Family Cake recipe

Hello guys, today I share with you one of my favorite cake recipes. Moreover, it is a family recipe which I got from my mum, who used to prepare the cake for me and my sister when we lived all together. I wrote down the recipe in my old notebook and used it quite often ever since. Mum usually makes it “zebra cake”: half chocolate and half vanilla-flavored, or just vanilla with raisins. As you can see, the recipe is very versatile. You can make it all-the-time favorite vanilla, add currants or dry cranberries, add any fruits you have on hand. The cake was cooked so many times, that believe me even very beginner in baking can handle it. It is the lifesaver cake – the recipe I always turn to if I need the tried&tasted cake when you need the trusted cake recipe that always turns nice and delicious.
KEKS-3
Below you can find the basic recipe, and adopted one like on the photos. I topped the cake with fresh sliced pears and some frozen blackberries, plus used brown sugar instead of white for more brownish color and caramel taste.
Pear&blackberry cardamom  cake
 Also, I’d love to welcome everyone to the virtual party – Fiesta Friday, that I’m co-hosting today, where bloggers join together and “bring” delicious food, share beautiful photos, chat and having fun with each other (to join click here, where you find ‘linkup’). I haven’t participated a long time and really miss these parties, and can’t wait to see what others bloggers will bring!
Family Cake

Family Cake: Basic recipe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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What You’ll Need
125g butter, at room temperature
125g white sugar
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
vanilla
250g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder or 1/2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in lemon juice
50ml milk
How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk the butter with sugar until pale (just a bit, do not over whisk).
  3. Beat in eggs one by one until just incorporated along with salt and vanilla.
  4. Sift the flour along with baking powder.
  5. Mix in milk.
  6. Pour the batter into greased (and lined if needed) baking tin.
  7. Bake for 1 hour.
  8. Allow to cool slightly in the pan and then carefully transfer to the serving plate.
  9. Serve warm with a cup of freshly brewed tea.
Enjoy!
 

Pears&blackberries cardamom cake

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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What You’ll Need
120g butter, at room temperature
80g brown sugar
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 whole cardamoms, used only crushed seeds
240g plain flour*
2 tsp baking powder*
*or 240g self-raising flour
50ml milk
3-4 pears, sliced
lemon juice
some frozen blackberries
1-2 tbsp demerara sugar
few hazelnuts, chopped, optional
How to Make It
  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Whisk the butter with sugar until pale (just a bit, do not overwhisk).
  3. Beat in eggs one by one until just incorporated along with spices.
  4. Sift the flour along with baking powder.
  5. Mix in milk.
  6. Pour the batter into greased (and lined if needed) baking tin.
  7. Slice pears, drizzle with lemon juice. Arrange slices on the top, slightly push into the batter. Scatter over frozen blueberries. Sprinkle with demerara sugar and nuts, if desired.
  8. Bake for 1 hour.
  9. Allow to cool slightly in the pan and then carefully transfer to the serving plate.
  10. Serve warm with a cup of freshly brewed tea.
Enjoy!

Kulesh

Kulesh – simple thick soup/pottage, that was popular in old times among peasants and Cossacks. It was also called “field pottage or kasha”, as it was often cooked by farmers for their lunch during field works. This pottage consisted mainly of millet and any root vegetables that were available at the moment. Garnished with some onions and salo (salted or cured fat, usually pork one), kulesh was prepared on a fire, that added a nice smoked flavor to the whole dish.
It should be thick enough but if you prefer thinner consistency add more water. Mine was thick and nourishing because of smoked meat (cooked pork belly). Using smoked meat replaces the cooking on an open fire. But feel free to make completely vegetarian version and omit the meat.Kulesh - simple thick soup/pottage
Once I wrote that millet is a healthy grain or seed. And if you still think it’s just for the feeding birds, you’re completely wrong and miss lots of benefits of this lovely grain. It’s a good source of vitamins B, calcium and iron. Here another recipes that I do love and cook at home: sweet breakfast millet porridge and autumn recipe – millet cooked in a pumpkin pot.
So, have you ever cooked millet? What are your favorite recipes?Kulesh

Kulesh

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
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You can add some cubes of celery root along with other vegetables.
Ingredients
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 large carrot, cubed
200g millet
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion
150g smoked pork belly
1 bay leaf
fresh chopped parsley and spring onion, optional
S&P to taste
Method
  1. Boil 2l water in a large pan. Add cubed vegetables and some salt. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer about 15 minutes.
  2. Wash millet throughly under running water. You may also cover millet with some warm water, it helps to cook it faster.
  3. Add millet to the pot along with bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes more or until it’s cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, slice or chop onion, and cut pork belly into thin slices or chop it as you like. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute onion until it’s soft. Add pork belly and fry for few minutes.
  5. Stir the onion-pork mixture into the soup. Adjust the seasoning.
  6. Pour the soup into serving bowl. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, if desired. Serve with bread.

Enjoy!

Russian roll with Argentinian pears

 Everything is simple here. A few days ago, Argentinian pears were sold in a supermarket here, I’ve never tried them before and the price was attractive, so I bought a huge pack. Even though they turned out juicy and very delicious I still had some not-so-ripe left. Good to highlight, that using a bit hard but ripe pears that retain its shape during the baking process is a key to the good and not mushy filling.
I added tvorog (as I mentioned many times in my blog – it’s very Russian product) into the dough for my roll, it makes the dough softer and more tasty. Don’t worry, the dough won’t rip but make sure you carefully roll it out on a floured surface. Pear Roll
 The roll looks like a strudel, but the dough is absolutely different, it’s not that thin and thus much easier to roll out! It is tender&delicious and absolutely deserves to make it again and again. Another bonus, the dough can be make a day ahead! Plus juicy pears, sweet black raisins and crunchy nuts in the filling! Doesn’t it sound luscious? It is! 😀Russian roll with Argentinian pears

Russian roll with Argentinian pears

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

Dough

250g tvorog
90g soft butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tbsp white sugar
200-210g plain flour
a pinch of fine salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Filling
40g black raisins
hot strong black tea or water
1 egg white, optional
80-100g roasted almonds, chopped
450g (3-4) pears, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp brown or raw sugar
Glaze
1 egg yolk
2 tsp milk
1 tbsp demerara or raw sugar, optional
Method
  1. For the roll dough, whisk tvorog with butter.
  2. In another small bowl, whisk egg with sugar until pale. Add beaten egg into the mixture.
  3. Sift the flour along with salt and baking powder into the dough. Combine to get the soft dough, shape into the disk. Cover in a plastic wrap and put in a fridge for 30-60 minutes to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 180C/360F.
  5. Wash raisins and cover with hot strong black tea or water. Leave to soak while ready to use. Drain.
  6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into 30x40cm rectangle, making sure it doesn’t stick to the surface.
  7. Brush the surface of the roll with egg white (optional). Sprinkle with nuts, spread pears and raisins. Sprinkle with sugar. Slightly fold in all sides (thus the filling will stay inside the roll and don’t fall out). Roll the dough into a barrel.
  8. Carefully transfer the roll on a greased lined baking tray. Brush the roll with egg glaze and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden-brown.
  9. Leave to cool for 15-20 minutes. Slice and serve as is or with whipped cream/frozen vanilla yogurt/ice cream.
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!

Beef Stroganoff with pickled cucumbers

 Beef Stroganoff is a definitely a classic dish, which can be make rustic and simple at home and more elegant in a restaurant. I do hope you have already cooked this dish by following the classic recipe, that I posted, and liked it. 😀 This time I deviated from the traditional recipe: firstly, I thinly sliced the meat (originally it’s cubed); secondly, used the thick cream along with sour cream; and finally, the main twist is the addition of small pickled cucumbers. Salty and crunchy, thinly sliced cucumbers give an amazing and unbelievably tasty note to the whole dish! I bet you will love it even more!Russian Beef Stroganoff with pickled cucumbers

Beef stroganoff is a staple and cooked very often in my house, so I just whip it up without a recipe in little time. The outcome is always the same – a satisfying meal with authentic taste! Of your course you need to follow few simple rules and you can be able to make the best Stroganoff like Russian cooks! You may use large pickled cucumbers, small gherkins or cornichons; crunchy dill and garlic are the best, soft or sweet are the worst. The best accompaniment is mushed potatoes or buckwheat. I hear you rice-lovers: use plain fluffy rice, but please do not use pasta or other noodles, it destroys the dish!

Beef Stroganoff with pickled cucumbers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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You may sprinkle beef with a teaspoon of powdered paprika, if desired (add it along with flour).
Ingredients
Mashed potatoes
1 tsp fine salt (for water)
5-6 medium  potatoes, peeled, cut unto chunks
1 bay leaf
50g butter
50ml warm full-fat milk (or a bit more, if needed)
sea salt, white&black pepper to taste
Beef Stroganoff
500g beef fillet (sirloin is good),  thinly sliced
some flour, to coat meat
2 tbsp oil (olive or sunflower are good)
15g butter
1 large brown onion, thinly sliced
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme or 2-3 tsp fresh
6-7 small gerkins or 2-2 large pickled cucumbers, sliced
sauce
sea salt, white&black pepper to taste
Sauce
150g sour cream
100ml 30% cream
2-3 tsp Englsih mustard
100ml warm water, if needed
some chopped parsley, for garnish
 
Method
For mashed potatoes, in a large pan, bring slightly salted water to boil. Add potatoes and bay leaf, bring to boil again, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft and ready. Drain potatoes. Stir in butter, milk and season to taste. Mash it. Add a bit more milk, if the mixture is too thick.
  1. Lightly flour the beef from all sides, shake off any flour excess. Heat the heavy frying pan, when it’s hot, add oil and meat. Sear the beef from all sides. Divide into few batches if needed, so you don’t overcrowd the pan and steam the meat. Cook for 2-3 muntes or just until browned. Transfer to the plate.
  2. In the same frying pan, add butter along with onions, mushrooms and thyme. Fry on a high-medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly golden. Then add fried meat and saute on a medium heat for 5 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: in a small bowl, combine the sour cream and cream with mustard.
  4. Add cucumbers and sauce. Give a good stir, season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes longer. If the creamy gravy is too thick, add hot water and stir.
  5. Serve with mashed potatoes, sprinkle with parsley. Enjoy!
Beef Stroganoff with pickled cucumbers