6 December 2016

Danish Dream Cake.

According to Bronte Aurell, the author of the ScandiKitchen cook book, this cake is originally from Brovst, a village in Jutland.
In 1965, a young girl baked her grandmother's secret family recipe in a competition and won.
The cake became a favourite since then and it's baked in all Danish households.
The cake itself is light and fluffy and the delicious and moreish coconut topping is truly delicious, specially for the coconut lovers, which I am.

1 December 2016

Gingerbread Advent Calendar / Calendário do Advento em Bolachas de Gengibre.

Christmas season is officially open and the first suggestion I'm leaving you is this gorgeous advent calendar.
The recipe is from the new issue of the Donna Hay magazine and It was entirely made by my 10 year old daughter and myself.
It was a 4 hands job from start to finish and I think it looks pretty good and best of all, it is completely natural and totally homemade.
It's easy and fairly quick to make and if you want to give it a go, you're still in time.

29 November 2016

Roast Chicken with Chestnuts and Cabbage / Frango assado com Castanhas e Couve.

Chestnuts are the ingredient Marta has chosen for November and although I had two or three suggestions selected to prepare for Marta, with all the constrains I had this month, it was not possible for me to prepare all of them and therefore, here is the only one I was able to prepare and it is a very delicious one.
The recipe is from Mimi Thorisson new "French Country Cooking" book and if you are a Mimi lover and if you loved her 1st book, believe me, this second one is 1.000 times better!! An absolute delight from which I have lots of pages selected for the recipes to be tested.
This chicken was the first one and that's the one I'm sharing today because the combination is great and very appropriate for #martaingredientofthemonth.
ingredients (serves 6):
for the chicken:
1 whole chicken, about 1.5kg
60g salted butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 bunch of fresh thyme
1 small onion, halved
1 bay leaf
8 peeled cooked chestnuts
for the cabbage:
1 head savoy cabbage (dark green leaves discarded), cut into 2.5cm strips
570g peeled, cooked chestnuts
75g unsalted butter
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
80ml chicken stock
80ml dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Take the chicken out of the fridge, at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Rub the chicken with the salted butter and season generously inside and outside with salt and pepper.
Put the garlic cloves, thyme, onion halves, bay leaf and chestnuts in the cavity.
Put the chicken in a roasting tin and roast for 50 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to a big plate and reserve.
Increase the oven temperature to 200ºC.
Keep all the roasting juices in the roasting tin and add the cabbage, chestnuts and 4 tablespoons (60g) of the unsalted butter.
Season with salt and pepper and toss everything together. Put the tin in the oven and roast for 10 minutes.
Pour in the stock and wine and stir to combine.
Brush the chicken with the remaining 15g butter to gloss the skin and return to the tin.
Put the tin back in the oven and roast for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Castanhas foram o ingrediente seleccionado pela Marta para o mês de Novembro.
Um ingrediente que adoro e para o qual havia já seleccionado umas 3 receitas para preparar para a Marta e para o seu mês das castanhas.
Contudo, e com todas as condicionantes que tive este mês, consegui preparar apenas esta sugestão e não posso deixar de a partilhar (mesmo com fotos feinhas), pois sempre paticipei no #martaingredientofthemonth e não vai ser este mês que vou falhar.
A receita, uma combinação que resulta na perfeição e que é absolutamente magnífica, é do novo livro da Mimi Thorisson, o "French Country Cooking".
Para os que, tal como eu, são apaixonados e fãs da Mimi fica a mensagem: se gostaram do primeiro livro dela, não deixem de comprar este, pois na minha modesta opinião, é 1000 vezes melhor que o primeiro e por cá, já está cheio de post it's, pois são muitas as receitas que vou querer experimentar deste livro delicioso.
Posto isto, fica então a sugestão para a querida Marta e para todos os que a quiserem testar.
ingredientes (para 6 pessoas):
para o frango:
1 frango inteiro, de preferência caseiro, com cerca de 1.5kg
60g manteiga com sal
sal fino e pimenta preta moída na altura
4 dentes de alho, inteiros e com a casca
1 raminho de tomilho fresco
1 cebola pequena, cortada ao meio e com casca
1 folha de louro
8 castanhas cozidas e descascadas
para a couve:
1 couve lombarda (folhas exteriores mais escuras descartadas), cortada em tiras de cerca de 2.5cm.
570g castanhas cozidas e descascadas
75g manteiga sem sal
sal fino e pimenta preta moída na altura
80ml caldo de galinha
80ml vinho branco seco
Aquecer o forno a 180ºC.
Tirar  frango do frigorífico cerca de meia hora antes de o cozinhar.
Esfregar o frango com a manteiga com sal e temperar, por dentro e por fora, com sal e pimenta a gosto.
Colocar os alhos, o tomilho, as metades da cebola, as castanhas e a folha do louro, na cavidade do frango.
Colocar o frango numa assadeira e levar ao forno por 50 minutos.
Findo esse tempo, retirar o frango da assadeira, colocá-lo num prato e reservar.
Aumentar a temperatura do forno para 200ºC.
Na assadeira onde se assou o frango e ao molho e todos os sedimentos que lá ficaram, juntar a couve, as castanhas e 60g de manteiga sem sal.
Temperar de sal e pimenta e envolver tudo muito bem.
Levar a assadeira ao forno por cerca de 10 minutos.
Findo esse tempo, retirar a assadeira do fono, adicionar o caldo de galinha e o vinho e mexer tudo muito bem.
Pincelar toda a superfície do frango com os restantes 15g de manteiga e colocar o frango de volta na assadeira, sobre a mistura de couve e castanhas.
Levar ao forno por mais 10 a 15 minutos, ou até o frango estar bem douradinho e completamente cozido.
Deixar o frango repousar por 15 minutos antes de servir.

Recipe / Receita:

28 November 2016

Orange Jaffa Cakes / Jaffa Cakes de Laranja.

For November and "Our Great Bake Off", Ana challenged us to make Jaffa Cakes.
Here at home, my husband and kids are totally nuts about Jaffa Cakes and there is no time that my husband goes shopping that he doesn't bring a big box of Jaffa Cakes with him.
I confess, I have never made Jaffa Cakes at home before and so, this was a great opportunity to try this Kate Doran recipe that happens to be the cover of her fabulous Homemade Memories book.
The experience went very well and the photos doesn't pay justice to the fabulous flavour of these Jaffa Cakes as my PC broke and I don't have my Photoshop to edit the photos and I'm working and trying to post on a total strange environment which is my husband laptop...
Well, problems apart, here they are, my first ever homemade Jaffa Cakes.
Note: I made my recipe using financier molds and so they are rectangular but I'm leaving you the original recipe, which means, round cakes made in a muffin tin.

14 November 2016

Prinsesstårta (Princess Cake).

As you can read here, the theme for this month's Sweet World is to create a Princess Cake.
A Princess Cake (Prinsesstårta) is a traditional Swedish layer cake consisting of alternating layers of sponge cake, pastry cream and a thick domed layer of whipped cream that is topped with marzipan, giving the cake a smooth rounded top.
The marzipan overlay is usually green, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and often decorated with a pink marzipan rose.
The original recipe first appeared in the 1948 Prinsessornas Kokbok cookbook, which was published by Jenny Åkerström, the teacher of the three daughters of Prince Carl, Duke of Västergötland.
The cake was originally called grön tårta (green cake), but was given the name Prinsesstårta or "Princess Cake" because the princesses were said to have been especially fond of the cake. The princesses were Princess Margaretha (1899–1977; later Princess of Denmark), Princess Märtha (1901–1954; later Crown Princess of Norway), and Princess Astrid (1905–1935; later Queen of the Belgians).
The cake is widely featured in Tom McNeal's book "Far Far Away".
This was the first time I made or tasted this cake and the only thing I can say is that this cake is to die for.
Everybody that tasted it was impressed and even some friends, that are not what we call "sweet tooth", couldn't resist it.
It's delicate, moist, delicious and very addictive and the marzipan layer adds that extra explosion of flavour.
Saying that, if, like me, you never tried a Prinsesstårta before, just try it because you'll be in love.
This recipe is a mix of recipes because after doing lots of research throughout my books and throughout the internet, I couldn't decide for one particular recipe and therefore, I decided to take what I liked from each one of them and make the cake that, according to everything I read, would be the closest as possible to the real version.
For the final decoration, you can do whatever you want.
I decorated mine with the marzipan rose, some marzipan leaves that I tinged with darker green food colouring, and white icing to create a "branch" effect, but you can use melted chocolate, only the rose or, whatever you think is appropriate.

31 October 2016

Chocolate brownie topped with saffron Persian candy floss / Brownie de chocolate com algodão doce Persa de açafrão.

This recipe was lost in the blog drafts for ages. Now that I came across it, I thought it was a shame that I didn't share it before but, as they use to say, better late than never right?
The first time I came across the Persian candy floss was in one of the Donna Hay magazines and I remember to think how cool it was.
A few months ago, Pip McCormac posted on instagram a picture of a brownie topped with Persian candy floss that he was having in a restaurant.
Comments exchanged between him, me and Sabrina Ghayour and Sabrina kindly and very helpfully, told me where to get the Persian candy floss.
I went to the website that Sabrina recomended and there was two flavours available. Vanilla and Saffron. As I couldn't decide between the two of them, I ordered both.
This is the first recipe, a brownie of course, that I made in order to use the fabulous Persian candy floss.
The texture of this candy floss is so different compared to the ordinary candy floss we are used to. It melts in the mouth and it is really unique.
The brownie recipe itself is from April Carter beautiful cookbook "Treats". A book that I have for ages and that is small but full of delicious treats.

29 October 2016

Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons / Sopa de Abóbora com especiarias e Croutons.

Being myself a huge soup lover, I couldn't let October to come to an end, without preparing a pumpkin soup for Marta and her "ingredient of the month" which is the Pumpkin.
I'm so into Fika and Hygge (concepts that I wrote about in this post) and Scandinavian cooking that, as soon as I saw this soup in Trine Hahnemann fabulous "Scandinavian Comfort Food" book, I couldn't help it but make it straightaway.
Of course I don't need books or recipes to make soups because all of us can make soup right?
The thing is, I love different combinations and different flavours because, although I love soups, I hate boring and bland soups. Something that this soup is not at all. Neither boring nor bland.
Actually, it's a fabulous super flavoursome and tasteful soup and that's why I decided to share it with you all and publish it in time for Marta's "October - Pumpkin - Ingredient of the month".

27 October 2016

Pumpkin, pancetta and Dolcelatte cheese tart / Tarte de abóbora, pancetta e queijo Dolcelatte.

As you all know by now, I love Marta's "ingredient of the month" and there's no month that I don't participate with a suggestion for her beautiful round up at the end of each month.
This month, October, the chosen ingredient was the pumpkin.
I LOVE pumpkin and how it can be used in either sweet or savoury recipes and this time and for Marta, I made this absolutely amazing and delicious savoury tart.
I used some of my favourite ingredients that, combined, elevated this tart from good to extraordinary!
The combination of pumpkin and sage is a classic that we all know but in this recipe, I used rosemary, which is one of my favourite herbs of all times and yes... I know... I write and say that for every herb I talk or write about but, the thing is, I love them all so much, that I tend to think that the one I'm using in one specific recipe is my favourite one, when actually, might not be, because they all are!...
Anyway... in this recipe I used rosemary in both, pastry and filling and the results were absolutely stunning flavour wise.
So, for lovely Marta and her October, which is the "Pumpkin month", here is my suggestion - which I hope is not the only one until the end of the month - and I really recommend you all to try it because you'll be in for a real delightful treat.

for the pastry:
250g plain flour
200g butter, chilled and cubed
125ml soured cream
1 tsp fresh rosemary needles, very finely chopped
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Add the soured cream and the rosemary and pulse until the dough forms a ball.
Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Once the pastry is chilled, roll it out on a floured surface and line a 23cm loose based tart tin. Line with baking paper and chill for another 20 minutes.
Fill the tart base with baking beans and cook the pastry for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, tip out the baking beans, brush the pastry all over with the egg white (to avoid a soggy bottom) and bake for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and crisp. Take the tin out of the oven and set aside to cool.

for the filling:
600g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
drizzle of olive oil
150g pancetta, cubed and fried until crispy
150g Dolcelatte, cubed
1 tbsp rosemary, very finely chopped
4 eggs
150ml créme fraîche
150ml double cream
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
Put the pumpkin on a baking tray and toss it with a little olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until tender but still holding its shape. When ready, take the tray out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Spread the pumpkin cubes all over the base of the tart shell.
Sprinkle with the crispy cubed pancetta, followed by the Dolcelatte and the chopped rosemary.
In a bowl, beat together the eggs, crème fraîche, the cream and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture over the pumpkin, pancetta and Dolcelatte and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and golden brown.
Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool slightly or to room temperature before serving.

25 October 2016

Sweet World 9th edition - Baked Cheesecake - Round Up / Round Up da 9ª edição do Sweet World - Cheesecake no forno.

Here is the round up for the 9th challenge of our Sweet World!!
As you can read here the challenge was to make a Baked Cheesecake.
Thank you to everyone that took time to participate.
Meanwhile, the theme for the 10th edition of the Sweet World, is already on Susana's blog and it is a very gorgeous challenge that we set up this month.

Para a 9ª edição do nosso Sweet World, o desafio era fazer um Cheesecake de forno.
Como podem constatar pelo desfile que se segue, o empenho dos participantes foi, mais uma vez, absolutamente magnífico e as combinações que nos apresentaram foram de babar.
Por motivos de força maior, a nossa linda Susana não pôde fazer o cheesecake para este mês, mas mais cedo ou mais tarde, vai ter de nos mostrar os seus dotes em cheesecake, pois não se escapa, lol!
Aqui fica então o lindo round up e o nosso sincero agradecimento a todos os que se esmeraram para este desfile.
Já agora, não se esqueçam de ver no blogue da Susana o tema para a 10ª edição. Confesso que estou super entusiasmada, pois é um bolinho lindo de morrer, este que este mês vos desafiamos a fazer...!!!

Baked Cheesecake - Round Up

24 October 2016

Pumpkin and coconut caramel flan for the 2016 Virtual Pumpkin Party / Pudim de Abóbora e coco para a Festa Virtual da Abóbora de 2016.

I really felt very chuffed when Aimee - Twigg Studios, invited me to be part of the Virtual Pumpkin Party that she is hosting today with Sara Cornelius from the gorgeous blog Cake over Steak.
I love Autumn with its brown and orangy colours and moods and I'm a true pumpkin lover.
Being part of this beautiful virtual gathering with such amazing bloggers and with a recipe that features an ingredient that I love so much, it's a real honour.
This recipe is my interpretation of a classic that my mum and my mother in law always make for Christmas and that we all love.
Saying that, here is my suggestion for this amazing virtual party and don't forget to check out the links of all the participants at the bottom of this postMore than 100 bloggers took part and prepared absolutely delicious suggestions.
If those links and suggestions don't get you inspired to cook with pumpkin for the rest of the pumpkin season, I don't know what will :))...

for the caramel:
160g sugar
6 tbsp water
unsalted butter, for greasing
for the flan:
300g pumpkin purée
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
6 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks
40g sweet desiccated coconut
200ml full fat milk
200ml double cream
toasted coconut flakes, to sprinkle
Preheat the oven to 160ºC.
Warm a 1.2l dish in the oven, so it is warm when you pour the caramel in it.
To make the caramel, put the sugar and water into a clean stainless steel pan. Dissolve the sugar slowly, stirring with a wooden spoon over a low heat.
When there are no sugar granules left, stop stirring and boil until the sugar turns a dark golden colour.
Remove immediately from the heat to ensure the caramel does not burn. Quickly pour the caramel into the warmed dish. Set aside to cool and become hard. Once the caramel is hard, butter the sides of the dish above the level of the caramel.
To make the flan, whisk the pumpkin purée, caster sugar, vanilla paste, eggs, egg yolks and desiccated coconut together in a bowl until well mixed.
Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan, gently heat over a low heat until you can still just dip your finger in for a moment, then strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve onto the egg mixture in the bowl.
Whisk together until smooth, then pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
Stand the dish in a roasting tin and fill the tin half-way with boiling water from a kettle.
Cook in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until the custard has set.
Take the flan out of the oven, remove the dish from the tray and set on a cooling rack. When cool, transfer to the fridge overnight so that the caramel is absorbed into the custard.
To serve, loosen the sides of the custard with a small palette knife around the edges. Place a serving dish on top of the dish and turn upside down. Serve sprinkled with the toasted coconut flakes.

18 October 2016

Lemon Drizzle Cake / Bolo drizzle de limão.

There's only two, high quality, cooking shows on TV to which I am totally addicted to:
Masterchef Australia and the Great British Bake Off and since their first season that I don't miss one single episode of both of them.
Great British Bake Off is on its 7th season and not just I never missed one single episode of the 7 seasons but I also have all the Bake Off books available.
Ana had this great idea of challenging us to recreate the Bake Off technical challenges at home.
Being myself a big Bake Off addicted, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take part in this fabulous challenge.
Like Ana (great minds think alike, right?), I always thought of challenging myself at home and try to recreate the technical challenges myself and now is the time to do it.
Ana calls this challenge "Our Great Bake Off" and for October, she challenged us to bake a drizzle cake.
As you all know, I'm a big citrus lover and lemons are on top of my citrus preferences. With that in mind, I couldn't make any other drizzle cake but the only and delicious lemon drizzle cake.
This Raymond Blanc recipe was marked to be baked for years but was forgotten and this is the one I baked for Ana and for "Our Great Bake Off"!
Perfect to eat alongside a cup of tea or coffee, according to Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, a perfect drizzle cake should have a dome and a crack on top and mine has both of them so, I think I baked a perfect drizzle cake...

16 October 2016

Pumpkin "no knead" bread with crispy Bacon and Sage leaves for the World Bread Day / Pão sem amassar de Abóbora, com Bacon e Salva crocantes, para o Dia Mundial do Pão.

It's World Bread Day again and once more, here is my suggestion.
I love bread as you all know and since I found out about the World Bread Day that I always bake a special bread for the occasion.
In 2014 I baked this delicious Povitica for the World Bread Day; last year, 2015, I baked this scrumptious Brioche with cranberries and Brie.
This year is no exception and therefore here is the recipe I came up with.
Pumpkin is the ingredient of the month and of course, my bread had to have pumpkin in its composition!
Easy as you all know "no knead" breads are, this loaf turned out fantastically well and it was absolutely delicious.
Crusty on the outside, chewy inside and full of flavour, my husband defined it as the best bread I ever made... I think that says it all, right?

ingredients (makes 1 medium loaf):
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp sea salt flakes
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
6 rashers of thinly sliced bacon
10 to 12 large sage leaves
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, yeast, salt and water.
Add the flour and mix until a sticky dough forms.
Cover with cling film and allow to stand overnight.
Fry the bacon in a frying pan, until golden and crispy and drain over kitchen paper.
Heat 1 tbsp of butter in the same frying pan and when the butter is sizzling, add the sage leaves.
Fry the sage leaves until crispy and then drain over kitchen paper.
Gently turn out the dough onto a clean, well floured surface and crumble de crispy bacon over the dough, followed by the crispy sage leaves. Shape the dough into a 20cm round.
Put the dough in a large floured bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to stand for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230ºC.
Heat a 22cm heavy based ovenproof saucepan in the oven for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and carefully tip the dough into the heated pan.
Cover with the lid and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
Turn the bread out of the pan and allow to cool slightly on a wire rack.