There you go, the recipe in English. Can you guess what it is about? :)) Of course, you are a smart human being. Now, that you know, I must tell you that this recipe is not mine, it is as old “as time” and very popular around the world. I knew about it before I cooked it. But, when I decided to try it, I said I would find the one I am comfortable doing it. In the Practical Encyclopedia of Easteuropean Cooking, 1999, there it was. My mum had a recipe, I had neighbours who did it, friends and so on. But it happened that I wanted to do it later, when I was abroad and I am content with what I found. This is mine, in a way. And now I want to share it with you. You probably say, why? Aren’t there enough already? And I say: why not? :))
175 g/ 6 oz/, 3/4 cup butter, melted (remember, go with 80-82% fat)
400 g/ 14 oz packet filo pastry, thawed if frozen
30 ml/ 2 tbsp lemon juice
60 ml/ 4 tbsp lemon
50 g/ 2 oz, 1/4 cup caster sugar (or any sugar you have in the kitchen)
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
10 ml/ 2 tsp cinnamon
200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups blanched almonds, chopped (replace almonds with nuts if you don’t have them)
200 g/ 7 oz, 1 3/4 cups walnuts, chopped
75 g/ 3 oz/ 3/4 pistachios or hazelnuts, chopped (again, replace with more nuts :))
chopped pistachios, to decorate (or go nuts :)) )
350 g / 12 oz/ 1 3/4 cups caster sugar
115 g/ 4 oz/ 1/2 cup clear honey
600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2 1/2 cups water
2 strips of thinly pared lemon rind
Preheat the oven to 160 °C, 325 °F, Gas Mark 3. Brush the base of a shallow 30×20 cm/ 12×8 in loose-bottomed or Swiss roll tin with a little of the melted butter.
Using the tin as a guide cut the sheets of filo pastry with a sharp knife to fit the tin exactly. In case you don’t have a similar tin, or you want to use all the pastry, remember that you have to add more ingredients. Do your maths.
Place one sheet of pastry in the base of the tin, brush with a little melted butter, then repeat until you have used half of the pastry sheets. Set the remaining pastry aside and cover with a clean dish towel
To make the filling, place the lemon juice, honey and sugar in a pan and heat gently until dissolved. Stir in the lemon rind (half of it), cinnamon and chopped nuts. Mix thoroughly.
Spread half the filling over pastry, cover with 3 layers of the filo pastry and butter then spread the remaining filling over the pastry.
Finish by using up the remaining sheets of the pastry and butter on top and brush the top of the pastry liberally with butter.
Using a sharp knife, carefully mark the pastry into squares, almost cutting through the filling. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, or until crisp and golden brown.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. Place the caster sugar, honey, water and lemon rind in a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar and honey have dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil for a further 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened slightly.
Take the syrup off the heat and leave to cool slightly. Remove the baklava from the oven. Remove and discard the lemon rind from the syrup then pour over the pastry. Leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight. Cut into squares and serve, decorated with chopped pistachios.
Tip (for the lazy ones, myself included): use baking paper in the tin and brush it with melted butter. This way, you will have a cleaner and easier to wash tin.
I tried to put the title in Aramaic but then, searching the internet, I found out that in the language of Jesus, there is no mention of bread. I found bread in the Syriac version of the Lord’s Prayer, which is not the original Aramaic. Well, I can not argue with that as my knowledge of both is zero and I decided to go for the English version, thank you very much. Why have I put this title? Because I am writing a recipe with our daily bread, an old, traditional, English one. And it is just amazing because I have never thought of a desert so delicious with bread, the main ingredient. Apart from the desert I used to eat, sometimes, when I was a child, with bread and sugar, very popular among children those days. You just had a slice of bread, damp it with a bit of water and sprinkle sugar on top. And there it was, something quick and nice for the craving children. Now I will write about something that requires a bit of work, but not too much and it is much more tasty. Imho, it is very easy to make and delicious, and I know as I did it myself, lots of times and following different recipes. Today, I am presenting you a very good one, though I haven’t made it yet. It is from “The Lady” magazine, from 30 of November 2004. I will also mention what you can replace as, you know, being creative in the kitchen, is a MUST.
Chocolate Bread and Butter Pudding
400 ml (3/4 pint) double cream (replace with milk if you don’t have cream)
200 ml (7 fl oz) Baileys Irish Cream liqueur (or serve yourself and forget about using it in the recipe)
200 g (7 oz) caster sugar (or any organic substitute you use)
10 slices brioche, each slice about 1 cm (1/2 inch) thick (or our daily bread)
200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate (at least 70 % cocoa solids), chopped (please, please, leave the chocolate alone)
Place the cream, Baileys, sugar and vanilla pods in a large saucepan and heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool. Remove the vanilla pods.
Pre-heat the oven to 140 °C/ 275˚F or Gas Mark 1 and grease a shallow 2-3 pint capacity ovenproof dish. Whisk the egg yolks and eggs together in a large bowl and strain in the cream mixture. Whisk lightly to blend. Cut the brioche slices in half diagonally and arrange in the dish in slightly overlapping layers. Pour the cream mixture over the top and leave for 10 minutes.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven or by placing it in a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot water, making sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Pour over the top of the pudding. I don’t have to say to dip your fingers in the chocolate. 😉 Place in a baking dish half-filled with warm water and transfer to the oven. Bake until set, about 50 minutes.
Hello! I invite you to go Indian again, with a delicious korma, chicken korma. I must say chicken is not the best of meat but it is light and if freshly cooked, delicious. All kinds of meat are good as long as they are eaten with moderation. I found out that myself, long time ago, when exaggerating with meat, I felt so sick, I hated the sight of it for weeks. Well, when it is too much, it is too much. I don’t want to be boring or get bored, although sometimes, both happen, at the same time. It is just a passing moment. 🙂 Continue reading, please. 😉 Or not.
Before I get to the actual recipe, I would like to recommend something. I just don’t know how to introduce it. It goes well with this recipe and any Indian and Asian food: “The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights”. I started reading it and got immersed into a very different world, beautiful and unique, quite like Indian food. They both come from Asia, in the books there are several references and stories about India so, yes, it goes down well. Like a good wine, imho. I so amazed by this book that I started reading it after so many years. When I was a child I read a few stories, and now, getting some volumes of it (I don’t have them all, and what I read is really from a 1987 Romanian edition) I love it. Read it yourself and I think you would love it too.
Back to food, that is an important part of the Tales. Here it comes chicken korma, with a home made korma. I got the recipe from “Cookshelf Chicken” by Tom Bridge, looong time ago.
2.5 cm (1 inch) fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped
50 g (1 3/4 oz / 1/3 cup) blanched almonds
6 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp ground cardamom
4 cloves, crushed
1 tsp cinnamon
2 large onions, chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp ground cumin seeds
6 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
coriander, to garnish
Place all the ingredients for the korma paste into a blender or food processor and blend together until a very smooth paste is formed.
Place the cubes of chicken in a bowl and pour over the korma paste. Stir to coat the chicken completely with the paste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours to allow the flavours to permeate the chicken.
Simmer the meat in a large saucepan for 25 minutes, adding a little chicken stock if the mixture becomes too dry.
Add the double cream and garam masala to the pan and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Allow the korma to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish the chicken korma with fresh coriander and serve with basmati rice.
For you. With love. ❤ Pancakes. Lovely, delicious pancakes, lots of them, in a cake. Imagine, a pancake gâteau. Let me tell you how I made this recipe. Years ago, when I was in London, I was looking for more recipes to try. I went to the library and found an interesting book “The Practical Encyclopedia of EastEuropean Cooking” from 1999. I liked quite a lot of recipes from it, including this one. I will remember it always as, imo, I think I ate the best cream in the world. It is very simple to make but it tastes divine. It is absolutely delicious. So, I would love to share this with you. In reality it is a bit hard but nothing is impossible. I hold my breath and not say a word. Just close your eyes and try a bite. Isn’t it delicious? You have the cake in front of you, you don’t see it with your eyes but with your inner eyes. It is there, trust me. And you share it with me. God, I am such a dreamer! Wake up, wake up! I don’t think I want, because I love sleep. I guess dreams are better than reality, sometimes. I need to sleep right away. I’ll be back later to finish this post. Good night!
Ok, I am back, after a good night sleep and I feel full of energy and positive. A good sleep makes miracle, trust me. I can see better now, my head is clearer and I am hungry. Very hungry. I will have a pizza and the desert I am about to write now. Kidding, in reality I will have a pizza and a rum baba or Savarina as it is known in Romania. And for my inner stomach ….(as I was thinking, if we have an inner eye, we can have an inner everything, so…) I will tell you about a Hungarian pancake gâteau. De-li-cious.
Because it is Easter today for some of my friends, to you all, Happy Easter!
Layered Pancake Gâteau
5 eggs, separated
50 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) caster sugar
175 ml (6 fl oz/ 3/4 cup) milk
50 g (2 oz/ 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted
50 g (2 oz/ 4 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
175 ml (6 fl oz/ 3/4 cup) soured cream
sifted icing sugar, for dredging
lemon wedges, to serve
For the filling:
3 eggs, separated
25 g (1 oz/ 1/4 cup) icing sugar, sifted
grated rind of 1 lemon
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla sugar
115 g (4 oz/ 1 cup) ground almonds
Preheat the oven to 200 °C, 400 °F, Gas Mark 6. Grease and line a deep 20-23 cm/ 8-9 inch springform cake tin. Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl until thick and creamy, before whisking the milk.
Whisk the egg whites in a grease-free bowl until stiff, then fold into the batter mixture, alternating with spoonfuls of the flour and half the melted butter.
Take a frying pan as near to the size of your prepared cake tin as possible and lightly grease the pan with a little of the remaining melted butter. Tilt to cover the surface.
Tip one-quarter of the batter into the frying pan. Fry the thick pancake on each side until golden brown, then slide it into the prepared cake tin. Use up the batter to make 3 more pancakes in the same way and set them aside while you make the filling.
For the filling, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the icing sugar until thick and creamy. Stir in the grated lemon rind and the vanilla sugar.
Whisk the egg whites in a separate bowl, then fold them into the egg yolk mixture, before adding the ground almonds. Mix together well. And now, the moment of tasting: dip you finger or your love’s finger in the cream and lick. Isn’t it delicious?
Spread one-third of the mixture on top of the first pancake.
Repeat twice more with the second and third pancakes, then top with the final pancake.
Spread the sour cream over the top and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is pale golden brown.
Leave in the tin for 10 minutes before removing the lining paper. Serve warm, cut into wedges, liberally dusted with icing sugar and accompanied by lemon wedges. And a kiss.
When is hot outside, try this. If you are not living in a hot climate as Indians are, try this in cold weather and it will make you hot. And my guess is you will ask for more. It is a delicious recipe. So delicious that I tried it just once. Hahaha. I should try it several times as I like lamb and this is indeed something special. I have a déjà vu writing this. I also like the way it is constructed with all those ingredients, some of them rare and precious and full of flavour. What an exquisite aroma it spreads ! It whispers: come and taste me! And of course you come… Sit down at the table and enjoy it with naan bread (I miss naan bread sooo much) or basmati rice (Tilda brand – the best). I must cook this again. So, let’s see what I need, apart from Love and Understanding and Tenderness. And a beautiful and large kitchen where I will be the queen 😉 . I need … to add that the recipe is taken from a wonderful book, “Golden India – Indian Recipes” and the recipes is
Lamb Chops in Spicy Marinade
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
And the ingredients are:
1 kg lamb chops
12 almonds, blanched
1 tsp brown sugar
2 2/3 tbsp (40 ml) butter or oil
1/2 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2-3 cloves, whole
2 tsp coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger, chopped finely
2 red or green chillies, deseeded and sliced
a few strands of saffron, dissolved in 1 tsp milk (optional)
2 onions, medium size, chopped
salt to taste
2 tsp sesame seeds (til)
3/4 cup yoghurt (I always go with my fav, the greek full fat one)
Blend cumin seeds, ginger, garlic paste, cardamom seeds, cloves, almonds, sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, sugar and 2 tbsp yoghurt to a purée, adding more yoghurt if the mixture is dry. Pour mixture into a bowl and set aside. You have now a masala paste.
Melt butter/ oil in a large kadhai (wok) or pan. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Stir in the masala paste and fry for 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add a spoonful water at a time if the mixture becomes too dry. Add the lamb chops and fry 10 minutes on medium heat, turning chops frequently.
Beat the remaining yoghurt and saffron together, pour it into the lamb and mix well. Bring to a boil the reduce heat to very low, simmer for 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 150˚C/ 300˚F.
Transfer chops into a casserole and put into the oven to cook for at least 25 minutes. After that you have a taste of India. 🙂
I did this too: Cumberland Rum Butter. I remember, when eating this, that I said to my family: “I would do it again”. But I never did. 😦 May be it’s time to repeat the experience and use this lovely butter with cakes and other home-made sweets. Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas! Yes, I’ve made this too. Please try it once, at least. I know I wouldn’t, though never say never. Enjoy a beautiful English Christmas Cake with your family and loved ones. I also invite you to watch a wonderful Christmas Concert of one of the most loved Romanian artists, Tudor Gheorghe. Keep Christmas in your hearts!