Chocolate, Espresso & Raspberry Cake

Cravings in Amsterdam cake

Port is one of those things that I always have in my pantry. I love to cook with it because I love the wonderful richness it adds to a dish. But this time I did something different. I’ve partnered with Offley to create a recipe that you can pair with their Ruby port. ‘

Their Ruby is a young port with red fruit tones. I paired it with a rich chocolate dessert to balance out the sweetness of the port. This cake has a layer of fresh raspberries at the bottom, followed by a rich espresso brownie layer and it is finished with a dark chocolate ganache with a hint of espresso.

I invited Eliane from Instagram blogger to come taste my dessert. We had a lovely afternoon enjoying this dessert with the port.

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For all the Dutchies, Offley is organizing a cooking workshop where you can make dishes to pair with their port. And you can win tickets to attend the event with a +1. The workshop takes place on Saturday 24th September at the Smulweb Kookcollege in Amersfoort. If you get a bottle of their port, you will get a code with it to participate. But I have a code especially for you guys! You can participate by filling in this code: OVABLG01C in the Offley website.

This dessert is best eaten cold, so keep it in the fridge.

This recipe is for a 21cm round cake mold with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the brownie:

140grs of fresh raspberries, broken into pieces

120gr of dark chocolate, chopped (I used 63% cacao, but you can use a higher percentage. Especially if you want to pair it with port)

57grs of butter

125grs sugar (1/2 a cup)

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

½ a teaspoon of vanilla essence

50grs of self-rising flour (1/3 cup)

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 shot of espresso, cooled

For the ganache top:

200grs of dark chocolate, chopped

250ml of whipping cream

1 full teaspoon of instant espresso powder

20grs of butter

1 tablespoon of sugar

Extra:

A handful of red currants for decoration

 

Start by preheating your oven to 180C/350F. Line the bottom and sides of your cake mold with parchment paper.

First make the brownie layer. Place the chopped chocolate with the butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave it in 30 seconds intervals, stirring in between until it has completely melted. Set it aside to cool down a bit. If it is too hot, it will curdle the eggs.

In a large bowl, mix the eggs with the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate. Then add the shot of espresso, flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until everything is well combined.

Spread the broken raspberries over the bottom of your prepared baking mold. Carefully pour over the brownie batter. Tap it gently a few times to get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake it for 20 minutes.

When the brownie has cooled down to room temperature, start to make the ganache.

Place the cream, sugar and espresso powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk it until the sugar and espresso have completely dissolved into the cream, and the cream has come to a simmer. Then add the chopped chocolate and butter. Lower the heat to low and stir until everything has melted.

Then pass it through a fine mesh sieve to make sure that there are no lumps.

Carefully pour the ganache over the brownie. Let it set in the fridge overnight.

The next day, carefully remove the cake from the mold and carefully remove the parchment paper. To make a clean cut, use a sharp knife and rinse it under hot water before slicing the cake. Serve it with some fresh red currants.

Enjoy it with a glass of Offley Ruby port!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

My Festival Burger (Coconut Crusted Chicken Burger with Spicy Coriander Sauce & Caramelized Pineapple)

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Summer is around the corner and that also means that festival season has started. When I first moved to the Netherlands, outdoors festivals were one thing I was very eager to experience. My husband had already talked non-stop on how good they were here. Good music, dancing in the sun with my love and of course great food. I was sold! So when Hellmann’s asked me to create my own festival burger and share it with you, of course I said yes!

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I have not been shy about my love for burgers, veggie and meat alike. With festivals lasting about half a day, we would always end up satisfying our hunger with burgers. The smell of the grill would just draw us in. And what better topping to a burger than a creamy and tangy sauce that will get your taste buds going with every bite? That’s why I created this crunchy and juicy coconut crusted chicken burger served with caramelized pineapple and a tangy & spicy coriander sauce, which I made with Hellmann’s. It is summer on a bun!

Now to the fun part, you can win 2 tickets to De Parade (You can choose the location). The only thing you have to do, is write a comment under the Instagram post of this blog post telling me what your favorite festival burger with Hellmann’s would be. It can also be vegetarian. You have until next Friday July 1st to participate. I will then choose a winner and make her or his favorite festival burger into a recipe! The contest is now closed, winner was chosen on Instagram.

This recipe makes 4 burgers.

Ingredients:

For the chicken marinade:
400gr of chicken breast (about 2 pieces of chicken breast)
500ml of buttermilk
½ a teaspoon of salt
½ a teaspoon of onion powder
½ a teaspoon of garlic powder
½ a teaspoon of paprika powder

For the chicken coating:
55grs of shredded coconut, unsweetened (1 cup)
60grs of panko breadcrumbs (1 cup)
½ a teaspoon of garlic powder
½ a teaspoon of onion powder
½ a teaspoon of salt
4 eggs, beaten
115grs of all-purpose flour (1 cup)

For the caramelized pineapple:
250grs of ripe pineapple, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of sugar

For the spicy coriander sauce:
300grs of Hellmann’s
½ bunch of coriander
1 ½ tablespoons of sriracha sauce, or more to taste
Juice of ½ a lime

Extras:
300ml of vegetable oil to cook the chicken
40grs of wasabi arugula or any lettuce of your choice
4 buns of your choice
Garden cress for decoration (optional)

For this recipe, I marinated the chicken in buttermilk overnight. This is a step that you can skip but I do advise you to do it. It requires minimal effort. It will take you about 5 minutes and it is worth it. The buttermilk will help tenderize the meat and the result is a very flavorsome and moist chicken.

So the night before, I placed one piece of chicken breast in between parchment paper and flattened it with a rolling pin, especially on the thicker parts. You want the whole piece to have the same thickness so that it will cook evenly.

You can also use a meat tenderizer. Repeat for the other piece of chicken. Then slice each peace into 2 even pieces, so that you have a total of 4 patties.

Make the marinade. Place the buttermilk in a medium container or bowl. Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika powder. Mix well and add the pieces of chicken. Cover it and let it rest overnight in the fridge.

The next day, start by making the spicy coriander sauce. Blend 300grs of Hellmann’s with the coriander, sriracha sauce and lime juice. You can also put it in the food processor. Transfer it to a small bowl and keep it in the fridge covered until ready to use.

To make the caramelized pineapple, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Then add the sugar, mix it for a minute and then add the pineapple. Swirl the pan from time to time until the pineapple caramelizes. This will take about 7 minutes. Set it aside.

Then prepare the coating for the chicken. Have one bowl ready with the beaten eggs. In another bowl, mix the dried coconut with the panko, onion powder, garlic powder and salt. Have another bowl ready with the flour.

Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade. First coat the chicken in the flour, then in the beaten eggs and finally in the coconut/panko mixture. Because I like it extra crispy, I did this twice per piece of chicken. Repeat until all 4 pieces of chicken are well coated.

Pour the vegetable oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken. It is important that the oil is not super hot; otherwise the crust will get dark before the chicken is completely cooked through. This will take about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Once the chicken is fried, start to assemble each burger. Place a handful of wasabi arugula or lettuce of your choice on the bottom of your bun and then place the fried chicken on top. Top it with the spicy coriander sauce, caramelized pineapple and if you want also add some garden cress. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Blueberry Cheesecake Brownies + Chocolate Giveaway

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My favorite desserts usually involve chocolate and I was lucky enough to get to try this limited edition Australian Snapper 110% cocoa chocolate bar before it hit the stores. At first, I was a bit puzzled. How can it be 110%, but after I opened the package I realized how! It’s a 200gr package, which is composed of two 55% chocolate bars of 100grs each. Two chocolate bars with caramel sea salt & almond nougat. It’s a rich chocolate bar with a crunch. The sea salt enhances the chocolate flavor and makes it an addictive combination. I decided to incorporate this chocolate bar into this dessert. You can find out more about this chocolate bar by clicking here.

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By now, you guys know how much I love to make swirl brownies. I chose to add blueberries this time, to take advantage of the season before they are gone. Besides great flavor, they add such a bright color and really make these cheesecake brownies pop.

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I have a cool Instagram giveaway for you guys; unfortunately it’s only for people living in the Netherlands. In collaboration with Australian Homemade, I am giving away 2 Snapper 110% chocolate bars to 5 lucky chocoholics. Since in those 2 bars, you get a total of 4 bars; you can choose to share it with your friends or family. Here is what you have to do:

  1. Follow Australian Homemade on Instagram.
  2. Follow Cravings in Amsterdam on Instagram.
  3. Leave a comment under the Instagram post of this giveaway saying that you want to win, and tag a friend who you think would enjoy some chocolate as well. You can find the post by clicking here.

This giveaway ends Thursday (20/Aug/2015) at midnight. On Friday morning, I’ll pick 5 winners at random.

This recipe makes 16 small squares.

Ingredients:

For the blueberry compote:

½ cup of blueberries

1/3 cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

1 teaspoon of corn starch

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the brownie:

57gr butter

110gr of Australian Snapper Dark 55% chocolate, chopped

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

For the cheesecake:

300gr of cream cheese at room temperature

1 egg

1/3 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

 

First make the blueberry compote:

In a small bowl, mix the water with the corn starch. Place the blueberries, sugar and vanilla in a medium pan. Add the corn starch mixture. Let it cook for 3 minutes on medium heat. Stir from time to time. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside to cool down.

To make the cheesecake:

Place the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk it until smooth. Then add the egg, sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth and everything is combined. Set aside.

To make the brownie:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a small square baking dish (22cm) with parchment paper.

Melt the butter with the chocolate over a water bath. Once it has completely melted, set aside and allow to cool down a bit.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla. Then add the chocolate and mix. Finally add the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix until it is all combined. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Carefully spread the cheesecake mixture over the brownie. Then spoon the blueberry compote over the cheesecake mixture. Use a toothpick or a knife to make the swirls. Make sure you only touch the cheesecake part, not the brownie part.

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Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cheesecake starts to get golden.

Leave it at room temperature until it cools down. Once it has cooled down, place in the fridge for 2 hours. After the 2 hours are up, slice it into squares. You can keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days.

 

 

Waterfront Chill & Groove event (tip for this weekend)

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For all the Dutchies:

A tip for next weekend, Restaurant Het Bosch at the Waterfront is hosting the Waterfront Chill & Groove event. It is a culinary music festival not to be missed.

Their Waterfront restaurant will be transformed into a great chill-out location with two open kitchens where, besides the crew from Het Bosch, Julius Jaspers will also be cooking live! The event takes place from Friday the 26th till Sunday the 28th of June.

There are special VIP tickets for Friday, which include the entrance, 7 course menu and an open bar. The cost for Friday is 125 euros.

On Saturday and Sunday, the tickets cost 65 euros and include the 7 course menu. There is also the option to get VIP tickets for these days for 90 euros and it includes a welcome champagne glass, a 7 course menu and a private table in the VIP deck with table service.

You can buy the tickets by clicking here.

And what’s even better, you can win 2 tickets for this event! BlogerNet is giving away 2 tickets for Sunday (28th of June).
All you have to do to win these tickets is:

  1. Like the Facebook page of Het Bosch-Waterfront Restaurant and BloggerNet
  2. Follow me on Instagram or like my Facebook page.
  3. Leave a comment underneath the Facebook post of Bloggernet, saying why you should win.

The lucky hungry bird will be notified early next week.