Brownies with Cream Cheese and Walnuts

Cakes, Recipes

In other blogs you will now, at the end of September, find all kinds of delicious recipes with plums, apples and pears. Because of fructose-intolerance, I unfortunately have to avoid those fruits. I therefore do not bake much with them, unless it is for family or friends.
Nevertheless on those cold fall days I crave comfort food which makes me feel warm and happy. These Brownies with all their chocolate and the nuts definitely belong to this category.

Brownies mit Frischkäse 3

I slightly adapted the recipe by Cynthia Barcomi. I find the original version a bit too sweet.
Sometimes when I make these Brownies I skip the sugar beet syrup. I happened to have it at home, so of course I used it. The result was extra-ordinary.
This time I used a mixture of 250 g cheaper lactose-free chocolate, namely „Bensdorp Haushaltsschokolade,” with 42% cocoa, and 100 g Merci 72 % cocoa.

Brownies mit Frischkäse 1

Ingredients:
Batter:
2 cups (400 g) sugar
5 eggs
1 tbsp. sugar beet syrup (optional)
12.5 oz. (350 g) dark chocolate, lactose-free (e.g. Bensdorp Haushaltsschokolade, Lindt 70%, Merci 72%)
2 sticks (250 g) butter
2 cups (210 g) flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
⅔ cup (80 g) walnuts (not chopped)
Cream cheese mixture:
13 oz. (360 g) cream cheese, lactose-free
¾ stick (90 g) butter, softened
⅔ cup (130 g) sugar
3 eggs
Topping:
1½ cups (180 g) walnuts (not chopped)
Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C). Grease a baking pan (~9 inches x 123 inches; ~24cm x 32 cm).
Break the chocolate into small pieces. Cut the butter into small cubes. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler or on the oven over very low heat. Let the mixture cool down.
While the chocolate mixture is cooling, mix flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then beat in the sugar and the sugar beet syrup.
Next whisk the cooled chocolate-butter-mixture into the egg-mixture.
Stir in the flour mixture. It should just combine with the liquid mixture, so do not stir too long!
Put about ¼ of the batter into a second bowl and set aside.
Stir the walnuts into the remaining ¾ of the batter.
In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, the softened butter, the sugar and the eggs with a hand mixer on low speed.
Pour the batter with the walnuts into the baking pan and spread evenly.
Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture onto the batter. You should not see any chocolate batter any more.
Spoon the remaining chocolate batter onto the cream cheese mixture in several big blotches.
With a toothpick, a skewer or a knitting needle, draw patterns into the brownies, thus creating a marble pattern.
Sprinkle the brownies with the remaining walnuts.
Bake for about 40 minutes. The Brownies will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Brownies mit Frischkäse 4

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Curd Cheese Rolls

Bread, Recipes

I have been struggling with this recipe for a while. I have made the rolls several times, but I was never happy with the texture of the dough. It was soft and sticky, and I had to add a lot of flour in order to be able to form rolls. The taste was great, though.

Topfenbrötchen 4 Website

The last time I made the rolls, I reduced the amount of milk from one cup, as stated in the original recipe, to half a cup. It worked. The dough was just right, not sticky, not dry. I could knead, form and cut it really well.

I can only recommend this recipe. It´s easy, it works, and it tastes perfect.

Topfenbrötchen 2 Website

Ingredients:
½ cup (⅛ l) milk, lactose-free
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 package (7 g / 2½ tsp.) dry yeast
4 cups (500 g) whole wheat flour
10.7 oz. (300 g) curd cheese, lactose-free
2 eggs
5 g (1 tbsp.) fennel seeds or bread seasoning
10 g (2 tsp.) salt

Preheat the oven to 355° F (180° C).

Put baking paper on two baking sheets.

In a small pot, heat the milk and the brown sugar over medium heat until the milk is lukewarm and the sugar has dissolved. The milk must not get hot!

In a mixing bowl, mix whole wheat flour and dry yeast.

Add the curd cheese, the eggs, the warm milk, the salt and the fennel seeds / the bread seasoning to the flour mixture and knead to a dough.

If the dough is too dry, add a bit of milk. It it is too sticky, add a bit of flour.

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for about 20 minutes.

Separate the dough into two parts. Form each part into a strand.

Slice each strand into 10 pieces of roughly the same size. Roll each piece of dough into a ball. Put the rolls onto the baking sheets, with a little distance between them.

Topfenbrötchen 1 Website

Cover the two baking sheets with clean kitchen towels. Let them rise for 15 minutes.

Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, until medium brown.

Adapted from: Gasteiger, H., Wieser, G., Backmann, H. (2008,12. Auflage). So kocht Südtirol. Bozen: Verlagsanstalt Athesia AG.

Waffles with Whipped Cream and Strawberry Jam

Other, Recipes

I did not plan on baking waffles last week. Then my teenage son unexpectedly invited a friend to come over and stay into the evening. With teenagers you never know how hungry they will be, so I wanted to make sure I would have something at home that I could feed them before it was dinner time.

Initially I wanted to make muffins. Whenever I need a quick recipe which kids will definitely appreciate, I will make muffins. I was just looking for my favorite recipe in Annik Wecker´s “Göttliche Kuchen,” when the book suddenly fell open at the page with the recipe for waffles. Waffles would also be a good idea, I thought. They would be a welcome change to the muffins, which I make quite often.

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I had some buttermilk left from the Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate. The buttermilk would expire soon, so I was happy to read that the recipe said I could substitute the milk with buttermilk. Waffles really were a good idea, I realized: They would make the teenagers happy, and I could use the rest of the buttermilk. Perfect.

The recipe says you can substitute a part of the flour with ground nuts or almonds, or with wholemeal flour. The milk you can substitute with buttermilk, as I said, but also with cream, yogurt, curd cheese, even with mashed bananas or apple sauce. The recipe thus allows a lot of experimenting and varying. The main point is that the batter needs to be semi-fluid and gooey, that is not too fluid, but also not too firm.

I used “normal” wheat flour and buttermilk. After I had added the 350 ml buttermilk I had left, the batter was quite firm. I added a good shot of milk (lactose-free), then the batter was right.

I served the waffles with whipped cream and home-made strawberry jam. Wow.

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Ingredients:
1 ½ sticks (180 g) butter, softened
1 cup (200 g) Zucker
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
4 cups (400 g) flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 ¼ – 1 ¾ cups (300 – 400 ml) milk or buttermilk, lactose-free
Icing sugar

Beat the butter with the kitchen machine or the mixer until fluffy. This will take several minutes.

Add the sugar and the vanilla sugar and keep beating. The sugar should dissolve.

Add the eggs. Beat each egg in for about one minute, until it has combined will with the butter-mixture.

In a mixing bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.

Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk/buttermilk to the batter: about ⅓ of the flour, then half the milk/buttermilk, another ⅓ of the flour, rest of the milk/buttermilk, last third of the flour.

If the batter is too liquid, add some flour. If it is too firm, add some milk/buttermilk.

Heat the waffle iron.

Depending on the waffle iron you have, fill in the appropriate amount of batter and bake the waffles until golden brown. With my waffle iron, this takes about 3-5 minutes.

Put the waffles on a big plate and let them cool down. Sprinkle the cold waffles with icing sugar, if you want.

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They can be eaten warm as well as cold. My kids like to have them as a snack at school.

Nach: Annik Wecker: Anniks göttliche Kuchen, Dorling Kindersley Verlag.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream

Ice Cream, Recipes

Dealing with food intolerances is not always easy. I know quite well which food I can eat and which food I should rather avoid, but keeping to my diet can sometimes be a challenge. To me, avoiding lactose seems easier than avoiding fructose. Sugar, for example, contains fructose. As I said in „About”, I consider myself fortunate since I tolerate sugar. This means I can bake with normal sugar and do not have to substitute it with stevia, glucose, rice syrup, or other substitutes.

When baking, though, I often wonder if I should go for a certain recipe which will contain fructose, or not. I automatically exclude recipes with a high amount of fructose, e.g. recipes with lots of dried or fresh fruit or with a lot of honey. I would not tolerate those recipes well.

I do make recipes which are comparatively low in fructose, though, as e.g. recipes with a rather small amount of fruit (e.g. Joghurt Cake with Peaches), recipes with fruit which contains a low amount of fructose (e.g. rhubarb), sometimes recipes with e.g. 1 tsp. honey. Since I generally try to avoid fructose in my diet as much as possible, it is okay for me if on special occasions I eat a small amount of such a cake, pie or ice cream.

I tolerate this Maple Walnut Ice Cream very well. Maple syrup seems to have a rather high amount of fructose, though I do not know how much. So far I have not been able to find reliable and detailed information on the amount of fructose in maple syrup. However, if you have severe fructose intolerance, this ice cream is probably not ideal for you.

There is really not much I can say about the recipe itself, except that the ice cream is incredibly creamy and smooth, tastes fantastic, and is extremely easy to make.

The basis for the Maple Walnut Ice Cream is the same as for the Peanut Butter Ice Cream, i.e. a basis without eggs. I like that. No raw eggs in my food.

Maple Walnut Ice Cream 1 Website

Ingredients:
For the ice cream base:
2 cups (480 ml) whipping cream, lactose-free
¾ cup (160 g) sugar
⅓ cup (80 ml) whipping cream, lactose-free
⅓ cup (80 ml) milk, lactose-free

Additionally:
¼ cup maple syrup, preferably grade C
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Maple Walnut Ice Cream 2 Website

Put 2 cups of whipping cream into a mixing bowl. I prefer to use a bowl which comes with a tight a lid. This allows me to chill the mixture in the same bowl I use for preparing it. I simply cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator.

Gradually whisk in the sugar until it is completely blended. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Make sure you do not whisk too much! The mixture should have the consistency of whipping cream, not whipped cream.

Pour in the ⅓ cup whipping cream and the milk. Whisk until blended.

Add the maple syrup and stir until blended.

Chill the mixture in the fridge for about 2 hours, then whisk it once more and freeze it in your ice cream maker, following the instructions.

About 2 minutes before the ice cream is done, add the chopped walnuts.

Continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

The ice cream tastes best when fresh, but keeps in the freezer for several days.

Adapted from: „Ben and Jerry´s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book.“

Oreo Cupcakes

Cupcakes, Recipes

To my great surprise and delight, some weeks ago I discovered that the classic Oreo Cookies, those with the white filling, may contain “traces of milk”. That means that there might be minute amounts of milk or milk components in the Oreo Cookies, for example because milk products are processed in the same machine as the Oreo Cookies. As I am only lactose intolerant and do not have a milk allergy, such a small amount of milk or milk components is no problem for me. I can eat Oreo Cookies without problems – hooray!

I immediately went to the store and bought Oreos. Now I can finally have chocolate cookies with my coffee without needing to bake.

I was also really happy to realize that I can now make lactose-free Oreo Cupcakes. I found the recipe for these Oreo Cupcakes in the Internet a long time ago. I made the cupcakes, feeling a bit guilty. After all, it was obvious that the Oreo Cupcakes would be a real lactose-bomb – there was an incredible amount of mascarpone in the topping! Anyway, the recipe sounded so good that I could not resist.

Back then I did not even check if the Oreo Cookies contained lactose or not. I automatically assumed they would contain lactose, as almost every cookie you can buy in the store. I would never have assumed that Oreo Cookies, with their white filling, would be lactose-free!

Oreo Cupcake 1 Website

So I made the Oreo Cupcakes, took some lactase-pills, and enjoyed one of those Oreo Cupcakes (or two or so). They were simply delicious, especially the topping. I still never made them again. If I make the effort of baking, why should I bake something I cannot eat without taking (expensive) pills?

Then a couple of months ago, suddenly there was lactose-free mascarpone in some stores. The Oreo Cupcakes immediately popped into my mind. I wanted to try the fabulous topping once more.

Well, and recently I found out that Oreo Cookies are lactose-free! All of a sudden, making lactosefree Oreo Cupcakes was possible! As soon as I found the time, I got out the recipe, the muffin tray and the mixer. Here they are!

Oreo Cupcakes 2 Website

Ingredients:

Batter:
5 Oreo Cookies
1.8 oz plus 3.5 oz (50 g plus 100 g) high quality dark chocolate, lactose-free (Lindt 70%; Merci 72%)
1 ¼ sticks (140 g) butter
1 ⅓ (140 g) cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ⅓ cups (140 g) flour
2 tbsp. whipping cream, lactose-free

Topping:
2 Oreo Cookies
10.5 oz (300 g) mascarpone, lactose-free
7 oz. (200 g) cream cheese, lactose-free
1 cup powdered sugar (100 g)

Decoration:
6 Oreo Cookies, cut in half

Batter:
Preheat the oven to 350° F (180° C).

Put 12 cupcake liners into a muffin tray.

Coarsely chop 1.8 oz. dark chocolate (50 g). Set aside.

Coarsely chop 5 Oreo Cookies. Set aside.

Break 3.5 oz. dark chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler, slowly melt the chocolate, the butter and the cream. I usually do this on the oven, over very low heat.

Let the chocolate-butter mixture cool down a bit.

Beat the eggs and the sugar with a mixer or in the kitchen machine until fluffy. This takes at least 5 minutes, rather more.

Add the chocolate-butter mixture to the egg-mixture and beat in well.

Gradually add the flour and beat in. Do not beat too long.

Add the chopped chocolate and the chopped cookies to the batter with a wooden spoon.

Pour the batter into the cupcake liners. They should be about ⅔ full.

Bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not bake too long – the sponge will get hard and dry if you do.

The cupcakes will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Oreo Cupcake 3 Website

Topping:
Chop two Oreo Cookies into really fine crumbs. The crumbs will have to go through the icing pipe, so they have to be really small.

Sieve the powdered sugar. This will remove lumps which might block the icing pipe. If there are lumps of powdered sugar in the topping, decorating the cupcakes will be a terrible mess and highly frustrating – so do not omit sieving the powdered sugar!

Mix the mascarpone, cream cheese, and sieved powdered sugar with the hand mixer for about 5 seconds. If you mix longer, the topping will become runny!

Stir in the Oreo crumbs, using a wooden spoon.

Using an icing bag, decorate the cupcakes with the topping. If you do not have an icing bag, spoon the topping onto the cupcakes.

Decorate with the Oreo Cookie halves and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: josa-li, at Chefkoch.de

Yogurt Cake with Peaches

Cakes, Recipes

Another recipe with peaches … Peaches are really great this time of the year. Since I tolerate them kind of okay, I could not resist and got some more at the local market.

This time I used them for a fluffy, not-too-sweet Yogurt Cake. I adapted a recipe by Annik Wecker. Delicious!

Pfirsich Joghurtkuchen Website 4

It is really important to take the butter, eggs and yogurt out of the fridge about 2 hours before you start baking so that they will have room temperature. Otherwise the eggs will not combine well with the butter and the batter will curdle. If that happens, you might be able to save the batter by adding about 1 tablespoon of the flour mixture. With a bit of luck this will work out well.

Hm. The more recipes I write for this blog, the more I realize that I myself often do not follow the recommendation about taking the ingredients out of the fridge in time. I tend to forget about that, it seems.

If I am faced with ingredients which come right out of the fridge, usually the tips I mentioned for the „Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate“ and a strong kitchen machine still help me get the batter right.

Nevertheless I am wondering if I should not take a more organized approach to baking. So let me just look if I better take the ingredients for the Oreo Cupcakes, which I plan to make this afternoon, out of the fridge. – Ok, done. No need to take anything out of the fridge. But I found out I have to get another package of Oreos, and more mascarpone. See, organized!

Pfirsich Joghurtkuchen Website 2

Ingredients:
Topping:
4 cups (500 g) peaches, or some other fruit, as e.g. rhubarb or redcurrants
1 tbsp. corn starch
1/8 cup (40 g) brown sugar

Batter:
1 ¾ sticks (200 g) soft butter
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar (not vanillin)
Grated lemon rind from about a quarter of an organic lemon
4 eggs, room temperature
2½ cup (250 g) flour
⅓ cup (50 g) corn starch
2 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch of salt
⅔ cup (150 g) plain yogurt, lactose-free, room temperature

Grease a round baking pan (~10 inches – 26 cm) with butter.

Preheat the oven to 325° F (160° F).

In a baking bowl, combine flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Wash the peaches and cut them into slices. In another bowl, mix them with 1 tbsp. corn starch and the brown sugar. Set aside.

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and grated lemon rind until fluffy. The mixture should be almost white.

Add the eggs one after the other. Beat in each egg for at least one minute. The eggs and the butter-mixture should combine to a homogenous batter.

Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, then the yogurt, then the rest of the flour mixture. Do not beat too long.

Pour the batter into the greased baking pan.

Arrange the peach slices evenly on the batter. Do not put the liquid which collected in the bowl onto the batter!

Bake the Yogurt Cake for 60-75 minutes. My oven is really slow. It took the entire 75 minutes until the cake was done.

When a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, take out the cake.

Pfirisch-Joghurtkuchen Website 3

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the baking pan.

If you want, you can sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar when it has completely cooled down.

 

 

Adapted from: Annik Wecker: Anniks göttliche Kuchen, Dorling Kindersley Verlag.