Sunday, January 27, 2019

meringue cupcakes with orange curd

This dessert is for meringue lovers only. I say this right at the beginning in order to save up time to all of you who simple don't like sound and taste of a meringue in their mouth. Also, it seems to me that this sweet is most often served among those either gluten sensitive or intolerant. So all of you gluten sensitive tuck in and enjoy!
Meringues can come in many shapes and sizes and are usually served with fresh berries and whipped cream. Whatever the form, the final result should be crisp on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. I was just a little girl when I saw meringue/pavlova (which is a type of meringue) for the first time and it was in a picture book under the section Australia. I so loved its appearance, a pile of fresh and mashed strawberries floating on a big white cloud. We had this cookbook which we used as a picture book in our house and almost never cooked from it.
As mentioned already berries are great to be served on top of meringues, especially wild berries as they perfectly cut off the sweetness of the meringue, but some of us (me included) like citrus curd as well.
Meringue in a form of a cupcake individually served on a plate is extravaganza in everyday life, at least this is how I feel about it. Even if not perfectly shaped, slightly deconstructed, these gigantic bites filled with curd and cream and iced with sugar are necessity.

Meringue Cupcakes with Orange Curd 
for the meringue:
6 large egg whites, room temperature 
pinch of salt      
1 3/4 cups sugar  
1 teaspoon vinegar 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract  
sliced almonds, approximately teaspoon for each cupcake

_Preheat oven to 105 degrees Celsius. Line every other cup of two nonstick 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners, and set aside. Combine the egg whites, salt, vinegar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until frothy. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating a full 2 minutes after each addition, making sure the sugar has completely dissolved. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down sides of bowl after each addition of sugar so that undissolved sugar does not build up. Egg whites should form glossy firm peaks.

_Using a rubber spatula, spoon meringue equally into 12 paper cups so meringue is about 5 cm above rims. Clean up edges so no meringue is touching muffin tins. Do not smooth meringue or worry about peaks and odd shapes. Scatter sliced almonds on top of each cupcake (a teaspoon on each). Place in the oven, and bake until very light brown and completely dry on the outside but still soft in the middle, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove from oven, remove cupcakes from tins, and peel off cupcake liners. Let cool. 
_Using a serrated knife, gently slice tops off cupcakes; do not worry if they crack. Spoon whipped cream (whipped to soft peaks) into the center of each cupcake, and cover with orange curd. Cover with top of cupcake. Dust with icing sugar. 

Recipe for meringue adopted from Martha Stewart.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


I really like how it sounds in Italian. 
Almost like you wanna eat the word itself when said out loud. 
It's melody rings fluffiness and comfort.  
Ricotta crespelle. 
Somehow, with no proper explanation, I eat these most often during winter months and breakfast. And I like to eat them plain, naked. Additional sip of tea, coffee or latte is always welcome.
Therefore, tomorrow for breakfast you will need:

some pictures, so you can admire their beauty before you please yourself first thing in the morning..

and a recipe,
Ricotta Crespelle, makes 4-6
250g cream milk ricotta
3 eggs, separated, at room temperature
300ml milk
120g flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
butter for the pan

In a bowl sift flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl mix ricotta, milk and egg yolks. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta and stir. Separately, whip egg whites to stiff peaks and fold them into the batter slowly, with spatula. 
Heat the frying pan over medium heat, melt a bit of butter in it and spoon about 60ml of batter into the pan and use back of a ladle to guide the batter around the pan. Bake slowly, until crespelle gets 'gold' color on both sides. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Recipe adopted from Heidi Swanson.

Monday, January 7, 2019

get up and go

For those moments when there is really no time, or you would just rather play in the snow. But before you get up and go you must fuel yourself properly. A salad. I find this colorful, crunchy and super juicy breakfast one of my favorite for snowy winter mornings. I call this a winter salad simply because I use oranges, just in a peak of a season. It may sound a bit uncommon eating salad for breakfast, but do believe me, this one will happy your bellies and all other senses!

Serves one
Rocket salad - 30g
orange - small one
apple - 1/4, thinly sliced 
toasted walnuts - a handful
fennel - 1/4 bulb, thinly sliced

For the dressing
half lemon - juice
olive oil - 1 tablespoon
runny honey - 1/2 teaspoon
pinch of salt 
pepper to taste 

Wash rocket salad leaves and drain them on a kitchen towel or paper one. Using a sharp knife remove orange peel cutting in a downward motion, then cut in-between each membrane to get juicy slices. Quarter the apple, remove pips and thinly slice it. Place orange and apple slices in a mixing bowl. Trim the fennel, half lengthways and thinly slice and place in a mixing bowl together with other fruits. Toast walnuts in the oven for 6-8 minutes (180°C).
With the fork beat lemon juice, olive oil and honey. Place walnuts and rocket in a mixing bowl and dress the salad. Season with salt and black pepper. Toss everything gently with hands and serve.

'If I make a salad of greens and fruit and seeds it is because that is what I feel like eating, because it sits comfortably into the season.' 
Nigel Slater