FRIENDS… and not the TV show! Friends that we have, from school, work, clubs… and friends we make through our children later in life. How many times while dropping your child at a new friend and when waiting for the door to open, you start wondering about the mom… Is she nice? Fun? Warm? Chatty? Psycho? Does she give a lot of sweets? And how many of them ended to be a keeper and became one of your closest friends. I am blessed with few of them, actually many, and we share a lot; we take trips together, we volunteer for school projects and we sometimes bake together.
The Honey Almond Slices is a new recipe for me. Axel, my daughter, had tasted it at her friend’s house and at pick up time she begged me to bake some for her. The funny part is that the mom bought her bars at the market and doesn’t even know what it was called. Thanks God for Pinterest where I combined few recipes and made my own with less butter and less sugar but still I thank my friend for the inspiration. My eagerness is boundless to try new recipes, especially that belongs to the dessert section.
For the base:
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup ground almond
1/2 cup light brown sugar
120g butter, melted
For the topping:
½ tsp salt
¼ cup honey
2 cups sliced almonds
25 cm x 25 cm pan
To make the base Combine flour, ground almond, brown sugar and melted butter until you have a moist sandy mixture. Press mixture into a brownie mold or tart tin and bake for 12 minutes at 170°C / 335°F.
To make the filling Inside a saucepan, on low-medium heat, place butter to melt, add sugar, honey and sliced almonds. Stir to well combine.
Spread mixture to top evenly the base and return to oven to bake for 25 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Allow to cool completely. Remove from pan and slice into squares or rectangles and serve.
I got this heart shaped pan on Mother’s Day few years ago, I’m so happy for Valentine day to find an excuse and use it again. This cake is spongy and smells gorgeous. The texture is close to breads so don’t hesitate to bake it in a loaf pan if desired.
Gifts, flowers and cakes are all expressions of love and celebration, most important of get-together. I wish you all love and happiness and a lot of cakes to bake.
Cream Cheese Strawberry Cake
200g butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
8 oz cream cheese
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup yogurt
1½ cups chopped fresh strawberries
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Grease and flour your cake pan and set aside.
Cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar together with an electric mixer.
Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla and beat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the cream cheese mixture, beating just until combined.
Add yogurt, mixing well to incorporate. Fold in the strawberries.
Transfer batter to the prepared pan, spreading evenly with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Remove pans to rack, and let cool for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto serving plate and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Mimosas are astonishingly, ridiculously, exceedingly, embarrassingly easy to make. Not that simple doesn’t taste yummy and easy won’t add the sparkle you’re looking for:) The flavors are splendid! I promise you a cool drink that will deliberately take care of the mood.
Merry Mimosas everyone!
6 tablespoons grenadine syrup
1 cup cranberry juice, chilled
1 (750ml) bottle champagne, chilled
Rosemary sprigs, to garnish
Fresh cranberries (optional)
Add 1 tablespoon of grenadine syrup in each flute.
Combine cranberry juice and champagne together and fill up the flutes almost right to the top. Garnish with rosemary and drop the berries right before serving.