Sunday, February 21, 2016

Turkish Pita Bread (Pide)

Ingredients:
20g fresh or 1 packet of dried yeast (I used dried)
1 tsp Sugar
250ml warm water
450g flour (I used the '00' Pizza flour am sure you can use plain or strong too)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp greek/plain yoghurt
plus 1 tsp Milk/1 tsp oil/sesame seeds

Method:
I mixed it all on dough setting on my breadmaker but if you don't have one mix:
1. mix yeast sugar & water until dissolved
2. add flour and knead gently
3. add salt, oil and yoghurt and knead until you can form a ball
4. put dough into a bowl, cover with a tea-towel and leave to proof for an hour in a warm place
5. after the hour, add dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape to a form round/square/triangle..whatever you like
6. cover baking tray with baking paper and move dough onto tray
7. cover with a tea-towel and proof again for about 20min
8. after second proofing push your finger into the dough several times to form little dips
9. mix 1 tbsp oil/1tbsp milk and lightly brush dough with its, sprinkle with sesame seeds
10. pre-heat oven to 200degrees C fan oven and bake for 20-25 minutes
11. once baked you can leave it to cool down or cover with a tea-towel if you want the crust a bit softer

Serve with lamb gyros, greek coleslaw & tsatsiki.
Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chocolate Muffins


I love Chocolate and anything with Chocolate, be it Milk, White or Dark Chocolate ... as long as it has Chocolate in it, I'll eat it and drink it. Okay, I admit I am a Chocoholic ;)
These Chocolate Muffins are a standard bake in my kitchen, as they're easy and quick to make and taste yummy. And they are great for Birthdays and other Occasions.

Makes about 12-15 Muffins.

Ingredients
  • 2 Eggs
  • 220 g Caster sugar
  • 110 g Self-raising flour
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 160 ml Evaporated milk
  • 150 g butter
  • 120 g chocolate chips (optional)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 175 °C
  2. Put 12-15 Paper muffin cups into Muffin tray (grease tray a bit with Butter to help the paper cups to stick)
  3. Beat the eggs with sugar, mix with flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, vanilla and evaporated milk.
  4. Fold in the melted butter.
  5. Add chocolate chips; coat them with flour before mixing into the batter.
  6. Bake at 175 °C for about 20-25 minutes (or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean)
The Chocolate Muffins can be served hot or at room temperature.

Variations

For a stronger chocolate flavor add 1-2 more tablespoons of cocoa powder.
You can add vanilla or white chocolate chips instead.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fluffy Canadian Pancakes

Not only for pancake Tuesday, but as well for a delicious Weekend Breakfast - our Saturday favourite! - Quick and easy to make

Delicious with Bacon, Bacon and Egg, Maple Sirup, Yoghurt and fresh Blueberries, Jam, simply Sugar or Nutella for Kids.

Ingredients:
  • 125g all-purpose flour 
  • 10 g baking powder 
  • 235 ml milk 
  • 2 tbsp sugar (optional) 
  • 3 egg yolks 
  • 3 egg whites 
  • 1 tbs sugar (optional) 

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder.
  2. Stir in sugar, milk and egg yolk until smooth.
  3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain.
  5. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.
  6. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  7. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; serve hot.

Palańćinke (Pancakes)

My mum used to make these all the time, it's a croatian recipe, and I just love them.
I suppose you could say they're a mixture between pancakes and crepes, just rolled up. 
I would usually put sugar, vanillin sugar or strawberry/raspberry jam on it, but other favourites in our house are lemon, lemon & sugar and nutella of course.
Ingredients:
  • 200g flour
  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml sparkling water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil or butter
  • pinch of salt
Method:
  1. Add all ingredients into a bowl and stir well until all mixed together.
  2. Let pancake mix cool in fridge for 30 minutes
  3. Heat frying pan 
  4. Add a little bit of butter to pan and melt
  5. Use a small/medium ladle and add mix to frying pan, swirling pan so the base of frying pan is just covered with the mixture.
  6. Fry until one side is golden, then turn over and fry other side until golden.
  7. Put on plate and cover with sugar or anything you like.
  8. Roll pancake up from one side to the other.
  9. Fold both ends up to eat. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Carrot Cake


The first time I tasted Carrot Cake was after I moved to Ireland. I loved the taste, especially the delicious Cream Cheese Icing.
But it wasn't until recently, that I started making it myself. I tried a few different recipes, adjusted a little bit and found this recipe my favourite. It's light and moist and simply delicious. For my Mother-in-Laws Birthday Cake, I cut the cake in half and put most of the Icing in the middle and some on top and sides, to stick on the Fondant Icing. I used some leftover Cream Cheese Icing as well to stick on the flowers. The White Daisies are made out of the same Fondant Icing and then I 'glued' some of Dr. Oetker's edible paper Flowers on. The cake was a big success, even with the ones who never like Carrot Cake :) I was a very happy baker :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 140ml (5fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 200g (7oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 300g (11oz) grated carrot (weight when grated)
  • 100g (31/2oz) raisins
  • 75g (3oz) pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 180g (61/2oz) self raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp orange juice


For the orange cream cheese icing:

  • 250g (9oz) cream cheese (straight from the fridge)
  • 50g (2oz) butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 275g (10oz) icing sugar, sifted
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange


Method: 
You will need a 20cm (8in) round tin

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F), Gas mark 2. Oil and line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then add the oil, brown sugar, grated carrot, raisins and chopped nuts.

3. Sift in the dry ingredients and bring the mixture together using a wooden or large metal spoon.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the surface and bake in the oven for 1-11/4 hours or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes before removing. Cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

6. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a bowl until combined. Add the vanilla extract, icing sugar and finely grated orange zest and mix to combine. The icing should be smooth and quite thick. Using a palette knife, spread the icing evenly over the cooled cake, dipping the knife into a bowl of hot water if the icing is hard to spread out. Cut into slices to serve.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Donauwellen (Danube Waves Cake)

Donauwellen (Danube Waves Cake)


I love cherries in a cake and this is one of my most favourite cakes, the Donauwelle (translated Danube Waves Cake).
It is a very popular cake in Germany, yet it's unclear, how the cake got it's name or where it originated. It might have gotten its name due to the swirl effects within the cake and the chocolate decoration pattern, which resembles waves. Another name is Schneewittchenkuchen, which means Snow-White-Cake, possibly due to the colour combination of black, white and red, as mentioned in the fairy tale.

I simply love the combination of a marble sponge filled with sour cherries as a base, topped with a vanilla pudding (custard) buttercreme and then covered with a thin layer of dark chocolate. Delicious!
I used to make the cake only on occasions, when I  either had a visitor from Germany bringing me a glass jar  of Cherries or two, or when Aldi or Lidl would have them on sale. The ones I use are in a juice, hence not that sweet and I was delighted to find them in my local polish wholesale shop, which is open to public.  Now I can make the cake whenever I fancy it or the kids request it again :)

Before you start though, prepare the cherries by draining them from it's juice. Use a sieve over a jug, you can keep the juice for ice cream sauce, simply thicken it over a low heat with cornflour or arrow root.
Pre-heat oven to 180C (fan-oven 160C).

Ingredients for Sponge:
  • 2 Glass jars of Sour Cherries (Net weight approx. 350g each)
  • 250g soft Butter
  • 200g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • inch of Salt
  • 5 medium Eggs
  • 375g Plain Flour
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 20g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Milk
Method for Sponge:
  1. add the Butter into a bowl and mix with a hand blender until smooth
  2. slowly add Sugar, Vanilla Essence and Salt - a tbsp at a time - until all mixed together
  3. add Eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg on highest speed for about 1/2 minute until adding the next one
  4. combine the Flour with the Baking Powder and sieve half of it into the mixture, blend together on a low speed, for not too long, just so that all is well mixed together.
  5. pour about 2/3 of the mix onto a baking tray (approx size 40x30cm) and even it off
  6. sieve the Cocoa and add the milk to the 1/3 in the bowl and blend together until you got a smooth chocolate mix
  7. evenly spread the chocolate mix over the 2/3 of the mix on the tray and with a fork mix them together a little bit, to get a marble effect
  8. dry off the drained Cherries on a paper kitchen towel and spread them evenly onto the tray
  9. using the back of a spoon or your clean hands, press the Cherries slightly into the cake mix
  10. put the tray onto the lower shelf of the oven and bake for about 40 Minutes
Ingredients for Vanilla Buttercreme:
  • 500ml Milk
  • 1 Vanilla pod (always use a Vanilla Pod, it gives a much nicer flavour)
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 50g Cornflour
  • 100g Sugar
  • 400g soft Butter
  • 200g Icing Sugar
Method for Vanilla Buttercreme:
  1. pour Milk into a saucepan
  2. slice the Vanilla pod length ways, just so that the vanilla pod has an opening
  3. add Vanilla pod to the Milk and bring to the boil, but don't stir as the milk will burn otherwise
  4. once boiled, leave to simmer for 5 minutes
  5. in a separate bowl, add the Egg Yolks, Sugar and Cornflour and mix until smooth
  6. slowly add the Egg/Sugar/Cornflour mix to the Milk, stiring constantly with a whisk, until thickened, otherwise the vanilla pudding will burn
  7. remove the Vanilla Pod from the Milk and leave pudding to cool to room temperature, make sure you stir regularly to avoid a skin from forming
  8. smooth the pudding through a fine sieve to make sure there's no skin
  9. add the Butter and Icing Sugar into a bowl & mix until smooth
  10. add the pudding spoon by spoon to the Butter mix - make sure both are at room temperature - in case of curdling, put the bowl over a saucepan with hot water (not boiling) and stir until smooth (but make sure no water gets into the mix)
  11. Once the cake has cooled, spread the cool Vanilla Buttercreme over the cake
  12. leave to set in a cool place for an hour
Ingredients for Chocolate Glaze:

  • 300g Dark Chocolate (75% or 80%)
  • 2 EL Vegetable Oil, i.e Sunflower oil
Method for Chocolate Glaze:
  1. Break Chocolate into small pieces and add to a bowl
  2. add the Oil
  3. place bowl over a saucepan with hot water - not boiling
  4. slowly melt the Chocolate - make sure that no water gets into Chocolate
  5. spread the Chocolate over the cooled & set Buttercreme mixture until fully covered
  6. If you want, you can add a waves design onto the Chocolate with a serrated side scraper
  7. once the Chocolate has set, cut the cake into little squares and enjoy :)
TIP:
If you don't have the time to make the Vanilla Pudding from scratch, you can use ready made Pudding Powder ( i.e. from Dr. Oetker) and make the Pudding according to instructions. Then once cooled add it to the Buttercreme as per instructions above.

If you have any questions, let me know :)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Gluten Free Lemon Slices


This is a very refreshing Summer Cake, especially if you like lemons...and Gluten Free! 

Ingredients for Cake: 
  • 350g Butter
  • 350g Sugar
  • 350g Rice Flour or Gluten Free Flour
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 Lemon, juice only
  • 2 Lemon, grated rind
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Sugar or a few drops of Vanilla Flavour
  • 3 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
  •  (TO MAKE YOUR OWN GLUTEN FREE BAKING POWDER mix
  •  1/3 cup Baking Soda
  •  2/3 cups Arrow Root or Potato Starch
  •  2/3 cups Cream of Tartar - keep in an airtight container for future use)
Ingredients for basic Icing: 
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Lemon, juice only
Method

Preheat oven to 150-175°C (depending on oven).

Lightly oil an oven tray and cover with baking paper. Use a smaller tray, than the size of your oven, that way the cake is a little bit higher – or use more ingredients, just try it out.

Base: 
  1. Combine the soft Butter with the Sugar and Vanilla Sugar/Flavour and mix until creamy. 
  2. Add the eggs slowly one by one into the mixture, keep mixing. 
  3. Mix the Flour with the Baking Powder. 
  4. Grate the Lemon and add Flour and Lemon to the Butter mixture, one spoon at a time.
  5. Pour onto tray and bake for 20-30min. 
 Icing:
  • Mix the Icing Sugar with the Lemon Juice. 
  • Take cake out of oven, when ready and pour Lemon Icing over warm cake. This Icing will soak into the cake, keeping it nice and juicy. 
  • Let it cool down and cut into slices.
I made this cake once with rice flour and although the texture wasn't as smooth as with ordinary flour, it was still very tasty!