Lucuma & Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

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Lucuma is one of those things that bring me back to my childhood and Lima. It reminds me of going out for milkshakes and ice cream when I was little. It is a Peruvian fruit which is high in vitamins and it is a natural sweetener. Considered a super fruit, you can now find it at most health stores. It is easy to add to any smoothies for an extra nutrient kick. The taste is hard to describe for me, but some people say it tastes of a mixture between sweet potato and maple syrup. I love going to the market in Lima and picking some ripe lucuma to make milkshakes at my mom’s place. The smell of it is just divine!

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This recipe makes about 2 litters of ice cream.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of milk

2 ½ cups of cream

¼ cup of honey

1 cup of sugar

2 vanilla bean or 2 tablespoons of vanilla essence

1/3 cup of lucuma powder

5 egg yolks

 

In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup of the milk with the lucuma powder. Set it aside.

Whisk the honey and sugar with the egg yolks in a large bowl.

Pour the remaining milk, cream and vanilla (seeds scraped and pod) in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts simmering, very slowly start pouring it into the egg yolk mixture while whisking. It is important to pour it slowly and to whisk it fast so that the yolks don’t curdle.

Then transfer the mixture back into the saucepan. Over medium-low heat and using a wooden spoon, stir for about 6 -10 minutes. You know it’s done, when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays.

Then put a fine mesh sieve over the bowl with the lucuma and milk. Pour the vanilla mixture into the lucuma bowl.

Allow it to cool down to room temperature. Once it is at room temperature, place it in the fridge until it is cold. Preferably leave it in the fridge overnight to give it time for the flavors to develop.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store it in an airtight container for at least 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

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Orange, Vanilla & Lavender Cheesecake

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This recipe is for a 19cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the lavender cookie crust:

180grs of Bastogne cookies, you can also use graham crackers

3 tablespoons of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of dried lavender

For the cheesecake:

400grs of cream cheese, at room temperature

100gr of sour cream

2 eggs

¾ cups of sugar

Pinch of salt

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

2 tablespoons of orange zest

1 tablespoon of cacao powder, sifted

 

Preheat your oven to 160C/325F. Line the bottom and sides of your cake mold with parchment paper.

Start by making the crust. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat with the dried lavender.

Place the cookies and vanilla essence in the food processor, and pulse until you get crumbs. Then slowly add the lavender butter. Once everything is mixed through, put the crumbs into the bottom of your cake mold. Press with your fingers or the back of a spoon so that there is a nice even layer on the bottom of the mold.  Set it aside.

Using an electric mixer, whisk the sugar with the orange zest to release the oils. Then add the cream cheese, vanilla and sour cream. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Then add the eggs and salt. Whisk until everything is mixed through. Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the cheesecake batter to make the swirls later.

Pour the rest of the cheesecake batter into your prepared cake mold.

Whisk one tablespoon of cacao powder into the reserved cheesecake mixture. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate batter over the cheesecake. Using a toothpick or the tip of a knife, start making swirls.

Bake the cheesecake for 30 minutes. The center should still wiggle a bit.

Allow it to come to room temperature. Then place it in the fridge for at least 4 hours, better if it is overnight.

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Coconut Mojito Ice Cream

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It feels like summer today and I couldn’t be happier, especially since it’s supposed to last till at least Monday. That also means ice cream weather is upon us. I love the combination of coconut, lime and mint. The alcohol is optional but I used coconut rum to add more coconut flavor. Yum!

This recipe makes about 1.5 litters of ice cream

Ingredients:

For the lime and mint simple syrup:

½ cup of sugar

1/3 cup of mint leaves, packed

Juice + zest of 3 limes

1 cup of water

For the ice cream base:

400ml of coconut milk

250ml of whipping cream

½ cup of sugar

4 egg yolks

1 cup of shredded and desiccated coconut (optional)

½ cup of coconut rum (optional)

 

Start by making the lime and mint simple syrup. Place the lime zest, lime juice, mint leaves, sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stir from time to time so the sugar dissolves. Then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down.

For the ice cream base, place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.

Place the coconut milk and whipping cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it to dissolve any solids from the coconut milk. Once it is simmering, very slowly start pouring it into the egg yolk and sugar mixture while whisking. It is important to pour it slowly and to whisk it fast so that the yolks don’t curdle.

Then transfer the mixture into the saucepan again. Over medium low heat and using a wooden spoon, stir for about 5 to 6 minutes. You know it’s done, when you draw a line with your finger on the back of the spoon and it stays. Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down. If you want to be sure there are no curds, just use a fine mesh sieve and strain the mixture.

Once the ice cream base has come to room temperature, place it in the fridge to cool down completely.

Once the ice cream base is cold, strain the simple syrup and whisk it into the ice cream base. Add the rum. Whisk to combine.

Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is nearly finished freezing, add the desiccated coconut into the machine and allow it to mix thoroughly.

Store in an airtight container for at least 2 hours before serving.

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Macaron by RJA

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This pastry shop which specializes in macarons, eclairs, and classic French pastries just opened its doors on April 1st at the Cornelis Schuytstraat 50 in Amsterdam. Macaron by RJA was a big success in South Korea due to Ruben Jan Adriaan, a very well know pastry chef in Asia. After 11 years abroad, he decided to come back to his homeland and open here this French pastry shop. He has worked for Pierre Hermé in Paris. I mean enough said there, I couldn’t wait any longer and stopped by for a taste today.

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It is a lovely shop where you can also enjoy some coffee, tea and sodas. They are waiting for their alcohol license so they can offer a glass of bubbles, wine or high wine. And at the end of August, they are going to open a second shop at the Utrechtsestraat 18a.

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I went there with my husband and we were greeted by Marlijn. She was super friendly and very happy to explain the concept of the store. It was hard to choose as everything looked so beautiful. We tasted the canelés there and got the rest for takeaway.

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We got the Inca which is made with a banana compote, mango, passion fruit and a mousse made with 55% chocolate from Brazil. The Desire, made with milk chocolate mousse, vanilla, raspberry crème brûlée and cacao nibs. We also got a small box of macarons. We chose Pistachio/Rhubarb/Berry, Sakura/Strawberry, Yogurt/Grapefruit, Earl grey/Raspberry, Rose/Lychee/Raspberry and Olive oil. Seconds after I was done taking these shots, we dug in. And OMG were they delicious, a real treat for the taste buds as well as for the eyes. The Inca and Desire were both rich and decadent. And the macarons, a wonderful combination of flavors in each bite. And being only a 10 minute bike ride from my home, I am coming back for sure. You can see more of the shop through my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

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Macaron by RJA

Cornelis Schuytstraat 50, Amsterdam

Open every day from 8am till 8pm except for Tuesdays

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Brownie Cookies with Rhubarb & Vanilla Bean

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A friend of mine brought me a chocolate bar for cooking from her trip to France and the first thing that came to my mind were these cookies. They are soft and fudgy on the inside. Rich but not overly sweet, and the tartness of the rhubarb still comes through.

This recipe makes about 30 cookies.

Ingredients:

For the cookies:

100grs of dark chocolate, chopped

113grs of butter

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

¾ of a cup of brown sugar, packed

½ cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

2 teaspoons of cornstarch

1 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

¼ cup of cocoa powder

For the rhubarb:

2 rhubarb stalks

1 tablespoon of butter

1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence

1 tablespoon of sugar

 

To make the cookies, place the butter and chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl. Melt it in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until the chocolate has melted completely. Then allow it to cool down.

Mix the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in another bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugars and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the cooled melted chocolate.

Then add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture in batches. Mix until everything is combined.

Then allow the dough to chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

In the meanwhile, start preparing the rhubarb. Slice the stalks in two lengthwise. Then finely slice them.

Place the butter with the sugar in a pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the rhubarb and vanilla and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then transfer the rhubarb to a fine mesh sieve with a bowl underneath to catch all the liquid. Let it sit there until the chilling time for the cookie dough is up.

Once the cookie dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Discard the juice from the rhubarb and place the rhubarb in a small bowl.

Take the cookie dough out of the fridge and grab about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball using your hands. Place it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat for the rest, leaving some space in between each ball. Place about 1 teaspoon of the rhubarb on top of each ball and press with your fingers so it sticks. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. While a batch is baking, keep the remaining cookie dough in the fridge.

Let the cookies rest in the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

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Chamomile & Lemon Loaf Cake

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This is a delicately flavored cake. Chamomile used to be my favorite tea as a kid; I still love it but now I’m more of a green tea person. But it still reminds me of those times when my mom would make me tea. The chamomile is very subtle but you can taste/smell it a bit at the end. I used tea bags to infuse the milk with chamomile. It is a very simple one bowl cake and perfect to take if you go to a picnic for example. I am longing for spring weather and going biking through the flower fields and forest. And when we do that, I always make snacks like this to take with.

This recipe is for a 25cm loaf pan.

Ingredients:

90grs of butter, softened

30grs of sour cream

Zest of 2 lemons

1 ½ cups of sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups of self-rising flour, sifted

½ cup of milk

6 chamomile tea bags

Pinch of salt

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper.

Place the milk in a medium saucepan and let it come to a simmer over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and add the chamomile bags. Press each tea bag a bit with a spoon so they get soaked and release the flavor. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up, strain the milk with a fine mesh sieve. Allow the milk to cool down.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest.

Then add the eggs one by one. Then fold in the sour cream and salt. Finally fold in the flour alternating with the milk. Once it’s all combined, pour it into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for about 50 minutes, till golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

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Apple, Cardamom & Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread

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My sweet tooth was bugging me again so I gave in. I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a couple of weeks already but didn’t find the time. The combination of apple, cinnamon and cardamom is just irresistible. I made apple chips and placed one chip in between each slice of the dough, so when you pull it out you get a lovely apple surprise. You can also use store-bought chips, but if you want to make them at home, you can find the recipe by clicking here. Just don’t add the cayenne and sumac. I’ve recently started to use Snapchat, so if you would like to get peeks of Amsterdam just add me. Snapchat: cravingsinams

This recipe is for a 25cm loaf pan.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3 ½ cups of All-purpose flour

7gr dry yeast

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of cardamom powder

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the Filling:

3/4 cup of sugar

1 ½ tablespoons of cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon of cardamom powder

3 tablespoons of melted butter

2 apples made into apple chips, you can buy them but I made them at home. Recipe here (just skip the cayenne and sumac)

Extras:

Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)

 

Pour the milk into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the cardamom powder and whisk it. Once it starts to simmer, turn off the heat. Transfer it to a bowl and let it cool down to lukewarm.

Place the yeast and the lukewarm cardamom milk in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Place the rest of the ingredients for the dough in the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment.  If you knead it by hand, it will take about 10 minutes.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once the hour has passed, line your loaf pan with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and lightly flour your working area.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder for the filling in a small bowl.

Roll out one piece of dough into a rectangle of about 44×22 centimeters. Brush it with some melted butter. Then sprinkle some of the spiced sugar all over it. Then using a pizza cutter slice the dough in two lengthwise. Then cut each long slice into 6 pieces, so you have a total of 12 pieces. Place 1 apple chip on top of each piece. Stack each piece on top of the other. Arrange it in half of the prepared loaf pan. Repeat for the remaining piece of dough. Keep the leftover spiced sugar.

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Let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. About 10 minutes before the time is up, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the 30 minutes are up, brush the top with some egg wash and sprinkle some of the remaining spiced sugar.

Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden. About 20 minutes in, check if it’s getting too dark because of the spiced sugar. If it is, cover the top with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.

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Le Clair

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Last week I went to the official opening of Le Clair, an éclair café located at the Ijpassage in Amsterdam central station. Robert Kranenborg advised on the concept which is now lead by pastry chefs Tjade Klaver (Bord’eau) and Tarik Azaujan (Dutch Home Made).

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The eclairs are made on a daily basis and the flavors will vary depending on the seasons. Right now they have flavors like coffee & salted caramel, lemon meringue, mango & passion fruit and red fruit & yogurt. They also offer savory versions like with smoked salmon, Caesar salad, hot dog and croquet monsieur.

FullSizeRender (1)A great addition to Central station if you want to stop by for some treats, or if you are on your way to visit someone and would like to treat them. I mean who wouldn’t want to receive a box of beautiful and delicious pastries? They also make custom made eclairs for especial occasions. And if you are not planning on going to Central station, you can now order them through Fodora and get them delivered.

Le Clair

Ijpassage, Amsterdam Central Station

 

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Blood Orange, Chocolate & Chili Upside-Down Cake

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I love the gorgeous tint that blood oranges have and I was looking forward to making a recipe with them. I find the combination of orange and chocolate delicious, and to give it a little kick I added one chili. This is not meant to be spicy; you just feel a little tingling on the tongue at the end.  And I felt it more the day after. After that I don’t know because we finished it on the second day. It is a very simple, soft and no-fuzz cake.

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This cake is for a 21cm cake mold.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

1 ¼ teaspoon of baking soda

½ teaspoon of salt

½ cup of cocoa powder

¾ cup of vegetable oil

1 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

2 egg yolks

1 egg

1 ½ cup of sugar

Zest of 1 orange

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped (I used a 5 cm long chili)

For the orange part:

1 or 2 blood oranges, sliced into about 1/2 cm slices

½ cup of sugar

3 tablespoons of butter

¼ cup of orange juice

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line the bottom of the cake mold with parchment paper.

Once the oven is hot, start to prepare the cake batter. Sift the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

Chop the chili with the orange zest, until it is very fine. Then place the zest and chili in a large bowl along with the sugar. Whisk it on low speed for 30 seconds to allow the oils to come out. Then add the egg and egg yolks, and whisk until it is all incorporated. Add the vegetable oil, milk and vinegar. Finally add the dry ingredients and whisk until it is well combined.

To make the orange part, place the butter, sugar and orange juice in a large pan over medium heat. Let it cook for about 3 minutes until the sugar dissolves, swirling the pan around. Carefully pour it into the prepared cake mold and arrange the orange slices on top of the caramel. Press a bit so that the orange slices stick to it.

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Then carefully pour over the cake batter.

Bake it for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

Let it cool for 5 minutes in the mold and then carefully run a knife through the edges of the cake and turn it upside down on a serving platter.

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Whipped Passion Fruit & White Chocolate Ganache Tart

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I’m keeping last year’s Valentine’s Day theme with another dessert filled with passion fruit. This is a quite easy no-bake dessert. Whipping the ganache makes for an airy and much lighter filling. You can top it with any fruit that you like; I used fresh passion fruit, pomegranate, figs and mint.

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You can check last year’s chocolate soufflé with a passion fruit & white chocolate ganache center by clicking here.

This recipe is for a 35x11cm tart mold, preferably with a detachable bottom since the crust crumbles easily.

Ingredients:

For the Oreo crust:

32 Oreo cookies

6 tablespoons of melted butter

For the whipped passion fruit & white chocolate ganache:

100grs of passion fruit pulp (I got it frozen, but if you can’t find it get about 10 fresh passion fruit)

2 tablespoons of sugar

200grs of white chocolate, chopped

150ml of whipping cream

For decoration:

3 figs, sliced

1/3 of a cup of pomegranate seeds

3 fresh passion fruit

Mint leaves

Edible flowers (optional)

 

Start by making the Oreo crust, place the Oreo cookies (the whole cookie, including the cream) in the food processor and pulse until you get very fine crumbs. Then transfer it to a medium bowl and add the melted butter, mix well. Spread the Oreo mixture evenly over the tart to create the crust and press with your fingers to make it as compact as possible. Place it in the fridge until ready to use.

Place the frozen pulp plus the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, let it reduce until you get about 2 tablespoons of syrup. Make sure to stir so it doesn’t burn. If you can’t find the passion fruit pulp ready to use, place the pulp of about 10 passion fruit in a blender and quickly pulse a couple of times. Don’t over blend it because the seeds will become too fine and you won’t be able to sift them out. Then pass the pulp over a fine mess sieve. And then reduce it in a saucepan with the sugar.

Place the chopped white chocolate and cream in a medium bowl. Melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. And stir in between until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream. Then using a hand whisk, whisk it to make sure there are no lumps of chocolate. I did this for about 2 minutes. Then place it in the fridge for 20 minutes, giving it a light hand whisk every 5 minutes. The ganache needs to be cool enough to be whipped, but not too cold that it gets hard. Once the 20 minutes are up, take it out of the fridge and add the passion fruit reduction. Whisk it and if there are any lumps, pass it through a sieve.

Using an electric mixer, whisk it for about 4 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.

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Take out the tart from the fridge, and carefully spread the whipped ganache over it.  Place it in the fridge for 1 hour to set. Before serving, top it with  fresh fruit and mint leaves. I used figs, pomegranate seeds, fresh passion fruit and edible flowers.  Enjoy!

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