APPLE CRANBERRY CAKE WITH CINNAMON FROSTING

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKEApple – Cranberry – Clementine – Cinnamon… These are the necessary key words to make you want to bake this elegant Christmas cake.

Nothing beats a smoothly frosted cake semi-naked look, I promise you it’s so easy to prepare anyone should give it a chance.

I couldn’t resist, but taking photos from different angles and post them on all of my social medias accounts.

I have tried many recipes for the festive season. I hope I’ll get the chance to share them all, since all of my spare time lately has been spent on Christmas shopping hearing Georges Michael and Mariah Carrey songs on repeat.

APPLE CRANBERRY CAKE WITH CINNAMON FROSTING FLAVOR

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup Clementine juice
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1-2 red apples, cored and sliced (skin on)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp limoncello

Preparation

  1. To make the frosting, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the whipping cream and whisk on high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 175° C. Butter and flour a cake pan.
  3. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add eggs, vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Pour Clementine juice gradually while mixing and scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Turn off the mixer and fold in the cranberries.
  5. Pour the batter in the cake pan and decorate with the apple slices arranging them close together and overlapping on top of the batter.
  6. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle this over the apples. Drizzle with limoncello liqueur (or lemon juice).
  7. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack.
  9. Frost the cake with your chilled cinnamon icing. Sprinkle with icing sugar. Decorate with cinnamon sticks, kumquat and fresh cranberries, if desired.
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Blueberry Cake

Bueberry Cake.jpg

Hello hungry people:) I have good news for you, this cake recipe is so simple that even the most amateur cook may bake it. And with the almond crumble that tops it, you will end up with a celebratory treat to serve on ceremonial occasions like Christmas.

What makes this cake looks fabulous is the Bundt pan and the glaze. So if you are tempted to try this recipe please don’t skip these two steps, especially the topping.

Happy Baking!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup / 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose-flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries

For the topping

  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oats
  • 2 tablespoons almonds, broken or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 185 degrees C. Grease and flour a 12-cup pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Add gradually to butter mixture. Beat until well mixed, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Fold in lemon zest and blueberries and transfer to pan.
  5. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least ten minutes before trying to remove it from the pan.
  7. To make the topping, combine flour, sugar, oat and almonds. Add the butter and rub the mixture with your fingers to make small clumps. Spread the mixture on a baking tray and cook in oven for 7-10 minutes. Let cool. To make the glaze, whisk together icing sugar and lemon juice. To finish, drizzle the glaze over the cake and immediately sprinkle with the almond mixture and wait for the glaze to dry before serving.

 

Freekeh, A Festive Recipe

Freekeh-MayaOryan

Just when I finally learned how to regularly incorporate quinoa in my cuisine, another new grain starts surging in popularity, loaded with nutritional and healthy benefits, containing more fiber and double the amount of protein as rice. I’m talking about FREEKEH!

Freekeh, (frikeh, fah-reek or farik) is obtained from wheat that is harvested while the grains are still green, soft and immature. They are gently roasted so only the chaff burn and not the seeds. After roasting the wheat is thrashed and rubbed -thus the name in Arabic fareek, which means rubbed. Grains inside are too moist to burn and the result is a smoky, nutty wheat with a distinct taste.

Recipes passed from one generation to another, have always a special place in our hearts especially if it brings along all the wonderful souvenirs from our childhood.

My dad’s hometown is Jdeidet Marjeyoun, located in the south of Lebanon, where freekeh is part of the town’s culinary heritage. He cooked us meals using Freekeh only on special occasions. For a long time I somehow forgot about this grain, until recently I started to use it more often, and just like my dad “on special occasions”!

This festive recipe brings joy to my guests and family, tasting delicious and looking outstanding. Can easily combined with your favorite chicken recipe, beef or lamb. I chose today to cook it with vegetables and top it with salmon.

The wait is over, time to knock out old recipes and try something different and bedazzling, this Christmas!

Vegetables and Smoked Salmon Freekeh

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium size white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups frikeh, washed and soaked at least 1 hour
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • ¾ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup artichoke bottoms, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Thyme leaves (optional)
  • Smoked Salmon, to garnish

Directions:

1.In a medium saucepan, heat oil and sauté the zucchinis, the carrots and the artichokes until cooked. Season with salt.

2.In a separate heavy bottomed pan, melt the butter and add the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft and transparent. Add in the freekeh and cook, for 2 minutes.

3.Add wine to the softened onions and cook until the liquid has evaporated off.

4.Pour in 1 cup of boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until liquid is almost absorbed. Repeat this process until freekeh is thick and creamy; the freekeh should still have some chew to it. Season to taste.

5.If the freekeh is still hard. It has to be cooked with additional boiling water.

6.Once the freekeh is cooked, mix in the vegetables and finish with 1 cup of stock. Let simmer a couple of minutes until it is entirely absorbed.

7.To transfer this meal into a festive dish, put freekeh in a small serving bowl and top it with thyme leaves. Cover the bowl with a dinner plate and flip it swiftly upside down. Decorate it with smoked salmon and lemon wedges and serve immediately.

 

Creamy Hot Chocolate With Cinnamon

Hot Chocolate by Maya Oryan

My Christmas shopping started in Paris, I was there just 2 weeks before Christmas, it was the perfect time of the year to visit the city and enjoy its chic boutiques, festive decorations and fairy lights.

I stayed in the 16th arrondissement, not too far from Trocadero and Eiffel tower, despite the cold weather I made sure to walk every day outside and take a hot chocolate break in one of the Parisian gourmet cafés to warm my hands and satisfy my taste buds.

Paris is where the best hot chocolate is found! Enriched with a little cream or milk, Parisian hot chocolate is served thick, velvety and rich. The luxury comes from the excellent quality chocolate concoctions they add.

Cocoa contains flavonoids, antioxidant-rich pigments that relax blood vessels and promote cardiovascular health, but also if consumed in large quantities it can expand my waistline, therefore I like to flavor my drink with cinnamon or vanilla and drink it in an espresso-size cup.

Traveling with my lifetime friend Nidal!!

Time for a selfie with my lifetime friend Nidal!!

Creamy Hot Chocolate With Cinnamon 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or cow milk)
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon (or more)
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup 70% dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt (preferably fleur de sel)

Preparation

  1. Bring milk and cinnamon to a boil. Let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Whisk in vigorously cocoa powder, chocolate, sugar and salt, until mixture is frothy.
  3. Divide among 2 mugs and garnish with mini marshmallows or cinnamon sticks if desired.