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...

wtorek, 27 lipca 2010

July Daring Bakers Challenge - Swiss swirl ice cream cake

The July 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge was hosted by Sunita from Sunita's world - life and food. Sunita challenged everyone to make an ice-cream filled Swiss roll that’s then used to make a bombe with hot fudge. Her recipe is based on an ice cream cake recipe from Taste of Home

At first I was so excited by this challenge - interesting looking with many levels dessert is always fun to make. But - having hard time at work is very good if we talking about twisting your baking mood 180. So lately, after hitting home, I just dreaming about hot bath, my bad and big tasty sandwich - not about spending whole day in a kitchen. You can easily see the results here on a blog - almost nothing is happening in July. 
So i was even thinking  about skipping the challenge but yesterday I grab and push myself to the kitchen and I started working on that recipe.

The base for both in my version in Chocolate sponge Cake - oh how i love this one. Airy yet very rich in taste, lovely base for any kind of cake or dessert.
Than I made to versions of fillings for a rolls. Also I played a little with recipe and found a way to include my homemade Red Currant jam here. Hope you like mine cakes.

First one - Chocolate Swiss roll with chocolate ice creams and red currants jam
Layers - chocolate swiss roll filled with chocolate whipping cream, two chocolate ice creams layers and sour-ish red currant jam in a centre. Real chocolate extravaganza

Second was also chocolate swiss roll but this time filled with basic vanilla whipping cream, with two layers of vanilla ice creams but with hot chocolate fudge inside - well it was not classic fudge coz I mix it with ricotta cheese.

For recipe please hit this site which was a base for Sunita's Challenge.

poniedziałek, 26 lipca 2010

Cheese Cake with Black Currants

Yep you've got it right - not Cheesecake but Cheese Cake.
Some will ask - what she is talking about? I am not one of those weirdo bloggers who "invent" new names for every meal they make. Some times, well mostly, the dish is exactly what it is - the same old fish and chips and not some "light like air white fish-something with delicate cutted potatoes seasoned with wonderful and mind-blowing ... something". I hate those. 
The same in restaurants - when I see something like that in menu I know that : a. an owner or/and chef is as*hole and b. food is not even close to those "amazing" full page names.
But today I want to be clear - it is not cheesecake with crust or without it but just simple cake where flour is mixed with cheese in 1:1 ratio. The effect - cake which is heavy, for some maybe even to much, and you can really taste cottage cheese. Very summery, old fashioned cake. 

Cheese Cake with Black Currants:

300 gram of full fat cottage cheese ( the best is "white cheese" but since I know that american and UK readers might have problems with finding this one I recommend quark or something similar, even ricotta - but please do not use Philadelphia )
3 tablespoon of sour cream - could be double cream
2 tablespoon of melted butter or oil
2 eggs
100 ml of buttermilk
300 gram of flour
100 gram of sugar
2 teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt

about 200 gram of Black Currants
Caster sugar for sprinkle 

Preheat oven 380-390F/200C. Cover your baking tin with baking paper
In a bowl mix cheese with cream, fat and buttermilk until smooth. Add eggs and mix well.
In second bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add this to first bowl and mix well with cheese mixture. Place in a tin and sprinkle with fruits pressing them a little into cake. Sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoon of caster sugar and bake for 35-40 minuter. Cool dawn and sprinkle with big amount of caster sugar. 
Serve to a good friend or bad neighborhood if you have problem with them. 

niedziela, 18 lipca 2010

Macaron - if you can't buy it, bake it

I have done it. 
After many unsuccessful attempts I make ( eee almost ) good French Macaron. Well okey - it was semi-successful but still. The best ones I ever made.
This was my 4th - looking not so bad, I heard about dozens and dozens attempts from other bloggers, so I should be happy. But you know what make me still having the bitc* face while talking about those pretty pieces? The fact that 5th try was again bad. That's the "beauty" of Macaron - this is very hard even for trained cook. You can make them 100 times amazing and just perfect and then face the horrible 101 one. 

See those are not good enough - you can easily see those lumps and all imperfections. But as a plus I can count - having "the feet", good shell on the outside and chewy inside, good taste. All in all not bad for the first time.
The minus? I have no almond flour so I must make it from a scratch. Bad idea if you don't have blender - I have old fashioned hand-machine. Too lumpy. And i left the skins - second bad idea. So those pretty little dots on mine Macarons are not vanilla pieces as you, culinary smart readers can think. Ugly.
The filling was the simplest chocolate ganache

I use this recipe - i tell you this site is so great - read all 101 about both methods for Macarons.

piątek, 9 lipca 2010

Smelly cheese and wonderful result

You know the times when you see something very tasty in your favorite market - something soo delicious, yet soo expensive that you always pass it, thinking about how you actually do not need it. The truffles, very good, original Champagne, best Pecorino etc. 
Last week I was just doing some errand and I can't believed when I saw this cheese on sale - it was one of those real French cheeses, slightly smelly yet saying - i am soft and spicy inside, eat me!
So I did buy it.
And kinda regret it.
You see - closed into paper was lovely, but after opening - oh god - smell alert. At first I was thinking that something died. 
But you must understand that I am last person in a world who would throw food away. I knew I must to find some idea what to do with it - eating it fresh, on a bread, was not an option. Thankfully I found a solution.
One part ended up in a tart and some of it in this tasty, creamy soup.

Creamy zucchini soup and red onions marmalade:

Zucchini Cream:
2 big zucchinis
1 onion
2 cups of water or better - stock
100 gram of good soft cheese ( could be also some blue cheese if you prefer )
150 gram of full fat yoghurt
2 tablespoon of sour cream
4-5 sage leaves
butter, salt, pepper

Chop onion and fry until soft on a butter. Add chopped into slim slices zucchini and fry for 7-10 minutes. Pour water/stock into pan and cook until veggies will be soft. Add cheese. Take from a heat, cool a little and mix until smooth. In a cup mix sour cream with a yoghurt and add one tablespoon of soup to strong a mixture. Now you can add cream/yoghurt mixture to soup. Mix with a spoon well. Heat again but do not boil. And chopped sage leaves. Serve with bread and red onion marmalade.

Red Onions Marmalade:
3-4 red onions
2 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of balsamico
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

In a pan heat a butter until it melt and add chopped nicely onions. Sprinkle with a sugar and fry until they will very soft. Add balsamico and fry for another 10 minutes until you get marmalade texture. Pour into jars and cool. Serve on a toasted bread or with a meat - best with chicken, turkey or other sweet-tasted meats.

piątek, 2 lipca 2010

Lemon tartelettes with apricot mousse and Lemon Curd

Oh sunny, sunny day.
Was at a local market lately and I saw the most sunny lemons I ever had - they literally smiled at me and screamed "Buy us!". Maybe they should not be so excited. 
They ended up being peeled, crushed, cutted and baked. 
But hey - I am not a monster. To make their life little sweeter I give them sugar. Lot of sugar. 
I saw that they really clicked - the perfect pair - sugar and tart lemons. I smell longterm marriage starting here.

Lemon tartelettes:
(recipe for dough from polish food magazine Kuchnia, 07/2010, make about 30 small, one-size tarts)

15 dag of cold butter cutted into small pieces
2 cups of flour
3 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of cold water
Apricot mousse
Lemon curd 

Preheat oven 200C/390F
In a bowl mix flour with sugar and salt. Ad butter and make something like a big-pieces grit. Now slowly add cold water and hand make dough. Cool for about 30 minutes. Roll thin - about 1 inch. Place in a tins cut with a for to prevent rising too much. Bake for about 7-10 minutes until lightly gold. Take off make 160C/320F oven heat. Pour one teaspoon of apricot mousse in a tin and cover with lemon curd. Bake for about 10 minutes - curd should be still the same color but more thick than a fresh one.
I also try unbaked curd and mousse and it work nice if you serve your tartelettes in an hour or two. But for longer time use baked recipe.
(See the dark something on mine ? I replace apricot mousse in some tarts - I use homemade crunchy walnut butter - also nice combination)

Lemon curd

1 egg
2 eggs yolk
150 gram of sugar 
3 lemons - peeled and juiced
2 tablespoon of butter

Wash your lemons. Peel them and juice. In a heavy bottom pan whisk an egg, egg yolks and sugar together. You could use hand blender but not overdo it - you just want a sugar to "disappear". Add lemon juice and peeled skin.
Place in a pan over a small heat and stir mixture until you see that it thicken. Mixture should be tick enough that hen placed on a spoon it does not run down easily. Take off from a heat and add butter. Place in a jar and cool. You may use it not only for our lovely tartelettes but also eat on a toast or whatever.

Apricot mousse

500 gram of apricot
2 tablespoon of fresh lemon or orange juice
100 gram sugar

Cut apricots in a half and take off a stone. Place in a pan, add juice and start to heat over a very small heat. After 1-2 minutes when they soften a little add sugar. Make a little bigger heat and stir from time to time baking it 10-12 minutes. You should have end up with soft pulp with only little apricots pieces. Now you can either left it like that or blend if you want smoother mousse. If it is too watery place on a heat for another 3-5 minutes until water dry off more. Take off from a heat and cool.