Saturday, 25 August 2018

Lemon dimple cookies



After a long break from blogging, now I'm finally back! I've found some time to sit down and browse some photos and recipes to whip up a post. For a new start, I chose something easy. These cookies are quick and don't require much work - in fact, the mixer does most of the job. They are just simple but small and cute, right for one bite, but they pack a zesty punch. There are no fancy ingredients either - the recipe calls for a small jar of lemon curd, but if you are not keen on lemons, a jar of your favourite jam will do just as well, just swap lemon juice and zest for a teaspoon of vanilla flavouring. Let's start then!

Ingredients for around 4 trays (will make 4-5 dozens, depending on how big you want them):
1 block salted butter (250g)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks (medium size)
2 cups plain flour
juice and zest of 1 lemon
small jar of lemon curd

First, sieve flour and set it aside. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl on a medium speed of the mixer until it's light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, making sure they are well incorporated. Add lemon juice and zest. Switch mixer to the lowest speed and slowly add flour. Keep mixing until there are no clumps - you may need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it's well mixed. When the dough looks smooth, move it to the icing bag (or just regular freezer bag). Snip the corner of the bag. Line cookie sheet with baking paper and squeeze the dough to form round cookies (4-5cm in diameter), making sure they are well-spaced. You should get something like that:

Now using your thumb moistened with water (so the dough doesn't stick), press each cookie in the middle to form a dimple. Spoon lemon curd into another icing bag and snip the corner. Squeeze the curd into the dimples you've just made:

Bake cookies in 180C for around 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Tiramisu cake with strawberries



Tiramisu always was one of my favorites and love it in any form. Today I want to show you how to make tiramisu flavored cake with chocolate covered strawberries. It's a bit different take on classic dessert, but just as good and topped with juicy strawberries.

Ingredients for sponge (20-22cm form):
5 eggs
5 tablespoons sugar
4 heaped tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour (corn starch)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sieve both flours and baking powder, set aside. Place eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk with mixer on high, until it's very light and fluffy (it will take around 10 minutes). Fold in flour gently, making sure not to overmix. Pour the batter into paper-lined cake form and bake in 180C for around 40 minutes. Leave to cool and slice horizontally to get 2 layers.

For the strawberries topping:
1 punnet of strawberries (400g)
200g dark chocolate

Wash the strawberries and dry them on a paper towel. Don't hull them. Chop dark chocolate. Put it in a bowl, leaving 1/3 aside and microwave it in 30 seconds burst, mixing in between until it's completely melted. Add remaining chocolate and mix until smooth (this will prevent chocolate from going matte and sticky). Holding each strawberry by the leafy green top, submerge it in melted chocolate to cover it completely and place on a sheet of grease-proof paper. Leave aside to set.

For punch:
1 cup coffee, brewed and cooled
100ml Amaretto
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Mix all ingredients together and set aside.

For the filling:
500ml whipping cream (or double cream), chilled
500g mascarpone cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pack ladyfinger biscuits 
3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting
50 white chocolate

Put mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl, give it a quick whisk with a mixer to combine them together. Add a little cream and mix again to soften the cheese. Pour rest of the cream and beat with mixer on high until it holds the shape.

To assemble the cake, put one layer of sponge on a serving platter and drizzle it with coffee punch. Spread 1/4 of the mascarpone filling and dust it with cocoa powder. Arrange ladyfinger biscuits on top, soaking them first in coffee (be careful not to soak them for too long, as they will fall apart), spread another part of filling and dust it with cocoa. Follow with second layer of sponge, drizzled with remaining coffee. Spread half of the remaining filling on top and sides and dust top with cocoa powder. Place remaining cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and cover the sides and top edge of the cake. Arrange strawberries on top. Place white chocolate in a bowl and microwave in short bursts until it's melted. Place it in a sandwich bag and snip the corner. Drizzle white chocolate over strawberries. Serve chilled.
Enjoy :-)

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Baileys Chocolate Cake



I love to check other blogs and see what everyone else is baking. And when I was looking at one of my favorites, I found this recipe. I saw the list of ingredients and I knew. IT HAS TO BE GOOD. Dark chocolate and Baileys - it's definitely one of the best chocolate cakes. Original recipe calls for light brown sugar - I swapped it for dark soft for even more aromatic and chocolatey taste. My cake pan was bigger as well, so I doubled ingredients and it came up pretty high - if you have 20cm tin just use half. If you want to swap Baileys for a cheaper option - any Irish Cream Liqueur will work just as good. And cake is easy to make, you don't even need a mixer - then what are you waiting for?

Ingredients for 24cm spring form:
300g butter
200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
160g sugar (3/4 cup)
200g soft dark brown sugar (muscovado type - 1 and 1/3 cup)
100g cocoa powder (4/5 cup)
360ml Baileys liqueur
340g plain flour (3 and 1/3 cup)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
6 eggs
pinch of salt

Start with melting butter in a pan. Add chocolate, cocoa powder, both sugars and liqueur. Slowly heat up the mixture, mixing until chocolate melts. Set aside. In the meantime sieve flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Put eggs in a large bowl and whisk lightly to break them. Add still warm chocolate mixture and mix with a whisk. Add flour and keep mixing until smooth with no lumps.  Pour the mix in the spring form lined with paper. Bake in 160C for an hour (or 45 minutes if you used half of ingredients), checking with a pick if it's baked through. Leave to cool.

For ganache topping:
200g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
100ml double cream
100ml Baileys liqueur

Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat up cream with liqueur up to the boiling point and pour over chocolate. Leave for 2-3 minutes and mix with whisk until smooth. When it starts to thicken, pour over the cake.
Enjoy :-)

 



For original recipe click here.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Cream cheese mini doughnuts


I had some leftover cinnamon sugar from previous recipe, so I thought I'll make these. They are quick and easy to make, don't require raising as they are made with baking soda instead of yeast. The dough itself is not overly sweet - they are covered in sugar anyway. If you fancy those bite-size treats, here's what you're gonna need.

Ingredients:
250g tub of cream cheese, natural full fat
2 and 1/2 cup plain flour
5 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons creme fraiche or soured cream
oil for deep-frying - around 1 liter

For sugar coat:
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Put all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl and mix on low speed with dough hook attached until it's smooth and uniform. Take the dough out of the bowl and place on lightly floured working surface. You may want to use some spare flour for sprinkling as it's gonna be a bit sticky - try to not use too much, we don't want dough to become too hard. Flatten the dough with your hands, so it's about 1 inch thick. Using round cookie cutter or a shot glass, cut out small circles. Heat up oil in a pan (enough so doughnuts float on the surface) and deep fry them until well browned, turning them mid-way through. You can also use a deep-fryer. After taking doughnuts out of the pan leave them on a piece of paper towel to dry excess oil. Take couple at a time and place in a bowl with cinnamon sugar - shake the bowl, so doughnuts are covered evenly. Arrange them on a plate.
Enjoy :-)

 



Sunday, 2 July 2017

Cinnamon puff biscuits


As I previously said, I like to have a spare roll of puff pastry in my fridge. It can save your life sometimes, especially if your friend decides to surprise you with a visit, saying: I'll be there in half an hour. That's enough to whip up these biscuits. All you need is some butter, sugar and cinnamon. And of course puff pastry.

Ingredients for around 20 biscuits:
1 roll puff pastry
1cm slice butter, melted (it's around 2 tablespoons if you're using soft butter)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Unroll your puff pastry. Using brush, spread melted butter evenly, making sure edges are covered. Sprinkle cinnamon mix all over the top.
You should get something like this:
Now fold the sides, so they touch in the middle:
Fold them once again:

And flip left side, so it lies directly on top of the right side (forming kind of a roll):

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 1cm slices and arrange them on a baking tray lined with paper. Make sure you lay them well apart, as they double in size:
Bake them for 20 minutes in 180C, until golden in colour.
Enjoy :-)



Thursday, 22 June 2017

No bake mango cheesecake


I love mangoes and  usually buy them in whole boxes. Since they were nice and ripe, I thought I might as well use them for a cake - a cheesecake in particular. The cake itself is not too sweet, creamy with delicate mango flavour, on a thin digestive biscuits base and topped with pure mango mousse. I'm glad I've managed to take some pictures, as it disappeared quickly.

Ingredients for 22 cm spring form:
1kg soft cheese (Philadelphia type - I used store own brand)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 packets of gelatine (each for 500ml of liquid)
3 large ripe mangoes (if you have smaller, I would suggest to use 4)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6-7 digestive biscuits
1cm slice of butter, melted

Start with lining spring form with baking paper:




Put biscuits in a blender and crush them to a sand (you can also put them in a plastic bag and crush them with rolling pin), add butter and mix well. Spread mixture on the bottom of the pan, pressing lightly and chill in the fridge.
Blend mangoes to a puree, dissolve gelatine in 1 cup of hot water. If you are using leaf gelatine, soak it for 10 minutes in 1 cup of water and then heat it up to dissolve it (make sure not to boil it or it's not gonna set properly). Cool it down a bit. Take 1/3 of the mango puree and mix wit 1/4 of gelatine, set aside - this is going to be the topping.
Put cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer bowl and beat it on low speed until it's uniform and creamy. Add remaining mango puree, mix well. With mixer still on, slowly pour gelatine, keep mixing until it's well incorporated. Pour mixture on top of the biscuit base, spreading evenly, chill until cheesecake thickens. Spread mango mousse on top and chill for couple hours, until set.
Enjoy :-)






Monday, 19 June 2017

Karpatka - polish Carpathia cake


Today I want to show you how to make a popular polish cake - Karpatka. Filling is creamy custard, similar to that one used in custard slices, but firmer, made with flour and butter not with eggs. Encased between two layers of choux pastry - their uneven surface reminding Carpathia mountains, hence the name. Dusted with icing sugar, to imitate snowy peaks. The cake itself is not too sweet and very creamy - hope you like it :-)

Ingredients for choux pastry (23x32cm form):
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
125g salted butter
5 eggs

Put water  and butter in a pan and slowly heat it on a hob. Once butter is melted and mixture starts to boil add sifted flour together with baking powder. Heat it gently, stirring continuously, making sure batter doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan (otherwise it will burn!). Once dough is piping through, it will start to roll into a ball - when it does take it off the heat. Cool mixture, stirring ocasionally. When it is in room temperature, put it in a bowl and beat it with mixer. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each addition. When all eggs are well incorporated, divide mixture in two pans, lined with baking paper, spreading it evenly. You don't have to make surfaces super-flat - wavy is fine, it will encourage forming 'peaks'. Bake it in 200C for 40 minutes, until golden-brown.

To make the filling you will need:
500ml milk (full fat is the best)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour (strong white one will make filling look less grayish, so you might want to considerate using this one instead)
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour (corn starch)
250g unsalted butter, in room temperature (if you like less greasy you can use less - down to 125g)

Put both flours, sugar and vanilla extract in a pan and add a little bit of milk - mix it to a paste, making sure you get rid of all the lumps. Gradually mix in remaining milk. Slowly bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously - it will thicken a lot. When it's boiled through, take it off the heat and cover with cling film, in a way so it touches the surface of the custard (this will prevent skin from forming). Once it's cool, mix in butter - adding it gradually spoon after spoon. Beat it with mixer until it's light and fluffy. To assemble the cake, put one one pastry sheet on a tray, spread evenly all the filling and cover with second sheet. Dust the top with icing sugar and chill for 2 hours.
Enjoy :-)


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Jammies


If you like jammies, you're gonna love these biscuits - they taste so much better than the store bought ones. And you can make them in any shape you want, just need two cutters in different size (or shape). I went for the heart shape and used raspberry jam to stick halves together, but it's totally up to you. Or maybe you want to use nutella or peanut butter instead? Give it a try!

Ingredients:
250g salted butter (chilled, cut in small cubes)
2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup icing sugar
3 egg yolks
small jar of jam

Sieve flour, baking powder and icing sugar together in a mixer bowl. Add butter and beat it on low speed until it's crumbly (if you don't have standing mixer, you can mix it by hand - just crush butter with your fingers, mixing it with flour until there's no big lumps visible). Add egg yolks and mix until it's smooth. Chill it for around an hour in refrigerator. Roll pastry so it's around 3mm thick and cut out shapes, cutting out holes in half of them. Bake them on a lined tray in 180C for 12-15 minutes until  they are golden brown. When they are cooled, spread some jam on half of the biscuits without a hole and cover with the holed ones, pressing lightly so they stick together. I've dusted mine with icing sugar, but it's optional.
Enjoy :-)


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Simple rhubarb cake


Sometimes you crave something simple. Something like this cake. It doesn't require any special ingredients, nor special skills - it's just simple and tasty. And even more, if rhubarb is not your thing or you just feel like trying something else, you can easily swap it for any fruit - it's gonna work just as well.

Ingredients for 20x30cm cake tin:
5 eggs, yolks and whites separately
250g unsalted butter, in room temperature
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
 3-4 stakes rhubarb, peeled and chopped in pieces
icing sugar for dusting

Beat butter with sugar in a bowl until it's light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add sifted flour mixed with baking powder, mix until it's well incorporated. In a separate bowl whip egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Fold them in the batter, trying not to overmix. Grease form and/or line with baking paper, spread mixture evenly and arrange rhubarb pieces on top. Bake in 200C for 45 minutes, until golden brown and pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Dust with icing sugar.
Enjoy :-)


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

No bake cracker cream cake


Another super easy no bake cake - it's sweet and delicate like a cloud, but not too sweet thanks to salted crackers. Preparation is quite quick and easy, but waiting for it to chill might be vexing. Even if you are tempted to try it earlier - this cake has to be chilled overnight or you won't be able to cut a piece without making a mess. Even though definitely worth trying :-)

Ingredients for 20x20cm pan:
2 packs of salted crackers (I used Tuc)
50g dark chocolate
For caramel filling:
1 tin of Carnation caramel
125g unsalted butter (room temperature)
For custard filling:
500ml full fat milk
2 heaped tablespoons plain flour
2 heaped tablespoons cornflour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter (room temperature)
 For cream filling:
300ml whipping cream (or double cream)
2 tablespoons sugar

Start with preparing custard, as this needs to cool: Put half of the milk in a pan and heat up slowly. In the meantime put both flours, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl, pour a bit remaining milk. Mix it to a paste, making sure there's no lumps and gradually adding rest of the milk. Pour everything in a pan with other part of milk and slowly bring to the boil, stirring continuously. When it's thickened, take it off and let it cool. Mix in butter. Mix caramel with butter to make another filling. Line a tin with parchment. On the bottom put a layer of crackers, cover it with caramel filling. Cover it with another layer of crackers, then custard filling and follow with crackers again. Whip cream with sugar until it holds shape. Spread it on top of the cake and sprinkle with grated chocolate. Chill overnight.
Enjoy :-)