eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: blueberries

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

My mother doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all, we are complete opposites when it comes to cakes and dessert. I have no problem scarfing down a quarter of a cake on my own, and she’s happy with a slice so thin that I wouldn’t even bother cutting it. We look very much alike, we share the same birthday month and we both love to make a daily feast out of our lives, but our sweet preferences couldn’t be further apart.

So when she visited us last week, there weren’t many sweet treats on our culinary schedule but when I put my blueberry lemon swiss roll on the table, she impressed me. I was prepared to cut impossibly thin slices for her but, to my surprise, she got hooked on the roll. Usually, I’m the one who takes the last piece of a cake, my reputation is well known in my family when it comes to sweets, my appetite is insatiable. You can offer me the most extensive meal but even if I have to struggle towards the end, there’s always space for a well sized dessert. But this time, the last piece wasn’t for me, my mother asked for it and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this moment.

I must admit that my swiss roll was tempting on many levels, the spongy cake is absolutely heavenly, light, fluffy but structured, refined with lots of lemon zest. The blueberries added a juicy crunchiness but the cream filling was the actual star that made the whole composition complete. I whipped the cream with a little sugar and cardamom which creates an addictive deliciousness in combination with the lemony roll. The three of us loved it so much that this huge roll didn’t even last 24 hours!

Here’s the link to my strawberry swiss roll!

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

For a 30cm / 12″ roll you need

organic eggs 4
sugar 70g/ 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons for the whipped cream and 2-4 tablespoons for the sprinkling
a pinch of salt
lemon zest 1 teaspoon
plain flour 70g / 1/2 cup
cornstarch 30g / 1/4 cup
blueberries 250g / 1/2 pound
(keep 6 berries as decoration)
whipping cream 220g / 1 cup
ground cardamom 1/2 teaspoon
icing sugar to dust the roll

Set the oven to 220°C (top / bottom heat) and line a baking sheet (minimum 30 x 30cm / 12 x 12″) with parchment paper.

Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt for a few seconds before you add half the sugar, continue beating until stiff.

Mix the egg yolks, lemon zest and the remaining sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy. Fold the egg white into the egg yolks with a wooden spoon. Sieve and combine the flour and cornstarch and fold gently into the egg mixture. Spread the dough on the lined baking sheet (30 x 30cm / 12 x 12″) and bake in the middle of the oven for 6 minutes or until golden and spongy.

Sprinkle a kitchen towel with 2-4 tablespoons of sugar and flip the warm sponge onto the towel. Peel off the parchment paper and carefully roll the sponge with the towel. Leave it rolled up until cool. You can see the picture in my strawberry roll post (link above).

Whip the cream, cardamom and 2 tablespoons of sugar until thick and creamy and adjust sugar and spice to taste.

Unwind the sponge roll carefully and lay it onto a working surface. Spread the whipped cream on the cake, leave a rim of 2cm / 3/4″. Cover with blueberries and roll it up again, slowly and gently, mind not to squeeze the cream out from the sides. Dust with icing sugar and decorate with the berries and a little lemon zest. Serve immediately or keep in the fridge before serving.

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

Blueberry Lemon Swiss Roll

 

blueberrylemonswissroll9

Buckwheat Dutch Baby with White Chocolate, Blueberries and Hazelnuts

buckwheatdutchbaby1

I ate my first Dutch Baby in Marta Greber’s kitchen, the cook and baker behind the beautiful blog What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today?We met last October for one of my meet in your kitchen features, I was curious about this woman who is known to be so passionate about the first meal of the day. When Marta told me that she’d like to make a Dutch Baby for me I had to ask her for further information, unfortunately I had no idea what to expect on my plate.

To clear the picture for everyone else who feels as clueless as I did then: a Dutch Baby is a pancake baked in the oven in a heavy cast iron skillet. It rises a bit like a soufflé with a buttery crust on the outside. It’s a very simple yet very delicious way to start the day! Marta mastered this dish to perfection, you can find her recipe here in the kitchen feature with her. I didn’t want to change her basic formula too much. There are variations on this dish with a thiner result but I particularly liked the richness she created. Her recipe uses more flour than the ones that end up with a paper thin bottom, her Dutch Baby is a proper breakfast and not an airy dessert. I wanted to keep that but there is always room to evolve a recipe, to change it in order to give it a new direction. My new direction is called buckwheat!

buckwheatdutchbaby2

Inspired by my hazelnut cake made with this tasty flour which found its way onto the blog only a few weeks before I met Marta, I have been wanting to combine these two creations for months: a hearty buckwheat Dutch Baby refined with cinnamon to underline its nutty flavour. The right cast iron skillet was missing in my kitchen which isn’t obligatory for this recipe but I’ve been longing for this heavy pan from Tennessee for years and I didn’t want to start this project without this exact kitchen tool (I know, I sound a bit like a child). Thanks to our family, to lovely Ana and Chris in Florida, my cooking equipment has a few new additions: not only one skillet but three plus a casserole dish, it felt like Christmas when the box arrived. My first Dutch Baby is dedicated to these two wonderful people on the other side of the Atlantic, thank you so much for this kitchen gift!

When I finally got started, it took three attempts to learn that you can’t expect the same results from buckwheat batter compared to the ones made with lighter wheat or white spelt, it’s just not as airy. Buckwheat is simply too heavy to let the pancake rise and bubble like a perfect soufflé, as long as you’re not after after a crêpe-thin Dutch Baby which I wasn’t. I wanted Marta’s thick German pancake texture combined with the buckwheat’s distinct taste. So, using only buckwheat was out of the question, it’s impossible. For my first batch I used more or less Marta’s recipe replacing half the flour with buckwheat. It created a pancake with a certain density that I wanted to lighten up a little. The second batch made with 1/3 less buckwheat flour tasted perfect but I still wanted a different texture and look. The third and final recipe is made with an additional egg and the same amount of the two different flours, and this time I was finally happy. Don’t expect a feather-light soufflé but a cosy, nutty, cinnamony warm breakfast treat, slightly cakey, with sweet and creamy white chocolate melted on top. The addition of chopped hazelnuts and fresh blueberries made this comforting morning treat complete!

So where does the name come from? It’s another one of these sweet fairy tales. The dish is derived from the German pancake, the word Dutch is a corruption of the word Deutsch, meaning German. A restaurant owner called Victor Manca is supposed to be the person who made the first Dutch Baby in the early 1900 in Seattle, Washington. At least he owned the trade mark. Legend has it that one of his daughters chose the name, referring to the German-American immigrants, the Pennsylvania-Dutch.

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Buckwheat Dutch Baby with White Chocolate, Blueberries and Hazelnuts

For a 25cm / 10″ cast iron skillet or heavy baking dish you need

butter 80g / 2 3/4 ounces, to bake the pancake
plain flour 60g / 2 ounces
buckwheat flour 60g / 2 ounces
sugar 2 tablespoons
salt 1/2 teaspoon
ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
organic eggs 3
milk 125ml / 4 1/2 ounces
quality white chocolate, grated, 60g / 2 ounces, for the topping
blueberries 125g / 4 1/2 ounces, for the topping
hazelnuts, chopped, 20g / 3/4 ounce, for the topping

Set the oven to 230°C / 450°F (top/ bottom heat).

Place the skillet or baking dish with the butter in the oven. Let the butter melt and sizzle slightly (it should be hot but not brown). Combine the flour, buckwheat, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a bowl, add the milk and eggs and whisk for about a minute until combined. When the butter is melted, gently pour the dough into the middle of the pan and bake in the oven for about 10-12 minutes or until golden.

When the Dutch Baby is done, take the pan out of the oven and carefully pour out the excess butter. Sprinkle the surface with the chocolate immediately. Lay the blueberries and hazelnuts on top and enjoy warm!

buckwheatdutchbaby4

 

buckwheatdutchbaby6

 

Buckwheat Dutch Baby

Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

My last cheesecake creation is definitely too long ago, it was a dense treat with lots of orange and lemon flavours, rich in cream cheese with a little addition of Mediterranean ricotta. It was more like a classic New York cheesecake and was so good that for more than a year I haven’t bothered to come up with a new recipe. I baked it all winter, its citrusy richness is just perfect for a cosy tea time, and then in summer, I moved on to our old family recipe for the German version of this cake. German Käsekuchen is made with quark and stiff egg whites which gives it a lighter, fluffier texture, it’s delicious with fresh berries for a Sunday morning brunch on the balcony!

Despite the wintery temperatures, my mood has already moved on to the next season, spring, sunshine and fragrant flowers. This calls for a new cheesecake recipe!

I was after a lighter version so a good amount of the usual cream cheese had to make way for ricotta. For the first time in my life I looked at the amount of fat in both dairy products, something I’m not very interested in most of the time as I want to enjoy my food and not feel guilty. The Italian cheese is definitely the winner (in a good way). It still creates a creamy texture but it’s not as filling. I refined the cheesecake mixture with lots of lemon juice and zest and baked it on top of a base of buttery digestive cookies. A fruity topping brought a spring feeling to the recipe, I brushed the cake with a thin layer of apricot jam and spread lots of crisp blueberries on top. It was amazing, one bite after the other was pure bliss!

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

 

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

For a 20.5cm / 8″ springform pan you need

digestive cookies (Graham crackers) 210g / 7.5 ounces
butter, melted, 70g / 2.5 ounces
ricotta, room temperature, 250g / 9 ounces
cream cheese, room temperature, 300g / 10.5 ounces
sugar 100g / 3.5 ounces
vanilla pod, scraped, 1/4
organic eggs 3
cornstarch 1 teaspoon
zest of 1 large lemon
juice of 1 lemon (4 tablespoons)
a pinch of salt
fresh blueberries about 200g / 7 ounces, for the topping
apricot jam 2 tablespoons, for the topping
water 2 tablespoons, for the topping
icing sugar, for the topping

Crush the cookies in a blender until very fine, or in a plastic bag, and mix with the melted butter until combined. Press the mixture into the springform pan and put in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Set the oven to 165°C / 330°F and put a deep tray or roasting tin in the oven on the lowest position. Boil water in a kettle.

Mix the ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, eggs, cornstarch, lemon juice, zest and salt with an electric mixer until well combined.

Take the springform pan out of the freezer and wrap it in aluminium foil twice so that the bottom and sides are well covered to protect the cheesecake from the water while it’s baking. Pour the cheesecake mixture on top of the hardened crumbs and place the tin carefully into the tray in the oven. Fill the tray with the boiling water from your kettle. The water should come half way up the wrapped springform pan. Bake for 50 minutes, switch off the oven, open the door a little bit and leave the cake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Take the cheesecake out of the oven, take off the foil but leave the cake in the springform pan. When the cake is completely cool, chill it in the fridge (or outside in winter) for about an hour.

In a sauce pan, bring the jam and water to the boil and cook for about 30 seconds, push through a sieve and brush on the cake. Spread the berries evenly on top of the cake and sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

 

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

 

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

 

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

 

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

 

lueberry Ricotta Cheesecake

Fruity Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Muffins! Spongy, sugar coated and full of big, juicy blueberries that pop open in your mouth when you take the first bite, that’s the perfect muffin to me! After my wintery blood orange marmalade muffin and my drunken Irish Coffee Muffin, the time was ripe for a fresh and fruity weekend muffin. I make the dough with buttermilk which gives them a light and fluffy texture, it’s so light that you can empty half a tray without noticing!

You could also replace the blueberries with raspberries or strawberries which are at the peak of their season here at the moment. Peaches are nice too although I think it’s still a bit early for them. I’ve spotted them at the markets already, from Italy mainly, but they don’t look ripe and juicy yet, more pale and hard as a rock. I’d rather wait another month or two for a satisfying peach experience.

Frozen fruits work as well but keep in mind that they will soak the dough a bit more as they are a bit soggy when they have been defrosted. The muffins may need a little longer in the oven and won’t give you the full berry aroma, so if possible, throw in the fresh ones!

Blueberry Muffins

 Blueberry Muffins

You need a muffin tray with 12 molds and paper baking cups

Set your oven to 200°C / 390°F

plain flour 200g / 7 ounces
sugar 70g / 2.5 ounces plus 1 teaspoon for the topping
baking powder 2 1/2 teaspoons
baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
a pinch of salt
buttermilk 190ml / 6.5 ounces
butter, melted, 90g / 3 ounces
organic egg 1
a pinch of fresh vanilla
blueberries 180g / 6.5 ounces

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (except the vanilla). Whisk the melted butter, buttermilk, vanilla and egg in another bowl. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture, stir with a wooden spoon until you have a lumpy dough and gently fold in the blueberries. The more you mix it the more it will lose its light texture so don’t mix it too long.

Fill the muffin tray, sprinkle some sugar on top and bake for 14 minutes or until golden.

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins

 

Blueberry Muffins

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