Festive Ginger Snaps

A good portion of the recipes I make come from my mum’s secret stash. So do these ginger cookies and for this reason I will be keeping the details…secret 😉 Just a little picture teaser. They gave my house this “so-close-to-Christmas” smell – love! 

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Cardamom Apple Pie with Rosewater Whipped Cream

I’ve had a little jar of cardamom sitting in my spice cupboard for a long time…very long. Autumn is the perfect time for warming spices so off I went with yet another experiment I had a brief panic moment when I realised that a little bit too much cardamom fell off of the spoon and into my apple mix. Frankly it tasted like apple soap! Thankfully and miraculously,  it  blended so nicely with the cinnamon and the fruit juice that the final result was spot on. Phew. Inspired by the cardamom, my husband whipped up some delightful rosewater cream and we had a feast 😀 Gotta love pies!!
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Pumpkin Apple Muffins with Walnut Streusel

I couldn’t wait any longer for pumpkin flavors! I love the warm spice mix of cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg that usually accompany pumpkin cakes. So comforting and indulgent they make me want to cosy up under a blanket with a hot cup of tea. Enough said, I seriously recommend these. Feel free to skip the apples if you prefer them plain.  Continue reading

Sourdough Rye Rolls

After weeks and weeks of playing with various bread recipes it’s time for rolls! These are super-simple (do I ever make anything complicated?…hmmm) and very quick compared to sourdough breads. They are made with wild yeast only and the one thing you do need to plan ahead is your pre-ferment, and yes, that is assuming you already have a beautiful rye starter sitting in your fridge. If not, here is my well-tested recipe.  The rolls take anywhere from 2,5 h to 4,5 h to make depending on the ambient temperature in your kitchen. Continue reading

Cinnamon Plum Cake

I finally saw some Italian plums appear in the stores – uh oh! Growing up they were the only plums available and I still favour them over any other. Since autumn seems to be slowly creeping in here are some flavours that will make the end of summer a little sweeter – plums and cinnamon 🙂 Continue reading

British Scones with Orange Zest & Cranberries

Scones have been haunting me for the last few weeks now. And when I mean haunt, I mean I see myself making them in my sleep!  I had some great scones during last month’s vacation in the Finger Lakes, NY. They were American style scones – large, crumbly triangles with cranberry and orange. Absolutely delicious. I have actually never made scones before and thought the right way to start is with a British recipe.  I am a huge fan of Mary Berry’s (aren’t we all!) and this one is a play on hers. The process is very straightforward, but there are two things to bear in mind: don’t overwork the dough and make sure your cut outs are sharp and clean (don’t twist the cutter or your scones won’t rise evenly). They came out absolute perfection – crumbly on the outside, light and soft on the inside with a lingering flavour of orange zest. Butter and marmalade is the only way to go for me! Perfect Sunday breakfast…although ate way too many! 😀 Continue reading

Crusty Sourdough Country Loaf

I’ve been experimenting with different bread techniques and recipes for at least the last two months. All in order to figure out how to make a rustic style loaf with the perfect chewy crust I love so much. Many disasters and flops later I finally got it! I was absolutely chuffed when I took this beauty out of the oven – it was all I hoped for and more! The skin cracked the right way, the inside full of lovely wholes and with a wonderful springy texture. Honestly, I had to pinch myself!  Continue reading

Martha Stewart’s Double Chocolate Brownies

So we had family over the last weekend and it was the perfect excuse for me to bake! I am incapable of having guests  over with no sweet treats at the ready for the “just in case” situations. I love everything chocolate and brownies are great for sharing because they are so casual and unceremonious.  We had these with pistachio ice cream – a match made in heaven! For this recipe I actually doubled the amount of ingredients because I used a pan larger than the 8″ square the original recipe calls for. Also, since I like my chocolate dark I swapped half of the semi-sweet chocolate for unsweetened. They came out rich and a little moist with a distinct cocoa flavour. They made me happy 🙂 Continue reading

Polish Yeast Cake with Blueberries & Crumble

This cake is my favourite EVER. Most likely because it reminds me of my childhood and it smells just like it! This is a very simple recipe, similar to the American coffee cake I suppose, but I will have it over any other fancy dessert…Or a meal in fact, I’ve been known to have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s great with seasonal fruit, but it works just as well without it. The best part of it is the sweet, buttery, vanilla crumble that makes the entire house smell like the best bakery. I don’t recall a single time when I didn’t dive into it still piping hot. Give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it! 

P.S.: It freezes very well; I tend to take it out ah hour ahead of time and then refresh it in a toaster oven.  Continue reading

No-Knead Quick Yeast Loaf

This was an “emergency” bread I made last thing on a Friday night. Just got that fresh bread craving and no force in the universe could stop me from baking! It’s a straight forward recipe that gives great results. The dough itself remains quite wet, but don’t let it scare you – just shape it and it will do its job 🙂

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