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Egg Macarons with the Italian Method

Ostereier-Macarons nach der italienischen Methode

Is it OK to say “Happy Easter”? I do believe so. To be “happy” also means to be relaxed and baking definitely relaxes me. Baking is my way of dealing with the crisis, it is a wonderful method to beat depression and sadness. Yes, I also know people who got fired or are now working part-time. But regardless, I do see Easter as the feast of hope despite all the horrible things currently happening. And for that reason I decided to make macarons according to the Italian method. I already have a few macarons recipes on my blog, my very first try, strawberry macarons with no food coloring as well as coffee macarons with dulce de leche filling. But all of the listed recipes follow the French method. This is the very first recipe according to the Italian method. I will explain below what this entails.

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Homemade Baileys or Irish Cream

Rezept für selbstgemachten Baileys oder Irish Cream

I don’t know why, but our local grocery store stopped selling Baileys even before the Corona virus craziness. I was a little sad about that as I love drinking this liqueur. So I decided to do a little research. Much to my amazement, it is really easy to make. It takes less than ten minutes if you have all ingredients at hand, so from now on I will make my own Irish cream!

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Chocolate Hot-Cross Buns

Schokoladige Hot-Cross-Buns

Today you will get chocolate hot-cross buns! Never heard of this? It is tradition, I believe originating in the UK. Lent is broken on Good Friday with these buns, hence the cross on them. I thought this was such a special ritual and since Easter is approaching, I felt like introducing the recipe here. You may not celebrate as big as you would normally, but hey, I will definitely make something special event even if it is only the two of us celebrating Easter this time.

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Baci di Dama or Lady’s Kisses from Italy

Baci di Dama oder Damenküsse aus Italien

Baci di dama are heavenly cookies, a touch like a feather. These Italian cookies literally translate as a kiss by a lady. If you look at the profile of these cookies, they look like a set of lips wishing to kiss you. I really like this picturesque name which does tell you a lot what these cookies are going to taste like. Roasted hazelnuts are combined with buttery shortbread, which is sandwiched together by delicious melted chocolate. Baci di dama are perfect as a giveaway, superb for a coffee break and simply to enjoy.

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Maple Bacon Cupcakes

Ahornsirup-Bacon-Cupcakes

Yes, you read right, today I am serving maple syrup bacon cupcakes! This is definitely an unusual flavor combination. The first time caramelized bacon got my attention was when I saw the Irish blogger using bacon for scones. And once I was paying more attention to bacon in sweet goods, I suddenly saw it on Pinterest, used in and for cupcakes. If you think using bacon in sweet cupcakes is crazy, maybe I can convince you if I say that the bacon is caramelized. I have to say, I do love this crazy sweet and salty flavor combination.

Ahornsirup-Bacon-Cupcakes

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British Afternoon Tea with Shortbread Cookies with Edible Flowers

Britisch Afternoon Tea mit essbaren Blütenkeksen

This blog post is “posh” as I will be serving British Afternon Tea with shortbread cookies with edible flowers and some maple bacon cupcakes. This is due to the fact that it’s celebration time. I will always find a reason to whip something up. This can be anything, the classic cake needed on Sunday afternoon, or because I want to cheer up my colleagues on Monday, because a difficult case at work finally came to a close, you will soon realize that there is always reason to celebrate. This is something we tend to forget. In the mundane life of ours we hustle and bustle, but forget to just sit still and celebrate the special moments. And this time is an extra special moment. Zorra from the German blog Kochtopf is celebrating her 15th blog anniversary. Ha, I am such a baby blog compared to hers. My blog is about two and a half years old. But anyway, Zorra is inviting us virtually to a British afternoon tea asking us to whip up a recipe. Well, that’s something I can get behind!

Britisch Afternoon Tea mit essbaren Blütenkeksen

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Homemade Spaghetti Al Crudo

Selbstgemachte Spaghetti al crudo

You voted 100% that I post the recipe here when I showed you in an Insta story how we made spaghetti from scratch at home. So here we go, today you will get the recipe for homemade pasta. Obviously they taste so much better than store-bought. And this delicious summer sauce with tomatos, olives, capers, and anchovies, seriously, this is delicious. During my one month break when we moved from Hamburg to Munich I had the chance to eat a lot of homemade pasta. I did learn a thing or two during that time. For example that you really need to knead the dough for a while for the gluten to develop its powers. Or that you need to flour the dough all the time so that the spaghetti doesn’t stick. I mean, I didn’t use a pasta attachment back then, I did everything by hand, rolling it out and cutting the pasta.

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Black Forest Eclairs

Recipes that have a story to tell are my favorite recipes. That’s definitely the case for these black forest eclairs. The reason for me making eclairs after a while again was because a blogger colleague of mine named Julia (her German blog is called Julia bakes) was hospitalized and eager to eat some proper eclairs. Obviously the hospital didn’t provide such a treat so Julia asked if anyone was willing to bake her some. Since I live in the same city and had some time off before starting to work again, I volunteered. Baking eclairs for her reminded me of the fact that my husband is a huge lover of eclairs. For that reason I have been whipping up eclairs more regularly again. These black forest eclairs are definitely one of my favorite flavor combinations.

Schwarzwälder-Kirsch-EclairsI do admit that eclairs take a while, but the good thing is you can prepare the cherry filling in advance. Since these eclairs are based on the famous black forest cake, I added chocolate shavings to the whipped cream. So imagine an eclair filled with lots of delicious cherry filling, topped off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and then being dipped in chocolate ganache. Sounds like music to my ears.

Schwarzwälder-Kirsch-EclairsChoux pastry, the dough the ecalirs are made with, is not difficult to make. I honestly don’t know why so many people are intimidated by it. If you ask me, I find it easier than working with than yeast. What you should keep in mind when preparing choux pastry? Do NOT open the oven door while they are baking. The eggs need a consistant environment, so don’t be tempted to check and open the door. Just like cheese cake, choux pastry likes a humid environment, so my little trick is to put a container with water on the bottom of the oven. And secondly, you need to be sure to bake them long enough. The outside should be crunchy and the elcairs easy to cut through. That way it will be easier also to hold up all the filling and for them to stay fresh longer.

The ony part that is a little tricky is knowing how many eggs you need to add to the dough. But if you have a glossy dough that is pipepable, you got the right consistency and boy, I can tell you that home-made and from scratch eclairs are simply the best. A light and fluffy dough which is filled with cherries and complemented by whipped cream with chocolate shavings and chocolate ganache, I don’t know what else to ask for. Are you going to give these beauties are try?

Black Forest Eclairs

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Serves: Around 16-20 eclairs
Prep Time: 30min Cooking Time: 30-35min Total Time: 1 hr

These Black Forest Eclairs have a regular houx pastry, are filled with a super fruity cherry filling and are then topped of with whipping cream with chocolate shavings and some extra chocolate glaze.

Ingredients

  • Eclairs
  • 250 grams of water
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 150 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 3-5 eggs, size M at room temperature

  • Cherry Filling
  • 1 can of cherries of 800 grams
  • 50 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 25 grams of tapioca starch or cornstarch

  • Whipped Cream
  • 300 grams heavy cream
  • 25 grams of regular sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, see here how to make your own
  • 100 grams of chocolate shavings

  • Chocolate Ganache
  • 100 grams of heavy cream
  • 100 grams of semi-sweet chocolate

Instructions

1

For the eclairs heat water, salt and butter in a pot and let the butter melt completely. Change temperature to low and add all the flour at once while still stirring. Stir until a ball forms. Be sure to move the ball around for about one or two minutes, there should be a thin white layer on the bottom of the pot. Move dough ball to a bowl and let cool off.

2

Add first egg. Beat in one egg at a time. First the dough will appear crumbly. Depending on the size of the eggs, you will have to beat in between 3-5 eggs. The right consistency is reached if the dough slowly drops off a spoon and looks glossy.

3

Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and place a large ovenproof container with water on the bottom of your oven. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and pipe stripes of about 2 centimeters in width and 12 cm in length on the baking sheet. Leave space between each as they will puff considerably. You can wet your fingers with some water to smooth away any inconsistencies. Bake eclairs on medium rack for 10min, reduce temperature to 180 and bake for another 15-20min. The crust should be a little darker and crunchy. Do NOT open the oven door as otherwise the eclairs will shrink. Cut eclairs in half while still warm.

4

For the cherry filling drain cherries while keeping the juice. Take about have the juice and bring to a boil with sugar and lemon juice. Stir tapioca starch with some water until you see no lumps. Once the juice is boiling, add the tapioca and stir for about one to two minutes, until it become thick. Add the cherries and set aside.

5

For the whipping cream whip the cream with all ingredients except for the chocolate shavings for about four minutes or until stiff. Fold in chocolate shavings.

6

For the chocolate ganache heat the heavy cream, once almost boiling, take off heat and add chocolate in chunks. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

7

Spoon cherry filling on the bottom of each eclair and either dollop or pipe on the whipped cream. Dunk the top part of the eclair in the chocolate ganache and place on top. Eclairs taste best on the same day they were made. However, you can keep them chilled for a few days in an airtight container.

Notes

Eclairs taste best on the day they were made. If kept chilled in an airtight container, they can be eaten for a few days.

Schwarzwälder-Kirsch-Eclairs