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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 

ricotta tart | breadonbutter

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

To decorate

  • 25 Strawberries, cut in three slices

For the coulis

  • 20 strawberries
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

How to make it:

  1. 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
  2. In a bowl, beat the ricotta cheese and the powder sugar until smooth and fluffy
  3. When the dough has completely cooled down, top it with the ricotta mix and decorate it with strawberries
  4. 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!

ricotta tart | breadonbutter

P.S. You can also try this chocolate tart if you’re looking for something chocolatey

Any thoughts? I’d love to hear suggestions! 

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I once told you the story of the 14-year-old me and the Baba au Rum cake (you can read about it here). I’ve been making this recipe for a really long time (almost 15 years now!) and I’m happy to be famous for it amongst the people I love. So yesterday, when it was of general opinion that a nice baba au rum should be baked, I decided to try it a bit differently. First, I wanted to make several small ones, and second, I wanted to try a tip a Chef had given a while ago at Thanks for Giving. The tip was that instead of pouring the syrup directly on the cake while it’s still hot, dip the cake into a big casserole full of syrup. And so I did! And here’s the result.

baba au rum | breadonbutter

The step-by-step recipe of the baba au rum cake is on this link. Below is the briefer and updated version:

Ingredients (for 12 mini cakes)

For the cake

– 8 eggs
– 16 tablespoons breadcrumbs (i.e. chapelure in French)
– 8 tablespoons flour
– 4 teaspoons baking powder
– 9 tablespoons sugar
– A bit of lemon zest
– 0.5 small coffee cup of cooking oil
– A pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)

For the Syrup

– 2 cups of water
– 2 cups of sugar
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 40 cl Rum – I personally prefer the Negrita brand (buy the big bottle for those crazy drinkers who might add some)

How to make it:

  1. Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon zest together in a bowl
  2. While still beating, add gradually the oil, the flour, the baking powder and the breadcrumbs. Beat until smooth
  3. Pour into buttered and floured ramekins and place in the oven for 15 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. In a saucepan, place the water, sugar and lemon juice (WITHOUT the Rhum) and barely bring to the boil (always mix it while it’s heating for the sugar not to stick at the bottom of the saucepan). Once it’s done, remove it from the fire and add the 40 cl of rhum
  5. Keep the syrup in the saucepan. When the cakes are done, dip them one by one in the syrup until they inflate and become bigger than their original size

baba au rum | breadonbutter

baba au rum | breadonbutter

And serve! I love this idea for future parties and maybe even for gifts for friends hosting parties themselves!

What do you think? 

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and tag us whenever you try our recipes 🙂

 

I know a red velvet cake on Valentine’s day is a bit cliché, but this wasn’t actually planned. On Friday, my urge to bake kicked in during the rainy afternoon. I hadn’t planned to make a cake so I had to make do with the ingredients that were already in the pantry. No way was I going out again in this weather. I went in the kitchen with the idea of making something sweet without knowing exactly what. So I opened the pantry and looked around. I had self-raising flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and sugar. In the fridge, I had margarine, eggs and milk. My eyes suddenly fell on that red food colorant I had bought a few weeks ago to make yet another red velvet, as I have failed this recipe 3 times already.

But this time was different. Baking this cake was so improvised and based on intuition that it worked better than any previous time. I know very well how to make an easy chocolate cake and all I had to do was to throw in some red colorant on top. With a bit of music and a fun mood, it turned out to be a great success. I suggest you make it in case you’re planning on surprising someone with dessert tonight 🙂

On another note, if  you’re looking to be creative with your cake, I suggest you make a parfait out of it. Scroll down for the recipe and to learn how to turn it into a parfait.

red velvet | breadonbutter

Here’s what you’ll need to make the red velvet:

For the cake

  • 150 g margarine or unsalted butter
  • 150 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 drops of vanilla extract
  • 150 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsps milk
  • 2 tbsps cocoa powder
  • Half a small bottle of red food colorant

For the frosting

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 300 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 75 ml double cream

How to make it:

1) Preheat the oven to a 220 degrees Celsius

2) In a mixer bowl, beat the margarine/butter and sugar until light and fluffy

3) Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well

4) Fold in the flour and baking powder, mixing until well combined

5) Add the milk and mix well

6) Divide the mixture into 2 cake tins and bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool

7) Make the frosting: Beat the butter until fluffy and creamy, add the sugar, vanilla and cream then beat on low speed to combine then on high speed for 2 minutes.

To make it a normal cake:

– Spread frosting on top of one of the cakes, sandwich them together, then cover them both with frosting. You can decorate with hershey kisses on top.

To make it a parfait:

– Crush the cake (as heartbreaking as it sounds)

red velvet | breadonbutter

– In a glass (preferably round), layer cake bits and frosting, adding oat corn flakes on top for added crunch!

red velvet | breadonbutter

red velvet | breadonbutter

Enjoy 🙂

Any thoughts?

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and don’t forget to tag us whenever you try our recipes 🙂

If you’re a cook at heart, you surely know about the food network. Their portfolio of cooks and chefs is the most fascinating and diverse. Naturally, I have my favorites, and Giada de Laurentiis is unquestionably one of them. Italian by origin and Emmy Award winner for outstanding Lifestyle host, this woman fascinates me and inspires me.

A few days ago, Jean showed me this delicious ricotta lemon cookie recipe to try at home, knowing how much I love baking. Turns out it was a recipe from Giada on the foodnetwork.com. So I had to try it right away! And then of course, give it a Christmassy feel. So here goes!

Ricotta Lemon Cookies Recipe

What you’ll need:

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

For the Cookies:

  • 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • The zest of 1 lemon

For the Glaze:

  • 1.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsps lemon juice
  • The zest of 1 lemon

How to make it:

Make the cookies:

1) In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.

3) Add the eggs one by one, mixing in between until combined.

4) Add the ricotta, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat to combine.

5) Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

6) On an oven tray, place a baking sheet and spoon”how much” the dough on top, evenly and leaving a bit of space between each so they don’t stick together later.

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

7) Bake for 15 minutes or until golden on the sides then let them rest and cool 20 minutes.

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

Make the glaze:

1) Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir until combined and smooth.

2) After the cookies have cooled, spoon the glazing on top and let it harden for 2 hours.

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

Have it with a dark coffee or mint tea!

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

ricotta lemon cookies | breadonbutter

 What do you think? 

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-cook's-range-baking

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.

chocolate-cake

Here’s the recipe:

Chocolate cake – Preparation: 45 minutes – Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

 Cake:

  •  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

Frosting:

  •  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!

chocolate-cake-lurpak-piece

chocolate-baking

Brought to you by:

breadonbutter x lurpak cooks range

In Beirut, lots of restaurants offer pain perdu for dessert. I’ve tried lots of them and I can safely say my favorites are Couqley’s and Urbanista’s. Maybe because they’re the only ones who take me back to my souvenirs of pain perdu, which basically consist of me, as a child, sitting on a kitchen chair, looking at tons of bread being dipped in a milky mix and fried on a buttered pan. Pure happiness.

couqley-pain-perdu

urbanista-pain-perdu

 

Of course, I got my childhood pain perdu recipe and I now make it all the time. Today, I’m sharing it with you 🙂

pain-perdu-top-view-breadonbutter

What you’ll need (for 8 slices): Preparation: 10 minutes – Cooking time: 15 minutes

– 8 thick slices of a loaf of brioche-like bread

– Cooking butter

– Maple syrup

– 2 eggs

– 1 glass of milk

– 3 tablespoons of powder sugar

How to make it:

1) In a bowl, beat the eggs well. Then add the milk and sugar

2) In a pan, melt the butter

3) One by one, dip the slices of bread in the egg mixture then cook in the pan until golden

4) Cover with maple syrup (optional – you can also serve it aside it) and serve. You can serve it with fresh red fruit or with ice cream.

Enjoy the sweetness 😉

pain-perdu

pain-perdu-with-fruits-breadonbutter

 

What’s a home without some dessert lying around, right? I haven’t baked for weeks due to crazy schedules and lack of time and I really miss it! Baking has always been some kind of therapy, drowning my feelings unto that mixing bowl and traveling far far away in thoughts and dreams. But then I realized that baking doesn’t have to take that much time and effort! You can always whip out something fast and easy, with a few ingredients that you surely have in your cupboard. That’s why I’ve decided to share with you the easiest Nutella Brownies recipe ever (found on this blog a long time ago). You only need 3 ingredients and it takes 20 minutes to prepare AND bake these nutella brownies. So here we go.

What you’ll need:

nutella-brownies-ingredients

– 2 eggs

– 2 cups Nutella

– 1 cup All-purpose flour

How to make it:

1) In a bowl, whisk the eggs then add the Nutella and mix

2) Add the flour and mix

brownie-mix

3) Spoon the whole thing unto a greased square mold

 

4) Bake for 10 minutes until the top is cracked but a toothpick doesn’t come out clean

5) Let it cool for 5 minutes in the moldbrownie-out-of-the-oven

6) Cut into squares, place in a plate and let cool completely

brownies-cut-into-squares

Enjoy for days! 🙂 Happy short therapy for busy people!

brownies-7

 

brownies-2

Two nights ago, while watching one of the World Cup games (Greece vs. Columbia), a nice tiramisu was all we could think about to complete this Saturday night in front of the TV. But because getting the mixer out and whipping some cream and sugar to make it was out of the question, we used ice cream instead of the whole mix, and it was – dare I say it – tastier than your regular tiramisu.

So set your watches people! Because this tiramisu literally takes 2 minutes to do. We already had everything: the sponge fingers, the coffee, the ice cream and the cocoa powder. All we had to do was layer them all in the right way. So here’s the full recipe:

What you’ll need (for 2 persons):

Two-minute-tiramisu-ingredients
Two-minute-tiramisu-nespresso-2

– 3 sponge fingers

– 1 shot of espresso – we used Nespresso Fortissio Lungo

– Vanilla ice cream – we used Taanayel Les Fermes, Vanilla flavor

– 1 teaspoon of Cocoa Powder (Cadbury’s)

How to make it:

1) Press the sponge fingers to the end of a cup (or 2 cups if you don’t share food 😉 )

Two-minute-tiramisu-sponge-fingers

2) Pour the hot espresso shot over them

Two-minute-tiramisu-3

Two-minute-tiramisu-nespresso

3) Top it all off with ice creamTwo--minute-tiramisu-2

4) Sprinkle with cocoa powder and you’re done!

Cocoa-powder-on-tiramisu

Two-minute-tiramisu

Enjoy every spoonful while cheering your favorite team on!

P.S.: I’d love to know who you’re all supporting!

 

Yesterday, I was looking for something fresh to eat that was not a fruit. I wanted that mix of sweet and sour in a warm way that could go with coffee. So I decided to bake the most moist lemon cake I have ever tasted. and it was delicious. I just had it for breakfast as well! The ingredients are the kind that you don’t have to plan for. They’re all the baking basics plus a lemon.

DSC_0029

So here’s what you’ll need:

– 1 lemon: its zest and its juice

– 2 eggs

– 125 ml of milk

– 150 g sugar + 2 teaspoons for syrup

– 150 g flour

– 50 g butter, softened

– 2 teaspoons of baking powder

How to make it:

1) Beat the butter and sugar until they form a white mousse

2) In another small bowl, mix the eggs and the milk

3) Then, add to the butter and sugar the flour, baking powder and egg/milk mix

4) Add the lemon zest

5) Enter in a preheated at 180 degrees celsius for about 40 minutes or until a skewercomes out clean

6) Mix the lemon juice with the 2 teaspoons of sugar and pour the mix on the cake right when it comes out of the oven. This will make your cake taste lemony and sticky

DSC_0036

This keeps reminding me of my childhood eating sticky cake while watching Winnie the Pooh 😉

DSC_0039

The best feeling, is to remove a perfectly baked tart from the oven. This time, I made my own dough and added a bit of orange zest to it. It was just perfect and the best part was pouring the chocolate ganache over it.

What you’ll need:

For the Dough:

150 g unsalted Butter

100 g Sugar

A pinch of Salt

250 g all-purpose Flour

1 large Egg

The zest of 1 small Orange (you can skip this if you want to make a simple dough)

For the Ganache Filling:

150 g of dark Chocolate of your choice, chopped into pieces

25 g unsalted Butter, cubed

250 ml of Double Cream (you can substitute with light cream)

Pinch of sea Salt

How to make the dough:

1) In the bowl of a mixer, mix the sugar and butter (softened)

IMG_80272) Add the egg, flour and orange zest and mix again until you get a coarse dough

IMG_80313) Roll the dough, wrap it with a film wrap and place it in the fridge for an hour

IMG_80334) Roll out the dough (it’s okay if it’s coarse and doesn’t stick together, you can put the bits together in the tin)

5) Place it in a pie mold (greased) and poke it with a fork so that it doesn’t inflate, and cook it in a 180 degrees preheated oven for about 12 to 15 minutes

IMG_8036How to make the Ganache:

1) Heat the cream in a double boiler (i.e. bain-marie) until it starts to simmer

2) Remove from the heat and immediately add the chocolate and butter, then stir to bring all the ingredients together

IMG_8039
IMG_80413) When the ganache is a bit cooled down, pour it over the half-baked dough and place the whole thing in the oven again for about 15 minutes or until the dough is golden and the chocolate is no longer very liquid

IMG_8042 IMG_8044 Cool down the tarts so that they also firm up and refrigerate

IMG_8050

IMG_8069 IMG_8071

 

And Voila! Enjoy!