Peanut Butter & Chocolate Banana Cake

This is an oldie, but it was in need of a picture update. I love banana cake. It is one of the easiest cakes to make. And so far this is my favorite version. You can make it in the traditional loaf pan, but this time I used a 22cm square baking dish and I only made half of the recipe. I wanted to decorate it with banana pieces cut into stars. I recommend that if you want to use the star bananas, to only do it if you are making half of the recipe or use a larger baking sheet to spread the batter more. As the stars are so small, they will probably end up sinking to the bottom if the cake is too high.

We are having some friends over for dinner tonight, so this will be our dessert. I’m also excited that at least one of our house projects is done. The background in this picture is the dinning table that Pieter and I made. We couldn’t find a table that we both loved, so we decided to make it ourselves. And I am so happy that we did because I love it and it is unique. We still need to make the bench with the same wood and then do some chair shopping for the remaining space.

Ingredients:

4 ripe bananas, mashed (it is important that they are ripe)

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

125gr butter, melted

2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

5 teaspoons of milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

½ cup of peanut butter

1/3 cup of cocoa powder

Extras:

Bananas for decoration (optional), I used a small star cookie cutter

 

Preheat the oven to 180/350F. Line an oven dish or loaf pan with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except for the peanut butter and cocoa powder.

Place the peanut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. This will make it easier to mix.

Divide the mixture into 2 bowls. Mix the peanut butter with half of the batter, and the cacao powder with the other half. Spoon the batters into the prepared mold, alternating flavors. Once you’ve spooned all of the batter. Use a knife to swirl the batter around and create a marble effect.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. If you make half the recipe like I did, It will take about 25 minutes to cook depending on the shape of your baking mold. When it’s done it will be golden and just use the toothpick method to double check if it is cooked through.

Allow the cake to cool down before slicing it.

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Chocolate Caramel & Puffed Quinoa Pecan Bars

If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I was making these bars yesterday. It’s been a while since I’ve made a new dessert bar, so it was due. These are decadent, not overly sweet and they have a hint of heat from the chipotle roasted pecans. And they are very easy to make, without any corn syrup or candy thermometer. I got some questions already of where I get chipotle powder in Amsterdam. I bought it at Tijn’s toko close to the Albert Cuyp market.

This recipe is for a 22cm baking square dish.

Ingredients:

For the roasted pecans:

180grs of pecans

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

2 tablespoon of maple syrup

3/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder (optional)

Pinch of salt

For the puffed quinoa crust:

2 cups of puffed quinoa

3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1 vanilla bean, or 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla essence

3 tablespoons of icing sugar

1 egg white, slightly beaten with a fork

For the chocolate caramel:

1 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of water

6 tablespoons of salted butter

1 1/2 cup of heavy cream

120gs of dark chocolate, chopped

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

 

Start by roasting the pecans.  Preheat your oven to 200C/400F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the pecans with the vegetable oil, maple syrup, chipotle powder and salt. Spread them in a single layer over your prepared baking sheet. Roast them for 15 minutes, stirring half way through.

To make the puffed quinoa crust, first melt the butter and preheat your oven to 180C/350F. If you are using a vanilla bean pod, add the vanilla beans to the melted butter and mix well so that it dissolves. Then add the vanilla butter to the puffed quinoa, icing sugar and egg white. Mix well. Line your baking mold with parchment paper, also cover the sides of the mold so that it is easier to remove the bars later on. Place the quinoa mixture into the prepared mold and use the back of a spoon to evenly distribute it and press to make it compact. Bake it for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool down.

To make the chocolate caramel, place the cream in a bowl and microwave it for 45 seconds. Then add the chopped chocolate, vanilla essence and salt.  Microwave it for 30 second intervals till the chocolate has melted. Mix in between. Set it aside.

In a large medium saucepan, add the sugar and water. Let it melt over medium heat until it becomes amber in color. Swirl the pan around from time to time. Then lower the heat to low and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Stir with a heat-proof spatula until all the butter has melted. Then add the chocolate cream that you made before. Stir constantly over low heat for 10 minutes until it becomes a thick sauce, like fudge. Then turn off the heat and keep stirring for 2 minutes to allow it to cool down and become thicker.

Carefully pour the chocolate caramel evenly over the quinoa crust. Swirl it around so that it covers the edges. Carefully place the pecans on top in a single layer. Let it sit in the fridge to set for at least 5 hours.

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I’d like to take it out before eating since I prefer them when they are at room temperature and the caramel is chewier.

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 my Instagram stories.

 

Double Banana Rolls with Dulce de Leche

We were so busy with the building of the extension of our apartment (which will still take some time till it is finished) that I didn’t have much time to write, but finally here is the first recipe of the year. If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I was working on a dough recipe.

My first try was a complete mess and the second one was too dry. This version is the one I finally liked. It has crushed banana chips in the filling so it also gives it a bit of a crunch, and mashed banana in the dough. They are a bit sticky because of the dulce de leche, but messy is not always bad. Happy weekend!

This recipe makes about 8-10 rolls.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 ripe banana, mashed (It is important that the banana is ripe, the riper the better)

3 ½ cups of self-rising flour

7grs of dried yeast

½ cup of lukewarm milk

½ teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

¼ cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 egg

For the filling:

About 250grs of dulce de leche, at room temperature or lukewarm so it is easier to spread

2 cups of banana chips, turned into crumbs using a food processor

Extra:

Egg wash

 

Place the lukewarm milk and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand, it will just take you 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.

About 10 minutes before the hour for the rise is up, preheat your oven to 180C-350F. You can bake the rolls in an oven dish, but this time I wanted to make them individual so I used a muffin tin. I used parchment paper as muffin liners (I just cut it into squares).

Once the dough is done rising for 1 hour, place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle. Slice off the uneven edges. Then carefully spread the dulce de leche all over the dough. Make sure that the dulce de leche is spreadable (you can always warm it up slightly in the microwave). Sprinkle the banana chip crumbs evenly over the dulce de leche. Roll it tight lengthwise. Cut the uneven edges and discard of them. Now that you have an even rolled dough, slice it into about 8-10 even pieces. Make sure that they are not too big if you are using a muffin tin, as they still need space to rise while baking.

Place the rolls in the muffin tin lined with parchment paper or muffin liners. Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them for about 20 minutes until golden.

They are best when eaten right out of the oven. 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 my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

 

 

Orange & Pink Peppercorn Rolls with Orange Glaze and Pomegranate Seeds

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Holiday season is around the corner and with that comes family and friend gatherings. These rolls are great for dessert or brunch, and are perfect for sharing. I mixed the pink peppercorns, sugar and orange zest in the food processor. This allows the natural oils in the orange zest to come out and the whole pink peppercorns to be crushed. This recipe is very aromatic and the pink peppercorns add a very subtle heat and peppery taste. The tartness of the pomegranate seeds are there to balance the sweetness in the glaze, as well as to add a more festive feel to it. We just had a couple of these and will probably finish the rest during movie night later today.

This recipe makes about 11 small rolls.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

7 grs of dry yeast

1 cup of warm milk

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the filling:

1 cup of sugar

Zest of 3 oranges

1 tablespoon of pink peppercorns

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

3 tablespoons of melted butter

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

For the glaze:

2 cups of icing sugar

Fresh orange juice (about 1 orange), without pulp

Extra:

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

 

Place the warm milk and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients for the dough to the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand.

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, lightly butter the oven dish in which you are going to bake the rolls. To make filling, place the sugar, orange zest, pink peppercorns and cinnamon in the food processor. Pulse for a couple of minutes until the peppercorns are crushed. Transfer the sugar to a small bowl. Have the butter already melted and ready with a brush.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle. Then brush the top of the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly on top. Roll it tight lengthwise. Cut the uneven edges and discard of them. Now that you have an even rolled dough, cut it into about 11 even pieces. Place the pieces on the prepared oven dish, leaving some space in between. Brush a large piece of plastic wrap with vegetable oil. Cover the rolls with the greased side down. Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 or 15 minutes before the timer is up for the second rise, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, remove the plastic wrap from the oven dish, brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them for about 23-25 minutes until golden.

Once the rolls are baked, start making the glaze. Place the icing sugar in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the orange juice while whisking until the glaze becomes pourable. Once the glaze is of your desired consistency, just pour it on top of the rolls. Add some pomegranate seeds. They are best when served right away while they are still warm. 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 my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Brie & Butternut Squash Chocolate Cake

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I’ve been teasing you guys with this cake on Instagram for over a week now. I made it for the watch giveaway and for a small tea party that I hosted for some blogger friends. I know that the initial thought of brie, squash and chocolate might sound a bit weird, but it works. Think of it as a kind of cheesecake. I keep it in the fridge because of the cheese, but I prefer to eat it at room temperature. So you can just take it out 20-30 minutes before serving if you have time. I prefer it this way because you can taste the spices a bit better. It’s a very simple but rich fall cake.

This recipe is for a 19cm cake mold.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate part:

120grs of dark chocolate, chopped

57grs of butter

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

Pinch of salt

1 ½ teaspoons of ginger powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of cardamom powder

For the brie & butternut squash part:

100grs of brie, weighted without the rind

1/3 cup of butternut squash puree

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, use honey instead)

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

For the butternut squash puree, just chop 1 small butternut squash and place it on a microwave safe bowl. Cover it tight with plastic film and microwave it for about 7-10 minutes, till it becomes soft.  Let it cool down. You can do this the day before and just keep it in the fridge.

Line the bottom of your cake mold with parchment paper. Grease and flour the edges of the mold.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it has completely melted. Then allow it to cool down for a few minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

While the chocolate-butter mixture is cooling down, start making the brie-butternut squash part. Place the brie in a bowl and microwave it for about 1 minute until it becomes very soft and melts a bit. Then add the butternut squash puree and blend it until smooth. Then add the ginger syrup, flour, powdered sugar, ginger and cinnamon powder. Blend it again. Finally add the egg yolk and blend until everything is well combined. Set it aside.

Then continue making the chocolate part. Place eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk until well combined. Then slowly whisk in the cooled down chocolate-butter mixture. Then add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger powder, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the butternut and chocolate mixture, to make the top swirl.

Pour the butternut mixture into the bowl of the chocolate mixture. With a spatula fold the mixture in. Then carefully pour it into the prepared cake mold.

Use a spoon to drizzle the reserved chocolate mixture over the top. Then drizzle the remaining butternut squash part. Using the back of a spoon of knife, swirl it around a bit.

Bake it for 25 minutes. Then set it aside to cool down in the mold.

Once the cake has cooled down, carefully remove it from the mold. Because of the cheese, store it in the fridge. 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 my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Tiramisu Ice Cream Popsicles

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Coffee desserts are the best, often because I use them as an excuse to have them for breakfast. I mean, gotta have my coffee in the morning! One way or another! This time, I made a coffee ice cream and mascarpone/vanilla cream. And froze them in popsicle molds. Drizzle them with dark chocolate and sprinkled them with crushed ladyfingers. A great way to cool down this summer.

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This recipe makes 10 popsicles.

Ingredients:

For the ice cream:

1 cup of cream

1 ½ cups of milk

2 egg yolks

½ cup of sugar

2 shots of espresso

For the mascarpone cream:

100gr of mascarpone, at room temperature

1 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

½ cup of whipping cream

2 tablespoons of sugar

Extras:

100grs of dark chocolate, melted

5 lady fingers, crushed

 

Start by making the ice cream base. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

Place the milk, cream and espresso in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, take it off the heat. Slowly pour it into the yolk mixture while whisking. Then transfer it back to the saucepan over medium heat. Stir for about 5 minutes until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. You know it’s ready when you draw a line with your finger on the back of a spoon and it stays. Allow it to cool down to room temperature and then place it in the fridge till it is cold.

Freeze it in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I churned it for a shorter time than I would normally do since it is easier to fill the popsicle molds if the ice cream is a bit softer.

While the ice cream is churning, start to make the mascarpone cream. Whisk the mascarpone with the sugar and vanilla until everything is well combined. Then add the cream and whisk until you get soft peaks. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to use.

Once the ice cream is ready, carefully fill the popsicle molds, leaving about 1/4 of space left for the mascarpone cream. Then top the molds with the mascarpone cream. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

The next day, remove the popsicles from the mold using a bit of warm water. Drizzle with some melted dark chocolate and then quickly sprinkle some of the crushed lady fingers. 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 my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Octopus Tacos with Sweet Peppers & Kalamata Olives Salsa

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It’s been a while since I posted a new recipe for Taco Tuesday and I’ve had this one in mind for over a month now. Octopus is so delicious, and I definitely don’t eat it often enough.  I boiled it first. Then I pan-fried it in some olive oil with some garlic, parsley and lemon juice. A Mediterranean style kinda tacos. We are finally moving to our new apartment this weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

12 small tortillas

50grs of lamb’s lettuce of watercress

For the octopus:

1 medium octopus (about 1.1 kilo) cleaned

For boiling:

1 bay leave

1 lemon cut in half

1 teaspoon of salt

For the pan:

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoon of olive oil

Handful of chopped parsley

Juice of half a lemon

Salt

Pepper

For the salsa:

100grs of pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped

2 sweet peppers, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Boil some water with 1 teaspoon of salt, the lemon cut in half and the bay leave. Once the water is boiling, submerge only the tentacles in the water for a few seconds. The tentacles will start to curl up. Do this 3 times. Then completely submerge the whole octopus in the water and cover it with a lid. Let it cook until it is tender. This octopus took 40 minutes. To check when it’s done, just pierce it with a knife (if it goes easily, it’s done) or slice off a piece and try it.

Remove the octopus from the pot and let it cool down.

In the meanwhile, make the salsa. Just mix the Kalamata olives, sweet peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix it well and set it aside.

Cut off the head and the beak from the octopus and pat it dry with some paper towels.

Chop it into bite size pieces.

Heat up the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. If your pan is small, fry the octopus in 2 batches. Fry it for 2 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for 1 more minute will stirring to prevent the garlic from burning. Take it off the heat and add the lemon juice and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Warm up the tortilla in a pan.

Serve the octopus right away with the lamb’s lettuce and salsa. 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.

Salted Chocolate Ganache Tart with Coconut Macaroon Crust

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I made this tart a couple of weeks ago for a friend of mine that came over. It is very easy to assemble. It has a chewy coconut macaroon crust, a rich chocolate ganache filling and a sprinkle of sea salt adds the final touch. For the crust, I used coconut condensed milk for extra coconut flavor. If you can’t find it, just use regular condensed milk.

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This recipe is for a 35x11cm tart mold, preferably with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the coconut macaroon crust:

1 egg white

2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup of coconut condensed milk (you can also use regular condensed milk)

Pinch of salt

For the filling:

320ml of whipping cream

225grs of dark chocolate, chopped

30grs of salted butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Extras:

Sea salt for sprinkling over the tart

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and grease your mold with a bit of vegetable oil.

Start by making the crust. Place egg white, condensed milk, shredded coconut and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Then press it into the bottom of your prepared baking mold. Try to make the crust as even as possible. I used the back of a spoon to press it into the mold.

Bake it for about 13 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Be careful that the edges don’t burn. Allow it to cool down completely.

Once the crust is cold, start to make the ganache filing. Place the cream and vanilla essence in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the cream starts to simmer, turn off the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and butter to the cream. Stir until everything has melted. Then pass it through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps.

Carefully pour the ganache over the crust. Place it in the fridge to set for at least four hours or better overnight.

Sprinkle some sea salt before serving. Enjoy!

Keep it stored in the fridge.

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.

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!

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

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.

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