Elderflower syrup

Scented Nectar

Elderflower syrupIngredients

– 50 elderflower heads

– 2,4 kg of granulated sugar

– 2 unwaxed lemons

– 3 litres of water

– 50g of citric acidElderflower syrupFirst of all  inspect elderflowers carefully and remove unwanted guests (do not wash the flowers!). Elderflower syrupAfter that, place the lemon slices and the elderflower heads into a big bowl, large enough to accommodate 4/5 litres. Bring the water and the sugar to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and let cool for around 45 minutes.Elderflower syrupAdd the citric acid and pour the lukewarm liquid over the elderflowers and the lemon slices. Stir the mixture well for around 5 minutes. Elderflower syrupPlace a towel over the bowl and let the syrup stir in a cool and dark place for 3-5 days. Stir the mixture twice a day.Elderflower syrupAfter 3-5 days, take a sieve and lay a clean tea towel inside it to strain the syrup. Discard the flowers and the lemons. Pour the filtered syrup into clean glass bottles or jars. Store the syrup in the refrigerator or freezer. Elderflower syrup can be kept in the freezer since the high sugar content keeps it from freezing. Elderflower syrupServe the syrup diluted with soda (4 parts water and 1 part elderflower cordial), with white wine or Prosecco and some mint leaves.

The ideal period to pick elderflowers is May-June … and this is where I picked up mines : Elderflower syrupCanale Quarantia, Foci dell’Isonzo (Italy)

Enjoy your drink,

Anna

Snowman macarons

Macarons à la LinzerSnowman macarons

Ingredients

For the shells:

– 200g of almond meal

– 200g of powdered sugar

– 200g of caster sugar

– 146g of egg whites

– 5cl of water

– edible pearls, edible snowflakes, ribbons and food decorating pens

Snowman macarons

Combine the caster sugar and the water in a saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to 118°. In the meanwhile put half of the the egg whites in a mixer bowl and whip them on medium speed to soft peaks. Pour the 118° syrup in a thin, steady stream into the whipping egg whites.

Continue whipping the meringue on medium speed until the temperature drops to 50°.

In a large bowl combine the almond meal, the caster sugar and the other half of the egg whites and mix well.

Add a small part of the meringue to the almond paste and mix gently, then add the rest of the meringue, fold and scratch the surface until the batter starts to run glossy.

Put the mixture in a pastry bag with a large tip and form two circles (one big and one small) on parchment lined sheet pans. Allow the macarons shells to sit for 1 hour until the surface feels dry to the touch.

Preheat the oven to 150° and bake the shells for approximately 14 minutes. Cool the macarons shells on the sheet pans.

Snowman macarons

For the Linzer filling:

– 120g of red currant jam

– 38g of walnut meal

– 38g of almond meal

– 2 tsp of cinnamon

– 20g of powdered sugar

– the peel of 1 lemon

Mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Fill your snowman macarons with the Linzer filling. Decorate the snowmen with edible snowflakes and pearls, food decorating pens and ribbons.

Snowman macarons

I wish you all a sweet Christmas time!!

Bon appétit,

Anna

Candied roses

Roses

Last weekend I picked up the last roses in my grandmothers garden. I’ve decided to prepare 100% organic candied roses and petals to garnish my desserts.

Ingredients (for 5 roses and 20 petals)

– 50g of granulated sugar

– 1 egg white

– an artists’ brush

RosesPreheat the oven to 5o° C. Clean up the roses and let them dry completely. Put the sugar in a small cup and the egg white in a separate one. Dip the paint brush into the egg white and brush the front and the back of the petals. Dip the flowers in the sugar and place them on a pan lined with parchment paper.

Let the flowers dry in the oven (at 50° C) for 2 hours. Place the flowers in a dry place.

Roses before after

Decorate your desserts with these beautiful flowers.

Bon appétit,

Anna

BOO!

BOO! Ghosts cupcakes

With Halloween right around the corner it’s time to wrak your brain for some spooky baking idea!

I’ve decided to bake some fluffy vanilla cream cupcakes topped by ghost meringues ideal for Halloween parties.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes (16 pieces):

– 5 eggs

– 150 g granulated sugar

– 5 g of vanilla sugar

– 100 g flour

 

For the cream:

– 3 egg yolks

– 250 ml of milk

– 80 g of granulated sugar

– 25 g of flour

– the peel of 1 lemon

– 5 g of vanilla sugar

– 250 ml of whipped cream

 

For the ghosts:

– 3 egg whites

– 1 pinch of salt

– 220 g of powdered sugar

– 5 g of vanilla sugar

BOO! Ghosts cupcakes

First of all prepare the meringue ghosts. Preheat the oven to 80° C. Whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the sugars and the salt gradually while beating. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Put the mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a large spout tip and form your ghosts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 3 hours or until meringues are dry. Paint the eyes with edible pencils.

For the cupcakes preheat the oven to 180° C. Take the 5 eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Whisk the egg whites with half of the sugar until stiff peaks form. Whisk now the egg yolks, the vanilla sugar and the other half of granulated sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy. Add slowly the flour.

Slowly and carefully add the yellow mixture to the whisked egg whites. Be careful not to deflate the mixture! Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full. Bake for around 20 minutes.

BOO! Ghosts cupcakesFor the cream whisk together the egg yolks, the vanilla sugar and the lemon peel until light and fluffy. Add slowly the flour and the milk being careful not to form lumps. Cook the mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts boiling. Let it cool down in the fridge for around 1 hour. Now whip the 250 ml of cream and add it slowly to the cold lemon and vanilla mixture.

Create a hole in the middle of your cupcakes and fill it with the cold cream. If you prefer, before adding the cream, you can also add some melted chocolate on the bottom of the hole. Put your meringue ghosts in the middle and decorate with some cream on the borders.

BOO! Ghosts cupcakesFor a really scary Halloween ghost add a “BOO!”  flag on each cupcake :)

Here you have your super spooky Halloween baking idea for delicious treats!

Bon appétit,

Anna

Midsummer cheesecake

Midsummer cheesecake

After a long period away from my baking oven, after tooooo much store bought desserts, after months living in the city of chocolate, Brussels, now I’m back to my kitchen!! Today’s cake is a delicious cheesecake perfect for summer dinners or a picnic with friends! Enjoy..

Ingredients

For the pie crust

– 200g of whole-wheat biscuits

– 60g of melted butter

– the juice of 1/2 lemon

For the filling

– 200g of Philadelphia

– 200g of ricotta

– 130g of granulated sugar

– 100g of cream

– 30g of yogurt

– 3 eggs

– 1/2 spoon of flour

– the bark of 1 lemon

– 1 vanilla bean

Midsummer cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 160°C  (320°F).

For the crust grind the biscuits finely in a food processor. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the biscuits. Put the biscuits mixture in a cake pan and press firmly to cover the whole surface of the pan (edges included). Pour the lemon juice on the surface. Your crust is now ready to be covered by the cheese mixture.

For the filling put the ricotta, the Philadelphia, the sugar, the cream, the yogurt, the eggs, the vanilla and the lemon  bark in a large bowl and mix slowly. Stir in the flour.

Midsummer cheesecake

Pour the cheese mixture on the biscuits crust and bake for 1 hour (160°C – 320°F).

Let the cheesecake cool for 2 hours and conserve it in the fridge. Serve the cake at room temperature and decorate it giving vent to your creativity!

Midsummer cheesecake

Bon appétit,

Anna

“As american as Apple Pie!”

Apple Pie

Apple pie

Ingredients

For the pie crust:

– 300g of flour

– 100g of almond meal

– 200g of butter

– 170g of granulated sugar

– 2 eggs + 1 yolk

– a pinch of salt

– lemon bark

For the filling:

– 800g of apples

– 25g of granulated sugar

– 25g of brown sugar

-1 tablespoon of lemon juice

– 1 tablespoon of cinnanon

– a pinch of salt

– 20g of butter

– 7g of flour

Apple pie

For the crust place the flour, the almond meal, the butter, the eggs, the sugar, the salt and the lemon bark in a food processor until the mixture forms a ball. Cover it with a plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

In the meanwhile cut the apples into slices and put them in a bowl. Add the granulated and the brown sugar, the lemon juice, the cinnamon and the salt. Leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then place a strainer over a bowl and put the apples in it. Let the apples drain for 20 minutes. Put the obtained apple juice in a small saucepan with the butter. Place the pot over medium heath and boil for 10 minutes until you obtain a syrup. Add the caramelized syrup to the apples.

Apple pie

Take the mixture for the crust from the fridge and divide it in two parts. Put one part on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a circle and transfer it to a pie pan. Roll into a circle also the second part of the mixture.

Add the flour to the apples and blend well. Put the apples into the pie pan (over the crust) and cover the pie with the top crust. Remove any excess of pastry and with a sharp knife make a cross in the middle of the pie (to allow the steam to escape).

Preheat the oven to 200° C. Bake the pie for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 180° C and bake for other 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 170° C and finish the baking for 15 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature with some vanilla ice cream or some whipped cream.

Apple pie

Bon appétit,

Anna

Rudolph cake pops

Almond and cinnamon cake pops

Rudolph cake pops

Ingredients:

– 80g of butter

– 110g of granulated sugar

– 1 egg

– 135g of flour

– 1 teaspoon of baking powder

– 80ml of milk

– 60g of almond meal

– 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

– Cake pops silicone mould (for 18 pieces)

Rudolph cake pops

For the chocolate coat:

– 100g of dark chocolate

– 100g of white chocolate

– Gel food coloring

Preheat the oven at 160°.

Rudolph cake pops

Beat the softened butter with the sugar until the mixture is creamy.

Add the egg and continue whisking. Add the flour with the baking powder, the cinnamon and the milk. Continue mixing until you have a creamy texture. Add the almond meal and mix. Fill the buttered cake pops mould and bake for 20 minutes at 160°.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, remove form the mould and insert the stick into each cake pop.

Rudolph cake pops

Melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie. Melt also the white chocolate. Coat half of the cake pops with the dark chocolate and the other half with the white chocolate, decorate with gel food coloring and little branches.

Have a sweet Christmas time,

bon appétit

Anna