Tag Archives: Dubai food blogger

Sponge cake with tvorog-cream and poached plums

 Hello to you, to a person who is reading this post or just glancing at photos of this moist and delicious cake with creamy filling, that was topped with aromatic spiced plum slices. The cake itself is a sponge cake, which is very simple to make and for that you need only four ingredients. I also added a drizzle of honey to the batter, honey gives a nice golden color to the cake and of course incredible flavor!
Sponge cake with  plums and  tvorog cream
 It has been ages since I made any layer cakes, so I decided to experiment with the cream. Tvorog is a dairy product, that used very often in Russian cuisine in such dishes like syrniki, sweet bakes and many other. Thus I took tvorog, mixed it with sugar and whipping cream, and I guess the cream became very Russian. 🙂 But I didn’t stopped there and added also gelatin to the cream. Honestly, it was my first attempt adding gelatin to the cake cream (with the exception of using it in panna cotta). I wasn’t sure that it would dissolve completely in the cream, and I beat it with electric blender. I love the result – cake was super tasty as well as the cream, and it’s gone very fast, especially if you serve it with some poached plums on a side.
 If you have any tips and advises how to add gelatin to a cake cream, please do share with me! I’d like to know and learn how to use it properly.
Sponge cake with poached plums

Sponge cake with tvorog-cream and poached plums

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Using gelatin in the cream is totally optional (it just makes the cream more thick); you can easily omit it.
Ingredients
Sponge Cake
3 large eggs
100g white sugar
1/3 tsp runny honey
110g plain flour
100ml plum syrup (liquid form poached plums)
1 tbps cognac or other aromatic  alcohol, optional
poached plums, for decor
Cream
220g tvorog (Russian cottage cheese)
150g icing sugar
200ml whipping cream (35%)
8-10g powdered gelatin
50ml cold water
Method
  1. For the cake, in a large bowl beat eggs with sugar until pale and increase three times in size. Add honey and beat a little bit again. Sift the flour and carefully fold into the egg mixture with spatula.
  2. Grease 20cm cake pan with butter, sprinkle with flour and pour the batter. Bake in preheated 180C oven for 40 minutes.
  3. Leave the cake to cool in a pan for 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack or plate and leave to cool for 4 hours or overnight. Cut the cake into two layers. Brush each cake with the mixture of plum syrup and alcohol (if using).
  4. For the cream, soften tvorog with a folk or electric blender. Add icing sugar and beat until combined. Add whipping cream and beat again.
  5. Dissolve gelatin in cold water and leave for 10 minutes. Add to the cream and beat again.
  6. Spread about half the cream on one of the cakes. Layer the second cake, and spread the remaining cream on the top and sides. Decorate with poached plums.
Spiced poached plums
5-7 soft plums (about 200g), sliced
80g white sugar (or more to your taste)
250 ml water
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 cardamom cloves
Method
  1. In a small pan, add plums and sugar. Add spices and cover plums with water. Heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to boil, then reduce to low-medium heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until plums are soft. Leave to cool.
Enjoy!
Sharing with Angie FF#105 and co-hosts Lily and Julianna.
Sponge cake with tvorog-cream&poached plums

Herb-marinated salmon

 I love cooking and eating salmon. Roasting salmon is my favourite way to prepare it. Usually I sprinkle it with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper, plus a pinch of dried rosemary or thyme – and salmon goes into the oven. Then a super healthy&tasty dish is ready in short time. A couple of weeks back I bought fresh salmon steaks and decided to roast it again, but that time I prepared a marinade and left it for a half an hour or so to soak up all of the amazing flavours before roasting. I chopped fresh coriander, parsley and mixed it with mustard, and some ground green pepper. Now you can imagine all those wonderful flavours! 🙂 What to say, salmon turned out gorgeous and unbelievably tasty! On the weekend I repeated the recipe but grilled it on a barbecue. It was superb again! Next weekend you will try it, right? 😉Herb-marinated salmon steaks

  What about you, dear readers? how do you cook salmon? and what spices and herbs are you usually using?Roasted herb salmon
UAE is celebrating today its 44th National Day! Happy Birthday to the country, which has become my second home.

Herb-marinated salmon steaks

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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*You can substitute green peppercorns with white.
Ingredients
2 salmon steaks
Marinade
4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, minced or chopped (optional)
2 tsp Dijon mustard (you can also use wholegrain mustard)
1/2 medium lime, juice
1/2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
1-1.5 tsp coarse sea salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp whole green peppercorns*
Extra
1 large sliced red capsicum
2 small sliced parboiled potatoes
2 gralic cloves in their skin, optional
Preparation
  1. For the marinade, crush sea salt and green peppercorns. In a bowl combine all ingredients for the marinade.
  2. Put salmon steaks in a shallow plate, pour over marinade and leave to marinade for 30 minutes at room temperature, turning once. You can keep the fish in marinade for longer, but cover the plate with plastic wrap or foil and put in the fridge until ready to roast.
  3. Preheat oven to 190-200C.
  4. Arrange salmon steaks in a baking dish, add sliced capsicum, potatoes and garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes.
Serve warm. Enjoy!
Herb-marinated roasted salmon with capsicum and potato slices

Radish-Cucumber salad

 Many of you already greeted the autumn season and began to bake various apple pies and cook hearty dishes. Autumn signs have been also trickling into Dubai, but slowly and it is still summer-like days here with plenty of strong sunshine during the day-time. Mornings and days, though still warm and sunny as usual, have been followed by lovely and cool evenings. Despite of all hot days, it’s a big advantage of living near the Gulf: we can enjoy the sea and sand any time over the year long. That’s what we did one afternoon – went to a beach. But before the joy of swimming in the sea, I prepared a very simple, light and fresh, and crunchy salad. It needs only few ingredients including beautiful radishes, which I found at local supermarket and just couldn’t resist picking up a huge bunch.Radishes-Cucumbers-Spring Onion

As you can see, the recipe is V-E-R-Y simple: all you need is lovefresh sliced cucumbers and bright radishes, chopped spring onions, some seasoning and sour cream!

Radish-Cucumber salad

 I like this salad. It reminds me summer holidays: staying at parents house, fun of gardening and eating lots of fresh veggies and berries. And for that reason I decided to mix up vegetable slices with traditional Russian dressing – sour cream, instead of olive oil. Simple and well-loved. Be generous with spring onion!  You may also add some chopped dill, if you wish.
Radish-Cucumber salad (with sour cream dressing)
 Don’t be sad if the summer is over in your place, I will post autumn recipes soon {more pie recipes are on the way..} Thanks for reading and Stay turned! 🙂

Sunday Breakfast

 I think, breakfast is one of the most important meal of the day. I never miss breakfast; even if I woke up at 12 or 1pm – I prefer to eat something from breakfast category whether it’s mushroom kasha or sweet pancakes.
 I know that lots of people skip breakfast or have only coffee and sort of to-go bar; some say they are not hungry enough, or another reasons are lack of time or motivation. But eating breakfast can help you to wake up, to boost your energy and metabolism. Moreover, experts say that people who eat breakfast tend to have a lower risk of many health issues. Breakfast should be around 30% daily calories intake. So, skipping the breakfast leading to seek out higher calorie food later in the day.
 Thus, I decided to start a series of ‘Sunday Breakfast’. Why breakfast? – that you’ve read above. Why Sunday? – because it’s usually weekend, no need to hurry – you’ve got plenty of time to prepare any breakfast you/your family like. I’m going to post breakfast recipes that I’m cooking and enjoying. And I’d be more than happy if you share with me your breakfast ideas and recipes; if you decided to take part in this series – send me links to your posts or articles in the internet with your favourite morning meal. You can also write recipes and send me by email, so I could choose a suitable for me and taste them.
 Let’s begin a healthy way to start the day, especially if you haven’t had a breakfast for a long time!
Sunday Breakfast: Zucchini oladushki
I’m quite sure that almost everyone loves zucchini fritters. We call them oladii/oladushki in Russia, that means small pancakes (have a look another recipe by clicking here). These zucchini oladushki are more healthier, because I used fine oats instead of plain flour and fried them almost without oil. As you can see from the photos: they are served with fried quail eggs, which can be substitute with regular ones; herbs add a nice and aromatic touch – to wake up your senses!Zucchini oladushki with fried quail eggs

Sunday Breakfast: Zucchini Oladushki

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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*I didn’t use salt, because I used parmesan which is salty itself, but you can add some salt if needed.
**If zucchini oladushki don’t stick to your frying pan- omit the oil.
Ingredients
1 large zucchini, grated
few spoons of fine oats (or wholemeal flour)
*3-4 tbsp grated parmesan
3 quail eggs or 1 regular egg for the zucchini mixture
2 tsp lemon juice, optional
2-3 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
freshly ground black pepper to taste
**1-2 tbsp olive or sunflower oil for frying
quail eggs for serving, as much as you like
some grated parmesan for garnish, optional
  • In a bowl, combine all ingredients, except oil. Heat the oil (if using) in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Using a tablespoon pour a spoonful of the mixture into pan, making oladushki/fritters, fry for a 2 minutes on each side.
  • Keep zucchini oladushki in a warm place: put them in warm 50C oven or cover with foil. Meanwhile, fry quail eggs (you may use the same pan).
  • Top oladushki with fried quail eggs, sprinkle with parmesan if desired.
Enjoy your breakfast!

Zucchini oladushki/yellow flower

Olive Oil and Rosemary Crackers

 I’ve been on a homemade everything kick for a quite long time.. 😀 Homemade crackers is not an exception. I’ve tried lots of crackers recipes and usually crackers turned out like cookies, not very crunchy, tasted like shortbread cookies, or I was unable to roll out dough thinly. Finally, after tasting and comparing different recipes, I created my own recipe of salty crackers. You need only few ingredients to prepare these amazingly tasty, crunchy and aromatic crackers! The dough contains extra virgin olive oil and rosemary, natural bitterness and pepperyness of the oil and piney aroma of the herb give incredible taste and smell to the dough and crackers. You can make sticks, twists or roll out the dough very thinly and cut out any shape you like. I enjoy these crackers as is, it’s a nice midday snack; you can also make a sauce and dip crackers into it.Crackers Twists

This edible bouquet for all beautiful and wonderful ladies, who has brought many tasty dishes to Fiesta Friday party today! A feast for the eyes and the stomach! 😉Rosemary Crackers Bouquet

Olive Oil and Rosemary Crackers

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
160g strong/bread flour
130g wholemeal flour + more if needed
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black or white pepper
1.5-2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary 
150ml water
90ml extra virgin olive oil
 
  • In a large bowl, mix flours, baking powder, salt, pepper, rozemary. Add water and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon. Add olive oil and mix again. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead with hands. Add a bit more flour if the dough is too sticky.
  • Cut the dough into equal 6-8 pieces. Roll each piece into circle as thinly as you like, cut into squares, diamond shape. You can also cut into strips (1.5-2cm width, 15cm length) and then twist each strip.
  • Place crackers on a baking sheet and bake in preheated 220-230C (450F) oven for 10-11 minutes or until golden color.

I keep crackers in airtight container in the fridge up to 5 days.

 
Enjoy!