Yummy Apple Cake

I love all kinds of apple desserts. And apples are available all year round. This is a very easy apple pie recipe given to me by my son-in-law. I’ve made it many times and it never fails. When baking this cake or any any dessert with apples, such as apple crisp or apple pie, it’s important to use apples suitable for baking. Baking apples hold their shape when cooked, so the chunks of fruit won’t turn into applesauce in the oven. Tart-sweet varietals such as Granny Smith, Honey Crisp, Pink Lady, Braeburn, and Jonagold are all great options. Feel free to combine different varieties for a more nuanced flavor

PREP TIME 10 MIN COOK TIME 50-60 MIN

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g apples of your choice
  • 200g flour
  • 140g sugar
  • 75g butter, melt and let cool
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 16g baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • dash of sugar and cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease and flour a 22-24cm springform pan.
  2. In a large bowl cream together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift the baking powder into the flour and add salt. Add the flour and the liquids (milk with the melted butter) to the batter in a few batches folding with a rubber spatula.
  4. Fold in 3/4 of the peeled and diced apples (slice 1/4 of the apples) and the zest of lemon.
  5. Pour into the baking pan. Add the remaining apple slices in a circle on top of the batter and sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on top.
  6. Bake at 180C for 50-60 min until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool and move to a serving plate.

BUON APPETITO!

Zebra cake

Zebra cake is like a marble cake but a little flashier. I baked it as a single layer cake or a bundt cake but you can easily bake two cakes and make it double or maybe even a triple.

prep time 15 min cook time 30+ min

ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 120 g sugar
  • 80 ml sunflower or peanut oil
  • 200 ml milk
  • 220 g flour
  • 16 g baking powder, sifted
  • 40 g dark cocoa powder
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C and grease and flour a round baking pan. I used a silicon one.
  2. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the oil and 150 ml of milk and beat together.
  4. Add the flour in batches and mix well. Add also sifted baking powder and mix.
  5. Divide the batter into two bowls. Add in one the cocoa powder and the remaining 50 ml of milk. Beat well.
  6. Start by pouring 2 Tablespoons of the cream batter on one side of the pan and then adding 2 Tbls of the cocoa batter on top. Keep alternating the two batters on the same spot without moving the pan. The batters will slide and mix by themselves into a striped pattern.

7. Bake the zebra cake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

BUON APPETITO!

Fluffy lemon ricotta bundt cake

Moist and fluffy lemon ricotta bundt cake is perfect for a dessert or even for a Sunday brunch or why not, for a sweet breakfast. The ricotta makes it super moist and airy. For a fancier version you can drizzle lemon glaze on top instead of sprinkling powdered sugar. Up to you.

prep time 15 min     cook time 50 min + 15 min cooling time
ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 220 g sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 100 g sunflower or peanut oil
  • 250 g ricotta
  • 80 g potato starch/corn starch
  • 260 g flour
  • 16 g baking powder
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

1.  Preheat oven to 180 C. Oil and flour a 24-26cm bundt cake pan.

2. In a large bowl cream together the eggs and sugar until well combined.

2. Add zest and juice of lemon, beat some more, add the oil and then ricotta and beat until light and fluffy.

3. Keep beating and add potato starch and then in a few batches the flour where you have mixed the baking powder.

4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 min before turning out onto a wire rack.

5. When the bundt cake is completely cooled, sprinkle the powdered sugar (or drizzle the lemon glaze) on top.

BUON APPETITO!

Apple loaf cake

Easy peasy soft and moist apple yogurt cake coming up.

prep time 15 min     cook time 55 min
ingredients
  • 250 g flour
  • 250 g plain yogurt
  • 3 small or 2 big apples
  • 160 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 130 g melted butter
  • 16 g baking powder
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbls cinnamon
    1. Pre heat oven to 180 C
    2. Grease and lightly flour a loaf pan. (10cm x 30cm)
    3. Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy. Add the zest, yogurt and  melted butter (cool) and beat for additional 2-3  minutes.
    4. Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and stir into the wet batter mixing just until combined.
    5. Peel 2 small apples (or 1,5 if you have big apples), slice them thinly or cut into small cubes and add to the batter.
    6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and add one apple (or the half of the big one) thinly sliced on top of the batter. Sprinkle little bit of sugar and cinnamon on top.
    7. Bake for about 55 minutes at 180C or until the toothpick comes out clean. The yogurt and the apples make the cake very moist. You can garnish the loaf with some confectioner’s sugar.

BUON APPETITO!

Cherry cake

This fluffy cherry cake is delicious. When in season look for  cherries that are bright dark red, shiny, plump, and quite firm and make sure there is no browning around the stems. Once we have the cherries, we need to remove the pits which is a tedious job but so worth it. Other than pitting the cherries, there’s nothing complicated in making this cake.

prep time 20 min     cook time 45-55 min

ingredients
  • 450 g cherries, pitted
  • 110 g flour
  • 70 g potato starch flour ( or corn starch)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g sugar + 2 Tbls
  • 80 g butter, melted or 75 ml oil (peanut, sunflower)
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 Tbls vanilla extract
  • 8 g baking powder
    1. Rinse, dry and pit the cherries and cut them in half.
    2. Pre heat oven to 180C.
    3. Butter and flour lightly a spring form pan, mine was 22cm,  and sprinkle 2 Tbls of sugar on the bottom and cover it with cherry halves.

    This is how it was explained in the original recipe and I followed it to a t. The end result was this, but I didn’t like it so I flipped the cake 🙂

4. Mix together the flour, potato starch and baking powder.

5. In another bowl beat the eggs, sugar, orange zest and vanilla until thick and light coloured. Pour the melted, cool butter beating with the mixer. Add the dry ingredients and beat lightly just so they are mixed.

6. Pour the batter into the baking pan on top of the cherries. Add the rest of the cherries on top. Some of them will sink into the batter.

7. Bake for 45-55 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I don’t know about you, put I prefer this to the “bottoms up” version. But hey, the taste is the same.

Tip: A common problem when adding a heavy fruit like cherries to a cake batter is that the fruit tends to sink to the bottom of the pan during baking. While this in no way affects the flavor of the cake, it does not allow us to appreciate the cherry’s full beauty. One way to avoid the sinking is to add the cherries on top of the batter like in this recipe, or mix a part of them in the batter and add the rest after the cake has baked about 15 minutes.

BUON APPETITO!

Strawberry cheesecake

Another favourite of mine is the strawberry cheesecake. With a creamy filling and a buttery biscuit base, who can resist this classic dessert?

prep time 20 min  + refrigerating time 4 hrs
ingredients
for the crust
  • 200g Digestive biscuits
  • 100g melted butter
for the filling
  • 10 g gelatine sheets
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 250g whipping cream
  • 250g strawberry yogurt
  • 90g powdered sugar
for the topping
  • 500g strawberries
  • 2 Tbls sugar + 1 lemon for juicing
  • 70g sugar
  • 30g corn starch

1. Clean and chop the strawberries, add 2 Tbls of sugar and the lemon juice and let marinate, preferably overnight.

2. Line a 26 cm round springform pan with a baking paper on the bottom.

3. Crush the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin into a fine crumb. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter. Mix thoroughly until the crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into the prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Refrigerate for 15-20 min.

4. Put the gelatine sheets in a shallow bowl with cold water.

5. Whip the cream cheese together with the yogurt and the cream, add the powdered sugar and whip some more.

6. Squeeze the gelatine sheets and place in a small pot with a few Tbls of water. Turn on the heat to low and let the gelatine melt, about 1 minute. Add this to the cream and pour the filling over the crumb base. Let refrigerate for 3 hrs.

7. After 3 hrs, separate the juice from the strawberries and add water to make 400 ml of diluted strawberry juice. Place it in a pot on a stove top, add 80 g of sugar and 30g of corn starch and keep stirring for 4-5 minutes.

8. Add the juice to the strawberries and pour the mixture over the cake. Let set for 1 hour in the fridge.

BUON APPETITO!

 

Nectarine cake

Hot summer days are perfect for enjoying this fresh nectarine cake. You can make it with nectarines like I did or use fresh peaches. Easy to make and the yogurt makes it moist. Super simple ingredients, super easy to make.

prep time 20 min     cook time 45-55 min
ingredients
  • 5 nectarines or yellow peaches
  • 200g flour
  • 150g plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 150g sugar + 2 Tbls on top
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract or seeds from half a pod
  • 16g or 1 1/2 Tbsp of baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and flour a springform pan. Mine is 24cm.

2. Start by dicing 3 nectarines and slicing 2. Measure all your ingredients into bowls.

3. Beat the eggs with sugar, vanilla and lemon zest for a few minutes to obtain a frothy and light batter.

4. Add the oil and then the yogurt (I only had strawberry so I made do with that) and keep beating. Then add the flour where you have sifted the baking powder.

5. Add the diced nectarines to the batter and mix with a wooden spoon.

6. Pour the batter into the springform pan and place the nectarine slices on top.

7. Bake at 180C for 45-55 (my oven required a full hour) until the nectarines are caramelised and the toothpick or cake pick comes out clean.

8. When the cake is still warm, sprinkle 2 Tbsp of sugar on top. Let cool for 15 minutes, then move to a serving plate.

BUON APPETITO!

Brownies

Had a craving for brownies yesterday so I dug up an old recipe. Didn’t even have to go to the store since I had all the ingredients at home.

prep time 10 min     cook time 25-30 min
ingredients
  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 75g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • 2 eggs, cold
  • 70g flour
  • 75g walnuts or hazelnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 20 x 20 cm baking pan with parchment paper.

2. Cut 150g unsalted butter into small cubes and tip into a medium bowl. Add sugar, cocoa powder and salt.

3. Fill a small saucepan about a quarter full with hot water, then sit the bowl in the pan. Put over a low heat until the butter and cocoa powder have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them.

4. Let cool for a moment.

5. Add the vanilla extract if using and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well. When the batter is thick and homogeneous, stir in the flour and the chopped nuts. Mix well but fast.

6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 180C for about 25 min.

7. Let cool and cut into squares.

BUON APPETITO!

Lemon cheesecake

My absolute new favorite! I’ve always loved cheese cakes and this tops them all. If you are a lemon lover like me, this will become your favourite.

prep time 15 + 10 min     refrigerating time 4h or more
ingredients
for the crust
  • 200g Digestive biscuits, crumbled
  • 100g unsalted butter,  melted

for the filling

  • 250g double cream/heavy whipping cream
  • 300g lemon yogurt
  • 200g full fat cream cheese (Philadelphia)
  • 10g gelatine sheets
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 100g caster sugar

for the topping

  • 100 ml lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 100 ml orange juice
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 15g corn starch
for decoration
  • 2 lemons, cut into slices

1. Line a 26 cm round springform pan with a parchment paper on the bottom.

2. Crush the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor into a fine crumb. Mix the melted butter into the crumbs and press into the pan. Refrigerate for 15 min.

3. Place the gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water.

3. Whip the cream. In another bowl beat yogurt, cream cheese and sugar.  Then beat the cream into the filling.

4. Pour the juice of 1 lemon in a small pan, squeeze the gelatine sheets and add to the lemon juice and place on stove top on low heat for a 1 minute until the gelatine melts. Add this to the cream filling.

5. Take the crust pan from the fridge and spread the cream filling over the biscuit base, and then leave to set in the fridge fully for at least 3 hours. Or 1 hour in the freezer.

6. After 3 hours when the cake is set, mix in a small pan or pot for the curd the lemon and orange juice, sugar and corn starch. Keep stirring for 3-4 minutes on low heat until the curd starts to thicken. It will turn bright yellow. Turn off the heat.

7. Keep stirring while the curd cools down. Take the cake from the fridge and pour the curd on top, move the pan slightly in a rotatory movement for the curd to set evenly. Place once again in the fridge for 1 hour.

8. Open the springform pan and carefully slide the cake onto a serving plate or tray. Decorate with lemon slices cut into halves.

BUON APPETITO!

Apple yogurt cake

This apple cake is healthy and delicious. The yogurt makes it super moist and  yummy. Some people have been known to add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on top. But even without it is delicious.

prep time 15 min     cook time 45-55 min
ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g granulated sugar
  • 80g vegetable oil
  • 125/150g vanilla yogurt (or plain)
  • 100g cornstarch
  • 250g flour
  • 16g (1 Tbsp) baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 apples

for icing

  • 8g cornstarch
  • 125g water
  • 25g granulated sugar

1.  Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Grease and flour a round 26cm pan.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture has turned very pale yellow.

4. Keep beating adding oil, yogurt and cornstarch.

5. Mix the dry ingredients and add to the batter. Mix well.

6. Peel the apples. Dice half of one big apple or if small, a whole apple and mix into the batter. Slice the remaining apples.

7. Pour the batter into the cake pan and decorate it with the apple slices.

8. Bake at 180C for 45-55 min or until a toothpick comes out clean.

9. Make the icing mixing the ingredients in a small pan and heat it on the stove for a few minutes until it clears and starts to thicken. Brush it on top of the cake.

BUON APPETITO!