Autumn in a Slice Coffee Cake

fall coffee cake

Here’s what happened: I posted this image, a slice of the coffee cake I made on Instagram and was about to leave it at that, but you guys kept asking for the recipe so I’m gonna share it here as well. And happily, too!

There is no story to this really, I just wanted to bake up something simple for us to enjoy over the weekend. November is showing its uglier face lately, it’s dark and wet and windy… switching the oven on and filling the house with the smell of cake seemed to be just the right thing to do.

What I love about coffee cakes is how simple yet versatile they are. The base ingredients in the batter are things I’m sure you have in your pantry right now. If you want to mix things up a bit, just add whatever suits your fancy: fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, whatever. This time for me it was the very best of fall, namely carrots, apples and walnuts. Also featuring a seeded streusel topping, because why not.

The result is a crumbly and moist cake, crunchy on top. Not too sweet, subtly spiced. Reason to sit down and gab over a cup of coffee, even impressive enough on a pretty cake stand for entertaining (but easy enough that you’ll still have some pep in your step when the guests arrive).

Back to spices for a sec, is it just me, or do you also find it hard to practice self-control when it comes to cinnamon? I love it, I really do but wanted to let the other ingredients have their moment too – it took several batches to adjust the amount so it wouldn’t overpower everything else.

That said, you’ll find the instructions below to the cake I call Autumn in a Slice. Enjoy! Also feel free to tag me @fruzsi_farkas if you made it.

Autumn in a Slice Coffee Cake

  • Difficulty: easy
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Moist coffee cake with a crunchy streusel topping. Simple to make, featuring the best of fall ingredients.

Ingredients

For the streusel topping:

25 g old fashioned rolled oats

25 g pepitas (or hulled pumpkin seeds)

15 g sunflower seeds, hulled

20 g sugar

¼ tsp salt

75 g AP flour

50 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes

For the cake:

200 g AP or whole wheat flour

100 g walnut meal

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

½ cup (125 ml) neutral vegetable oil

250 g brown sugar

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

180 g carrots, grated

180 g apples, grated

Directions

  1. Make the streusel topping: whizz the butter, salt, sugar and flour in a food processor until coarse and crumbly. Add oats and seeds, mix with a spoon to combine. If texture is too dry, add 1 tbsp of cold water. Set aside in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F), line the bottom of a 24 cm (9”) spingform pan with parchment paper. If pan is not non-stick, grease sides as well.
  3. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, walnut, baking powder and salt to combine.
  4. In another bowl, whisk eggs with oil, sugar and cinnamon. Add carrots and apples, mix well to combine.
  5. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mix to just combine (do not overmix, some visible lumps are fine).
  6. Pour batter in prepared pan, crumble steusel evenly on top.
  7. Bake 10 min, lower the temp to 150°C (300°F) and bake an additional 30-40 min, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack 15 min, remove from pan and cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

Love,

Fruzsi

Cold Day Special: Spiced Carrot Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

spiced carrot soup

First snow of the season has fallen this week, which came as a surprise considering the non-wintery winters we’ve been experiencing. In fact it’s snowing right now as I write this post, which managed to finally put me in a festive-ish mood.

There’s a lot going on lately with my day job and it’s hard sometimes to break away from all that but here I am, with a bowl of steaming, creamy soup counting snowflakes and watching our street  transform into a piece of winter wonderland.

Said soup is a simple and delicious veggie soup loaded with spicy-sweet flavor which I made in under 30 minutes from a bag of carrots that were forgotten in the pantry (leftovers of last week’s pie). I personally just love these simple affair type of dishes: satisfying and flavorful, quicker than the pizza delivery guy fires up his scooter.

Honestly. It’s just chopped carrots simmered with warm spices and blitzed into a silky smooth puree.

Also vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie and packed with nutrition. Healthy meets delicious in a brightly colored, vibrant quick fix. You literally feel yourself warming up from the inside out with each spoonful. Spiced with anti-inflammatory ginger, turmeric and a little bit of chili powder for some extra heat, a delightful combination of sweet carrots balanced with pungent spices.

To add a bit of crunch to the velvety consistency of the soup, I went with roasted chickpeas. It’s as easy as can be: a can of chickpeas tossed with olive oil and yet more pantry staple spices, roasted in a hot oven. Great snack on its own too when not used as a soup topper.

roasted chickpeas

What else can I say? Make this the next time you’re feeling a little down, under the weather, or just, you know, want something to warm your cold cold heart 😉

Spiced Carrot Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

  • Difficulty: easy
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Warming creamy spiced carrot soup packed with goodness, perfect to comfort on a cold day. Serves 4.

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 kg carrots, peeled

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finally chopped

1 l vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

salt and pepper to taste

For the roasted chickpeas:

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp paprika powder (sweet or hot)

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp curry powder

Directions

Make soup:

  1. Finely chop the carrots, or cut with a handheld slicer. This step helps them cook in no time, retaining all their goodness.
  2. In a heavy bottomed pan, sauté onions with the olive oil on medium-high heat until softened.
  3. Season, add garlic, bay leaf and spices, stir until fragrant.
  4. Add carrots, stir to coat with spices. Add stock, bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer until carrots are cooked through, about 10 min.
  6. Puree until smooth.

Make roasted chickpeas:

  1. Preheat oven to 230°C (450°F). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Toss chickpeas with the oil and spices to coat evenly, arrange in a single layer on the baking tray.
  3. Bake for 15 min, stir, than bake for an additional 15 min, until golden and crispy (some will pop, that’s a sign they are getting ready)
  4. Serve soup with chickpeas, drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!

Love,

Fruzsi

Carrot and Plum Pie with Meringue Topping

carrot plum pie with meringue topping

Hi guys! Hope you had a great holiday. As you may or may not know, we do not celebrate Thanksgiving here, but we’ve managed to stuff ourselves silly over the weekend nonetheless. Can you not do that with pulled pork? I don’t think so.

Anyway. This time I’ve decided to be a little showy with my baking. It’s not something I normally aim at (in fact, looks come after taste in my kitchen without a question), but I think festive season is a great time to challenge yourself a bit.

This recipe from the September issue of Magyar Konyha  magazine, created by the team over at Marangona, Budapest’s chic bakery of the moment was top on my list. I only made slight changes, namely reducing the amount of plums (I could’t fit the given amount on top of the batter), omitting citrus peel (merely because I can’t stand it, but feel free to use it) and cutting down a teeny bit on the sugar.

carrot plum pie with meringue topping

I was always intimidated by meringue to some degree so I’ve never done a meringue-topped pie before, but there’s a first time for everything as they say. And it turns out my reservations were all but fictitious!

Creating fluffy, feathery meringue peaks is only a matter of attention and a food thermometer. I had the good sense to educate myself on the topic before I started cracking eggs, so here’s the essence of my meringue studies:

There are 3 types of meringue. The one made most commonly at home (as in: the easiest) is French meringue, when sugar is whisked into beaten egg whites. Swiss meringue is made by beating egg whites and sugar together over a water bath until the sugar has dissolved, then beating until the mixture reaches stiff peaks. Italian meringue, the most popular with professional bakers (read: the most difficult) is made by whisking a hot sugar syrup into beaten egg whites.

Italian meringue tends to hold its volume the best, but there isn’t much room for error with this one. If you fail to boil the sugar syrup to the right temperature, don’t beat the whites to the proper stiffness or the surface of your pie is too damp, the meringue may start to weep.

Weeping occurs when some of the sugar in the meringue liquefies and seeps out. Weeping meringue won’t interfere with the taste of your pie, but it’s not visually pleasing. Shamelessly admitting mine did weep a little. Oh well 🤷‍♀️ It still gave this scrumptious autumnal pie a light and dreamy topping.

carrot plum pie with meringue topping

carrot plum pie with meringue topping

Note that all amounts are given in grams. I’m a fan of measuring by cups (volume), but when it comes to baking, weights and measurements are sometimes critical and scales are the key to accuracy. It’s a small investment for peace of mind when measuring ingredients.

Carrot and Plum Pie with Meringue Topping

  • Difficulty: medium
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Sweet, cinnamon-y and seasonal pie with a fluffy meringue topping. Adapted from Magyar Konyha magazine.

Ingredients

for the pie:

500 g plums, pitted and halved

30 g cinnamon sugar (30 g brown sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon)

20 g powdered sugar

pinch of salt

55 g egg yolk (3-4 eggs)

80 g egg whites (cca. 4 eggs)

45 g granulated sugar

165 g carrot, grated

133 g almond flour

5 g baking powder

30 g AP flour

1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped

140 g walnuts, roughly chopped

for the meringue topping:

100 g egg whites

100 g granulated sugar

100 g granulated sugar + water

Directions

Make pie:

  1. Butter and flour a 25 cm (10”) pie dish.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, almond flour, baking powder, half of the chopped walnuts and vanilla seeds.
  3. Mix egg yolks with powdered sugar in a bowl with a handheld mixer until pale, 3-5 min.
  4. In another bowl, beat egg whites with the pinch of salt. When stiff peaks start to form, gradually add granulated sugar and whisk until shiny, another 1-2 min.
  5. Using a large spatula, carefully fold in egg whites with yolks mixture.
  6. Gently fold in carrot, and gradually add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
  7. Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F).
  8. Transfer batter to the baking dish and distribute in an even layer.
  9. Arrange plum halves on top of batter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and remaining walnuts.
  10. Bake until risen and center is set, about 40 min.

Make meringue topping:

  1. In a small, heavy bottomed saucepan, combine first part of sugar with as much water to just cover it.
  2. Heat over high heat, cooking until syrup registers 115°C (240°F) on an instant read or candy thermometer.
  3. Meanwhile, start whipping egg whites in a stand mixer on medium speed. When soft peaks form (about 3 min), gradually add second part of sugar.
  4. With the mixer running, carefully and slowly pour in hot sugar syrup. Increase speed though and whip until mixture is stiff and has cooled.
  5. Transfer meringue to a piping bag and decorate the pie.
  6. Bake pie at 180°C (355°F) for 12 min, until meringue peaks start to turn slightly golden. Enjoy!

Love,

Fruzsi

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Friday Finds

The season for warm, hearty, comforting soups is here and I totally have my spoon ready!

Roasted Chestnut and Fennel Soup by Lean of Lean + Meadow:

chestnut and fennel soup

Roasted Garlic, Parsnip & White Bean Soup by Allison of Yummy Beet:

parsnip bean soup

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup by Liz of Floating Kitchen:

cauliflower and chickpea soup

Carrot Soup with Ginger and Turmeric by Stephanie of Hello Glow:

ginger carrot soup

Moroccan Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup by Marzia of Little Spice Jar:

sweet potato lentil soup

Happy weekend!

Fruzsi