Litchi chinensis gives life to a highly demanded tropical fruit throughout the centuries since, guess what, Chinese emperors and other wealthy people kinda liked it.
The lychee tree can be as high as 12 metres and the seeds are toxic… so I can imagine more than one servant on top of a tree thinking about how to sneak a seed or two and get rid of the annoying imperial fondness…
Preheat the oven to 160 °C fan. Beat the butter and caster sugar until fluffy, mix in the vanilla and eggs and finally the flour until combined, but don’t overmix! Take 12 lychees and blot them dry with a paper napkin. Place 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin, fill them 1/3, place one lychee in each cupcake case and cover the lychee with more batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
- 100 g butter
- 200 g powder sugar
- 1 tbsp of the lychee light syrup
- Americolor deep pink & lemon yellow soft gel paste
Looks to me like it’s been long enough since Halloween now…
Pumpkin Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting
No butter, and it’s delicious.
For the pumpkin loaf
- 2 eggs
- 200 g sugar
- 125 ml sunflower oil
- 150 g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 125 g roasted pumpkin (or squash)
All can be done with a fork: beat the eggs, mix in the sugar, then the oil and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients and stir into the egg mixture. Finally fold in the roasted pumpkin. Pour the mixture into a half kilo loaf tin and bake for 1 hour at 150 °C fan in a preheated oven.
For the cream cheese icing
- 90 g softened cream cheese
- 20 g softened butter
- 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 50 g powder sugar
Beat the cream cheese and butter until creamy, then beat in the vanilla and icing sugar (this better with a hand mixer…). Spread over the cold loaf.
Ladies prefer pink, science says so! (or at least a rather small pool of British ladies, although it would be funny to check whether they were all convinced to enrol in the study as they were exiting Juicy Couture…).
This version of science doesn’t seem to convince everyone, but one way or the other, it’s still my first choice for a marble.
Pink Marble Cake
- 200 g flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 200 g powder sugar
- 200 g rT butter
- 4 eggs
- 70 ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Pink food colouring (I used Americolor)
Preheat the oven to 170 °C fan and line a 450 g loaf tin .
Mix and sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.
Beat butter and sugar until pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until creamy and well combined. Beat in the vanilla and milk, and fold in the flour.
Divide the batter into three portions: stir the cocoa powder into one portion and add some pink food colouring to the second. Leave the third as it is.
Spoon alternate dollops of the mixture into the cake tin (you will have one spoonful too many for each colour), then use a skewer to create a marble pattern by dragging it through the mixture in swirls. Do not overmix, the pattern will be lost.
Bake around 50 minutes, until a toothpick come out clean from the centre and it looks golden brown. Cover with foil during the baking if the surface is browning up too much. Let cool on a wire rack, slice and enjoy!
I somehow found myself supporting Germany in the Eurocup… At least I found a colourful way.
EM Cake Push-Ups
- Fresh Strawberries (for the whole experience, go pick them yourself)
- Vanilla pudding (Dr. Oetker, have a look at the Herrencreme post for the recipe!)
- Melted chocolate (for the letters)
For the chocolate cake
- 170 g self-raising flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 110 g butter
- 160 g sugar
- 125 ml buttermilk (or 125 ml normal milk + 7 ml vinegar, let stand 5 minutes)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 70 g dark chocolate
The batter for this chocolate cake is the same as the one for the Ferrero Roche Cupcakes (very rich), so have a look there for the instructions and then bake at 160° C fan for 20 minutes in a lined 27 cm round tin, check if it’s done using the skewer test.
For how to cut the cake and assemble, this is a good video (minute 4:20). No nonsense of baking cupcakes to destroy them… And remember that with the cake leftovers you can always make cake pops 🙂
St. Joan is around the corner and by then fig trees become a fruity beacon of hope that make my stomach rumble and my eyes weep with joy. If you have ever approached a fig tree, taken one of the fruits and eaten it there on the spot, you know what I’m talking about. This year I will have to reluctantly accept some seasonal fig jam instead… sad face.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Fig Jam
Makes around 20 cookies
- 175 g flour
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp bicarbonate
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 170 g crunchy peanut butter
- 100 g room temperature butter
- 65 g brown sugar
- 65 g white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 g fig jam (or another kind if you can’t find it, my condolences)
Preheat the oven to 150 °C fan and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
Sift the flour, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt and mix thoroughly. Beat the butter and peanut butter until creamy, then add the sugars and keep beating until the mixture is whitish (as whitish as it can be considering the brown sugar…), light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla and finally fold in the flour (or beat at low speed).
Take ice cream scoop size portions of the dough and bake for 5 minutes. Take the biscuits out of the oven and make a hole in the middle with a dessert spoon (or with your thumb if it’s insensitive to heat, this is a thumbprint sort of cookie). Bake the cookies for 5 more minutes, until golden. Let them rest for another 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack and wait until cold. Finally fill the well with the fig jam and enjoy.
Sant Joan está al caure, i les figueres a punt de convertir-se en un pou d’esperança que em fa salivar i m’ompli els ulls de llàgrimes d’alegria. Si alguna vegada t’has acostat a una figuera, has tallat un dels fruits i te l’has menjat allí a l’ombra, saps del que parle. Aquest any m’hauré de conformar amb algo de mermelada de temporda em pareix…. 😦
Ingredientes per a 20 galetes
- 175 g de farina
- 1/2 culleradeta de llevat en pols (Royal)
- 1/2 culleradeta de bicarbonat
- 1/2 culleradeta de sal
- 170 g de mantega de cacahuet
- 100 g de mantega, a temperatura ambien a temperatura ambiente
- 65 g de sucre morè
- 65 g de sucre
- 1 ou
- 1 culleradeta d’extracte de vainilla
- 100 gr de mermelada de figa
Calfar el forn a 150 °C amb ventilador i forrar amb paper de cuina una safata de forn.
Tamisar i combinar la farina, bicarbonat, llevat i sal.
Batre la mantega i mantega de cacahuet fins a que queden cremoses, afegir el sucre i batre fins a que tinga una aparença lleugera i esponjosa i un color blanquinós.
Barrejar l’ou i l’extracte, i finalment la farina a velocitat baixa.
Fer boles de tamany de gelat i deixar-les en la safata de forn i fornejar durant 5 minuts. Traure les galetes del forn i fer-los un estaconet en mig amb una cullera de postre. Tornar a posar les galetes al forn uns 5 minuts més, fins a que estiguen dorades. Deixar-les reposar 5 minuts i passar-les a una reixeta per a que refreden. Quan estiguen templades, afegir la mermelada en el pouet d’enmig de cada galeta.