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

Mimosa Salad

 Hello guys! It’s a very special Friday for me. I’m so glad and excited that I’m co-hosting the wonderful virtual party – Fiesta Friday by Angie, and Jhuls is another great co-host this time. I’d like to invite everyone and each of you to join the very-friendly party! Let us know that you’re joined by linking your post to Angie, me and Jhuls. Of course, will be lots of appetizers and welcome drinks, and you can eat&drink non-stop! 😀 Newbies could find the guidelines here. Another point is to bring your favourite dishes and put the link here, so every blogger can grab a slice of your cake or tuck in the stew while chatting. You’re also welcome to visit and like other bloggers’ posts and of course you can leave a comment or just say hi; it’s such a lovely possibility to find new blogofriends, have a small talk and plenty of fun!Mimosa Salad
 I have decided to bring this nice-looking salad to the party, it’s Russian layered salad or to be exact Soviet salad, but still popular in many ex-USSR countries. In Russia we have lots of layered salad recipes, so many that I even don’t how many. 😀 This one is associated with spring (thou, also popular for New Year), Women’s Day and it’s named after the beautiful flower – mimosa. Last layer of the salad is crumbled egg yolks, which remind little yellow blossoms of mimosa. The main ingredient is canned fish here, so the salad is very budget and at the same time tasty, plus looks festive (that was important during deficit time). Usually saury/saira fish is used in ‘mimosa’, but salmon species is also good here, like red or pink salmon. I’ve tried to make it with tuna and can’t recommend it, its meat too dry for this salad, but if it’s the only canned fish you can get – add more sour cream or mayonnaise. Many variations exist – with or without potatoes, with cheese, spring onions, grated butter, etc. Better to prepare this salad some time in advance before serving to allow all layers to soak; so you can make it a night ahead.
Russian Salad-Mimosa

Mimosa Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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To make salad more rich you can add some grated butter – between carrot and yolks layer. 
Ingredients
1 large or 2 medium potatoes
1 large carrot
3 large eggs or 4 medium
250g canned fish (I used red salmon)
1 small onion, finely chopped
150-200g mix of sour cream and mayo (or only mayo)
some fresh dill, optional
salt to taste
Method
  • Wash potatoes and carrot, don’t peel. In a large pot with water, add potatoes, carrot and boil it until ready. Cool, peel the skin, then grate on a small or medium grater into separate bowls. Set aside.
  • Hard boil the eggs, cool and separate whites and yolks. Finely chop or grate.
  • Put chopped onion into a small bowl, cover with hot water and keep for 10 minutes. Drain the water.
  • Drain the fish and mash it with a fork.
  • Prepare a deep serving bowl or another serving plate. Arrange grated potatoes evenly on the bottom. Spread some mayo.
  • Make fish layer, then add chopped onion and spread more mayo.
  • Arrange egg whites and spread again mayo.
  • Arrange grated carrot and spread again mayo.
  • Arrange egg yolks. It was the last layer.
  • You can sprinkle the salad with chopped dill, if desired, or decorate whatever you want. Enjoy!
You can cover the salad with a piece of foil and keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Mimosa-Russian layered salad

Stuffed chicken with beans

 Hello, folks! December just started and I’ve already seen a glorious amount of mouth-watering cookies and holiday cakes! And may be now you are sipping a huge cup of hot chocolate and browsing through the internet, searching for inspiration, new ideas for the Christmas eve, or probably watching snowflakes settle on trees and ground. I can see how it falls only on some websites and photos, so far. 😀
 Besides making and baking numerous amount of cookies, we need to cook a normal food as well, or at least order a pizza. You will always have something quick and tasty to eat for dinner with a chicken breast on hand! It is versatile, quick-cooking, protein-rich and low in fat, does it sound tempting? Delicious skinless and boneless chicken breasts stuffed with parsley and cream cheese, covered with breadcrumbs and baked on a bed of beans. This flavorful chicken dish is perfect for any day of the week or dinner occasion.
Stuffed Chicken with flageolet beans
I’m bringing this tasty dish to all beautiful and lovely people, who has been parting at Fiesta Friday (Oh my #45 already), enjoy the dish and the weekend!

Stuffed chicken with beans

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Adapted from “one pot meals/hamlyn”
Ingredients
For the filling
90g Philadelphia cream cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, optional
25g butter, room temperature
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 tsp freshly ground white pepper
For the stuffed chicken breasts
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 can X 530g (drained weight) flageolet beans
70-80ml chicken or vegetable stock, homemade preferable
70-80ml dry white wine
3 Tbsp coarse breadcrumbs, homemade preferable
1 sprig of fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
2 Tbsp olive oil+ 1 Tbsp butter, for frying
sea salt, white or black pepper, to taste
Preparation Method
  1. For the filling. In a small bowl, beat cheeses, butter, garlic, herbs and seasoning. Using a small knife, make a horizontal cut in each chicken breast. Divide the filling and pack it into breasts, secure with toothpicks. Season the chicken breasts outside with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil with butter in the casserole and fry chicken breasts on both sides until lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. Put drained beans into casserole, add stock, wine and thyme, season to taste. Arrange the chicken breasts on top. Cover and place in preheated 190C/375C oven for 15-16 minutes.
  4. Put breadcrumbs in a small frying pan with some olive oil and heat until breadcrumbs begin to brown. Set aside.
  5. Remove the casserole lid, spread breadcrumbs over the chicken breasts. Return to the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  6. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, put beans alongside.
Enjoy with a glass of white wine or as is!

5-star Salad

  I feel very honoured that I took the 1st place in the challenge held by Angie – Thenovicegardener.  This was my first time I won in food-blogging contest and hope not the last. Thank you all who stopped by my post and made comments about kulebyaka. The kulebyaka is so Russian and delicious pie, and I hope one of you will make it one day. 😉 Feel free to ask me if you have any questions about the kulebyaka preparation.
 Is it Friday yet? Oh, yes! That means one more party at Thenovicegardener. Does anybody would like ‘a 5-star salad’? Why 5-star, because it looks posh and the portion is so small like from a high-class restaurant. Moreover, it’s healthy and tasty.
 Actually, I made it from the cauliflower remains, when I cooked this soup. 🙂

5-star Salad

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: very easy
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Ingredients:
7-9 small cauliflower florets
1 red or yellow capsicum
1 small shallot
1 clove of garlic, smashed
1-2 tsp almonds, sliced and roasted
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp fresh parsley or basil, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil + 1/3 Tbsp butter
The dressing:
1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp small capers
freshly ground sea salt and white pepper
  1. In a frying pan heat the olive oil and butter. Add the onion and cook until soften but not browned for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the capsicum, garlic, thyme, and sauté for 5 minutes or until the pepper is soft and browned. You can add the cauliflower along with capsicum and sauté it too, or leave it raw. Pick out and discard the garlic.
  3. In a small bowl or glass, combine all ingredients for the dressing and give it a good stir.
  4. Arrange the vegetables on a serving plate, sprinkle with almonds, parsley or basil; pour over the dressing.
Enjoy!
Salad
You can also check out these recipes, using the capsicums: the salad with chickpeas and Russian stuffed capsicums

Vareniki

 Almost everybody in Russia knows and adores vareniki! So do I. 😀
Vareniki – are dumplings, stuffed with savoury or sweet filling.

Vareniki-9

It’s considered that vareniki is a traditional Ukrainian dish, but originally it came from Turkey. It was a dish made from boiled unleavened dough with meat and vegetables filling. When “Vareniki” appeared in Ukraine for the first time, they were called ‘diush-var’. The Ukrainian people liked this dish so much that these dumplings quickly spread over the Ukraine and beyond, and became widely-popular, turned into traditional Ukrainian cuisine and began to call as ‘vareniki, and this name simply means – boiled.
 Ukrainian savoury vareniki are usually topped with shkvarki – fried salted pork fat, and also can be topped with fried onions or just accompanied with sour cream according to local taste or preferences (i.e. last two toppings are quite popular in Russia).
 The most popular fillings are potatoes, mushrooms or fish. Vareniki could be also made sweet, with cherries or sweet cottage cheese filling.
There are many recipes of vareniki nowadays, with egg or sour cream in dough, based on water or kefir.
My recipe is the simplest one, and I used a mix of mashed potatoes and mushrooms. You can use the same dough for sweet fillings, such as cherries or black currant.
Here is the short video how I make these lovely twisted edges of the Vareniki.

Vareniki

  • Servings: ~70 pieces
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Vareniki can be frozen well, that’s why I usually make a big batch, put them in ziplocks and freeze! No need to defrost before cooking.
 
Ingredients
The dough:
500g plain flour
1 egg
2 tsp salt
200 ml warm water
The filling:
800-900 g potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 onion, cut into small cubes
300 g wild or button mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp oil + 1 Tbsp butter 
Small bunch of dill, finely chopped
Salt, pepper to taste
Garnish per portion:
1-2 Tbsp sour cream 
1 Tbsp chopped dill 
a knob of butter 
 
Method
  • Dissolve salt in warm water. On a flat surface make a well in the flour, add egg and salted water. Knead until the dough is pliable. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute onion and mushrooms in oil and butter. In a bowl combine mashed potatoes with vegetables and dill. Season to taste. The filling is ready.
  • Roll the dough into 8cm/3-inch circles, place 1 tsp potato mixture into center, fold the dough over filling and press it.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (salt the water as for pasta or you like). Put vareniki into water and carefully stir with a spoon. When they come to the surface – cook for 4-5 minutes more.
  • Serve vareniki with sour cream, chopped dill and a knob of butter on top.
 You can brown vareniki a bit in a butter straight after the boiling. Serve with sour cream, but already without extra butter on top.
 
Enjoy the delicious vareniki! 🙂

Are you going to Angie’s party? You can try superb cocktail there! 😉