with butter in small pan or simply in the microwave. Stir to combine.
  4. With a food processor combine flour, sugar and eggs.
  5. Add the chocolate mixture. Mix well again.
  6. Pour the dough into the mold
  7. Bake your cake at 220°C (450°F) for exactly 14 Minutes (heat and timing are basing it on convection oven).
  8. Decorate with powdered sugar.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

 

Tenerife: Tagana to Anaga

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We stated this year with a few days holiday on a great island as Tenerife, an island with different climates, beaches and a volcanic landscape.  The days we spent on the island were well loaded with highlights and all this now seams to be a dream.

I don’t want to forget this experience and I’m happy to share what I saw and felt in this amazing place.

We bought the flight, booked our overnight stays and prepared the program (or better the options) ahead.

A great discovery was the highly recommended app of Wikiloc! With this tool hiking was incredible attractive and we discovered an infinity of options.  All you need a good Smarphone and place (with WIFI) to load the maps and the trail ahead while during hiking the GPS will sufficient and you will not need the internet.

The fist trail we followed (by Nacho 1951) was a great hit; I really recommend to follow his trails if you are on Teneriffe. He is a great expert and a good guide!

Trail: https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=10941597

Coming from the south we reached the Anaga after about 30 minutes drive through an enchanted forest and spectacular views!

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We parked in picturesque village called Taganana with a beautiful old church an a wonderful “dragon tree“.

The walk starts in Taganana from the central of “Plaza Nuestra Señora de Las Nieves”; we walked along historical trails from where we enjoyed the spectacular views and we reached the incredible beautiful laurel forest (“laurisilva”).

 

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We shortened the trail going back to Taganana by car, so that we had some more time to explore the north coast passing from Benijo whith the black sand beach and having a look to the village of Draguillo.

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https://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=10941597

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Pad Thai – Thai Fried Noodles with Mung Beans and Peanuts

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This wonderful dish is part of the traditional street food in Thailand and it is one of the most wanted dishes.

Today we were really missing Thailand and this dish was really comforting! We love pad Thai!

 

 

Pad Thai – Thai Fried Noodles with Mung Beans and Peanuts

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 30 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need

Noodles

  • 300 g rice noodles (or other noodles if not available)

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar ( if possible palm sugar), to taste
  • 1tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce ( or soy light sauce)

Vegetables and seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon vegetal oil
  • 1 shallots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 eggs, lightly
  • 60 g bean curd, diced or 150 g fresh shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, if available
  • chili powder
  • 2 cups mung beans, germs
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon peanuts, roasted and crushed, to taste

Topping ( to taste)

  • 1 lime juice or 1 limes, sliced
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • red pepper flakes
  • soy sauce ( light or dark)
  • nam pla, prik (fish sauce with preserved chilies)

Procedure

  1. Soak noodles for 2 hours in cold water. If using fresh rice noodles, boil them shortly and rinse with cold water.
  2. Heat fish sauce, tamarind paste and sugar to dissolve the paste. Stir well until dissolved and set aside.
  3. Sauté shallots and garlic in oil until soft by medium heat.
  4. Add eggs and swirl.
  5. Change to high heat.
  6. Add bean curd or fresh shrimps, dried shrimps and noodles. Fry for 1 minute.
  7. Add prepared sauce and chili.
  8. Now add beans germs and green onion. Cook one 1-2 minutes.
  9. Adjust to taste with soy sauce or fish sauce and add half of the peanuts.
  10. Arrange on single dishes. Top with chopped peanuts and sliced green onions.
  11. Serve with lime (juice or slices), red pepper flakes, soy sauce and nam prik.

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Papas Arrugadas con Mojo Verde Y Rojo – Canarian Wrinkly Potatoes with Green and Red Sauce

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Almost anyone that has visited the Canary Islands would have enjoyed these potatoes served as a side dish. These little salty and absolutely delicious potatoes are amazing when served with Mojo sauces.

We just came home from our holidays on Tenerife and this is a recipe which I need to share and I hope you will enjoy.

Probably the origin of this cooking method came from the people who tried to cook their potatoes in sea water until the water was evaporated and the white coat of salt covered the potatoes.

How healthy is sea water depends on the water quality, some say that it is better not to try and on the other hand some chefs appreciate this very much.

I found this cooking method very interesting as the “wrinkly” result of due to the osmotic phenomenon which occurs while cooking: the potatoes are covered with salted water and to balance the salt concentration while cooking the juices of the potatoes migrate through the “semipermeable”, the potatoes wrinkle and at the end a crystalline layer of salt cover the skins.

In the contrary if the concentration of salts is greater outside then inside (cooking in water without salt), water tends to migrate through the semipermeable membrane to balance the concentration and the potatoes will swollen and the skin will break.

We enjoyed mojos sauces every day, here you will give you my recipes. The original way to prepare mojos was with the mortar; today a good blender is perfect for this recipe and you will get this extraordinary sauces ready in a few minutes.

These mojos are great served with other dishes as well as with meat, fish and over grilled cheese; in restaurants are often served just after arriving with the bread! Don’t wait and try them out.

Papas Arrugadas con Mojo Verde Y Rojo – Canarian Wrinkly Potatoes with Green and Red Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 40 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

You need papas-arrugadas-con-mojo-rojo-y-verde

Papas arrugadas

  • 500 g small salad or new potatoes, washed
  • Water
  • 25 g sea salt (or more, about 100 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt if you while cooking you use “only” 50 g sea salt

For the Mojo Verde

  • 50 g fresh cilantro (can be partly or entirely substituted by parsley)
  • 6 tablespoons mild olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch cumin, optional
  • Dried and fried or toasted white breadcrumbs, optional to taste
  • 1/2 green pepper, optional

Mojo Picón or mojo rojo

  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 5 ml vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, or more to taste
  • 1 chili
  • 1 red pepper, cored and seeds removed
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika, optional (my personal addition)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dried and fried or toasted white breadcrumbs, optional to taste

Procedure

Papas arrugadas

  1. Place the potatoes into a pan and add just enough water so potatoes are not completely covered. Add the salt and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium at a lively simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, 20-30 minutes. Stir gently with a wooden spoon from time to time.
  3. At this point the water should have reduced a lot.
  4. Drain the excess water and place the potatoes in the still warm pan the salt and pepper if you like. Heat gently and stir to coat. Cook until wrinkled for about 5 minutes. (You can perform this step in a preheated oven at 220°C as well).

Mojo verde

  1. If you have a blender, you many simple blend all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. If you prefer the traditional method, start by mashing the garlic with mortar, gradually add the chopped cilantro, then oil and work until smooth then season with the cumin and vinegar to taste.

Notes: This sauce may result quite liquid, if you prefer a thicker one, you many add some breadcrumbs to the preparation.

The other, most traditional option is the addition of green pepper. The simplest way is to use a blender and add this to the other ingredients (I found out that with a mall piece of zucchini works as well)

Mojo Picón or mojo rojo

  1. Simply blend all the ingredients, except of the breadcrumbs.
  2. Season to taste with more salt, garlic or chili.
  3. Add gradually the breadcrumbs until you will reach the consistence you like

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/

Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

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This is another of our evergreens which has not been posted since now. The first title I gave to this recipe was “Tagine En Vitesse De Poulet, Olives Et Citrons Confits” as this is quick version of the this famous Moroccan recipe.

I’ve always the preserved lemons on hand a batch of Maroccan Mix spices, so that this works very quickly for me and in 30 minutes I can serve this delish. If you have time I suggest to cook this for about 1 hours and the chicken will be much softer and the spice will be better combined.

This is not the original recipe, but the taste was great, it’s very light and it remembers us the fabulous meal we had in a beautiful restaurant in Fes (Marocco).

Chicken Tagine with Olives and Preserved Lemons

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Autor: https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/ chicken-tagine-with-olives-and-preserved-lemons-1

You need

Maroccan Spice Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout spice mix, if available, optional
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

Basic Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons of Maroccan spice Mix (see above)
  • 4 chicken breasts, bones, skin and fat removed, halved (about 500-600 g)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled cut in wedges
  • ½ cup olives, green pitted ( I also add 2 tablespoons of the brine form the preserved olives)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 small preserved lemon sliced or in wedges or to taste (about 50-100 g)
  • salt ( about 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

Procedure

  1. Heat oil in the skillet.
  2. Place chicken in the skillet and top with spices.
  3. Add onions and cook about 5 minutes until onions are lightly browned.
  4. Add olives, lemon juice, water, sliced preserved lemon.
  5. Adjust salt and pepper.
  6. Top with fresh cilantro.
  7. Cover and cook until through for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Note: If you cook it longer it will be better, you will need to add some more water.
  9. Top with more coriander and preserved or fresh lemons if desired.
  10. Serve with fresh bread.

Ww 5 smart points per portion (calculated as 4 portions in total)

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