Mocha Cake (Coffee Cake with Whipped Ganache Cream)

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Today VespressoCooking turns 1. I can’t believe it! I have no idea how time flew by but it did, and I’m so glad I had the courage to launch myself, head first, in this project. It was such a wild year, I shifted my career, I discovered my infinite passion for photography, I’ve created a poultry microfarm, I graduated from culinary school and became a chef. I hope I don’t sound cheesy but I feel the need to thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for every visit, for every line that you’ve read and for every recipe that you’ve saved!

Whenever there’s an anniversary, there has to be a cake, and this particular cake is nothing but extraordinary. It is a chocolate and coffee cake, a mocha delight, if you will. It is a well known fact that coffee and chocolate are a match made in heaven but this cake somehow surprises me with every slice. The sponge is the perfect balance between dense and airy and the whipped ganache is simply divine.

The sponge is in fact „torta al Caffé”, an Italian coffee cake. This particular sponge is very popular in northern Italy, and it’s served for colazione, breakfast that is. I felt in love with its texture and its taste at first bite and I wished I could make it in my own kitchen. Persuasive as I am, I convinced the pastry chef (which happens to be a close friend) to give me the recipe and since then I’ve been been baking it at least twice a month.

There’s not much to say about the ganache. Ganache is a cake filling made with chocolate melted in warm whipping cream. The proportion of those two ingredients give the ganache its texture. I use the following scheme: Continue reading Mocha Cake (Coffee Cake with Whipped Ganache Cream)

Baked Apples Stuffed with Dates and Oatmeal (Vegan)

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I love baked apples. They taste like those chilly nights of fall. Like the rustle of those wet leaves on your way home from school. Like the smell of the hoarfrost on an early October morning. They taste like childhood. Baked apples are exquisite in their own simplicity, they are the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. I can’t imagine an easier dessert, maybe some Nutella spread on a slice of bread (if Nutella even qualifies as a desert).

I woke up this morning with baked apples on my mind, so I took some local sweet and sour apples, I carved them using a melon baller (this step could be easily made using a vegetable knife) and I stuffed them with a date, oatmeal and brown sugar mixture, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla. I dressed them up with a tiny piece of coconut oil (butter would have worked just fine) and I baked them for about half an hour. The result was a stunning vegan dessert, extremely flavorful and so tasty! Continue reading Baked Apples Stuffed with Dates and Oatmeal (Vegan)

Citrus Semifreddo

Citrus semifreddo

Semifreddo

Semifreddo is a delicious frozen Italian dessert. It’s basicaly an icecream, a really smooth and creamy one, the cremiest icecream that doean’t require an icecream maker. Semifreddo is so easy to make, it requires just a few basic ingredients, a bread tray and a freezer. That’s all! It’s useless to use as an argument the fact that this lovely treat melts in your mouth; of couse it does, it’s an icecream after all. But its incredibly rich taste and fragrance, the interesting creamy-crunchy justaposition make from this treat a winner. As I mentioned above, semifreddo is so easy to make, the most difficult part of the recipe being the 6 hours waiting interval! Oh… but when it finally freezes… Continue reading Citrus Semifreddo

Cherry Tart

Cherry&custard tart

Bread crumbs & cherries

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I love June and its wonderful cherries with their firm texture and addictive sweetness. They are my favorite fruits. They are perfect served as dessert, added in salads or in sweet treats, but eaten right from the tree are even better. They taste like chidhood!

With an acute childhood nostalgia, an intense sweet craving and a dangerously low blood sugar level I decided this morning that it’s the perfect moment to bake a cherry tart. Even though it’s a sweet tart, the crust is sugarless. It is a pâte à foncer, a dough made from flour, sugar, egg and salt. I love how the salty crust enhances the flavor of the filling. This tart has 3 components: the flaky crust, the coffee glazed cherries and the delicate custard. I can honestly say that this is the best tart I’ve ever had! Continue reading Cherry Tart

Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Mascarpone Cheese

Puffed Dutch BabySlice

Every time I crave pancakes and I’m not in the mood for staring at them while they cook, I bake a Dutch Baby. Dutch Baby is a huge and puffy German pancake served generally for breakfast. The batter made from eggs, milk, flour and sugar is baked in a buttered cast iron skillet and after baking, this lovely pancake is served with butter, lemon juice and powdered sugar. This is certainly the easiest dessert I’ve ever made. You blend a few ingredients and you pour the batter in a skillet. It’s that simple!

Being an egg-based baked dessert you’d certainly expect a fluffy, soufflé-like final product. Trust me, the volume and the shape of this pancake is quite stunning. Regarding the fact that you pour about 2 cups of batter in a hot skillet, you’d expect to get an adorable little pancake and not a baby hippo. Let me tell you something, this is a dramatic dessert with a unique kind of beauty. Continue reading Dutch Baby with Strawberries and Mascarpone Cheese

Strawberry-Banana Muffins with Honey-Vanilla Frosting (Dairy-Free)

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Today I present you strawberry-banana muffins with honey-vanilla frosting, the best muffins I’ve ever tasted. They are simply addictive. If they sound complicated, I tell you that they are possibly the simplest dessert you’ll ever make. If they sound exquisite, you’re perfectly right. They are so tender and fragrant and they are perfect for breakfast or brunch. In case you want to dress them up a little bit, I strongly suggest you to frost them with this decadent yet healthy honey and vanilla cream.

Since I caught your attention I’ll proceed further and I’ll confess that this is a dairy-free dessert. Both the muffin and the frosting are dairy-free. The muffins contain flour, Demerara sugar, eggs, bananas, strawberries and olive oil, while the frosting is made from coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. As simple as that. Continue reading Strawberry-Banana Muffins with Honey-Vanilla Frosting (Dairy-Free)

Cranberry and Yogurt Pie

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Yogurt and cranberry pie is a sweet & sour dessert, perfect on a warm spring / hot summer evening. It is so refreshing and very easy to make! You just have to remember to defrost some phyllo pastry sheets and the job is half done. If you have the attention of a 5 year old and the memory of a 100 year old, like a have almost every single day sometimes, this is the most difficult part. After you get the first part done, you just have to mix some ingredients in a bowl, and the filling is ready. Continue reading Cranberry and Yogurt Pie

Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

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When it comes to baking, I’m the laziest person on the planet. I’m (almost) never eager to make a 100-step dessert or a cake that requires to separate eggs / to beat egg whites / to melt stuff / to jump on one foot / to dance samba. I simply don’t get those recipes! From my point of view, if a recipe involves a few ingredients, a single bowl, a spatula and a tray, that recipe has my name on it. You’d never guess, but this particular zucchini bread is one of those recipes!

To make this recipe a little bit healthier instead of using butter I used olive oil and buttermilk and the result is an incredibly moist, almost fudgy, decadent, chocolaty zucchini bread. I tell you, this might be my all time favorite dessert! Continue reading Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cookies are always a great idea! Always! Personally, I could stuff my face with cookies on breakfast, lunch or dinner. And again, who wouldn’t? Because I love cookies so much, I’ve been searching for the perfect recipe for years. Last year I stopped searching and since then I’ve been baking these amazing cookies at least twice a month. I think that’s a good sign! Continue reading Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Buttermilk Chocolate Muffins

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These amazing muffins, perfect for breakfast or served as a dessert, will satisfy even the most pretentious chocolate lovers. These muffins are incredibly easy to make – you just mix some ingredients, you bake them et voilà, you have some fluffy and tender beauties. The buttermilk gives them such a soft and moist texture and the brown sugar gives them a rich, caramel flavor. And the most interesting part is the fact that they are ready in less than 30 minutes. Continue reading Buttermilk Chocolate Muffins