Monday, November 25, 2013

dark chocolate mousse cake

Good grief! It's snowing outside. Wintertime!
Keep calm and eat chocolate.

It is time for little big chocolate cake. 


250g unsalted butter (diced)
250g caster sugar
250g dark chocolate (chopped)
5 eggs
1 tbsp flour
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon 
icing sugar for dusting 
Frozen raspberries to serve (optional)

Melt butter, sugar and chocolate over a law heat. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, flour and cinnamon. Pour slowly chocolate mixture into the egg mixture while mixer running. Mix until smooth.
Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Pour cake mixture in and cover with aluminium foil. Cook in preheated oven at 180 ºC for 1 hour in a water bath. Once cooked, cool and place in fridge overnight to set.


Monday, November 18, 2013

sugar free carrot cake

carrot cake with bananas and dates

Venetian carrot cake is the only carrot cake I ever made and ate.
But that was before I ‘met’ this one. This cake is rich, both in texture and in flavor. When cutting slices you can actually see pieces of carrots and orange color. It is moist and sweet, and after eating more than two slices at once you don't feel that much of guilt.  

I am a fan of Heidi Swanson and the recipe for this cake is supplied by

200g all purpose flour
1½ tsp cinnamon  
2½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt  
75g walnuts, finely chopped  
50g fresh dates, seeded and finely chopped  
115g unsalted butter, melted  
3 ripe bananas, mashed  
3 medium carrots, grated  
150g plain Greek yoghurt  
2 eggs

For the icing:  
250g cream cheese  
3 tbsp acacia honey

The things I changed from the original recipe are: I used fresh dates instead of dried, I reduced the amount of salt, I added 10 more grams of yoghurt and I changed the recipe for the icing by using honey and adding a bit more cream cheese.

Preheat oven to 180oC and line 22cm round tin with baking paper. In a bowl sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and add chopped walnuts. Stir the dates into the melted butter. In a separate bowl combine the bananas and carrots. Stir in the date/butter mixture and whisk in the yoghurt and eggs. Add the flour mixture/dry ingredients and mix everything. Spoon into the tin and bake for about 60-70 minutes/until cake tester comes out clean. 
For the icing, whisk together cream cheese and honey and wait until the cake has cooled before icing.

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

mary, queen of onions

onion marmalade 

While sitting in the living room, Mary suddenly noticed some smell. The smell was spreading from the kitchen cabinet. She went to the kitchen, looked behind the fridge, in the fridge, she even opened the oven, looked under the sink and at the very end the smell guided her to the pantry. Mary has completely forgotten that few weeks ago she bought a bag full of onions. Never too much onions, probably was the thought while she was bargaining at the market.
It was late night hours and Mary was wearing her pyjamas. She looked through the window and saw the full moon weaving from the clear night sky. No sleep under the moonlight, not for Mary anyway, and the moon said to Mary ‘say cheese and start chopping’.
Marry started to chop the onions. After some time, she noticed a pile of chopped onions in front of her and a pile of wasted paper tissues next to her. As she usually eats toast and jam for breakfast, it would be the best thing to make marmalade.

4 large onions (preferably red)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and paper
1,5 tbsp brown sugar
500 ml red wine
2 tbsp white vinegar  
2 tbsp aceto balsamico  

Peel the onions and chop to thin slices. Melt the butter with the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and put chopped onions in. Season with salt and paper and put the lid on until onions soften completely. Add sugar and let onions caramelize slightly, add wine and white vinegar and let slowly simmer until all liquids has evaporated (at least for an hour). At the end add aceto balsamico and turn the heat off and let cool completely. Marmalade is ready!

When Marry woke up she was all swollen from tears she cried while chopping the onions. But in the kitchen there was a jar topped with onion marmalade. She remembered that last night the moon whispered ‘say cheese…’. Mary smiled and walked to the fridge, took some cheese from it and began her day with bread, cheese and onion marmalade. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


The best things in life are the simplest.
Roasted almonds, candied almonds, sugar-roasted almonds, glazed almonds. So many names for only one addiction.
While I was at the hidden beach this summer doing nothing, but actually doing the most important thing one can do, daydreaming, Mrs. Nadja was making these contagiously dangerous treats. The goddess of traditional Dalmatian sweets was mixing sugar, water and almonds in her kitchen. Magic was happening only few meters from where my towel laid out.   
It is believed that Romans used to bring roasted almonds as a present to friends. And this is how Mrs. Nadja and I met. She welcomed me with a smile and a bowlful of sweet, aromatic, crunchy creatures. While she was telling me, step by step, what to do to get the final product, almonds were cluttering in the bowl and I was chasing them voraciously. Put sugar, almonds and water in a saucepan and heat up and that's the whole magic my dear, she would say. I was thinking, ok, but this is what my friend Ada has been doing almost every day since we came and they never end up like hers. This recipe is in a way a heritage for Ada, but she is a woman of today doing most things her own way, not following some written ‘guidelines’. She would usually mix everything by heart, adding a bit of cinnamon, and each time they would have a different texture or taste a bit differently.
But I don’t like when they are too sweet and when they are not crunchy, Mrs. Nadja added. The rest is history and is written below.

350g roasted almonds; important: use roasted almonds (not row, if they are row toast them in the oven or in a pan before mixing everything)
250g caster sugar
6 tbsp water

In a heavy pan mix almonds, sugar and water together. Cook the mixture over high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking and stirring until sugar starts to crystallize (5-6 minutes). This is the moment when you should turn almonds onto a baking sheet to cool. 

It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare. There is a pretty huge amount of almonds in a jar which will make you end up having seriously good treat in days to come. But in this case you will have to hide them and simply forget about them, otherwise you can easily nibble your way through a big jar without even noticing. So be careful, they are seriously addictive!