Monday, May 28, 2012

Quark Fritters

This quark fritters' recipe is an old recipe I've been using for years. The fritters are soft and airy. The batter is very easy to mix up as it requires no kneading, creaming, etc. I hope you'll enjoy these lovely fritters!

Quark Fritters

400g quark/cottage cheese/curd
3 eggs
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanillin sugar
flour (~9 tablespoons)
oil for frying

1) Beat eggs with sugar and vanillin sugar. Add quark and mix everything well.

2) Start adding flour spoon by spoon. You can vary from 7 to 10 tablespoons. Start forming balls (~4cm diameter) with wet hands in order to avoid it sticking too much. The dough has to be sticky but it has to hold its shape when formed into a ball.

3) Preheat oil in a pot. Put a formed fritter into a tablespoon and carefully add it into oil. It has to start bubbling when you add a fritter. At first it sinks and if it rises into a surface after ~5-10 seconds, continue adding other fritters. Fry over a medium high heat until all sides are browned. If it browns too fast, reduce the heat to avoid underbaking of the insides.

4) When they're done, put them on a paper towel to drain. Dust generously with icing sugar. Cool before eating.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Sticky Coconut Rolls



I've always been making the same cinnamon rolls but this time I decided to experiment with the filling. I love coconut desserts so rolls with coconut filling seemed divine to me. I wasn't wrong! They were super delicious, fluffy, soft, moist and sweet. I especially love the glaze which caramelizes when baking and makes the edges crispy. I called these "sticky", and they really are sticky rolls, but next time I think I will make more glaze :P.

Sticky Coconut Rolls
55g sugar
½ tsp salt
50g butter
1 small egg
300g flour
1 ½ tsp instant yeast
¾ cup milk

¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
70g butter
2 tbsp honey
100g desiccated coconut

¾ cup icing sugar
~2-3 tbsp milk

1. make the rolls: cream together the sugar, salt, and butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand). whip in the egg until smooth. add the flour, yeast, and milk.

2. mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. you may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. cover the bowl with plastic wrap. let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.

3. mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin, into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger rolls, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller rolls. Spread some of the glaze (see recipe below) and sprinkle the coconut over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log (starting at the long end). with the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger rolls, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller rolls.

4. make the glaze: in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, salt, and butter, at room temperature. cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add the honey. continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Pour half of the glaze onto the bottom of your pan.

5. in your glazed pan, lay the pieces of dough on top of the glaze, spiral side up, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. let rise for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and nearly doubled. preheat the oven to 180 C (350 ) with a rack on the lowest shelf.
6. bake them for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. 
7. cool the rolls in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. wait at least 20 minutes before serving.

8. Mix the icing sugar with milk and pour the glaze over the rolls.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Praline Bars


I had this recipe for years and I can't really tell where did it come from. Well, a few days ago I found it again in my wide recipe collection and decided to make them. I was pleased with the results! These bars are really  delicious. The bottom layer is a chewy brownie and the top layer reminds me of a cookie. The sides are crispy and, of course, the interior is chewy! 

P.s. Finally the good weather is here and I'm posting some of my photos!


5 TB.(70g) unsalted butter
1/2 c. (115g) + 1 TB. Sugar

1/3 c. (40g) cocoa powder
pinch salt
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 large cold egg
1/4 c. (30g) AP flour

Position rack in lower third of oven.  Preheat to 350° (180C).  Line bottom and sides of an 8″ (20cm) baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set in a wide skillet of simmering water.  Stir from time to time until mixture is melted, smooth and fairly hot.  Remove from skillet and set aside briefly until mixture cools a bit.
Stir in vanilla and egg with a wooden spoon.  When batter is thick and shiny, add flour and stir until mixed in.  Then beat vigorously for 40 strokes.  Spread evenly in lined pan.
1/4 c. (30g) AP flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 TB. (57g) butter, melted

1/4 c. + 2 TB. packed brown sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

Mix flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Combine melted butter, sugar and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir in egg yolk and vanilla. Then add flour mixture, followed by nuts.  Drop spoonfuls over the top of brownie batter.
Bake until edges of topping are well-browned, about 20-25 minutes (I baked them for 25 minutes but next time I'll try to bake them for 20 minutes to make them even chewier).  Cool completely in pan on a cooling rack.
Lift up ends of foil liner.  Cut now, or after refrigerating.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Banana Pancakes With Black Currant Sauce

Recently I've been obsessed with pancakes. I eat them almost every day and there's so much fun to experiment with the ingredients. Today I made myself a batch of banana pancakes. Actually I've never tried to mix mashed banana into the batter. I wasn't sure how much sugar to add and what consistency the batter should have to turn out soft and thick. And can you believe it? I was surprised with the results. The flavors were perfectly balanced. And luckily yesterday I found some frozen currants in my freezer (I had no Idea they were still there). If you like sweet and sour combo, follow the steps below.

1 large ripe banana, mashed
2 small eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
pinch salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Approx. 1 cup of frozen black currants, thawed
2 tablespoons sugar
Sour cream, to serve 

Put the currants into a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar on top and let sit until sugar melts. 

Mix together the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs and pour in the milk. Mix in the banana. Start adding wet ingredients into the dry ones. Mix until combined. Bake in a preheated frying pan until lightly browned on each side.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and currants.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Basil & Cheese Muffins

200g your favourite cheese (mozzarella or gouda will work)
1/2 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic
10 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped (mine are super large!)
10 leaves fresh marjoram, finely minced
50g butter + 2 tbsp oil (I only had 50g of butter so you can substitute oil with additional butter)
3/4 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 C AP flour
pinch of cinnamon
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1.  Saute your onions until fragrant. Add garlic. Mix it with grated cheese, chopped basil and marjoram and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and oil. Add egg and beat well. Add in the buttermilk. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, coriander, salt and soda.
4. Start adding flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix well. Fold in the cheese mixture (leave some for sprinkling the tops). 
5. Divide the mixture among 12 muffin cups. Bake in a preheated oven (180deg C) for about 20 - 25 minutes.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Cinnamon Bun Bread

Ohh my cinnamon. Recently I bake so much with it. This cinnamon bun bread is incredible. It's chewy, gooey and sweet. However, I found it really sweet. It's okay if you eat just one small piece or have a slice with a strong cup of coffee. Next time I will reduce the amount of sugar for the topping. Despite of this I really enjoyed this bread. I only wouldn't call this bread. I'd call this cinnamon squares or cinnamon blondies because of their chewiness and sweetness. Moreover, it just doesn't look like bread to me. Maybe it had to rise more or I didn't add enough yeast. I wonder how it would turn out if I doubled the dough. Can't wait to try this!

1 1/2 cups (190g) all purpose flour
1/3 cup (75g) sugar
1/4 tsp active dry or rapid rise yeast
2/3 cup (160ml) warm milk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

for the Filling/Topping:
3 tbsp butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (170g) brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

for the Icing:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp milk

Lightly grease an 20x20cm (8×8-inch) square baking pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk, then stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix well, until very smooth. Pour into prepared pan and let rest for 15 minutes.

While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and press the mixture down into the dough with your fingertips.

Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 180C (350F).
Bake for about 30 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed. Some of the sugar mixture on top may still be bubbling.

Cool for at least 30 minutes before whisking the powdered sugar and milk together to form an icing and drizzling it onto the bread.

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