Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Daring Bakers’ December, 2014 Challenge: Dutch sweet bread (Ontbijtkoek)

For the month of December, Andrea from 4pure took us on a trip to the Netherlands. She challenged us to take our taste buds on a joyride through the land of sugar and spice by baking three different types of Dutch sweet bread.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Sourdough Stollen for the Sourdough Surprises

The Sourdough Surprises challenged us to bake a German stollen, a special bread-like cake that is often made around Christmas time with candied and dried fruit, nuts and spices and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Well, I do not know about this having its roots in Germany, as this seems pretty similar to a typical Slovak sweet bread baked around Christmas as well but well, ok :) 

I love baking with my sourdough starter, so why not to try it? Well, maybe the reason for not trying might have been that as soon as I started measuring ingredients for this, my scale did broke. I do not like using "cups" unit for sourdough recipes but what could I do?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Banana-Coconut Bread

Yet another great recipe by Nigella Lawson. And once again it is super easy to make. I think that the simplicity of the Nigella's recipes combined such a tasty results is what draws me to her :) For example, in this case, the bread is very moist and the longer you let it sit, the better it gets. I do not want to exaggerate but I think this is the best cake dough  I have ever eaten. Just look at the ingredients list: banana, coconut, butter - all my favourites.

Nigella use the dried cherries which I didn't have the second time I baked this, thus I replaced cherries by dried apricots. And I have to say, it tasted better, The apricots combined with coconut make really interesting and exotic combination.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Gingerbread Muffins with Surprise

As Christmas is here again I decided to experiment a little bit and make a Christmas variation of the basic recipe for muffins. i have to say even I was surprised how yummy these gingerbread muffins are.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Zebra Cake

I have recently found my old notebook in which I began to collect recipes when I was 15. Going through it, I have found this I would say a "Slovak classic". If you like a coconut-chocolate combo, which is so so so very sweet, then you should really try this. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chocolate Muffins

I returned back to baking after a very long time and I am putting here a new recipe. As I am very lazy I decided to go for a recipe which will give you a yummy result with a minimum effort. I suspect that a domestic goddess Nigella Lawson is a little same in this way and thus I usually go for her recipes. So here it is - super tasty chocolate muffins with a chocolate chips/pieces.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Banana Granola

Recently, there have been a lot of articles on food that we consider healthy but in reality, it is rather shit.

Granola has received a lot of "love" in this regard, especially its oh so freaking tasty crunchy version (of which I can eat the whole package at once). However, they are not considered to be the healthiest. Fortunately, there are people who came with this great recipe for the super healthy granola and due to the miracle of internet they shared it with us.

And so, I have stumbled upon this really healthy but more importantly tasty and crunchy banana granola recipe, and trust, it is worth to give it a try. The geniality of this recipe lays in using ripe bananas as a sweater as well as a "glue".

Okay, forget what I have written about this recipe as being super healthy... The THING is that it us really yummy and the healthy factor is just an added bonus.

The recipe comes from a wonderful blog - Greenkitchen - and I recommend checking out also some of their other recipes.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

July 2014 Daring Bakers' Challenge: Surprise! Cakes - Orange Bundt Cake with Jam Roll

For the July Daring Baker’s Challenge, Ruth from The Crafts of Mommyhood challenged us to bake a cake. But not just any cake; she asked us to add in a special surprise for our eyes as well as our taste buds!

I have decided to make a bundt cake inside which I placed a "basis" roll with a jam. I was really pleased with this Daring Bakers challenge as it made me bake a roll which was on my "To Bake" list for a really long time. Further, I make this roll using a recipe from my mother so this is really a family recipe tested numerous times.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Muffins - basic recipe

Easy (recipe), quick (method), yummy (result) and quite variable (recipe as well as result)- these are the first words that I thought of when I started thinking of how to describe this creation of mine. For avoidance of any doubts, please note that this is not mine recipe – it is a combination of probably three “basic” muffins recipes... and this seems to be my contribution to this pool of “basic” recipes :)

These muffins are soft and moist and they rise well (provided that you do not overmix as I did).

Swedish Summer Cake

Whipped cream, strawberries, light cake dough and smooth vanilla curd – can you imagine any better combo? The recipe is an adaptation of my favourite Nigella Lawson. And in fact, this is probably all that I might say about the following recipe.  Absolutely genial when it comes to its taste only the texture of the custard was a little bit off in my case .  I suspect it was caused by the fact I couldn’t get a 48% double cream for which the recipe calls. Also longer refrigerating might have improved the situation little bit. However, as already stated it was yummy!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Banana-Cherry Cheesecake

The UK/US version of cheesecake is another cake which is quite new to the Slovak cuisine and it is a new “cool” thing to do/bake. There are a lot of replacements and shorcuts being made (usually due to the difficulties getting the "right" ingredients) when baking this cake. However, I wanted to try a cheesecake without any such shortcuts and to get as close to the original as possible. So I read and read and read in order to get all tips and details how to make a decent cheesecake and this is what I made. I do not know how my cheesecake would be rated by a professional cheesecake baker but I freakin’ loved it found its taste rather pleasant and satisfactory. 

As I have been going through my banana obsession period, I have decided to choose the recipe with (surprisingly) banana in it. I have combined it with cherries which I personally picked from our cherry tree :) and I think it was a good cobination to try.

I just couldn't resist.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Chocolate Banana Muffins by Nigella Lawson

Muffins have been introduced to the Slovak baking only few years ago. For a long time, I was really against them. Because… well what's the point? It is just a cake batter baked in a special form, which makes them difficult to make as you have to waste your time on dividing the batter into several small holes instead of pouring all batter into one pan. In fact, I have to admit that (more or less) my opinion on muffins is still the same (I mean I still think that it would be easier to pour all batter into one baking pan). However, muffins have found their way into my heart :D And now, I have paper cups for muffins to last me for my whole life :) Further, and this is probably nothing new for the USA/UK readers (if any), the technique for making a muffin batter is slightly different from making a cake batter (as I will try to explain below).

Basically, all US and UK muffin recipes that I read state the same: we combine "wet" ingredients and in another bowl, we combine "dry" ingredients. THEN we combine wet and dry mixture. However, we mix it only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Thus, the final mixture will be and should be a little bit lumpy. If we over mix the dough, there will be a lot of gluten development which would lead to muffins being tough and they would also not risen as much. I think that the aforementioned information is not new to US and UK bakers. However, I have noticed that many Slovak non-professional (and sometimes even professional) bakers tend to write in their recipes "and now thoroughly mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until the mixture is smooth" - this is the point where I usually stop reading the respective recipe as it is evident that the baker is in dark when it comes to muffins :). Long story short, I wanted to write a little bit about technique for non-UK/US bakers.

The first muffins I have ever baked are adaptation of the Nigella Lawson's recipe which is written below.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cookies with Peanut Butter and Chickpeas

A peanut butter... my love... or at least one of my loves. I love it so freaking much that sometimes this song starts playing in my head when I think about it (I do not even particularly love it - I mean the song, not the butter). And thus, I put every seemingly decent recipe with the peanut butter in it into my "To Try" folder. As I also did with the following cookies which do contain another one of my favourite ingredients - chickpeas. I know, I know, it sounds weird putting chickpeas into cookies. What will be next? Beans in brownies? Seriously, the recipe is so easy that even if you have doubts about it, you will lose nothing by trying it (BUT you may be pleasantly surprised). The third and last ingredient is honey/agave/maple syrup. And that's it. Well, not entirely - I also have to say that these cookies are really tasty. UPDATE: Come on, how could I forget - chocolate!!! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

SUPER Easy and Delicious Fruit Cake with Streusel

My dear non-Slovak friends, the following type of cake is very typical for Slovakia (or the Czech Republic). There are a LOT of recipes for this cake but I am going to share with you the ONE - the ONE, which I have been using for more than 15 years, the ONE which has never failed me, the ONE which is ridiculously easy and cheap... and the ONE, which has received numerous compliments. I am not kidding. For me, this is a holy grail type of recipe - the cake batter is slightly vanillish-sweet and , the fruits give it a kick, and the streussel - come on - who doesn't like streusel? 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Bean Brownies Without Flour

I have been thinking rather long what my first recipe should be. Okay, it hasn't been that long. Truth to be told after I spent 3 hours of my life setting up of this page, I finally wanted to see the fruits of my work, i.e. my post.

The following recipe can be considered as healthy (okay, it depends on what philosophy of healthy lifestyle you follow) and it is very tasty (my roommate thought that the nuts (which aren't even in it) are the "healthy" element of this cake :)), and thus I told myself: "Why not - the bean brownies!"

Yes, it is true - the beans are the main ingredient. If this is your first contact with such nonsense as the beans in a cake, please, do not be afraid and give it a chance - it is really tasty (provided you like chocolate and cacao - and who doesn't?).

Enough rambling, let's bake.