bread · no recipe · pies · sweet · sweet bread

Apples. Again. A lot

Apples. Again. A lot

Apples are back! Which means apples are gathered, apples are picked up from the ground, apples are given out to all our friends, apples are eaten raw, apples are baked as is and in cakes, apples are made into compote, apples are grated, cut, chopped, sliced, mashed … everything is done in the attempt to make them disappear! 🙂

Apples. Again. A lot

We’ve spent the entire weekend picking them up at our dacha – we filled all our baskets and the plastic bags too. Apples normally come in large numbers every second year, but this year with its un-summer-like summer we were quite surprised that the apples are not only many but also quite sweet!

Apples. Again. A lot

And all that without actually picking the apples from the tree – we just gathered what fell (and is constantly falling) onto the ground. It has been windy as hell here in St Petersburg and the region recently. But this was a very fine late August weekend. With the soft sound of apples falling sneakily behind your back (it just suffices to turn away from the trees for a moment!) or… directly on your head! And so they are now baked in numerous cakes:

Apples. Again. A lot

and pies:

Apples. Again. A lot
with tons of cinnamon!

Apples. Again. A lot

THE best apples that grow in our ground and probably just the best apples are Bely naliv (aka Papirovka) – they are early to ripe, resistant to cold winters, sweet&sour in taste and juicy. Some of them grew to real giants of apples but then they get a bit too mashy, as if you were eating a potato. Here they are on the tree…

Apples. Again. A lot

…and making company to some freshly baked sourdough bread. Other types of apples that we have at our dacha include Baltika (pictured in the beginning of the post, with these cute red stripes), Osenneye polosatoye (Stripy Autumnal, with red strokes) and Zvezdochka (Star, winter sort, so thank God we’re to get their harvest some time later; they are red in color).

Apples. Again. A lot

And.. as we discovered on Sunday they are now accompanied by plums too. Who would believe we live in the North-West of Russia with all these fruits?

Apples. Again. A lot

For the collection of recipes with apples, see this page.

G.

sweet · sweet bread

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

A quick food stop for cardamom and cinnamon buns from Finland. Just pour yourself a big mug of tea or cocoa and enjoy these cuties! Who cares if it’s summer outside when you can indulge yourself in some sweet treat? Do share it with the loved ones, though.

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

According to the author of this recipe, the Finnish korvapuustit stands for slapped ears. I’m not sure such a name can pay justice to these sweet buns with freshly ground cardamom though 🙂 To me they look rather like snails – the shape of some of them was pretty much similar to a snail with a snail’s ‘neck’ which got separated from the ‘body’ during the baking (see in the background in the photo below).

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

Anyway, these buns were really pretty:

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

1 year ago – St Petersburg the Magnificent and Upside-Down Pear Chocolate Cake

2 years ago – Provence and Tapenade on Crackers

3 years ago – Petrogradskaya Side, St Petersburg

4 years ago – Fried Flatbread and Beans a la Grecque

Korvapuustit or Finnish Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns adapted from nami-nami.blogspot.com will make chewy flavourful sugary buns. For the entire recipe go to the original website.

My changes: I had to use more flour as the dough seemed a bit too sticky. I substituted caster sugar with regular granulated sugar for the dough and brown sugar for the filling, and used some brown sugar instead of pearl sugar for the topping. I added less cardamom, yeast, butter and salt in the dough (also, my butter got completely melted when I was warming it up in the microwave).

Remarks: Although I rolled the dough out quite thin, the buns puffed up and the dough part got slightly oversized I think. My buns took under 15 minutes to get ready – I feared they would get too brown with the required 225 ‘C so I took them out a bit earlier.

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

Result: Apart from being very tasty and flavourful, these buns are fun to make! And fun to eat: unrolling them, pinching them off them piece by piece or just gobbling them down! Aren’t they cute?

Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns

You can find my blog posts on Finland here, here and here.

Craving for a different kind of sweet buns? Check out Apple Cinnamon Rolls, Cinnamon Buns, Cardamom Flavoured Cinnamon Rolls, Orange Sweet Rolls, Sweet Orange Rolls (haha but they ARE different!), Torta delle Rose or Red Currant and Marzipan Swirls.

This post goes to the Sweet and country-specific recipe collections.

G.

sweet · sweet bread

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

It’s Easter time in St Petersburg and after all the excruciatingly prolific snow we are actually having an early spring! So fragile, so tender!

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

Almost transparent…

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

For this Easter I decided to make something similar to what my Mom would do for the festive table back when we were kids – a poppy seed roll. Perfect timing – I found this recipe just in time for the occasion.

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

I remember the quite longish procedure of preparing the poppy seed filling which involved taking out the gigantically heavy meat grinder: mother would process the seeds and sugar through it and we would watch.

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

And we would also collect the first herbs and methodically keep the onion skins for the egg part of the Easter festive table. If you want to learn how to dye eggs with onion peels and spring plants, click here.

Poppy Seed Twists for Easter

Since forever I don’t really like kulich (the traditional Easter-time sweet leavened bread), particularly that type which has raisins inside. But my Mom would make those too (in all sorts of enameled mugs usually found in all Soviet families) and put them all in a huge kastrjulya (pot) so that they do not dry out. But we would ignore them with my sister: we were in for the poppy seed & walnut rolls!

Mohnkringel or Poppy Seed Twists

1 year ago – Almond Biscotti and Sour Cream Snickerdoodles

2 years ago – Spring in Pavlovsk Park and Blueberry Muffins

2 years ago – St Petersburg the Great

4 years ago – More on Smart Use of Leftovers

Mohnkringel or Poppy Seed Twists adapted from www.seitanismymotor.com (who also notoriously invented the word:) will make tasty not over-sweet buns loaded with poppy seeds. For the entire recipe visit the link above.

My changes and remarks:

I substituted vegan ingredients with the usual ones (i.e. used cow’s milk instead of soy milk and vegetable oil instead of coconut oil). Also, instant dry yeast worked perfectly well for this recipe. As for the filling, I processed poppy seeds in blender (first I rinsed them and soaked in hot water for a while) and added honey instead of molasses or agave nectar. I didn’t add milk for the filling as it was already too runny, so had to ground some peanuts and throw them in too.

Then, when I was already folding the dough, the filling would just threaten to escape and break through the dough, so I decided to stop rolling the dough out (the second rolling) and made ‘twists’ instead of circles. I don’t have a donut pan so placed my kringel on a silicon mat.

Mohnkringel or Poppy Seed Twists

Result: Soft and chewy, just like I wanted. The flavour is nice and tangy (there’s all that lemon zest in the dough and the filling!). And the combination of poppy seeds + nuts is always a blast! I would add just a tiny bit more sugar though but not too much so that the balance is preserved.

Mohnkringel or Poppy Seed Twists

This recipe goes to the Sweet collection.

For more poppy seed ideas, check this Cardamom Flavoured Cinnamon Rolls.

G.

Greek recipe · sweet · sweet bread

Fanouropita, Byzantine Nut and Orange Cake

Vizantini Fanouropita

Let’s bake a Greek holy cake today! The name fanouropita refers to Saint Phanourios the Great Martyr & Newly Appeared of Rhodes, Άγιο Φανούριο. The cake is baked on this saint’s day, August 27th, and is cut in 40 pieces. The legend says that St Phanourios’ mother was a heartless sinner who treated the poor very tough. For which she obviously went to hell. Her son tried to save her but failed, so Archangel Michael together with St Phanourios pulled her with an onion skin which she once threw to a beggar. But three other women tried to escape with her too, so she pushed them back to hell. Then Archangel Michael renounced from helping her and St Phanourios begged him to save her soul.

Vizantini Fanouropita

This is why the housewives bake this cake and take it to the church to later share it with the neighbors, so that the mother of the saint could be forgiven. It’s believed that the saint will help make appear lost things or a husband for an unwed girl or a job for an unemployed, all through this Lenten cake 🙂 I’m not sure my cake was holy but there surely was that ‘holy’ aroma coming out of the oven when this cake was baked!

Vizantini Fanouropita

They say that the authentic fanouropita should only have 9 (or 7 or 11, all are ‘holy’ numbers) ingredients though these could be varied. For example, some of the fanouropita recipes have raisins. This cake is done with ground walnuts (which I substituted with cheaper peanuts) and have 9 ingredients all in all.

Vizantini Fanouropita

1 year ago – Winter Fairy Tale and Semolina Bread

2 years ago – Chocolate, Cocoa, Coffee and Cakes

3 years ago – Join the Soviet New Year Table

4 years ago – Sourdough Breads

βυζαντινή φανουρόπιτα (Vizantini fanouropita) or Byzantine Nut and Orange Cake translated and adapted from pandespani.com will male a Greek-size (giant) super flavourful moist cake. See my remarks in italics.

Ingredients

  • 500 g self-raising flour – I mixed all-purpose with wholewheat flour, salt, baking powder and soda
  • 3/4 cups olive oil – I substituted some with sunflower oil
  • 1 cup sugar – if you want it sweeter, increase the amount by 1/2 cups, but I wouldn’t do it
  • 2 cups or 500 ml orange juice
  • 2/3 cups ground walnuts – I blended some peanuts
  • 1 Tbs cloves – substituted it with mahlepi
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 shot of cognac – substituted it with honey
  • 4-5 Tbs white sesame seeds – I used less as my cake was smaller

Procedure

Preheat the oven to 250 ‘C.
Beat all the ingredients apart from flour and sesame with a mixer (I did it by hand), add the flour and mix until you get a homogenized batter. Grease a baking dish (I used a round silicon cake tin), pour the batter in and level it out with a spatula. Generously sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Bake at 200 ‘C for 10-15 minutes so that it acquires the colour. Then decrease the temperature to 170-180 ‘C and continue baking for 30-35 minutes more. The baking time depends on the size so check the doneness with a toothpick. You might want to cover your cake with foil if it browns too fast.

Vizantini Fanouropita

Remarks: Peanuts are great, probably less distinct as the walnuts would be but still nice, particularly when you get a larger bit! The authentic fanouropita should be small and round but as this is a Greek recipe supposedly to be shared into 40 pieces, you can imagine that ‘small’ means giant here. I guess you can easily make only half the recipe. I had to freeze this cake in halves actually! Although I used a smaller cake tin than suggested, my fanouropita roe perfectly as baked through without getting too dry.

Vizantini Fanouropita

Result: Giant, tasty, moist, full of flavours and crunchy bits of nuts! You will think twice before sharing it with the entire neighbourhood 🙂 Oh those Greeks they are masters at feeding crowds with hearty and flavourful food! I don’t know how the Byzantine food would taste like but to my taste buds this cake is a perfect tangy orangy winter treat – no need to wait for the 27th of August to enjoy it!

Vizantini Fanouropita

…and here’s what was going on behind the window at that moment:

Kolpino

This recipe goes to my Sweet and Country-Specific recipes, to expand my Greek collection even more.
G.
French recipe · sweet · sweet bread

Orange Coloured Post: Glazed Orange Cake and Persimmons

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

Totally missing sun here. It’s also super windy which makes you stop, turn you back to the wind and start moving backwards. This is what you learn from your parents, one of those ‘animal’ behaviour tricks that parents pass on to their kids…

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

A year agoKoloby, Karelian Pies with Cheese and Potatoes

Two years agoCookie Time: Cheese Biscuits and Pistachio Biscotti

Three years agoThose Were the Days or 90s in Russia Continued

Four years agoPuerto Rican Flan

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l’orange, Quick & Easy Cake with Orange Glaze translated and adapted from en-direct-dathenes.com will make a soft and really addictive and delicious citrusy cake. The recipe is published here with the kind permission of MaryAthens. See my remarks in italics.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 180 g sugar
  • 150 g butter, at room temperature – I used less
  • 180 g flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 orange (for the juice and the zest) – I added the zest into the cake too + cardamom
  • 20 g butter – omitted
  • 80 g powdered sugar

Procedure

Beat the eggs with sugar, then add the butter. Beat well until you get a fluffy mixture. Add 3/4 of the orange juice (keep 1/4 for the glaze) and then the flour sifted with the baking powder (here I also added some roughly grated orange zest). Pour into a greased pan and bake in the oven preheated to 180 ‘C about 30 minutes (I baked my cake in a loaf pan which is quite narrow, so it took me 20 minutes more).

For the glaze: melt the butter and add the remaining orange juice, powdered sugar and the orange zest. Spread over the cake while it is still warm (I skipped the butter, so my glaze was less thick).

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

Remarks: Even though I used less butter for this cake, it was very soft and … buttery. The recipe is indeed quick and easy. My glaze was not that thick as in the original recipe but still a very good idea to add the orange zest to it! And the zest inside the cake enhanced its citrus-ness even more 🙂

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

Result: This sweety-sweet cake tastes almost like a tvorozhny keks (cake with tvorog) although it doesn’t have any cottage cheese or even milk inside! My Mother was sure it was made with cottage cheese too. I liked its soft, moist but thick texture.

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

Could not stop taking the pictures while the sun was out!

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

Some more winter-sun pictures with the persimmons, which I don’t eat but kind of like for their out-of-the-ordinary looks, especially after you take them out of the freezer:

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

and one more:

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

These three photos were taken before the sun cheered us up, note the difference:

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

The glaze here looks just like those sugary marmalade citrus dol’ki (slices) which we used to buy when I was a child, along with the Zemelakh cookies.

Un gâteau simple et rapide et son glaçage à l'orange

Adding this cake to the Sweet and by Country recipe collections.

G.

sweet · sweet bread

Peach, Peanut and Olive Oil Cake for Blog Birthday

Apricot, Almond, & Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Lemon from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Fourth year into baking & posting! Hepibooka, happy birthday 🙂 Thank you all for following my blog and a special thanks to myself for actually keeping it alive for 4 years 🙂

Apricot, Almond, & Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Lemon from www.karenskitchenstories.com

A year ago Happy Birthday, Hep-i-Book’a and Glimpses of Summer

Two years ago Two Cloudberry Cakes

Three years ago Apples and Chocolate

Four years agoLet’s Get It Started…

Apricot Peach, Almond Peanut, & Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Lemon adapted from www.karenskitchenstories.com will make a soft sweet bread with crunchy topping. Click on the link to see the entire recipe.

My changes: Used vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean and ground peanuts instead of almond meal. Had to add more flour but used less salt and oil. Instead of apricots I chopped up 2 fresh peaches. I baked my cake in a loaf pan for more than an hour and my peaches didn’t sink as the recipe suggested.

Apricot, Almond, & Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Lemon from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Remarks: If you take a look at the original recipe you’ll see that my cake is somewhat different, probably less moist with all the fruit pieces on top. But I guess we all enjoyed it anyway – the cake in my version acquired this rustic look with the almost plum-like color of the peaches. The combination might seem weird – peanuts, peaches, olive oil, lemon, vanilla – but it turned out surprisingly good.

Apricot, Almond, & Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Lemon from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Result: Soft and flavourful. A perfect good-bye-summer cake!

Apricot, Almond, & Olive Oil Cake with Vanilla and Lemon from www.karenskitchenstories.com

Adding this to Sweet recipe collection.

G.

sweet · sweet bread

Red Currant Season: Coconut Bread and Coffeecake

Red Currant

Red currants are obviously making up for the lack of apples this year. In fact there are apples (which makes my Grandpa super-happy) but just a bit here and there (and mostly on the ground…), nothing like the mega-apple-year-of-2014! More on the sour side than sweet, these berries are something of an exclusivity of summer – you can hardly come by them in any other season, even frozen.

Coconut Raspberry Bread from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

We’ve picked quite a lot of black currants (which I abhor, I’m sorry!) too, plus gooseberries and raspberries. So you can imagine I’ve been busy baking all sorts of berry cakes and my Mother’s been freezing the berries and also ‘grinding’ them with sugar to make berry varenye (jam) without the act of varenye (boiling, cooking) 🙂

Coconut Raspberry Bread from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

I cannot say that red currants bake perfectly as they have all these seeds and they tend to become quite a sticky mass in a cake. But they definitely make a very different cake, sweet & sour. Here are two recipes that were more successful than the others I used (or were just lucky to get pictured before being eaten) and I would like to share them with you. Although neither was actually supposed to contain red currants, I think that both were pretty nice with this zesty berry.

Coconut Raspberry Bread from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com

A year ago – Good White Sourdough Bread

Two years ago – Italian Delicacies a la Russe

Three years ago – Summer Berries

Coconut Raspberry Bread adapted from www.twopeasandtheirpod.com and turned into Coconut Red Currant Bread will make an addictive super-sweet and moist berry cake! For the entire recipe follow the link.

My changes: apparently used red currants instead of raspberries (which are a bit lingering to ripen this summer), added less salt, cow milk instead of almond milk, sunflower oil instead of melted coconut oil and omitted coconut extract. I made a smaller amount of the glaze, adding flake coconut instead of coconut extract.

Remarks: I guess this cake will get super-coconutty with all the coconut extract and the almond milk but even without these it was undoubtedly coconut 🙂

Result: The cake tastes almost like those tvorozhny keks (cottage cheese cakes) that I would love to reproduce one day. And yet it doesn’t contain any tvorog! Very dense and yet moist, with a wonderful coconut flavour!

 ***

My Very Best Blueberry Coffeecake from www.fantasticalsharing.com

Don’t be surprised by these Christmas bunnies 🙂 It’s just that the cake travelled to the north of St Petersburg, to a perfect cottage with a perfect garden and a perfect kitchen (my favourite part!), to visit my Mother’s friend. And that X-mas plate was the host’s choice for serving the cake in this kitchen full of light:

My Very Best Blueberry Coffeecake from www.fantasticalsharing.com

My Very Best Blueberry Coffeecake adapted from www.fantasticalsharing.com and turned into a Pretty Good Red Currant Coffeecake. Will make a large soft cake with sweet oat crumble (streusel) and berries. Visit the original website to see the recipe.

My changes: Used cardamom instead of cinnamon for the topping and sunflower oil instead of shortening / coconut oil for the batter. I decided to add more sugar as my berries were quite sour but less vanilla extract. Instead of lemon I used orange zest and, again, red currants instead of blueberries and raspberriesapricots. I baked my cake in a round silicone pan longer than 50 minutes.

Remarks: This recipe will require some time and effort as you have to mount the egg whites. Unfortunately the topping diminishes the boosting effect these egg whites bring to the cake (the top sank a bit + the berries sank to a separate layer close to the bottom) but overall the cake was very soft and crumbly. The colour is brownish (because of the brown sugar and the yolks).

Result: A cake that has very ‘country’ looks 🙂 and a rustic taste too because of the oats and the brown sugar. Lovely!

at dacha

August – time for spinning cobwebs!

Adding this to berry and sweet recipe collections.

G.