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Rhubarb Streusel cake, the best of the season

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This German Rhubarb Streusel Cake recipe is just like my Grandma used to make! It’s the perfect tender cake recipe with fresh rhubarb and a sweet and crispy streusel topping, and it’s absolutely lovely with a cup of coffee or tea!

In baking and pastry making, streusel is a crumbly topping of flour, butter, and sugar that is baked on top of muffins, bread, pies, and cakes. Some modern recipes add spices and chopped nuts The mixture can also be layered or ribboned in the middle of a cake.

Some baked dishes which have a streusel topping are streuselkuchen coffee cake, babka, and apple crisp.

The term is also sometimes used for rich pastries topped with, or mixed with, streusel.

Ingredients For the cake: 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, 3/4 cup white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup sour cream full fat is best, 2 cups all purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp unsalted butter for greasing the cake pan, 2 1/2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb

For the streusel topping: 2/3 cup all purpose flour, 2/3 cup white sugar, 4 tbsp melted butter

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees or 350 Fahrenheit.

Wash 3-4 stalks of rhubarb and chop them into bite sized pieces (you’ll need about 2 and a half cups of chopped rhubarb to cover the cake). Set them aside in a bowl while you prepare the cake batter.

Add the butter and the sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and beat them together until the mixture is fluffy and becomes a pale colour (about 4-5 minutes). It’s important that the butter is at room temperature before you begin. This will allow it to integrate properly with the other wet ingredients (feel free to use a hand mixer if you prefer).

Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat them in on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. It’s a good idea to scrape down the bowl periodically to make sure everything is incorporated evenly.

Add the milk and sour cream and beat in these ingredients on low speed until they’re combined.

To a separate bowl add the flour, the baking powder and the salt and mix these ingredients together with a fork or a wire whisk. Once they’re all incorporated, dump the flour mixture into the bowl of the stand mixer with the wet ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and watch the batter come together. As soon as you see the batter form with streaks of flour throughout, turn off the mixer and remove the bowl.

Over-mixing at this stage can cause an overly dense and dry cake with large air bubbles, which you definitely don’t want. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl by hand and gently fold in the remaining flour. Be sure to stop folding as soon as everything is combined.

Grease a 9×13 rectangular glass cake pan with some butter and pour the batter into the pan, using the spatula to push the batter into the corners and even out the surface. Don’t worry, the batter will seem thick but it’s supposed to be like that.

Spread the rhubarb over the top of the batter.

In a clean bowl mix together the flour, sugar and cinnamon for the streusel topping.  Add in the melted butter and mix everything together with a fork until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the cake and the rhubarb, making sure to spread it at evenly as possible and into all the corners.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 47-50 minutes. When it’s finished baking the topping will be slightly browned on top, the rhubarb will be bubbly, and when you insert a toothpick into the centre of the cake it will come out clean.

Try to let the cake cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it…(if you can wait that long!)

Anise or Viennese cumin? The secret ingredient of the Italian cuisine

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Anise or Viennese cumin (Pimpinella anisum) that is the question!

The characteristic smell of this fragrant plant from the Mediterranean, a spice that resembles cumin seeds but has a stronger smell and a sweet aromatic taste is well known in France, Italy, Greece and Spain. Even in antiquity, it was used by the Egyptians, and the Greeks such as Dioskurides and Pliny, and Charlemagne to mention its taste and healing power. (Anise contains essential oil, fatty oil, protein and sugar). In Russia, it is valued as a national spice. It can be used for red cabbage, carrots, pumpkins, beetroot dishes, for wild dishes, sauces, for sweets: fruit compotes, sweet rice pudding, puddings, but it is also used in the Mediterranean kitchen for breads, for salt cakes because they bring a special flavor to these dishes. It’s also popular with punches, syrups, liqueurs. 

Aniseed pretzels: Mix 150 gr butter, 200 gr sugar, 250 gr flour, a little lemon zest, 15 gr anise seeds, 2 whole eggs, and form from the massa small pretzels. Smear them with egg whites and fry over a slow fire sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Pizzelle and the anise

No Italian-American holiday is complete without crisp, buttery pizzelle. Rather than the typical anise flavor, you can make them a bit more neutral with a splash of good quality vanilla or not? (my Italian nanny, Mimmi must be turning over in her grave right now!) But of course you can still use the anise!

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (149g) sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups (206g) flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons (113g) butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Beat the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Stir in the flour and baking powder, mixing until smooth.
  3. Add the melted butter, again mixing until smooth; the batter will be thick and soft.
  4. Heat your pizzelle iron. Grease it as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions. As the iron heats, the batter will stiffen.
  5. Cook the pizzelle according to the instructions that came with your iron. In general, they’ll take between 45 seconds and 2 1/2 minutes to brown.
  6. Remove the pizzelle from the iron, and cool on a rack. If desired, use a pair of scissors to trim any ragged edges.
  7. Dust cooled pizzelle with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.

Flavor to taste: classic pizzelle are often flavored with anise extract or anise seed. Butter-rum, lemon, or rum flavors are also delicious. Simply add extract to the batter to taste. Start with 1/4 teaspoon; amounts will vary a lot, depending on the strength of the extract you choose.

“Havasi meggy” vagy áfonya?

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With broccoli stuffed potatoes and with grilled chicken slices

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Ingredients: 5 large floury potatoes, 500 g broccoli, 250 g chicken strips, 100 ml milk,  50 g ground cheese, Nazareth Classic, 50 g butter, salt and pepper, nutmeg, oregano

Methods: Cook the potatoes witt the skin for 15 minutes.

Divide the broccoli into small florets and blanch in boiling salted water for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked through.

Halve 4 out of 5 potatoes. Get the most “crumb” out of the potatoes. Remove the “crumb” completely from the 5th potato.

Crush the potato crumb and mix in the milk and half the butter. Season with pepper, salt and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Mix the mash with half the broccoli florets and fill the halved potatoes with it.

Meanwhile, fry the chicken strips until crispy in the remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper and oregano.

Sprinkle the chicken strips on top of the stuffed potatoes and sprinkle some of the grated cheese on top.

Put in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is nicely gratinated.

Divide the rest of the broccoli florets between the plates and serve!

Thai chicken balls with Belgian Nazareth cheese

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For the meatballs: 150g Nazareth ligth cheese, 450g minced chicken, 1 egg, 80g breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons green curry paste, 1 tbsp fish sauce, 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, olive oil

For the vegetable noodles: 2 small courgettes,3 thick carrots, 2 red pointed peppers

5 spring onions, 2 garlic cloves, 4cm fresh ginger, 1/2 red chilli, 5 sprigs fresh coriander, 2-3 tbsp soy sauce,1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp sesame oil, olive oil

Make the balls

Cut the Nazareth cheese into fine cubes.

Mix the minced chicken with the egg, breadcrumbs, green curry paste, fish sauce, chopped coriander leaves and the cubes of Nazareth. Mix well and make balls of about 5 cm. Place in the fridge.

Make the veggie noodles:

Peel the carrots. Make very fine strips of the zucchini and carrot with a spiraliser or peeler.

Using a knife, cut very fine long strips of the pointed peppers and spring onions.

Grate the ginger finely. Peel and crush the garlic. Deseed the red chilli and chop finely.

Finishing:

Heat a dash of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the balls until golden brown.

Now heat a dash of olive oil in a wok pan, add all noodles with the garlic, ginger, chilli, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey and sesame oil.

Wok over a high heat for 3 minutes.

Serve the spicy noodles of vegetables with the balls on top.

Asparagus soup to celebrate the season

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It’s the first moment in March when I see in the store a big, beautiful display of well-priced, green asparagus I praise the Lord because of my favorite spring veggie has returned!

The Asparagus season is preciously short but not in Germany where from the whole year from spring till late summer I can fill our menu with asparagus recipes such as Asparagus Tart, Baked lemony Chicken with asparagus, Asparagus risotto etc., and of course with that easy asparagus soup.

This creamy asparagus soup not only celebrate the season but also healthy and comforting, which suits the March and April mood.

Instead of heavy cream, you can use potatoes, which give the Cream of Asparagus soup the luxurious, velvety texture and there is no heavy creamy taste (I actually made the asparagus soup with chicken broth!) An other trick to making this creamy soup without cream is Greek yogurt

Ingredients: 3 slices thick cut bacon or shrimp, prawn optional, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1 cup finely chopped leeks, 2 medium sized potatoes, 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, 2 pounds asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt (plus additional for serving (do not use fat free or it may curdle and the soup will not be as creamy) 1 pinch of sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions: If serving with bacon: Prepare in the oven or just fry them then crumble or dice and set them aside.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or similar medium/large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and potatoes cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth, asparagus, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth (you can also carefully transfer it to a blender or food processor in batches and blend it that way. Be careful as hot soup tends to splatter!) Return the blended soup to the pot and let cool a few minutes. Stir in the Greek yogurt, then season to taste with additional salt and pepper, lemon juice and a pinch of sugar. Remember that if you are adding the bacon on top, it will also be salty, so be careful not to overdo it.

Serve hot, topped with crumbled bacon, a sprinkle of fresh chives, and an extra dollop of Greek yogurt as desired.

PS: of course you can prepare this divine soup with cream instead of potato!

Cloud eggs with fried spinach, tomato and champignons

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Ingredients: 4 eggs, 300 gr baby spinach, 150 g cherry tomatoes, 250 g champignons, 1 clove of garlic, 1 onion, butter for cooking, pepper and salt

Methods: Separate the eggs and keep the egg yolks also separate. Beat the egg whites to foam, season further with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 150°C.  Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Make 4 cloudy heaps with the egg whites and place them scattered on the plate. Make a dimple in the middle. Bake the protein heaps in the preheated oven for 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove the baking tray from the oven and place an egg yolk in each dimple. Bake for another two minutes.

Chop the shallot finely. Fry the spinach with the finely chopped shallot in a small saucepan with little butter, season with salt and pepper.

In another pan of butter, fry the mushrooms with the cherry tomatoes, squeeze out the garlic and season with plenty of salt and pepper.

Serve with the cloud eggs.

Rabbit cheesecake

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Ingredients for the cake: 75g +3-4 tbsp + 100 sugar, Salt, 75 gr flour, 25 gr corn starch, 1 tbsp of baking powder,

500 g cream cheese, 2 packages of Vanilla sugar, 1 small can of Apricot, 1 bio lemon, juice of Apricot

250 g cream, 2 pack creamstiffer, 1 tbsp cacao

natural colour painting green and orange

baking time: 30 minutes

Preparation

First, the Easter motif is painted on a baking paper with pencil.

For the dough: Separate eggs. Beat the egg whites together with 3 tbsp cold water stiffly and pour in 1 pinch of salt. Whisk the egg yolks with a fork and lift under the ice cream. Sift the flour, starch and baking powder on the egg mixture and under-top.

Divide 1-2 tablespoons of dough into 3 small bowls and stir in the food colour and the cocoa powder. Then place the dough in small skewers (best made from baking paper). Now sprinkle the Easter motifs with it. Brown for the Easter bunnies and for the carrot as orange and green. Then place the baking paper in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven (200°C/ circulating air: 175°degrees). Remove the Easter bunny baking paper from the freezer and immediately pass the remaining biscuit mixture onto the motif gently smooth. Bake brightly in the hot oven for about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle 3-4 tbsp sugar evenly on a clean tea towel. Gently topple the hot biscuit plate onto the cloth and lift it down onto the cloth with a thin plate with the Easter bunny motif. Roll up the biscuit with the cloth from a long itineral side and allow to cool. Mix the quark, 100 g sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and apricot juice. Beat the cream stiffly, let the cream firmer pour in. Lift under the quark. Finally, add the small-cut apricot pieces. Roll out biscuit. Apply the apricot cream on to the area, leaving a 2 cm wide edge all around. Then roll up the biscuit again and leave to cool for at least 4 hours.

Bomba di riso, Rice pie

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The Bomba di Riso (Rice Pie) is a traditional dish from Emilia Romagna and Lunigiana (a region in the northern part of Tuscany). Its version is typical of the Reggio Emilia area, particularly the mountains. This recipe is perfectly suited to the cold months.

Ingredients for 6 people

For the ragù:
400 g of minced meat (of which 200g beef, 150g pork and 50g sausage, 80 g of dried porcini mushrooms, 1 onion, chopped, tomato passata, dry White wine
Olive Oil

For the “pie”:
500 g rice, 200 g medium thick sliced cooked ham, 100 g of sliced mild cheese (such as edam or fontina), 200 g of cooking cream, 1 mozzarella, Grated Reggiano parmesan cheese, 50 g of butter

Directions:

For the ragù (this can be prepared the previous eveningin order to save time):

In a deep based pan, gently fry the chopped onions in olive oil; when transparent add the minced meat and cook until slightly coloured. Add half a glass of dry white wine and allow alcohol to evaporate, season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato passata and continue to cook the ragù adding broth or hot water. When the ragù is ready, add the mushrooms (which have been steeped in tepid water for at least half an hour) and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding the sieved water from the mushrooms as needed.

For the “pie”: Take a deep, ovenproof ring mould and butter the inside. Line it first (both sides and bottom) with the slices of cooked ham (allowing the slices to generously overlap the edges) and then with the slices of cheese.
Cook the rice in plenty of salted water and drain it when it is half-cooked (about 8 or 9 minutes). Add the butter, the cream, the mozzarella and the grated Reggiano parmesan cheese and mix well. Pour the rice mixture into the ring mould and cover the top with the overhanging ham slices. Cover with aluminium foil and place in a roasting pan half filled with water (a bain-marie) and cook in a preheated oven at 180°C.
After about 25 minutes take out the mould and remove the aluminium foil. Cover with an upturned serving plate and turn out the “bomba” directly onto the dish. The “bomba” should present the appearance of a deep ring completely covered with ham. Fill the hole in the centre of the ring with the mushroom ragù (there will be enough left over for anyone who wants extras.) Take to the table and serve in slices (as you would a ring-cake) garnished with the mushroom ragù and a sprinkling of grated Reggiano parmesan cheese.

similar recipe: Sartu di riso in timballo

Deep fried artichoke

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Artichokes belong to thistle family native to the Abessinian land. It arrived in Rome late in the 17th century, where it instantly conquered the area. It grows better in Latium than in any other region of Italy. Roman artichokes are rounded and tender, with the cheerful name: cimaroli. This spring menu is unmissable!

Ingredients: artichokes, lemon juice, water, salt, pepper, olive oil, flour, eggs, lemon rings

Preparation: For tender artichokes, leave the stem 5-6 centimeters in length. Remove the outer, hard leaves of the noble thistle, the outer layer of the stem, and the leaf tips. Then cut the artichokes into 6-10 pieces, put them in a bowl, where there are lemon juice, water, salt, and a pinch of pepper and a little bit of olive oil. Lemon juice retains its beautiful green color, which is lost in contact with metal.

When the oil is barely hot in the pan, you need to put the pieces of artichokes in flour, then fry them in a foam-beaten egg. That’s how they turn golden yellow and crispy.

If the artichokes are not tender, cook them beforehand for 10-15 minutes and then place them in the lemon, oily, water bath, then drain and floured in the pan.

Garnished with lemon rings and served with caper mayonnaise.