It’s true what they say: sometimes the smallest things can win your heart the fastest. I am talking about cake pops. I mean, everything about the entire concept is completely amazing – a tiny cake on a lollipop stick! Needless to say, I can’t get enough. Weirdly though, and to my great personal dismay, they haven’t quite caught on in Germany yet. Which is a shame. Hopefully this might change. In the meantime, I took this as an opportunity to create my own by adding all my favorite ingredients: chocolate, hazelnuts and Baileys – plus a marzipan cover. It is a real crowd-pleaser at parties, a picnic with friends or just because the world needs more sweetness. This recipe makes 48 cake pops and is made using a cake pop maker.
- ¾ cups (150 grams) of sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 (150 grams) of soft butter
- 1 1/5 (150 grams) of all-purpose-flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 100 ml of Bailey’s
- 3-4 generous tablespoons of cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla flavor
- 1 cup (100 grams) of ground hazelnuts
- 200 grams of (green) marzipan
- 100 grams of chocolate melts
- Optional: golden glitter
Whisk the sugar, eggs and butter for approximately 3 minutes until creamy. Afterwards, mix in the flour and baking powder. Up until this point, the added ingredients are my general base recipe for any cake pops I bake with my cake pop maker. Continue by whisking the Bailey’s, cacao powder, vanilla flavor and hazelnuts into the cake batter.
Now everything is ready for the next step. Set up your cake pop maker and, once it has reached its baking temperature, fill the batter in the cake pop holes to the top. You will need approximately 1 tablespoon of batter per reservoir. Make sure not to overfill the molds, as otherwise you could end up with a Saturn ring-style corona around your cake pops. However, also don’t be too stingy with the dough or you could make weirdly–shaped, deflated balls. The baking should take approximately 5 minutes until the balls are done. To get them out of the holes, it can be helpful to use a teaspoon to scoop them out with. After all your cake pops are done, wait till they have cooled down enough to start with the next step: the chocolate coating.
Melt the chocolate and then dip about half of the cake pop into the melt. Let it rest to dry. While the chocolate is drying, roll out the marzipan and cut out 1.5 inch (ca. 3.5 centimeters) circles. Wrap the marzipan circles around half of your cake pop and – if you happen to have some at home – sprinkle a little bit of golden glitter on top.
Ice cream is one of those delicious treats that people rarely make at home, even though it isn’t rocket science and gives you the freedom to have exactly the flavors you like. One of the more obscure ice cream champions might be avocado flavor. I never saw it in a store or ice cream parlor, even though it is so tasty and smooth.
- 2 large or 3 medium-sized ripe avocados
- ½ cup (120 ml) of whole milk
- 1 2/3 cups (400 ml) of heavy cream
- ½ cup of honey
- 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon
- ½ cup of dark chocolate chunks (ideally one with 75-80% cacao)
Place the peeled avocados, honey, milk, heavy cream and lemon juice in a blender and blend the ingredients until smooth. Then pour the cream into a container. The lemon juice acts as a preservative and ensures the avocado doesn’t go brown. I recommend to use honey rather than sugar, as this allows the sweetness to truly penetrate the entire mixture. Since the cream is cooled down rather than heated up, the sugar doesn’t melt and can thus not distribute evenly. The last step before the freezer: whisking in the chocolate bits. Stir the mix thoroughly so that the chocolate is evenly distributed. The higher the cacao content of your chocolate, the better aka healthier. Let your ice cream chill in the freezer for 3 hours or until it has fully solidified. Apart from the freezing part, this dessert should take you no longer than 10 minutes to prepare.
What’s better than chocolate? More chocolate. And while there are certainly times when being stingy is a virtue, when it comes to baking chocolate cupcakes, it is not one of those times. This recipe adheres to the saying of “all good things come in threes”. So not only does this mini cake have a chocolate base and a chocolate frosting, it also has a nougat chocolate core. What I like about this cupcake is the surprise effect of the frosting. Since it’s done with white chocolate, it appears to be a typical vanilla or cream cheese frosting, while it actually has a smooth, creamy chocolate flavor.
This recipes makes 12 cupcakes.
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (115 grams) of butter
- ¾ cup (150 grams) of sugar
- 1,5 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
- ¼ cup (85 grams) of sour cream
- 1 ¼ cup (150 grams) of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons of cacao
- 3,5 ounces (100 grams) of nougat
- 5,4 ounces (150 grams) grated white chocolate
- 7 ounces (200 grams) of cream cheese
- ¾ cup (100 grams) of powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup (75 grams) of soft butter
- 36 mocha chocolate beans
I always start my cupcake baking with the frosting. Thereby I ensure that the “crown” of my mini-cakes has the perfect chill and stiffness. Start by melting the white chocolate in a water bath or the microwave. Wisk the butter until frothy and then add the melted chocolate and the powdered sugar. Once everything blended nicely, mix in the cream cheese. Place the frosting in the fridge to allow it to chill.
Now we can start with our cupcakes. Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a muffin baking tray with paper muffin forms. As for the dough, start by melting the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar in a pot at low temperature. Make sure it doesn’t get to hot as we just want to melt the ingredients without accidently making caramel. Pour the mix into a big bowl and add the eggs. When they are blended in, dissolve the cacao powder in a small glass with 2 tablespoons of hot water and then add it to the bowl. Now whisk in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and sour cream until the mixture is smooth. Pour the dough into the muffin paperforms (approx. 2 to max 3 tablespoons per cupcake). Place the tray in the oven and bake it for a total of 20 minutes. Once the cakes are peacefully baking in the oven, cut the nougat in 12 even squares. After 5-7 minutes place one nougat dices on each cake.
When the baking process is finished, let the cupcakes cool down for 30 minutes. Meanwhile fill the pre-prepared frosting in an icing bag. Generously apply the frosting on the cupcakes. Add a few mocha chocolate beans on top.
Give yourself a healthy boost with this green power smoothie. Restore your body’s vitamin and minerals storage. The kale contributes and partially exceeds your daily value of Vitamin A, B6, C and K as well as folate and manganese. Moreover the spinach will add vitamin A, C and K, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron and folate. With the vitamin C push of the freshly squeezed lemon, the vitamin B6 provided by the banana, the vitamins and good fats of the avocado and the Vitamin B12 and E of the wheatgrass, this smoothie is a liquid health enhancer. Fiber and thus substance is added thanks to the oats. This recipe makes 2 generous servings.
- 2 cups (475 ml) of oat milk
- ½ cup of overnight oats
- 1 avocado
- 1 freshly squeezed lemon
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon of wheatgrass
- 2 handful of spinach
- 2 handful of kale
- 1 handful of ice cubes
Throw all the ingredients in a blender and mix it till the drink has a smooth, even texture.
Tis the season… One of the best things about the most magical time of the year are Christmas cookies. Nothing beats a cozy afternoon when the snow is falling outside your window and you enjoy wonderful moments with your loved ones nibbling on cookies and drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows. What makes me most happy is that my cookies are stored in a big acorn cookie jar which we got on our most recent trip to the US. So not only is it home to some tasty treats, it also makes me think about to the great memories we made.
This cookie recipe consists of two types of nuts and chocolate, but no flour. You will get a batch of 25 cookies.
- 2 egg whites
- 2/3 cup (150 grams) of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
- ¼ cup (50 grams) of chocolate shavings
- ½ cup (100 grams) of ground hazelnuts
- ½ cup (100 grams) of ground almonds
- ¼ cup (50 grams) of melted chocolate for dipping
Start by beating the egg white until it is stiff. Then add sugar and vanilla sugar and blend it in, while continuing to stir it with an electric mixer. Afterwards let the chocolate shavings join the mix and slowly add the ground hazelnuts and almonds. Now your dough is basically done. Use your hands to form a roll about 5 centimeters or 1,5 inches wide. Wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge or a couple of hours. Thereby you allow the dough to harden, to it is easier to cut off your cookies slices. Each cookie should ideally be 5-7 millimeters thick. Place them on a backing tray laid out with backing paper and back bake them for about 12 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius/ 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the cookies are out of the oven, melt the chocolate. Meanwhile the cookies have time to cool down a bit. Dip them halfway in the chocolate and let them dry.
The American Thanksgiving is one of the most wonderful holidays. You gather around a dinner table full of delicious food with your family or friends. You chat, you drink, you eat, you are having a wonderful time. You think about all the positive that happened over the last year and be grateful. Plus thanksgiving sort of is the kick starter for the Christmas season. Hence the Sunday after Thanksgiving is usually the day, when we get our Christmas tree.
One of the classic, essential Thanksgiving side dishes – at least for me – is pumpkin pie. And while they are usually pretty delicious, I prefer them a little less sweet and am not really a fan of ginger, so I came up with my own recipe, which I want to share with you guys today.
- Ready-made short crust pastry
- 30 ounces (850 grams) of pumpkin puree
- 2/3 cup of milk
- 3 eggs
- 4 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
- 1½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground garlic
You read that right – ready-made crust. I am usually too lazy to also make a crust from scratch, as I believe that a short crust pastry from the store is as tasty as a homemade one. Plus, the filling is the star anyways. The prep work for this one is fairly easy. You just mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, till everything is blended together nicely. Then you spread out the crust pie in a buttered 12-inch form. Fill it with our pumpkin mix and cook it in the oven at 165 degrees Celsius (330 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour. Let it cool down for 30 to 45 minutes and serve it with whipped cream and a smile. Enjoy!
P.S. if you feel like making the crust from scratch, you would need 75 gr of sugar, 150 gr of cold butter, 225 gr flour, 1 egg, a pinch of salt. Mix all the ingredients untill you have a smooth dough. Let the dough rest in the fridge for approx. 20 minutes. Roll out the dough using a bit of flour to make sure it does not stick to the surface. Place and spread out the dough in a 12-inch form.
Scones are a wonderful treat. Whether you serve them as an afternoon snack or have them for lunch, they are simply amazingly tasty. And so diverse, as you can have them as a sweet or savory option and no matter which one you choose, you will always be happy. Each of the two options here makes 8 scones.
Ingredients for traditional scones
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (55 grams) of cold butter
- 5 teaspoons of backing powder
- 2/3 cup (150 ml) of milk
- 1 pinch of salt
- Mix of 1 egg yolk with 1-2 tablespoons of milk to spread on scones before baking
Ingredients for cheese scones
- 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) of cold butter
- 5 teaspoons of baking powder
- ½ cup (100 ml) of milk
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon of mustard
- ¼ cup (60 grams) of sharp cheddar
- Mix of 1 egg yolk with 1-2 tablespoons of milk to spread on scones before baking
Pre-heat the oven to 180° C/350° F. Mix all the ingredients until your dough is well-blended – for the cheese scones make sure you first add everything except the cheese, and only knead it in last. Then roll out your dough until it is about 2 cm (0.8”) thick. Since I don’t own a pastry cutter, I use a normal water glass to cut out my scones so they get the typical round form. If you are less concerned with a picture-perfect look, simply cutting the dough with a knife into squares or triangles is absolutely fine as well. Place your scones on baking paper and spread your yolk-milk mix on top. Let them bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. Now your scones should have a golden brown color and be nicely puffed.
Serve them with whipped or clotted cream and strawberry jam (for a recipe for a homemade version, click here). The cheese version is super tasty combined with a chutney or simply with a bit of butter.
It is no miracle that strawberry jam is so incredibly popular around the globe. Hardly anything tastes so much like summer like this. So I decided, I will use the opportunity that you can currently pick fresh strawberries on the fields near Cologne and make a new batch of my favorite homemade jam. I love making my own jam, as you can regulate the amount of sugar and the taste is so much more intense. Another plus: have you ever noticed the amount of ingredients listed on an average strawberry jam jar? Incredible. I adhere to the „less is more“ principle with this simple recipe with a mere 3 ingredients. They are really all you need. The strawberry is the queen, let her shine by not drawing too much attention to a broad variety of things that are supposedly needed to make jam taste good and last longer.
- 2 pounds (500 grams) of strawberries
- 1 cup (250 grams) of canning sugar
- ½ lemon (make sure you use an organic one)
- add a bit of vanilla if you like
After thoroughly washing the strawberries, cut them into smaller chunk and make sure to remove all stems. Place them in a pot and add canned sugar (and vanilla, if you like). Rinse the lemon well and grate some peel of ½ lemon. Then squeeze it and add the juice and the peel to the strawberries and the sugar. Let everything simmer medium heat for one hour (give or take). Make sure to regularly stir. Then let the jam cook on high temperature of approx. 5 minutes until a foam forms on top. Scoop the foam out of the pot and set aside (it won’t be used for the jam itself, though some people like to use it for baking).
After this, you will face a difficult choice: to purify or not to purify. If you prefer to remind yourself that „yes“ this is a real fruit and you like a few fruit bits in your jam, you can skip the next step. If you are more in the line of thinking „the smoother, the better“, pour the jam in a blender. Congratulations, you made your own jam. Now all that’s left for you to do is to fill it into jars. To make sure, the jars are clean and perfectly hygienic, put them in the dish washer beforehand and fill them with you jam shortly after the washing cycle ended, when the glass is still warm. If you store your jam at a cool, darker spot, it can be conserved like this for up to 2 years. Pro tip: this is also a perfect present idea. I always give away something homemade for Christmas for example. 2015 it was this strawberry jam.
Macarons are the queens of sweet treats. A little taste of heaven. They make for the perfect dessert, as they are an ideal union of the slightly crunchy and soft cream textures/flavors. Whenever I eat one, it reminds me of my college year abroad in France. We all know the standard version with chocolate ganache, vanilla, raspberry, you name it. But how about Oreos? After all, they are sort of following a similar “design.” I asked myself this precise question and came to the conclusion that this is something I should definitely get onto. So this is my take on Oreo macarons. This recipe makes approx. 35 macarons.
- 4 medium-sized egg whites
- 20 Oreo cookies
- 1 ¼ cups (255 grams) of powdered sugar
- 1 cup (110 grams) of almond flour/grounded almonds
- ¼ teaspoon of either cream de tartar or baking powder
- 1 cup (200 grams) of sugar
- 60 grams of butter
- 7,5 ounces (200 grams) of cream cheese
Beat the egg white until stiff, then add the ¼ cup (55grams) powdered sugar through a sieve and mix in the baking powder or cream of tartar. Then mix the sugar with the almond flour in a separate bowl until no large chunks are left. Add the sugar-almond mixture to the egg white. Then separate the Oreo cookie shells and scrape out the filling. Ground the Oreo shells and add them to your base mix. Now we are all set.
To make sure the macarons are all more or less the same size and have a very even round form, I highly recommend getting a silicone macaron sheet (like this, if you are in Germany or this if you are in the US). Place about ½ to 1 teaspoon on each of the round circles of the mat. Bake them in the oven at 290 degrees Fahrenheit / 145 degrees Celsius for approx. 15 min.
While the first batch of macaron shells is in the oven, we have plenty of time to prepare our filling. Mix the original Oreo cookie filing with the butter (make sure it is at room temperature). Once blended in, mix in the cream cheese and then sieve in the remaining powdered sugar.
Keep the filling in the fridge until the shells have cooled down. Once that is the case, spread 1 teaspoon of the cream onto a shell and cover it up with another. And voilà… your first macaron is now ready! Whether you indulge right away or keep them in the fridge for a while is down to the strength of your mental capacities and will power. Mine is weak. But then again a little quality testing doesn’t hurt, right?
We all want to eat healthy, but might crave a sweet treat after a workout or just because. Wouldn’t it be awesome if this moment of indulgence could still be healthy? The good news is: it can. Even with something as naughty as peanut butter cups. Here is how. The recipe below is good for ten peanut butter cups.
- 6 scoops / 150 grams of chocolate-flavored protein powder (see product recommendation below)
- 6 tablespoons / 80 grams of unrefined coconut oil
- 6 ounces / 170ml of water
- 6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
Mix the protein powder, coconut butter and water in a bowl and place half of it evenly into 6 silicone cupcake baking forms. Use silicone ones, as it makes the job of getting the cups out of their form much easier. Let it chill in the freezer for 10 minutes, till the mixture has hardened. Then spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter onto each of the cups as a second layer. Place it in the freezer again for another 10 minutes. Afterwards, fill the remaining half of the protein powder mix into the cups to create the top layer. Let it rest in the freezer for approximately 45 minutes. Congratulations, your protein peanut butter cups are now ready to be served! Any treats that you want to keep for later should remain stored in the freezer. So yes, sadly this probably wouldn’t work as a ‘take to work’ snack, as the cups might melt on the way, but they are just perfect for an evening treat at home on your porch or balcony.
A last few words regarding the protein powder. We always use the products of Myprotein, simply because they are one of the few brands that do not overload their products with sugar. This is a very important aspect. Plus, they don’t compromise on taste. So you get yourself set up for a win-win-situation with this one. We usually use the stevia one, but I can also highly recommend the peanut butter chocolate flavor they offer.
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