Archive | April, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake

27 Apr

…or how am I going to translate this in Greek?


I realize that as this is the English version of my blog I don’t have such problem as if anyone bothers to read this, they will understand what this cake is about.  But as I am trying to write the same posts in both languages, I had to be a bit accurate, at least in the tittles.

As I am not a proffessional pastry chef (not even close), I usually find myself having troubles with the jargon and translating the recipes in Greek. I also have to take into consideration that some techniques or products are non existent, not available or known here  (maybe not so much anymore though, thank you internet),  so I have to go looking for a substitute or a DIY version (you will understand what I am talking about if you keep reading).

I don’t think that the concept of the pound cake exists in this country. As in the type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar.  I guess all cake recipes were imported and adapted from other countries anyway, so it’s all cake to us. And really, it doesn’t really matter if it tastes good, right?

I made this cake for my cousin and her little girl who came over from Italy for the Easter holidays (i am trying to bribe the little one with sugar so she likes me better). And yes, we had a winner. The little one spread crumbles all over the place and she was making  funny sounds while devouring two huge pieces (ok, 1/3 was on the floor). Hopefully by next year she will be able to use the vacuum.


A few words about the recipe:

  • the filling is usually found on top of cakes, as a crumble, but in this case it is put in the center to create the swirl
  • the buttermilk added will provide extra moisture to the cake and a softer texture
  • it is a simple-to-prepare cake. The cardamom really makes a difference, although used in a really small quantity.
  • The original recipe calls for cake flour, which is not sold in Greece, so I went for a DIY substitute* and it turned out alright (if you want to make it with cake flour click on the original recipe at the link below)

Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
barely adapted from @Køkken


Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
1/2 cup (60g)   All purpose flour
1/3 cup (72g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp.  ground cnnamon
3 Tbsp. (42g) Unsalted butter, melted

2,5 cups minus 1 Tbsp  (304g)  All purpose flour
1 Tbsp.  Cornstarch
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Baking soda
1/4  tsp.  salt
1/8 tsp.  Ground cardamom
1 cup (227g)  Unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (400g)  Castor sugar (I used 340g and it turned out sweet)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp.  Vanilla Extract
1tsp. Finely grated orange zest (I used zest from one whole orange)
1 cup (240ml) Buttermilk


Preheat oven to 170C / 325F. Grease the inside of a 25cm/10″ bundt pan with butter  and dust it with flour.

Cinnamon Streusel Swirl
In a small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients of the Cinnamon swirl. Add the melted butter and stir until blended and crumbly.

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Using a paddle attachment, cream butter for 2 mins at medium speed in a mixer until very creamy (2mins).
Gradually add in the sugar and continue beating at medium high speed until pale and light. (4mins)
At medium speed, add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate well.
Add vanilla extract and orange zest.
Add in the flour in 3 portions, alternating it with milk (2 additions). Mix until just combined.
Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the batter. Scrape the remaining batter on top and smooth it into an even layer.
Bake the cake for 65 to 75mins, until the cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (it took  about 65mins in my oven).
Cool the cake for 15 mins before turning out the cake to cool completely.

Judges’ verdict:8 – 9 (my biggest fan has yet to learn how to count)

*The DIY recipe for 1 cup cake flour is:

1 cup all-purpose flour – 2 Tbsp all purpose flour + 2 Tbsp Cornstarch

Measure one cup of AP flour in one bowl and then take out 2 tbsp.
Add 2 tbsp corn flour, whisk to combing and sift.

Malteese cake

27 Apr

or, a no-bake maltesers cheesecake

I saw the recipe on this blog the other day and it reminded me of when I was studying in England, (3-4-5-10 years ago, no more, I swear) and we had an assignment to promote maltesers, so we  had to prepare a small advertising campaign or something like this (I can’t remember more details, I guess the information was on those brain cells that have been destroyed / replaced by new information throughout the years). We ate several bags of maltesers trying (unsuccessfully) to brainstorm and come up with some good ideas .. anyway ….we managed to get a decent grade and pass the class, but I don’t think I’ve put a malteser in my mouth ever since.

Flash forward to this week …. I saw this recipe and it “clicked” because I wanted to make something for my mom’s birthday, but not something too elaborate that will require me spending 5 days and nights in the kitchen, and not too chocolatey, because I have been making too many sweets with chocolate lately. It was also a good opportunity to broaden my “repertoire” and try something new (translation: I did not have time to make the super-duper cake , I saw in a well known pastry publication).

And voila,  the result.

A crunchy and yummy vanilla cheesecake with maltesers, which we will call from now on  a Malteese cake ….. (as soon as I popped one malteser in my mouth, the brainstorming began).
A few words about the recipe:
· Easy and quick, tasty and refreshing, definitely a winner
·The butter in this recipe is thrown cold in the food processor, along with the crashed cookies (it all comes together like a crumble), but there are variations out there that require you melt the butter and mix it with the cookies. I have not tried the latter method, so I don’t know if it works best.
· The original recipe calls  for a 23cm/9″ round spring form  pan, but I used my square brownie pan (20cm/8″) which was lined with greaseproof paper hanging from the sides,to make it easier to pull it out before serving.

Malteese cake
recipe from here The one with all the tastes

(or a no bake cheesecake with maltesers, for those who didn’t bother reading all the stuff above)


200 grams.chocolate sandwich cookies
100 grams. butter

250 grams. heavy cream (35% fat)
2 tsp vanilla
200 grams. cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
100 grams. confectioners sugar
2 packages (2×37 g.) Maltesers


Put the cream in a bowl and beat with the mixer (whisk attachment), on high speed until thick (to resemble the texture of yogurt).
In a separate bowl, beat with the mixer on medium speed, the sugar with the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat some more. With a spoon or spatula, add the whipped-cream to the cream cheese mixture, little by little little and stir/fold gently until incorporated.

Put 1 pack of maltesers in the food processor and pulse a few times until crashed. Gently fold them in the cream/cheese mixture.
Put the bowl with the filling in the fridge to firm up, while you make the base.

Crash the cookies  in a food processor.
Add the butter and continue beating until it all comes together (it will resemble a crumble mixture).
Press into pan with the back of a spoon or your fingers. (if it sticks on your hands, put it in the freezer for 2-3 minutes).

To assemble, pour the cream mixture over the base and spread it around evenly. Bang the tin on the work surface a couple of times to make sure that there are no gaps. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to firm up and before serving it, decorate with the rest of the Maltesers.

judges’ rate: 9.45 (I hope  they were not telling me the time, instead)

coming soon….

20 Apr


Hello world!

20 Apr

I think we can to this in English as well!

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