A somewhat belated but already traditional spring-at-our-dacha post. Spring-cleaning and pillow-beating! What else can be a clearer indication of the coming of spring than the flocks of dacha-people heading from the city in all directions, towards their summer houses to open the new season?
Here in St Petersburg, the period of kilometer-long traffic jams on Friday night has begun. It seems every St Petersburgeois (?) has a dacha, but that’s a misinterpretation of the situation. It’s just that everybody has a friend or a relative who owns one 🙂 I don’t think they all run there to help with the spring-cleaning or admiring the almond tree in blossom (see below), it’s mostly for more trivial things like barbecue (shashliki) or fishing.
Let’s all take in spring, sip by sip, adding to the pictures the birds singing and the sun appearing and disappearing in its St-Petersburg-spring-fashion:
The velvety red of the tulip:
And – ta-da-dam – apple trees in blossom!
with apple trees falling down under the disproportionate weight and apples surviving until March!
New life springs up from something looking rather dead than alive:
The birch tree is in its fresh-green state, absolutely love it!
And now on to a rather boozy recipe I’ve tried recently. We had some leftover red wine from my Dad’s birthday and so I could finally make the chocolate cake recipe I’ve been meaning to make for some years.
A year ago – Magic Apple Orchard
Two years ago – Ecco Una Collezione Italiana
Three years ago – Koulouria of Thessaloniki
Chocolate Red Wine Cake adapted from blog.lemonpi.net will make a boozy, very soft and syrupy cake with a distinct wine aroma. For the original recipe visit the link.
My changes: used ginger instead of cloves and regular granulated sugar for the soaking.
Remarks: I baked my cake in a small glass pan instead of a bundt tin, in which I also soaked it in wine. I didn’t glaze the cake, just decorated it with some grated chocolate which very quickly became soft and boozy too 🙂
Result: Soft and moist to the point of being almost liquid, this cake not only baked with but also soaked in red wine, is not for car-drivers for sure 🙂 As far as the taste goes, this cake is not oversweet, nor is it especially tasty. But if you want something else than a usual chocolate cake, this is it.