Tag Archives: walnuts

Baked apples with walnuts and cowberries

Hi there! It’s been windy, dark and gloomy all day here in Dubai today. The weather intends to spend a day in the kitchen and bake something warm, aromatic and tasty. And I found a deliciously satisfying dish to cheer this day up! Sweet-smelling baked apples with super tasty filling: walnuts and cowberries! Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? The cozy smell of cinnamon and brown sugar was filling my kitchen while apples were baked.. It’s so easy to turn regular apples into a fabulous warm dessert! Enjoy!

Baked apples-1Baked apples-2

 Cowberry (also known as lingonberry) is a very tasty, slightly bitter and sour berry; it contains lots of vitamin C, A and B. It’s a popular type of berry in my home-country (Russia), and as far as I know in Sweden and Norway. Their taste remind small sour cranberries, so you can easily substitute it with cranberries (fresh or frozen).Baked apples with walnuts and cowberry

Baked apples with walnuts and cowberries

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: moderate
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*You can add more sugar to suit your taste.
**I dry-roast walnuts, then chop it or pulse in a food processor.
Ingredients
2 large apples (sort ‘pink lady’ or ‘granny smith’ are good)
20g/2 tsp butter
3 tsp brown sugar*
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 quail egg, optional
5-6 tsp finely chopped walnuts**
3-4 tsp cowberries (if using frozen-no need to defreeze)
1/2 tsp of cinnamon, for garnish
2-3 tsp pure runny honey, for serving
some extra walnuts and cowberries, for serving
  • Cut the lid from apples, carefully cut out the core and make a hole in each apple leaving the bottom.
  • In a bowl, stir sugar and cinnamon with butter. Mix in the egg. Fold in chopped walnuts and berries.
  • Put apples in baking dish/tray and stuff each apple with filling mixture. Cover with apple lids. Pour some warm water into the bottom of the baking dish (1 cm). Loosely cover with foil.
  • Bake in preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until apples are tender but not mushy.
  • Carefully transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with honey and garnish with some walnuts and cowberries, if desired.
  • Enjoy!

Boyar Millet Kasha (Porridge)

 Millet is a tiny and round-shaped grain, that usually has a yellowish color. It is edible (and it’s not only for feeding birds) and delicious grain with mild nutty taste. Millet is a quite popular grain in Russia, though not that much as buckwheat, but still it’s widely used and served as a savory side dish or breakfast cereal; and it is also good for adding to stews and soups.
 Millet is more than just an interesting alternative to common grains, it is a good source of anti-oxidants and vitamins, especially folic acid, niacin, calcium and iron. Millet is high in fiber and contains no gluten. Moreover, it helps to regulate blood sugar level, which is helpful for diabetics and those trying to lose weight.
Have you ever tried or cooked millet? What’s you favourite way to consume it?
Sundat Breakfast: Millet Kasha
 I called today Sunday Breakfast ‘Boyar Millet Kasha (Porridge)’. Boyars were members of the highest rank of the feudal aristocracies in 9-16th centuary in old Russia. They were immensely powerful people and occupied the highest positions in the government: boyars were the major legislators of old Russia, as members of The Boyar Duma (the advisory council to Tzar). Needless to say, it was extremely wealthy class with various privileges. I guess, their everyday food was diverse too, including spices and nuts (which were expensive and not affordable to the lower class), and they could enjoy this beautiful and delicious millet porridge. 🙂Boyar Millet Kasha (porridge)

Russian Boyar Millet Kasha (Porridge)

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Millet
200g millet
400ml milk
300ml water
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
Topping
50-60g black or brown raisins
1 large apple
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla, optional
50ml warm water
30g butter
2 tbsp sour cream, optional
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp honey
  • Wash millet thoroughly under running water.
  • Warm the milk and water in a medium saucepan, add millet, salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until millet is ready, stirring occasionally. The millet should be creamy, so add more hot water if it’s too dry.
  • Meanwhile, soak raisins in hot water for 5-10 minutes, drain.
  • Cut the apple into small cubes. In a small pan, add apple cubes, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, water and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or until apple soft.
  • Stir in butter and sour cream, if using. Stir raisins and apple into the millet (or top). Top with nuts, raisins and drizzle the millet porridge with honey. Serve warm.
Enjoy!
Boyar millet porridge with apple and black raisins

Sunny peachy-nutty cake

Days go by and summer is slowly coming to Dubai, winter doesn’t want to give up though, giving us some cloudy days sometimes but its days are counted…
 One lovely morning I was at home, and looking at the dull skies, I decided to make something special for the afternoon tea, something sunny, sweet-smelling and new, a cake that I’ve not tried before, and it should be fruity. 
I have to say that I do not normally know what I’m going to cook this or next day, I’ve never have a master plan for a week ahead, and prefer to be inspired by details around me, whatever I see, read about food or trying something myself, rather than be organized in the proper food-blogger way 🙂 
  So, I went to a grocery to look for an inspiration. One important and remarkable thing about buying food in Dubai is that large groceries and markets here do always and really inspire me; we have no such variety of fruits in Russia, and every time I go for a shopping, whether it is some oranges for a morning juice or avocados, I never know from which part of the world these fruits or veggies would come from. And that day was not an exception. Without even roaming between fruit rows I remarked some nice peaches shortly after I entered the shop, and once I came closer and took a couple of them in my hand, I already decided that it’s going to be a beautiful peach cake!
 Peaches always remind me of summer, they share the same bright and yellowish colour of the pulp with the sun, giving the cozy feeling of warm and sunny days.
 At home I cut one fruit and tried it. I was slightly disappointed that the peaches weren’t as juicy as I expected, but that  turned into fantastic peach cake in the end… 😉Peach pie-2Ingredients for the cake:
Peaches* – 4 big 
Eggs, at room temperature – 3
Yoghurt -150g or 0.6cup
Sugar* -100g or 0.5cup 
Butter, cut into small cubes – 130g or 0.6cup
Self-raising flour – 150g or 1cup (or 1 cup plain flour + 1 tsp baking powder)
Cornmeal – 2 Tbsp
Whole walnuts – 130g or ~1cup
A pinch of salt
Lemon zest – 2tsp
Orange zest – 1tsp
Ingredients for the mandarin sauce:
3 big mandarins*
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp water
2-3 Tbsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp cognac (or brandy, or Grand Marnier) – optionally
 *Really good substitution for peaches are nectarines! 
*I used only 100g of sugar and that means the cake won’t be sweet, 
I suggest sweeten it with 150g or 3/4cup of sugar.
*I used mandarins, just because :D; oranges go well here too, as you already guess.
 
The cake preparation:
  • In a bowl beat the butter and sugar together;
  • Stir in one by one eggs;
  • Add yoghurt and citrus zest, combine;
  • Ground the walnuts, add to the batter and mix;
  • Sift the flours and salt into the batter mixture;
  • Grease the baking dish with butter or oil. Pour the cake batter into it;
  • Cut the peaches into wedges and stick into batter;
  • Bake in preheated oven 210C/400F for 45-60 minute;.** 
  • Meanwhile prepare the mandarin sauce for the cake;
  • Let the cake cool a bit. Pour the mandarin sauce over it. 
Mandarin sauce preparation:
  • First of all, squeeze the juice out of mandarins; 
  • Combine citrus juices, water and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to boil;
  • Reduce heat to low, add cognac and simmer for 10-12 minutes;
  • Remove from the heat and cool.
**When I’m using a glass dish for the cake, it takes me little bit longer to bake it. 
Thus after 40 minutes, pls check the cake is done or not yet.
To check the cake’s readiness – tuck into a toothpick, if it comes out dry –  the cake is ready.
Peach pie-1
  The final result overcame all my expectations –  the cake tasted fantastically! The peaches became tender and even more sweeter, and because they were not so juicy they kept their integrity. Needless to say about aromatic mandarin sauce.. I’ll definitely be making it again!
 I also suggest to sprinkle some icing sugar on the top along with the citrus sauce.
P.S. Several days back I didn’t even know that there is such type of flour as ‘cake’, thanks to dear fellow-blogger Suzanne, now I know about it and adding cornmeal everywhere…Haha 
Hey, are you still here? 🙂 Go and bake the cake!
 Have a sunny and bright day, guys!