Nuts!

Hazelnuts are seriously under appreciated. I’ve found a lot more baking recipes that use almonds instead of hazelnuts. But hazelnuts make for really delicious desserts, too. For example, as hazelnut macaroons or as a lovely nut cake. Then there all those ice cream versions that include hazelnuts – incl. gianduia – and of course best of all, Nutella. Oh Nutella, how I love thee… Btw, there are also savory recipes that include hazelnuts, such as Mario Batali‘s gnocchi in salsa di nocciole. Or they may be used as a nutty component of salads.

But really, this is supposed to be a post about my love for hazelnut cakes. You’ll find a lot of cakes containing hazelnuts in Germany. Hazelnuts are also a classic in Christmas cookies. But a good, moist nut cake is always appreciated here, especially when coated with chocolate ganache. So deliciously good!

hazelnut cake

Hazelnut cake, with chocolate. Mmmm!

This is one of my favorite cake recipes. It uses milk to make sure the cake stays moist, which is really important since nut cakes can easily become dry. If you’re not sure about the chocolate ‘icing’ – it does help to keep the cake from drying out. Here’s the recipe:

Cake:

250g butter
200g sugar
4 eggs
a pinch of salt
4 tsp of baking powder (for you Germans, that’s 1 package of Backpulver)
250g ground hazelnuts (you can substitute almonds)
1/8 liter of milk

Nusskuchen, pt 1

Chocolate ganache:

~ 350g dark chocolate
1 cup of cream

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy, then add eggs and sugar until entire mix is fluffy, too. Mix flour with baking powder and sift the mix, then add to sugar-butter-egg mix. Then add hazelnuts and milk alternatingly, starting and ending with the hazelnuts. Pour the finished dough into a buttered and floured loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees for approx. 60 minutes.

Let the cake cool, then glaze with chocolate ganache: Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Heat cream seperately, until it’s almost boiling. Remove chocolate from double boiler, add cream and beat mix until you have a glossy mix. Let the mix cool, then cover the cake to glaze it. Depending on how much the ganache has cooled you’ll have a thicker glaze. Once the chocolate has set completely, feel free to cut a slice and enjoy!

Nusskuchen, pt 2

The squirrel holdup design is from the Nuts! T-Shirt is from Threadless. I love their T-Shirts

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M is for millet

millet salad

I’ve been trying out other grains since I’m trying to go gluten-free as part of a detox. I was looking for a millet salad recipe, and I found this one. Genius! A yoghurt-lime-avocado-dressing, millet (I substituted it for quinoa), grilled zucchini and crunchy pine nuts, plus hardboiled eggs makes for a tasty and satisfying meal. And it hits all three groups: protein, fat and (complex) carbohydrates, plus lots of good for you vitamins.

I’m all for experimenting with new salads, so recipes like this one help you think outside of the box. And a delicious dressing – homemade dressings are just so much better than dressings from the bottle. And its really easy to make –  you can whip it up pretty darn fast. Try it for yourself.

 

pears in my salad

Pear Salad with Feta, Bacon & Hazelnuts. I’m just going to let the images speak for themselves.

salad with pears, feta, bacon & hazelnuts

The perfect winter salad.

pear salad ingredients

pears, hazelnuts, shallots, bacon and endive – substituting endive for watercress and Belgian endive

 

Melon salad

I love watermelon, but I’m not really a fan of honeydew or other melon sorts. But I had a honeydew melon on hand, and wanted to eat a salad. So guess what I found: a NYTimes recipe for a melon salad with a honeydew dressing. I once again improvised since I didn’t have any prosciutto or fennel, but I did have frisee lettuce. I used sliced almonds instead of hazelnuts. The dressing is basically pureed honeydew melon with oil and lime. I also added a bit of my pickled spring onions, and that was an excellent addition to the salad. This would also be an excellent fall salad. (Btw, do you want me to put up the bread recipe?)

Homemade bread, and melon salad. The perfect meal.

I had plenty of dressing left over, so I used it for the next days salad, where I added oranges, a yellow bell pepper and walnuts with the remainder of the frisee lettuce. Yum.

Today I’m linking up with Ginger Snap Crafts for her Wow Me Wednesday.

Peanuts are not my friends

I so want to make this cabbage and lime salad – it looks like the perfect summer dish. Everyone else doesn’t seem to excited by the idea of a cabbage salad, but that just means that there’s more for me. Yay! Tangy and crunchy, what more could I want in a salad? Oops, the salad also includes peanuts. That’s a bit of a problem. You see, I don’t like peanuts. We’ve just never gotten along. I don’t like peanuts in all their incarnations – not raw, not cooked, not raw and salted, not as peanut butter, brittle or in M&Ms, and definitely not in cake. No Peanut butter just makes my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth. And I’d rather eat Nutella, thank you very much. Hazelnuts and chocolate, what could be better?

I imagine that some almond slices would be a good substitute. Or some chopped up hazelnuts?