Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Homemade Marzipan and a Marzipan Streusel Cake with fresh fruits

Posted by fourclankitchen on July 12, 2014

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I found this recipe on this fantastic blog called the Daring Gourmet when I was searching for instructions on how to make marzipan at home.  This blog has a recipe for marzipan and it was a revelation.  It took all of 3 minutes to make and was about 5x more flavorful than the store bought log.  It was also significantly cheaper.   As I read the recipe for the streusel cake,  I could tell it was a winner.   I did not have all the stuff needed for it, so I improvised.   Instead of using 2 cups of cherries,  it used 1 3/4 cup mixed fruits (blueberries, peaches, cherries).  I mixed in 2 tsp of strawberry freezer jam into the fruit mix to enhance the flavors of some rather dull tasting blueberries.  I substituted the buttermilk with full fat yogurt.  Finally,  I took out the vanilla extract and added almond extract because a cake cannot be almondy enough for me.

Marzipan:photo 1


1 1/2 cup almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp almond extract.

1 egg white.


Whiz the almond meal and pwd. sugar in the food processor,  stir in almond extract and the egg white.  Pulse till the marzipan comes together and resembles pie dough.   The original recipe called for rosewater, which I don’t like.  So I skipped it.

The recipe also says that this can be stored in the fridge for 6 weeks and longer in the freezer.   I simple made half a recipe and used it all up for the cake.  If you do this, then the egg white cooks with the cake and you don’t have raw egg issues.  You can do this if are squeamish about raw eggs or you can just buy the marzipan (not the same as almond paste).

Marzipan Streusel Cake


For the cake:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup Marzipan
1 egg
½ cup yogurt (the original recipe calls for buttermilk)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract (the original recipe calls for vanilla)
1½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved (I used a mix of fruits because that is what I had at home)

For the Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup  Marzipan (see recipe above), crumbled
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Powdered sugar for dusting  (I did not use).


photo 2

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a  9 inch springform.
2. Make the streusel:

a) Combine the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the marzipan and butter and use your fingers to combine the mixture until it resembles sandy clumps. Set aside.

photo 3

3.  Make the cake:

a) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the marzipan and almond extract and beat until combined. Add the egg and beat until combined.

b) Then add the yogurt, almond extract and marzipan.  Beat till combined with the butter-sugar mix.  The mixture will be grainy.
c) In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
d) Stir  the flour mixture into the batter  about a 1/3 at a time and mix well.  Do not overmix.

e) Spoon the mixture into the greased springform, smoothing the top.

f)  Mix the prepared fruit with the jam and place on top of the batter, then sprinkle the streusel topping over it.

g) Bake on the middle rack for 45-55 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Mine took 55 min (maybe because I added the jam).

h) Let the cake sit in the springform for 10-30 minutes before removing, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cooled, sift powdered sugar over the top (I did not do this).

Link to the original recipe is below.
Read more:

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Baba Ghanouj

Posted by fourclankitchen on May 2, 2014


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I know that no one needs another baba ghanouj (ghanoush, ganoush)  recipe.  But this is my archive and I simply need to have it here so I don’t have to go looking all over the web when I am ready to make it.  This is my version and it adds a serrano pepper, some sesame oil and cilantro: this is what makes my tongue happy, but you can omit these if you want.  I make it frequently and almost always eyeball it, so the measurements here are  not that precise.  When we run out of left overs,  it serves as a great lunch.  All you have to do is to add a pita, naan or tortilla.


photo 1



2 medium-large eggplants (Italian Globe eggplants are just fine).

3 cloves of garlic, peeled (scale according your preference).

1 serrano pepper, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1/3 cup sesame paste (Tahini):

3 tbs. olive oil, more for drizzling if you are into the picture perfect look.

1-2 tbs toasted sesame oil (I used 2)

2-4 tbs. lemon juice or to taste (My eggplants were large, I used 4)

salt, to taste  (I used 1 1/2 tsp)

pinch of cayenne, optional.

a hand full of cilantro (you can use up your stems if you like),  optional.


photo 2


1.  Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Line a jelly roll pan with foil.  Cut each eggplant into half and lightly oil and salt them.

2. Roast, cut side down for about 40 min.  The eggplants should be wrinkled and completely soft.  If not,  continue to roast until they reach this stage (you can do this on a hot grill: it takes about 30 mins, with frequent turning).

3. Let the eggplants cool till they can be handled, then peel off the skin (I often don’t bother, it makes no difference to the flavor).

4.  Put all ingredients in the food processor (except salt and lemon) and zap until you get a perfectly smooth baba ghanouj.  A few bits of cilantro  might not blend, but it still tastes great.

5. Add salt and lemon, taste and adjust.

6. It may need a bit more sesame oil to make the sesame flavor more intense, so adjust accordingly.


photo 3

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Peapods with poppy seed dressing

Posted by fourclankitchen on April 2, 2014

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Poppy Seed Dressing This poppy seed dressing (from Saveur via the cookbook author Helen Corbitt) is one of the best I have ever had and it goes well with everything from peaches and strawberries, to salads to pea pods.   I made the following changes to the original recipe.  I substituted the grated onion for 1 tsp of powdered onion, since I did not see myself grating an onion by hand (do not grate with a food processor, the onion and juice will be bitter).  I figured this would also give the dressing greater shelf-life.  I also skipped the canola oil and went with all olive oil, but I don’t think it makes a big difference here. Do not omit the onion or the mustard,  these are key ingredients.  If you want a well-emulsified dressing,  you are going to have to make it in a bottle and shake it like the devil.  Or you could whisk it.  Even if you don’t do either, the dressing will taste divine.  MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

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2 tbsp. poppy seeds

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

2 tsp. dry mustard powder

2 tsp. kosher salt (Diamond Crystal.  Adjust to taste for all other salts).

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp powdered onion  (the original recipe calls for 1 small yellow onion, finely grated, juice reserved)

3/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup olive oil

Method: 1. Lightly toast the poppy seeds, swirling pan constantly, about 3 minutes. Add sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder, and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Add oil, and blend until smooth.  Keep refrigerated. I have no idea how long it will last in the fridge,  but I have been using it for 3 weeks.

photo 3

Pea pods 


2 tbs. oil



Poppy seed dressing


1. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a heavy (cast-iron) pan.

2.  Add the pea pods in one layer to the pan.

3. Wait to stir for a couple of min till one side develops flecks of brown.

4. Now turn over and cook for a few minutes till browned to your liking.

5. Remove from heat and add the desired amount dressing.  Adjust the salt to your taste.

Posted in condiments, salads, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, vegan, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Muhammara (roasted pepper and walnut dip)

Posted by fourclankitchen on March 14, 2014

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A lot has happened since I last posted a recipe.  We  moved and renovated and the renovations made it impossible to cook anything fun.  But we are done and the house looks lovely.  So here I am with Muhammara, a roasted red pepper and walnut  dip.  Except I did not have red peppers and used  yellows ones instead.  The original recipe is from Saveur,  but I made several changes:  I switched out the pomegranate molasses, which I rarely have in the pantry for 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 tsp of sugar.  I also added 2 garlic cloves instead of one and one thai bird pepper for zing.  Finally I did not fry the bread,  I figured the bread was stale and hard and would do just fine without toasting.  In a separate batch I omitted the bread entirely,  this tasted great as well.  My favorite way to eat this is with pita chips.  Health food,  I know.


2 red bell peppers  (or any other color bell pepper)

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 slice white bread

1 cup toasted walnuts

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 1⁄2 tsp. Aleppo pepper or hot paprika (I used Hungarian sweet paprika)

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (the original called for 2 tsp pomegranate molasses)

1/2-3/4 tsp sugar or to taste

2 cloves garlic, peeled

salt to taste


1.  Stem and broil peppers (4″ away from the heating element) until charred all over (you will have to turn them 2-3 times).  The original recipe says this will be done in 15-20 min.  Mine took 30 min.

2.  Transfer peppers to a bowl, cool and peel (you could seed them if you want, but I don’t).  The peeling goes faster if you place the peppers in a ziplock bag and sweat the peppers for a bit.  I never do since I hate wasting plastic.

3.  Put all ingredients in a food processors and pulse till smooth.  Taste and adjust salt.

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Lemon Cheesecake

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 2, 2013

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I am not a great fan of cheese cake, but my son is.  The only kind that I like making is the lemon/lime cheese cake out of the Philadelphia cream cheese cake cookbook that a friend of mine unloaded on me a long time ago. This recipe on Food52 caught my eye, because it is very similar to the one I make,  but instead of using the standard graham cracker crumb crust, it uses a Biscoff cookie crust.  These are awesome cookies,  especially if you are the type of person who likes a little something with their coffee or tea.   A crust made of this sounded pretty good to me and it was.  So here is the recipe.  The original recipe calls for Meyer lemons,  I used regular lemons.  It also called for a sour cream icing/topping which I skipped, this cake is rich enough.  When I tasted  the filling (yes it has raw eggs and I lived to tell),  it seemed to want more salt,  so I added some (I am guessing I added about 1/2 tsp).  Those are the only changes I made.

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  • 1/2 of  an 8.8 pack of  Biscoff cookies, crumbled
  • 1/3cup sugar
  • 1/8teaspoon salt
  • 5tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled somewhat


  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with butter.
  2. In a food processor, pulse Biscoff cookies until finely ground. Add sugar and salt and  melted butter and process again.
  3. Press mixture into bottom and about a 1/3 of the way along the sides of springform pan (I got lazy and just pressed it to the bottom of the pan). Bake  for 10 minutes and let crust cool while you put together the filling.

photo 1

Lemon cheesecake filling
  • 3 (8 oz.)packages cream cheese (I used 2 full fat and one low fat packages).  Bring to room temp. before proceeding.
  • 4large eggs
  • 1cup sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 lemons, zest removed and juice reserved
  • 1/2 tsp extract (I omitted)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

photo 3


  1. In a mixing bowl, place cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. This is a real pain if your cream cheese is not soft and at room temp.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sugar and mix well.
  2. Add the zest to the  batter. Add all of the juice and the extract (if using), and continue to mix. Pour batter into prepared  crust. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until cake is just set in center.  You must place the baking sheet under the pan.  The Biscoff releases oil which could mess up your oven. Line sheet with foil if desired.
  3. Remove cake from oven and let cool.  Store cheesecake, well-wrapped in refrigerator. Its better when eaten cold.

Posted in baked, Dessert | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


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