Monkey Bread

I organised a Diabetes Party yesterday (basically I made proper Spanish hot chocolate and laid on the table all sorts of home baked goods).

If you know what monkey bread is (and if not, just read further) you will agree that it is the perfect choice as main dish for this sort of event. Honestly, enriched dough dipped in melted butter and covered with cinnamon sugar,  plus butter and brown sugar poured over the dough balls and a vanilla glaze to finish it up (in case it’s not sweet enough…). A must.

Monkey bread is at its best when eaten straight out from the oven, and I wanted a real treat for my guests. The drawback is they didn’t allow me very long for pictures… Oh! If you make it, remember it must be eaten by pulling it apart with your fingers directly from the main cake!

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For the dough

  • 8 g active dry yeast
  • 60 ml warm water, around 40 °C
  • 300 ml warm 2% milk, around 40 °C
  • 75 g melted butter
  • 70 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 625 g all-purpose flour

Mix the warm water, milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Add by hand the rest of the flour, until a firm dough is formed.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, around 5 minutes. Bring the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

For the coating and assembly

  • 170 g butter
  • 300 g sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 50 g chopped pecan nuts
  • 2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt 110 g of the butter and mix the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl.

Grease a bundt pan.

Punch the cold dough gently and pull apart pieces and roll them into golf size balls (40 to 45 will be needed). Dip the balls in the melted butter and then coat them with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Arrange half of the balls in the bundt pan and spread the pecan nuts. Place the rest of the balls on top.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Melt the remaining 60 g of butter and whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Pour it over the rised dough balls in the bundt pan. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 160 °C fan for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before removing it from the pan.

For the vanilla glaze

  • 120 g powder sugar
  • 45 ml milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make the glaze, whisk all the ingredients together and pour over the bread.

 

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Here you have my two most eager guests digging in!

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Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

Also known as Marie’s cake with apple and yogurt. This is my mum’s version of a typical baked good from the east of Spain.

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

  • 125 g natural yogurt
  • 230 g sugar
  • 60 ml sunflower oil
  • 150 g flour
  • 12 g baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • zest of a lemon
  • 2 small apples in slices

Preheat the oven to 180 °C fan and line a 20 cm round tin.

Beat the egg whites until stiff and keep beating whilst slowly adding the sugar.

Combine together egg yolks, lemon zest and yogurt, then beat in the oil. Finally beat in the sifted flour, baking powder and cinnamon until just combined.

Now carefully fold in the egg whites and pour the mixture into the tin. Cover the batter with apple slices and bake for 30 to 40 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean).

Dust with powder sugar before serving.

Apple and yogurt Coca Maria

 

And it goes great with a big cup of thick dark hot chocolate (Valor of course…).

Hot chocolate

Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. – Carl Sagan

Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Apple Crumb Cake

For the cinnamon streusel crumb
  • 250 g flour
  • 70 g brown sugar
  • 80 g granulated sugar
  • 0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.25 tsp nutmeg
  • 110 g melted butter
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract
A streusel is a topping for cakes and muffins made with flour, butter, and sugar that gives a crumbly delicious finish to these baked goods.
For this one you will need to first mix together the flour, sugars, salt and spices, and then add the melted butter and vanilla and stir until the mixture is evenly moist. 
Be careful to use loose brown sugar, if it’s gone hard you can soften it by placing it in a bowl covered with a dampened paper towel and microwaving for 20´´.
For the cake
  • 55 g butter
  • 130 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 125 ml sour cream
  • 150 g flour
  • 0.25 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
Preheat the oven to 180 °C fan. Grease a 20 cm round springform (sides can be removed from the base) and line the bottom with baking paper.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then beat in (in this order and until well combined before the following addition) the egg, vanilla and sour cream.

Finally add the premixed and sifted flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and fold in with a spatula until just combined.

To assemble the cake, spread half the batter at the bottom of the tin as a thin layer, then cover it evenly with apple. Sprinkle half of the streusel over the apple, carefully cover with the second halve of the batter and finish by spreading the rest of the streusel on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in the preheated oven. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the cake centre comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before running a palette knife around the cake edges. Remove the side piece of the tin and let cool completely.

For the cider glaze

  • 60 g powder sugar
  • 2 tbsp cider
 For the glaze, whisk the powder sugar together with the cider and drizzle over the cold cake. You can do it with a spoon or by placing the glaze in a plastic bag and cutting a small hole in one of the bag corners. 
Apple Crumb Coffee Cake

Snickerdoodles!

According to wordreference, the meaning of this word would be little laugh drawing, or laugh little drawing… So they would be kinda little eatable smiley faces.

Smiley faces had my colleagues when I brought a big batch to the office. Delicious 🙂

Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodles

Enough for 24 of these funny-named cookies.

 

Funniest thing about it is that my hand-held mixer broke after the second batch… so if you have a KitchenAid, use it… (in favour of the cookies I will say the poor machine had been highly overworked in the past).

For the cookie dough

  • 225 g softened butter
  • 350 g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 430 g flour
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt

For the coating

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp  cinnamon

Preheat oven to 160 °C fan and place a lined baking tray on the fridge to cool. Beat the softened butter until creamy, then beat in the sugar and finally the eggs and vanilla. Combine and sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients into butter mixture and chill the dough for 15 minutes. Make little balls of dough and coat them in the sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place the balls on the baking tray and in the oven for 10 minutes. Remember to remove them from the pan immediately!

Your kitchen will smell of cinnamony amazingness.

Snickerdoodles

 

It is important to leave some space among the cookies when in the oven, unless you are very fond of shamrocks…

Snickerdoodle shamrock

Snickerdoodles