My new job involves quite a bit of travelling. And using our post service at its best.)
Last time I was in Kiev and it was almost – still – summer there. This time (actually today!) I will be heading for Syktyvkar, the Komi Republic, in the North of Russia. It’s a 2h flight but then there’s a 9h bus ride to Kirov (just a tiny bit more to the South) and to finish it all there’s a 21h train ride back to St. Petersburg =) So, yep, there will be much of travelling, not just a bit, cause these are only two of the cities I’m going to visit in the next 4 months. I’m glad I have this job, it makes me travel and not be stuck in one place for a long time.
But that also means not being able to cook for about a week non-stop during these months. So I will make some more freezer stocked goods for my parents and keep my baking addiction to myself on the journeys. I will survive =)
The chocolate part of this post is this delicious, delicate and an overall successful tart:
I baked it specially for my sister’s birthday which we celebrated at our dacha place. The only candles we had there were two candles making 25 together, and so even though my sister’s already passed that age, we used them on top of the tart =)
So, for the recipe of Tarte au chocolat adapted from niksya.ru and originally from Ma cuisine by Gérard Depardieu, you can of course purchase the book or use the Google translator for the Russian blog or ask me to translate it. I did not search for the recipe on the web, maybe it’s already there in English.
The result: a perfect combination of a creamy chocolate-y filling and a neutral base; also the small nuts added by chance (one of the chocolate bars was with them; you will need two bars for the recipe) were just in the correct place!
I think that the use of cottage cheese + sour cream and – oh my – even some kefir, actually worked out just fine!
I added some cinnamon to the dough and even more to the filling. I did not decorate the tart with powdered sugar.
I increased the time of baking – around 20 minutes, half of which under foil.
And now to the apple part of the post. Here is a typical apple tree of our dacha gardens in Russia – called Bely Naliv (hmmm, White Flush?):
Ah, wait, here’s also a brief mushroom part! =)
We suddenly realised there are these milkcap mushrooms – a whole meadow of them – growing just in our garden! It’s true that we planted some mushroom roots from the forest there a year ago – but those were other mushrooms, not milkcaps! So here is a prolific surprise for us, we could have worn our wellies and taken a large basket with us to make believe we’ve been to a forest, haha =)
Ok, now back to apples, really reigning in all the nearby gardens. It seems we’re having an apple diet here – apple puree, apple jam, apple cakes, apple juice, apple compote, apple EVERYTHING! I also bring apples to the office and friends… But there is an inexhaustible flow of – still – my favourite fruit.
Yes, autumn. The colours. The RAIN. And just under this decorative wild grapes there are…
apples, for sure. Apples everywhere =) And if you’re still wondering what to do with the recent harvest…
… Here are some great recipes I’ve recently tried (no photos…) and would really love to share with you. For all of them I was using those Bely Naliv apples from our dacha garden, often in a larger amount than required by the recipe:
- Mom’s Apple Cake found at smittenkitchen.com will make a large-large-large cake and a very delicious one! I added some orange zest, cinnamon and opted to add various nuts, for a great effect, btw!
- Apple UpSide-Down Cake adapted a bit from littlechefandi.blogspot.com will make a large soft tasty cake with a delicate topping, which is actually its bottom when the cake is baked. I added a bit more of sweetness as our apples are quite sour, e.g. for the topping I added some brown sugar, although for the batter I used a mix of regular and brown sugar. Instead of ground almonds I used flaxmeal and instead of milk I used kefir. I also added some more spices such as nutmeg and ginger to boost the flavour.
- Apple Oatmeal Scones as seen at janessweets.blogspot.com will make lots of large scones if you make the whole recipe. They are not over-sweet, soft and has this oat crunch in them which I enjoyed. In half of them I added some soft chocolate sweets, chopped, the rest was ‘plain’ – no nuts. My oats were quick oats but they contained bran too, also I increased the sugar content, added some cardamom, decreased the butter content, used milk that went off… Well, haha, made quite a bit of changes!
Hm, I’ve just noticed all the recipes are from the 2009 posts! I’m a bit slow =) Anyway, they are all wonderful and also – extra nice cause they will help you cope with the apple harvest this year!
Still gazing at your apple baskets (just like me, I’m leaving today and there is this huge basket waiting to be consumed…)??. Ok, there’s another recipe I tried just about two days ago:
Apple Coffee Crumb Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze adapted from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com will make a soft delicious cake with a crunchy and very sugary topping and not that distinct apple pieces inside. What I changed was to use a mix of regular and brown sugar, add some oat flour to the all-purpose flour, infuse the cake with cardamom+nutmeg, substitute some of the sour cream with milk and omit vanilla extract.
The topping is really sweet! I boosted it with some mixed nuts +nutmeg and as for the glaze which did not turn out that brown really… Well, there I also added some nutmeg instead of vanilla.
This one is a comparatively new recipe, from 2011. And just as the above mentioned recipes, this one will also help you with the apple load.
Seems like by baking all those soft delicious cakes you will finally finish that basket, m? But if you still need more ideas for how to use your apples, well… Look here for Tarte aux pommes à la crème au miel (Apple Tart with Honey Cream) + some more ideas and also here for Fragrant Apple and Pear Tart that I have discussed in my previous posts.
See you in Syktyvkar, mm? Need to collect some local recipes, what do you think?
Happy apple baking!