eat in my kitchen

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

Tag: teatime

Tahini Date Cake with Whipped Cream

Tahini Date Cake

Welcome 2017! May you bring peace, love, and patience to our lives.

On one of the last days of 2016, we gathered a group of friends from Florence, Israel, and London around our long wooden dining table. To keep it cozy, I cooked Swabian Käsespätzle, the famous homemade egg noodles layered with lots and lots of cheese and soft, golden brown onions. This meal is so rich and comforting, it’s perfect for a cold winter’s night. I don’t know a single person who doesn’t find it addictive. Although it’s a classic Southern German dish, I’ve heard quite a few Italians claiming that Italy is its true place of origin. However, my guests from Florence tried it for the first time and they were enraptured.

My guest from Israel inspired me to bake a cake with one of his home country’s most popular products: tahini. I made a fruit cake, similar to an English teatime loaf, but I replaced the butter with tahini and olive oil. To say that it was good would be a total understatement. Light, with a soft hint of tahini, it was delicious, especially in combination with the chopped dates that I stirred into the dough and the sesame seeds sprinkled on top. I served this rustic looking beauty with lightly sweetened tahini whipped cream, we were all smitten.

Tahini Date Cake

 

Tahini Date Cake

Tahini Date Cake

Makes 1 cake

plain flour 260g / 2 cups
baking powder 1 tablespoon
freshly grated orange zest 1 tablespoon
ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon
fine sea salt 1/8 teaspoon
tahini, mixed well, 75ml / 1/3 cup
mild olive oil 75ml / 1/3 cup
milk 90ml / 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
granulated sugar 200g / 1 cup
large organic eggs 4
pitted dates, roughly chopped, 100g / 3 1/2 ounces, plus a few chopped dates for serving
white sesame seeds 1 tablespoon, plus more for serving

For the tahini whipped cream
(the tahini whipped cream serves 4, you’ll have to double the amount for the whole cake)

heavy cream 200ml / 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
granulated sugar, to taste
tahini, mixed well, about 1 tablespoon

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F (preferably convection setting) and butter a 20cm / 8″  springform pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the tahini, olive oil, milk, sugar, and eggs for about 1 minute until well combined (I mix it on ‘4’ on my KitchenAid). Stir in the flour mixture and continue mixing until no traces of flour are left. Stir in the dates and pour the dough into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden and spongy. Check with a skewer, it should come out almost clean. Let the cake cool for a few minutes and take it out of the pan.

Whip the cream with a little sugar until stiff, adjust sweetness to taste. Add the tahini and whip for a few seconds until well combined. To serve the cake, cut it into large pieces, add a generous dollop of the tahini whipped cream, and sprinkle with chopped dates and additional sesame seeds.

Wrapped in cling film, this cake stays moist for a couple days.

Tahini Date Cake

 

Tahini Date Cake

 

Tahini Date Cake

 

Tahini Date Cake

 

Tahini Date Cake

Gianduja and Chocolate Cookies

giandujachocolatecookies2

When I made these cookies the first time many Christmases ago I knew that a tradition was born. Every year, in December, I need a box of these crescent shaped cookies stuffed with Gianduja, which is also known as nougat in Germany and Austria and gives them their name: Nougat Kipferl. This nougat is made of chocolate and hazelnuts – different to the white nougat (or “Turkish honey”) which is made of almonds and honey.

Another weekend, another Kipferl! These aren’t as tender as the Vanilla Kipferl which I made last week, they are more dense, but still crumbly. I add lots of Gianduja to the dough because I want more than just a hint of this taste. The bittersweet chocolate on the Kipferl’s feet isn’t just for decoration – it takes away a bit of the sweetness. The amounts I use in my recipe aim for a bigger batch of 90 cookies as I enjoy this pleasure just once a year.

Nougat Kipferl

Gianduja and Chocolate Cookies – Nougat Kipferl

For 90 cookies you need

butter, soft, 100g / 3.5 ounces
Gianduja / nougat for baking, soft, 250g / 9 ounces
organic egg 1
plain flour 320g / 11 ounces
baking powder 3/4 teaspoon
vanilla sugar 1 tablespoon
a pinch of salt
bittersweet chocolate 70g / 2.5 ounces

Mix the butter together with the nougat, this works best with dough hooks. Add the egg and continue mixing. Add the flour, vanilla sugar, baking powder and the salt and mix to a dough ball. Form a thick disc, wrap in cling film and put in the freezer for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 355°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt the chocolate.

Take the dough out of the freezer. Cut thick slices off the disc and cut these slices in walnut sized pieces. Roll your cookies into the Kipferl shape between your hands. Mind that the ends don’t get too thin as they would burn. Place your cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Don’t let them get too dark. Let them cool completely before you start dipping their feet into the melted chocolate.

Nougat Kipferl

 

Nougat Kipferl

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