niedziela, 17 października 2010

Going on hiatus

                          It will be no suprise. After fighting few weeks with myself I decided to go on hiatus with my blogs.
I hope that after a while (ok it might be more than a while) I will be back with new ideas and inspirations. Lately I lack both plus my work and study catch me. 

Still if you're in poland you can read my monthly cooking articles in Lounge Magazyn ("Na widelcu")- you can catch printed version in cool places in Cracow (and if I am correct in Warsaw also) or just check it online. Have a good read :D

In other news - in poland we have new culinary magazine - Family&Friends - gosh this is AMAZING! It show cooking world in different light for us - more Noma style, fashion/trendy cooking. LOVE

niedziela, 3 października 2010

Retro cake with pears

It's October so I try to back to posting. It will be quite hard since i got like no time but will see, anyway...
Lately I have one obsession - me having no new book to read. You may laugh, but with each visit in bookstore I am  more and more angry. I did not find anything new I want to buy and read whole day. 
I read all my books from family bookshelves like twice and if I grab Murakami one more time I will literally change into some depressed Japanese girl with excellent music taste. 
So it's really time for something new, for fresh writing meat.
You may wonder what the hell it has anything with cooking. Well my obsession with new book increase after making this cake. So blame the cake for me blah blah.
The simple, spongy pear cake. I make this mostly coz I have like 4 pounds of pears fresh from the market. Some are green and more "wild", some has this amazing yellow-red color and strong, almost perfumed aroma.
Those are like picturing fall in a fruit. Like trees which are now changeling the color from juicy green into wonderful, warm reddish orange.
So i baked this I in a minute when I taken it from oven I thought about me having new book, sitting with coffee and cake, reading all day. In my brain this cake = book. So you see - this is a must.
And this time I mean this cake.

Retro cake with pears:

125 gram butter (quite soft, not straight from fridge)
100 gram caster sugar
2 eggs (Try to find the real one)
125 gram flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

4-5 big pears
1-2 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven 180C
Wash and cut pears into small cubes. Take frying pan and on small heat melt butter. Place pears, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and fry until they will soften just a little and make some juice. Cool,
In a bowl place butter and caster sugar and mix until light in color and quite puffy. Add egg, one by one (mix after each before adding new things) and vanilla essence. Now in other bowl mix flour with baking powder. Add flour mixture too eggs and mix not to hard.
Place dough into buttered tin and cover with pears cubes, pressing them a little into cake. 
Bake 20-25 minuter - cake must rise and be brown.

niedziela, 5 września 2010

Whole wheat pie crust. Soft cheese.

                 Rainy days starts autumn. Nobody wants to go out, nobody wants to dinner outside. Well maybe some wants, but I am not the one who like rain in my soup.
So what to do when it's like that? Bake. Eat. Sleep.

Whole wheat pie crust with soft cheese spread

For crust:
200 gram whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
100 gram butter
1 egg yolk
1-2 tablespoon of cold, cold water
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
pinch of pepper

For soft cheese spread:
100 ml of heavy cream (or double cream)
70 gram of gouda, grated
1-2 tablespoon of parmesan
50 gram of smooth fresh cheese
cutted green onion
pinch of nutmeg, white pepper
Preheat oven 180C
In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, pepper. Add cold butter and mix - you should have crumbs, not solid dough. Add yolk and start making dough with hands. Quickly - if it is too dry - add cold water.
Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
In saucepan place heavy cream and gouda - place on small heat and slowly melt the cheese. Add parmesan and cutted green onion, nutmeg and pepper. Take from the heat. Cool. Mix inside fresh cheese. If it still too runny, add more grated parmesan.
Roll crust 0,5 cm. Place into small, individual baking tins.Bake for 10 minutes or until it golden. Cool.
Place one teaspoon of spread into individual pie crust.

poniedziałek, 30 sierpnia 2010

Daring Bakers August 2010 - Ice Creams Petit Fours

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Yeah yeah I know - baad blogger, really baaad blogger. Not only my last post was like two weeks ago but also for this month DB I use fruits I used the whole month - plums. Gosh I really must work on my blogger/cooking skills. 
But to be honest I think that I will back on track fully in October - to busy time now.

Just one word about the recipe - this is seriously THE BEST SPONGE RECIPE i ever had - richness of the gold burned butter is amazing. Usually i ad no butter at all. You can really feel the difference - cake is spongy, light, sweet with this nutty flavor on your tongue. AMAZING. 

niedziela, 15 sierpnia 2010

Agust Daring Cooks 2010 - The World of Pierogi

The August 2010 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by LizG of Bits n’ Bites and Anula of Anula’s Kitchen. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make pierogi from scratch and an optional challenge to provide one filling that best represents their locale.

I don't think that I could think of more polish/middle Europa kind of dish than Pierogi. Most of countries here (like Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia etc etc.) has those little dough pieces in menu. The main difference in filling - some are very traditional and connected with each country's history or style of living. Some are new and very modern. The truth is : you could probably make a filling with anything you want. 
This filling is kind of traditional here : many bars has "Russian Pierogi" in their menu - onion, cooked potatoes and "white cheese" (fresh cheese). As you can see - i skip the cheese this time.

See those? I wanted to show you, who are not familiar with pierogi, how easily you can fold those into uszka. Another polish specialty.
Dill dough - very nice aroma, delicate and summery, with salmon and, should be, two cheeses - fresh cheese and Dziugas - hard cheese from Lithuania (similar to parmigiano reggiano)

środa, 11 sierpnia 2010

Sweets that are good for you

                   Plum craze continue. But can you blame me? After all it is begging of the end of the summer so the plums, in all their grace, are everywhere. Big, small, dark, light in color, sweet as...well...sweets and tart that give you sour taste after eating too much. 
The problem is one - how to avoid those little, sneaky worms. Some say that proteins are good for you but seriously, I will left you mine if you want. I think I prefer to have little lacks of the proteins.
Anyway - this time I was inspired with Turkey, Bulgaria and all those countries. Their kitchens are sweet and very rich. They using many tasty spices that give you 'that' taste. So, the dish is probably not really real Turkish but something I came up dreaming about places with men with a beards and mustaches.
Plums with sweet millet groats filing:

12-15 plums (quite or very big)
100 gram of millet groats
3-4 tablespoon of oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon of nutmeg
pinch of pepper
50-70 gram of raisins
50 gram of dry plums
2- tablespoon of sesame
2-3 tablespoon of any sweet syrup you prefer (I like maple, date)

optional : 1-2 tablespoon of good honey or brown sugar 

Cook millet in salted water.
In dry pan place spices, sesame and oatmeal. Fry until you will smell tasty and strong smell of the spices. Add raisins and cutted dry plums (you can soak both in some tasty alcohol). Fry for about minute and add syrup (also now is the time for honey or sugar if you use it). Season with pepper and heat for another minute or two. Cool the filling down.
Cut plums in a half and fill with teaspoon (or two if yours plums are bigger). Serve.
Yes simple as that. I tell you you can eat many of those - with a glass of good wine is the best end of a day.

piątek, 6 sierpnia 2010

Plum rice pudding with granulated oatmeal plum topping

            Yesterday it hit me. Something changed - the air is different. You know - it is just beginning of an August, but I really can say that the summer is over now. Yeah, we will probably have few hot, hot days in August too, but it's not the same. 
You may feel sad, but me - no way. I love end of the summer/first few weeks of autumn. It's still warm, but not hot. The air is fresh, not only in mornings, but through entire days. The light is very cozy and nice - golden, everything looks better, nicer, warmer. Plus the best fruits are coming - apples, plums, pears. Oh can't wait (and do not even ask me how i love early autumn fashion - my fav period in the fashion year ^_^)

Rice pudding with plums and with oatmeal-plum topping
(one individual serving)

2 tablespoon of white rice
full fat milk (you can also mix regular milk with coconut one)
pinch of salt
2 tablespoon of sugar
5-6 small plums
white pepper
2 tablespoon of granulated oatmeal (I take the plum one to add more plum taste to the pudding)
2 tablespoon of cold butter
2 tablespoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven 180C/360F.
Place a rice and milk (for start you will need about 200 ml) in a pan with heavy bottom. Cook it until rice will be al dente. Add more milk while cooking if it necessary.
Mix your creamy rice with sugar and nicely chopped plums, add white pepper to taste. You can also add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup.
Make the topping - mix flour, oatmeal(crush it if the chunks are too big),brown sugar and cinnamon. Add cold butter and mix quickly. If it will be too soft you may place it in fridge for 10 minutes. Place your pudding in a small, individual form (mine was about 3 inches). Top the oatmeal mixture over the pudding. 
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until topping will be brown and crispy.

Ohhh the sound when you crush the hard topping with a spoon and you find creamy, soft center...