Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Rocky Road

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According to my favourite Wiki the Rocky Road was invented in Australia in 1853 as a way of on-selling confectionery spoiled by the long journey from Europe. Gold miners in towns outside of Melbourne, such as Ballarat, were wealthy but uncultured. Unscrupulous businessmen took advantage of these men, mixing the spoiled confectionery with low quality chocolate and other 'filler' ingredients, such as locally foraged nuts. The name Rocky Road is derived from the 'Rocky Road' travelers had to take to get to the gold fields.

The main ingredients in traditional Australian Rocky Road are: marshmallow, milk chocolate, jelly, desiccated coconut, glace cherries, nuts (peanuts), Turkish delight and strawberry sauce. 

The traditional British version would be a bit different with biscuits and sultanas, but would have the main ingredients such as marshmallows and milk chocolate. 

The traditional American recipe would only have marshmallows, chocolate and walnuts (or almonds). 

So, as longs as you have marshmallows, milk chocolate and nuts you can call your recipe Rocky Road and add anything else to the mix.


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Ingredients:
250 gr milk chocolate
250 gr dark chocolate
45 gr shredded coconut
90 gr toasted chopped almonds
120 gr marshmallows
45 gr glace cherries
45 gr dried cherries
45 gr pistachio nuts (I've sprinkled them on top of the mix)
145 gr roze turkish delight (I've used rose marshmallows instead)

Preparation. 
Melt all your chocolate over the boiling water. Gradually add all your ingredients, but leave some pistachio nuts for sprinkling on top of the rocky road. Make sure its all mixed together very well. Cover your square tin with the baking paper before spreading the mix. Spread the mix,  sprinkle pistachios and put into the fridge for an hour or more until it sets. 

Take it out from the fridge 20 min before cutting it into squares. Make a cup of tea or coffee and indulge.  





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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Upside down cake with a cup of tea

Imagine a quiet summer weekend when you've got friends and you don't want to spent hours baking a nice cake for dessert. This recipe is the most suitable for for such occasion.


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This is one of my favourites - upside down cake and as you can see I prefer it with a cup of earl grey tea. The most important in this recipe is not the fruit that you use (you can make it with pears or apples), but the type of rum or brandy that adds unforgettable taste to this cake. I have to admit, I've used the meadow that I've bought during my last visit to Barossa Valley at the Dorrien Wines.


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For this recipe best to use the wide and deep frying pan that you can put into the oven, but if you don't have it, simply use the round tin 26-28 cm in diameter.

Ingredients for the caramel
30 gr butter
100 gr sugar

Ingredients for the batter
5-6 apples or pears (or both if you like the mix like I do)
100 ml of your favourite brandy or liquor or meadow
4 eggs (room temperature)
150 gr caster sugar
170 gr butter (room temperature)
230 gr flour

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I usually start with preparing all ingredients for the cake. Clean and cut apples and pears into thin slices to make sure that they will melt in your mouth. Then start mixing 170 gr of batter with 150 gr of caster sugar until its white. Then I add 4 eggs, one at a time. After that, start with adding  a bit of flour and a bit of brandy into a mixing bowl until all is combined. Make sure that you are using a low speed on your mixer.

When its mixing, you can start preparing caramel. For the caramel, melt 30 gr of butter on a frying pan and equally spread the 100 gr of sugar on top of the  melted butter. Use the medium heat and wait until you get the light brown caramel and take it off from the heat. Don't stir. Let it cool just a bit and start applying your pears/apples on top of the caramel. Be careful as the pan is quite hot. When you are done with the fruit, add all batter on top and spread evenly to cover apples and pears.
Bake in the preheated 180C oven for 40-50 minutes. If you are using fan bake, then adjust your temperature to a lower 160C.

When your cake is ready, put your nicest plate on top and turn the pan upside down. Your delicious cake will be on the plate ready for you. On a hot summer day, its great with vanilla ice-cream and of course with my favourite earl grey tea.

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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Calling for SPRING with raspberry frozen yoghurt


I have a feeling that if you start wearing spring clothes and prepare spring dishes, the spring may come early. I'm really looking into early warm days and I would like to share the frozen raspberry youghurt with you.

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It is quite simple and very low on calories, of course, if you decide not to eat the whole bowl. For this recipe you will need 500 gr of frozen berries, 500 gr of greek non-fat yoghurt, 1 table spoon of honey (just for sweetness), juice of 1/2 lemon and zest of 1/2 lemon.
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Put everything into the blender, press the button and your frozen yoghurt is almost ready. If you leave it in the freezer for 30 min or more, you will have a beautiful ice-cream.

This recipe is unique as you can use any berry or any other fruit like mango, banana or kiwi.

Hey Spring! I'm waiting for you!!!

Masha and her Poppyseed cake with rum glaze

It was Masha's birthday and she wanted to bake something herself. I was very happy to hear that as believe me, I've been baking almost every weekend for my family and friends.

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I don't know why I like this cake. Is it because it's simple or because you can let your kids to bake it, as it is quite hard to do something wrong with it.

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This cake was everybody's favourite and Masha made me proud.

Ingredients (all room temperature)
For the cake
50 gr unsalted butter
75 gr caster sugar
2 eggs
50 gr flour
75 gr poppy seeds
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1/4 lemon (half a tea spoon approximately)

For the glaze
100 gr icing sugar
1 tsp of rum or liquer
juice of 1/4 lemon (half a tea spoon approximately)

Preparation
Preheat oven up to 180C. Beat the butter with 50 gr of sugar in the mixer until it's white and fluffy. Add 2 egg yolks one at a time. Then add poppy seeds, zest and approximately half a tea spoon of lemon juice and flour at the end.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with the leftover sugar (25 gr) until peaks form. Gently fold egg whites to the mixture and then poor everything into the form (I use the 20cm).  Bake for 30 minutes.

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When the cake is still warm poor the glaze (mixture of icing sugar, rum and lemon juice) on top. No one can resist. 

Three ingredient cheesecake


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Winter is that time of the year, when you really want something light and easy to make. However, when I think about something light I always imagine that silky and creamy cheesecake. But, when I see a great cheesecake, I always think about all that time and numerous ingredients that I have to shop around and find. This always puts me down. But recently, I have discovered a great recipe with only three ingredients. Wow! That was a great discovery! It's not only the number of ingredients, but the whole process is quite simple, as I call it - mix and bake.


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Ingredients (all room temperature) 
1 can (400ml) of condensed milk (I use 98%fat free)
600 gr low fat ricotta
3 eggs
1 tsp of cinnamon or vanilla (totally up to you)

Preparation
Preheat your oven to 200C and prepare the cake dish. I use 26cm round push pan. Combine the ricotta and condensed milk in your favourite mixer, and mix for a few minutes until the mixture is soft. Add the eggs, one at a time. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. At the beginning the mixture will raise, but then it will fall. If you want to make it like a classical one, then add the usual base of the mix of digestive biscuits and butter.

Best served with raspberry jam and a cup of tea or coffee.

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