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

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

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

Victoria Sponge Cake

It has been my first full summer spent on the East coast and I didn’t dare to bake. My husband always jokes that the summers here are like a wet, hot blanket. Even with running air-conditioning turning the oven on seemslike a little insane. I gave in twice – once to make a batch of birthday gift cookies, and more recently because we both got a hankering for a home-made cake. Here it is, a Victoria sponge with big, plump Jersey blueberries. Continue reading

Orange Blossom Honey & Ricotta Cheesecake

This cake is a result of several conversations over the Easter breakfast table. If you fancy a lighter version of a traditional ricotta cheesecake, this one is a great option. It is very creamy with a only a subtle hint of orange. The original recipe comes from Food Network, Giada de Laurentiis cooking show. I adjusted it by replacing cream cheese with mascarpone. I also used digestives instead of biscotti.  Continue reading

Norwegian Sweet Cinnamon Buns

As a big admirer of Nigella Lawson’s cooking I decided to give this one a try. The recipe is simple and the results very rewarding! I modified the original proportions by slightly reducing the amount of sugar used in the dough. I also added some vanilla extract to enhance the aroma. The smell of cinnamon and butter still linger in the kitchen…mmm. I just took my first bite and I think my knees are melting! Unfortunately, this is a treat to be shared over Easter with the family, so no seconds for me today! Continue reading

Christmas Honey Spice Cake (Piernik)

This is a traditional Polish holiday cake prepared during Advent. It is rich, moist and just a little sweet with a great depth of warm flavours. Heat up some mulled wine and you have a perfect treat for a cosy night in! The recipe has been perfected over the years by my mum and it is now one of my favourites. The secret to getting it right is using good quality honey as well as fresh and very aromatic spices.  Continue reading