Tag Archives: caster sugar

Hazelnut Rugelach


When I first made this recipe, I thought that it is the same as something that mom used to make at home. Well,  it is almost, but with a twist. Imho, I like this much better. It is slightly different but I do enjoy eating it more than anything. In my journey to try the international cuisine, I found this book “The Jewish Kitchen. Recipes and Stories from Around the World” by Clarissa Hyman, 2003 and this delicious recipe: Hazelnut Rugelach.  The result was mouth-melting. If you like cooking, try this at home, if you don’t, find someone who does and eat together. πŸ˜‰

Hazelnut Rugelach   

Makes 32 small or 16 large

Ingredients:

  • 200 g (7 oz) butter, softened
  • 200 g  (7 oz) soft cream cheese (I prefer Philadelphia but may be you prefer something else)
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 250 g (9 oz) plain flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
  • 100 g (3 1/2 oz) finely chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts)
  • 50 g (2 oz) soft brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 egg white beaten with a little water ( you can use a whole egg, I’m sure I wouldn’t mind)
  • granulated sugar  (optional)

Method:

  • Cream the butter and cheese until well blended. Stir in the caster sugar, then the flour and mix until the dough begins to hold together. Gather into a ball, wrap in clingfilm and chill overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4/ 180Β°C, 350Β°F.
  • Combine the nuts, brown sugar, cocoa and cinnamon and set aside.
  • Cut the dough ball in half and return  one half to the fridge while you work with the other. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into a thin circle about 25 cm / 10 inches in diameter. If it is too sticky, flour the pastry too. The pastry may feel hard at first but it quickly softens. Use a cake tin or a plate to help cut out a neat circle. Cut the dough circle into a 16 or 8 equal pie-shaped wedges.
  • Brush the surface pf the wedges with melted butter, then sprinkle evenly with half the nut mixture. Cover with a piece of clingfilm and use a rolling-pin to press the filling lightly down into the dough. Remove the clingfilm and roll up each wedge from the outside, wide end towards the point, so you end up with mini croissants. Place on a lightly greased baking tray and brush with beaten egg white. Sprinkle with a little sugar, if wished. Repeat with the remaining dough and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Leave to cool slightly the transfer to a  wire rack.

Bon appetite!

Strawberries For You And For Me


Yes, this is a very tasty dessert for two. Or more. The moment I have made this recipe I fell in love with cheesecake. My favorite cheesecake is the strawberry one, but you can do it with other fruits like mangoes, bananas, kiwi or all at once. Be creative. I have to say one thing. There are a lot of utensils to wash after the fun in the kitchen, so just ask your significant one to do it for you. Joking. But a little help is always welcomed. Another thing I have discovered and liked was digestive biscuits, especially those with dark chocolate.

The recipe is taken from “Good Housekeeping, Cookery Book”, 1985.  You know what is my favorite part? Eating the cheesecake. πŸ˜‰ So please, won’t you make it for me, once? Please! πŸ™‚

Strawberry Cheesecake

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 75 g (3 oz) butter (don’t fool yourself with margarine)
  • 175 g (6o oz) chocolate digestive biscuits, finely crushed (try dark chocolate ones)
  • 50 g (2 oz) desiccated coconut (if you don’t like it, skip this one)
  • 250 g strawberries (or 2 medium mangoes, or 2 bananas or 5 kiwi fruit, etc)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) pure orange juice (you know you can make your own)
  • 30 ml (2 level tbsp) gelatine
  • 350 g (12 oz) full fat soft cheese (I use 2 Philadelphia cream cheese, plain)
  • 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream
  • 3 strawberries to decorate (or 3 kiwi fruit)

Method:

  • Lightly oil a 22 cm (8 1/2 inch) spring release cake tin. Base-line with greaseproof paper and grease the paper. If you ask me, I would choose a rather larger cake tin, let’s say about 25 cm, or an oval/ round Jena glassware. And no grease or greaseproof paper at all.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the biscuit crumbs and coconut. Press into the base of the prepared tin. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Wash the strawberries and mash them or use the blender for a short while. You don’t want strawberry juice. With mangoes you have to peel them cut the flesh from the flat oval stone, discard the stone and roughly chop or mash the flesh. With bananas or kiwi you can apply the same treatment.
  • Put the orange juice into a bowl and sprinkle in the gelatine and leave to soak for a few minutes. Place over a pan of simmering water and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Beat the cheese and sugar until smooth, then beat in the egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir in the strawberries and gelatine mixture. Lightly whip the cream and fold into the mixture. By now you have used a lot of utensils. Told you so! πŸ˜‰ Oh, you can taste a bit.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff and carefully fold into the cheese mixture. Pour into the prepared tin  (this part is not for mature, busy, angry, over-worked adults: leave a little cream in the bowl and use your fingers to clean it or ask the children to do that and have some fun) and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours until firm. Or make the cheesecake in the evening and leave it over night in the refrigerator.
  • To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin. Decorate with strawberries (or kiwi fruit). Now you can enjoy yourselves. πŸ™‚

Bon appetite!

Lift Me Up (Tiramisu)


Yesterday I posted the recipe in Romanian and I’ve decided that today I would post it in English. But it is not to be my first post for today, because I’ve had the nice surprise to read it on my nice colleague’s blog about my blog. Check this out, but only if you know Romanian:

http://mariuszarnescu.wordpress.com/2010/03/27/sweet-nothings-by-elena-granzulea/

Back to my tried and tested recipe, I have to add that it is not just any Tiramisu, it is a very special, exquisite one made by Heston Blumenthal. If you check Wikipedia you will find very interesting things about him.

Here is the recipe, taken from “The Sunday Times” some years ago. My intention is to make it again for this Easter and here is the proof.

Tiramisu

The key element here is the chopped chocolate – choose a good-quality one that you really want to eat.

Serves 4 (but you will probably want it all for yourself)

  • 75-100 g good-quality chocolate (my fav is one with at least 70% cocoa) (you can always add more chocolate, like 2 bars or as my blue flower would say, a box πŸ™‚ )
  • 50 g unrefined caster sugar or just brown or plain sugar if you can’t find caster
  • 235-250 ml double cream, chilled
  • 265 g mascarpone
  • 300 ml black coffee, cold and fairly strong
  • 4 tbsp (or to taste) Marsala or amaretto (if you don’t have any, any liqueur will do as long as you think it goes with the taste of Tiramisu) (optional)
  • 125 sponge fingers
  • cocoa powder

Method:

  • Chop the chocolate with a knife, or if you prefer, you can grate it, then leave it in a cool place. I prefer grating it (it is quicker) or use the food processor.
  • Dissolve the sugar in 100 ml of the double cream over a gentle heat, then set aside to cool. Lightly whip the remaining cream over a gentle heat, then set aside to cool. Lightly whip the remaining cream in a cold bowl and set aside.
  • Work the mascarpone with a spoon until it has loosened up a little, then carefully incorporate the whipped cream and the cooled sweetened cream. Add 4 tbsp of the coffee to taste – more if you prefer. It is important to add enough to get the flavour you want, but not so much that is loosens the mix.
  • Pour the rest of the coffee and the alcohol, if using, into a flat-bottomed bowl large enough to lay the fingers in. Place a few fingers in the coffee mix and turn over a few times – they need to be soaked. Place on a plate and repeat until all fingers are done. If necessary, make more coffee.
  • Once soaked, place enough fingers in the bottom of a serving bowl to form a single layer. Spread a third of the cream mixture over them and smooth out, then sprinkle with some cocoa powder and a third of chocolate. Repeat until all the cream is used up. You should have three layers of cream and three of the cocoa-chocolate mix.
  • Place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Just before serving, generously dust with cocoa powder.

Bon appetite!

PS: don’t eat it all at once, indulge for a couple of hours, SAVOUR it!