Friday, November 9, 2018

french apple cake

Last three months were all about apples and mainly apple cakes.

This beauty is dad's simple upside down apple cake. Apples are baked almost until jelly like consistency and then tucked in sponge cake mixture and later on dressed up with generous amount of whipped cream. Pretty much favorite among youngsters. Pleasant and mild taste, no need to think just pure joy.

This dark one is my creation. Very easy to make and very easy to eat. Dangerous if home alone. It's a bit more complex texture compared to the upper one. Lots of chopped walnuts, lots of carob, whole wheat flour, grated apples. Anyways, one pan cake with chocolate glaze, room temperature. No need to refrigerate and tastes even better the day after. 

And revelation cake, french apple cake. 
Discovered while browsing trough Posie Harwood foodblog 600acres. Recipe was firstly adopted by David Lebovitz and can be found in archives on his blog, but for my creation I have used 6 large apples (as suggested by Posie) and eau de vie instead of white rum. You might be afraid about amount of used apples compared to batter, and in this case you can use 4 large apples and follow Davids recipe. Both 'versions' work perfectly. Taste is very special and in a sense batter texture reminds me of clafoutis. I would say that alcohol is a key ingredient for this cake so you should use good quality one. As I didn't have white rum I used excellent eau de vie (fruit schnaps made of pears).

French Apple Cake
from David Labovitz and Posie Harwood

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
6 large apples, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp
eau de vie 
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (115g), melted and cooled to room temperature

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and cover springform pan (20-23cm) with baking paper. 
Peel and core the apples, then dice them into rather big chunks.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Beat the eggs until foamy and pale, then whisk in the sugar, eau de vie and vanilla extract. Add half of the flour mixture and stir in half of the melted butter.
Add the remaining flour mixture, then the rest of the butter. 
Fold in the apple chunks using spatula and scrape them into the cake pan and smooth the top. 
Bake the cake for about 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. 
Let the cake cool for few minutes before you remove the sides of the cake pan.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or by itself. 
Bon Appétit!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

dutch baby

Is it a popover?
Is it a pancake?
It's a Dutch baby!

Late breakfast for two - Dutch Baby - David Eyre Pancake
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
pinch of nutmeg 
splash of vanilla (about a teaspoon)
50g butter
lemon, juice of half a lemon
icing sugar, about 2 tbsp

Preheat  oven to 220C.
First combine eggs with nutmeg and vanilla and add flour. Whisk to get smooth batter, which happens in seconds.  Then add milk and whisk again.
Heat the butter in a baking dish, but be careful not to burn it. Once it melts add batter and bake for 15-20 minutes. 
Remove the baby from the oven and while it is still hot dust over icing sugar and squeeze fresh lemon juice.
Serve immediately. 
Fresh fruits optional for serving.

Please don't get alarmed about the amount of butter. This creates such a wonderful 'sauce' with sugar and lemon once it's baked. But you can add less if you desire, this is the amount I like to add, but please not less then 40 grams. 

Also, the pan doesn't have to be cast iron, I don't have one. Any similar, oven-safe dish will serve. 

After a while you will know the recipe by heart. And there will be times when this baby will pop up from the oven on a daily basis. All this is fine, just keep on baking and enjoy while it lasts.

Easy breakfast, dessert or even lunch that will satisfy all your cravings.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

pound cake

Cake o'clock. 
And today I present beautiful simplicity, great texture, la grande bellezza cake!
I have been repeating myself, but whenever sun is up I can only think of salty blue water. My mind and body naturally navigate only in one direction, the Adriatic.
This cake goes so well with a seaside, especially evening hours of a day. 
After a good day of swim, floating in the sea, gazing at the skies, when Sun is almost down, while your hair is still a bit wet and you might need long sleeves but no shoes just flip flops or even barefoot, piece or two or even three will serve as a perfect ending of a day.
This particular one is blueberries and jam pound cake. Recipe is adopted from great and super creative Emiko Davies, you can find a video here

As mentioned, any seasonal fruits and any homemade jam will do. What is important is to beat sugar and butter well and add eggs one by one beating well after each addition, so you end up with as much air as possible and fluffy better. This creates that great and beautiful texture of a pound cake, forever classic beauty.

Since I used smaller loaf tin I have cut ingredients by half, and this is why it is not that high, but I added same amount of jam and fruits. 

Blueberries and Jam Pound Cake
125g butter (room temperature)
125g icing sugar
125g plain flour
2 eggs
lemon zest
blueberries, about one cup
3 tablespoons peach jam

Preheat oven to 170C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Beat butter and sugar with lemon zest until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very pale and extremely creamy (about 7 minutes with electric beaters). Fold in the flour and pour into loaf tin. Dollop jam down the middle of the cake then swirl through with a knife, pointing down about 3cm into the batter. Add blueberries to the top of the cake. Bake 1 hour or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

dolce pasta

Spaghetti With Bread Crumbs and Sugar

There is a recipe for sweet spaghetti with bread crumbs and walnuts, Spaghetti da Quaresima. I read it is common dish for northern part of Italy, Romagna. You can find the recipe in an Italian cookbook that was first published in 1891, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
My grandma made pasta with walnuts but she would not mix these two, she made dolce pasta either with nuts and sugar or the one from the picture above, pasta with bread crumbs and sugar. When there was nothing ‘sweet' on the table she would made this for us children. I love this dish so much. You don't even need a recipe for it, just heat few tablespoons of oil in a pan and add few spoons of homemade bread crumbs in. Toss for a while to get a bit of color, but not too much (you don't want to burn the bread), add 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, stir and add well cooked pasta. Stir again, place on the plate and eat.
Today we cook pasta al dente, but for this dish I usually do as thought by grandma, overcook pasta. I like when mushy pasta sticks to sweet and crunchy breadcrumbs. You can use butter instead of oil, or add spices to the dish, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves.. I don't like using any of these, I like it plain, as it is, just sugar and bread crumbs.
But dollop of sour cream with a pinch of cinnamon on a side works great.
Sometimes I eat this as a main course, but not too many people eat sweet dish as a main. It is a heritage from a childhood that I keep close to heart and with happy belly.  

Ingredients for one, served as a main course
80g spaghetti 
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 tbsp bread crumbs
25-30g sugar

Cook pasta a bit longer then recommended. While pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat, add bread crumbs and stir for 2-3 minutes, add sugar and stir for another minute or two. Toss the drained pasta in the breadcrumbs/sugar mixture and eat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

red rubies

Nibbling and/or just jamming?
I find redcurrants similar to pomegranate seeds. Summer version, lighter and more transparent red rubies. In general, berries I like fresh, room temperature, piled in a bowl near my hand. So I can easily grab few whenever. Also I don't like when they are 'wet', after you shower your berries always use extra kitchen paper towels and let them dry well. This way they will keep longer in fridge plus they will not get soggy. 
This is (and is not) a recipe for a jam. It's more like a summer morning ritual which I tend to practice often as I can. The quantities I use are hilarious, but hey this way I can 'practice' almost every day. You get few spoons of luxury fruit spread in minutes, which you rather eat right away or maybe leave soupcon for tomorrow.

Jam session / cooking time 2 minutes
100g red rubies (redcurrants), stems removed
50g jam sugar 
squeeze of lemon (about 1 tbsp)
2-3 drops of rose water (optional)

Place fruits and sugar in a small heavy saucepan on a high heat. Once it starts boiling keep stirring for a whole one minute. Add lemon juice and keep on stirring and cooking for another minute. Take off the heat and add few drops of rose water.  
Spoon the jam into sterilized glass jar and leave to cool. Don't put the lead on until it is cooled to room temperature. 

Friday, June 22, 2018


It was snowing on a second day of Spring. And today, on the official second day of Summer it's 13 degrees Celsius, feels like 12, which is even worse, and I made super refreshing ice pops. They are in a freezer, freezing :D. 
Anyway, lets just pretend that super hot summer is hear and all we do is..
and eat popsicles!
Just hit the link below and be ready to dive into a world of fruity, creamy, boozy, pudding pops, vegan, gluten-free popsicles made by super cool people.

It's here, no need to pretend, Billy thanks again, you are the best host ever!

Rosehip Tea Ice Pops w/ Strawberry Jam and Fresh Redcurrants 

Make a rosehip tea.
Use two tea bags (It's hard to find 100% rosehip tea, but I tend to use one that has 75% of rose hip and 25% hibiscus flower. Everything that is over 60% rosehip is good.) and cover them with 400ml of boiling water. Let infuse for 5-7 minutes. While still hot add 3 tablespoons of homemade strawberry jam, 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and one heaped tablespoon of sugar. Mix everything and let cool completely. 
Once it's cool pour mixture through a sieve and then pour it into pop molds. Place few fresh redcurrants before adding the sticks and leave in a freezer for few hours. 


Sunday, April 22, 2018

sea salt and sugar

Sunday today.
27 degrees Celsius, feels like 27o.
Clear and sunny.
0% chance of rain.
Current moon 45% of full.
Sunset 7:35pm.

I don’t know about you, but I'll take a swim and grab a sugar coated doughnut.
Simple treat for lazy summers by the sea. 

Wouldn't mind having filled one as well! 

Homemade Doughnuts - Brioche Doughnuts
(recipe adopted by Maja & Jernej)
50g sugar
190ml water, lukewarm
8g active dry yeast
3 eggs
about 500g all purpose flour + some for dusting and rolling
1/2 tsp vanilla + 1/2 tsp rose water
zest of one lemon
4g salt
100g butter, room temperature (cut the butter in small cubes)
vegetable oil for frying 

Dough preparation 
First day
In a large bowl mix water, yeast and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, until bubbly foam starts to form.
Add flour, eggs, vanilla, rose water and lemon zest to the yeast mixture. Knead well. After few minutes add the salt.
Slowly incorporate the butter in a dough mixture with your hands (or in a stand mixer) and knead well.
The dough has to be smooth.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to proof at room temperature for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch the dough and re-cover the bowl. Put in the fridge to chill for at least 12hours/overnight.

Second day
Take the dough out of the fridge and cut into equal pieces (about 60g each). Shape each piece (using extra flour) into a smooth ball and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and well dusted with flour. Leave plenty of space between doughnuts and let dough proof again. Cover lightly with cling film or kitchen cloth and leave for about 2 hours, or until about doubled in size.

Fill heavy-based saucepan with enough vegetable oil. Heat the oil to 180°C. Carefully remove the dough balls (buns) from the baking tray. Place them carefully in a hot oil. Fry for about 2-3 minutes on one side and 1-2 minutes to other side, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon or spider strainer, transfer doughnuts to a wire rack covered with paper towels. While the donuts are still warm, toss donuts in a bowl of a sugar and generously coat them with it.
Or fill them with homemade jam/vanilla cream.Fill a piping bag with jam or cream and pipe a generous amount into each doughnut.

Let the sea dry on your skin and pair crystals of salt and sugar in just one bite. 

Some memories remain forever.