niedziela, 27 czerwca 2010

June Daring Bakers Challenge - Chocolate Pavlova with Mascarpone Mousse

         The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

I am so glad that this month what was choosed is the lovely Pavlova. 
Baking meringue is always tricky but result is mostly wonderful. Crisp outside, chewy and rich inside this recipe is real winner. I did not change much - I just added crushed nuts to chocolate mascarpone mousse and some tart-sweet cherries for decoration and breaking taste. Also I really love strong taste of Mascarpone Cream used for drizzling.

Recipes could be easily find in DB blogs.

sobota, 26 czerwca 2010

It's a boy!

Oh boy, boy. 
I had a newborn baby. No - I don't mean the real one - crying and making you sleepy all day long, after waking up in the night.
I am talking about my new Ice Cram Maker which I bought today. 
Now the baby is resting in a refrigerator, but after that I will be making all kinds of frozen goods. First will be yogurt-strawberry with crushed roasted almonds.
Can't wait.

niedziela, 20 czerwca 2010

Layered grid and tapioca cake

When the weekend is around the corner the cake is a must. I think that it is the same all around the world but the thing is that slow Sunday-cake-and-coffee time is something very characteristic for Cracow. 
Sunday is time for hitting Market Square and Old City, for flipping trough new books in your favorite bookstore, time for drinking coffee in small places hidden from the tourists eyes. 
You left your work and school behind you, do not think about personal problems. On days like that I sometimes feel like a stranger in my own city which is very nice. Exploring your home like you never been here is refreshing.

I do not have time for baking so I take a twist on polish classic. Recipe is from this lovely blog but I changed it here and there. It is called there Bajaderka but it is more like Karpatka on a biscuits. One layer is classic sweet grit butter, but second is something new - tapioca pudding. 
It added new texture which is kind of surprising for your taste buds

Layered grid and tapioca cake:

35-40 biscuits
500 ml of milk + 350 ml of milk
2 tablespoon of full hat cream ( 30% or 36% )
100 gram of grit
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
50 gram of caster sugar + 70 gram of caster sugar
100 gram of butter + 2 tablespoon
4 tablespoon of tapioca pearls

Melt butter in 500ml of milk and add 50 gram of sugar and grit. Stir whole time of cooking to avoid any lumps. Cook for about10 minutes until it starts thicken and hard on a bottom. Take off from the heat and cool just a little. Layer your tin* ( the best is square one but I haven't got any in proper size ) with one layer of biscuits and pour grit butter layer. Cover with second layer of biscuits. Heat slowly 350 ml of milk, cream and rest of sugar in a pan and add tapioca. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until you will see that it become heavy and stiff. Cool and pour on second layer of biscuits. Cool in a refrigerator minimum 2-3 hours. 

*If you use square one you should use 25 cm on 30 cm one. Or similar. If you use round it should be 21 cm.

czwartek, 17 czerwca 2010

What next? Preview

I started to write little pieces for city's lifestyle magazine Lounge. The text is in polish but please enjoy :)
Anyway, I just finished my next article so I can show you little sneak peak. 
Stay tune for next issue of Lounge Magazine. 

poniedziałek, 14 czerwca 2010

June Daring Cooks Challenge - Chicken Liver Pate and Pesto Bread

Our hostesses this month, Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz, and Valerie of a The Chocolate Bunny, chose delicious pate with freshly baked bread as their June Daring Cook’s challenge! They’ve provided us with 4 different pate recipes to choose from and are allowing us to go wild with our homemade bread choice.

Since I saw this Challenge back in a May I was more than excited. Firstly because I love baking pates. I like using all kind of spreads and pates on my bread every morning. Also I wanted to make bread again after first quite succesfull attempt with Irish Soda Bread.

Sometimes I feel like I am countrywoman lost in a city since I love the country so much. I am not sure if I could live in a country full-time but for a longer free-time stays I'm in! I like to wake up very early, going to check what grown overnight, how many new eggs we have, what kind of flowers will make us happy today. But living in a city is not bad either, oh no. 
We do not have garden but my balcony is quite big. So every year when I see that the sun in high and we are sure that cold days are behind us I plant. I have many, many herbs in any place you can count. That's why I am so crazy over pesto right now. And that's why I choose to make Pesto Bread with my Pate.

I use hazelnuts to my pesto, so since I wanted to be this recipe to be more coherent, I also add some sweet hazelnuts to a pate. This is nice crunchy surprise inside and work nice with a chicken meat. Livers, when make good, are also little sweet. In burned-sweet kind of taste.

Chicken Liver Pate:

1 tablespoon butter

2 onions, coarsely chopped
400g chicken livers, trimmed
3 tbsp brandy, or any other liqueur (optional)
500g chicken legs with a skin, cooked in a soup before
2 shallots, chopped
1 tsp quatre-épices (or 1/4tsp each of ground pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger is close enough)
2 eggs
200 ml (7 fl oz, 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) heavy cream
2 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
Salt and pepper
100 gram hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 6)

Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chicken livers and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until browned but still slightly pink on the inside.
Remove the pan from heat. Pour in the brandy, light a match and carefully ignite the alcohol to flambé. Wait for the flames to go out on their own, carefully tilting the pan to ensure even flavoring. Set aside.
Put chicken legs with a skin in a food processor, then add the onion-liver mixture and the chopped shallots, and pulse. I make my little more smooth looking since I prefer this way.
Transfer to a bowl and add quatre-épices, cream, eggs, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well. Spoon the mixture into a terrine or loaf pan and cover with the terrine lid or with aluminum foil.
Take baking tin poured with a butter and covered with bread crumbs. Put half the mixture in tin and place the hazelnuts, pressing them into a pate a little. Add rest of a mixture pressing a little again. That will remove any air from a tin.
Bake for 1,5 hour (uncover after about an hour) or until the skin will be dark brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Put in a fringe for about2-3 hours before serving or better overnight.I use recipe for Pesto Bread again from lovely Liska's blog.

niedziela, 13 czerwca 2010

Cottage Cheese Muffins with Spring Onion and Pesto

               I was cutted off from the internet since Friday morning so I wasn't able to post anything on a blog. So I wasn't able to post about those lovely muffins with cheese and onion. Truly summer on a country mix. Even though the day was so hot I can barely move I knew I must bake those. So I turn on the oven, put those inside and run off from the kitchen faster than you could say "Muffins, muffins everywhere"
Muffins are easier than anybody could think - just grab few things, mix not nicely and your done. Now take nice amount of fresh, farm butter, cut those in the half and you can celebrate hot summer afternoon with bees flying over your head.

Cottage Cheese Muffins with spring onion:

150 gram flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
salt, pepper to taste
150 gram of cottage cheese
2-3 tablespoon of pesto
2 eggs
30 ml of thick buttermilk
Small bunch of spring onion with 2-4 onions
5-10 leaves of fresh basil 

Preheat oven 160C
Prepare two bowls - one for dry products and one for wet.
Mix flour, baking powder with salt and pepper in a bowl. In Second mix cottage cheese with buttermilk and pesto until quite smooth, add nicely chopped spring onion. Now the eggs mix them into cottage mixture (I never separate yolks and whites but I know that some do). Now put flour in "wet" bowl. You should mix this roughly. Don't be to precise. You want the crumbs. Crumbs are good.
Pour mixture into muffins cups (fill 1/2 of cups, maximum until 3/4 of the cup) and bake until golden brown or even dark brown. How you like yours?

środa, 9 czerwca 2010

IN SEASON JUNE - Rhubarb Tasting Plate

       In June I usually smiling like those strange women in city train, whose are talking to themselves, singing something loud and asking everybody about the strangest things. That is coz it is warm, it is sunny, it is holiday time. Even though I working and kind of studying I enjoy summer. In this time of year when you hit local market you can find wonderful flowers in full grace and tasty fruits. Ruby strawberries, peas in any shape, watermelons. But you can also find those weird, wood-like things. It is not fruit, it is not vegetable. It is rhubarb.
Its tart taste is amazing balanced in any dessert you would imagine. Just add some brown sugar, your favorite ice creams or add any fruit and you are at home. 
This month I served rhubarb three way - in tart pie with nut-crumble, as a marmalade with brown sugar served on toasted bread with old-goat cheese (I forget the name of this one) and mixed with red orange as a sherbet.

You can easily see how my sherbet said no for too long photoshoot. Melting alarm.

wtorek, 8 czerwca 2010

Crispy Chip Cookies for lazy days

You know those days when you do not feel like doing anything? Well, lately it was my thing. But since I had, and still have to, to write some paper works for Uni, I was more than that. I did not want to think about new recipes, to cook, to shot new pictures. Everything was too much for me, gosh.... 
So last night I needed a break, needed to break my bad routine. I just grab flour, butter, nuts and chocolate and baked Chip Cookies - talking about food for brain, yes? 
So if you need to study or work very hard bake those before - they will work, I promise.

Nuts and Chocolate Chip Cookies*:

200 gram flour
120 gram sugar
100 gram cold butter
2 small eggs yolk
3-4 tablespoon of caster sugar
1/2 or even less teaspoon of salt
:40 gram of dark chocolate, nicely chopped 
50 gram of mixed nuts, crashed

Preheat oven 180C/320F
In a bowl mix flour with sugar and add cutted into small pieces cold butter. Now using electric blender or your hand work with a cake mix - you don't want to heat it up too much so hurry up. You want to make something in a texture like big-pieces sand. After that add egg yolk, chopped nuts and chocolate. Make one dough and cool for 10 minutes. Now using either your hands or teaspoon make small balls, place them onto baking sheets and press them a little. Bake until golden a little. 
Take big cup of latte or cocoa and eat them. Take a small break today.
*Those are not classic, chewy american-style chip cookies. Mine are more crisp but i like them that way.

środa, 2 czerwca 2010

Caramel Cheesecakes for Children's Day

                Yeah I know it's little bit too late. But it's never to late for sweet things in your life, you know? 
And Children's Day is all about sweets. Each country has something that is connected with childhood more than rest of the dishes. For many it will be something sweet, for some something savory. 
I had many good memories from my younger years. Many family celebrations. Many parties. 
On one of my favorite pictures from childhood I jump on a bad with my cousins and has something big and square in a hand. Something dark, almost black. And you know what? It was whole bar of chocolate - that is what I call happy childhood ;)
Now, being older and maybe little smarter I know that, although great, it's more out there in culinary world that a simple bar of chocolate. Many desserts, wonderful cakes and cookies, many treats. 
So grab your kid, or If you had no kid your sister/brother/neighborhood kid, and bake those sweet individual cheesecakes.

Caramel cheesecakes(for16-20 muffin tins cheesecakes):

500 gram of cottage cheese (You can use cream cheese if you prefer)
380 gram of ready caramel 
50 gram of flour
1-2 tablespoon of butter
2 eggs 
pinch of sea salt

optional - any nuts you love

Preheat oven 180C/320F
Oh I really don't know what to write. Seriously it's the simplest cake ever. Just mix cheese with caramel until smooth. Still mixing add butter, flour - spoon by spoon, and eggs. Season with a sea salt. Of course you can make those with any base you want but sometimes I prefer just plain cheesecake. Pour cake mixture into paper muffin cups - leave few millimeters for growing. Now - you could sprinkle them with nuts.
Place in oven and bake 25-35 minutes, until they will darken. Leave for cooling in the oven, without opening (that prevent falling).