Chestnut Cake

Chestnut Cake First of all….

BEST WISHES & MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!

This will be my last post for 2014 as I will be off next week and will be back on the 6th of January. Continue reading

To end the year well I wanted to make a post with a sweet note: Chestnut Cake from Ticino. I adapted this recipe from this site and I must say that the end result was a very moist cake. With a nice coffee or tea, this cake is a great wintertime treat. I’ll keep this post short as it’s Christmas it’s either a festive or a lazy day, so

SEE YOU IN 2015!

 

 

Chestnut Cake

 

Recipe for a 26 cm wide cake mould (for an 18 cm cake use half the ingredients)

Prep time: 25 min

Cook time: 1 h 5 min

 

Ingredients:

360 g cooked chestnuts (I used the vacuum packed ones)

200 g melted and cooled butter

340 g fine grain sugar

300 g ground hazelnuts

6 eggs (separated)

1 vanilla pod

 

For the glazing

3 tbsp. hazelnut nougatine

90 g dark chocolate

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C. Grease a loose bottom cake mould.

Mash the chestnuts and set them aside.

Place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk them to a peak.

Place the egg yolks in a bowl with the sugar and whisk them until the mixture becomes lighter in colour. Incise the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add them to the sugar and egg mix, along with the mashed chestnuts, ground hazelnuts and melted butter. Mix all of the ingredients together. Delicately fold in the egg whites in two or three times, without overworking the dough.

Pour the preparation into the cake mould and place in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool 4-5 min before removing it from the mould and placing it on a wire rack. Let it cool completely.

Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie and evenly spread it on top of the cake. Sprinkle the hazelnut nougatine on top and wait for the chocolate to harden before serving (mine still had to harden a bit at the centre).

 

Phyllo Leek Tart

Phyllo Leek TartDo you also always struggle finding which dish you will prepare for Christmas dinner? I do, usually I face this dilemma each time I have someone coming over. Continue reading

Finally this yeas I’ll be making a Beef and Ale Casserole and as starter I will be making this Phyllo Leek Tart which I tried out last week. Last weekend, in my fridge I found some phyllo pastry I had to use soon so I decided to make this tart. As much as I’m not a huge puff pastry fan, I love the consistence and lightness of layered phyllo pastry. Other of the main ingredients in this tart are the leeks, which the more I read and learn, are so common in Swiss cuisine (Papet Vaudois, gateau Savièse…). Leeks are an easy local produce to find and it’s a good seasonal produce to take advantage of. I don’t know about you but I love eating leeks with something creamy so to complete the recipe I used crème fraiche, which is a little like for the flammkuchen recipe. The festive season is here and this recipe would work well as a starter as it’s in season and relatively easy to put together.

 

 

 

Phyllo Leek Tart

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time:

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients:

300 g leeks

6-7 sheets phyllo pastry (average size of 29cm x 37 cm)

190 g crème fraiche

6 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

2 tbsp. roughly chopped hazelnuts

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 210°C.

Cut the leeks into about 7-9 cm long pieces. Lengthwise divide each piece into half being careful to keep the layers into place.

Melt one tbsp. butter in a pan and add the leeks to cook for about 4-5 min per side on a medium fire. Season them with salt, pepper and thyme. Be gentle when turning the leeks as they tend to get undone. Once the leeks are cooked set them aside.

Take one sheet of phyllo pastry and brush it with the melted butter. Top it with another sheet of pastry and repeat the process until all sheets are used.

Make a small crust by folding the edges of the pastry a couple of times. If it doesn’t hold, press it gently down. Brush the crust with a little more butter.

Spread the sour cream on the bottom of the tart and, distribute the leeks on top.

Bake in the oven for 10 min, take the tart out and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts on top and serve.