Tag Archives: delicious

Pumpkin Cheesecake

 It’s my very first pumpkin cheesecake! 🙂 I do love both cheesecake and pumpkin, but never tried to combine them together until I baked too many pumpkin slices and already couldn’t eat them.
Cheesecake is enjoyed by millions around the world, and each person has its own take on the best way of making it. Truly a scrumptious dessert! I guess that the pumpkin cheesecake is the America’s favorite dessert. Moreover, I’ve heard about National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day, is that true? In Russia we eat pumpkin, too, but usually it’s sliced and simply baked with sugar, or whole pumpkin stuffed with grains (have a look at my recipe here).
I knew how to make a basic cheesecake, so I just added pumpkin puree and some spices. Oh, I’m so happy with the result! The only thing I was worried that it can be too wobbly, finally it set good, just cracked a little. The texture is perfect – creamy, deliciously smooth and not-very-sweet, everything how I like. Unfortunately, the cheesecake has some unwanted calories, thus for weight watchers I recommend to substitute cream cheese with low-fat cottage cheese or quark.Pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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You need 18cm baking tin for this recipeSlice of pumpkin cheesecake
Ingredients should be at room temperature
Crust
150g graham crackers, finely crushed
80g butter, melted
Filling
350g cooked pumpkin, then pureed
220-250g cream cheese
30g brown sugar + 40g white caster sugar
2 tbsp double cream (35% fat)
2 whole eggs + 1 egg yolk
2 tbsp cornstarch (cornflour)
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger powder
small pinch of ground cloves, allspice and salt
Method
  1. To make crust. In a medium bowl, blend butter with graham crumbs. Press the mixture into the base of baking tin to create an even layer. Chill for 10 minutes in the fridge, then bake in preheated 160C oven for 5-7 minutes. Take the tin out and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  2. To make filling. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with sugar until smooth consistency. Add pumpkin and combine. Break one at a time, add egg yolk, mix to combine. Add double cream, cornstarch, flour and all spices. Beat until well combined. Pour the filling into crust, spread evenly and bake in preheated 180C oven for 45-50 minutes.
  3. Take the tin out of the oven, let it cool at room temperature. Cover the baking tin and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove cheesecake from the tin and slide onto a plate, slice and serve.
Enjoy!
[Click the photos for a closer look]

Vanillekipferl

 Winter holidays is my favorite time of the year (after birthday)! It seems like people smiling more often, and enjoying cold weather and upcoming festival! We putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it with beautiful toys, buying and wrapping gifts. It’s the right time to plan the holiday menu, whether to roast chicken or prepare the fish pie, make cherry strudel or chocolate cake..
The December would be incomplete without baking! Nothing says it’s holidays quite like Xmas cookies! There is something special about a tray filled with delicious vanilla or cinnamon-flavored cookies.
Baking cookies is such a fun and wonderful event! You can even organize a cookie party, call your kids or friends to help you, to share a holiday mood, and of course to enjoy eating all those treats you’ve made.
I bet you’ve seen crescent-shaped cookies somewhere or may be tried it. These biscuits are very popular in Europe, and especially in Germany, where they’re traditionally baked for Christmas, even though they originate from Vienna, Austria.

Make this season merry and delightful with irresistible vanilla biscuits, that just melt in your mouth! 🙂
German Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl - German Christmas Biscuits

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
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Ingredients
200g butter, cold and cut into small cubes
60g icing sugar
a pinch of salt
seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla extract, or vanilla sugar
1 large egg yolk
100g ground almonds
270g plain flour
+vanilla icing sugar*, for dusting
Preparation
  • *First, prepare your own vanilla icing sugar. Split vanilla pod lengthwise into two halves, and put it in a jar with icing sugar, close tightly. After 1-2 days you will get amazing naturally-flavoured vanilla icing sugar!
  • For the dough quickly mix butter with sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix in egg yolk. Sift flour and add it to the dough along with almonds. Qucikly knead the smooth dough. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Divide the dough and form rolls 1.5-2.5cm in diameter. Cut each roll into 5-6cm length slices, and form the crescent shape biscuits.
  • Put biscuits on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Put vanilla icing sugar in a plate, and roll still warm biscuits in it.
  • Let the biscuits cool on a rack.

Enjoy!

German vanilla biscuits

Vegetable bake with mozzarella and bacon

This simple, good-looking and so-delicious bake is a time-saving dish for busy week days, or when you’re tired but still want to prepare homey food. I love one-pot recipes, whether its made on a hob or in the oven, they are always comforting, full of flavor and tasty!
For this bake I used young potatoes, that can be substitute with regular, but make sure to slice it very thinly. Want better and quicker? Use boiled or roast potatoes! For the vegetarian option – omit the bacon.
Also the bake can be great and tasty work lunch, you can see it’s not difficult or time-intensive task. Homemade lunches are definitely healthier than any fast food, you know every single ingredient in it, also you can make it balanced, nutritious and satisfying. Beyond that, such home-packed meals is one of the simplest ways to trim your budget.Vegetable Bake with mozzarella and bacon

Vegetable bake with mozzarella and bacon

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
6-7 small potatoes
1 leek, chopped
1-2 capsicum
3-4 bacon slices, smoked
70-100g mozzarella, or as much as you wish, cut into cubes
40-50g pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
1 spring of fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp dried
1/3 tsp paprika
1/3 tsp turmeric
5-7 mix peppercorns (black, white, pink), crushed
fresh basil, few leaves, for garnish, optional
sea salt, to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Slice and fry bacon (without any oil). Transfer to paper towel to absorb exsess fat. Set aside.
  3. While the frying pan is still hot, add leek to it and saute on a medium heat for few minutes. Do not let it brown.
  4. Throughly wash and rub potatoes, thinly slice. Roughly chop capsicums. Put vegetables in a bowl, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, spices, season with salt and stir well.
  5. Spread leek on the baking dish. Add vegetables.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Add bacon, mozzarella and pecorino/parmesan, and bake for 5-10 minutes more. If you have grill, put the baking dish under the grill for 5 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with basil and extra pecorino/parmesan, if desired.
  8. Serve with green salad.

Enjoy!

Potato bake with mozzarella and bacon

 

Autumn Pumpkin Roll

 October is a pumpkin harvesting month, and also a time for making delicious amber-color pumpkin dishes, like cream-soups and pies. And the Halloween is coming very soon! I love this time of the year, I believe autumn is the most beautiful season. Well, Emirati autumn is different, but let me pretend that it’s autumn here. 😀 It’s raining outside, and golden, brown and flame-colored laves are falling down from trees..
 In real the heat is becoming less intense and nature is waiting for the cool season to come.
And only one thing is on my mind – baking! This is one of quickest recipes, I swear! 😀 Especially, if you already have puff pastry in your fridge. So, you need cut pumpkin and apples, and saute it in butter, then mix with couscous and roll into puff pastry. That’s it! Since I prefer not very sugary bakes, I make the roll almost not sweet, the sweetness of pumpkin and apples is more than enough here. I slice the ready roll and serve warm with hot tea. 🙂 In case if you want sweeter, add more raisins and brown sugar! Anyway, the roll will be so delicious and comforting!
 It doesn’t matter what’s the weather outside, when your home is filled with amazing scent of dark brown sugar, cinnamon and baked veggies!
Autumn Roll

Autumn Pumpkin Roll

 I suggest to make own puff pastry, you can keep it in the freezer for several weeks, or if it’s store-bought, be sure that it made from butter not palm oil or margarine!
 You may vary the quantity of pumpkin and couscous to suit your taste.
Ingredients
250g butter puff pastry
150-200g pumpkin
1 small apple
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp butter
50-60g couscous, cooked
30g raisins (black or golden)
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar (or increase for sweeter option)
1/3 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
 
Method
  • Cut apple and pumpkin into small cubes, add to the pan with butter, drizzle with lemon juice and saute on medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes. Let the mixture cool.
  • Soak raisins in warm water or cognac for 10 minutes, then drain.
  • In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, apple, raisins with couscous. Add salt, sugar, cinnamon and give it a good stir.
  • Arrange the mixture on the puff pastry sheet. Make the roll, brush it with egg yolk.
  • Bake in preheated 180C/360F oven for 25 minutes.
Serve warm with tea in your favorite tea cup! 🙂
Happy autumn! ❤

Red currants ‘n’ cardamom Muffins

 Some time ago in Russia, small cakes-muffins-were called keksi, but since muffins’ popularization many people call them muffins! I think, almost all people like muffins, and may be some of you have a special recipe or ingredient. I do like experiment with flours and spices; I’ve bought soy flour recently and trying to use, I don’t see much difference with it so far.. If you know any good ways or recipes to use it, I would appreciate if you share it with me. 
Muffins
 So, about other additions to muffins batter, berries are one of my favorite. Raspberry is best-loved, but what about currants? I’ve seen in a blogosphere couple posts with it, and surprised, that it is not widely-grown and not quite  popular. Poor berries, if only they knew how underrated they are. When I lived in Russia, I ate lots of black, red and white currants. There were too many of blackcurrant bushes in parents garden, so I even dislike to pick them up.. Twigs of sour and bright redcurrants were easier to pick – straight away to my mouth! 😀 Blackcurrant in Russia is like blueberry in USA, has similar shape and taste, interchangeable berries.
 
 Today recipe combines Russian and Eastern flavours – red currants and cardamom. Enjoy!
Red currant

Red currants ‘n’ cardamom Muffins

  • Servings: 6-7 medium muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

70g plain flour/all-purpose
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cardamom, finely crushed seeds
30g soy flour
25g wholemeal flour
30g ground flaxseed
1 egg
2 Tbsp sunflower oil
70g kefir (or sub with yogurt)
80-90g liquid honey (I used dark one)
120-140g red currants, or mix of red and black (or sub with blueberries)
 
Method
  • In a large bowl, beat egg and honey, add kefir, oil, and stir. Sift the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, add flaxseed and cardamom into egg mixture. Combine.
  • Lightly cover berries in a flour, then carefully fold them into the batter. If using frozen currants, don’t defreeze them, add to the batter straight from the freezer.
  • Fill muffin tins or one cake tin and bake in preheated 180C/350F oven for 20-25 minutes.
Red currant & cardamom Muffins