Greek recipe · leftovers · muffins · sweet · sweet bread

Apples and Oranges

I need to finish with the queue of the wanna-be posts – there’s a St Petersburg spring post preparation being in the process of reading & taking photos already. I think I’m falling in love with my city once again, deeper this time. It’s so diverse and yet undiscovered, you just need to open your eyes and soak in the details before the tourist season begins. Good timing!

Well, to cut the long story short, this post is about four sweet things I’ve done recently – there will be a choice of 2 cakes, yeast rolls and cheesecake bars – reunited under the Apples and Oranges as their characteristic ingredients. Does anybody remember (“laughter?” Wait, that was Robert Plant saying this)… APPLES? Haha, it was only an illusion that once all the apples from your garden are up, the apple issue is closed. We’re still dealing with them here, now with all the ‘derivatives’, such as apple compote or apple jam. The apple compote is a clear sort of juice from small and not very ‘successful’ (sweet) apples traditionally made by my grandparents in three liter jars. The trick with it is that it contains the apple halves which only my grandparents seem to be eating once the compote is over.

Apple Cake and apple compote

Don’t tell me you would easily throw them away when you know how much effort it takes to make the compote, nononono. So I’m using these already processed apples in cakes where fresh apples are required – and the result so far has been just fine. More apple recipes here.

A year ago – Biscotti and On Soviet Food Stupidities featuring chewy biscotti, black days and sausage elektrichka.

Let’s start with the Apple Cake adapted from www.sbs.com.au/fooda simple recipe which will make a lovely looking cake which is soft and vanilla-delicious (and let’s count it as my first Australian recipe here).

Changes were scarce: less butter but + olive oil + sour cream; fewer apples (and from compote).

Apple Cake

The icing sugar eventually disappeared creating a sort of sugar crust on the top. The texture of the cake is something like that of a sponge cake or the Russian ‘apple sharlotka cake but thicker (and there’s butter in it). The amount of apples can be increased, I mean, I suggest you use the amount indicated in the original recipe, to make a perfect balance between the sponge part and the apples.

Apple Cake

The result: As far as I remember;) it was very good. I’ve tried also a similar recipe from the collection on the SBS site, Sica cake with pears – also using the same apples from compote + a fresh pear (added some ginger for flavour and should have used more flour cause the apples and pears sank to the bottom, so that I had to invert the cake upside-down, but who’ll mind?). A good recipe for apple compote leftovers!

Apple Cake

Another linen towel from the kitchen heritage left from our grandparents – supposed to be used only for special family occasions, which I guess if ever happened than it was very very very rarely. Mom made a whole photo session with the next hero of this post (all photos here were taken by me):

Sweet Orange Rolls

We’ll alternate apple with oranges, right? And also the type – this one is a leavened dough dessert.

Sweet Orange Rolls adapted from TheBakingPan.com are indeed sweet, soft, tasty and the aroma is… !

Changes: Less yeast; added ginger to the dough; less butter; less salt. I skipped the glaze and just brushed the tops with freshly squeezed orange juice – and actually with all the sugar syrup which escaped from these cute things they were still very sweet!

Sweet Orange Rolls

No leftovers this time, unless you call the orange zest which I try to keep from the oranges we eat leftovers. Even before these are roll(ed)s, they look fine – with the sugar crystals and the orange zest against the rolled out dough. The sun was quite elusive that day, but how éclatant they look when there’s sun!

Sweet Orange Rolls

The process will take time but, yes, it’s worth it. Pity they disappear quicker then they’re made 😉

Sweet Orange Rolls

Cute things, aren’t they? In the affectionate colloquial Russian a girl would call them ‘pusechki’ (cute little things; eh, Russian is so rich in all the suffixes and prefixes and stuff, you really start appreciating it when trying to translate a word with a couple of prefixes here and suffixes there – and yet this is not Finnish!).

Sweet Orange Rolls

Result: As their name suggests, they really ARE sweet – even without the glaze (i.e. mine contained minus 3/4 cups sugar and minus all the syrup which escaped while baking) and fragrant. An orange-y must.

Apples? Cheesecake? Bars? And leftovers! This recipe helped finish a jar of apple jam 😉

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping adapted from www.melskitchencafe.com is very nice with jam instead of fresh apples – and without caramel sauce.

Changes: less butter for the base; more cream cheese (2,5 250g packs of 5% tvorog) for the cheese layer; apple jam with slices + cinnamon + nutmeg instead of fresh apples and sugar; less brown sugar for the topping; no caramel sauce.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Result: The recipe yielded a large four-layer slab of tastiness. As I increased the amount of cream cheese, the bars has a distinct cream cheese layer which worked as a contrast to a rather sugary topping and sweet apple slices from the jam. Plus the base. Wonderful! If your cheese is as tangy as the Russian tvorog, you can increase the sugar but be careful not to overload the whole thing with sugar!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Some time later the cheesecake layer soaked in the juices from the apple jam becoming brownish but that added sweetness to the cream cheese. The topping is crunchy and quite sugary – especially if you use coarse sugar. Well, there are also oats, let’s not forget it 😉 The trick of these bars is to enjoy the four layers ensemble – without loosing the topping!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

The escaping topping and the sugar granules are visible here:

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

And now on to a recipe not that much orange-y but I made it such. It’s from a Greek blog, there’s Google translate option, I checked it, just note that bacon powder=baking powder 😉 There are photos and I think everything is clear.

Κέικ καρότου με καρύδια or Carrot Cake with Walnuts Cashews adapted from syntagesapospiti.blogspot.com will make a very substantial cake and several muffins!

Changes:

This is a real GREEK recipe which usually means a lot of eggs, sugar and oil. And all in all it usually means a recipe which will feed a crowd. So deal with it accordingly. What I did was to decrease the amount of sugar and oil (I used sunflower oil instead of corn), throw in the orange flesh along with the juice, use 4 eggs instead of 5, toasted and chopped cashews instead of walnuts +  cardamom, nutmeg and ginger to neutralize the egg flavour.

As for the impressive amount of the batter, I feared the never-ending process of baking such a large cake, so I made several rather large muffins, which took around 30 min to bake.

Keik karotou me karudia

The ‘topping’ that you can see in the photos is actually what was left from the Apple cheesecake bars from above.

Keik karotou me karudia

{blue-ish morning light flowing from the window and what a substantial bite for breakfast!}

Keik karotou me karudia

This is a no-joke cake, it’s very nourishing and chewy, with all the carrots and orange bits and nuts in it! I think that cashews played it well in the cake (I also scattered some on the bottom of the cake pan as I knew it would be the cake’s top).

Keik karotou me karudia

The texture is spongy and you can tell there ARE eggs inside 😉 I do believe the fifth egg would have been a bit too much. You can also halve the amount of the ingredients to make, for instance, a batch of muffins or a smaller cake. So, the result is… more than enough!

Keik karotou me karudia

{Moomin muffin case, a gift from my sister}

The morning was so dull and moody with the heavy rain – now it’s sunny and spring-windy with clear white clouds against the bright sky. The spring has overcome the St Petersburg‘s 230 (other sources say from 150 to 1500) shades of grey which a true St Pete citizen should be able to distinguish. And yes, St Petersburg, you will finally get your personal post!

G.

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3 thoughts on “Apples and Oranges

  1. Ой, как же это все вкууууусно!!! Ням! А весна ТОЧНО пришла: сегодня видели аистов, и в гнездах вдоль дороги, и на мокрых от талого снега полях; и лягушки перепрыгивали шоссе, по которому мы ехали. Одна пыталась броситься под колеса, но мы ее успешно объехали 🙂 УРА!!!!!

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