Coconut panna cotta

Panna cotta is such a universal dessert that suits any season, whether it’s freezing winter or hot summer. Cold panna cotta being served straight from the fridge with some fresh chopped strawberries is a perfect refreshing dessert for a sunny day; but if you take it out from the fridge a lit bit ahead of time, while quickly prepare super easy but super aromatic topping, like rosemary-scented mandarins, or quick sauté fresh cubed apples in a butter with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg – and you have got a nice dessert that warms you up on a cold day.
 I have noticed that I make this dessert during cold months here: probably I miss the snow and the white color of panna cotta reminds me winter in my hometown… This time the idea to garnish panna cotta with coconut candies and flakes came to my mind, so I decided to add coconut milk to the mixture instead of using only regular milk or cream.
Coconut panna cotta
It looks like a mountain, which is completely covered in snow. Doesn’t, it? and those candies are like small snowballs, that little children make to play in a snow fight.
Coconut panna cotta/cup
TIP: If you sprinkle panna cotta with red and pink edible hearts – it can be a lovely dessert to impress your other half on a St.Valentine Day.
panna cotta with coconut milk
I serve panna cotta in glasses, but If you prefer, you can grease cups/ramekins with some oil and pour panna cotta in it, and then when it’s set and firm untold it before serving onto small individual plates.

Coconut panna cotta

What You’ll Need
2 tsp gelatin powder
3 tbsp cold water
1/2 can coconut milk (about 180ml)
250ml whipping cream (or heavy cream)
60g white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
coconut candies and flakes for garnish, optional
How to Make it
  1. In a small bowl, add cold water and sprinkle with gelatin, and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat,  heat the coconut milk, whipping cream, vanilla and sugar until sugar is dissolved, (but not simmer). Remove from the heat.
  3. Add softened gelatin to the creamy mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Divide the pan cotta mixture evenly among prepared cups/glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Garnish with coconut candies and flakes before serving.
Enjoy!
Coconut panna cotta//with coconut candies

Red pepper Dip

Hello-hello! If you have seen the previous post, I promised the recipe with roasted peppers, so for keeping you waiting for so long. Here it is. The dip is such a nice snack, especially for mums, when you are doing lots of thing at a time, it is easy to forget to feed yourself (of course not your child, haha). All you need for this lovely dip is to prepare roasted peppers ahead, and then just whizz peppers with nuts and oil in a blender until you have a rough paste. In fact, I actually prefer not to measure ingredients in such simple recipes, throw in as you feel – that’s all. Then scoop the dip into a beautiful bowl, put on a table with some sliced bread or crackers on the side, and dig in when you have a time. Red pepper dip goes nicely with roasted chicken or fried chicken breasts. Yum! Healthy, delicious and sooooo quick to prepare, sounds perfect. 😀
Roasted red pepper dip
I’ve tried this dip with a store-bought almond meal and homemade roasted ground almonds, and surprisingly I love the option with almond meal. Honestly speaking, I thought I would like a note of roasted nuts in the dip but I didn’t. The choice is up to you, try both and let me know what do you like more.
Dip with roasted red peppers and almonds
Tips
If you like it spicy – add chili flakes or chili oil.
If you want to make the consistency thinner – add a splash of water.
No nuts? Not a problem, make it nut free – sub almonds with breadcrumbs.
Red pepper dip

Red pepper Dip

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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What You’ll Need
1 roasted&marinated red pepper
1 garlic clove from the marinade
1 tbsp EV olive oil
2 tbsp almond meal
6-8 basil leaves (optional)
1-2 tbsp water, optional (to thin the dip, if desired)
Salt, pepper, to taste
How to Make it
  • Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until desired consistency.
  • To make it thinner, add water – spoon by spoon, but not much!
  • Serve with bread, crackers or even chicken.
Enjoy!

Sunday Breakfast: Oladushki

 One of the most-viewed and visited posts in my blog is “oladushki”. For those of you who doesn’t yet know the meaning – it’s Russian name for small pancakes. Yes, it’s absolutely incorrectly to call them blini as many people do (blini are large and thin like crepes, look here), and how they are usually called in restaurants or sold in stores.Oladushki with sour cream

 This is the perfect breakfast or brunch to spoil yourself with on the weekend, and it could be make in a short of time. Russian housewives most of the time use soured or any leftover kefir to prepare these soft beauties. You can try to substitute with buttermilk, drinking but thick yogurt, or as I did – used laban (local dairy drink). Oladushki go well with many sauces: honey, sour cream, sweetened yogurt, jam or sweet condensed milk. You can also serve them as a savory brekafast: with a cream cheese or sour cream along with cured salmon or caviar.Russian Oladushki with jam&yogurt

 Few tips how to make oladushki soft and fluffy (not only to add a baking soda for leaving):
you should sift the flour (add the air); do not over-mix the batter (it leads to tough texture);
let the batter rest for a half an hour and then do not stir it again (otherwise the bubbles will deflate);
carefully scoop the batter from the side of the bowl – do not dip the spoon into the center;
finally, when you flip oladushki over – do not press it with spatula.
 So, this or next weekend morning that you make these oladuski, make a few extra. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. And next hectic morning you don’t need to skip breakfast: reheat them, sit down&enjoy and plan for a successful day. 🙂
Soft&fluffy Russian oladushki

Sunday Breakfast: Russian Oladushki

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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I served oladushki with plum preserve and vanilla yogurt.
All ingredients should be at room temperature, so take them out of the fridge 1 hour ahead.
Ingredients
1 medium egg
a pinch of fine salt
1-2 tsp white sugar
250ml kefir (laban or buttermilk), I used low fat
150g plain flour
1/3 tsp baking soda
sunflower or any other veg.oil for frying
Method
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat an egg with salt and sugar until fluffy. Mix in kefir.
  • Sift the flour with soda into the batter. Whisk gently until the ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overmix –  it leads to tough texture.
  • Let the batter rest for a half an hour and then do not stir it again (otherwise the bubbles will deflate).
  • Preheat the frying pan (until a drop of water skitters across the pan), lightly coat with oil.
  • Carefully scoop the batter from the side of the bowl. When oladushki are dry around the edges and bubbles over the top – turn it over. Don’t press oladushki with spatula!
  • Transfer to a large plate in a single layer, keep it uncovered (you may keep them in a warm oven), while preparing the rest.
  • The best eaten fresh with your favorite sauces. But they also can be covered with a plastic wrap and kept in the fridge until next morning.
Enjoy!

Mandarin-lemon pudding

 There are so many recipes in this world, including pudding recipes: some are baked, another prepared with gelatin and then cooled in a fridge.. and then I’m feeling stuck and really don’t know which one to try. 🙂 I like easy-to-make recipes like this one – baked pudding. It has the amazing mandarin-lemon flavour and bright tasting. The pudding is good on its own, but I also prepared a simple citrus sauce, that I made for this peach pie, and it was absolutely delicious! 🙂
 Any favourite pudding recipes, guys? I’d like to hear which one do you like and cook.
Mandarin-lemon pudding

Baked mandarin-lemon pudding

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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For the citrus sauce recipe click here.
 
Ingredients
2 medium eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of nutmeg, optional
50g white sugar
zest from 1 mandarin +1/2 lemon
100ml full-fat milk
50g plain flour
1 tsp melted butter, for greasing
Preparation
  1. Beat eggs until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla, nutmeg, sugar, zests and whisk for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in milk.
  4. Sift in flour, whisk to combine.
  5. Grease tins with butter. Divide the batter between tins. Optionally sprinkle with citrus zest.
  6. Bake in preheated 200C oven for 18-20 minutes. Then reduce to 190C and bake for 7-10 minutes more.
  7. Serve warm with sauce. Enjoy!
Adapted from Russian telecast “Cook with A.Zimin”

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