Apple beignets – my favorite New Year’s Eve treat!

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After feeling like crap for two days, I finally feel better now, so I was thinking about what to eat on New Year’s Eve! And for sure Apple Beignets will be in the house tomorrow evening!

Apple beignets are also called Fritters. Fritter is a name applied to a wide variety of fried foods, usually consisting of a portion of batter or breading which has been filled with bits of meat, seafood, fruit, or other ingredients. In Holland we have fritters filled with apple or banana on New Year’s Eve, together with Oliebollen.

An oliebol is a traditional Dutch and Belgian food. They are called oliebollen (literally oil balls) in the Netherlands, while in Belgium they are called smoutenbollen.

Oliebollen are made by using an ice-scooper or two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges. Oliebollen are traditionally eaten on New Year’s Eve.

But, my favorite is the apple beignet, just because of the sugar and cinnamon layer that covers it!

So tomorrow night, guess what I will be eating…. Happy 2014 to everyone reading my posts!!

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Recipe: Savory Gruyère Crackers – a Winner!

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When browsing on Instagram I saw someone’s post on crackers. This person made the crackers with Cheddar cheese, which I didn’t have at that moment. But, when I get it in my head that I want to bake something, it has to happen, so I thought about what I had in the fridge that would also be possible to use.

Than I thought of some leftover Gruyère cheese that I used to make my broccoli and Gruyère pie!

Using buckwheat flour, oats, butter, baking powder, milk, some salt and the grated Gruyère cheese I made a whole batch of very nice crackers! I ate the crackers with some creamcheese and this was a delicious snack, I must say!

Can’t find the recipe I based these crackers on I’m sad to say, but I’ll sure be trying other types of savory crackers soon! Next time I will make the crackers even thinner, and then punch holes in them with a fork before baking them. They will look even more like crackers then!!

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Homemade Sourdough Bread

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After two days spent in the kitchen preparing for and cooking christmas dinners, I am finally sitting down on my couch and getting my rest, well deserved if I say so myself!

In the coming days I will be posting some items about the christmas dinners I cooked, but for now I want to share a post about sourdough bread.

Enjoy!!

Baking bread is one of my new found passions. Countless possibilities, flavours, tastes, shapes, anything you imagine you can make and bake. Sweet, savory, plain, filled with nuts, fruit, etc.. Anything!

When I am in the mood of spoiling myself a little I sometimes buy a sourdoughbread at a special organic shop.

Sourdough bread is made using sourdough, a rising agent that takes a lot of effort and time and patience to make, a very complicated proces!

But, because of the fact that is quite expensive to buy a real sourdough bread, I took on the challenge to make my own sourdough as the base for baking sourdough bread!

First off I did some research on how to create (grow) your own sourdough, and I found some great pointers and pictures on how to do it and how it should look like each day. It is like taking care of a pet, feeding it everyday, it is a live organism of course!

The result after about two weeks looks like the picture you see below (not my own picture).

With the use of my sourdough I made two breads: One of them I included in this post. Not bad I thought, for a first try! A lot of work and a lot of pafience, waiting for the dough to rise etc, but when you take the time it’s worth it!

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Happy Holidays!

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Just about to start the preparations for two christmas dinners, so I will probably not have time to post new items.

After Christmas I will be sure to write some new Posts about the things I cooked and baked, so keep following my blog!

For now I wish all of my followers and other visitors a very Merry Christmas!!

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Homemade Healthy Chocolate and Mint Icecream – Recipe

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Another winner, this one is!! I have been experimenting with frozen bananas as a base for icecream. Take a banana, cut it i to slices and freeze it overnight.

The next day you take the banana, add some (soy, nut or regular) milk, some agave sirop, nutbutter and some nuts of chocolate (or both), put this all in a foodprocessor and there’s your icecream! Some people call it a softserve because it is a little softer than regular icecream. But you could also put it in the freezer for half an hour to let it freeze a little bit more.

Anyway, a lot of combinations with banana as a base are of course possible, with fruit, cacoa and/or nuts.

But, I find that you always keep tasting the banana flavour, which is ok if you like bananas, but I sometimes just like a different taste!

Last week I went to my favourite kitchen supply store and I found a bottle of mint essence. And as I have always loved eating mint-icecream when I worked at Rotterdam’s famous Italian icecream shop called “Capri”, I decided to try and make mint-chocolate-chipicecream using frozen banana as the base or the icecream.

So I did! I took two frozen bananas, added some almondmilk, some agave sirup, quit some chopped up dark chocolate (>70%), and some mint esstence, and there it was, a lovely bowl of mint icecream! My favourite! When I made the icecream for the second time, I used just one drop of green food colouring to make the icecream look a little more attractive.

And here’s the picture!

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Nutella Cheesecake Brownies – recipe

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These are brownies, but than they are EVEN more delicious than regular brownies, they are combined with a cheesecake and nutella layer. A real treat!! I based this recipe on various recipes I found on the internet, and this one works best for me.

Ingredients:
Cheesecake topping:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 cup Nutella

Brownies:
3/4 cups flour
1/3 cup cocoapowder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs

How-to:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
Line an 8×8 pan with foil leaving 2 inch overhang on all sides. Spray foil w/ cooking spray.
To make the cheesecake mixture, cream the sugar and cream cheese until blended. Scrape bowl and add the egg and vanilla and beat until the topping is nice and creamy. Remove half of cream cheese mixture into another bowl. Stir in Nutella. I put the Nutella in the microwave for a minute, it stirred in better this way.

To make the brownie mixture, sift flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder into a small sized bowl. In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter, add eggs one at a time, beat well then add vanilla. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat just until combined.

Spread the brownie batter into the bottom of an 8 x 8 baking dish. Randomly drop spoonfulls of both cream cheese toppings over the brownie batter. Swirl with a knife, taking care to swirl only the top layer (not brownies).

Bake at 180 for 40 to 50 minutes until a toothpick comes out just about clean! The result:

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Recipe – Meringue Ghosts

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On sundays, when my sons go swimming with their dad, I always bake. Or cook. And my daughter likes to help me. Most of the time that is. This sunday my daughter wanted to make something out of a book that was a present for her from my aunt. See picture below.

We have already tried other recipes from this book, and most of them need a lot of ingredients and a lot of work, but thankfully Kate picked the recipe for Meringue Ghosts!

With only three ingredients and very little work a very simple recipe, and after a few hours in the oven a very cute and delicious treat!

Just take two eggwhites, a pinch of salt, and 125 grams of sugar. Whisk the eggwhites with the salt until stiff peaks form, then whisk in the sugar until it dissolves.

With a piping bag make little ghosts and use (pieces of) raisins to make the little eyes! In the oven at 130 degrees for 1,5 hours, and after that turn off the oven leave the ghosts in the oven (with the door of the oven open or just put a wooden spoon between the oven and the door) for another 2 hours.

The result: nice little Meringue Ghosts and a happy Kate!

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