A kuchen is a cake-like dessert, very similar to a cheesecake, that has a soft dough crust and a topping of custard or cheese that contains berries or other fruits. I love this recipe for many reasons. There are no stray egg whites or yolks left to deal with when the cake is finished. What’s not used in the crust is used in the custard and that appeals to my “green” instincts. The cake, which can be made without a mixer, is very easy to do and has the added advantage of being low in fat and only moderately sweet. Best of all, it can be made with fresh or frozen berries of any type. Frozen berries will produce a creamier cake because of the liquid they exude as the cake bakes.
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen berries
1-1/2 cups plain low-fat or non-fat yoghurt
2 tablespoons plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 slightly beaten egg yolks
1 slightly beaten whole egg
1+1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form tin. If using frozen raspberries, thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes then drain.
In a medium mixing bowl stir together 1 cup flour, the first 1/2 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Add melted butter, 2 egg whites and first teaspoon of vanilla. Stir by hand until mixed.
Spread onto the bottom of the cake tin; sprinkle with berries. Set aside.
For the filling, place yoghurt in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons flour. Add remaining sugar, yolks, whole egg, zest and remaining vanilla. Mix until smooth then pour over berries.
Bake for about 55 minutes or until the centre appears set when shaken gently. Cool for 15 minutes then remove sides of pan. Cover and chill until serving time, up to 24 hours. If you are feeling brave, you can remove the pan bottom. I wasn’t feeling brave. Transfer to a serving plate.
I had lemon curd that needed using so these are lemon tarts but you can use your favourite jams too. Seedy raspberry jam, blackcurrant and strawberry are all tried and tested favourites but use whatever you like.
The pastry is flaky and crisp and the filling is sweet and sticky. It’s a perfect little sweet treat plus the recipe for shortcrust pastry is so simple and delivers great results. Give it a go!
Makes approx 18-24
For the shortcrust pastry:
6oz plain flour
1 ½oz lard
1 ½oz margarine
A pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice
Ice cold water, to mix
For the filling:
Jam of your choice
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, holding the sieve up as high as possible to give the flour an airing. Cut the fat into small cubes and add them to the flour. Now, using your fingertips, gently rub the pieces of fat into the flour – lifting your hands up high as you do this (again to incorporate air) – and being as quick as possible. When the mixture looks uniformly crumbly, start to sprinkle roughly 2 tablespoons of water and a squeeze of lemon all over. Use a round-bladed knife to start the mixing, cutting and bringing the mixture together. Carefully add more water as needed, a little at a time. Finally, bring the mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball of dough that leaves the bowl clean. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll the pastry out on a well floured surface to an even thickness of about 3-4mm. Use a 3 inch cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can and lay them into cupcake tins then lightly press them down to shape.
Fill each pastry case with a teaspoon of your chosen filling and bake in an oven pre-heated at 200C for 10-12 minutes until the pastry has lightly browned around the edges and the filling is bubbling and hot.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes in the tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store the cooled tarts in an airtight container for a few days.
Cut into buttery little pieces, this cross between a tart and a cookie crumbles and then melts away as you eat it.
¼ cup ground almonds
¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt
3oz cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 large egg yolk
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ to ¾ cup jam (I used seeded raspberry jam)
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Butter a 9-inch dark-coloured tart tin.
Add the almonds, flour, sugar and salt to a mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour mix until small crumbs form then add the egg yolk and almond extract. Mix with a metal spoon until the mixture starts to come together in small clumps.
Turn the pastry into the prepared tin. It may look crumbly but this is fine. With your hands pat it out to evenly cover the bottom of the tin. Give the tart a standing rim by nudging the dough up the sides of the pan by 1/2 inch. Don’t worry if it looks a little ragged.
Bake the crust in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, or until its edges are golden and the centre is starting to colour. The rim will sink down a little which is fine.
Remove the tin from the oven and turn the heat up to 240ºC. Carefully spread the jam over the tart and return it to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes or until the jam is bubbly.
Cool the tart on a wire rack, slice it into wedges and serve.
So it’s a rainy day and by rain, I don’t just mean rain, I mean RAIN. Good, I’m glad you now understand from my beautifully descriptive language. So I’m stuck inside, the housework is done, Better Call Saul is all caught up on and I’m sat around looking for something to do so the obvious solution is… Bake! But what to bake? Cake? Tart? Bars? I know –she thinks to herself (lightbulb moment) – I’ll do it all! This bakewell flapjack recipe combines all the almondy flavour and jammy goodness of a bakewell tart with the gooey, buttery crumble of oaty flapjacks.
150g butter plus extra for greasing
50g soft light brown sugar
4 tbsp golden syrup
200g rolled oats
50g ground almonds
A pinch of salt
1 tsp almond extract
3 tbsp raspberry jam
Handful of flaked almonds
Preheat the oven to 190C and generously line and grease a 7” square tin with foil and butter. Gently melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Once all melted, remove from the heat and add the oats, ground almonds, almond extract and salt and mix until fully combined. Spoon half of the flapjack into the tin and gently flatten to cover the surface. Place the jam in a small bowl, mix to loosen up and spread all over the flapjack base – leaving a frame around the edge.
Spoon the rest of the flapjack on top and gently spread out so that it covers all of the jam. Sprinkle over the flaked almonds and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the edges start to go golden brown. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then carefully cut into slices (as they will still be quite moist). These will keep in an air tight container for a few days, and are perfect with a hot cuppa. In my opinion, they taste better after a couple of days – if they survive that long.
A classic combination of light almond sponge and buttery shortbread sandwiched together with a layer of raspberry jam.
You could try any jam you like or even different curds. I’ve had good results with chunky homemade blackberry & apple jam and lemon curd is really tasty too.
For the base:
3oz butter, softened
1oz caster sugar
1 egg yolk
6oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
7oz raspberry jam
For the topping:
3 ½oz butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon almond essence
4oz ground almonds
3 ½oz caster sugar
Flaked almonds, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line an 8×8 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and grease with butter.
First, make the biscuit base. Cream the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mix is light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, mix well then sift in the flour and mix to form a dough.
Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured work surface to the same size as the base of the tin then press it into prepared tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes then remove and allow to cool.
Spread the jam on the cooled base and place in the fridge while you make the topping.
Place the melted butter in a bowl, add the beaten eggs and almond essence and mix well. Stir in the ground almonds, semolina and caster sugar.
Take the tin from the fridge and spread the almond dough over the jam being careful not to mess up the jam. Place the almond dough in blobs then join them up with the back of a metal spoon to make this easier.
Sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set in the centre. Allow to cool in the tin then cut into bars.
Sprinkle with icing sugar or brush with apricot jam to glaze for nice presentation or apply to face for a nice taste. Your choice.