Tag Archives: Almonds

Lazy Sunday with Berlin Air Cake


Sunday morning is my favourite time of the week. It’s not a market day, work day or a school day. There’s no need to run anywhere or wake up early. Perfect for lounging, taking extra time to get out of bed and even longer to have the morning coffee and breakfast. And to top it all off, this Sunday was perfectly sunny – it made my living room nice and warm and so incredibly bright!
Igor was coming over to study in the late morning, so I decided make us some croissants and cappucinos for breakfast. Mmmm…the smell of warm croissants – is there anything better when you’re hungry?

So, I’ve been eyeing this cake on the front page of LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine for a few months now, and Sunday seemed to be a perfect day to try it. So, I decided that while Igor was studying, I’d make this beautiful piece of dessert 🙂 I underestimated the amount of time it would take to make it, so by the time I was finished, I had run out of good daylight…so the pictures had to wait until the next day. I think it would have gone faster had I had three same size cake pans. I only had one, so I had to bake each crust separately…so just the baking alone took 1.5 hours. I must say though, the way it turned out, all the work was so totally worth it!

I also really enjoyed the name of this cake – Berlin Air 🙂 I wonder how that came about. I thought in addition to it being a delicious cake, it could also be a sweet temptation and a greeting to all my dear friends in Berlin 🙂 Of course, leave it to Isabeau to ask if the cake can fly! 🙂 🙂 Well, sure, I said, I could fly – if you threw it at someone 🙂
Ha ha ha!

Other than the fact that this cake takes some time to make (but if you had 3 cake pans, it would take 1/3 of the time), it was actually pretty easy. The crust is simple, and the rest is just a lot of whipping cream. It seems that the “Whip It” stabilizer is quite important because otherwise the whipped cream wouldn’t hold its shape for longer periods. The cake also should be consumed almost immediately, so make sure you share it with your friends and family!
Happy eating! ’till next time – cheerio!

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Click on each photo to view the high resolution images.

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RECIPE

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Berlin Air Cake

Cake

  • 6 eggs, separated
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) unsalted butter
  • 1¾ cups (425 mL) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1¾ cups (425 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ½ cup (125 mL) milk
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp (1 mL) cream of tartar
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) sliced almonds

Filling

  • 1 cup (250 mL) drained canned peaches or mandarin oranges
  • 1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
  • 1 envelope (10 g) Dr. Oetker Whip it
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Use three 9-inch (23-cm) springform pans or use cake tins lined with enough foil to overlap sides (to be used to lift cakes out); coat pan insides with spray. Separate eggs; set whites aside.

2. Using electric beaters, cream butter with ¾ cup (175 mL) sugar for 5 minutes, or until quite fluffy. Beat in egg yolks 1 at a time. Stir flour with baking powder and salt. Stir milk with vanilla. Using a spatula, stir a third of flour mixture into butter mixture; then stir in half of milk mixture. Repeat; then finish with final third of flour mixture. Divide batter between pans; spread out dough and smooth tops.

3 Using a clean bowl and clean beaters, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted. While beating, slowly add remaining 1 cup (250 mL) sugar. Continue to beat until whites are stiff and glossy. Dividing equally, spread over batter in pans; sprinkle with almonds.

4. Bake in centre of oven for 30 minutes or until top is lightly golden and a cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes; then remove cakes from pans. Place back on rack to cool completely. (Baked cakes can be kept uncovered at room temperature for up to half a day.)

5. To assemble cake, coarsely chop well-drained peaches (or oranges). Pour whipping cream and Whip it into a cold mixing bowl; add 2tbsp (25mL) sugar. Whip cream with electric beaters until firm peaks form when beaters are lifted.

6. Set aside best-looking cake round for top layer. Place 1 round on cake plate; spread with half of cream. Dot with half of fruit. Top with another round. Repeat with cream and fruit.

7. Finally add reserved top layer. Lightly sift icing sugar over top. Uncovered, cake keeps well at room temperature for several hours, but other wise cannot be prepared ahead or frozen.

Serves 10 to 12

© LCBO Food and Drink Magazine

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Honey-Roasted Peach Croustade with Almonds and Honey-Sweetened Greek Yoghurt


The Yummy Pixel

First post of 2011.  Happy New Year!  What were your New Year’s resolutions?  I haven’t thought about mine because I usually never keep them anyway, so why put all the pressure on myself? :).  One thing that I’m sure I’ll keep up with is this blog.  Over the holidays, I purchased (and at half price – yay!) the new Bon Appètit Desserts cookbook , and I just couldn’t wait to try one of 100s of recipes in it!  This cookbook is divine – there are so many different variations on the classic favourites and numerous butter pastry options (which I love).  When I first saw this book at the bookstore, I opened it to exactly the page of this Honey-Roasted Peach Croustade.  It looked so delicious and right away I started thinking about how I would photograph it, the angles, the accessories, etc.  So, what you will see here are some of those thoughts – in photos of course :).

I was lucky that the tree-rippened peaches were on sale yesterday when I went to buy them.  I haven’t roasted peaches before so  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The honey and brown sugar that get sprinkled on the peaches before they roast make a brown, sticky, bubbling paste around the peaches, and my whole kitchen started smelling like peach-infused honey – YUM!

 

The peaches were so bubbly and soft when they came out of the oven I couldn’t resist taking a picture.  It was such a beautiful day yesterday and SO much light was coming through my big window, it was threatening my photos being too bright.  Let’s face it – I’m an amateur and I barely scraped enough money for my fancy D90, so softboxes and light reflectors are not part of my equipment (unfortunately).  I try to shoot mostly during the day, as I find that daylight best preserves the natural food colours.  Since there was so much light coming through my windows, I had to use my blinds to soften it. 

I must say I’m fairly pleased with the results because I’m not noticing too many shadows or reflections, and it seems to me that the source of light is not too obvious (or maybe my eye is just not trained enough).

  I just love the smell of roasted almonds, and especially how their colour compliments the baked pastry dough.  The recipe doesn’t call for a yolk-wash to be brushed over the pastry before it’s baked, but I did that anyway to get the wonderful brownish colour you see above.  I couldn’t find any Greek yogurt so I used regular 6% yogurt and drained the liquid over night through a paper towel to get it thicker.  Then I mixed in some honey.  I must say – it’s better than any fruit yoghurt out there 🙂 (ok, maybe Liberté Méditerranée  comes close :))

 The dough was so buttery and delicious it just melted in my mouth, and the sweetness of the peaches and tanginess of the yogurt was such a good combination.  I couldn’t wait to put this fork-full in my mouth (this plate didn’t last long at all).  My friend Bojan came by later in the evening for a drink and I was glad to have someone else taste as well.  It is now just one day after I made this, and between giving some to family and the rest to my coworkers – it’s all gone!  I think I’ll have to make it again 🙂

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Click on each photo to view the high resolution images.

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RECIPE

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Honey-Roasted Peach Croustade with Almonds and Honey-Sweetened Greek Yoghurt

Peaches:

  • 1 1/2 pounds small ripe yellow peaches (about 6-7), unpeeled, quartered and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Crust:
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
Honey Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek-style yogurt (if Greek-style yogurt is not available, use 6% milk fat or higher plain yogurt and strain over night to drain the liquid out, making it thicker, resembling Greek-style yogurt)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
Peaches:  Preheat oven to 400 F. Line large baking sheet with foil.  Arrange peaches, skin side down, on foil.  Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Roast peaches until just tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.  Using spatula, turn peaches and continue roasting until fruit is very tender and honey begins to turn dark brown on edges of pan, about 12 minutes longer.  Cool peaches.

 

Crust:  In a food processor, coarsely chop almonds.  Transfer nuts to a bowl (do not wash processor).  Blend flour, sugar and salt in processor.  Add butter, using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Drop egg yolk through feed tube and blend just until moist clumps form, using on/off turns.  Gather dough into ball, flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and freeze 30 minutes.  (The dough can be made 1 day ahead.  Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.)

 

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Roll out dough disk between 2 floured sheets of parchment paper to 10-inch round, sprinkling with .  Remove top sheet of additional flour as necessary.  Remove top sheet of parchment.  Sprinkle dough evenly with 1/2 cup chopped almonds.  Replace parchment atop crust and roll to 11-inch round, embedding nuts into dough.  Invert crust and parchment onto heavy baking sheet, nut side down.  Remove top sheet of parchment.
It’s nearly impossible to transfer the croustade from your counter to the baking sheet because the dough is quite fragile.  For best results, when the dough is rolled out, transfer to baking sheet and then arrange peaches over center of crust in concentric circles, alternating skin side up and skin side down and leaving 1 1/2 to 2 inch plain border.  Using parchment as aid, fold outer edge of crust over edges of peaches.  Drizzle peaches with honey.  Sprinkle with remaining chopped almonds.
Bake until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool 20 minutes.   The croustade is quite fragile even after it cools down. To transfer to a platter, slide metal spatula under croustade to loosen from parchment.  Using tart pan bottom from 11-inch diameter tart pan as aid, carefully transfer croustade to platter. 

 

Honey Yogurt: Mix yogurt and honey in small bowl to blend.

© Bon Appétit Desserts Cookbook