2018 is soon to be history, and 2019 is waiting impatiently to make its entrance. But before we do the countdown for the next year, say our “I love you”s and make promises to ourselves that we may or may not keep, here are some chocolate truffles – easy to make, and perfect on the side of tonight’s champagne.
Happy New Year, People!
Ingredients (makes about 25 truffles)
200 g (7 oz) chocolate
1 dl (0,4 cup) heavy cream
Chopped pistachios, chopped and roasted almonds, coconut, dried raspberries…
Chocolate and heavy cream
Pistachios, almonds, coconut, dried raspberries
How to do it
Melt the chocolate with the heavy cream.
Let the mix cool down in a refrigerator.
When the chocolate has cooled completely down and has a creamy texture, with a couple of spoons, make small “balls” out of the chocolate, and roll them in/ cover them with the topping you’d like. I’ve used chopped pistachios, chopped and roasted almonds, coconut and dried raspberries.
Store the truffles in a cold place until you serve them.
I don´t know why, but somehow Christmas comes as a surprise every year. This year was no exception, so I needed to make some super fast, super easy Christmas cookies. With 3 main ingredients that can easily be mixed with additional/optional ingredients, these cookies are perfect for some last minute baking.
200 g (7 oz) softened butter
100 g (3,5 oz) powdered sugar
400 g (14 oz) plain flour
Cinnamon, cardamom, ground ginger, allspice, chopped chocolate, chopped almonds or other nuts, powdered licorice, cocoa, pearl sugar…
How to do it
Mix together softened butter and powdered sugar. I use a stand mixer, but you can also use your hands.
Slowly add the plain flour, and mix until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into separate pieces, and add any preferred optional ingredients. (I first divided the dough into 2 pieces, then mixed in the spices in one of them. Then I divided the 2 doughs into more pieces, and mixed in chopped chocolate, chopped almonds and powdered licorice to the different pieces.)
Roll out the different pieces until they are about 3-4 cm (1,5 inches) diameter, then place them on a cutting board and cover them with plastic foil.
Place the rolls in a cool place for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250 ºC/ 480 ºF, and line a baking sheet.
Cut the rolls into cookie sized pieces (about 1 cm thick), and place them on the baking sheet.
Bake in the middle of the oven until the cookies start to get a golden surface, about 5 minutes.
Thanksgiving is over, but who says you can’t be grateful on an ordinary Monday. Show gratitude by sharing a pie with your family and friends, give a smile to a stranger and send a thought out to those who are less fortunate than yourself. Also, take some time out of your busy day to reflect on what’s already in your life to be grateful for. I would like to start this Monday by saying thank you for reading my blog!
A few days to Halloween, and do you want to know one of my (baking) tricks? I very often try to find something slightly bitter to “break” the sweetness of the cakes. Whether it´s adding a few drops of lemon juice to buttercream frosting, or using raspberries with a chocolate cake, I find that adding some bitterness makes the cake taste “fuller”. And to this cake I’ve even added some salty licorice, so prepare to put your taste buds to the test. Salty Tricks or Sweet Treats? Yes, please!
225 gram (7,9 oz) melted butter
3 dl (1 1/4 cup) sugar
6 dl (2 1/4 cup) plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa
3 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla sugar
2, 25 dl (1 cup) milk (and maybe add a little red color to get you in that Halloween mood)
Butter and line 1-3 round cake tins (22 cm/ 9 in) (and/or use parchment paper).
Melt the butter and let it cool down a bit.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs together with sugar for a few minutes until you have a thick and fluffy mixture. I use a stand mixer with a whisk, but you may just as well use an electric hand mixer.
Add the melted butter to the mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and vanilla sugar.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and the milk to the mixture, and mix until you have a smooth batter.
Transfer 1/3 of the batter to (each) cake tin.
Bake each cake/layer in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer put in the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Let each cake/layer cool.
For the raspberry cream: if you use frozen raspberries, heat them to boiling point, and let them boil for a few minutes (this to make sure that the berries don’t contain any bacteria). Let the berries cool to (at least) room temperature.
In a large bowl, whisk together heavy cream, sugar and vanilla sugar to whipped cream. Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer. The whipped cream should “well done” rather than fluid (because you´re going to add raspberries, which will bring quite a bit of fluid to the mix).
Add the cooled raspberries and blend them in with a spatula.
Mix in the powdered licorice with a spatula, and keep the cream in a cool place while making the chocolate buttercream.
For the chocolate buttercream: beat the butter and add some of the powdered sugar. Use a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer.
Mix in the melted chocolate, and then slowly add the rest of the powdered sugar and the vanilla sugar. Then add the milk/heavy cream while mixing until you have a smooth buttercream (it should be quite soft – the buttercream will become stiff when the melted chocolate has cooled down).
When the cake layers are cool, put one layer on a tray. Make a circle of buttercream around the edges of the layer (this will keep the raspberry cream in place), then cover the layer with half of the raspberry cream (see picture).
Place the second layer over the first one, and cover it with buttercream and raspberry cream just like on the first layer.
Place the third layer on top, and cover the entire cake (top and sides) with chocolate buttercream.
Decorate the cake with licorice and sprinkles, or maybe with some fresh raspberries.
Halloween is coming up, but that also means that it´s soon time for a good colleague of mine to move to Switzerland. So in honour of my colleague, I will treat you with my Toblerone Cupcakes, dressed up as cupcats for Halloween. This recipe will give you 50-60 small cupcakes.