Tag Archives: delicious

Apple Scones

 Many of you heard about these lovely biscuits, which are called scones. Whenever I see or hear ‘scones’ I immediately imagine the Queen of the United Kingdom, how she’s drinking her 5 o’clock tea, beautiful china teacups are set on a huge royal table, and elegant waitresses serving various treats and of course scones! Did you know that originally scone was round and flat, usually as a medium-sized plate, it was made with oats and baked on a griddle, and only after that cut into triangular sections for serving. Only when baking powder became available and popular, scones began to be the oven-baked. Nowadays, scones are widely liked and popular not only in Britain. Saying honestly, scones aren’t popular in Russia, may be because of large and good variety of cookies and other cakes. Here, in the UAE the same thing, they are not sold in regular bakeries and stores, so I decided to make scones myself and here the result – buttery and tasty triangle scones. 🙂Triangle apple scones

Apple Scones

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
150g plain flour
100-120g wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp orange or lemon zest
2 tsp cinnamon
100g sugar
110g butter, very cold
110g sour cream
1 egg
1 apple
1 tsp lemon juice
Glazing
100g powdered sugar
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • In a large bowl or food processor, combine flours, salt, baking powder, sugar, zest, cinnamon. Grate the butter or cut into small cubes, add to the flour mixture and mix in. Knead the dough.
  • In a small bowl, add sour cream, egg and whisk to combine until smooth. Pour the mixture over dry and fold until just combined.
  • Peel, core and cut apple into small cubes, sprinkle with lemon juice. Fold apple cubes into dough until just combined.
  • Put the dough on a lightly floured surface, shape into 20-23cm and 2cm thick disk. With a knife slice the disk into 6-8 wedges.
  • Transfer wedges on a lined baking sheet with some space apart. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 15 minutes. Allow scones to cool on a baking sheet for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the glazing. In a small bowl, sift icing sugar and whisk with lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle scones with the glazing.
Enjoy tea-time!

Chicken Liver Pâté

 Hey guys! To say the last few weeks of my life have been filled with sport, beach and meeting with friends, so I hadn’t been posting regularly and commenting on your lovely blogs, but I will resume blogging and posting more often. 🙂 And I want to share with you a simple but super delicious recipe –  chicken liver pate! The pate is very quick and easy to make, and require only a few ingredients. Another advantage is a low cost of chicken livers. Pureeing the cooked livers along with butter and a little cognac or brandy transforms the plain part of chicken into something magnificent! It’s a great breakfast on a slice of toasted bread or can be a nice appetizer topped with a cornichon or little pickled onion. 🙂Chicken liver pate

Chicken Liver Pâté

  • Servings: >6
  • Difficulty: easy
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If cooking for children, omit the cognac.
Ingredients
1 large onion
1 medium carrot
20g butter
500g chicken liver, cleaned
1+1 tbsp cognac (or brandy/whiskey)
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 1-2 tsp fresh leaves
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
50ml water or chicken stock
100ml cream  (12-15%)
50-60g butter, at room temperature
sea salt to taste
freshly grated black and white pepper to taste
Top
40-50g butter
 
Preparation
  1. Peel onion and cut into small cubes. Wash, peel and grate carrot.
  2. In a deep frying pan or saucepan, heat butter and add vegetables, cook on a medium heat until soft (don’t brown). Add liver and fry for 8-10 minutes. Add one tablespoon of cognac, herbs and season to taste. Simmer on a medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add water, cream, bring to boil and turn off the heat. Leave to cool at room temperature.
  3. Transfer to a food processor or puree with hand blender. If the consistency is too thick, add more warm water or stock. Adjust the seasoning. Add soft butter, cognac and blend again.
  4. You can make a butter ‘lead’, for that heat the butter in a small bowl and pour over the cooled pate.
  5. Transfer pate to a bowl and keep covered in the fridge up to 5 days.

Enjoy! 

 

Plum cake

It’s a fact that spring came to this year-round sunny city too, and temperature start to creep slowly. During the day the weather is still nice for swimming and sunbathing without uncomfortable sweating like in the summer months. Another pleasure is to take an evening walk in the fresh air, or to sit outsite and enjoy sipping a tea while the weather is till cool. Having a tea without a piece of cake is absolutely wrong thing! 😀 So, you can guess that one of my favourite ‘indoor activities’ is baking! I had mascarpone cheese and ripe plums that used to be a jam, but mascarpone was nearly to expiry date and I had to use it somehow.. Plum cake ingredientsIt was a ‘mix all what you have’ cake, I also added a splash of cognac for an extra hit. After a half an hour of baking the cake was still uncooked and I was a bit worried. But the final result was a wonderfully divine and delicious cake! It was totally worth the wait: tender, moist and filled with amazing flavour! I will be making this cake again! 🙂Plum cake (with mascarpone and cognac)

Plum cake with mascarpone and cognac

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients for 18cm baking tin
50g butter, very soft
80g brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp cognac (or brandy)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp lemon zest, optional
100-120g mascarpone, at room temperature
100-110 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4-5 dark plums, sliced
1 tbsp plum jam (or apricot jam), optional
Preparation
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with sugar. In a separate bowl, beat eggs with cognac, vanilla and lemon zest. Gradually stir into the butter mixture. Fold in mascarpone cheese. Sift flour with baking powder into the batter, mix to combine.
  • Pour the batter into greased baking tin. Arrange plum slices on top. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 50-60 minutes or until the inserted toothpick comes out clean. Grease the top with jam. Let it cool slightly before serving.
Enjoy!
Tender and Tasty Plum cake

Best Ever Plum Crumble

 I discovered crumbles not long time ago, but immediately fall in love. Thank to the British for this amazing, simple and absolutely delicious dish! I’ve already tried various sweet crumble recipes – with peaches, mixed berried, pears.. I love them all! But.. Once I stumbled upon a new crumble recipe by James Martin, he is a well-known English chef; the recipe called for plums, spices and wine. And what do you think – it’s the best crumble I’ve ever made and tried! Plums with spices sautéed in red wine remind me mulled wine, and it’s incredibly tasty! This crumble is very aromatic and delicious even without ice cream on top! I slightly adapted the recipe – added oats and chopped nuts, walnuts and/or pistachios is a nice crunchy addition here.Plum crumble

Best ever plum crumble

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients 
20g butter
7-8 dark plums, halved, stones removed
1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
1 star anise
a pinch of fresh nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
20ml water
60ml red wine
2-3 tbsp golden syrup (I used honey)
2-3 tbsp brown or raw sugar
Crumble topping
50g plain flour
30g oat flour or fine oats
2 tbsp demerara sugar
40g butter, softened
2-3 tbsp chopped pistachios or walnuts
To serve
vanilla ice cream
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the plums and fry for a few minutes.
  3. Add the split vanilla pod, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon stick to the pan. Add the water, red wine, honey and sugar and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the plums break down to a thick sauce. Transfer plums with sauce to one or 2 individual baking dish.
  4. For the crumble topping, mix the flours and sugar together in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in chopped nuts.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble over the plums and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden-brown.
  6. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving with ice-cream.
Enjoy!

Plum crumble-2

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]