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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apfel Kuchen (Apple Cake)

This type of cake is usually sold under the name of sour cream cake, coffee cake or even apple dapple cake. This classic German type of cake take a long time to bake but is well worth the wait! Of course this continues our series of apple season which is closely coming to a close. For an Apple Dapple cake recipe click here!

Spiced Apple Almond Cake
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 175g granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 75g sour cream
- 125g ground almonds
- 115g plain flour
- 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 4 apples (2 of them peeled, cored and chopped)

1. Grease 9-inch spring form pan and line base.
2. Mix together the Flour, Almond powder, cinnamon and baking powder, set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar till creamy consistency in a mixer with the paddle attachment. Once creamy, add the eggs one at a time then add the sour cream.  At this stage the mixture might seem curdled but after the next step it will be smooth.
4. Add the flour mixture to the mixer and beat on low until ingredients are just combined. Spread half of the batter, evenly, on the bottom of the pan. Place the 2 diced apples in the center leaving a half inch gap around the edge of the pan. Spread the other half of the mixture carefully on top of the apples. Core another 2 apples and cut thin slices. Use these slices to make a fan pattern on top the batter.

5. If you would like to add a crumble topping tot he cake mix these ingredients together;
- 2 Tbsp Butter, cold
- 2 Tbsp Brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 2 Tbsp Oatmeal
Mix everything with your fingertips to create a crumble and sprinkle over apples.
Place in preheated 350F oven and bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

After the cake is baked, let cool 30 minutes before unmolding. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or sift some icing sugar on top. As dense as this cake looks, it is surprisingly smooth and light to the taste. Perfect with tea or coffee! Enjoy!

Happy baking!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce

Now here is an ingredient that I do not often cook with. Where in some cultures, this ingredient might be commonly used, in my cooking, it always seemed strange. After a request for a tofu recipe, I decided to try it out! Here's a very basic and easy recipe to try if you are unfamiliar with cooking tofu.

Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce

- 1 pound Firm Tofu (around 350g pack), cubed
- 3 Tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter
- 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Vinegar 
- 2 Tsp Minced Garlic
- 2 Tsp Minced fresh ginger root
- 1 Tbsp Vegetable or Canola Oil

1. For the sauce, in a small bowl whisk together; the peanut butter, the soy sauce and the vinegar, garlic and ginger. Set aside.
2. Frying the tofu is where you may vary the recipe as you want. If you want to add a few vegetables to your recipe you may fry it in a medium-high heated pan with the tofu. If just wanting the tofu then just proceed with frying the tofu. This time I added some minced spring onions with my tofu. 
3. Add the sauce in the frying pan after 5 minutes of frying. Reduce the heat to medium and heat the combination while gently tossing the ingredients to cover with the sauce. 

This easy preparation of tofu can be served on your favorite type of rice or any type of oriental noodle, from Udon noodles to rice vermicelli noodles. Who knows, after trying this recipe you might want to incorporate more tofu in your diet?!

Most of all enjoy, and happy cooking!


Apple Raisin Pie

Apple picking season is in full swing but most of the time, when picking a full 22lb bag of apples, we end up running out of ideas to what to do with them. Well here's another recipe from our "Apple Season"  collection. If you are not a fan of raisins you can simply replace the cup of raisins with a few more diced apples to make up the amount needed for the pie. The result will still be nothing short of being amazing none the less! 

Apple (Raisin) Pie

- 1 1/2 pound of peeled and diced apples (about 680 grams)
- 1/3 packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter or margarine 
- 2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon 
- 1 Cup Raisins 
- 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose flour
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1 Cup chilled Shortening 
- 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Ice Cold Water
- 1 egg yolk (with 1 tsp cold water for egg wash)

1. For the crust, start by measuring out your flour and the salt into a medium sized bowl. With a pastry blender or knife, cut in the shortening into the flour until the pieces of shortening are pea size. Pour in the ice water as a small stream while bringing the flour from the bottom, to the top and gently mixing until it just comes together.
2. Divide the dough into 2 balls and press them into disks, wrapping them in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, make the filling.
3. For the filling, place a large saucepan on medium heat and melt your butter (or margarine). When the fat has melted, place in the saucepan, the prepared apples the raisins, the sugar and the cinnamon.
 Stir gently for all the ingredients to combine together. Place lid on pan and let simmer away for about 10 minutes to soften the apples. Once the filing ready, put aside and let cool slightly while preparing crusts. 
4. Take out the dough and roll out your first disk, onto a floured surface, into the right size for a 9-inch tart shell mold, usually 1 inch wider all around to permit for there to be enough dough for the sides of the tart. Let the excess hang on the outside of the mold. Brush the edge with the prepared egg wash. 
5. Pour the apple filling in the pie making sure for there to be a mound in the center, to give a nice shape to your pie. Roll out the second disk of dough, about the same size as the previous disk. Place on top of the pie and press lightly all around to seal the edges, trim excess. 
6. Brush top of pie generously with egg yolk wash and sprinkle even more generously with granulated sugar. This will create a type of crust on top of the crust and give it a very nice golden color. Make an incision in the center to create a type of chimney for the pie. Bake in a preheated 400F oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until crust is a deep golden brown. 

In my opinion, nothing beat the smell of an apple pie baking in the oven! I'd bake one every day if I could find people to eat them afterwords! Hope you enjoy this recipe and don't forget to comment! 

Happy baking! 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

My dear friends, apple season has begun and this meaning there will be many recipe postings in the upcoming weeks involving apples in one way or another. The other day I went apply picking and loved every moment of it! Best of all I got to go home with A LOT of apples! With the fall season growing stronger everyday, warm apple pies and pork roasts with apple sauce would do us a lot of good! Let us start this mini series with a good old fashion apple oatmeal muffin recipe.

Preheat oven at 400F (200C)
- 1 1/2 Cup milk (hot)
- 1 1/2 Cup Quick Oats
- 1 Cup All purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 2 Tsp Cinnamon
- 2 Apples, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 1/3 Cup Butter, melted
- 2 Eggs

1. Combine in a bowl, the hot milk and the oatmeal and put aside for 5 minutes.
2. Mix together, in a large bowl, the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and chopped apples.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together; the brown sugar, melted butter and eggs.
4. Add the egg mixture to the oatmeal mixture and stir together. Add this mixture into your dry ingredients bowl and stir gently until the ingredients are just combine. Do not overmix!

-Combine 2 Tablespoons of cold butter with 1/4 Cup flour and 4 Tbsp rolled oats to obtain a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle equally on all muffins before baking.

5. In a buttered or papered 12-muffin tin, drop the mixture equally in all cavities. Bake at 400F (200C) for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted inside the center of the muffin comes out clean.

To keep these muffins fresh, store them in a plastic container or plastic bag. If you are wanting to use more apples and are making a double (or triple) batch, simply place them in a freezer bag or plastic container to store them in your deep-freeze. But most of all enjoy as many as you can when fresh!

Till then please remember, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away! :)


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

French Kiss Cook Ad

Dear friends and loyal followers,

          Here is a clip I had put together just for fun, demonstrating a little bit what French Kiss Cook is all about and the feel I want the blog to have! Please don't be shy and post a comment! I am in the works now to start incorporating videos in my blog to help you see the techniques and how fast paced the recipes are, instead of having to read it all to understand!

          I am really excited about this new project and hope you will be as well! Thank you everyone, once again, for all your ongoing support! It's very much appreciated!

Happy Cooking!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dairy-Free Cream of Celery

If you are like me and have an intolerance to lactose, being comforted by a warm creamy soup, usually means taking a "lactaid" or not having the soup at all. Well here is an alternative to a cream of celery soup which is created by adding potatoes to the mix.

- 1 celery bunch, roughly chopped in small pieces
- 4 medium sized onions, finely chopped
- 1 Carrot, diced in small pieces
- 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
- splash of olive oil
- 2 Tsp of onion salt
- 1- 900ml box of chicken broth
- 2 Cups of water

1. Place a large stock pan on medium-high heat and pour a slash of olive oil in the pan. When the oil has had the chance to heat up a little, throw in the celery, onions, and carrot. Fry while stirring until the onions had become translucent.
2. Pour in the broth and the water and bring to a boil. Add in the potatoes and the onion salt, bring back to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
3. Once the soup has finished cooking, take the pot off the heat and let cool down a little. Using a hand blender, bring the soup to a puree consistency.
Serve hot!

You'll end up with a very creamy looking soup without adding any cream, milk or sour cream to the mix. If you can handle the dairy, you may add some in your individual portions as pleased.  Hope you enjoy this soup recipe as I did and that it warms you up on these chilly autumn days.

Eat well, sleep well and till next time!