Bread & Raised Pastries, Recipes

How I finally became Friends with my Oven or: Selfmade Bread with Greek Yoghurt

March 15, 2015
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I’ve been living in a new place since almost two months and one of the most drastic changes this brought along – apart from the fact that I’m living all by myself for the first time – is probably the lack of a proper kitchen. Needless to say, for me as someone who enjoys spending a Sunday afternoon trying out a new recipe, there are better things to go without. However, I somehow got the hang of it and manage to create a pretty decent menu with my three cooking plates by now. The only thing I still didn’t become friends with was my small oven. So far, either the baking paper suddenly started burning or the cookies were still rare by the time they were supposed to be done. I am happy to say that things have changed since yesterday.

I ran out of bread and instead of stopping at the bakery, I changed my mind and decided to try it out myself. I had everything I needed and added a few tablespoons of greek yoghurt to the basic recipe. It turned out great, just on the point and how a bread is supposed to be: crusty from the outside and fluffy, moist from the inside. This recipe is so simple and prepared in less than 15 mins, that I asked myself why I never baked my own bread back in Amsterdam – where good bread is hard to find.

Selfmade Bread with Greek Yoghurt

yields one big or two smaller breads
 
500g flour (I took white flour, simply because I had nothing else)
1 packet dried yeast or 30g fresh yeast
1tsp salt
200ml warm water
150g greek yoghurt
 
1. Mix all dry ingredients in a big bowl.
2. In case you use fresh yeast, mix it with the water in a cup.
3. Slowly add water- (mixture) and knead dough first with a mixer, then for about 10 mins by hand until it’s smooth.
4. Cover dough and allow it to rise for about 45 mins at a warm place. Volume should double.
5. Knead dough again and form loaf. Place it onto the baking plate, cut in top side of the loaf and allow it to rise for another 15 mins.
6. Preheat oven to 200°C and bake bread for about 50 mins.
7. Enjoy!
Breakfast, Recipes

Reminiscing about California or: American Pancakes with Stewed Apples

February 1, 2015
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As much as I love being back in Germany and having a proper winter with loads of snow, I sometimes wish I could beam myself to the other hemisphere and be able to escape the cold for only a few days. During all my travels, I always enjoy spending an afternoon at a cozy café trying out one of the many items on the menu. By the time I get back to Germany, I do not only have a second suitcase (at least this time I had), but also brought many inspirations I am excited to try out in my own kitchen. But apart from that, there is always the one thing I know I will associate with a certain place I have been to – and for my stay in Long Beach it is definitely pancakes and bagels. So whenever I need a dose of California, I put on my apron and just bake these golden brown treats I had so many times myself.

This is the recipe that I think comes closest to original American pancakes and I promise it will help beat the winter blues. Plus, it’s easy-peasy and won’t take you longer than 20 mins.

American Pancakes with Stewed Apples

yields about 10 small pancakes
 
150 g flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 egg
200 ml almond milk or whatever milk you prefer
3 tbsp sunflower oil
some butter
 
2 apples
2 tbsp brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
 
1. in one bowl, mix all dry ingredients and in a second scramble egg, milk and oil
2. add milk-mixture to the dry ingredients and slowly beat dough with hand mixer
3. let dough soak for some minutes and then bake in a pan using some butter
4. peel and cut apples into small pieces
5. in a small pot, bring apples to the boil until they are soft-boiled and add some sugar and lemon juice
6. enjoy!
 
Cupcakes & Muffins, Recipes

Sweet ‘n Salty: Peanut Butter Cupcakes

November 17, 2014
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Since I’ve witnessed that Americans put peanut butter in and on basically everything from M&M’s, Snicker bars and sandwiches – I just had to go with that. I’m typically not that big of an Oreo fan and the usual sweet cream filling is just a little too sweet for my taste , but when I’ve tried Peanut Butter Oreos at a Halloween Party a few weeks back for the first time, I couldn’t help but defending my seat next to the cookie box. The combination of sweet and salty is surprisingly good and especially for the ones thinking that cupcakes are too sugary, this recipe is definitely worth trying out.

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Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

yields about 12 cupcakes
 
1 1/4 cup (150g) flour
1tsp baking powder
1 pinch of salt
2/3 cup (165g) peanut butter 
1/2 cup (115g) soft butter
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80ml) milk
 
8oz (225g) cream cheese
1/4 cup (60g) soft butter
1 cups (100g) icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
 
1. preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) and put paper liners into muffin tin
2. in one (smaller) bowl, mix together flour, salt and baking powder
3. in another bowl, beat peanut butter, butter and sugar until batter is smooth and fluffy
4. beat in one egg at a time and add vanilla extract
5. then alternately add a bite of the flour mixture and milk to the rest and mix until everything is combined
6. fill 2/3 of paper liners with dough and bake for about 15-20 minutes (there still need to be a few crumbs on a toothpick!)
7. whilst cupcakes are in the oven, prepare frosting
8. mix cream cheese and butter and beat until it’s creamy
9. add vanilla extract and then gradually stir in icing sugar
10. frosting can be best piped when it’s refrigerated before
11. to decorate, fill piping bag with frosting and start piping from the outside to the inside on the cold cupcakes
12. Enjoy! 
 

Places, The World

Sweetest Places: Saturday Happiness in Malibu

October 11, 2014
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Even though The Sweetest Crumble is mainly about the joy of baking and recipes, I felt that it was also a good idea to add another category with “Sweetest Places” that I really like and pictures that are worth sharing. Last Saturday, I feel in love with Malibu.

I already spent quite some time in California four years ago, but somehow have never made it to Malibu before and it’s been on my bucket list since forever. Being located about one hour by car northwards from Los Angeles, this small city is mainly famous for its high density of affluent inhabitants, celebrities and stunning beaches. Even though El Matador State Beach is probably the most famous one, there are also a number of hidden treasures. The word “private beach” may suggest that these are subject to private use only, but actually it is permitted to swim, walk or just hang around at one of these beaches – as long as you are lucky enough to find the entrance and stay below the high-tide line.

I can imagine that during summer it is very packed and hectic. However, last Saturday, I did not hear much except of the sounds of the ocean (giant waves!) and the humming noise of some mosquitos. Everything else was just far away.

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Cheesecakes, Recipes

A Slice of NY Cheesecake

September 29, 2014
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Wow, time is running so fast that I really have problems figuring out where to start. I initially planned to post on a weekly basis; however this seemed to be impossible during the past few weeks. There were not many moments when I really did anything and when I did, I always had the feeling I was wasting my limited time over here because there is simply so much to do, to experience and to see. I’ll try my best to stick to a chronological order of posts.

It’s already late September, taking the bus to a place that resembles more the movie set of OC California than a university is still exiting. Every day, I’m overwhelmed by the size of the campus. As I am more used to the various departments and faculties of a university being scattered around the city, this kind of centralized campus is a totally new experience for me. Not only are there 3 bus stops, but also swimming pools, a huuuge gym and recreation center and at least 20 fast food restaurants of all kinds. Basically, once you’re on campus, you’ll never ever have to leave again (except for when you crave for something healthier than a burger or a sandwich – that apparently seems not to be in high demand). But what I’ve noticed in the first place during the past weeks is a great community spirit. I thought at a university with more than 35,000 students being enrolled, which is almost as much as my hometown back in Germany counts inhabitants, you have to be loud in order to be heard and things are rather anonymous. However, it’s the opposite I’ve experienced so far – and I like that.

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This truly amazing cheesecake is heaven on earth for every cheesecake fanatic. I’ve already prepared it for my roomie’s birthday last year and two weeks ago, I gave it to another girl who’s obsessed with cheesecake and everyone seemed to love it. It’s that kind of recipe that always turns out exactly as you want it to be – creamy, moist, with a slightly crispy crust. I’m happy to hear about your cheesecake experiences, feel free to share them!

New York Cheesecake 

for a 23cm springform
 
220g crumbled digestive cookies
130g melted butter
1tbsp sugar
 
900g full-fat cream cheese
250g sugar
3tbsp flour
1,5tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1,5tsp lemon juice
3 eggs & 1 egg yolk
200ml sour cream
 
For the crust:
1. preheat oven to 160°C, line springform with baking paper
2. crumble the biscuits (tip: putting them in a small, closable plastic bag makes it easier and faster)
3. melt the butter and stir in the crumbs as well as the sugar
4. put mixture into the bottom of  the springform and bake for 10 mins, then let cool down
 
For the filling:
1. increase oven temperature to 200°C
2. beat cream cheese for about 2 mins, until it is creamy
3. add sugar, flour, and a pinch of salt while beating the batter on low speed
4. add vanilla extract, lemon zest & juice
5. gradually whisk in eggs and yolk
6. stir sour cream until smooth, then add to the rest; be careful not to over-beat the batter!
 
7. apply thin layer of butter to the sides of the springform and pour in the filling
8. bake cake for 10 mins, then reduce oven temperature to 90°C and bake for another 35 mins or until the cake only has a slight wobble
9. switch off the oven, open the door and let the cake cool down inside the oven to prevent it from cracking!
10. refrigerate cake for at least 5h
11. Enjoy!