Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Torte Reform

The first thing I'm going to say is that I've been taking too many photos of each dessert I make. This cake wasn't an exception.  Oh yes, I took a crazy amount of photos this time but how can I help myself?! Isn't it beautiful? I think it really is but maybe not as beautiful as delicious. Now - seriously. This was one of the most delicious cakes I've made. (ok, I know that I say so almost everytime I bake a cake but this time I mean it. I even ate 3 slices at the time). The sponge was soft, moist, chewy and nutty and the filling.. ohh.. the filling. It was a chocolate divine. The cake is huge so I divided the ingredients in half and baked it in a small tin but I do not reccommend it for you because it's insanely delicious. (I should have used the whole amount of ingredients, otherwise, I might have eaten 6, not 3 slices). The cake was gone the same day it was made.

I'm not really sure what "torte reform" means. I read on the internet that it's a Serbian dessert but do not know anything else. It's just very very delicious. That's why I share the recipe with you:

For the layers:
10 egg whites
300g fine sugar
300g ground walnuts (I used hazelnuts and I'm sure you can use any combination)
2 tbsp flour

For the cream:
10 egg yolks
200g sugar
60g baking or dark chocolate (I used 52%)
250g unsalted butter
3 tbsp very strong coffee (optional, but I reccommend to add this because the cream is quite stiff. I also think coffee liqueur would add a nice flavour but I didn't try it.)

1) Beat egg whites, and sugar until firm, and then gradually add walnuts and flour. Divide this batter into 4-6 parts, and bake each in a spring form pan in the preheated oven (180° C) for about 20 minutes.

) To make the cream beat egg yolks with sugar. Put it in a double boiler with chocolate and melt it stirring until cream thickness. Beat butter, and then add it to the cooled egg yolk mass.

3) Remove form the heat, and add the coffee. Let cool completely, and then mix in butter.

4) Spread some cream over each layer, and top with chocolate shavings.

Enjoy and don't eat too much! 

P.S. It's spring!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

This is probably the cutest cake I've ever made! I usually bake creamy gooey fudgy chocolate or caramel cakes wth various fillings, frostings.. This cake is totally different and maybe even better? It's so fragrant, moist and rich in flavours. The poppy seeds and orange zest gives it a very subtle flavour, the cake is not too sweet and the icing gives the "final touch" to the cake. Pure perfection. I've no idea why, but this cake reminds me of cozy evenings with a cup of tea. Do try this recipe out and you'll see how delicious can a simple cake be.

Orange Poppy Seed Cake

50g poppy seeds
185ml warm water
250g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g self-raising flour
210g unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
250g icing sugar
3 tablespoons boiling water

1)   Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Lightly grease a 23cm fluted baba tin. Combine poppy seeds and milk and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

2)    Place the caster sugar, eggs, sifted flour, 185g of the butter and 3 teaspoons of the grated orange zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the poppy seed mixture and beat with electric beaters on low speed until just combined. Increase to medium speed and beat for another 3 minutes, or until the mixture is thick and pale. Pour evenly into the prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted to the cake. Leave in tin for 5 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.

3)   To make the icing, melt the reamining butter, then place in a bowl with the icing sugar, remaining zest and the boiling watrer. Mix togather to make a soft icing, then spread over the warm cake.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Veggie Lasagna

15 lasagna no boil noodles
200g cottage cheese
1 1/2 cup gouda cheese, grated (or maybe more?)
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
100g spinach
2 eggs
1 onion
7 cloves garlic
340g mushrooms
1 cup broccoli
1 red pepper
2 small/medium carrots
1 can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried basil (If you have fresh - add some!)
2 tbsp olive oil
~1/2 - 1 cup water

In a bowl, mix together cottage cheese, 3/4 of mozzarella and 3/4 gouda cheese (leave some for sprinkling the top). Add in chopped spinach, lightly beaten eggs and set the mixture aside.

Chop the onion, garlic, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, red pepper..

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan and saute onions until fragrant. Add garlic, carrots and saute for 5 minutes (I added some water at this time). Add broccoli, red pepper, seasonings, mustard and water as much as needed. Cover and stew until carrots become softer but not too soft (the vegetables shouldn't be dry but there also shouldn't be too much liquid)! Add ketchup, diced tomatoes and mushrooms. Mix everything well.

In your baking dish, add a little of sauce and place evenly lasagna noodles on top. Put on some vegetables and cheese mixture on top. Repeat this 3 or 4 times (it depends on your dish size. I needed really large dish so I decided to bake it in two separate bowls but that doesn't make any difference.) Sprinkle the top with cheese.

Bake in 180/190C preheated oven for an hour. I baked it covered with foil for the firs 30 minutes.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Applesauce Muffins

Every single day I want a dessert. I can't help myself but in the evenings I always want something sweet. The same happened yesterday but I didn't have anything to eat. What a catastrophe! Moreover, there was nothing in the fridge. I only had some flour, sugar, cinnamon, cocoa and homemade applesauce leftovers. What to do with such ingredients? Applesauce muffins! Made totally from scratch they turned out fantastically! For fun I decided to make a filling for them.Well.. I think pictures tell more than I. Just look at their moistness. And make them. Now!

For the muffins:
  • 8 tablespoons sweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark rye flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch salt
For the filling and topping:
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • ~2-3 tablespoons applesauce


  1. To make the muffins: preheat oven to 190C. Line 12 cupcake liners into the tins.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter, applesauce, sugar and eggs together. Add in vanilla. Gently stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Pour about a tablespoon batter into the bottom of the tin. Add 1/2 teaspoon filling on top of batter. Cover filling with another tablespoon batter. Sprinkle each with filling (which you set aside - look below).
  4. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out dry. Let muffins cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
  5. To make the filling: mix ½ tbsp sugar with cocoa and half of the hazelnuts. In another bowl, mix another ½ tbsp sugar with cinnamon and the remaining hazelnuts. Take a teaspoon of each mixture and set aside (for sprinkling the tops). Mix in the applesauce into cinnamon and cocoa fillings to make a smooth not too runny paste.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pizza Cookie

This week I made a delicious coffee fudge tart and had some dough leftovers. I didn't want to throw them away so I decided to make an experiment. I wanted to mix sweet and salty. The dough had sugar in it and was lightly sweet. So I remembered how much I like salty caramel and decided to make something like that - salty sweet, only without caramel. What about... sweet pizza? Oh yes! But don't misunderstand - they don't taste like real pizza. The cookie is crispy, buttery and lightly sweet and the top is spicy. I really didn't think it will turn out so good! I mean it! I just watched them disappearing from the plate. My family absolutely enjoyed them. So what about you? Try them and tell me if you like them. 

1 egg white
1 teaspoon dried basil
pinch black pepper
pinch salt
pinch nutmeg
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tomato sauce
coriander, to sprinkle
20g cheese, grated

Roll the dough into a 2-3 mm thick rectangle and cut into 4x4cm squares. Make some mini holes with a fork. Put them on a baking tray lined with a parchment paper. Lightly beat the egg white. Mix in the basil, pepper, salt, nutmeg, garlic, mustard and tomato sauce. Take one cookie and dip it into the egg white mixture to coat evenly. Repeat the process with the remaining cookies. Sprinkle with coriander and cheeese. Bake in a 200 degree C preheated oven until golden brown. (I didn't watch the clock and don't really know how long does it take. But I'm sure you'll see when they're done. If you want them softer, bake until lightly golden. If you want them more crispy, bake until golden brown but don't let them burn - take out of the oven when the top is getting dark brown.) Let cool completely and enjoy!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Coffee Fudge Tart

Coffeeee!! When I first saw the recipe called "coffee fudge tart" - I was sure I'm going to try it. For me, coffee flavoured desserts are even better then the chocolate ones. Every coffee lover will like this.Such a rich coffee flavour and a chewy fudge-like consistency. There's nothing better. Though I was a little bit worried when after 25 minutes the tart was still undercooked, at the end I wasn't disappointed. I was happy! Because the tart was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Try this out and you'll see that.
P.S. I post some of my photos I made last year because today the sun is shining and it feels like spring!

For the pastry
175g salted butter, softened
50g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
250g plain flour

For the filling
125g butter
250g brown sugar
10g instant coffee
90ml Kahlua liqueur
2 eggs, lightly beaten
50g self-raising flour

For the pastry, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and stir until fully incorporated. Add the flour and mix until the pastry forms a ball.

Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and chill for around 20 minutes. Roll out the dough to fit the tart tin and refrigerate until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180C while you prepare the filling.

Heat the butter and sugar together in a saucepan over a low heat, until melted. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add the coffee grounds and Kahlua. Stir in the beaten eggs and then the flour. Mix until everything is well combined, smooth and glossy.
Pour the mixture into the chilled pastry case and bake for 20-25 minutes. (The baking time looks ridiculous - Fow me it took an hour! That's why be careful with it - check the tart with a toothpick.) Remove from the oven and cool. You can serve it with ice-cream.
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