[December 17] Chai cake

Fräulein Zebra Xmas

 

Those days before christmas can be really stressful and crazy. So let’s take a break together and drink a cup of coffee – I even brought some cake with me:

 

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Chai Cake

 

In our home christmas time wouldn’t be the same without spice cake. This recipe is as yummy as the classic but with a modern twist. So bring on the chai, chocolate and honey & start baking!

 

Chai Cake

  • 250g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g sugar
  • 40g honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 250g flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g chilled semisweet chocolate
  • 150ml + 2 tbsp strong chai tea
  • 125g powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 360°F (fan-forced). Separate eggs, beat egg white until stiff. Whip up butter, egg yolks, sugar, honey and cinnamon. Mix and sift flour and baking powder. Grate chocolate. Add everything to the butter mix. Add tea and stirr well, then fold in the beaten egg whites.

Grease and flour a 30x40cm baking pan. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes and let cool completely. Mix powdered sugar and 2 tbsp of chai tea to make the icing. Drizzle onto the cooled cake. Let the icing dry, then cut the cake into little squares and serve!

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Believe me, this cake will be gone in no time at all! What is your “Must-Bake” during the holiday season?

Take care & HAPPY BAKING!

xo Kristin

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[December 14th] Speculoos Macarons

Fräulein Zebra Xmas

Happy 3rd Sunday of Advent!

Today there’s a super sweet and yumm surprise waiting for you… let have a look:

Speculoos Macarons

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Hmmm… don’t they look gorgeous?

 

Speculoos Macarons

makes about 25 

  • 45g ground blanched almonds
  • 80g powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons speculoos spice
  • 1 egg white (à 36g)
  • 10g sugar
  • brown foodcoloring
  • 50g melted milk chocolate
  • 60g soft butter
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • 60ml cream
  • 1-2 drops vanillaextract
  • 1/2 teaspoon speculoos spice (or 1 tbsp of speculoos spread)
  • 1 pinch of salt

Mix almonds and powdered sugar. Put the mix in a kitchen grinder and and grind until it’s very smooth. Add speculoos spice and set aside.

Beat the egg white for 10-20 seconds, then add the sugar and beat until it’s very stiff. Use the foodcoloring to dye the whipped egg white in a light brown shade. Now add one third of the almond mix and gently fold in. Repeat with the other 2 parts of the mix until you have a sticky, not too runny batter.

Prepare a sheet of baking paper. Fill batter into a disposeable piping bag, then cut off the tip and pipe little circles (about 2 cm ø) onto the paper. Let the macarons dry for 20 minutes, while you wait it’s time to preaheat the oven (320°F / 290° F when you use an fan-forced oven). Carefully pull the baking paper onto a baking tray and bake for 12-14 minutes. Pull the paper off the tray and onto a cold surfce and let the Macarons cool there.

To make the frosting you have to beat the butter for about a minute. Add the powdered sugar and the melted chocolate and beat for another 2 minutes. Then add the cream, vanilla extract, salt and speculoos spice and mix for one minute. Fill into a piping bag and pipe onto half of the macaron shells. Put on the top halves.

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Something sweet for your tongue and your eye… this is such a perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday so close to Christmas.

 

Enjoy the day & HAPPY BAKING!

xo Kristin

[December 8th] Alphabet biscuits

Fräulein Zebra Xmas

I wish you a happy Monday!

To make the day (and the whole week) at least as sweet as you are I have a great recipe for you:

 

Alphabet biscuits

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I loved them when I was growing up…  I remember searching the whole box just to find the one letter that I needed to finish writing my name.

These are super crunchy and chocolatey and pretty easy to make.

Sounds awesome, right?

 

Alphabet biscuits

makes about 120

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 150g flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat egg whites and salt until it starts to get stiff. Slowly add sugar and vanilla sugar and go on whipping until it’s really firm and the sugar dissolved (about 3 minutes). Mix flour, cocoa, cardamom and cinnamon, sift onto the egg white and fold in carefully.

Cover serveral baking trays with parchment paper. Spoon the batter into a plastic piping bag and cut off a little tip. Now pipe the letters and let it sit for 15 minutes.

While you wait it’s time to heat up the oven to 350°F.

Bake each tray at a time for about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before serving.

 

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Now it’s your turn to make these and send lovely messages!

Stay sweet & HAPPY BAKING!

xo Kristin

[December 7th] Cake in a jar

Fräulein Zebra Xmas

Hey Sweeties!

Let’s open the 7th door of the zebratastic Advent Calendar together:

Marble Cake in a jar with pears and chocolate

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Don’t you think it’s a perfect idea to preserve cakes in a jar so you always have a little portion of cake ready whenever you crave it? Just take a spoon and dig in!

That’s why I’m sharing one of theses recipes with you:

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Pear & Chocolate Marble Cake in a Jar

makes about 8 little jars (à 125ml)

  • 200g soft butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 75g corn starch
  • 3 teaspoons cocoapowder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 50g chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 2 pears
  • ~ 8 clean, little jars

Butter the insides of the jars and dust them with flour. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whip butter and sugar until creamy, then add the eggs one at a time. Mix flour and starch, sift onto the egg mix and fold in. Divide batter into 2 portions.

Mix one half with cocoapowder and milk, then add the chocolate chunks. For the second batter you have to peel and cut the pears into little pieces. Add to the white batter and mix well.

Now spoon the batter into the jars – alternating between dark and white batter – but only fill them about halfway. Use a little fork to swirl the batter, but do not overmix.

Put the jars in the oven and bake them for 35 minutes (but test them with a skewer before you take them out of the oven – when the skewer comes out clean the cake is completely cooked). Take the jars out of the oven and immediately screw the lid on. Let them cool and store in a cold place – that way they will keep for up to 4 weeks!

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Did you ever bake a cake in a jar? What would you like to try?

 

Have a lovely sunday & HAPPY BAKING!

xo Kristin

[December 3rd] Turtle Cookies & a great idea for all Cookie Lovers

Fräulein Zebra Xmas

Don’t worry – no animals were harmed while making these cookies! From the outside they resemble the turtle shell but inside they taste like chocolate, nuts and caramel – can it get any better than that?!

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Turtle Cookies

makes about 60 cookies

  • 140g flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 115g butter
  • 130g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 75g grinded hazelnuts
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 20 soft caramels
  • 4 tbsp cream
  • 50g semisweet chocolate

Separate egg. Mix flour, cocoa powder and salt. Use another bowl to whip up the butter and sugar, then add the egg yolk and milk. Eventually add the flour mix and form a smooth dough. Place in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix egg white and 4 tbsp of water. Combine hazelnuts and almonds in a little bowl. Form the dough into little balls, dip them into the eggwash and then roll them in the nut mix. Put on a baking tray lined with baking paper and use a little measuring spoon or something similar to make a dent in the middle of the cookies. Bake for 12 minutes – maybe you have to push the dents down again imediately after baking. Let cookies cool completely.

Mix caramels and cream in a little bowl and mircowave – you can also heat it up on the stove – until you have a creamy sauce. Fill caramel sauce into the dents and allow to cool.

Put the chocolate in a zip lock bag and submerge the bag in hot water. Wait till the chocolate is melted, then cut off a little tip and decorate the cookies.

 

Adapted from this recipe.

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That is exactly my type of cookie!! In case you’re searching me – I’m in cookie heaven! What’s your favorite cookie?

 

Lastly I want to tell you something about a great thing that found its way into my advent rituals: The cookie afternoon. Invite all your family and friends: Everybody bakes a big batch of their favorite cookie and packs lots of little bags. Then you take them with you and meet somewhere for coffee. In the end you exchange the cookie bags and you have so many different types of cookies to make you happy!

I love the idea of this because it kinda gives you a kickstart into the christmas time and you get to try so many new recipes you might have never found.

Here are a couple of photos of our cookie afternoon this year:

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Maybe you like the idea, too?

Take care & HAPPY BAKING!

xo Kristin

[December 1st] A little Cookie House

Let’s get it starteeeeeeed!

Fräulein Zebra Xmas

Welcome on board – this is where the zebratastic Advent Calendar will take place.

I hope you’re ready?! Okay… let’s open the first door:

 

A snowy little house made of cookies and other sweets!

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There are no signs of snow outside that means we have to move our Winter Wonder Land indoors so we can dream of long walks in the freshly fallen snow and all the shiny ice crystals falling from the sky.

I guess we should hurry up – we have loads to do today!

Cookie House

makes 1 house

  • 250g flour
  • 75g very finely grated hazelnuts
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g butter
  • 15 blue hard candies (without fillings)
  • 1 egg white
  • 200g powdered sugar
  • Shredded coconut
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Marshmallows
  • Raffaelo
  • Fondant or marzipan
  • Powdered sugar

Mix flour, hazelnuts, sugar, salt & vanilla sugar. Add egg and butter and knead until a smooth dough forms. Wrap in foil and refigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap the hard candy and grind it until you have a fine powder. Set aside.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface, then use this template (Kekshäuschen Schnittmuster) to cut out all the parts. Carefully transfer them to a baking tray lined with waxpaper. Now you can cut out windows depending on how many you want to have. Then put a littlle of the powdered candy into the window holes. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Check after about 5 minutes if you need to add a little more candy to fill some little holes.

Repeat this process until you have all the parts & let all the cookies cool completely.

Beat the egg whites untill they’re stiff, then add the powdered sugar to make the icing. Put the icing in a piping bag and cut off a little tip. Start with the outer walls and let them dry for a couple of minutes after you glued them together. While you’re waiting mix a little icing with a bit of water to thin it. Brush it on the roof parts, sprinkle them with shredded coconut and let it dry.

Once those parts are dry you can glue them on top of the walls. Please notice that you have to be a bit patient here because it takes a while for the icing to set and hold the roof. Then you can assemble the chimney and put it on the roof.

Carefully cut the pretzel sticks in half and put them on the windows as frames. You can also add a little icing beneath the windows as snowbanks. Use scissors to cut the edges of a marshmallow, gently pull it in the shape of a cloud and slightly brown it with a bunsen burner for the kitchen. Put on top of the chimney.

If you still have some patience left you can build fences out of pretzel sticks and use little balls of fondant to make them stand around the house. Or how about building a snowman out of Raffaelos?

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The decoration is all up to you and your fantasy! So get creative!

Once you built the house you can put an electric light in there and it will look like a cozy fire burning in the fireplace.

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How would you decorate your cookie house? Don’t you think it would be fun to make one?

 

Enjoy the recipe & HAPPY BAKING!

xo Kristin