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This could be the nicest cake I’ve made in my history with cakes. It took me 3 tries to get it just right but it’s now here for you guys! This clementine cake is really spectacular. It has it all: taste, texture and of course, moisture.

I love how this cake looks with the line down the center on top. When I uploaded this look on your instagram stories you seemed to love it, too! It’s really easy to make and you can apply it to any cake. All you need to do is run a knife down the center of the cake before going into the oven. Then you add melted butter in the groove and bake it.

For this recipe you can use clementines or tangerines equally. It works better the more sour they are, or at least that’s my opinion haha. It’s so great when they’re in season, I can have 100 in one sitting and if I’m watching Netflix that number goes up to 300, lol.

Just look at that crumb! I honestly see these photos now and regret giving most of it away. It’s so fluffy, airy and with that glaze it goes extra moist. Remember to add it to the cake when it’s fresh out of the oven so it soaks it in.

Of couse this cake can also be turned into muffins because it’s totally delish. And if you want to make another cake you can always go for my lemon and blueberry bundt cake, my orange loaf with raspberries and blackberries, my banana cake or even my chocolate marbled banana cake or even my lime loaf with strawberries and pistachios.

Print
Zesty Clementine Cake
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Tea Time
Cuisine Low
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 portions in a 22x11cm pan
Author Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal
Ingredients
For the cake
  • 90 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp clementine or tangerine zest
  • 25 g canola or vegetable oil
  • 110 g granulated sugar or azúcar blanca 175g if you're not using the glaze
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 90 ml milk any type
  • 30 ml clementine or tangerine juice
  • 200 g all purpose flour
For the line down the centre
  • 15 g unsalted butter melted
Para el glaseado
  • 90 g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp clementine or tangerine juice
Instructions
For the cake
  • Beat the sugar with the sugar, salt, zest and oil until it has gone lighter in colour. You can do it using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment or with a metal hand whisk.
  • Add the eggs and beat the mix again until incorporated and airy.
  • Add the honey and mix again. Then do the same with the milk and juice.
  • Add the flour and baking powder and mix.
  • Prepare a 22x11cm mould with baking paper. Cut the paper to size and stick it in place using a bit of vegetable oil.
  • Fill the mould with the mix and level it.
For the line down the centre
  • Use a knife to make a groove down the center of the cake.
  • Fill the groove with butter.
  • Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 180C / 350F for 45min – 1 hour. After the first half an hour check the cake because it tends to go golden quick. It it's sufficiently golden cover it with aluminium foil or change the heat to only the bottom.
For the glaze
  • Mix the sugar with the juice and paint the cake with it as soon as it comes out of the oven.
  • Let the cake cool down completely before unmoulding it.
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Pizza has to be one of the most comforting foods on this planet. Every time I’m sad I order pizza immediately and with cheese and dough in my mouth nothing seems so bad LOL. This is why I was aching to share with you guys my pizza recipe. As a matter of fact while I was testing the dough I had a huge fight with my oven and we’re still not in good terms. Even with the fighting and everything I managed to make this AMAZING dough, super crispy underneath and around the border.

*This recipe has been re-edited from its original post!

My Favourite Pizza with Crispy Crust | Cravings Journal - YouTube

For the pizza in the photos I used my new recipe for pizza sauce which is super intense and rich. In the video I used a regular tomato sauce that I blended but honestly though, use the pizza sauce. It really adds lots of flavour to the pizza. Of course if you want to make a pizza bianca that doesn’t have any tomato sauce then of course you can do it and add ham, basil, some cheese and that’s it. The result is as good!

Now, if you see the recipe below it says it’s high difficulty. This is true to a certain extent. The thing is that as with every bread you need to follow the instructions to the dot and be really careful with the tips that are also in the procedure. So I think it’s difficult in the way that there are many things to be aware of but if you follow the instructions then there’s no reason why it would go wrong. The same goes for the amounts: don’t convert the weight measurements to cups and teaspoons because for doughs like this one precision is much needed. Get yourself a digital scale which are super cheap nowadays and are very useful.

For this recipe I used a cast iron skillet to cook the pizza. However you can also use a pizza stone or even an oven tray. The advantage of the cast iron and pizza store is that they’re better conductors of heat so they transfer all their heat to the base of the dough. Howeeeeever this does not mean that you can’t have a perfectly good pizza using a baking tray. Don’t put any baking paper or silicone underneath. With a bit of semolina or polenta is enough.

“Lorena, I have a pizza oven at home, can I cook it there?” OF COURSEEEEEEE!! Pizzas are always better the hotter the oven is. A pizza oven can get up to 800C and so it only takes 2min to cook it 🙂 Imagine the production of pizzas you could have. Same thing happens with your oven at home: put the temperature to the highest available and have the broiler on as well. Then don’t walk away from the oven because if it gets really hot in there then the pizza is going to be cooked pretty fast. Mine is having a rough month and so I couldn’t set it over 210C because it turned off but you go for the maximum you oven has in store 🙂

What I like most about this pizza is how thin and crispy it is. When you bit into it the sound is just impressive and with the cheese and tomato sauce… just stop. LOL. The tomato sauce you can make up to 4 days ahead and so there’s no excuse to not make it because the ones that are sold in the supermarket don’t even make an effort to be compared to this one. You have been warned ;).

As far as the toppings go of course you can choose the ones you prefer. It’s really important that the cheese melts easily. I used buffalo mozzarella which melts like it’s cream waiting for some heat to be a liquid again. It’s really impressive how it takes the pizza to a whole other level. If you don’t have access to this type of mozzarella buy the best that’s available and that is not “light” because it lets go of a lot of water when it melts.

My Favourite Pizza with Crispy Crust

For the dough
  • 255 g all purpose flour
  • 5 g fine salt
  • 4 g instant yeast (or 12g fresh yeast or 6g dry yeast*)
  • 175 g lukewarm water
  • 5 g sugar
  • semolina or polenta for the base
My toppings
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 balls of mozzarella di buffala
  • prosciutto, basil, rocket, mushrooms anything you like!
  • drizzle olive oil
For the dough
  1. Mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a bowl.

  2. Make a hole in the centre and add the water and olive oil.

  3. Mix with a spoon or spatula from the centre and slowly adding the flour from the sides.

  4. When the spoon isn’t helping you mix anymore, switch to your hands. In the end you’ll see you will have to take the mix off the bowl and knead it a bit on the table to mix it properly.

  5. If it’s sticking to your hands add a bit of flour at a time until it isn’t. Don’t over-do it though because if it goes too dry then it won’t be able to rise as nicely. At this point you could freeze the dough for up to a month.

  6. Knead by hand 30min or on an electric mixer for 15min on full speed with the hook attachment.

  7. Now we need to let it proof. If you’re making one medium pizza then make a ball from the dough and put it on a clean surface or tray with semolina so it doesn’t stick. On top we put a damp cloth so it doesn’t dry out. If you’re making 2 20cm pizzas like mine then divide the dough and shape it before proofing. If your dough was frozen it needs to come to room temperature before you start timing the proofing process. In total it needs to proof at least 2 hours and a maximum of 4.

  8. On the last 30min of proofing turn on your oven to its maximum temperature, broiler included. If you’re scared it would be to high or don’t know what the maximum temperature is, set it at 250C. Inside the oven must be your skillet / pizza stone / oven tray preheating as well. Place it really close to the top of the oven.

  9. Once proofed, stretch the dough using your fingers on a surface with semolina or polenta so it doesn’t stick.Press down with your fingers leaving a nice edge around where it won’t have any toppings. Then you rotate it and continue.For further reference watch the video above.

  10. Once the dough is nicely stretched and thin we add the tomato sauce, mozzarella and drizzle a bit of olive oil. If you have a pizza peel or even a cake lifter you can add a bit of semolina on top of it and lift the pizza. Then place it on top of your really hot skillet / baking tray / pizza stone. If you don't have one of those you can slide it off the table if someone helps you hold your cooking surface for you. Do it fast though so it doesn't break!

  11. Put the pizza in the oven, again pretty close to the top. If it’s a home oven it will probably need at least 4min and maximum 15min so be really careful not to burn it by staying close!

  12. When it comes out of the oven we add the fresh basil leaves and serve immediately because there’s nothing like freshly baked pizza.

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I love to make pizza. It’s so much fun and cool to make with kids, adults, teens, everyone! It’s a lovely activity and the result is so so tasty. Truth be told though a good pizza is made with good ingredients and this pizza sauce is honestly super intense and rich. You can freeze it for a rainy (or sunny) day.

This recipe is good for 4 large pizzas or 6-8 medium pizzas. Remember to not add toooo much sauce because it’s really intense and we don’t want it to cover up the other flavours. And of course if you need it here’s my pizza recipe as well. You can freeze this recipe for up to 3 months perfectly.

I often get asked why I don’t use sugar in my tomato sauces. First of all for this recipe we’re browning the onions a bit so there’s sweetness there. Second, you’re going to use canned tomatoes or super ripe tomatoes (the kind you wouldn’t use in a salad) which are also sweet. The chance of you having an acidic sauce that needs sugar increases the less ripe your tomatoes are.

For me the yummiest thing about this sauces is the flavour the oven gives it. Going into an oven at this high temperature makes the flavour intensify. The sauce will also get caramelized which is something you cannot achieve on a pan. This is what really makes this pizza sauce something special.

Print
Intense and Rich Pizza Sauce
Course Main
Cuisine Low
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 large pizzas or 6-8 medium pizzas
Author Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 200 g sliced onion
  • 3 garlic cloves minced, chopped, grated or grated
  • 10 canned tomatoes or 10 extra ripe plum tomatoes + 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  • Place olive oil and onion on a pan over medium heat.
  • Cook the onions while stirring every once in a white until they turn translucent and then let them become golden as well. Don't turn the heat up or the onions will not cook through and you'll get a strong onion flavour in your sauce.
  • Add the garlic (and the tomato paste as well if you'll be using fresh tomatoes) and stir for one minute as they cook.
  • Add the canned tomatoes (whole) or the fresh tomatoes (peeled and cut in 4) and let them release liquid. Let it boil until there's little liquid on the pan.
  • If your pan can go in the oven, then it goes straight into a preheated oven at 250C / 480F for 15-20min or until you see that it's caramelizing on top and there's nearly no liquid left. If your pan cannot go in the oven then transfer the contents to a baking dish or tray first.
  • Remove the sauce from the pan and blend until smooth. Adjust the level of salt and pepper and done!
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Pears are an underrated fruit for sure! They’re one of my favourite fruits to make desserts with because they are super versatile. These red wine poached pears are exquisite with tons of flavours going into the poaching liquid. I serve them with whipped mascarpone cream and toasted almonds.

Red Wine Poached Pears | Cravings Journal - YouTube

My favourite part about this recipe is the tip to make them extra purple. To achieve extreme purple-ness you need to cook them, remove them, strain the liquid and let it cool down completely. Then it’s into a container with the pears. You place this container in the fridge and they stay there overnight. In that way they will be super intense in flavour and colour.

Another part I love in this recipe is the mascarpone whipped cream. It’s so silky and delicious! The perfect sutil pairing for the intense red wine sauce. Honestly I could eat that combination all day long. If there are no pears left but there’s sauce and mascarpone cream I’ll be having some of that in a bowl, lol! If you’re making this recipe ahead of time you can have everything ready in the fridge. You should, however, whip up the cream right before serving.

That colour of these poached pears is honestly killing me right now! And can we talk about how incredible these pears would look displayed in a large dish? That would be an amazing dinner center piece! If you like edible flowers, then some white edible flowers would look amazing, too. Ugh, how I wish there was some left still in the fridge. This or maybe that olive oil cake with pears, hehe.

Print
Red Wine Poached Pears
Course Dessert
Cuisine Low
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5 – 6 people
Author Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal
Ingredients
For the red wine poached pears
  • 1.2 kg / 2.5 pounds pears don't use super ripe pears or they will disintegrate
  • 1 bottle of Carmenere Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon (750ml)
  • Zest and juice from 1 orange
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 200 g sugar
  • 1 star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tsp vanilla essence
For the whipped mascarpone cream
  • 100 g mascarpone cheese *you can omit this and only make whipped cream
  • 200 g whipping cream cold
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar sifted *use only 2 tbsp if making whipped cream
For the almonds
  • 80 g almonds toasted and chopped
Instructions
For the pears
  • Peel the pears keeping the stalks on.
  • Cut them in half lengthwise and remove the core using a melon baller or a metal measuring spoon. Also remove the bottom where the fibers are. For further reference watch the video above. Alternatively you could cook them whole or not remove the core if you prefer.
  • Put your pears in the pot together with the zests and spices, orange juice, lemon juice and wine. Top up with water to make sure the pears are covered.
  • Place a lid on the pot and slowly simmer them until you can easily go through them with a knife (15-30min depending on the ripeness of the pears). Remove them from the pot.
  • Strain the poaching liquid and discard the flavourings. If you want to make the pears go intensely purple then wait for the liquid to cool down and place the pears and liquid in a container. Keep in the fridge overnight. If you like them as they are then go on to the next step.
  • The last step is to reduce the juice into a syrup by boiling it until the bubbles become denser and start to come up the pot. Remove from the heat and cool down to room temperature. If by the time it cools down you realize it has thickened too much you can think it down with a bit of boiling water.
For the whipped mascarpone cream
  • Place all ingredients in a bowl and whip until fluffy.
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It might be that this winter is making me post lots of apple recipes. It also might be that I post them because they make me deeply happy, lol! This apple strudel is DELICIOUS. I also like to teach you how to make the dough that makes this dessert a GREAT dessert.

Apple Strudel From Scratch | Cravings Journal - YouTube

I first posted this recipe on July 2017 because I got many requests to show how to make it. There was also a particular interest to see how the dough is made and handled. So because I don’t have any German or Austrian heritage, I had to search for a nice dough recipe that I thought I could trust. That’s how I arrived to the blog Lil’ Vienna where I found a recipe that looked really good. So the dough recipe is by them and they also have a very nice traditional viennese strudel recipe if want to try it out. Mine however is a bit different. It has a major twist which is that I used finely chopped walnuts instead of the traditional breadcrumbs to cover the dough before rolling it out. I think it gives it an extra splash of flavour. 

To serve with this apple strudel I whipped cream but you can also make a vanilla crème anglaise which is classic. To make it you can go check out my vanilla ice cream recipe and make only the crème anglaise ;). I think I prefer it with cream, hehe. It makes me feel like I’m in the set for Inglorious Basterds by Tarantino.

I know that the dough can look a bit hard to make, specially the stretching of it. However it’s what really makes this recipe be something special. Those mini layes feel incredible when you cut through them. They also go really crispy. Many people replace it with filo / phyllo pastry but I have to say they’re a bit different.

Print
Apple Strudel
Course Dessert
Cuisine Medium
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 people
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 145 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 80 ml lukewarm water
  • 1/2 tsp apple or cider vinegar
  • 15 ml vegetable oil
For the filling
  • 950 g Royal Gala apples, Pink Lady or similar any apples that aren’t completely dark red or green
  • 80 g walnuts
  • 40 g butter + more for painting (about 60g)
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 70 g raisins
  • as needed icing sugar to garnish
For the whipped cream
  • 300 ml whipped cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Instructions
For the dough
  • Mix the flour and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour the rest of the ingredients in. Mix with a spatula first and then finish by kneading with your hands without any extra flour.
  • Develop the gluten in the flour for a nice elasticity by slamming the dough on the table for about 15-20min. For further reference, watch the video 🙂
  • Make a ball out of the dough and lightly coat it with vegetable oil. Let it rest  for 1 hour at room temperature in a bowl covered with a kitchen cloth. If you want to make the dough ahead, you can leave it to rest in the fridge covered with oil and cling film for a maximum of 3 days and then let it come completely to room temperature before going to the next step.
  • While the dough is resting, go ahead and make the filling.
  • Once it has rested, stretch it out on a clean and lightly floured surface using a rolling pin. Get it as thin as you can.
  • Lay the dough on a couple of kitchen cloths or on a table cloth and stretch out the dough forming a rectangle, pulling gently. If you have long fingernails, then make sure to use the back of your fists for this. If you can get someone else to help you stretch it out from across the table, then it’s even faster. Make sure it’s not wider than your baking tray so you don’t have to fold it for it to fit.
  • Stop stretching once you can see through it. Then cut off the thick edges using a clean pair of scissors and use these trimmings to stretch them and cover any tears in the dough.
For the filling
  • Toast the walnuts in the oven for about 5-10min at 180C / 350F or until they are golden and smell of fresh popcorn. Chop them up until very fine or use a food processor. The texture should be similar to breadcrumbs.
  • Mix the walnuts with the butter (melted and at room temperature) and half the cinnamon, sugar and salt mix.
  • Peel, core and slice the apples. Don't make them too thin or they'll turn into compote, when we actually want to feel their texture. Mix them with the other half of the cinnamon, sugar and salt mix.
  • Rehydrate the raisins by adding boiling water (it could also be hot Rum, Amaretto or Calvados) to them and letting them rest there for 5-10min.
Assembly
  • Paint half the dough with some of the extra melted butter and on the other half spread out the walnut mix. Make sure to leave about 3-4cm around the edges free of walnuts so you can fold the dough in.
  • Place the apples on top of the walnuts and press down to make sure they're in place and sprinkle the rehydrated raisins on top.
  • Fold the sides onto the filling and then use the kitchen cloths to help you roll it into place. Watch the video for further reference :). Finally roll it onto a baking tray with baking paper with the seams underneath.
  • Brush the strudel with some of the extra butter and it goes into a preheated oven at 180C / 350F for about 30min or until evenly golden. Halfway through take it out and brush it with more butter. If you see that the top is getting golden way faster than the rest of the strudel, you can put tin foil on top to prevent it from over-caramelizing.
  • Let it cool down about 15min before cutting or it will fall apart. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top and whip some cream to serve next to it.
For the whipped cream
  • Whip all the ingredients together until fluffy. If it starts to go too hard you can always bring it back by adding more cream and mixing with a spatula.
Notes
If you want to use breadcrumbs as the traditional recipe dictates, replace the amount of walnuts for breadcrumbs and cook them in the butter on medium heat until nice and golden. Once cold, add the cinnamon sugar and salt.
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By this point you must know that I love apple desserts. It’s just so good when you have a lovely dough with soft and sweet apples. It’s even better if there’s butter and cinnamon involved in the equation as well. This cinnamon apple galette is a simplified version of an apple pie who everyone loves without exception.

I’ve been finding more and more people who actually don’t like cinnamon. Even if I don’t share that opinion (LOVE CINNAMON) I completely understand and if you don’t add it the recipe will still work. If you like you can also add nutmeg, ginger and / or cardamom with the cinnamon or instead of. If you don’t want to add any spices it’s no biggie and will still be delicious.

This recipe is pretty straight forward and by far the most complicated thin if the dough. For that purpose I’m placing down here a video where I show how it’s done. The dough is very buttery so be gentle while rolling it out so it doesn’t stick to the table. A good option is you cannot handle it is to roll it out between two pieces of baking paper. In this way you can then just peel one piece off and done.

Raspberry and Pomegranate Galette | Cravings Journal - YouTube

This recipe for cinnamon apple galette is a bit different from the ones I’ve previously posted like the raspberry and pomegranate galette or the mixed berry galette. In this case we’re laying the cornflour under the apples so it thickens the juices. Then we’re going to paint the apples with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. In that way they’ll remain nice and pretty on top and the juices will still thicken.

You can make this dessert really quickly and it’s not complicated at all which is why I love it. The dough you can have pre-made from the night before and keep it in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer. When you want to use it you just stretch it out, fill it and bake it. Serve it warm (because duh) and it’s even better with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.

Print
Cinnamon Apple Galette
Course Dessert, Tea Time
Keyword Low
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Author Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal
Ingredients
For the dough
  • 200 g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 100 g unsalted butter cold and cut into small cubes
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp cold water
For the filling
  • 3-4 royal gala / pink lady / fuji apples
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
To top the apples
  • 15 g unsalted butter melted
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
To paint the dough
  • 2 tbsp milk
Instructions
For the dough
  • Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl.
  • Use your fingers to pinch the butter with the rest of the ingredients until there are no large pieces of butter left and it looks like wet sand.
  • Add the egg and water at the center and mix with a spatula until it doesn't help anymore and then mix with your hands. Don't over knead it because it will turn tough and hard to roll out after.
  • Wrap the dough and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30min. It you leave it longer than that and it goes hard then leave it outside of the fridge for a while until it becomes softer. If it's hard at the edges and soft inside you want to give it a mix with your hands on an unfloured surface.
  • Dust a surface with flour and roll it out until it's 3mm thick. You don't want to roll it thinner than that because the juice could then break it in the oven. Make sure that the dough isn't sticking to the surface with each roll and add more flour if needed. Try to make a circular shape as you go. Alternatively you can roll the dough between two baking paper sheets so the dough won't break.
  • Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silpat. If you stretched the dough between baking paper than you just need to peel the top one off and transfer the dough with the bottom paper onto a tray.
  • At this point you can leave the dough as is with its rustic ends or use a large dish as a mould and cut around it with a knife. It's really important that the dough is on the baking tray before placing on the apples because once they're on you won't be able to transfer it over.
For the filling
  • Peel and cut the apples in 2-3mm thick slices. The way I achieved the look in this apple galette is I cut off one side of the apple leaving the seeds behind and then did the same on the opposite side. That way you get two "halves" of the apple that look really nice. The edges I also sliced but used them for the edges that you can't see under the dough. That way you're only left with the core of the apple behind.
  • Mi the brown sugar, cinnamon and cornflour from the filling.
  • Sprinkle the mix over the stretched dough leaving a 5cm edge al around uncovered.
  • With your hand take the apple halves and flatten them out a bit so they're laying down slightly. Arrange them on your apple galette overlapping them slightly because they shrink in the oven. Don't forget to leave those 5cm of edge uncovered.
To top the apples and painting the dough
  • Paint the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.
  • Use your hands to fold the edge over the apples.
  • Paint the edge using milk.
  • Take the galette to a preheated oven at 180C / 350F for 40min or until the edges are golden and the juices are bubbling. I also want to mention that it's completely normal to see that some of the juices leaked out.
  • Let it reast for at least 15 minutes and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
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We all need a recipe to save us when we’re in a hurry and this tomato soup is exactly that. It requires zero work and yet the result is too delicious. You also need very few ingredients and you can even freeze it perfectly.

I came up with this recipe for my boyfriend one day I was sick. He wanted to make something that wasn’t heavy for dinner. I glanced at the fridge and noticed we had tons of ripe tomatoes so I told him to place the tomatoes and a bunch of other ingredients on an oven tray and just pop it in the oven and blend it later. He told me “that’s it?” and I answered “that’s it” and returned to bed. The result was SPECTACULAR, it has amazing flavour with very little effort involved.

A few weeks later he made it again. I posted a couple of pictures on my Instagram stories showing that Javi had cooked it. Moments later a couple friends start saying that no way he did it on his own and that I probably helped him hahaha. We had to invite them over for dinner so they believed him! Although now that I think of it, it probably was a trap to come over for dinner.

Now that winter is coming along there’s nothing like a nice tomato soup or veggie cream to stay warm at nights. It’s my favourite dinner for winter :). Let me know on the comments below what other type of winter recipe you would like to see.

Print
Easiest Tomato Soup
Course Main Course, Soup, Starter
Cuisine Low
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 3 people
Ingredients
  • 1.2 kg really ripe tomatoes (around 6 large)
  • 200 g brown onion (half a large one)
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • olive oil extra virgin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: olive oil, basil, cream, cheese for garnish
Instructions
  • Cut the tomatoes in 8, removing only the part on the top where the leaves used to be (or are) attached.
  • Cut the onion in large chunks as well.
  • Put the tomatoes, onion, bayleaves and garlic on an oven tray or oven-friendly pot and drizzle with plenty olive oil so it doesn't burn. Add salt and pepper and mix.
  • Take to a preheated oven to 200C in 30min intervals, stirring in between each of them.
  • Take it out of the oven when there's very little liquid left and the tomatoes start to become golden. Remove the bayleaves.
  • Blend until homogeneous. Pass the blended tomatoes through a sieve to remove the seeds and peel.
  • Adjust the texture with vegetable stock or water.
  • Serve with pepper, olive oil, cream, croutons and / or parmesan cheese.
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Not so long ago I tried Challah bread for the first time- I love how good it is but also love it because of what it represents. In Jewish culture Challah bread is made for Shabbat and other special occasions and shared between the whole family at the table. This Challah bread with dates and figs is soft, spongy, tasty and highly addictive.

Challah Bread with Dates and Dried Figs | Cravings Journal - YouTube

This recipe is also my comeback to YouTube after 6 months! I cannot explain how much I’ve missed it! I love to show you the step by step of a recipe. And since it’s my return to your screens I made a double recipe for this Challah bread to show you how to make a 6-strand braid and also cute little buns that look really cute and are pretty easy to make.

This Challan bread is really versatile and you can use different flavours in it. In this case it has figs and dates in it and it turned out AMAZING. It makes it have tiny sweet surprises as you eat it. If you dip it in honey or spread some butter on it then it becomes the best ever (but again, what isn’t better with butter)? You can make the bread without the figs and dates or add other flavours. Some ideas include raisins, chocolate chips, herbs, etc. This recipe is based upon the one I read on @urischeft‘s book. I made a few changes according to what I like in a recipe :). I met Uri in a trip we made to Israel with Vibe Israel and he really is a god of bread.

Many times I get DMs from people saying they’re scared to make bread or to work with yeast. Honestly though, don’t be scared! The worst thing that can happen is that it doesn’t work and that’s about it. As a tip always check the “use before” date in your yeast. Also keep them always in the fridge (even the dry yeasts) for a better performance throughout their time.

Print
Challah Bread with Dates and Dried Figs
Course Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Tea Time
Cuisine Medium
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 900 g bread: one large braid or 15 buns
Author Lorena Salinas from Cravings Journal
Ingredients
For the bread
  • 500 g all purpose flour
  • 5 g instant yeast or 10g dry yeast or 20g fresh yeast*
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 50 g granulated sugar
  • 230 g lukewarm water
  • 1 egg
  • 40 g unsalted butter melted and cooled
  • 40 g dates chopped
  • 40 g dried figs previously hydrated for 10min in boiling water
To egg wash the bread
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp water
Instructions
For the bread
  • Mix all the ingredients except the figs and dates until you have a uniform dough. You can do it by hand or using the hook with a stand mixer. At this moment you can adjust the level of water of flour if needed. The dough should be wet but not stick to your surface or bowl sides.
  • Add the dates and figs and knead the dough to incorporate. Don't knead it more than this, we want a really soft final product.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic. I like to use shower caps so I can reuse them. You can also use bee's wax paper or cling film. Let the dough proof for an hour in a warm spot. I place it in my oven turned off but with the light on. Since that bulb isn't energy saving it emits a light heat.
  • After an hour it's time to shape the bread. Braiding the bread is a great idea and for that you want to divide the dough in whichever amount to strands you'll use. Roll them out a bit into cilindres and then flatten them out. This flattening will shape the crumb. Roll them into cilindres again but this time make them long so you can braid them. Flour the strands before braiding so they don't stick to each other. That also helps if you miss a step and want to go back. Alternatively you can make buns with the dough. In the video for this recipe I teach you how to make a 6 braid strand and also small buns which are SO easy to make. I recommend that you go check them out! Also you can make a 3 strand braid but I wanted to show you something a bit different.
  • Let the bread or buns proof again in a warm spot for an hour.
To egg wash the braid
  • Whisk together the egg and water.
  • Paint the bread with a layer of the mix and wait for 5 minutes and then paint it again.
  • The bread goes to a preheated oven at 180C / 350F for 30-40min if it's a large bread of 15-20min if they're buns. They should be golden and also sound hollow if you knock gently at the bottom.
Notes
*Si no usas levadura instantánea mezcla primero la levadura con el agua tibia y el azúcar usando con un batidor de mano. Deja que descanse 10min y luego la puedes usar. Ojo que si no ves espuma formarse es que la levadura murió y no la puedes usar.
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