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Archive | Sweet Treats

My 30th birthday dinner party

Yesterday I have celebrated my memorable 30th birthday with a dinner party. So since my blog has had really really long holidays I thought this was a good occasion for it to come back to “work”.

Anyway… for my party success I am giving a big credit to my friends Joana and Lina who were my loyal slaves all day long and a little bit to myself (I did set up this wonderfully harmonious menu after all). I would also like to grant a massive credit to the “BBC Good Food” website (not that they care), but the recipes there are always tested and the food always comes out like they say it would. Really recommend it for anybody.  Here is one recipe for the cake I made. Practically copied it and pasted it as I did not need to change anything (except the deco since fresh cherries were out of season here in Lithuania). Enjoy!

BLACK FOREST GATEAU

Ingredients:  175g salted butter , plus extra for greasing
200g bar dark chocolate
300g plain flour
375g golden caster sugar
25g cocoa
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 medium eggs
200g buttermilk or natural yoghurt
                     425g can pitted cherries, 2 tbsp juice reserved, rest drained
100g morello cherry jam
4 tbsp kirsch(or more juice from a can if you want it to be non-alcoholic)
500ml tub double cream
3 tbsp icing sugar1 small punnet fresh berries (optional)

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of 3 x 20cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and 75g chocolate broken into chunks in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted.
  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk or yogurt together. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 100ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump free.
  3. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 mins, swapping the tins round after 20 mins if they’re on different shelves. To test they’re done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean.
  4. Prick the cakes a few times with a skewer. Mix together the 2 tbsp reserved cherry juice and the kirsch (or more juice) and drizzle over the cakes. Cool the cakes.
  5. Mix together the remaining drained cherries and jam. Tip 200ml of the cream into a small pan and heat until just below simmering point. Chop the remaining chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl, pour over the hot cream and stir until melted. Set aside until spreadable.
  6. When the cakes are cool whisk the remaining cream and the icing sugar together until softly whipped. Spread over two of the cakes, then spoon over the jammy cherries. Stack the cakes together. Spread the chocolate cream over the third cake and sit on top of the other cakes. Pile the fresh berries in and around the cake and serve. I added black current leaves to make it look slightly wild, but this is totally optional!

Enjoy!

Rasa xox

1

Summer frangipane

My friend Suzanne went away for a week so she gave me the keys to her house and offered me to use her oven (my oven is still broken). How generous is that! Anyway, I wanted to bake something with the ingredients I had so I started digging around my kitchen. I found frozen sweet pastry (that I made from scratch) in the freezer so my first fought was “tart!!”. But later on, after finding ground almonds in my cupboard I made a decision on frangipane (which is a tart technically, but I like the frangipane name better)! So today on my way to my friend’s house I bought some strawberries and here it comes the result :)

STRAWBERRY FRANGIPANE

For the sweet pastry:

  • 85g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g flour

For the cream:

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1/2 pod of vanilla seeds (optional)
  • 250g strawberries

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbsp apricot or seedless raspberry jam
  1. Place the butter and sugar in mixing bowl and beat them together until they are light and fluffy. Add the egg to the butter mixture and mix it until combined. Then add the flour gradually and mix until it looks like smooth dough.
  2. Place the pastry in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to rest. (or into freezer if you want it to be used another time)
  3. Meanwhile make the cream. Place the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and mix them together until they are creamy and light. Mix the eggs in 1 at a time until well combined. Sift the flour and ground almonds together. Slowly add the almond and flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix the ingredients together until you have a creamy mixture. Set the frangipane cream aside until ready to use.
  4. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Roll it out on a well floured surface until it is around .5-.75mm thick. Lightly grease 30cm tart tin (or line it with baking paper). Line the tart tin with the pastry. Place the lined tin in the freezer for 15 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blind bake the pastry for 10 minutes until just firm and without colour. Remove the pastry from the oven an allow it to cool.
  6. Reduce the temperature to 180°C. Place the frangipane cream in the tart tin and spread it out evenly with a palate knife (do not over fill).
  7. Place the strawberies in the frangipane so that they are spread out over the tart.
  8. Place the tart in the preheated oven and cook it for 30-40 minutes. The frangipane cream will be golden brown, risen and firm when the tart is ready.
  9. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the tart carefully from the tin.
  10. Place the apricot or raspberry jam in a small saucepan and place it over a moderate heat. Heat it while stirring until it has melted. Remove it form the heat and brush it over the tart lightly with a pastry brush.

Enjoy!

Rasa ;)

0

No Coments…

My oven is still broken so here is another no bake desert that I made out of desperation: the chocolate mousse dessert…. I think you have to find it for yourself and actually taste to appreciate. So, NO COMMENTS FROM ME…

COCONUT AND MIXED BERRIES CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients:  200g dark chocolate
4 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp coconut flavored rum (something like “Malibu”)
3 eggs
4 tbsp sugar
For serving:  4 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 handfuls of mixed berries (like blueberries or raspberries etc… the more the better!)
200ml double cream

1. Melt the chocolate and mix it with double cream.
2. Separate egg yolks from whites (reserve the whites in separate bowl). Add sugar to the egg yolks and whisk it until it becomes pale. Gradually add it to melted chocolate mixture.
3. Whisk the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks. Add it gradually into the chocolate mixture by folding and don’t overwork it as it would let all the air out!
4. The mixture then is ready to split into 4-6 glasses (I used cups as I thought that looks really cute!). Cover them with cling film and place them into the fridge for at least two hours.
5. Decorate the deserts with whisked double cream, desiccated coconut and mixed berries.

The rest is up to you….

Rasa ;)

3

Broken oven??? :’-(

The past couple of weeks I have been a little bit upset as the oven in my house is broken… which means no baking :-(. But this did not stop me from eating deserts… You see, I have been experimenting with no-bake cheesecake, which I tried to fit into little cups. Why? because I think the smaller the cuter! So there you go my best version so far…

CUP-CHEESECAKE
(makes 12)

Ingredients:   200g (14) Bourbons (chocolate biscuits)
75g (1/3 cup) unsalted butter
200g (7oz) soft cheese (something like Philadelphia)
300ml (1¼ cup) sweetened condensed milk
250g (9oz) cream fraiche (soured cream)
1tbsp lemon juice
10g (4 sheets) gelatine, soaked in cold water
36 raspberries (3 per cup)
50g chocolate (optional)

1. Break up the Bourbons into food processor then crush them up. Stir in the butter. Use crumbs to line the base of 12 cupcake cases.

2. Blend the soft cheese with condensed milk and cream fraiche.
3. Heat the lemon juice in a pan. Squeeze water from the gelatine leaves and stir into the juice. Strain trough a sieve over the cheesecake mixture and continue mixing until well combined. Pour the filling into the 12 cups over the base.

4. Drop tree raspberries into each cup and place the whole cupcake pan into the fridge to set for approximately two hours.

5. Meanwhile melt the chocolate and pour it into the piping bag. On the parchment paper pipe whatever shape you want to decorate your cup-cheesecakes (I tried to create little hearts, but it could be anything).

6. Place the tray with the chocolate decoration into the freezer for 15min and then they are ready for the job.
7. This is the end job to enjoy… yum!

Rasa xox

1

What Pinterest told me to bake for the Easter?

I recently fell in love with Pinterest. They say this social website is going to be the next Facebook! I totally agree, however my friend disagree as she is a hardcore Facebook-er. But I bet when Pinterest becomes more popular she will convert. Anyway, the cool think about Pinterest is that is so visual as people “pin” their crafty decor ideas, fashion and of course deliciously looking bakes in picture form…. so when I was looking for Easter ideas, I “repinned” on my profile these speckled Easter eggs…

then these Easter eggs that have been dyed with natural dyes like beetroot juice, blueberries and orange peel (this reminds me of Lithuanian traditions when we dye our Easter eggs with onion peeling)….

and this egg-pot idea, which is not only for Easter…

These Cadbury cream cookie cups have been pinned by Katrina (http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/2012/03/cadbury-cream-cookie-cups.html) , but I edited the recipe slightly. I don’t know about you, but I find the cadbury eggs a little bit sickly… however these cups taste heavenly….

I tried to make it as natural as I can so I used agave nectar in the cream. Accidentally I used agave nectar that have been flavored with honey. So my chocolate cookie have been flavored with honey which tasted yummm…. however I don’t know if this is to everyone taste.

CADBURY CREAM COOKIE CUPS
(makes 12)

Ingredients: 125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
125g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar
1 egg (beaten)
200g (1 3/4 cups) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp coco powder
50g flaked chocolate bar (I used milk chocolate)
50g chopped nuts (I did it with coconut flakes since I had none in my cupboard)
(for the cream)
25g (6 tsp) unsalted butter
85g (1/4 cup) honey flavored agave nectar or runny honey
260g (2 cups) icing sugar
2 tbsp water
yellow food colouring
1. Cream butter with soft brown sugar, then add egg and combine well.
2. Add flour, baking powder, salt, coco powder, chocolate and nuts and mix again.
3. Grease muffin pan with little butter and spoon cookie mixture into it and press it in so it creates a cup.
4. Bake for 10-13min until firm. Let cool for 15 min in the pan and remove them by gently twisting them with your fingers. Let cool completely.
5. In the bowl combine agave nectar and softened butter. Slowly add powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. Remove about 1/3 of cream and dye with yellow food colouring.
6. Pour white cream into the cookie cups. Finish off with small of yellow cream.

Happy Easter :)

Rasa

2

The ways you can distract yourself from overeating…

I am known for overeating and even when I am full I can still fit the whole cake into my mouth (literally). So no wonder after Christmas (which obviously long time gone) I have put on sooooo much weight! I felt so discouraged as I could not fit into any of my jeans (except boyfriend or loyal cut)… :(
Anyway, I am back to normal and this is only because I kept myself distracted by my second favorite activity after cooking and eating: knitting and crochet. I found that there are a lot of social groups going on in London doing different kinds of interesting things. But I was only interested in joining the knitting club. My friends think that this is where I meet my granny friends… ha ha. But, no no… I am not the youngest there, you will have to believe me on this. There was a girl last week aged around 10 years, really eager to learn!
So far I finished most of my knitting projects and I am on something new at this moment. I am crocheting a collar! You might think that I got the idea from my “granny” friends that I met in the knitting club, but that’s not truth, I always liked this style (my friend Vicki call it “old-lady style”). I am not finished yet, but there you go….

So far I have been crocheting circles and joining them together to fit the pattern.

Will defiantly update you when I finish it. Meanwhile if you are not the biggest fan of knitting or crocheting then this truffle recipe is for you! My friend Vicki thinks is the best thing you can eat as it contains all the vitamins you need like a vitamin bomb (she is a health freak). She says that whatever is healthy tastes the best… I normally disagree, but wow these are good!

DRIED FRUIT AND NUT TRUFFLES

Ingredients: 200g hazel nuts
200g walnuts
200g raisins
200g prunes
200g dry apricots
1tbsp honey
1tbsp lemon juice
sesame seeds or coco powder or chopped nuts or whatever to roll the truffles in

Just put all the ingredients into food processor, whiz for a minute, shape the balls out of mixture and roll it into coco powder or sesame seeds or what ever else suitable in that department.

Enjoy your healthy snacking!

Rasa xox

3

The joy of Christmas cooking…

Christmas cooking is something I look forward every year, that is if I get to cook after all as the competition is usually humongous! Somehow during Christmas everybody wants to become a chef and show off their skills, but this year (even though I had more freedom) I felt like not cooking at all. I just wanted to sit there and rather eat-talk-drink-eat-nap-talk…. how is that possible?

Anyway I had no other option… and I mostly proud of this pie I baked above. It is Slovenian apple, walnut and poppy seed pie. I first got introduced to this pie by this Slovenian friend Maja four years ago (she never gave me a recipe, I had to Google it)  and I really loved it! So there it goes…

SLOVENIAN PIE

For the strudel dough:

  • 300 g flour
  • 3 tablespoons lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons wine
  • 1 tablespoon sugar.
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing dough

(You can also substitute store-bought filo pastry but I went all the way as I my dad was shopping and I was worried he is going to get something else… but really recommend to just buy the thing as it is really difficult to roll home made dough)

For the fillings:
The poppy seed filling:

  • 400 g poppy seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle or very briefly whizzed in a food processor with the steel blade
  • 200 g sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 240ml cup hot milk

The apple filling:

  • 500 g apples, grated
  • 200 g sugar
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1 lemon rind, grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

The cottage cheese filling:

  • 500 g cottage cheese
  • 360ml Creme fraiche
  • 1 egg
  • 200 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons raisins, soaked in rum
  • vanilla to taste

The walnut filling:

  • 500 g ground walnuts
  • 200 g sugar
  • cinnamon to taste

Topping: 1 cup sour cream

Separately for each filling, mix the ingredients well. Grease well (butter is best) a square or oblong ovenproof baking dish or pan.
For the strudel dough: Mix the ingredients in a bowl, knead thoroughly (ten minutes at least) and let stand to relax for one hour. Then roll out and cut into thin sheets the size of the baking container. (Alternately, purchase large sheets of filo pastry to suit your baking dish.)
Place a layer of strudel dough / filo pastry in the bottom of the baked dish. Brush lightly with melted butter. Spread half the poppy seed filling evenly over it. Cover this layer with another sheet of strudel dough and brush the dough with melted butter. Spread this layer with half the apple filling. Cover with another sheet of dough: brush with melted butter. Spread with half the cottage cheese filling: cover with a sheet of dough, brushing with melted butter. Spread with half the walnut filling: cover with dough and brush dough with melted butter.
Repeat this process with the remaining poppy seed filling, apple filling, cottage cheese filling and walnut filling, making sure to brush each layer of strudel dough with the melted butter as you proceed.
Top with a final layer of strudel dough: brush with melted butter. If you like, spread this last layer with 1 cup sour cream (thinned a little with milk, if necessary, to make it easier to spread).
Bake for about 1 hour in a medium oven (175C). Cut into squares and serve

BTW: This Pie is not only for Christmas so you can enjoy it any time!

Rasa

1

Away from London

It has come up to a month since I exchanged my busy lifestyle in London for royal Windsor and I am ready to give you my feedback  so far. For those who did not know I left my old job for a cafe managing job so I get to learn practical ways to run my own cafe at some point and so far it have been life changing! Although I am learning a lot about the cafe industry (really enjoying that) the biggest thing that changed is my lifestyle. I am not saying that I am less busy, just that I am not living in such a rush anymore. The most amazing thing that now it takes me around 15min on the bike to get anywhere I need in town (that is a big difference to 1hour in London). So if I get a moment of “woops… I forgot my sandwich at home!” I have no regrets of coming back and getting it back. Well… that does not happen exactly like that, but you get the picture!
… And for the end here are some “royal” treats for you – the truffles…

ROYAL TRUFFLES

Ingredients: 250g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content)
120ml double cream
50g butter
1-2 tbsp brandy or dark rum or any other liquor (I used “Tia Maria”)

15-20 glazed cherries

for rolling: cocoa powder, ground almonds, desiccated coconut etc

1. Melt butter and chocolate together in microwave or in the bowl over boiling water.
2. Remove melted butter, chocolate from heat and add double cream while mixing it well.
3. Let the mixture to cool and then put it into the fridge for at least an hour
4. When the mixture is hardened scoop with the spoon the small pieces of chocolate and cover the glazed cherries with that and shape them into to the small balls. Roll the balls into the cocoa powder or ground almonds or desiccant coconut.

These would go splendidly with the tot of sweat cherry!

Rasa ;)

0

Back to my childhood….

It is my birthday today and my mum and my little brother have visited me here  in London. So my mum baked me an apple cake (not a pie) as my birthday cake (well I requested that from her). It is very basic cake and even my brother could have baked it, but it brings back good childhood memories… Well, around twenty years ago, when I think I was 9years old my mum baked it for my personal birthday party where the only guests were me and her (I had a bigger birthday party on the weekend but my actual birthday was on weekday). So I remember I really liked it as it was quite nice to have another birthday “party”!…

Other then the cake, me and my family visited the Legoland in Windsor (I used my little brother, who is aged 9 years as an excuse to visit there…). I think what I liked most is the mini London made out of Lego (never mind the long queues and the fact that we only were able to make to seven rides through all day because of that). Here are the pics…

And back to my birthday cake, here is the recipe…

MY MUM’S APPLE CAKE

Ingredients:  5 apples (medium size)
7 eggs
8 tbsp sugar
8 tbsp flour (with the heap)
Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease the baking tin with butter
2. Cube the apples (remove seeds, but no need to peal the apple peal) and put them into the bottom of the tin
3.  To make the cake mixture whisk eggs with the sugar until pale, then add flour and cinnamon (if wanted).
4. Pour the mixture over the cubed apples and put into oven. Bake the cake for around an hour until golden brown.

I hope you like it ;)

Rasa xox

0

Inspired by Sims game… (if you not in it please skip this)

I promised to someone (anonymous) to write a feedback about my previous bake sale, but I took quite a long time as you can see :(. You see…. I got addicted to Sims (literally) and I know that is very sad story, but this was the reason why I took sooo long to write this post (I will write more about this in the minute). Anyway, the bake sale… it was great experience, even though it wasn’t as busy as the previous one  (I blame the rain for that!). But it was still fun as Bekka (my thoughtful helper) managed to keep me entertained at all times!… And, as embarrassed as I am (can’t be more embarrassed after my Sims confession) I did try to dance ballet…

And here are few pics from the actual bake sale as well as new mini bakes, the mini cheesecakes…

Now back to Sims(if you have never played it this might sound like gibberish to you, so I recommend you skip it to the last paragraph)… Initially I got addicted to actual Sims computer game (later I got addicted to the Facebook Sims Social as well) and then only lived “their” life (or shall I say I was creating my own), even at night until 6am in the morning sometimes! I think what got me addicted is that I could achieve everything so easily… So, I have joined culinary career at Little Corsican Bistro where I started as The Kitchen Scullion (apparently the one who gets all the rubbish jobs from Chef) and meanwhile  I was learning recipes (some interesting ones like Goopy Carbonara, Eggs Machiavellian  and Baked Angel Food Cake that I would like to try to make in real life) from books at home so I could get up the level in cooking.  Eventually I became Five-Star Chef earning 350 Simeons per hour and recipe Librarian (???), builded a big house (not so pretty but really practical!), Had five children (long story, but in my defence one was adopted), and became “Filthy Rich” (at least that’s the phrase they use to describe rich people :D). I even bought that Little Corsican Bistro and renamed it to The Friendly Nettle Cafe! So after all this no wonder I got inspired (or shall I say I got carried away) to take similar actions in real life… Last Sunday I popped in to one of my favourite cafes by Cambridge Heath  station to  “join culinary career”…. Turns out they did not have any vacancies, I suppose it is not that easy to get any job in this life :(

To end on the happy note here is the recipe for the best seller so far, the Banoffee cupcakes. After all, this is supposed to be the feedback for my bake sale;)

BANOFFEE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:     300g flour
1tbsp baking power
1 egg
200ml milk
150g soft brown sugar
85g melted butter
2 bananas
150ml double cream (preferably elmlea)
Milk based toffee ( to make it boil a can of condensed milk for three hours) or 4 tablespoons of dulce de leche

1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake cases.
2. Sift flour and baking powder into the mixing bawl
3. In separate bowl beat the egg with milk, than add the sugar, melted butter and chopped banana. Mix it all up and tip it into the flour. After mixing it one more time divide the mixture into the cup cases.
4. Bake for about 25min until cupcakes are risen and golden (I am usually tempted to eat them at this stage… but don’t, you will enjoy it even more with the topping!)
5. So, whip the Elmlea cream. I recommend Elmlea, because it goes velvety (not grainy) and never turns yellow! I know this might sound like I am promoting this brand but it is really good. I give the credit for this discovery to my dear friend Jacqueline who suggested this as I was not happy with double cream I was always using.
6. Pipe (or spoon) the double cream on the top of the cupcakes and follow it by toffee swirl.

Enjoy ;)

Rasa

1

The Friendly Nettle Icon


Here it comes, The Friendly Nettle Icon (see picture above) which is practically me! My friend Vicki drew this in such detail that even the dress and the helmet represents the exact ones I have in reality. And yes I cycle as well and my bike is lookalike to the one drawn!
Thanks Vicki, as a thanks here is the recipe for the chocolate mousse that you always wanted! I have developed this recipe after once eating a nice chocolate mousse tartlet  at Hurwundeki cafe that is located next to Cambridge Heath station in East London (I love their arty antique look and I just found out that they also have a boutique and the hairdressers!). As for the recipe below I usually use pastry to hold the mousse, but since Vicki doesn’t like it I wasn’t dear to add it (she says that pastry is the pointlessly added extra calories). So if you want to use a pastry use a sweet one or use the ramekins (I reused “Gü Puds”, which just show how much I used to be addicted to those desserts as I have sooo many of these little glass ramekins). So here it comes…

VICKI’S FAVOURITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients: 150g dark chocolate (70% cocoa content)

100g unsalted butter
1 egg
30g caster sugar
1 handful of raspberries (or other berries)

1 Preheat oven to 170C
2. Put both chocolate (broken into pieces) and the butter in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the base of the bowl. Leave it there until everything there are melted.
3. Whisk the egg and caster sugar together until pale and thick and increased in volume. Pour the warm melted chocolate and butter into the whisked mixture and and combine it well.
4. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins (or into pastry if you prefer) and bake them for 8min EXACTLY! (In fact once I forgot to bake it and me with my friends kept guessing why the butter have set on the top…. only later it got to me that I did not even baked it… it was quite embarrassing to admit that to my friends while we were eating it!)
5. Put the pots in the fridge for at least two hours (after cooling it down of course as apparently it would hurt the fridge)

Enjoy!

Rasa :)

2

The food safety comes first!

I mentioned in my previous post that I will talk more about the other courses I took. Well.. here it goes! As boring as it sounds I did find food safety really interesting as well as challenging. I think if you are hygiene freak please don’t read the rest… And the rest of us who are ok to eat out of date foods sometimes (if they look ok of course!!) and like to taste food with their fingers, welcome to my world ;). Because those are the biggest challenges to me! I remember eating dried mango one day at my work and after offering it to my colleague Puiyi (she no longer works with me) I have been told off that I could have poison her when she realized that it was out of date :&… Well, it turns out that she might have been wrong as now I know (I hold a Certificate of Food Safety) that there are two types of food expiry dates: “use by” and “best by”. I will explain… “use by” is used mainly for meat and dairy and “use by” is for cereals, dried fruits and so many other things which are safe to use after the date, but the quality might not be as good. So if you reading this Puiyi, don’t worry about out of date food as you won’t always get a food poisoning. But if you are still not sure you can always use up many dried fruits or nuts that are about to go out of date by trowing it in the cakes dough like Chocolate Brownie or Carrot Cup Cakes…. Or if you feel more spontaneous or have lots of hope for the rest of this summer (weather wise) you can try to put it into home-made ice-cream… Hmm :b

VERY SPONTANEOUS ICE-CREAM
Ingredients: 5 egg yolks
200g sugar
250g milk (full fat)
250g double-cream
250g yogurt
2 medium sized bananas (mashed)
seeds and nuts of your choice (I used 1tbsp of poppy seeds and 1 tbsp of pistachio nuts)

1.First, prepare egg cream by mixing egg yolks with sugar and whisking until it becomes pale.
2.Put double cream and milk together into the sauce-pan and heat it up, but don’t let it to boil. Then reduce the heat and add egg yolk mixture into the pan. Cook it on the small heat (just in case as it is very important not to get it boiled as then you would get an omelet, not an ice-cream) and mix continuously until it becomes thick (about 10 min).
3. At this stage it is best to cool the mixture down by placing the pot in the cold water as when you get the right consistency it is best not to overcook it.
4. When the mixture have cooled you can add the rest of the ingredients like yogurt, mashed bananas, seeds and nuts. Pour the mixture into the plastic container and put it into freezer.
5. After two hours scrape off the sides of the container and mix it with the fork. Repeat this after three hours and after that you can let it stay there until it is completely frozen or the time when you want to have a cool sweet treat.

Enjoy!

Rasa :)

0

Busy busy lives!

As I mentioned in my previous posts I do like to read the “stylist” magazine occasionally (only if I can get hold of it!).  Well… I don’t read it inside out, but I quickly flick it through and sometimes I stop at the “work life” page (obviously after observing “gourmet-on-the-go” page). I don’t know why this attracts me, but I do look forward to it every time. This page is about woman’s diary (each time different woman with different occupation) who talks about her interesting job or business she has opened etc. I find especially intresting when they talk about business start ups and how they got successful…. and every time I read, I imagine that one day my picture (and my diary) will be displayed there. This is of course just a dream, but I always wanted to start my own business…
This time the article is about “CEO” Sarah Walter (picture above), but the other interesting ones to mention are about “the Flower Girl” Gemma Blaskey who opened a flower shop or Jennifer Irvine who launched dieting and convenience food service called “The Pure Package”. I find them all inspiring and when I read their diaries I imagine what my diary would look like when I open a Cafe…. However there is one thing I find common in all the diaries: they wake up at 5am-6pm and go to sleep at 11pm-12pm…. I know that starting own business is a lot of work and sometimes can mean no lunch break (ouch!), but I kind of feel a little envy when people can survive on 5-6 hours sleep! Can you imagine how much more I could get done if I had more hours in the day! I always plan to do a lot and often get disappointed when I don’t reach those goals (they are usually reaaally high! Or do I just spend too much time on day dreaming?). Never mind, but when I am depressed and when I have a sweet-tooth craving (it gets super strong when I am depressed!!!) I bake some carrot cup cakes. They are easy and quick to make and most of the times you don’t even need to step out of the house to buy some special ingredients. That’s because all the ingredients are very common and can be found at home without special planning. The other good thing about this recipe is that it is healthier than other carrot cakes. I say “healthier” because there is no cake that is healthy as sugar (which ever you use: brown or white) makes it bad for you. But at least these cup cakes have olive oil fat base which is safer to use as it does not release so much toxins when heated. I hope you like it :b

CARROT CUP CAKES (makes 12 cup cakes)

Ingredients: 3 medium size carrots (shredded)
150g cup brown sugar
2 eggs
120ml olive oil (you can try other types as long as it is not sunflower oil as the cakes with it taste like fried dinner!)
200g flour
55g or more nuts (in this case I used almonds and pecan nuts)
1tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking powder

1. Very simple! Just mix all the ingredients together and divide them into cup cake cases. I used silicon cup cases therefore I did not need to use disposable paper cases (but you are welcome to use it if you want!)
2. Preheat the oven to the 170C and bake the cakes for around 30min until golden. Good way to check it is to stick toothpick inside and see if it comes out clean. If it comes out clean that means it is ready!
3. If you have extra time and willingness to satisfy your sweet-tooth properly then make a yogurt icing for the cup cakes. Mix 200g icing sugar  with 1tsp yogurt, 1/2tsp grated fresh lemon rind and 1/2tsp lemon juice. When the mixture is even (with no lumps) and the cup cakes are cooled then pour the icing over it.

Enjoy!

Rasa ;)

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The moment of Desperate Housewives

I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of the American sitcom “Desperate Housewives”. In fact that’s the only TV program I watch! Anyway, there is one part I find really funny where Bree (the one that has her own catering business) tried to steal the recipe from Katherine (one of her neighbors in Wisteria Lane). It all started when “the girls” (other neighbours) liked Katherine’s lemon meringue pie better than Bree’s. Bree of course gets jealous (as you may all know she likes to be the best in baking). Initially she asks for the recipe, but to my surprise Katherine refuses! So Bree goes for even more shocking action and tries to steal it by breaking into the the Katherine’s house…. I always wonder why in Wisteria Lane people don’t lock their door? Is this what they do in USA? That surely would not work in London if you can imagine!

Anyway, few weeks ago I had a similar situation. My best friend Vicki’s birthday was coming up and I was looking for a good cake recipe she would really like. I knew Vicki loves cheesecakes, chocolate, coffee and alcohol (sometimes I am even concerned that she might be an alcoholic… ha ha, only joking ;-)). Anyway, I remembered that she really liked the cake that one girl (her name is Jada) from my Church made . It was a cake made of cookies, cream and of course alcohol! I decided to ask Jada for the recipe as I knew she got it from her aunt. And guess what, Jada told me that her aunt does not want to give that recipe away!!!  I was gobsmacked! How can this be? At that point I felt exactly like Bree felt, I finally could relate and understand her motivations to commit her “crime”. I bet if Jada’s aunt was living in the setting of Wisteria Lane and especially if she did not lock her house door, I would be definitely tempted to steal that recipe! Never mind,  I have realized that I still live in London and I absolutely have no idea where Jada’s aunt lives. So I had to come up with more civilized option. I decided to create a recipe from my own memory of how that desert tasted. I can only say that the cake came out successful and it managed to generate me some praising (that I always love!).  And… Jada, if you are reading this, I am definitely not upset. I am actually really proud of you that you managed to keep the promise you gave to your aunt :)

VICKI’S BIRTHDAY CAKE

1 can coconut milk (400ml)
1tsp icing sugar (if coconut milk is not creamy)
40g creamed coconut (if coconut milk is not creamy)
200ml coconut flavor rum (otherwise known as “Malibu”)
640g cookies (I prefer all butter ones!)
300ml double cream
tiny bit of dark chocolate for decoration

1. Mix coconut milk with the rum.
First time I made this cake ( when testing the ingredients) I bought coconut milk that was creamy and thick. but when I was making it second time (for the actual birthday) I bought different brand (“Island Sun”) and it came runny and not as sweet as previous brand. I was initially panicking, but quickly fixed it with a little bit of icing sugar (I find that icing sugar blends easier) and creamed coconut (luckily I had it in my cupboard!). I think it came out as good as the first time!
2. Dip cookies in badges and let it soak in rum and coconut milk mix for a little but no longer than 3min (otherwise it will turn into porridge!)
3. Line all soaked cookies into the spring form.
4. Whip double cream and cover cookies with it (Just don’t whip it too much as then it is difficult for it to get through the cookies’ gaps). I Don’t think Jada put double cream in her cake but I did it so my cake looks pretty :D
5. Decorate it with flaked chocolate (just take the bit of plain dark chocolate and run knife edge trough it. At least that’s the way I find the easiest to flake the chocolate.
6. Before enjoying keep it in the fridge for at least one night (Don’t be tempted to put into freezer).

Whats your favourite cake?

Rasa :)

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Forget love – I would rather fall in chocolate!!

Its a Valentines day today and if you have not met your Mr right (or Miss right) there is always time for chocolate day! I am big chocoholic myself and this is my favorite recipe for chocolate brownie (my friends love this too, just try to leave it unattended and it will be gone before you notice it). Just whatever you do don’t make the same mistake I do: don’t bake it only for yourself (it is selfish and can be really unhealthy)

CHOCOLATE BROWNIE

Ingredients: 200g dark chocolate
250g butter
3 eggs
200g sugar
150g flour (Very important: don’t put more flour then it is written here)
2tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
a pinch of salt
a pinch of baking powder
100g of caramel (its not sold in UK unless you go to Lithuanian shop. To make the caramel simply take a can of condensed milk and boil it for 3 hours WHILE IN THE CAN)
50g or more of chosen nuts (I used walnuts)

1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a square shape form (roasting tin is perfectly fine) with greaseproof paper.
2. Melt chocolate and butter. Best way to do it is to place glass/metal bowl (with pieces of chocolate and butter in it of course) over boiling water and watch until becomes chocolaty cream… hmmm! Make sure that the bowl bottom does not touch the water
3. In separate bowl whisk egg with sugar. Don’t overdo it!
4. While stirring the chocolate mixture add the eggs, flour, cocoa powder, salt and the baking powder.
5. Pour the whole mixture into lined and ready baking form
5. Now it’s the fun part! Imagine you are Jackson Pollock and start “decorating” the brownie by trowing in caramel chunks and nuts on the top of chocolate mixture.
6. Press nuts and Caramel lightly into the Chocolate dream so it sinks in a little. Bake it for around 25min (I beg you, please don’t over bake it as I have done in the past. Not a very pleasant result). Enjoy and eat it quick before everyone else gets to it. Oh, and don’t forget to keep it overnight in the fridge before that!

Happy Valentines Day!

Rasa xox

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