Here’s another cake that I make over and over again at home, and it keeps being one of the favorites for my family members, just like the Orange Cake I’ve written about previously. The cake keeps moist (thanks to lemon syrup) with clear yellow presence of lemon zest and crunchy touch of poppy seeds. Personally, for me, this is the absolute “apogee” of home bakery – light, tasty, unpresumptuous and very simple to make. Sort-of the ultimate answer to a question like “What do you have for tee?”. The best part is that, probably, most of the ingredients could easily be found at almost any kitchen.
The inspiration for this recipe is coming from a book about baking bread. Still, I dare to claim that this one is a cake and not a bread. I have modified the technique around beating the bread with the sugar for the dough (instead of mixing, as suggested in the original recipe). This cake can be baked either in English-cake form, or in a form for baking muffins, in addition to the round form as shown in the photo above.
(For a round form of 22 cms in diameter, like the one in the photo, or for a deep English-cake form):
3 tbsp. poppy seeds
1/2 glass of milk
75 gr. butter (at room temperature)
1 glass of sugar
1 1/4 flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Zest from 2 lemons
1/4 tsp. salt
This cake could either be called a “Orange Cake with Poppy Seeds” or, alternatively, a “Poppy Seeds Cake with Oranges”. Both of the ingredients (we will be using a combination of orange jam, zest and juice) are equally prominent in this lovely cake, complement each other and equally contribute to the eventual result. I saw an original idea in ideasfordinner blog, but then I almost forgot about it. One day I had a craving for something just like this, and, gladly, I managed to find the recipe and make it. The cake turns out being very soft and moist – extremely pleasant. In our family it was eaten in less than two days. I will present the recipe I’ve modified and cooked. The original one can be seen here.
3 tbsp. orange jam
150 gr. sour cream
150 gr. sugar
200 gr. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
175 gr. butter (at room temperature)
Zest of 1 orange
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
This cake has participated in a grand cheesecakes competition in my workplace last year, reaching the final and receiving lots of feedback from tens/hundreds of people. It took me about a week to come up with a complete recipe, deciding on with the basis quite quickly, but spending lots of time on decoration. In fact, the final variant got “materialized” only when baking the cake.
Special thanks to Maria Selyanina for the excellent idea of using aromatic herbs. The cake itself is very simple to make and doesn’t even require a mixer.
150 gr. flour
40 gr. sugar powder
100 gr. cold butter cut into cubes
30 gr. cold milk
1/2 tsp. passion fruit extract
Believe it or not, but this was the first jam I’ve ever made. I spent some time home with a nasty cold/flu, and I thought of making a jam for more medicinal reasons than culinary. I’ve been curious about quince jams before, especially being impressed by their color. Somehow, I was avoiding making jams because of an assumption that it would be complicated. I couldn’t have been more wrong! It is very easy and the attractive color just occurs by itself (some sort of mystical transformation). So, if someone wants to try, I definitely recommend this method.
2 large quince fruits (in my case their combined weight was 1kg and they yielded 920 grams of fruit)
700 gr. sugar
Juice of half a lemon
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 tsp. of Cinnamon
A pinch of nutmeg powder
There is something about thick/creamy orange-colored soups that make them especially popular in my family. Maybe its the fact that a bright orange color is a great mood setter, or my husband’s love for sweet potatoes (and mine for pumpkins) or something else. The fact is, that, at least twice a month, I find myself preparing an orange-colored soup. They can be lighter in summer and heavier/thicker in winter. This time I wanted to make something original and “play” a bit with the ingredients.
Here’s the logic for the ingredients: goat cheese is a great companion for pumpkin and sweet potato, as its piquancy combines well with their natural sweetness. Additionally acidity and aroma of oranges provides a great complement/contradiction to a velvety sweet pumpkin taste. All that’s remaining is to add some low-fat cream to balance (and subdue) all the flavors and we’re getting a very original, rich winter-type soup with great aroma and substance. It is thick, but, thanks to orange notes, doesn’t feel heavy at all.
(For 2-2.5 liters of soup)
1 Cucurbita moschata pumpkin (or 1.5 kgs of ordinary pumpkin)
1 medium-size carrot
1 medium-size sweet potato
1 small onion
1 trunk of leek
30 gr. butter
3 branches of thyme
250 gr. low fat cream
100 gr. young white goat cheese
‘T was the day after XMAS and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…
Seriously, it was a morning after some holidays (and holiday meals) and all I’ve had left in the refrigerator was leftovers – some cheese and sheet of ready-made puff pastry dough. Apparently, this was enough to prepare a very quick (less than 5 minutes) and very tasty salty pie for breakfast.
- ~70 gr of hard cheese (Kashkaval, Parmesan or Grana Padano)
- 100 gr of soft Goat Feta cheese
- 100 gr of Sour Cream (9%)
- Small sheet of ready-made puff pastry dough
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 branch of rosemary
- 1 egg
I saw this idea in a culinary magazine issue dedicated to gluten-free recipes and the technique of preparing a couscous-like dish with cauliflowers has caught my attention. So, the next day I bought some cauliflowers and prepared this salad. It turned out very fresh and original. I did leave the cauliflower “crunchy”, leave its original unmistakable texture. This is the main difference between my version and the original one where the cauliflower was cooked longer and became soft. I use this dish as either a light “dietary” garnish or as a salad in its own right. Preparing it can’t be easier and the taste can be combined with many dishes.
(For a medium-sized salad bowl)
1 head of cauliflower
A handful of dried cranberries
1/2 glass finely chopped coriander leaves
1/2 glass finely chopped mint leaves
Juice of half a lemon
A little olive oil (optional, can be removed due to dietary preferences)