Mini Pumpkin Quiches with 3 types of Cheese


Here’s a very quick recipe for mini-quiches. They are very quick and can make an excellent breakfast or late-night dinner snack. When accompanied by some sort of a fresh salad as a side dish they can become a complete light meal. Also, they are a great idea for picnicking – the portions are already made and they can be great without pre-heating.

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Ingredients:

(For 12 quiches)

150 gr. pumpkin
150 gr. carrot
150 gr. sweet potato
150 gr. kashkaval cheese
160 gr. mozzarella cheese
60 gr. Roquefort cheese
4 tbsp. vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves
Leaves from 3 branches of basil
5 eggs

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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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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…..

Pumpkin, Sweet Potato and Mint Pie


The basis for this pie is made of a Pâte Brisée dough, and the filling is made of pumpkin, sweet potato, cheese and some mint leaves. Care to try?

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Ingredients:

The following list of ingredients will work for a baking form (for a tart), 28 centimeters in diameter.

Dough:
200 gr. flour
100 gr, cold butter cut into small cubes
0.5 tsp. salt
150 gr. sour cream

Filling:
20 gr. butter
1 large onion
250 gr. pumpkin
350 gr. sweet potato (*)
250 gr. feta cheese
2 eggs
200 gr. low-fat sour cream
100 gr. Kashkaval (or similar) cheese
100 gr. hard yellow cheese (could be some kind of Cheddar with additives)
1.5 tsp. dry mint leaves

(*) alternatively, only pumpkin can be used – take 600 gr. in this case

Process:

Lets start with preparing the dough. Mix the flour with the salt. In a food processor add the butter to flour with salt and “beat” it into small crumbs. Transfer the crumbs into a bowl add most (not all) of the sour, mix the dough and form it into a small ball. If needed, add the remainder of the sour cream. Please note that there is no need to mix this into a completely uniform mass. This kind of dough doesn’t react well to over-mixing, as it becomes too firm. All we need is to form it into a firm ball. In the end, wrap the ball with a plastic wrap and put in refrigerator for, at least, 30 minutes.

Now to the filling: take a bowl and grate the pumpkin and the sweet potato on a fine grater. Take another bowl and grate all the cheese on the same grater into it. Finely chop the onion.In a large frying pan, dissolve the butter and fry the onion while mixing, until transparent. Add the grated pumpkin and sweet potato, mix and simmer this on high heat for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables change their color and soften. Remove from heat and chill.

If you are preparing this pie and plan to serve it the next day, you can take a long break at this point and leave both the dough and the filling in a refrigerator.

After chilling the fried vegetables, mix them with all other filling ingredients and add salt (if needed). In my case, the feta cheese was salty enough, so additional salt was not required. Might not always be the case.

Take the dough from the refrigerator, sprinkle with flour and roll it (make sure the size of the rolled dough “sheet” is matching the baking form you are going to use. It is easiest to roll this kind of dough between two sheets of baking paper. Insert the rolled dough “sheet” into the baking form and trim the edges.Cover the dough with a sheet of baking paper, put some load on top of it (for weight) and bake for 20 minutes on 190 C.

Remove the load and the baking paper, pour the filling into the form on top of the dough and bake for additional 45 minutes until the filling obtains slightly brownish color.

Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. The pie is ready for serving at this point, although it can be even better if tasted cold from the refrigerator.

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If you liked this salty pie, check out the Sweet Pumpkin Pie recipe:

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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…..

Poppy Seeds Cake with White Chocolate


From the culinary standpoint this is a very interesting cake – an impressive list of ingredients; it isn’t always clear why all of them are necessary but the result is absolutely astonishing – a soft, fragrant cake with a very rich flavor: white chocolate and poppy as a base, citrus background notes …

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Ingredients:

Cake:

40 g. butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
90 g. brown sugar,
90 gr. “Demerara” sugar
1 tbsp honey
Zest of one lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
1 egg yolk
70 g. poppy seeds (ground)
90 gr. flour
5 g. (1/2 bag) baking powder
60 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
100 grams. sour cream
50 grams of apple puree and some rum

Glazing:

40 gr. white chocolate
20 gr. butter
A bit of lemon zest

Process:

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

Mix butter, vegetable oil, sugar, honey, lemon zest and vanilla essence. Using blender “beat” it into a light cream. Then add the egg and blend further until a uniform mass is obtained. Then add the additional yolk, and again, “beat” into a uniform mass.

Sift in the flour with the baking powder, add poppy seeds and mix (manually, not using the blender). Add the remaining ingredients (chocolate, rum, sour cream and apple puree) and again mix into a uniform mass.

Using a baking form for English cakes, bake for 40-45 minutes.

Glazing – melt chocolate and butter together on a steam (using bain-marie construction) add the zest, mix and chill slightly. Pour on the cake (when its slightly chilled as well) and let the mass solidify.

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…..

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Buns with Fried Onions and Poppy Seeds


What I like about these buns is the very unusual combination of ingredients – I haven’t seen any use of poppy seeds in non-sweet bakery before (except for some basic bread recipes). I have to confess that I simply love the sensation created by the poppy seeds when eating these buns – the crunchy sense and sound. In this recipe, the dough is a bit unusual as well, slightly resembling that of a pancake.

So, the result is somewhat related to both pancakes and muffins with a sweetish crispy filling. Very very nice 🙂

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Ingredients:

(For a baking form of 12 muffins)

Filling:

30 gr. butter
3 small or medium-sized onions (can be red/purple)
1/4 glass poppy seeds (whole or crushed)

Dough:

210 gr. flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mustard powder
300 ml. milk or sour milk
3 eggs
1 tsp salt

Oil for spraying the baking form

Process:

Clean the onions, cut them first into halves and then further into thin half-rings. Fry them “on” oil in the frying pan, till the point when they become transparent. Very important to stop at this point, as the onions will continue their preparation in the oven.

Mix all the ingredients for the dough into a smooth mixture and leave for 10 minutes – the dough turns liquid.

Preheat the oven to oven to 210C and warm the muffin-shaped baking form inside. Spray oil on the baking form very generously. Fill each muffin-shape in the form with the dough – one way of doing it is with a ladle, spreading on top a spoonful of onion and a teaspoon of poppy seeds. Bake for 30 minutes. During the baking, some of the onion and poppy seeks will sink into the dough, and the dough itself will “rise” almost doubling its original size.

The buns are best served when they are still warm, straight of the oven!

Check out similar and 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…..

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Sweet Pumpkin Pie


This pie was originally conceived in September 2010. When working on it, the filling was actually prepared by our (then) 2.5 years-old daughter.

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Ingredients for the pie base:

270 gr. flour
150 gr. cold butter
25 gr. sugar powder
A pinch of salt
6 tablespoons of ice-cold water (*)

Ingredients for the filling:

400 gr. pumpkin puree
10 gr. (small pack) of vanilla sugar (or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence)
7-8 tbsp sugar
4 eggs
1 full spoon of  starch
Juice of half a lemon
Orange peel from two oranges

Pie baking form – 28cm is diameter.

Pie Base:

Sift flour with salt and sugar powder. Cut the butter into small cubes. Mix them all together and with a knife create a formation similar to bread crumbs (this can be done inside a food processor using a blade attachment). Put the resulting crumbs into a bowl, add the water and stir the eventual dough (quickly). For the dough into a ball shape, wrap with kitchen cellophane wrap and put into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

The Filling:

I did not weigh the pumpkin, therefore I can only talk about the amount of the resulting mash.

Cut the pumpkin into small pieces and cook in a covered pot over low heat until tender, about 30 minutes (without salt or sugar, you can add a tablespoon of water). Turn the resulting tender mass into a puree with a blender until smooth. Let the puree rest until it reaches room temperature.

Add all the remaining ingredients stirring them in until the sugar is dissolved completely and a uniform mass is obtained.

Splash the pie baking form with a bit of oil. Roll the dough to the size of the form, put in shape and cut off the edges. In order to avoid the possibility of liquids from the mash soaking into the basis, I baked the basis for 20 minutes (under weight) at 200C (392F).

Pour the filling at the baked foundation and cook for 30 additional minutes at 180C (356F). In the end, the filling should be have an “elastic” touch (you can see my fingerprint in the photo below, as I checked it ahead of time – be careful).

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Leave in the refrigerator for a night before consumption. Make an effort not to eat it all at once 🙂

*My way of making ice-cold water: pour room-temperature water into a cup and add some ice cubes from the freezer.