Smetannik means “the one that is made of sour cream” and it is my all time favorite Russian cake. When we first came to North Carolina and found an International Grocery (read Russian store), we started buying their frozen Smetannik by the pound. It was THE celebration cake. It would get cut down to whatever size we wanted and thawed to a delicious creamy cake.
Nico loves Crème Brûlée, and I love baking him delicious things! I just refilled my butane torch and have been itching to see if my Crème Brûlée would be improved by using one of the vanilla beans I brought back from Hawaii instead of the vanilla extract I was using previously.
OMG! It. Was. Amazing! Totally worth using a vanilla bean, and you can make vanilla extract out of once used beans by submerging them in vodka for a month or so! If you don’t have vanilla beans, don’t worry, replace the bean with 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
Chanterelle Mushroom Soufflé
Today, I decided to merge my passion for Chanterelles with my parallel passion for “difficult recipes.” You know, sometimes, I become obsessed with foods because of their famed difficulty to make. First it was the Macaron, then it was Cannelés Bordelais… finally, I worked my way up to the Soufflé. I love desserts, so my first attempts were in the sweet category. I have been revisiting savory soufflés of late with plans to serve a trio of soufflés for my 30th birthday, and I must say that they are much easier to conquer, so start your soufflé journey with something salty. These dishes are really light and delicious. Perfect for brunch or a light dinner. They are one of those perfect foods that fill you up without weighing you down. This recipe is for a mushroom soufflé, but feel free to change up the flavors. How about prosciutto and Gruyère, or spinach and Gruyère, or leek and bacon?
Kalamata Olive and Rosemary Baguette
Kalamata Olive and Rosemary Baguette Daria Souvorova 4 hours serves: Makes 3 18 inch loaves Baguettes are my favorite bread to bake and Nico’s favorite bread to eat. The only competition for baguettes in his eyes is a Kalamata loaf. I decided to combine the two, an unconventional, but delicious juncture between Paris and Rome….
The Perfect New York Deli Rye
So here it is, a big loaf of rye sandwich bread. This is a technically easy loaf to make, you just need to dedicate a bit of time, allowing the sponge to bubble for 3-4 hours really helps the flavors to deepen, but if you are in a hurry, 1-2 hours will still produce a good loaf. I have read several accounts of adding pickle juice in addition to the water to the sponge, and it produced wonderful results. The flavor is much richer (and really not pickly) after the loaf is baked. Rather non-traditionally, you will find that I combine the traditional caraway seeds with fennel and coriander for a bit more excitement! If you want a traditional loaf, simply add 3 tablespoons of caraway seeds.
M-hanncha – the Almond Snake
M-hanncha is one of Morocco’s most popular pastries and is served for special occasions. Conveniently, every meal in Morocco seems to be a special occasion! The almond filling is quitissentially North African and can also be seen in savory dishes like Almond Stuffed Bass and Bastilla of Fez with Chicken. Sweets permeate Moroccan meals and…
Lavender Macaron with Lemon Buttercream
Lavender makes me think of the summer. I always imagine a countryside in Italy or France with fields of violet, or seemingly carelessly placed pots of lavender and rosemary basking joyfully under the hot sun as bees frolic from flower to flower. I think of lavender and lemon squeezed over desserts and fish alike. These…
Chocolate Macaron with Orange Blossom Buttercream and the Secret of the Macaron
We all know that the French Macaron is the most impressive cookie out there! I have been working feverishly to perfect it and make this famously difficult dessert attainable for the home cook, and I have some secrets to share! Due to the famed difficulty of properly preparing these cookies, French pastry chefs would (and…