Festive Fortnight [2]: Cranberry Orange Almond Bundt Cake

The Festive Fortnight has now officially started! I’ve been looking forward to this moment for over a month – and now it’s here. Hurrah!

I baked this cake over a month ago as well; it’s the first Festive Fortnight bake I made. At first, I wasn’t too sure this cake was going to be a success. It was a bit of an experiment. I’d made this recipe from scratch, and I was baking with fresh cranberries for the first time. They’re weird little buggers, aren’t they? I tasted one since I was curious what they’d taste like before baking or cooking them. Turns out, they’re pretty gross!

Anyway, despite my worries, this cake turned out absolutely delicious. It’s got a lovely almond taste, which combines magnificently with the orange and the cranberries. This cake is perfect for when you’re looking for something that is Christmas-y, but isn’t too heavy. The tang from the citrus and the cranberries made for a nice fresh contrast with the sweetness from the almond and the glaze.

Although the cake was amazing, the pictures of it didn’t exactly turn out as I’d hoped. Dusk was already starting to settle in when I took these pictures – that’s the trouble with winter, I suppose!

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Chocolate Orange Almond Marble Bundt Cake

Autumn has definitely arrived now in the Netherlands, and with that has come the first wave of colds and flu. Everyone seems to be ill, as was I this past week. I stayed home from class on Monday and Wednesday, and my lovely dad came over to bring me some groceries, so I could still, you know, eat. Quite important, after all.

I still wanted to bake something this week, though, but I didn’t want to make it too challenging or time-consuming, since I also had quite a lot of homework to do. So that meant the plan I had to make macarons this weekend fell through. Maybe next week!

Instead, I figured I’d make a marble bundt cake, because that seemed like fun. I didn’t want to go for the plain old vanilla and chocolate, so I soon came up with the idea of adding the almond to the batter, with some almond flavouring and some ground almonds. I also really love the combination of chocolate and orange, so I decided to go with those flavours for the two different batters.

It came out quite splendidly! It isn’t really all that marbled, at least not in these pictures, but that doesn’t really matter – it still looks cool and tastes absolutely delicious, and it’s such an easy batter to make!

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Miss Craftsy’s Healthy Marzipan

I love marzipan. I love it on cakes (so much better than fondant!), in muffins and pies, and I love it as a sugary little snack on its own. So when Joyce from Miss Craftsy posted a recipe for a super easy healthy version of this sugary deliciousness I immediately got the urge to try it! Of course, if it was as good as Joyce said it was, I wanted to share it with you guys, so I emailed her to ask if I could translate her recipe and put it on Books Baking and Blogging. She said yes and the marzipan was delicious (all gone now, oops!) so here I am with the recipe!

But first, let me tell you a little bit about Joyce’s blog, Miss Craftsy. It’s one of the few Dutch blogs I follow, and it’s all about a healthy and happy lifestyle. She writes about healthy recipes (like this one), she reviews books that have to do with a healthy lifestyle and writes about many more things, like films, songs and her own life. I love her blog because it has such a personal feel to it, and it always cheers me up because of her cheery writing style and positive way of thinking. So, if you’re Dutch — go check it out!

Now, onto the recipe…

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Cherry Streusel Cake

My midterms are over! Especially this last week was quite stressful, with the deadline for my research paper on Friday. But I made it, and I’m quite pleased with how my essay turned out. Now it’s just waiting for the grade… I hate that part.

Anyway, now that the stress has subsided, I finally have time to bake again! And yesterday evening was the perfect occasion. My mother performed in a play yesterday, which she’d been talking about for weeks. It was her second time ever and she was really nervous, so I figured I’d surprise her with a nice baked treat! We had dinner together at my parents’ house, and when she left for rehearsals I quickly whipped up a cherry streusel cake before my father and I left for the theatre (or, well, community center) as well.

My Mum loved the surprise, and the cake itself as well. Oh, and if you were wondering; the performance of the play went well, too!

This morning we all had a slice of the cake together, and it tasted really good! Although I think it would have tasted better if the cherries had been a bit more sour (they were sweetened). My parents loved it, though, so that’s good. The cake was half gone before I could take any decent pictures!

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You’ll need…

– 185 g light brown sugar

– 500 g plain flour

– 1,5 tablespoon of baking powder

– 185 g butter (in cubes, don’t melt it!)

– 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla flavouring

– 2 eggs

– around 550 g cherries (these can be either fresh or canned, I used canned ones, since it’s not yet the season for fresh cherries)

– 80 g flaked almonds

– springform tin (24 or 25 cm)

– parchment paper

– and an oven, of course — this cake needs to be baked at 200 °C (don’t forget to preheat your oven!)

So, let’s get baking!

1. Make the base First off, we need to make the base of the cake. Just place the sugar, flour, baking powder, cubed butter, vanilla flavouring and eggs together in a bowl, and then mix them together with an electric mixer (you need to use the dough hooks for this). Mix until rough crumbs are starting to form. You can also use your hands, especially when the butter is being obstinate and doesn’t want to mix properly with the rest of the ingredients, as was the case with my mixture.

2. Put the base in the springform tin Now, line the base of the springform tin with parchment paper, and grease the entire tin. Then put one third of the mixture for the base on the bottom of the tin, and divide it evenly over it. Take another third of the mixture, and press it to the side of the cake tin, to form the edge of the cake.

P10009003. Put in the cherries Next up, it’s time to put the cherries in! If you use canned cherries, like I did, you need to drain off the juice, and stone them if they still have stones in them (mine didn’t). If you use fresh cherries, wash them, stone them and remove the stalks. Now divide your cherries over the tin.

 

4. Divide rest of streusel mix and sprinkle almond flakes All that’s left now is the finishing touches: divide the rest of the streusel mix over the top of the cherries, and sprinkle the almond flakes over them. They’ll give a nice and crunchy effect!

5. Bake the cake! Put your cake into the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Mine was done after 22 minutes, when the almonds started to turn a little too dark for my taste (they would’ve been black if I’d left them much longer). When your cake is done, take it out and let it cool on a wire rack before your remove the springform.

And there you have it, your own cherry streusel cake! It’s a really simple recipe and it’ll come in really handy when you need to quickly whip something up. You can replace the cherries with many other  fruits as well. Hope you enjoy!

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