Cake with Figs Cooked in White Wine


Originally, preparing figs for this cake was done as a part of preparing the Wine Marmalade recipe. The cake was inspired by this recipe (completely different), but I had to be true to myself and change the things.

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Ingredients:

200 gr. flour for baking (with baking powder)
200 gr. soft butter
130 gr. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
Zest of one lemon
Pinch of cloves
700 gr. (approximately) figs

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Bilberry Cake (inspired by Blueberry Muffins)


Not being modest here (actually, not all the credit is mine), this is a simply wonderful cake. It has it all: fun crisp, airy crumb, juicy bilberry and fruity citrus aroma. I have read this recipe for Blueberry Muffins a long time ago, and I kept it in my favorites folder to prepare one day. And then one day it finally happened: my husband (unfortunately, or, maybe luckily) bought bilberries instead of blueberries and, at the same time, I remembered the muffins idea. The technique there was very similar to one used for cakes, so I decided to take an English-cake form and make this into a cake. You can judge the result yourselves….

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Ingredients:

For English-cake baking form 30cms long and 10cms wide:
3 cups of flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
140 gr. butter (warmed to room temperature)
1 glass of sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of natural yogurt
1 tsp. citrus zest
1 1/2 glasses of bilberries (fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon of flour for mixing with bilberries

For the glaze:
30 gr. sugar powder
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice

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Beef Pie with Eggplant and Pine Nuts


I wanted to prepare this recipe for a long time, but somehow didn’t find the time for it. Recently, when cleaning the small table in the living room, I got my eyes on it, and decided that it was time.

What can I tell about the result? Very tasty (in a distinct Mediterranean style). Meat and eggplants is a fairly common combination. Sometimes we even add some eggplant into kebabs/cutlets to make them more juicy. So, this dish doesn’t offer anything “conceptually” new. The upside is that it is really tasty. Even the lack of spice doesn’t affect the result, since the eggplants make good companions for the meat. If someone wants to spice this up, adding cumin or thyme could work really well here. This is a very quick and tasty dish, that could be prepared for dinner in a very short time.

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Ingredients:

(For baking form, 28 centimeters in diameter)

1 pack of puff pastry dough sheets (much better if it is with butter)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion
500 gr, ground beef
800 gr. eggplants pulp (approximately 4 medium-sized eggplants)
3 tbsp. pine nuts
Salt, Pepper

2 tbsp. bread crumbs
Butter for “greasing” the baking form
1 egg

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Macaroni and Cheese Mini Casseroles


One of the advantages of this variant of the classic dish is that its lighting fast. For example, while baking it one can prepare a salad and serve it to the table. (In my case, this was a quick breakfast idea)

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Ingredients:

(For two personal “pies” illustrated above)

75 gr. dry short pasta (do not cook it beforehand)
75 gr. / ml. milk
75 gr. low-fat sour cream*
75. grated cheddar**
Some salt, a pinch of nutmeg (or red/chilli pepper), pepper

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Pumpkin Dough Buns


I cannot explain why, but pumpkin continuously serves for me as an inspiration for non-traditional application of ingredients. This time I kneaded a dough on a pumpkin puree. The result was simply amazing – soft and supple dough, with sun-yellow color, fragrant and tender. This dough keeps a fresh taste for a long time and could serve both for sweet and salty pastries.

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Quick Figs and Goat Cheese Honey Tart


Recently I saw a lot of blog articles on bakery with figs. Here’s my super-simple idea.

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All you need to do is take a Puff Pastry dough and cut it into rectangles. Then you will need to form edges for your rectangles – you can either use strips of the dough, or use the method illustrated and explained below:

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Cut out the inner square, retreating from the edge approximately for 1cm. Then tuck in the edges and the corners in a manner similar to making an origami “boat”. Bake in oven for 15 minutes at 180C.

This is how they look when coming out of the oven:

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Now all that remains is to press the center of our improvised “plate” a bit, add the figs and the cheese and pour some honey on the top. Then bake it for 5 more minutes, the cheese will become a bit brownish and the figs will become softer.

Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..

Passion-fruit Tiramisu


This dessert was made for a dairy dinner celebrating 1st birthday of our youngest daughter Amy. This is a quick version of tiramisu, based on biscuits prepared (or even purchased :-)) in advance….

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Ingredients:

400 gr. “lady finger” biscuits

For the mousse:

75 gr. Passoa liqueur
75 gr. water
100 gr. sugar
3 egg yolks
500 gr. mascarpone
250 gr. cream

For the liquid used for soaking the biscuits:

40 g. lemon juice
25 gr. Passoa liqueur
15 gr. water
50 oz. sugar

3 passion-fruits

Preparation:

  1. First the liquid for soaking the biscuits – mix all the ingredients in the bowl and dissolve the sugar
  2. Warm the liquid a bit, but no need to boil it
  3. Now to the mousse/cream – start with beating/whipping the mascarpone and the cream in separate bowls
  4. Mix the liqueur with water and sugar in a pan, while stirring and bring to boiling. Then remove from the heat
  5. With a mixer (in a bowl), beat the egg yolks on high speed, and then, without stopping the rotating mixer start pouring in the syrup obtained in #4. The volume of the resulting substance will grow significantly at this stage
  6. Take the resulting (in #5) cream, first using about 1/3 of it, and, using a spoon, mix it into the whipped mascarpone, until obtaining a uniform mass. Then repeat the operation with the remaining part of the cream
  7. Afterwards, do the same with the whipped cream
  8. Now to the biscuits – soak them quickly in the soaking liquid and lay them out at the bottom of the form (we usually use a rectangular baking form). On top of the formed layer, spread approximately 1/2 of the mixed mascarpone/cream
  9. Cut the passion-fruits in halves, remove the pulp from 3 halves and spread it on top of the cream
  10. Repeat the same layers as in #8 and #9
  11. Keep it in refrigerator for a day, after which the tiramisu will keep its form and it will be very easy to cut it into serving portions

* The above process has been inspired by the Mango Tiramisu preparation by La Patissiere, but the ingredients and the proportions were modified/adjusted

 

Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..

Mediterranean Cold Eggplant Soup


Spring is coming, gradually bringing warm weather, and this means that its time to update the menu and replace “heavy” winter soups with light and cold summer ones. Here’s one based on eggplants. Making this soup is very quick and if the weather suddenly becomes less warm than anticipated, it can actually be served hot as well.

The tastes combination is classically Mediterranean – eggplants, mint, goat yogurt and chili peppers….

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Ingredients:

(For 6 regular soup-bowls or 16 small servings, like the one illustrated above)

3 large eggplants (or 500 grams of grilled eggplant “flesh”)
500 ml. goat yogurt
500 ml. water
2 garlic cloves
100 gr. goat cheese – similar to non-aged/young Sainte-Maure
1/2 chili pepper
Mint leaves (amount can be varied, roughly take half-a-bunch or mint branches)
Salt, Pepper

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Russian Beef Stew with Porcini Mushrooms, White Wine and Vegetables


Here’s a very nice variation on Russian beef stew. It is very light and could serve as a great dish on every table.

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Ingredients:

1.5 kg beef
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Some flour
1 large onion
20 gr. dried Porcini mushrooms
1 bottle dry white wine
5 sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
water (or vegetable broth)

Preparation:

Cut the meat into cubes (approximately 2 x 2 x 2 centimeters). Cut the onion into half-rings. Put the dried mushrooms into a bowl and pour a glass of boiling water on them.

Warm up the frying pan, heat the vegetable oil, add onion and thyme and fry. When ready, remove the content of the frying pan.

Roll the meat cubes in flour. The best technique to do this is in a plastic bag – put a couple of tablespoons of floor in, add some meat cubes close and shake vigorously to reach the desired effect.

When ready start frying the meat cubes on high heat (not all of them together – better to do that in small portions). Afterwards, add back the onion and thyme, pour in the wine and bring to boiling.

In the meantime, squeeze the mushrooms to remove extra liquids and chop them into small parts. Add both the mushroom parts and the water squeezed from the mushrooms into the pan containing the meat. Then top up with the additional water (or vegetable stock) to cover the “barely” cover the meat with liquids. Add salt and pepper, bring to boiling and then simmer over low heat for 2-2.5 hours.

As a garnish for this dish I would recommend some simple oven-baked vegetables.

1 cauliflower
1 large sweet potato
1 large onion
2 small zucchini
3 branches of thyme
10 garlic cloves
Salt (better use coarse)
2 tbsp. olive oil

Dismantle the cauliflower into florets, coarsely slice other vegetables (important – leave the garlic cloves intact). Add some salt, pour in the oil and mix by hands. Bake in the oven on 200C for approximately 40 minutes until the vegetables are ready.

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If you liked this recipe, check out other related recipes:

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..

3 variants of Watermelon Ice-cream Sorbet


The warm season is approaching, and, speaking from experience, having a decent ice-cream making machine at home is a huge asset. Cold watermelon or cold lemonade are among our favorite ways to cope with warm weather, and combining them into something could only make it even better 🙂

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Mint – Watermelon – Nectarine Ice-Cream

(Nectarine is a close relative of a peach, but with a different type of skin)

250 gr. watermelon “flesh”
150 gr. nectarine “flesh”
Leaves from 2 mint branches
1-2 tbsp. lemon juice

80 gr. sugar (depending on the natural sweetness of the watermelon)

Lemon – Watermelon

400 gr. watermelon “flesh”
2 tbsp. lemon jam (originally – “confiture“)
70 gr. sugar

“Just” Watermelon

370 gr. watermelon “flesh”
30 gr. any kind of fruit liqueur  (like, Passoa or Alize)
100 gr. sugar

The process for all of them is really simple – mix all ingredients in a blender and freeze / turn into ice-cream in an ice-cream making machine.

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If you liked this dessert, check out the following related recipes:

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Did you like this recipe? Do you think that you are going to cook it anytime soon? Have you already tried it?

Please leave us comments about your experience…..