PLUM COCONUT TARTE WITH HAZELNUT CINNAMON CRUMBLE

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With my all time favorite plum coconut tarte recipe I am going to say goodbye to Summer and say a very warm welcoming hello to Autumn. These beautiful blue and purple plums were to die for. Although I wished to eat them all by myself, I decided to not be so selfish in this case and made a cake out of them that I could share with my family and you. 

This recipe is inspired by a plum cake that is traditionally baked in Germany starting with the season. Of course, there are many different recipes, but we really like crumbles – Streusel and also love to put whipped cream on top. As this is a healthier version, I didn´t serve it with cream. But that is totally up to you. The batter is so soft and the crumbles are super crunchy and moist, that there is no extra cream needed. Most cakes with Streusel I know are often a bit dry, but not this recipe. The coconut oil does make a great job in there.

Summer in Germany started quite early this year and left as quick as it arrived. We had a lot of rainy days here. Which was great for the plants and my pumpkins in the garden. They are growing so well and I am super proud. But you will see for yourself very soon. 

While walking outside these last couple days I could smell the season changing. I really love that about autumn. That fresh breeze of wind that blows around the air. Leaves of the trees slowly changing their colors. All these apples, pears and other delicious seasonal fruits that are soon ready to be harvested. And not to forget all these PUMPKIN. Oh I love this season. 

In the beginning of the year I was so super motivated and full of ideas of recipes and photography that I was sure 2017 is going to be just great. But I had to find out that my beginning of the year was just in my head super creative. Until now I was only head planning, but didn´t accomplish too much. That´s how it is. As you say, creativity can  not be forced. I was learning the hard way. Not being so hard on myself, I now think it was just that I haven´t been inspired by summer as I am from autumn and winter. To make it short. With this recipe and slowly starting a new season, I am now back with delicious recipes that I will be so happy to share with you ASAP. 

This is a recipe I know for quite a while now and baked it quite often. Sure it would not be my recipe, if I didn´t put a little personal note into it. In other words, just a healthier version of this plum tarte. Instead of butter I used coconut oil which matches perfectly with the plums. I replaced the sugar with maple syrup, that I really love lately. It adds a herb and aromatic taste to it. But of course, feel free to replace coconut oil and maple syrup to butter and brown sugar in the exact same amount as in the recipe.

I put a lot of love and passion into this post – recipe and really hope that you like it. I was shooting two days until I had the result I came up with in my head and until I was content with the photography. Don´t hesitate to contact me in case you have any questions about the recipe! Otherwise have fun with trying out this recipe. The playlist above is that kind of music I like to listen to while baking and having a glass of red wine 🙂

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PLUM COCONUT TARTE WITH HAZELNUT CINNAMON CRUMBLES

Ingredients

  • 270 g flour
  • 200 g coconut oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 150 g maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. iced water
  • 50 g grounded hazelnuts
  • 80 g chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • peel of 1 bio lemon
  • 250 g Quark
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pckg. vanilla sugar
  • 1 pckg. vanilla pudding powder
  • 500 g baking beans (to pre-bake)
  • 1000 kg plums (Zwetschgen)

Directions

Helpful advises:
To prepare the pastry remember that is has to rest at least 1 hour in the fridge. Also calculate blind baking time. To minimize your stress time, you can prepare the pastry a day before and simply store it in the fridge or even in the freezer. If you decide to let it rest in the freezer, make sure not to forget taking out the pastry at least 30 minutes before starting to bake. Otherwise it will be too hard to roll out.
You will find out that the pastry is very soft. That is because of the coconut oil. But that will guaranty a super delicious softly melting and crunchy cake bottom.

COCONUT PASTRY

  1. Preheat oven to 180° C.
  2. In a bowl mix together 190 g flour, 120 g coconut oil (in cubes), 1 pinch of salt, 40 maple syrup with 1 tbsp iced water.
  3. Knead a smooth batter out of ingredients by using your hands or with a food processor.
  4. Form the batter into a ball and wrap it into cling film. Let it rest in the fridge for at least one hour.
  5. While batter is resting, wash your plums, remove the seeds and cut into quarters. Set aside.
  6. Well grease your (tarte) baking pan with coconut oil (or butter)
  7. On a floured surface, roll out your batter in a round form in the size of your baking pan. Cover the pan with the pastry dough and press it evenly into the pan by using your hands.
  8. Go on with pressing the dough up to the edges evenly. Make sure to have a nice edge.
  9. With a folk prick a few times into your pastry dough – helps to prevent bubbles.
  10. Put it in the freezer for another 15 minutes.
  11. After cooling time cover the pastry with baking paper and fill it up with baking beans.
  12. Pre-bake pastry for about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven when it´s light gold brown. Let cool. Don´t worry if it is flaky and soft. It will be wonderful when the cake is completed.
  13. Carefully remove baking beans and paper.

HAZELNUT CINNAMON CRUMBLE MIXTURE

  1. In a medium bowl mix 80 g flour, 70 g maple syrup
  1. In a bowl mix together 80 g butter (in cubes), 80 g brown sugar, 80 g flour, chopped & grounded hazelnuts, cinnamon.
  2. Form Streusel by kneading the dough with your hands.
  3. Put your Streusel dough in the fridge (in bowl). Let them cool and rest while you prepare the vanilla mixture.

VANILLA MIXTURE

  1. In a bowl mix together Quark, eggs, vanilla sugar, powdered sugar (30 g), vanilla pudding powder & cardamom until creamy. Set aside.

COMPLETE

    1. Remove baking beans from your tarts.
    2. Divide the vanilla Quark mixture evenly and fill your tarts or tarte with it.
    3. Peel your pears and cut them into two. Remove the seeds.
    4. You should have 4 halfs now (using 4 tarts). Cut them into thin slices.
    5. Spread them evenly over your cake. Press them gently into your vanilla mixture. I was using 4 tarts, so I sliced respectively one half of the pears that fitted perfectly for each tarte. When you are using one big tarte you can spread them as you want.
    6. Cover now your tarte/s with the Streusel. I left the area where the pears where out. But thats optional and totally up to you.
    7. Slightly press the Streusel onto your cake.
    8. Bake them for another 30-35 mintues. When Streusel start to get brown your tarte/s is ready to enjoy.
    9. Put a ball of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on it.
    10. Listo!

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Vegan almond milk cocoa drink with date syrup

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About happiness & sadness and what

almond milk cocoa has to do with it

(Tip: Turn on music to your right – Soundcloud) – Attention: long text coming, for recipe only just scroll down!

We all know that the sun isn´t shining 365 days of the year. Some days, in Germany really too many days, it just doesn´t want to stop raining. As much as we want it to be sunny every day, it is just not possible. The weather as in real life isn´t perfect all the time. If the word “perfect” even exists. 

When I recognize myself getting in bad mood – yes this happens – though I am a mainly positive person, I now am able to let these feelings just be present for a moment or two, maybe three. Because ignoring or hiding them don´t make these “bad” feelings go away. It is just suppressing your emotions and not allowing them to exist. This is not solving the problem, just making it worse. Being sad doesn´t mean that you are not strong or unstable. For me strong people are those, who allow themselves to be sad or confused sometimes. Or whatever not positive emotion they are going through. I think that it is super important to recognize your emotions without judging them immediately. Let them be and then try to focus on something good. Something that makes you happy. 

Life is about learning and discovering. It is about change. I think that this process never stops, even if we are old and gray. And that is what gives meaning to eat, isn´t it? Accepting the good and the bad. I am 30 now. I really have no clue how that could happen, but I am. I used to think that I need special things or circumstances in my life to be happy. But I now realized that I just want to be able being happy in any kind of situation, may they be good or bad. And I start to be able to not let any event take that happiness from me.

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Many years in my life earlier I didn´t really have any worthy goals in my life. I was without any perspective. Just doing jobs to earn a living. Since I discovered my passion I am more calm and content. Just finding out what I want to do in life, having goals gives me deep chills and I am so thankful for that. Of course, I am not nearly where I want to be, but that is OK. That is the journey of life and we should embrace this!

“The journey is the destination.”

I learned for myself that, every time I start being sad or I am feeling unhappy, what really helps me, is to immediately begin finding a solution. A way out of a bad feeling. Don´t allow that emotion to destroy my inner peace. Because I know that it is not really helping the situation. Negative thoughts don´t help solving the problem. Sometimes a problem or hard times that you are going through can´t be fix in just a short moment. It is a longer process that you cannot change itself. The only thing you can do is to change the way you think about it. Not starting to panic and just try to comfort your soul.

What really helps me is to remember what used to make me happy when I was a little girl. I had many things that brought me into a moment of happiness. Just remembering that I exist. When we grow old we forget to live in the moment. We always think of the past or are scared of what the future may bring to us. We are not able to inhale the current moment. I often have problems with that. And when I catch myself in a negative feeling or if I am worrying too much about something, I try to just breathe in deeply a few times and then think of what used to make me happy when I was little. A hot chocolate always pleased myself. It just warmed my body and soul. Uuh, that cozy feeling a hot cacao can give to you. I adore those childhood memories. Covered in a blanket, sipping your hot drink and watching your favorite Disney movie. Not worrying about a damn thing. How easy and uncomplicated everything seemed to be. But guess what, it still is possible to bring that child chills back to you even as a grown up. 

I am even discovering my old passion for drawing again. As a child I painted a lot. Especially pencil sketches from still life were my favorite. Silk painting and drawing Mandalas also gave me the opportunity to deeply relax and just live in the moment. Over the years I somehow lost that passion. When I started creating my logo for Pumpkinupyourlife I slowly realized how I used to love doing this. And that´s wonderful. I am sure you too still have these childhood hobbies you used to like so much. Why not bring them back again to find happiness in that so rough seeming life? 

Sure there is a reason why this blog post is about happiness and sadness and comforting your soul when you are feeling sad. A few weeks ago my little dog started to have problems with walking. He obviously felt pain and wasn´t able to jump and run around like he used to. He always was a very active dog and we were out in the woods almost every day. At the moment it is just not possible. After several visits at the doctor, I have to take care of him now not moving too much. It may be a disc prolapse (I am really hoping not) or kind of arthrosis. No matter what it is, it´s painful for him. So no running in the forest. When I started seeing my dog suffering from pain in his back, I felt so deeply sorry for him. I was always looking at him and got so sad. That feeling was so hard and I was really scared and imagined the worst things in my mind. He was never really sick until now. I was crying all the time and he was looking back at me like he was thinking: What is wrong with her? That being sad about him being not so well doesn´t make him any better. I think it is the opposite. It only gets worse. So instead of torturing him with my endless tears I try to support him with my positivity and try to be his personal trainer. And every day I recognize an improvement what is making me super hopeful. I know a hundred percent that he will be same again and I will go this way with him. 

So that is the main reason why I came up with this blog post about emotions and my recipe for almond milk cocoa with date syrup. It is helping me to relax when times are hard. Maybe it helps you too. Finding peace and love for the little things in life. Especially when times are so tough right now with all that bad things going on in the world. We should be thankful that we are alive and see the beauty that still exists all around us. Just be more awake and look around you. Try to remember what made you happy as a child. I am sure that it was something so little, but in that time all you needed. Let´s be a kid again. 

Oh and btw: Ever heard of Palo Santo (used in my photography below)? Well, if not, it is a so called healing wood from trees that grow mainly in Peru and Ecuador. For thousands of years Indians from South America use it to banish negative energies.  It is said to have healing powers. I am currently discovering my spiritual side a little bit and highly love Palo Santo. It just smells heavenly. It is a sweet scent with a hint of coconut. I never smelled something comparable before. Every day I burn a peace of it until it starts to glow and smoke the apartment with it. I will never ever stop using it. The Palo Santo tree is under nature protection, so make sure to buy it from a good source where they just sell the fallen wood. If interested in buying it I can recommend this shop: Palo Santo – Sensatonics

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Vegan almond milk cacao with date syrup


Serves: 3 (cups)

Ingredients

  • 600 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. natural cacao powder (organic)
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp. date syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan heat up almond milk on medium heat until a little smoke comes up.
  2. Stir in cacao powder and cinnamon. Mix until combined completely.
  3. Take off from heat and set sauce pan aside.
  4. Add date syrup and mix well.
  5. Fill almond milk cacao into cups and enjoy. Be happy.

Yours, Zoe

Pear vanilla tarts with cardamom & hazelnut cinnamon Streusel

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This is a recipe I wanted to share with you for a long time now. But I was waiting for the best moment to come. And that was autumn. Now that the fresh season has arrived in its fullest, the time is right to hand over this delicious pear vanilla tarte with cardamom & cinnamon hazelnut Streusel. This tarte is perfect if you want to bake something with seasonal fruits such as plums, apples or in my case pears. They all work with it. Continue reading “Pear vanilla tarts with cardamom & hazelnut cinnamon Streusel”

Pumpkin cupcakes with Mascarpone frosting & cranberry sauce

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When it comes to Autumn I immediately start to think about pumpkin and the huge number of recipes I know. Unfortunately there is too little time to share all of them at the same time with you what I wished to do. So we, or I, have to be patient. One recipe at a time. Now is the perfect moment to share with you one of my favorite recipes that contain pumpkin. Pumpkin cupcakes with Mascarpone frosting and cranberry sauce. They are delicious, trust me. The spices in it make them taste like autumn and the Mascarpone frosting is the perfect combination topped with a sweet cranberry sauce. Continue reading “Pumpkin cupcakes with Mascarpone frosting & cranberry sauce”

Pumpkin pancakes with orange blossom honey and hazelnuts – pumcakes

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This recipe post was supposed to be published much earlier, but somehow I havn´t been able to get it finished. I wasn´t happy with the photos so I made it three times. Each time another set. I just wanted to look these pumpkin pancakes as good as possible. The third time was the best one. I had a lot of fun and in the end I had all these pumcakes (like I call them) to eat. Lucky me.

Continue reading “Pumpkin pancakes with orange blossom honey and hazelnuts – pumcakes”

German apple cake with cinnamon sugar – Tarta de manzana alemán con azúcar de canela

 

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When I took a long walk these days to capture the last late summer sunbeams and to pick a few apples for a cake, I realized that fall has officially arrived. It is that very special light that shines through the trees and their leaves and that leaves a warm feeling on your skin and soul. Yup, a new season is here. Continue reading “German apple cake with cinnamon sugar – Tarta de manzana alemán con azúcar de canela”