Krestkrans

Kerstkrans is a Dutch cake made for celebrating St. Nicholas Day. There are some traditional biscuits too, I made them and I’m going to share the recipe for those in a couple of days.

Krestkrans

You can read about St. Nicholas Day and traditions regarding this day on my lifestyle blog: ancaslifestyle. Krestkrans is made with puff pastry and filled with almond paste. I made my own take with almonds and hazelnut brittle. It is a delicious dessert, I’m delighted I’ve baked it.

Krestkrans

Ingredients:
– 1 pack of light ready-rolled puff pastry
– 110g hazelnuts
– 240g almonds
– 150g sugar + 1 spoon for sprinkling on top
– 2 eggs
– 5-6 drops of Orange flavouring

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Festive wreath doughnuts

I am thinking of Christmas bakes for a while now and I got a lot of fondant decoration tools to help me. While I was baking along the Bake Off I had the opportunity to use fondant and it was the push I needed. Now I’m more than happy to try to make interesting decorations out of sugar.
These Festive Wreath Doughnuts are easy to make and they are baked, so they are as healthy as a doughnut can be.

Festive Wreath Doughnuts

Ingredients for 6 doughnuts:
– 75g plain wholemeal flour
– 50g demerara sugar
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 egg
– 60ml milk
– 2 spoons of oil
– 1/8 tsp nutmeg
– 1/8 tsp ginger
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 3-4 drops of hazelnut flavouring
– white, green and red fondant icing
– edible glue
– 2-3 spoons of icing sugar

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Chestnut and chocolate cake

I made Chestnut and Brussels sprouts last week. I made Chestnut mousse with apple and I loved that, so tasty, but this was the first time I’ve prepared whole chestnuts. I was delighted with their texture and taste, it is slightly different than the chestnut puree, as that one has sweetener in it. I thought they will be great in a cake too and I was right. This is how my Chestnut and Chocolate cake idea was born. I prepared the cake a few days ago, to celebrate my 5th anniversary of moving to UK.

 Chestnut and chocolate cake

Ingredients for the sponge:
– 300g plain white flour
– 3 eggs
– 100g demerara sugar
– 90g whole chestnuts
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 80g soften butter
– 80ml oil
– 50ml milk

Ingredients for the cream:
– 250g full-fat mascarpone
– 75g icing sugar
– 100g plain chocolate
– 50ml single cream
– 90g chestnuts

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Chestnut and Brussels sprouts

I bought some Chestnuts because I really wanted to cook with them. I thought of a pie, but when I didn’t have loads of time I’ve ended up with a Chestnut and Brussels sprouts side dish for some vegan sausages. This recipe is vegan too and also delicious. I used only 3 spoons of oil, so that makes it perfect if you are on a diet.

Chestnut and Brussels sprouts

Ingredients for 4 servings:
– 500g frozen Brussels sprouts
– 200g cooked Chesnuts
– 3 spoons of oil
– 1 small onion
– 2tsp dried parsley
– salt
– black pepper

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Homemade sour cherry liqueur

Homemade sour cherry liqueur is different from kirsch. In Romania is called Visinata after sour-cherries or visine. While I was researching the recipe, I discovered that a similar drink is made in Portugal and it’s called Ginjinha. In Portugal, Ginjinha is served with a sour cherry or two in the glass. In Romania, Visinata is served without the cherries. The cherries can be used in cooking or on a side.
The recipe is easy to make, but it takes a lot of waiting time so the cherries infuse properly and the vodka gets their flavour. If you want to make it for Christmas, I would suggest starting now. The more time you wait, the more intense the flavour will be.

Homemade sour cherry liqueur

Traditionally the homemade sour cherry liqueur is made with fresh sour cherries, but I used frozen ones; it was the only option available. I got mine from an International shop. If you use fresh cherries, remove the pits so they can release their flavour faster.
I don’t like sweet drinks, so my version has less sugar than other recipes online. Double the amount of sugar if you are looking for a sweeter taste. Regarding Vodka, any unflavoured one would be ok. I bought a Vodka made in England, it was cheaper than a Russian one and for the liqueur it makes no difference.

Ingredients:
– 100g sugar
– 450g sour cherries
– 700ml unflavoured Vodka

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The Gingerbreads

I wanted to name the post gingerbread biscuits because this is what I made. Then I saw how they looked in pictures; I thought The Gingerbreads is so much more appropriate. Bigger pictures with them are at the end of the post, make sure you meet them.

the-gingerbreads

Last year I’ve made Snowflake cookies with cinnamon and we both loved it. This year I’ve decided to make gingerbread biscuits, but with less ginger so my husband will like them too. He is not a fan of the taste of ginger. He liked these biscuits even more than I was hoping and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

Ingredients for 10 gingerbread biscuits:
– 350g plain white flour
– 175g demerara sugar
– 1 free-range egg
– 125g butter at room temperature
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tsp ginger
– 4 tbsp golden syrup or honey
For decorations: different colours of fondant icing and icing sugar. You might also use edible glue.

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Coconut rice pudding with rose jam

Since I used coconut milk for the first time I thought of a coconut rice pudding. I had lots of ideas of how to flavour it, but I’ve decided to make a simple rice pudding and add rose jam on top. I think rose and coconut are two flavours that work together nicely. I was right, as I loved the rice pudding. It takes 25-30 minutes to make the rice pudding, so it’s a fast dessert which can be made while cooking something else too. This coconut rice pudding is naturally vegan and it’s creamy and delicious.

Coconut rice pudding with rose jam

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 140g rice pudding
– 200ml water
– 400ml coconut milk
– 60g sugar
– 4tsp rose jam

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