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Russian Napoleon Torte

Russische Torte Napoleon

Warning, this cake requires a lot of work! Especially the cake layers take there time as you will need to make 12 cake layers in total and usually can only bake two at the same time. But if you are up for the challenge, you will get a delicious and impressive cake, which is made with quick puff pastry and a decadent caramel cream very similar to dulce de leche. This Russian cake was invented for the 100th anniversiary celebrating the “victory” over Napoleon when he tried to conquer Russia 1812. What once started as a smaller triangle to represent Napoleon’s hat, changed to a traditional cake and is known throughout the world as one of Russia’s finest cakes. I had the pleasure of eating it during several Russian-German weddings where it is traditionally served.

Russische Torte NapoleonEven though you “only” need to make two components, beware, this cake requires quite a bit of work. You will need to make quick puff pastry and roll out 12 (!) cake layers, which all need to be baked. After that you will need to make the cream and spread it on each of those cake layers. Since puff pastry is rather stiff, I highly recommend allowing the cake to chill overnight for the cream to soften and marinate the cake layers. So this cake can and should be made in advance. There are two different creams commonly used for Napoleon torte, the one with dulce de leche below or one, which is similar to a custard-based buttercream. If you prefer this type of cream, feel free to use the one from this recipe.

Russische Torte Napoleon

Russian Napoleon Torte

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Serves: One 20 cm/8inch ∅ springform
Prep Time: 2hrs Cooking Time: 1hr 20min Total Time: 3hrs 20min

This Russian Napoleon Torte is made with quick puff pastry and filled with a caramel-like cream.

Ingredients

  • Dough
  • 130 grams of water
  • 45 grams of vodka
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 690 grams all-purpose flour
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 400 grams of cold butter

  • Filling
  • 250 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 2 cans of 397 grams of dulce de leche made from sweetened condensed milk, how you can make it yourself, I explain here
  • 200 grams of cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A good pinch of salt

  • Optional
  • Fresh berries for decoration

Instructions

1

For the dough mix together water, vodka, vinegar and eggs and set asode. Then look for a big (!) bowl and mix together flour and salt. Add the cold butter in cubes and work this mixture into crumbs the size of peas. Try to do this as quickly as possible. Now add the wet ingredients and work everything together, it is OK if you still see a few patches here and there. The dough will be sticky, but try not to add any futher flour. Form into a ball, cover and chill for at least one hour. Then divide this into 12 equal parts (I like to weigh each one to be sure they are the same). Put back 10 pieces into the fridge and only keep 2 to work on.

2

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. First form a small ball and then roll out into a circle on a floured surface. Using a plate, springform or similar, look for something with a diameter of 20cm. Place the rolled-out dough onto the baking sheet and cut out the circle on there. Do not discard the scraps, but leave them on there. Repeaht the procedure with the second piece of dough, rolling out, placing on the baking sheet and then cutting out the circle, but leaving the scraps on. Bake these two circles for about 10-11min, it is OK if they are barely golden. Let cool.

3

While the two circles are baking, continue with two more pieces. Repeat the process with all 12 pieces, you should have 12 baked circles and scraps at the end, let everything cool. If you want to, you can continue the next day. Cover tightly or freeze until further use.

4

For the cream beat the soft butter for about 7-10 minutes until fluffy and much lighter in color. Slowly add the dulce de leche by the spoonful. Only cream in cream cheese, vanilla extract and salt last and mix until combined.

5

Now take one bake circle as the bottom and evenly spread about two heaping tablespoons of the cream on it. Place a second circle on top and repeat this procedure until you have stacked the 12 circles, each time with cream in between. You still should have enough cream left to frost the outside of the cake. Now either create crumbs with the sraps using a zip-lock bag and a rolling pin to smash them, or a food processor. Pat these crumbs onto the top and sides of the cake. You should do this as long as the cream still is soft as it will serve as a glue. Once done, chill at least for one night or longer. This time is needed for the cake layers to soften and for the cream to marinate the quick puff pastry. Otherwise it is going to be hard to cut through.

6

I served the Napoleon cake with some frozen raspberries, which I cooked with some sugar to create a sauce, but kindly note that this is not traditional for Napoleon. However, all my test eaters prefered it with it.

Russische Torte Napoleon

Colombian Torta María Louísa

Torta Maria Louisa aus Kolumbien

Today I am introducing a Colombian cake to you, which is similar to the Victoria Sponge Cake, it is called Torta María Louisa! The main difference is that you will soak it in orange juice and instead of jam fill it with caramel cream made from sweetened consdensed milk. Torta María Louísa is not only common in Colombia, but also in Venezuela and El Salvador. Whereas I have seen recipes with two different fillings and a meringue outside, I decided to stick to the classic and keep this cake simple. Two layers of orange cake sandwiched together with caramel.

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German Tree Cake with Dulce de Leche

Baumkuchen mit Karamell aus Südamerika namens dulce de leche

Today I am introducing you to a German treat with a Latin American twist: tree cake with the caramel dulce de leche. You may wonder why it is called tree cake. All the layers are supposed to represent the rings you see when you cut through the stem of a tree. If you buy this cake at a fair, the layers are not shown horizontally, but vertically. This makes it look even more like the real tree rings and hence the name. However, since you need a special construction with the cake roating on it to bake layer after layer, I decided to go for a simple version you can prepare with your oven at home.

Baumkuchen mit Karamell aus Südamerika namens dulce de leche

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Apple Pie with Caramel

Apple Pie mit Karamell

Finally an American recipe again: Apple Pie! This one has an all-butter pie crust, lots of apples, and caramel sauce. I do already have an apple cranberry pie on this blog as well as apple pie with a cream cheese crust. The one you see here is an apple pie with caramel, not only as an extra drizzle, but mixed with the filling. And for that reason I didn’t add any further sugar to the filling, the caramel sweetens the apples enough. I should have known that my husband would finish off this pie in a second, he loves pies and it basically was gone once I put it down on the plate. But hey, no problem, just make another one! What’s not to like about apples, and caramel?

Apple Pie mit Karamell

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Leche Asada, Milk Custard from Latin America

Leche asada, Dessert aus Südamerika

Leche asada, which translates as “toasted or roasted milk” is probably one of the easiest custards there is. Melt sugar, mix together remaining ingredients, pour into ramekins, and bake. I have made this dessert in under ten minutes. If you happen to have sugar, eggs, milk, and vanilla at home, you can make this Latin American custard in a jiffy. As is often the case, this leche asada is originally from Spain and was brought to Latin America during colonization. Famous among the Canary Islands, leche asada is enjoyed all throughout Latin America. Peru and Chile in particular fight over who has the best leche asada, but I will keep out of this discussion, because if you ask me, neither as it stems from Spain. Regardless of who makes the best, let’s look at what leche asada actually is

DSC00428

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Butter Cake with Apples and Caramel Sauce

Butterkuchen mit Äpfeln und Karamellsoße

Butter Cake! Today you will get a butter cake with lots of apples, almonds, and caramel sauce. I warn you, this is a yeast dough that requires you to start at least the night before and that needs a few hours of rising before you can actually bake it. But if you bear with me and go through all the hassle, I can promise you, this is an ultra fluffy yeast dough with a nice crunch at the same time. Think of baked apples and caramel sauce as the addition to this delicious cake and you will love this one.

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Chocolate Empanadas with Dulce de Leche

Schoko-Empanadas mit Dulce de Leche

Chocolate and caramel are the perfect combination, don’t you think? I at least find that they are the dream team. And for that reason I am offering something from my birth country Uruguay, namely empanadas. These can be filled with about anything and everything. I have posted the classic beef empanada recipe beforehand, but today I wanted something sweet instead. I went for dulce de leche. Never heard of it? This is basically a caramel made from sweetened condensed milk, it is eaten throughout Latin America and is probably as important as peanut butter is in the U.S. Of course you will find the recipe on this blog as well. You basically need to cover a can of sweetened condensed milk for two and a half hours. All tricks and tips can be found here.

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Moist Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting

Saftige Apfel-Cupcakes mit Karamellsahne

Today I am introducing you to super moist apple cupcakes with caramel frosting and some extra drizzles of caramel. If you are on the lookout for moist cupcakes that are easy to prepare and you love caramel, these are perfect for you! This cupcake is moist and has a very creamy and light frosting as a topping. Perfect for any season.

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Fudgy Brownies with Caramel

Fudgy Brownies mit Karamell

Is it a wise thing to publish such a decadent brownie recipe with extra caramel in January? Probably not, but I still love the idea that my blogger colleague Anna started 2018 with her chocolate Mondays (in German). That’s the spirit! If you want to be healthier, want to get into shape, and have a lot of resolutions, I personally think it does not matter if you have them in January or in December. For example, the four weeks prior to Christmas I did intermittent fasting and didn’t eat after 4pm and really did my workout regularly. Once Christmas came, I didn’t feel guilty at all when I indulged myself in all the goodness available during the season. I’m a strong believer in eating with pleasure, to enjoy it and to eat everything in moderation. So yeah, I believe that I am allowed to eat a decadent brownie with caramel even in January. Especially in January.

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Uruguayan Flan and Merry Christmas!

Uruguayischer Flan

While you are reading these lines, I will be busy packing my suitcase for Christmas. We are going to visit my parents in law in Spain and I will probably be debating which baking utensils to take along for the trip. I am really looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my Colombian family. Colombian Christmas is very different from German Christmas. There is going to be a lot of dancing, a lot of joy, sparkle and food, so much food. I can’t tell you for how long my mother-in-law has been talking about what she is going to make as a special treat for us and what her ideas are for the Christmas menu. In Colombian culture food is extremely important. I am going to suggest to her that we make Uruguayan flan as the Christmas dessert. Why? Because flan needs to be prepared the night before as it has to be chilled. Perfect in my opinion, one thing less to worry about on Christmas. Flan only requires only a few basic ingredients and is prepared in a jiffy, if this is not enough reason, I don’t know what is.

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