Posts Tagged ‘bake’

Carrot Cake

This a carrot cake. It is delicious.



  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 pound carrots (8 to 10 medium carrots), peeled and shredded on a box grater or in a food processor (about 2 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cups pecans (1 cup finely chopped for batter, 1 cup coarsely chopped for decorating sides of cake) *Raw, non-salted and fried pecans are difficult to find in Madrid so I did not use them in my cake, although I do prefer my carrot cake to contain nuts.*

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 400 grams cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup confectioner’s sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. You will make enough batter to make a two or three layer cake. I chose to make my two layers. Butter your cake pans and lightly dust with flour, tapping out excess.

In one bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars together (with a fork or with an electric hand mixer) until its light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat 3 minutes. Add vanilla, water, and carrots. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes. Slowly add flour mixture, then finely chopped pecans.

Scrape batter into prepared pans, dividing evenly into halves or thirds. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, use a fork or a hand mixer to beat the cream cheese and vanilla with a mixer until creamy. Gradually add butter and beat until incorporated. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar and beat until fluffy and smooth. I tasted the frosting every so often to determine the sweetness. I prefer my cream cheese frosting to be more tangy than sweet.

Using a sharp knife, trim rounded top of 2 cakes. Place one trimmed cake, cut side up, on a serving platter. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with second trimmed cake, cut side down. Spread 1 cup frosting over cake. Top with remaining cake. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides. Gently press coarsely chopped pecans onto sides of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 1 day, covered) before serving.


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Last night we had a delicious flan in a restaurant and decided to try and recreate it today in our own kitchen.

I combined 2 recipes because, although the lovely Simone Ortega offers traditional recipes in her cookbook, 1080 Recetas de Cocina, she doesn’t always explain the steps in great details.


for the caramel sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water

for the flan

  • 3/4 liter of whole milk
  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons of vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 300F (150C).

In a frying pan, over high heat, stir the sugar and water together and then leave it without stirring until it turns a dark yellow/brown color. Before it gets too dark, remove from heat and pour  into the flan moulds (called flaneras). The caramel should solidify into a layer on the bottom.

Next, in a saucepan, combine the milk and vanilla and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the whole eggs and the egg yolks with the sugar and whisk until foamy. Take the milk and vanilla liquid off the heat and allow to cool. When it’s cool, pour the liquid through a strainer into the egg mixture, only adding a little bit at a time so that the eggs don’t curdle. Stir the mixture until combined and then pour into the flan moulds.

The flan needs to be cooked in a water bath. We put boiling water in a deep baking tray on top of a cookie sheet. Place each flan mould into the water bath, in the oven, and bake for about 1 hour.

Check to see if they are ready by placing a knife into the center of the flan. The knife should come out clean. If it does, then it’s set and ready to come out of the oven. Allow to cool until room temperature, then put in the fridge. When they’re cold, take them out and use a knife to cut around the edge of the flan. Place a plate over the flan, flip it over, tap the flan mould, and voila!

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Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (could be substituted with creme fraiche or greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans – optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter the pan you’re going to use. If you want a loaf bread, use a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, but I used a pan that made it more like sheet cake.

Use an electric mixer or fork to cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour if flat or 1 hour and 10 minutes if you’re making the thicker loaf. Insert a knife into the center. If it comes our clean and dry, it’s done baking. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

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Homemade Pizza

We used more of our homemade pesto to make a pizza sauce.


for the base

• 1kg white flour (plus another 200g white flour to be added later)
• 1 tablespoon sea salt
• 2 packets of yeast (7g each)
• 1 tablespoon sugar (brown is recommended)
• 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 650ml lukewarm water

for the topping

  • pesto
  • tomato puree
  • fresh tomatoes
  • black olives
  • salchichon (cured sausage)
  • goats cheese
  • mozzarella
  • oregeno
  • basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


I got the crust recipe from Jamie Oliver but I adapted it. I used cake flour because that’s all we had in our kitchen but it’s probably too light for making pizza crust. I recommend that you use bread flour which has a high gluten content and turns out a good pizza crust.

First combine the yeast, water and olive oil in a bowl and let it rest. Make sure your yeast isn’t too old. If it’s working it should have little bubbles on the surface of the water after a few minutes.  Meanwhile, take the 1kg of flour and make a mound with a well in the middle. Pour the liquid into the mound and use a fork to bring the flour into the middle. Swirl until liquid and flour are combined. Continue doing this until it you’ve used up most of the liquid and it’s all sticking together. Dust your hands with flour and use them to mix in the extra 200g of flour. Knead until the dough is smooth. Mold the dough into a ball and place it in a flour dusted bowl. Cover it with a damp cloth and put it in a warm place. After about an hour the dough should be doubled in size.

Remove the dough and need it a couple times. You can divide the dough in half and make two large crusts, or you can make several individual pizzas. Dough should be enough for 6 to 8 small pizzas.

Preheat the oven to between 425 and 450 F. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil and place your crust on top. Decorate your pizza however you like. We covered it with the ingredients listed above. Bake your pizza until the edges look golden brown. This should only be about 10 to 12 minutes. Our crust was a little too crunchy, but I believe that’s because of the flour I used and the thinness of the dough I rolled out.

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