Due to popular demand, I am writing the recipe of a delicious Christmas Tree cake I made for Elle et Vire’s Bake a Smile Christmas campaign. Baking usually makes me happy and peaceful. This time, it was twice the satisfaction because this cake was meant for people in need. Elle et Vire teamed up with Order of Malta Lebanon to help spread the Christmas spirit by baking as many cakes and cookies to offer and make people happy during this festive season.
Fall is definitely the season to start cooking again. After a long and hot summer, with only a little bit of time to spend in the kitchen and hot temperatures that only make you want to make lemonade, being back in the kitchen is pure bliss. So I’ve been baking again! Coming back home to the sweet smell of baked goods is pure happiness and a nice breakfast is guaranteed.
Lately, the country’s agricultural economy has been suffering. We’ve been cultivating amazing produce when it comes to fruits and vegetables and farmers are now capable of exporting their goods and therefore make our economy better. What I understood is that things are apparently not working properly to encourage and allow those farmers to export their goods and expand, or even sell locally due to all imported goods we get. I don’t know the story very well, but I know we – the Lebanese people – have been encouraging the production of our apples for over a month now. Every Lebanese person I know has cartons and cartons of apples at home. Apple pies, apple cakes and apple crumbles are THE go-to desserts this fall.
In life, planning is good. But improvising can be way better and more fun in some situations. If you take cooking as a therapy, improvising your recipes once you’ve learned the basic techniques can be the most powerful happiness tool for cooks.
A couple of weeks ago, it was my mom’s birthday. As a surprise, we invited her friends over and cooked a whole menu from scratch. As usual, most of the salty dishes were made by Jean and the sweets were made by yours truly. I decided to make a tart with toppings made out of ricotta and strawberries. It initially started with the idea to pour a strawberry coulis on top of fluffed up ricotta cheese. Jean then recommended I serve the coulis aside and simply top the tart with sliced strawberries. The feedback was quite good and people felt it was lighter than a traditional strawberry tart with crème pâtissière (i.e. custard).
This is not the last version of this tart but I’d like to share my first experiment today.
Breadonbutter’s Ricotta and Strawberry Tart
What you’ll need:
For the dough
Refer to this recipe but remove the orange zest from the ingredients.
You can also get a ready to bake dough from the supermarket if you’re not into making it yourself.
For the filling
- 500 g ricotta cheese
- 4 Tbsp powder sugar, unsifted
- 25 Strawberries, cut in three slices
For the coulis
- 20 strawberries
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
How to make it:
- In a round-shaped oven dish, lay out the dough. Pit it with a fork and place it in a preheated 180 degrees Celsius oven for 15 minutes or until golden
- In a bowl, beat the ricotta cheese and the powder sugar until smooth and fluffy
- When the dough has completely cooled down, top it with the ricotta mix and decorate it with strawberries
- Make the coulis: heat the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan until the strawberries are reduced to small bits. With a mixer handle, crush the strawberry until you obtain a thick syrup. There’s your easy coulis!
Serve the tart with the coulis on the side for those who wish to top their tart with it, and there you go! 🙂 Light, fluffy and delicious! My advice is to have it with a nice glass of Piccini Prosecco. You’ll love it, I promise!
P.S. You can also try this chocolate tart if you’re looking for something chocolatey
Any thoughts? I’d love to hear suggestions!
and don’t forget to tag us if you try our recipes and tips #breadonbutter
I’ve been thinking lately about the cake recipes I already master (example lemon cake, fluffy chocolate cake and baba au rhum), and decided it was time to add a few newcomers to the list. So I’ve been trying out new ones, this one included. I wasn’t expecting it to be an immediate success but it definitely entered the list of possible cakes to bake when in need of a warm snack.
The preparation doesn’t take much time, but it does need baking time so be patient.
Coffee Cake Topped With Caramelized Toffee Nuts
What you’ll need:
For the Cake
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened – You can use the Lurpak Cook’s Range butter blocks for better measurement, they’re 50 g each.
- 130 g soft brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk, extra
- 150 g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp hot water
- 1 tbsp instant coffee
- 0.25 cup skimmed milk
For the Toffee Nuts
- 220 g caster sugar
- 0.5 cup water
- 20 g butter
- 100 g raw almonds (or any choice of nuts, they can also be mixed)
How to make it:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Place the softened butter and brown sugar in a bowl and beat for about 10 minutes until creamy
- Add the egg and egg yolk and beat well
- Add the flour and baking powder and beat until combined
- Place the coffee and hot water in a cup and stir
- Add the coffee mixture and milk to the butter mixture and fold through
- Spoon the mixture into a greased mold
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean, then set aside
- Make the toffee nuts: In a saucepan, place the caster sugar, water and butter on medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until dark golden, then continue mixing with a wooden spoon until a soft caramel paste forms. Add the nuts and stir to combine. Spoon immediately over the cake and serve!
Are you a coffee lover? Would you make this cake?
Items used in photos: Tablecoth from Zara Home; Plates, Cups and Forks from my mom’s cupboards 😉
and don’t forget to tag @breadonbutter if you try our recipes!
It’s with great excitement that I finally introduce you to my favorite Lurpak Cook’s Range product: BAKING! We bakers finally have a kind of butter that allows us to bake on a whim. I now can choose to bake at any moment, without having to put the butter out for hours for it to soften.
Lurpak Baking is the ideal blend of Lurpak Butter and Vegetable Oil. It has a softer texture and it’s ready to mix straight out of the fridge. It easily folds into cake mixtures and gives them a light and fluffy golden finish. This product is happiness guaranteed!
A cake I baked with this wonderful product is this fluffy chocolate cake I had once made for a friend’s birthday. I recommend you make it for any occasion. It can be a bit tedious at first, what with the separation of the egg whites and yolks then folding in the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, but with time you’ll get used to it and you’ll start making it any time you have something to celebrate.
Here’s the recipe:
Chocolate cake – Preparation: 45 minutes – Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the cake:
- 200 g Lurpak Baking butter
- 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1 glass of milk
- 3 cups Sugar
- 3 cups Flour
- 1 tablespoon Baking powder
- 5 Eggs
For the frosting:
- 200 grams of dark chocolate
- 200 ml fresh cream
- 2 tablespoons Corn Starch
- In the bowl of a mixer, mix the sugar and butter until well combined
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites
- Add the egg yolks to the sugar and butter mix and mix until well-combined
- In another bowl, mix the milk and cocoa powder until well-combined
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix
- Add the egg, butter and sugar mixture to the chocolate mixture and mix well
- Beat the egg whites until mousse-like
- Gently fold the beaten egg whites unto the chocolate mixture
- Place in 2 cake molds of equal size and in a high temperature (280 degrees Celsius) preheated oven for 30 minutes
- Melt the dark chocolate in a bain-marie
- Add the cream to it and mix until well combined
- Add the corn starch to thicken it
Once the cakes are out of the oven, let them cool completely. Decorate the top of the bottom cake with the chocolate frosting, then place the top cake on the bottom one and cover them both with frosting. Decorate with red fruits (optional). Serve and enjoy for days!
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